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South Australian growers talk about sustainable land management

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The Hon. Dr Mike Kelly AM MP Parliamentar y Secretar y for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestr y

South Australian growers talk about sustainable land management

12 October 2010 DAFF10/018K

Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Dr Mike Kelly, today met with growers in the Northern Adelaide Plains of South Australia who are using more sustainable farm practices to improve the condition of their soil.

Dr Kelly said the growers, many of whom speak English as a second language, are working with the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Natural Resource Management (NRM) Board to increase their knowledge of sustainable management practices.

“The choice of management practices by farmers impacts on the condition of Australia’s natural resources and the ability of ecosystems to provide services including clean water and the production of food and fibre,” Dr Kelly said.

The Adelaide and Mount Lofty NRM Board, with support from the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country initiative, is helping growers to improve their practices by providing resource monitoring equipment, information packages and training initiatives.

Dr Kelly said the stand-out issue in the region was salinity in the soil, occurring because of dissolved salts in irrigation water.

“I visited the property of eggplant grower Phuong Vo who has adopted many of the strategies advocated through this project in using moisture and salinity monitoring equipment to manage soil condition,” Dr Kelly said.

Dr Kelly also visited the property of second generation almond growers Peter Tsiros and Jim Tsiros and a hydroponic lettuce farm managed by Dino Mussolino.

“The Tsiros’ have adopted moisture and salinity monitoring to help with maintaining profitability and soil sustainability at their almond orchard,” Dr Kelly said.

Dr Kelly said the growers he met with today have proven that a better understanding of sustainable management practices can improve both productivity and profitability for land managers while benefiting the environment.

The Australian Government is committed to building on the hard work of farmers by encouraging the adoption of sustainable practices to deliver benefits for the whole community through Caring for our Country

The Adelaide and Mount Lofty NRM board received $330,000 for the three-year project through the Caring for our Country initiative in 2008-09.

For more information on Caring for our Country visit this website.