image of a healthy, regenerating landscape

landscape regeneration in practice

These case studies are the product of the:
- Innovations for Regenerative Landscape Management Project
- Western Division Resilient Landscapes Project

Learning from those who are successfully practising regenerative landscape management and encouraging wide adoption of these practices.

You can download the full Soils for Life Report Innovations for Regenerative Landscape Management and the full set of case studies from our Publications page.

Please provide us feedback via the form below on where you are from and how you use the information in these case studies. As a research and information organisation this would greatly help us to provide the most useful case study content to facilitate the adoption of regenerative landscape mangement practices. Thank you.


image of the Dunnicliff family

The Dunnicliff family


60km east of Elliot, 800km south of Darwin, NT Barkly Tablelands

'First add water'

Enterprise: Brahman and Brahman-Senepol cross beef production on a 1,000,000+ hectare property

Motivation for Change: Previous experience that water supply is critical for productive grazing on vast properties

Innovations: Delivering a reliable water supply to support grazing across vast areas of previously unused native rangelands; establishing smaller paddock size on a very large scale to concentrate grazing animals to ensure managed use of pastures and continuing improvement of soils

Practices Commenced: 2002


image of Graham and Cathy Finlayson

Graham and Cathy Finlayson


35km north of Brewarrina, NSW North West

'Reaching the real potential of the NSW rangelands'

Enterprise: Beef cattle agistment and trading on 7200 hectares of NSW rangelands

Motivation for Change: Identifying the potential to improve the landscape and production

Innovations: Using stock to convert bare ground and claypan across 50% of their property to productive land; Holistic Management techniques to regenerate the rangeland; stock trading to balance stocking rate with pasture availability; diversifying into tourism

Practices Commenced: 2001


image of Brian and Sandra Wilson

Brian and Sandra Wilson


Mingay, 16km north of Lismore, 170km west of Melbourne, VIC Western Plains

'Using raised beds and beneficial fungi to restore soil health'

Enterprise: Cereal, oilseed and pulse crops and Merino sheep grazing on 1073 hectares

Motivation for Change: Needing to diversify to maintain production and address waterlogged soils

Innovations: Raising crop beds to improve waterlogged soils; using brewed cellulose-digesting bacteria and fungi combined with grazing to manage cereal stubbles; spreading biological blend on soils

Practices Commenced: raised beds: 1996 / biological blends: 2002


image of David Clayfield

David Clayfield


Mil Lel, 15km north east of Mount Gambier, SA South East

'Turning sand into fertile soil with applied soil science'

Enterprise: Contract rearing of dairy heifers on 100 hectares

Motivation for Change: Rising production costs and animal health concerns

Innovations: Converting sand into fertile, healthy soils; introducing biologically-based soil conditioners to balance the mineral and microbial status of the soil; strategic use of foliar fertilisers; ceasing chemical inputs

Practices Commenced: 1995


image of Shane and Shan Joyce

Shane and Shan Joyce


30km south of Theodore, Southern QLD Brigalow Belt

'Delivering continuous improvement of the farming resource'

Enterprise: Producing certified organic beef on 3000 hectares

Motivation for Change: Inputs and maintenance costs exceeding production returns

Innovations: Comprehensively monitored and measured time-controlled planned grazing; native tree regeneration; soil improvement using biodynamic methods; all organic management

Practices Commenced: 1993


image of the McMurtrie family

The McMurtrie family


38km north west of Cobar, Central West NSW

'Building landscape resilience you can bank on'

Enterprise: Dorper sheep, Boer goats, opportunistic feral goat harvesting on 10,000 hectares

Motivation for Change: Identifying the need for new sustainable techniques for rangeland management

Innovations: Implementing a dual grazing system, including intensive grazing system utilising best-practice techniques of total grazing pressure control, planned rotational grazing, water-spreading banks and invasive native species removal

Practices Commenced: 2005


image of Anne and Charlie Maslin

Anne and Charlie Maslin


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20km north west of Bombala, NSW Southern Tablelands

'Shifting mindset from animals to the land'

Enterprise: Angus beef, sheep and goat meat production and medium wool Merinos on 4200 hectares

Motivation for Change: Ecological deterioration and dependence on rainfall for profit

Innovations: Managing landscape to better capture rainfall, constructing leaky weirs across creeks and gullies; time-controlled planned grazing matching stock numbers to land carrying capacity; introducing goats for weed control

