Regenerative farming 'growing in momentum'

Regenerative agriculture is gaining traction among farmers, a soils summit in regional NSW has been told.
Dozens of farmers have gathered for the two-day Soil Stewardship Summit near Yass to talk about how they implement healthy soil practices.
Obstacles facing croppers looking to build soil health have been in focus at the summit.
Croppers Di and Ian Haggerty run 26,000 hectares across several properties in the Western Australian wheatbelt where they adopted regenerative practices in 2001.
Ms Haggerty says regenerative agriculture is starting to gain traction across the cropping sector.
"There are a lot of younger people coming into the room which is fantastic. So I think people are trying different things and starting to have some courage to have a go at different things," she told AAP.
Eli Court from non-profit Soils for Life said regenerative agriculture has moved from the fringes to the minds of mainstream producers.
"Soil is now recognised as an issue of national significance," he told the conference.
Mr Court told AAP a lot more farmers are curious about how they can build and improve their soil and landscape health.
"Regenerative agriculture is all about working with rather than against nature in farming systems," he said.
"It means finding practices that will keep improving the soil and the land so that we can reduce reliance on inputs that are costly and damaging to the soil."
Queensland seed producer Russell Young travelled from Dalby on the Western Downs.
"We're going to play with the things that will allow us to still maintain profitability," he told the conference.
The third-generation farmer has been using regenerative agricultural practices across his 850-hectare property since 2018, and said his input costs had dropped 10 per cent.
He wants to share with other producers how easy it can be to use some regenerative practices, but warns the process is not quick.
"You've just got to believe in the process, it will take time, you don't turn around 70 years of bad behaviour within five minutes," he said.
"You've got to be sensible about the changes you make ... there's no point in making silly decisions and going broke."
The conference was told some of the producers had adapted to regenerative agriculture practices after hitting a tipping point.
Tasmanian farmer Sam Trethewey said he had built a regenerative supply chain after having a penny-drop moment prompting him "to get out of mother nature's way and let the farm do its thing".
Stuart Austin from the Wilmot Cattle Company told the audience he had noticed a shift in interest in regenerative agriculture among producers.
"There's this growing momentum of people coming towards a different way of thinking of their own volition, which is really exciting to see," he said.
Victorian seed farmer Grant Sims has moved away from insecticides and pesticides and reduced the amount of fertiliser across 3400 hectares, because the chemicals "didn't gel with him".
He told the audience plants become "sooks" and reliant on chemicals, and he wanted to improve the health of the soil.
"We can essentially grow more nutrient-dense food, fix more carbon and be more strategic with our inputs and manage them and be more profitable," Mr Sims said.
"We started seeing worms and spiders and stuff coming back.
"Instead of trying to kill things, we try and make things grow better ... we use healthy microbes to beat the bad guys instead of just killing it all."

This AAP article was made possible with the support of Soils for Life.

Harvest Time!

Reap what you shall sow is the saying and here Mineral Magic’s Commercial Manager (and original founder) in Nick Clayton is busy at work at the Crommelin Agricoatings Test Farm with Managing Director Hein De Villiers.
Here 70 bays with 5 different typical broadacre cropping soils collected from across WA are utilised to test various soil media and fertiliser coatings every year. This year saw Mineral Magic utilised across the trials.

Each bin as you can see is meticulously harvested and threshed by hand, then weighed and protein contents assessed. The differences between the best and the worst are quite astounding, but soil type and climatic conditions certainly play a part in that also.

It&rsquos important and relevant to state this test farm is outdoors and not climate controlled but then again, nor is any of the farms that ultimately these trials will progress too. Needless to say though, with an exceptionally wet Perth winter, some of the results versus the wheatbelt would appear to be certainly skewed.

What was conclusive from the 2022 trials however was the fact the Crommelin’s coatings on the commonly used MAP at seeding certainly created in increase in yield that would make the application extremely commercially viable.
Secondly when it comes to amorphous silica (Mineral Magic) even in a wet winter, lighter and sandy soils showed a far more impressive result than the heavier clays and this has steered us in 2023 to focus more on the sandy and hydrophobic soil areas rather than water holding clays.

Fortunately, the last two years in WA (where the trials have been conducted), our farmers have been blessed in most areas with some great support from the season and mother nature. Hopefully that its much later rather than sooner, our soil amendments will highlight much more benefits in a marginal year than a good year.

World Soil Day

Mineral Magic supports World Soil Day which is held annually on 5 December as a means to focus attention on the importance of healthy soil and to advocate for the sustainable management of soil resources.

Did you know that there are more living organisms in a tablespoon of soil than people on Earth? Soil is a world made up of organisms, minerals, and organic components that provides food for humans and animals through plant growth. Like us, soils need a balanced and varied supply of nutrients in appropriate amounts to be healthy. Agricultural systems lose nutrients with each harvest, and if soils are not managed sustainably, fertility is progressively lost, and soils will produce nutrient-deficient plants. Soil nutrient loss is a major soil degradation process threatening nutrition. It is recognized as being among the most critical problems at a global level for food security and sustainability all around the globe.

Over the last 70 years, the level of vitamins and nutrients in food has drastically decreased, and it is estimated that 2 billion people worldwide suffer from lack of micronutrients, known as hidden hunger because it is difficult to detect. Soil degradation induces some soils to be nutrient depleted losing their capacity to support crops, while others have such a high nutrient concentration that represent a toxic environment to plants and animals, pollutes the environment and cause climate change.

