Wet Tropics Soilcare (WETS)

Wet Tropics Soilcare


Wet Tropics Soilcare (WETS) formed in November 2014 with 50 members, as a direct result of Terrain NRM’s intensive farmer soil health program, Digging Deeper.

It is an incorporated association in Queensland and a registered Landcare group with two main objectives:

  1. To help members learn about improving the productive capacity of their soil.
  2. To share that knowledge amongst its members.

Agricultural Industries

Its members are drawn mostly from the Wet Tropics region, but also as far west as Dimbulah, north to Cape York and south to Townsville. They represent almost every agricultural industry in the Wet Tropics: sugar cane, bananas, avocadoes, tropical fruit, citrus, vanilla, cocoa, vegetables; agronomic services, agricultural suppliers, extension services, natural resource management organisations. WETS does not support one agricultural system over another. It welcomes anyone (conventional, organic, biodynamic, ‘biological’) who has an interest in learning more about soil function.

Soil Health

Understanding how to improve and maintain soil is the foundation of sustainable agriculture. WETS aims to empower farmers with the knowledge and skills necessary to regenerate the productive capacity of their farms for both profit and quality through understanding how to enhance the biological activity in the soil.

Biologically active soil:

  • promotes healthy pasture and crop growth and contributes to a healthy ecosystem;
  • contains more organic matter which vastly increases its water holding capacity for greater resilience in both drought and flood;
  • produces higher nutrient density food, stores more carbon and drains clean water into our river systems.

Projects and Activities

WETS currently supports a number of on-farm trials and regular skill-building workshops, often with invited experts.  See the table below for a list of highlights, past projects, workshops and activities undertaken by WETS.

Ongoing from May 2020Mulch demonstrations (comparing hay, tea tree, woodchip and mowing/side-throwing interrow plants)Mutchilba, Mareeba
Nov 2019Albrecht Soil Mineral Balancing presentation and soil biology assessment demonstration (at WETS AGM)Mareeba
May 2019Soil Health and Your Wealth 2 day workshop (with Graeme Sait, Nutri-Tech Solutions)Innisfail
Feb 2019Nitrogen Use Efficiency – Practical Applications in the Paddock workshopCairns
OngoingTrial of calcium application rates on five properties in grazing, vegetables, dairy and tropical fruit productionNorthern and Southern Atherton Tablelands
2018A three-year program of skill-building workshops and forums to help members improve their understanding of soil function (funded through Community Grants program)Around the region
2018Three-year vermicast trial in cane, bananas and grazing (funded through Reef Rescue Innovation)Innisfail, Mirriwinni and East Palmerston
2017/18A series of workshops at three different locations demonstrating the use of soil biology tests in helping farm decision-makingMourilyan, Mareeba and Mossman
2017Soil biology testingOn-farm at Mourilyan
2017Minerals and CEC workshopOn-farm at Malanda
2017Make Your Own Bio-fertiliser training (members only)Mareeba
2016Proud convenors of the National Biological Farming Conference and Expo - 500 delegates, 40 exhibitorsCairns
2016Farming in a Variable Climate (with DAF presenters)Gordonvale
May 2016Understanding Nitrogen workshopGordonvale
August 2016What Your Weeds Tell You workshopOn-farm at Kaban (near Ravenshoe)

Contact : Kellie Evans wetsoilcare@gmail.com

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