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Improving soil health a priority for Australian Government

Weather & Environment

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) has completed a draft National Soil Action Plan, which outlines six priority actions for improving Australia’s soil health and long-term soil security.

All stakeholders across the broad range of sectors supporting healthy soils are invited to have their say and help shape the final action plan. You can view the draft action plan and provide feedback by 7 November 2022.

Key questions to focus your feedback:

  • Do you think the Action Plan’s six priority actions set a good foundation for achieving the goals and objectives of the National Soil Strategy? Why/why not?
  • Do you have any ideas for additional activities/initiatives/opportunities under any of the priority action areas?

“As the first action plan under the 20-year National Soil Strategy, it is important that there is a focus on setting good foundations for future actions to halt and reverse soil degradation and improve soil health,” said Nick Blong, First Assistant Secretary of Portfolio Strategy and Climate Policy at the DAFF.

“For example, the department is currently progressing important soil data work including working with CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, to build an Australian National Soil Information System. This will allow soil data from different systems to be combined into a single system – underpinning future research and soil management.

“Soil provides essential ecosystem services that support and contribute to: Australia’s economic, environmental and social wellbeing, including food and fibre production; water storage, filtration and nutrient cycling, and carbon storage.”

Further reading

Healthy soil is the foundation of today’s agriculture. Consumers and regulators are demanding more sustainable production practices, and growers increasingly see the benefits for their own farms and for the environment. Meister Media has recently published a report on the State of Soil Health in agriculture, as part of its Global Insight Series. The report takes a look at everything from production tools and techniques, to soil testing, to regenerative agriculture efforts in the United States and around the world.

The levy-funded PIPS3 Improved Australian apple and pear orchard soil health and plant nutrition (AP19006) project is carrying out orchard studies in five growing regions – Tasmania’s Huon Valley, Victoria’s Goulburn Valley, South Australia, Western Australia and New South Wales – and reflects regional priorities and soil, climatic and management system differences. ​


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