Soil Biology Masterclass 2018

Event Name Soil Biology Masterclass 2018
Start Date 21st Aug 2018 10:00am
End Date 22nd Aug 2018 5:00pm
Duration 1 day and 7 hours

Incorporating soil health and biology and management practices to sustainably increase productivity and profitability

Soil Health Masterclass

Bookings Have Closed

Learn How To Harness The Life In Your Soils For Better Farming Outcomes

Participants at our Soils Masterclasses will learn how to adopt practices and strategies to enhance the life in soils and use the power of plant-soil-microbial relationships to unlock soil nutrients, produce healthier and more nutritious plants and understand how microbes drive modern farming success.

This two day program includes:

  • Full overview of soil health, soil biology and nutrition practices that reflect the latest, emerging research findings
  • Conference dinner with delegates
  • Conference materials and access to soil health facilities at Western Sydney University's Hawkesbury campus
  • Morning teas, lunches and afternoon teas

Course outline:

A full two-day program that will expand your understanding of how new research is driving renewed interest in soil health as a function of overall farm productivity:

  • History of soil biology and agriculture
  • Diversity and functions of soil microbes that drive productivity
  • Nutrient cycling of nitrogen, carbon and other nutrients
  • Plant and microbial interactions
  • Soil fauna that influence soil biology and activity
  • Soil health testing and analysis options
  • Integrating soil health methods into practice

Who Should Attend This Course?

An ideal program for keen and innovative delegates seeking to understand the benefits of soil biology as a driver of healthy crops and healthy foods in sustainable production environments:

  • Proactive and innovative growers across horticultural and agricultural sectors
  • Consultants, advisors and agronomists seeking to unlock new value from cropping operations

Special Guest Presenter

Stuart McAlpine

Stuart McAlpine

Stuart McAlpine runs a 5,000 ha farm in Buntine, in the Northern Agricultural Region of Western Australia. The property has a wide mix of soil types with Stuart mainly growing cereal crops, as well as running sheep. Stuart's leading edge farming practices earnt him selection as the Northern Agricultural Region’s 2015 Soil Health Champion. As part of this role, Stuart recently presented at the 2015 Talkin’ Soil Health Conference in Kojonup.

What makes him different from many other farmers is his adoption of a biological farming system. In 2007, Stuart began his move from a high input conventional farming system to a more biological approach with much lower inputs.

Your Presenters

Professor Brajesh Singh (WSU) (opens in a new window) Professor Brajesh Singh is an internationally recognised expert in the field of microbial ecology. His research interests encompass functional microbial ecology, climate change and environmental biotechnology with particular focus on the role of microbes in ecosystem function and environmental sustainability. Prof Brajesh Singh 
Associate Professor Jeff Powell (WSU) (opens in a new window) Assoc Prof Jeff Powell is interested in the processes underlying the assembly of microbial communities and how these processes can be manipulated to achieve beneficial outcomes. A goal of his research is to understand the contributions of microbial biodiversity to the productivity of managed and natural systems and to how these systems respond to environmental change. Assoc Prof Jeff Powell 
Dr Jonathan Plett (opens in a new window) Dr Jonathan Plett is aiming to identify and understand how signals are sent and perceived by plants and their associated microbiota to coordinate development and enable this ecosystem to survive under less than ideal conditions.  
Dr Uffe Nielsen (WSU) (opens in a new window)

Dr Uffe Nielsen is broadly interested in community and ecosystem ecology, and the link between the two, i.e. how do changes in one influence the other.

In a time where large-scale changes in land use and climate are impacting ecosystems across the globe it is essential for human well-being to acquire knowledge of the potential implications of these changes. For instance, species gains and losses, and changes in community composition, belowground due to climate changes can impact nutrient cycling, which may lead to changes in aboveground communities and potentially limit productivity of agricultural lands.

Dr Uffe Nielsen 
Dr Catriona Macdonald (WSU) (opens in a new window) Dr Catriona Macdonald investigates the impacts of environmental change on nutrient cycling and resource allocation within terrestrial environments. Her research interests are geared towards understanding how environmental change impacts nutrient cycling and ecosystem functioning and how this affects productivity and sustainability of soils. Dr Catriona Macdonald 
Dr Kelvin Montagu - Colo Consulting (opens in a new window) Dr Kelvin Montagu is a widely-recognised professional facilitator in conservation sciences. In addition to facilitating, Kelvin will be describing ways that cover crops can be used to manage soil biology. Dr Kelvin Montagu
Robert Velthuis (opens in a new window) Robert Velthuis is a specialist in the biological additives for crop and plant productivity.Robert Velthuis