The final round of the Federal Government’s Smart Farms Small Grants program has now been finalised, with $13.8 million funding 32 projects across the nation to improve soil health and soil management.

Member for Barker Tony Pasin said the Smart Farms Small Grants allows farmers to collaborate on meaningful projects that help build the capacity needed to successfully undertake land management activities to improve soil resilience.

“Good soil management leads to increased agricultural productivity and profitability resulting in reaching agricultural outcomes such as improved biodiversity benefiting communities across rural and regional Australia.” Mr Pasin said.

“This funding round focuses on soil extension activities, which give farmers and land managers practical tools and information they need, including increasing uptake of soil testing and better soil data, which will allow them to make evidence-based decisions for future growing seasons.” Mr Pasin said.

“South Australian No-Tillage Farmers Association (SANTFA) received a grant of $231,700 through the Federal Government’s Smart Farms Small Grants program for their project – ‘Soil testing methods that improve farmers capacity to better manage soil health’.” Mr Pasin said.

SANTFA President, Gareth Scholz said the South Australian NoTill Farming Association is looking forward to developing ten intensive soil demonstration sites in conjunction with the Landcare Smart Farms program and sustainable farming operations across the state, including locations in Barker.

“The project has been developed by a variety of farmers to assess the changes in soil function during and following the adoption of no-till management methods.” Mr Scholz said.

“Regular monitoring of soil carbon and soil nitrogen, as well as analysis of other soil macronutrients will be coupled with soil biology and plant sap tests to assist a panel of soil experts to develop sustainable management strategies in conjunction with land managers.” Mr Scholz said.