© 2019 Australian Soil Management

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LAND MANAGERS

BENEFITS FROM A SOIL MANAGEMENT PLAN

 

ASM works with Land Managers to develop more profitable and sustainable soil management practices.

ASM has the vision, commitment and the latest scientific methods.

The first step is to develop a Soil Management Plan to add more organic matter to your soil and to keep it there.

The cheapest and easiest way to add organic matter to soil is to keep soil covered with healthy growing plants such as grass, turf, pastures, crops, flowers, shrubs and trees.

 

Benefits from more soil organic matter

In areas of Australia where the native vegetation has not been cleared the level of soil organic matter can be quite high. After the land is cleared there is usually a drop off in soil organic matter.

Traditional agricultural practices, for example, result in a net loss of organic matter from soils. Soil organic matter, measured as carbon in commercial soil tests, is usually less than 2 % by weight. Good quality soils need at least 2% carbon by weight.

The implementation of a Soil Management Plan will typically double Soil Organic Carbon levels to deliver the following benefits:

Improved soil structure with less compaction​

 

Increased capacity to store soil moisture

Better infiltration and drainage of water

Deeper root systems so plants are less susceptible to dry weather conditions

Increased penetration of air to plant roots and beneficial soil organisms

Improved decomposition of plant and animal residues

Increased cycling of mineral nutrients and better availability to plant roots, meaning regular application of fertilizers is not essential

HOW WE DO IT

 

Products to reduce chemical costs

Traditional Land Managers use chemical products such as fertilizers, fungicides, insecticides and wetting agents. Most are expensive and many are toxic to people, plants and animals to some degree.

Your ASM Soil Management Plan will take you through a transition from chemicals to smarter management practices and safer products. And in most cases the products are cheaper and safer. Over time, you will see an improvement in soil quality and productivity with the increase in Soil Organic Matter and less money spent on chemicals.

Biological Nitrogen from Legume Inoculants

Chemical nitrogen fertilizers are expensive, wasteful because most of the nitrogen is lost before it reaches plant roots, and damaging to our environment. Chemical fertilizers provide a large dose of nutrients all at once, more than plants can use at the time fertilizers are applied. The excess nutrients are washed through the soil into groundwater, bound up as insoluble compounds that plants cannot use or lost as nitrous oxide (greenhouse) gas into the air.

It is much less expensive to grow legumes (clovers, peas, beans, etc) to supply slow release biological nitrogen. Farmers have been doing this routinely in Australia with great success since the 1950s.

The strategy is to add the right type of nitrogen-fixing bacteria to the seed or soil when you plant legumes. Each type of legume has a requirement for its own type of bacteria sold commercially as Legume Inoculants. The bacteria form nodules on legume roots. Inside the nodules they take free nitrogen from the air and convert it directly into soluble nitrogen to be taken up by the roots. When legumes residues decompose they release their nitrogen into the soil pool for access by other plants.

All ASM Legume Inoculants are produced using strains of nitrogen-fixing bacteria that have been tested and selected by the Australian Legume Inoculant Research Unit (ALIRU) as the most productive bacterial strain for each legume group. ALIRU is located within the NSW Department of Primary Industry.

Certified Organic Fertilizers

Cheap nitrogen can be sourced straight from the air using Legume Inoculants. Other plant nutrients such as phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, sulphur, calcium, iron and trace elements can be supplied through good quality organic fertilizers.

The ASM Soil Management Plan will substitute chemical products with certified organics products. All ASM products meet Australian Standard AS4454 (2012) for composts, soil conditioners and mulches.

WHO WE HELP
Farms

We are currently working with commercial and family farms that are involved in wheat, canola, lucerne, grazing, wine and almond operations. In addition, we are assisting a number of farms to benefit from the Federal Government’s Emissions Reduction Fund where they will be paid for the carbon captured in their soils. All of these operations are benefiting from our ability to increase the soil organic matter on their farms.
 

Golf & Sports Clubs

Golf Courses and Sports Ovals benefit enormously from improving their soil organic matter. This means that they are more environmentally friendly, they save costs from reduced demand for water, they are more socially responsible by contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gases, there is less nutrient run-off into local waterways and financially they are better off.

State & Local Governments

ASM is working with the ACT & NSW governments, the Snowy Monaro Regional Council and a number of regional organisations to improve and maximise the benefits of soil organic matter. This includes improvements to farm productivity, weed management and environmental benefits.

Schools

ASM believes that all schools should have soil health, carbon sequestration and environmental co-benefits, included in the curriculum for young Australians. This will enable them to appreciate better the role that soils play within our world and in cleaning up the atmosphere. We work with schools to develop interesting and innovative projects.

Not just Pen Pushers!!

Dr GREG BENDER

Dr Bender is one of Australia’s most experienced and knowledgeable scientists in the field of soil biology and organic matter. He is passionate about smarter land management, meaning the integration of sophisticated natural systems with modern farming practices to build better soils, landscapes and businesses.

From 2001 to 2006 Greg was National Coordinator for the $10M Soil Biology Initiative funded by the Grains Research & Development Corporation. The Initiative was Australia’s first national coordinated research effort to understand soil biology and organic matter (carbon) for the benefit of farmers and other land managers.

Greg’s career began as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Australian National University specializing in beneficial interactions between plants and soil microbes. Since then he has gone on to develop and commercialize many new forms of microbial fertilizers and pesticides. In addition, Greg has over 30 years experience as a business manager, research manager, consultant and scientist in the rural sector. He has a strong family background in farming.

For ASM clients, Greg brings a unique advantage in being able to combine business acumen with scientific expertise in a way that people can easily put into practice. He understands science and technology and their application in land management enterprises.

Mr NORMAN MARSHALL

Mr Norman Marshall is a results-focused director with a reputation for building businesses to support worthwhile causes at a national level. From 2007 to 2010 he was CEO for Parkinson’s Australia, the peak body representing the needs and interest of people living with Parkinson’s disease. Norman championed Parkinson’s Australia to all levels of government seeking improved funding for services, research and awareness.

Previously he was the founder, CEO (1996-2001) and then Executive Chairman (2001-06) for Australian Drug Management and Education Pty Ltd. ADM&E was the leading provider of drug-free workplace programs in Australia with clients including the Australian Federal Police, Qantas, Patrick Corporation, ABB Pty Ltd, Pacific National Rail and BHP.

Norman is used to working with Governments.

Norman has practical skills and experience in building carbon levels in soil. His horse property in Australia’s high country is a sanctuary for rescue horses and is also a bio-diversity reserve. It is one of the best examples of improved healthy soils and therefore healthy animals.