Building Soil Knowledge

Full Name: Building soil knowledge & capacity to implement change in the farmers of the Upper North Agricultural zone of SA, improving soil structure & function to improve plant health, landscape function & farming system resilience.


Funding Body: National Landcare Program: Smart Farm Small Grants


This project aims to upskill the farmers of the Upper North in the language of soil science. It will provide opportunities for farmers to understand the complexity of the varying soil profiles in the region, with the soils varying from sand over sodic clay soils on the west to hard compacting red clays with limestone and sandy dunes in areas. Typically described as an alkaline landscape, the district is now known to have all pH combinations and toxic sub-soil layers in many areas. It aims to demonstrate the differences between current common practices for managing sub-soil constraints (or lack of practices) and nationally recognised best management practices to improve the highlighted sub-soil parameters below:


Soil Parameter/Function Production Impact

  1. Plant Available Water Building the bucket
  2. Soil Carbon Content Building the resilience of the soil system
  3. Soil pH Buffering the system and managing plant hostile environments
  4. Nutrient Availability – Macro-nutrients N cycling, P and K tie-up
  5. Nutrient Availability – Micro-nutrients Nutrient tie-up and toxicity


Contact: Beth Humphris – 0418 327 460