A good measure of good quality soil is a minimum of 25 earth worms per cubic foot of soil, but youwon’t get the worms if your soil is out of wack!
According to international best-selling author of ‘The Biological Farmer’ and CEO of leading U.S. sustainable agriculture company Midwestern Bio-Ag, Gary Zimmer, if Australian farmers get the balance right, they should expect optimal results from their crops, even in times of duress.
Mr Zimmer, one of the world’s top exponents and educators on biological farming, is in Australia to tour with the Biological Farmers of Australia (BFA) annual national roadshow, which tours six states from 4-14 October 2011.
“To get the good yields, farmers need to eliminate the factors that are limiting production,” said Mr Zimmer. “Once the chemical, physical and biological properties of the soil are in balance, you can expect optimal outputs, even in bad years.
“We’ve seen a 50% increase in yields on a lot of our crops in the United States and we get it with a lot less input. Balance reduces erosion, reduces disease and insect problems and alters weed pressure for the long term,” he said.
Resultsreleased this year from a 20 year US trial, Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial (FST), which compared organic (biological) and conventional production methods of corn and soybean crops, showed dramatic benefits in using organic systems over the longer term:
· Organic systems produced 31% higher corn yields than the conventional system duringmoderate droughts;
· Weed competition in organic production methods were tolerated better than in conventional farming methods;
· Carbon sequestration is highest in manure-based organic production, followed by legume-based organic production;
· Groundwater appears to increase in organic systems with 15-20% higher volume of percolating water and reduced runoff; and
· Energy use in the conventional system was higher than in the organic systems.
WHAT: Australian famers can spend a day with Gary Zimmer at the BFA Roadshow
WHEN: 8.30am registration, 4pm close. BOOKINGS: W: www.bfa.com.au; 1300 331 309
NSW: Tues 4 Oct, Mullumbimby Civic Memorial Hall, 55 Dalley Street, Mullumbimby
QLD: Wed 5 Oct, Summit Public Hall, 99 Granite Belt Drive, Stanthorpe
VIC: Sat 8 Oct, Labertouche Public Hall, 57 Jacksons Track, Labertouche
TAS: Mon 10 Oct, New Norfolk War Memorial Hall, Circle St, New Norfolk
SA: Wed 12 Oct, Temple Bruer Wines, 226 Strathalbyn-Milang Road, Strathalbyn
WA Fri 14 Oct, Baskerville Memorial Hall, 129 Memorial Avenue, Baskerville, Swan Valley