DROUGHT SUMMIT SHOULD FOCUS ON SUCCESSES, NOT FAILURES
“Illawong”, Bowna, October 17,2018
Australia’s National Soil Advocate and Chair of Soils For Life, Major General Michael Jeffery, says tomorrow’s Drought Summit should focus on successful farmers who continue to prosper, despite the drought.
“We were delighted that the Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison, the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, the Hon David Littleproud and the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Michael McCormack visited Mulloon Creek near Bungendore today”, General Jeffery said.
“The late Tony Coote was one of the visionary pioneers of regenerative agriculture and hiscatchment of over 10 farms has now pursued regenerative techniques as a result of his outstanding work at Mulloon Creek. It’s a wonderful example of farmers successfully drought-proofing their properties”.
“We are currently undertaking a number of case studies for Soils For Life on farms that are, technically, in drought. They are all, without exception, still enjoying productivity growth, and many have not needed to buy supplementary feed”, General Jeffery said.
“Through integrated soil, water, plant and animal management, they have effectively drought-proofed their farms”.
“While we have great sympathy for drought affected farmers, especially in Queensland, Soils For Life has been providing incontrovertible evidence for almost 10 years that a few common sense changes in landscape management can have a positive impact, economically, environmentally and socially”.
“We are encouraged by the comments by NFF President, Fiona Simson over the weekend that ‘“she wants sequestration benefits included in the equation to take account of the carbon that farmers store under perennial and seasonal crops and grasses”, and the NFF’s submission highlighting the potential of regenerative agriculture”.
“Soils For Life farmers demonstrate that improving soil health could draw down sufficient CO2 to meet our Paris Agreement target”.
“Indeed, it may well be possible to neutralise Australia’s total annual industrial emissions of around 550 million tonnes of CO2, thus allowing a more orderly transition to renewable energy options”.
“More farmers are now looking to maximise drought proofing of their farms through regenerative alternatives, to work out how to maintain permanent vegetation cover, retain more precious water in their soils, and reduce or, in some cases, even eliminate the overuse of chemicals, pesticides and inorganic fertilisers”.
“I trust that these farmers’ stories will be heard loudly at tomorrow’s Summit, and that farm businesses struggling with the drought will take heart from their example”, General Jeffery said.
Major General Michael Jeffery
“Illawong” Bowna NSW, October 17, 2018
Soils for Life programs demonstrate proven solutions in regenerative landscape management to increase the natural capital value of the Australian landscape – rural, regional and urban.