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    Landcare News Items

    Regenerative Agriculture at NEGS and AHS

    With 100 agriculture and science students from five high schools across the region talking about regenerative agricultural practices it’s hard not to be excited about the future of farming.

    Armidale High School (AHS) and New England Girls School (NEGS) formed the ideal backdrop to learning more about the importance of understanding what makes a soil healthy and how does this contribute to human health.

    Participants heard all about managing soil ecology with Dr Maarten Stapper, with a focus on microbial activity and its vital role in soil nutrient cycles and availability to plants.

    AHS agriculture teacher, long-term Landcare advocate and John Winter-Irving bequest recipient, Mrs Bec Smith, engaged participants in her students' study of controlling the highly invasive Chilean Needle Grass. The best results were from the plots that had a soil correction coupled with aeration. Bec is happy to share future results – so watch this space. 

    NEGS agriculture teacher, Mr Mark Fisher and his students gave us an insight into the diverse operations on the school's Ag Farm. A highlight was hearing of their success setting up a ‘Paddock to Plate to Paddock’ system that supplies seasonal produce to the boarding school kitchen and in turn feeds the pigs, sheep, ducks and chickens.

    Dr James Turnell from Armidale Regional Council was invited to talk about the NEGS composting system that utilises waste from the school's kitchen, equestrian centre and garden. The main message from James was that making your own compost at school or at home can be a simple process with many benefits.

    And who doesn’t like a machinery demonstration? Dorrigo farmer Ranald Braund showed participants the benefits his SoilKee Renovator has on aerating the soil while drilling seeds, integrating organic matter and top-dressing pasture. 

    This project was supported by NENW Landcare Network Chairs Inc and Northern Tablelands Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government's National Landcare Program.

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