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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.

North East Soil Health Community Grants

Funding is available under the Securing North East Soils Through Knowledge Exchange project to support community groups across the region to undertake activities to increase awareness and adoption of land management practices that improve and protect the condition of soil, biodiversity and vegetation in the region. Specifically, the community grants component aims to promote awareness and adoption of on-farm management practices that contribute to reducing soil acidity and hillslope and gully erosion in North East Victoria.

As part of this project, nine eligible community groups in North East Victoria will be supported with up to $7,500 to deliver community soil-health related activities over the next three years, focusing on soil pH and erosion. Community grant applications will be assessed on a competitive basis through Expressions of Interest. Funded community groups will have up to 18 months to deliver and complete their projects.

Community Grants - Call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) – closing 9 February 2020

Potential applicants are advised that the current closing date of 9 February 2020 may be revised should bushfire impacted community groups wish to apply for these grants. 

The North East Catchment Management Authority is calling for Expressions of Interest (EOIs) from community groups across the North East CMA area. Applications can come from existing groups of more than 10 landholders, for example Landcare groups, BetterBeef groups, BestWool/ BestLamb groups, Dairy groups, Ecological farming groups or other farming industry groups. Through this process, nine projects will be identified for funding from February 2020.

Download the Soil Health Community Grants factsheet

Download the North East Soil Health Community Grant application form

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

Acknowledgement

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