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Soil Biology Forum

'More bugs in the System'

A forum looking at all things soil biology was held on the 9th November 2016 in Wangaratta. This forum was a partnership between the Goulburn Broken and North East CMA's and brought together leading national researchers looking at all things soil biology related.

Presenters included (Click on the presenters to access their presentation):

Dr Pauline Mele (Agriculture Victoria) 7.6MB pdf, Professor Lyn Abbott (University of Western Australia) 1.6MB pdf, Dr Cassandra Schefe, Mick Rose (NDW Department of Primary Industries).

As well as presentations there was an opportunity for participants to interact with each other - breaking into small groups and coming up with key questions they wanted to get out of the day. Questions and comments  from participants included:

  • What do I do to improve soil health and biology
  • I want to learn more about what's there (soil biology), their function and how to measure it
  • I want to understand the impacts of farming practice including chemicals on soil biology
  • I want to explore the links between soil health, human health and animal health
  • How do I use soil biology to manage nutrient availability


   (Sticky notes on the wall)

Many of these questions and comments were discussed during the panel sessions (following presentations) and there was good feedback provided at the end of the forum from participants providing information on topics of future interest, how people would prefer their information to be delivered and how valuable the conference was to them.

Overall the day was a great success, with people travelling far and wide (from Melbourne to Mitta and everywhere in between) to attend the forum. 73% of participants rated the conference good or excellent value to them, with 43% indicating they wanted a series of smaller workshops around soil biology.