Regenerative Farming for Soils in the Macleay

Improving local farmers' capacity to regenerate soils

Regenerative Farming for Soils in the Macleay

Improving local farmers' capacity to regenerate soils

Capacity to Deliver -

LEP_23 _033_LLC_MNL-07

The issue

The Macleay Valley is a rural area with one of the main Farming outputs being cattle grazing enterprises (35%) (2015-16, Macleay Eco health Report). Many of our farmers are generational family run businesses who practice more traditional approaches to land and stock management. Macleay Landcare is actively seeking new ways to engage with these landholders to expand capacity and understanding for more sustainable and productive methods that enable production resilience with future climate projection scenarios. 

The solution

Through recent communications with local farmers within the Macleay Landcare Network, our Landcare Officer was able to procure a small amount of funding to support the regenerative farming movement. This program, endorsed by FRRR, enabled MLN to bring in well renowned grazing practitioner Brian Wehlberg from Inside-Outside management to conduct a regenerative grazing course for Macleay farmers. This 3-day course provided farm specific management advice and enabled all participants to develop their own grazing plans and come away with a more regenerative understanding for livestock management. MLN complimented this event by supplying a sub-tropical species of dung beetle to cater to colder temperatures experienced in winter. Currently we do not have a species of beetle that operates effectively in winter. Macleay farmers have always expressed this issue. Excess manure can lead to variety of management issues incurring unnecessary costs. MLN has introduced the Beetle, Onitis caffir, on several farms in IBC rearing facilities and on paddocks and aims to monitor their success, with the hope of supplying local farmers into the future.

The impact

This program has enabled a variety of outcomes including:

holistic grazing plans to several local primary producers and improved peer-to-peer learning and encouraged regenerative farming in the valley

The Dung beetle component has a range of benefits if successful including:

Improved carbon sequestration in paddocks, burying livestock dung, reduced run off, improved soil structure, reduced parasites and reduced pest fly abundance.

Key facts

  • Introduction of a new species of Dung Beetle into the Macleay (Onitis Caffir)
  • Improved capacity through educational events and new methods
  • Ongoing monitoring for success of beetles from involved farmers

Project Partners