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:
- To help members learn about improving the productive capacity of their soil.
- To share that knowledge amongst its members.
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.
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 2020||Mulch demonstrations (comparing hay, tea tree, woodchip and mowing/side-throwing interrow plants)||Mutchilba, Mareeba|
|Nov 2019||Albrecht Soil Mineral Balancing presentation and soil biology assessment demonstration (at WETS AGM)||Mareeba|
|May 2019||Soil Health and Your Wealth 2 day workshop (with Graeme Sait, Nutri-Tech Solutions)||Innisfail|
|Feb 2019||Nitrogen Use Efficiency – Practical Applications in the Paddock workshop||Cairns|
|Ongoing||Trial of calcium application rates on five properties in grazing, vegetables, dairy and tropical fruit production||Northern and Southern Atherton Tablelands|
|2018||A 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|
|2018||Three-year vermicast trial in cane, bananas and grazing (funded through Reef Rescue Innovation)||Innisfail, Mirriwinni and East Palmerston|
|2017/18||A series of workshops at three different locations demonstrating the use of soil biology tests in helping farm decision-making||Mourilyan, Mareeba and Mossman|
|2017||Soil biology testing||On-farm at Mourilyan|
|2017||Minerals and CEC workshop||On-farm at Malanda|
|2017||Make Your Own Bio-fertiliser training (members only)||Mareeba|
|2016||Proud convenors of the National Biological Farming Conference and Expo - 500 delegates, 40 exhibitors||Cairns|
|2016||Farming in a Variable Climate (with DAF presenters)||Gordonvale|
|May 2016||Understanding Nitrogen workshop||Gordonvale|
|August 2016||What Your Weeds Tell You workshop||On-farm at Kaban (near Ravenshoe)|
Contact Chair: Mal Everett email@example.com