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Orchard soil health day
25 October, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
SWCC began a partnership with Eastwind orchard manager David Giumelli in 2016 to trial products designed to suppress soil-borne disease and improve tree health. It soon became apparent that David has a lot of passion for improving soil health and water quality. He is conducting his own trials aimed at establishing a more holistic approach to managing soil health, including using biochar and legume based cover crops to prepare orchard soil, spraying the orchard with humic acid, and promote a mulch layer beneath trees.
SWCC introduced David to the lead author of Soil Health, Soil Biology, Soil-borne Diseases and Sustainable Agriculture Dr Graham Stirling, who is conducting tests on David’s soils and has agreed to travel to WA and present at this field day.
The event will start at the Balingup Volunteer Fire Brigade with lunch, followed by a presentation from Graham on the principles and practical options that orchardists can employ to promote soil biology and suppress disease. This will include a microscope session looking at nematodes. We will then drive 3 km to Eastwind Orchard where David will discuss some of the practices that he is trialling, including the trial supported by SWCC.
|Welcome and Housekeeping – Peter Clifton, South West Catchments Council|
|Soil Health and Sustainable Agriculture – Dr Graham Stirling, Biological Crop Protection|
|Lunch with concurrent microscope session, assisted by Sarah Collins and Dominie Wright (Department of Primary Industries and Resource Development)|
|2:00 pm:||Soil Health options for Perennial Horticulture – Dr Graham Stirling, Biological Crop Protection|
|2:45 pm:||Drive to Eastwind Orchard|
|3:00 pm:||Eastwind Orchard tour – David Giumelli will show two sites and discuss changes he has made to management to improve soil biology.|
|4:00 pm:||Group discussion – Groups to select practices that could be incorporated onto their farm to improve biological disease suppression.
Small Discussion Groups – Call for nominations – Peter Clifton (SWCC)
|4:30 pm:||Afternoon Tea / BBQ and networking|