WITH recent intensive rainfall and flood events along the eastern seaboard, there has never been a better time to assess contours, whoa-boys, headlands and cover cropping practices to prevent precious topsoil from disappearing into the neighbour's paddock.
Fruit, vegetable and nut producers in Central Queensland are being encouraged to take time out from the daily grind to attend.
"We're thrilled to have the continued support of Fitzroy Basin Association to run this hands-on, practical soils field day for the horticulture industry, especially with the calibre of the presenters," Growcom's Hort360 officer Michelle Haase said.
Guest presenters include experienced heavy earthworks operator and erosion expert Darryl Hill, who is attending from the NT, and ex-DPI soil conservation extension officer, John Day.
Between them they bring over 60 years of field experience in repairing and rehabilitating gullies, washouts, and run-down paddocks, as well as technical expertise in designing effective structures to prevent erosion, channelling and sediment loss.
Topics that will be covered during the field day include: Knowing soil structure, type and properties, equipment needed determine contour placement, construction of structures with dozer and back blades, and cover crops for improved soil health.
Also on the agenda is Growcom's best management practice (BMP) program, Hort360; an online platform and extension program for horticulture. Participating growers will use Hort30 during the day to benchmark practices related to management of run-off.
"It's an important tool that can identify inefficiencies both in the paddock, and in the business," Ms Haase said.
"It creates a snapshot of where your business is at and is effectively a yardstick for sustainability, efficiency, and resilience."
Growcom's resilience officer John Targett will be attending the field day to provide an overview on resources available to horticulture growers through the Farm Business Resilience Program.
This new initiative is jointly funded under the Australian Government's Future Drought Fund and the Queensland Government's Drought and Climate Adaptation Program (DCAP).
Mr Targett is available to assist growers in creating a Farm Business Resilience Plan to access new drought preparedness funding available through QRIDA.
The field day will kick off with an indoor component in the Conference Room at Capricorn Caves (30 Olsen's Caves Road, The Caves) at 9am sharp.
Following lunch, the practical field demonstration of using survey equipment and constructing soil conservation structures will be held at Wolfies Farm, at Rossmoya.
As an added extra, Growcom is coordinating a tour of the Caves before the workshop commences.
To register interest in participating in the caves tour (which will take about one hour) contact Growcom's Hort360 officer Michelle Haase on 0428 586 890.
The field day is a free event for horticulture growers and horticulture industry stakeholders.
Registration is essential for catering.
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