Practices Commenced: 1995


image of Cam McKellar

Cam McKellar


10km south of Spring Ridge, NSW North West Slopes and Plains

'Higher quality food through regenerated soils and reduced inputs'

Enterprise: Irrigated grain, seed and legume crops, cattle agistment and organic compost production on 1250 hectares

Motivation for Change: Prohibitively high-input crop production system

Innovations: Changing crop rotation to better support soil biology; changing from inorganic to organic fertilisers; application of compost fertiliser to increase soil organic matter; integrating grazing with cropping. Regenerating soil structure and nutrient dynamics to produce healthier food with reduced inputs

Practices Commenced: 2000


image of Martin Royds and Trish Solomon

Martin Royds and Trish Solomon


5km south west of Braidwood, NSW Southern Tablelands

'Don't measure success by the size of your herd'

Enterprise: Beef cattle raising, agistment and trading and various cottage industries on 453 hectares

Motivation for Change: Learning about Holistic Management

Innovations: A number of complementary approaches founded on Holistic Management thinking; time-controlled planned grazing within carrying capacity, designed to facilitate nutrient movement; replacing ploughing with surface cultivation and direct sowing; Natural Sequence Farming approach to watercourse management; use of organic wastes as fertilisers

Practices Commenced: 1994


image of Tim Wright

Tim Wright


22km west of Uralla, NSW Northern Tablelands

'Partnering farm animal to regenerate the land'

Enterprise: Fine Merino wool, fat lambs and beef production on 3350 hectares

Motivation for Change: Excessively high costs of production and the opportunity to better use the grazing animal

Innovations: Holistic Management against 10 key principles; time-controlled planned grazing using stock for nutrient movement, enhancing soil fertility and vegetation management; increasing sheep and cattle production despite reduced rainfall

Practices Commenced: 1990


image of Bill and Rhonda Daly

Bill and Rhonda Daly


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20km east of Young, NSW South West Slopes

'Putting life back into the soil - humus compost'

Enterprise: Cereal, canola and legume crops, prime lamb and humus compost production on 1182 hectares

Motivation for Change: Health concerns and disillusion with 'chemical' farming

Innovations: Developing and applying humus compost; focusing on soil structure, biology and mineral balance; legume under- sowing of crops

Practices Commenced: 2001


image of the North East CMA logo


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Catchment region bounded by the Murray River in the north, Victorian Alps in the south, NSW border in the east and the Warby Ranges in the west. VIC

'Empowering farmers to meet the soil carbon challenge'

Program: Sustainable Farm Practices - Soil Carbon Programme

Program Motivation: Identified lack of knowledge on understanding soil tests and practically managing soil fertility, structure and health to improve farm production

Program Activities: Soil Testing - multiple tests for over 500 farmers and seminars on interpreting results; Training and Education - provision of agronomy sessions, field days, seminars and e-Farmer training focused on improving soil carbon content and sustainable farming; Quality Management - post-activity surveys, helpdesk feedback and ontoing communications

Program Commenced: 2009


image of the NRM South logo


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The Southern Tasmania Natural Resource Management region covers 2.5 million hectares across South and Eastern Tasmania

'Working with the willing'

Program: Living Soils and Building Evidence for Regenerative Agriculture

Program Motivation: The need for tailored solutions and low risk trials for farmers interested in trying new land management practices

Program Activities: Tailoring support to land manager requirements in promoting the uptake of sustainable management practices, including high levels of engagement; supported trials of planned grazing incorporating formal monitoring processes and selected demonstration sites

Program Commenced: 2010


image of Ian and Wendy Klein

Ian and Wendy Klein


Shepparton, VIC Central North

'The influence of effuent - the power to do good'

Enterprise: Organic irrigated dairy, 261 hectares

Motivation for Change: Health concerns and the desire to try natural farming methods

Innovations: Using beneficial bacteria to treat dairy effluent for use as fertiliser; laser levelling of paddocks and enhancing the water reticulation system; composting, foliar and bio-fertilisation; all organic practices

Practices Commenced: 1996


image of Ian and Dianne Haggerty

Ian and Dianne Haggerty


Wyalkatchem, Dowerin, Cunderdin and Meckering districts, around 190km north east of Perth, WA Central Wheatbelt