World Soil Day aims to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems and human well-being by addressing the growing challenges in soil management, increasing soil awareness and encouraging societies to improve soil health.
CREDIT : This article has been referenced  from the United Nations Website>

City of Gosnells sample the Magic

Nature doesn’t work in straight lines – or does it ?
Look at the astonishing difference here of turf that has been treated with Mineral Magic versus turf that hasn’t.

The turf that was treated and is obviously flourishing also had the handicap that when it was laid, there was a major pump malfunction, and the water was not able to be kept up to it as normally required for new turf. In addition, at the time this photo was taken, no additional fertiliser had been applied.

Under those adverse conditions, you can clearly see that the old untreated established turf struggled yet the new turf that had received a baptism of fire – cam through with the goods.

It’s not the first project that the City of Gosnells have utilised Mineral Magic and had excellent results. The council’s signature Pioneer Park is another great example down on the river that struggled to hold grass covered in the heavily shaded and high traffic areas.

Mineral Magic WALGA Accredited

After two years of banging on the doors, we have finally been selected on the Western Australian Local Government Association’s (WALGA) Preferred Supplier Program.

Preferred Supply Panels are specified groupings of suppliers that have been pre-qualified and appointed by WALGA to supply a category of goods or services to Local Governments. This follows a rigorous public procurement process that is fully compliant with legal and best practice purchasing requirements.

Mineral Magic through their supplier Silica Earth Resources were extremely proud that they could meet this rigorous evaluation of their business and product offering.

Of huge leverage to this acceptance was written testimonials from a number of key local councils including the Cities of Perth, Wanneroo, Gosnells, Bayswater and Kalamunda who had all experienced positive results and felt this could add benefit to all members of WALGA – in particular their fellow parks deparments.

Council saves 12% in Water

The City of Bayswater achieved the perfect quinella for FY 20/21 having been named WA's top water saving council by the Water Corporation AND receiving a perfect 100% in the Nutrient Management Scorecard !
The City of Bayswater has been named WA's top water saving council by the Water Corporation, taking out the prestigious Platinum Waterwise Council of the Year title alongside the City of Cockburn.

The Waterwise Council program is a joint partnership between the Water Corporation and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) and supports councils to improve liveability in their communities and water efficiency in their operations.
City officers worked hard to achieve Platinum status.

“The awards recognise the City's commitment to its natural water systems and sustainable practice.
"The City has identified opportunities to achieve maximum water efficiency and reduce water contamination.
“The actions we take mitigate climate change at a local level and protect our sensitive natural environments and waterways.

As a result of the implementation of its Waterwise Bayswater Strategy, the City has already seen an improvement in the quality of stormwater entering the Swan River, having reduced excess nutrients into the Bayswater Brook system by 30%.

read on  

Becoming a Platinum Waterwise Council is a further testament to the City’s commitment to saving water and reducing harm to the environment.

The Waterwise Bayswater Strategy has delivered a number of projects this year. For example, it converted a drainage area into a micro wetland at Peters Place. The Peters Place project came in a close second from the six nominated this year for the Water Corporation's 2021 Community Choice Award.

The City has also worked with local school children on Waterwise projects. For example, inspired by the City’s transformation of Peters Place, students from John Forrest Secondary College approached Council to restore the drain behind their school. They are now working with the City and the Water Corporation on plans for the project.
In an additional win for the City, Bayswater Waves Aquatic Centre received an inaugural Gold Waterwise Aquatic Centre award for demonstrating best practice water management in an Aquatic Centre by running the centre in the most water efficient way possible.

One of the most recent and innovative approaches has been the introduction of a newly discovered Western Australian soil amendment known as Mineral Magic.

The City commissioned a number of trials across new and established parks and averaged between 12-15% water saving whilst achieving a much more aesthetic outcome to provide the best possible recreation experience for ratepayers. This is critical with the pending state bore licences legislation currently being reviewed through parliament with a standard 10% reduction across the board being recommended.

In regards to the Nutrient Management Scorecard, each year Local Government Authorities (LGAs) in Perth are surveyed on their nutrient practices by the Phosphorus Awareness Project of the Southeast Regional Centre for Urban Landcare (SERCUL).

The survey is broken up into different sections including nutrient monitoring, fertiliser applications, nutrient management, nutrient education, water quality monitoring and development control. The results from the questions asked in the survey have been used to provide a Score Card for each LGA that responded and clearly show how the LGA is performing and where and how improvements can be made.

The City’s amazing performance can be viewed in detail here ;

Mineral Magic awarded Govt Grant

It is with great pride and pleasure we can announce that Mineral Magic has been awarded from the WA State Government, a “New industries Fund; Innovation Booster Grant.”

Research in a very scientific field that we are moving in is extremely expense and in the main, almost cost prohibitive for a startup company so these funds have been invaluable and utilised industry leaders like Kalyx to perform trials across WA with both wheat and canola.

We are also keen to thank local members Mr Chris Tallentire MLA and Mr Hugh Jones MLA who highlighted and acknowledged this achievement from our startup company in their constituencies and have continued to support and encourage our business.

Mon - Sat 8.00 - 17.00
Sunday Closed
PO Box 241
Mundijong WA 6123