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Soil Wealth: An extension project to help vegetable growers to manage soils

Horticulture Innovation Australia

Healthy soil is the lifeblood of Australian vegetable producers, and most growers are keen to manage their soils in an environmentally, and economically sustainable way. This project, run jointly by AHR and RMCG, aimed to develop capacity among growers, agronomists and advisers, thereby supporting soil management that achieves long-term crop returns for growers by delivering extension and capacity building using a focussed approach. The project primarily assisted growers to effectively use existing soil management information rather than generate more information.

It aims to deliver:

  • A sustainable extension system primed for up scaling, controlled by industry
  • Agronomists supported, trained and linked to ongoing programs
  • Demonstration sites to see benefits on farm (biofumigation, biology, reduced tillage, nutrition, disease)
  • Improved resource use efficiency on farm resulting in reduced input costs (e.g. for crop protection products, fuel, fertilizer)
  • Increased productivity, higher marketable yield/packout.

Team

Dr Doris Blaesing

Dr Doris Blaesing

Associate

Dipl.Ing.Agr., Dr.rer.hort.

Doris has extensive experience in agricultural business development, resource management and R&D. She has a good understanding of agricultural production systems and supply chains. Her strengths are strategy and concept development, innovative thinking, problem solving, multi-disciplinary project management and communication on all levels with a broad range of people. Doris worked in public and private research, education, export and agribusinesses.

Donna Lucas

Donna Lucas

Senior Consultant

B.App.Sci. (Hons)

Donna is an agricultural consultant with experience in research, extension, farm business management and evaluation. She enjoys working with groups or individual businesses to solve problems, support decision-making and put research into practice. Donna has worked in accounting and has strong analytical and project management skills. She is also actively involved in The Australasia-Pacific Extension Network (APEN).