'Against all odds: turning sand into profit'

Enterprise: Cereal grains and cereal hay crops, specially-bred sheep for wool and premium grade fat lambs across 8000 hectares

Motivation for Change: Reducing rainfall and rising input costs

Innovations: Introducing biological fertilisers and zero tillage to improve soil function and structure; integrating grazing with cropping to enhance nutrient cycling and soil structure; revegetation to limit spread of salt

Practices Commenced: 1994


image of Sally and Greg Chappell

Sally and Greg Chappell


12km east of Glen Innes, NSW Northern Tablelands

'Weed control without herbicide is not a load of bull'

Enterprise: Angus bull breeding from high performance seed stock on 1450 hectares

Motivation for Change: Drought, economic viability and gaining a deeper understanding of biological cycles

Innovations: Overcoming weed invasion through addressing soil health; organic fertilisation tailored to soil and plan nutrient requirements; no cultivation or herbicides; managed grazing pressure

Practices Commenced: 2005


image of Robyn and John Ive

Robyn and John Ive


Watch a clip of this story

Near Murrumbateman, 40km north of Canberra, NSW Southern Tablelands

'Reducing dryland salinity and achieving resilience by design'

Enterprise: Ultra-fine Sharlea wool, Angus beef and farm forestry on 250 hectares

Motivation for Change: Non-viability of previous management and identifying the opportunity to apply practical ecological science

Innovations: Substantial revegetation to manage salinity; strategic paddock design; planned grazing strategies, particularly addressing fodder supply and drought conditions

Practics Commenced: 1980


image of Craig Carter and Nicky Chirlian

Craig Carter and Nicky Chirlian


Willow Tree, 60km south west of Quirindi, NSW North West Slopes and Plains

'Productive greener pastures through restoring landscape hydrology'

Enterprise: Beef cattle and sheep trading on 445 hectares

Motivation for Change: Disenchantment with 'traditional' grazing methods in producing a healthy landscape and adequate returns

Innovations: Restoring landscape hydrology through construction of leaky weirs and swales to slow water flow; time-controlled planned grazing in wagon-wheel design; stock trading

Practices Commenced: 2002


image of Ben and Graham Forsyth

Ben and Graham Forsyth


230km north of Meekatharra, 1000km north east of Perth, WA Mid West

'Restoring the Gascoyne rangeland - commitment, cooperation and hard work'

Enterprise: Bos Taurus beef production on 480,000 hectares

Motivation for Change: Degraded landscape unable to support stock

Innovations: De-stocking of property to allow for regeneration; construction of strategic earthworks to slow surface water flow, restore water flow to wetlands and floodplains, reduce erosion, build soil and promote perennial pasture regeneration

Practices Commenced: 2004


image of Colin Seis

Colin Seis


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20km north of Gulgong, NSW Central Highlands

'Pasture cropping the way to health'

Enterprise: Merino sheep, rams and wool, grain crops and native grass seed on 840 hectares

Motivation for Change: Loss after major bushfire necessitating establishment of a low-input agricultural system

Innovations: Developing and implementing 'pasture cropping'; time-controlled planned grazing; 'vertical stacking' of enterprises - cropping, native grass seed, sheep wool and meat; sequestering significant amounts of soil carbon

Practices Commenced: grazing management: 1989 / pasture cropping: 1993


image of the Whyte family

The Whyte family


Visit the Wyndham Station website

85km north of Wentworth, Lower Western NSW

'A motivation for long-term landscape resilience'

Enterprise: Sheep and Cattle breeding and trading and opportunity cropping on 12,500 hectares

Motivation for Change: The amount of work required to run the property for little financial return and deteriorating land condition

Innovations: Making landscape condition the driving factor for property management decisions, implementing (holistic) planned rotational grazing, matching stocking rate to carrying capacity.

