Soil is one of the most important assets on your farm and like all valuable assets it needs to be managed and maintained so that it functions well.
If your soil is in poor condition it will impact your plant growth and cane yield.
This series of short video's has been produced to provide some basic information about soil health and some of the main soil issues affecting farms in the Wet Tropics.
Click on the links below to watch.
1. Soil Health in the Wet Tropics
This video is an introduction to soil health, what it is and why it's important to Wet Tropics farming systems.
It explains how the biological, physical and chemical aspects to your soil need to be in balance in order for it to function well.
2. The Life in Your Topsoil
This video covers the basics of soil biology, what it is, what the different living organisms are in your soil and why it's important to your farming system.
3. Soil Organic Matter in the Wet Tropics
In this video we cover the basics of organic matter, what it is, why it's important, how to assess and benchmark it and some of the things you can do to improve the organic matter in your topsoils.
4. Managing Nitrogen on Your Farm
This video covers the key things you need to know about nitrogen and the main strategies for increasing nitrogen use efficiency and reducing N losses from your paddock.
5. Soil Acidity in the Wet Tropics
Many soil types are acid across the Wet Tropics and our high rainfall drives the acidification process even more. In fact, soil acidity is one of our biggest soil health issues.
This video looks at what soil acidity and pH is, why it's important to manage, how to assess it and some of the things you can do to manage it.
6. Soil Structure in the Wet Tropics
Poor soil structure, or compaction, is when the soil gets dense and heavily packed down and its a big problem across the Wet Tropics cane industry.
Healthy soil has good structure and in this video we look at what this means, how to assess and benchmark your soil structure and some of the ways you can build and improve it.
7. Cover Cropping in the wet Tropics
Cover cropping is great for improving the soil health of your main cash crop, and can also give you a cash return.
This video looks at the benefits of cover cropping, and explains the three different main approaches: single species, multi species, and intercropping.
8. Minimum Tillage in the Wet Tropics
Intensive till has some short term benefits but can be bad news for the medium to long term. Changing to a minimum till approach can help to improve your soil, and saves cash.
This video explains minimum tillage, and how to implement it on your farm.
9. Controlled Traffic Farming in the Wet Tropics
Intensive traffic over a paddock knocks around soil health. It leads to compaction and the loss of soil structure, especially if machinery is used when the soil is too wet.
This video looks at the benefits of controlled traffic farming and how to implement it on your farm.
For more information about soil health on your cane farm:
- Download WTSIP's brochure - Soil Health for Sugarcane
- Talk to your WTSIP Extension Officer