New video showcasing Little River Landcare's Soil PET project

The Little River Landcare Groups Soil Physical and Ecological Testing (Soil PET) Project, was a groundbreaking project that successfully engaged 150 landholders in the region, who actively participated in soil sampling to promote sustainable agricultural practices.
The project, which played a vital role in revitalizing rural networks after the pandemic, commenced with an extensive soil sampling campaign within the Little River catchment area. Phase 1 involved collecting both topsoil and subsoil samples from 75 properties, tapping into existing member networks for engagement.

In addition to the soil collection, the project facilitated a series of interactive workshops aimed at educating landholders on interpreting soil test results. These sessions not only provided them with independent soil management knowledge but also fostered a platform for peer-to-peer knowledge exchange.

A significant leap was made using Mid-Infrared (MIR) Spectroscopy at DPIE Soils Lab Yanco, which analyzed 300 topsoil samples for organic matter and carbon fractions. The collected samples have been preserved in the DPIE Soils Lab MIR soils library, ensuring their availability for future testing and research.

The project's second phase extended beyond the initial catchment, as the Soil PET project was rolled out across four additional Landcare regions, including Coonamble, Mid Macquarie, Mudgee, and Orange. Collaboration with Local Landcare Coordinators was crucial in replicating the soil testing and workshops in these new areas.

A challenge emerged when local landholders were hesitant to perform on-ground soil testing within the project's tight schedule. However, this was adeptly handled by increasing the involvement of the Little River Landcare Group's Soils Facilitator, who ensured consistent soil sample collection and handling. As a result, over 1200 soil tests were conducted across 150 properties in a span of 15 months to June 2023, marking a commendable feat for the project.

For more information on the Soil PET Project and upcoming workshops, please contact the Little River Landcare Group.

Watch the video here