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Securing North East Soils

Securing North East Soils Through Knowledge Exchange

This project seeks to promote soil health in North East Victoria by addressing soil acidification and hillslope erosion. This project is supported by the North East Catchment Management Authority, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program. The project runs until June 2023.

Soil acidification in North East Victoria

Soil acidification has long been considered a major issue affecting soil health in the North East Victoria region. 'Soil acidification is a major land degradation issue threatening the sustainability and productivity of agricultural soils in North East Victoria.' (North East Soil Health Plan (2001).  It is estimated that 4-5 million hectares of land in Victoria are affected by strongly acidic topsoil with a further 2-3 million hectares of moderately acid topsoil and that nearly half of the State's affected soils are located in North East Victoria.

Continued acidification of North East soils threatens profitability of land managers, by reducing plant growth and productivity, decreasing availability of nutrients, reducing soil biological activity that may result in loss of vegetation and increased risks of soil structure decline and erosion.

Project purpose

The project is a partnership between the North East CMA, Landcare, agricultural industry, academic institutions, state agencies and the National Landcare Program.  The aims to improve knowledge exchange between farmers, researchers and industry on-farm management practices that will improve soil condition, particularly focussing on reducing acidity and hillslope and gully erosion in North East Victoria.

The project will support knowledge exchange on soil health through multiple methods including. One on one support, workshops/ training and conferences where landholders can connect to academic researchers and industry specialists, longer group courses and community- and industry-driven events.

The 5-year outcome for this project is that by 2023, there will be increased awareness and adoption of land management practices that improve the condition of soil, biodiversity and vegetation, focusing on encouraging knowledge sharing and the wider adoption of practices to ameliorate soil acidification and reduce the likelihood of sub-surface acidification in priority areas.

Soil analysis and soil biology workshops with Mitta Valley Landcare

February 2022 at Eskdale and Talgarno

Understanding soil health is a foundation for sustainable agriculture and increased productivity. #MittaValleyLandcare hosted three workshops on soil analysis and soil biology with Sue Briggs, #CSBP and David Hardwick, #SoilLandFood.

Sue talked about the factors influencing plant growth and highlighted the importance of soil pH for plant growth and productivity, availability of nutrients and healthy soil biological activity. Sue guided an understanding of soil test results and emphasised the value of incorporating lime to manage soil acidity to depth.

David took participants through the types and role of microbes in soil health, the importance of maintaining good soil microbiology, and discussed various methods of measuring soil microbes including DNA analysis.

North East Catchment Management Authority #SecuringNorthEastSoilsThroughKnowledgeExchange


Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment


Rutherglen Landcare Group Soils Project 2020

This project is supported by North East Catchment Management Authority and funded by the Australian Government through the National Landcare Project.

The final report can be downloaded here

Project updates

Download the North East Soil Acidity Fact Sheet by Dr Cassandra Schefe, AgriSci - May 2021

Download the Securing North East Soils Project Summary - September 2020

Key Contacts

Samuel Gitahi, Senior Project Officer, North East CMA
Email:   samuel.gitahi@necma.vic.gov.au
Telephone:                      02 6071 6095
North East CMA:             1300 216 513


This project is supported by the North East Catchment Management Authority, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program (Regional Land Partnerships).

Farming Carbon 2023 Conference

The Farming Carbon conference in February 2023 aimed to support land managers, agriculture industry groups, Landcare participants, and industry staff in north east Victoria in building their knowledge and understanding of carbon farming systems.

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2022-23 Soil Health Community Grants

EOIs close midnight - 1 August 2022. Funding is available for Community Soil Health Grants under the Securing North East Soils Through Knowledge Exchange project. This project is supported by North East CMA, through funding from the Australian Government. Two grants of up to $7,500 (ex GST) each are available from July 2022 to June 2023 to support community groups in the North East region.

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