Soil Biota and the Effect on Soil Structure and Sediment Run-off

CQSHS organised for Rod Karger, a retired Soil Agronomist specialising in sustainable farming systems, to give a talk at the
Masonic Lodge in Walkerston on June 15th, this year.

Rod’s experience began in South Australia focusing on soils, livestock, horticulture and floriculture but he also spent two
decades advising how to reverse declining sugar cane productivity and symptoms of Yellow Canopy Syndrome (YCS). 20 local farmers came to hear him discuss the importance of understanding how soils are supposed to work and why proportional nutrient applications enhance sustainable productivity. He highlighted the importance of controlling pH, Calcium (Ca) and Magnesium (Mg) plus trace elements and gave examples of excessive and deficient symptoms. Rod emphasised the benefits of
growing legume crops between cane rotations. Further discussion was based on identifying soil textures which included a
practical demonstration with farmers soil samples. Rod’s talk was based on his practical experiences and observations over a lifetimes work and was well received by all that attended. It generated many questions and answers, opening the door for
future presentations from him. His information showed how increasing soil biota improves soil structure and will potentially
reduce sediment run-off to the reef. It was encouraging to see the number of farmers proactively seeking knowledge.

Group for farmers attending soil biota workshop standing for taking photo