Healthy Soil Healthy People

How does innovation measure up?

29 September 2016

Last week I had the opportunity to attend GrowAg, with over 100 leaders and innovators, aged 25-40 with professions in agriculture and related businesses.

The summit was a mixture of presentations from keynote speakers, group sessions, panels and networking focussed on communication and collaboration between delegates around the future direction of the industry.

Heading into the event with an open mind, I soon realised there were a large number of delegates working in progressive areas and on innovative projects I knew little about in their own ‘backyard’. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise as, in return, the Soil Carbon Project we are initiating was just as new to many fellow delegates.

Couple that with a clear message to ‘get the basics right’ in reflections from Paul Brimblecombe of Cubbie Ag, James Kahl of Cotton Seed Distributors, Geoff Daniel of Growth Farms and many other leaders of successful agricultural enterprises we were privileged to hear from.

The experience led to a reflection on the work we do with producers on fertiliser solutions and just how it came to be that I currently spend a large proportion of my working day talking about ERFs, CEAs and many other soil carbon project related complexities.

How far from our core business of delivering advanced fertiliser options to increase productivity and soil fertility had we come? Are we moving in the soil carbon space to be seen as ‘innovators’ or to deliver real value to the future of producers we work with and agriculture over-all?

As a fertiliser business we recognise the soil, mentioned a handful of times during the summit, is at the core of agricultural production. We have seen first-hand re-building the engine room that soil is, can have many returns in productivity and water management and, as recognised on a global scale, the climate.

In the past producers used soil carbon measurement as a barometer of where their soil is at in terms of health. We now know that by re-building soil carbon there is a direct correlation to profitability by enhancing the key areas of production. Now we are not just on the cusp of benefiting from the production side but also having the opportunity to be paid for the soil organic carbon we build.

That is next generational farming and innovation that meets a Desire, is Feasible and financially Viable; thanks to Xavier Rizos from The Garage at Westpac for sharing this innovative concept ‘filter’.

Thank you to our GrowAg hosts Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation for the opportunity to hear from and meet a fantastic network of people with the future of Australian agriculture at their feet ;)

Leticia Gosse


Other GrowAg Reports

The Changing Face of Agriculture

Mick Keogh 27.09.2016

The average Australian farmer now manages a business with an asset value of close to five million dollars, and is now spending an increasing amount of time managing staff and talking to technical advisers...

Full Article

Check Twitter #GrowAg2016 to see other presentations and delegates reports from the event.

Check out the highlight video's on YouTube

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