Practices Commenced: 2002


Anonymous commented on 15-Nov-2012 11:20 AM5 out of 5 stars
What fantastic stories. These farmers should be commended. Hopefully in the future all of our farmers will be using techniques such as these.
Rachelle Armstrong commented on 21-Jan-2013 10:53 AM5 out of 5 stars
These case studies are very professionally put together with valuable information. Thank you so much for the efforts. We want to print them and share them on our website to reach further people. Are they only in digital format at this stage?
SoilsforLife commented on 21-Jan-2013 01:05 PM5 out of 5 stars
Due to popular demand, we are currently out of hard copies of our case study report. We hope to print more in 2013. Please feel free to distribute digital copies of our case studies. Support wide adoption of regenerative landscape management practices!
norm cooper commented on 03-May-2013 07:28 PM5 out of 5 stars
I do like the format and initiative behind these stories. How do wwe go about submitting a case study
SoilsforLife commented on 06-May-2013 09:13 AM5 out of 5 stars
Thanks for your comment Norm. We expect to be calling for our next series of case studies from July 2013. We will be focusing in particular on regions and land use types not sufficiently covered in our first series. Keep an eye on the website for our call for expressions of interest.
Jane commented on 30-Jan-2015 03:58 PM5 out of 5 stars
So encouraging to see that these methods are being actually implemented and are changing Australian agricultural practice and changing the human footprint on this planet... slowly but surely
farmer's daughter commented on 26-May-2015 01:43 PM3 out of 5 stars
This is just so encouraging and heartwarming. (I speak as the suburb-dwelling daughter and grand-daughter and great-grand-daughter of farmers and the sister of people who are living on the land). Something to think about: adapting these sorts of ideas to 1/ acreages and 2/ the traditional suburban allotment. Everyone who has a piece of dirt no matter how small ought to be looking after it intentionally - and speaking as someone who experienced the May 1 2015 flash flood in Brisbane (measuring a dump of no less than twelve inches in twenty-four hours on our little patch of suburbia), I know there's a lot more that could be done with nature strips, suburban parks and home gardens and every other bit of open space (even cemeteries and the grounds of churches and schools) to slow down and filter stormwater in cities and to restore our urban and suburban creeks. I will be sharing this website and its stories with everyone I know who has a farm or a garden.
Marie commented on 31-May-2015 09:07 PM3 out of 5 stars
I love reading about these innovations and yes you farmers are amazing people and the earth will love you. I hope more farmers listen out your great work. Farming is a tough life anyway, being the daughter of one, once, and we people who live in the city often don'
t recognise that you are vital for our survival, and your own. I love what you have done. Just brilliant. When I see barren farming landscapes now I'm quite depressed as I believe there's enough valuable information and alternatives to support innovation. I live in the city and belong to a couple of Landcare groups but have learnt more about permaculture and micro-organisms to try and develop those practices on my balcony.
david west commented on 22-May-2016 01:15 PM3 out of 5 stars
I was interested to see if biochar is being used in improving broad acre farming yet ?
As a horticultural type, amateur only, Ryde Tafe credit pass. I think there is a very interesting possibility developing through the recycling of vehicle tyres. When tyres are baked in a low pressur oven, no smoke is released. All is reduced to various grades of virtually pure carbon char, steel from radial tyres, plus a considerable quantity of oil released is also drained off during this process. As well lime is added and the residue is available as a mix of lime and gypsum. The sheer volume of tyres available makes this a very attractive commercial endeavour. Early days yet as a workable solution is still in development. However, if you are familiar with the term " Bio-char " you will appreciate a possibility of having very large quantities of char available to add to soils and boost the carbon content fairly quickly. Because this char is in a granular form of varying grades/particle size. It could be added to the sowing of crops, or a shallow ripping operation delivery arrangement. Once the level of carbon reaches a reasonably high percentage. i think it is 7 % of soil content, then fertilizer becomes unnecessary. If the introduction of the char is done by adding humus and dosing the soil with bacteria then you will soon have a very fertile loam soil. Who would have thought, an ancient product like biochar, first brought to our attention by the early explorers travelling up the Amazon to an area where , on a flood plain there were many hillocks dotted across the lanscape. The base soils were said to be awful stuff. The hillocks, virtually a city of people living on them, were a different soil. Full of pottery shards, a black loam. This very fertile soil was enriched because of the natives making the "Biochar" to fertilize each year. Charcoal, or char makes a wonderful filter, because of the ability to attract elements and hold them. Plants are able to access these cmemical elemnts as nutrients.
Kathryn BOOTH commented on 09-Jun-2016 12:11 AM5 out of 5 stars
I'm a Director of Studies in a language school in Paris, France. I was looking for authenic material for a group of adult trainees to use - and it HAD to be about agriculture.
These case studies are perfect!
Thank you

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