Back to: Review of soil extension materials used by DPI and partners
1. Review of soil extension materials used by DPI and partners - March 2007 | 2. Programs/Learning Guides | 3. Brochure/Booklets | 4. Information Notes | 5. Education Manuals | 6. Departmental Videos | 7. Posters
1. Review of soil extension materials used by DPI and partners - March 2007
|A Soil Structure Assessment Kit for Irrigated Vertosols|
Edited by Russell Mann
Former Agriculture Victoria, Kerang
ISBN 0 7306 64384
Developed as an educational aid for landholders in dryland cropping, sheep grazing and irrigated agriculture, predominantly in northern Victoria and with a focus on irrigated Vertosols. Enables readers to assess and monitor the structure of their soil. It aims to increase their knowledge of soil, soil structure and how management practices can affect soil structure.
Booklet of 19 pages with coloured photographs and illustrations.
Intended as a self-explanatory kit for farmers and extension officers - but may be best for users to be taken through it with an extension officer in the first instance.
|Acid Soil Action - Investment for your Soil now and for the Future - a Practical Decision Support Guide to Assess the Problem & Manage the Risk|
Former Dept Natural Resources and Environment (1999)
ISBN 0 7311 4309 4
An extensive guide aimed at raising awareness and understanding of soil acidification, as well as assessment and options to improve farm management decisions. The first part introduces acid soils and describes the nature of the problem. The second part is a step-wise farm management decision support system followed by a series of technical information updates.
|There are 11 sections covering:
Approx 120 loose-leaf pages in a ring binder - with coloured photographs and illustrations.
A guide for farmers, advisers and industry field representatives - to help assess problems caused by acid soils and decide on appropriate management strategies.
|EMS Monitoring Tools|
A range of monitoring tools has been developed to assist landholders to monitor various aspects of their enterprise. A feature of these monitoring tools is that they are practical and simple and provide farmers with meaningful ways to measure improvement in production and the environment. They are also based on rigorous science and presented in a simple way.
Presented as concise documents of 12 or fewer pages that can be easily printed from the website. Within each document is a technical explanation of the subject being monitored and then a step-by-step process of the assessment to be undertaken.
Farmers in the first instance but useful for students and advisers.
|Know Your Soils|
Centre for Land Protection, Research (2001)
Former Dept of Natural Resources and Environment
ISBN 0 7311 4555 0
Designed to assist landholders to assess and understand their soils.
Three individual booklets (25-28 pages each) that can be used either as stand-alone or in conjunction with each other. All have coloured photographs and illustrations.
Extension officers, landholders and consultants.
|Land Classing Kit for Farmers|
Former Dept Natural Resources and Environment, Victoria
ISBN 0 7311 4375 2
Designed to enable farmers to identify the limitations of their land and soil in a systematic and rational way. The main aim is to ensure that the land and soil is not being used beyond its capability.
|The classes the reader establishes relate to the number of land use options available based on the potential productive capacity of the land and the susceptibility for land degradation. |
There are three major sections:
Booklet of 24 pages, with coloured photographs and illustrations.
The farming community - but some training would be preferred.
Steps 1-4 assist in gathering the background information that is required for the rest of the booklet.
Steps 5-8 establish the appropriate land classes of the property that are non-arable.
Steps 9-11 establish the appropriate land classes of the property that are arable.
Easy to follow steps.
|Northern Rivers Soil Health Card - A Soil Management Tool Developed by Farmers for Farmers|
NSW Agriculture and NHT
Developed as a practical tool for farmers in the northern rivers region of NSW, and enabling them to monitor the health of their soils. The card was developed through a series of workshops involving Landcare members, farmers and staff of NSW Agriculture and Wollongbar TAFE.
A 12 page loose leaf document that includes black and white photographs and illustrations.
|Intended Users |
Suited to farmers across a range of industries. Little or no training is required to undertake the simple tests.
The Northern Rivers Soil Health Card can be downloaded from the following hyperlink.
Hyperlink: http://www.agric.nsw.gov.au/reader/soil-testing/north-rivers-soil-health-card.pdf?MIvalObj=25791&doctype=document&MItypeObj=application/pdf&name=/north-rivers-soil-health-card.pdf (link no longer active)
|Soil Health Assessment Kit – Users Guide|
Peter Grace & Keith Weier
Institute for Sustainable Resources, Qld University of Technology
DRAFT - Feb 2007
A soil health assessment kit and scorecard have been developed as part of the Healthy Soils for Sustainable Farming Systems Project: ‘Defining and promoting soil health for sustainable production systems’. The kit and scorecard are currently in draft form and require further in-field testing.
The soil health scorecard is a simplistic qualitative rapid assessment tool which provides the adviser or landholder with a running record of soil condition and how a particular paddock responds to management.
|The kit uses a set of quantitative indicators selected primarily for their ability to respond to management in the longer term. The kit should be used as a screening tool to give general trends or direction of soil health – whether current management systems are maintaining, enhancing or degrading the soil. |
The tests within the kit include:
1. Soil respiration
3. Bulk density and soil moisture
4. Electrical conductivity
5. Soil pH
6. Soil nitrate
7. Soil stability
8. Earthworm count
9. Soil physical observation
10. Mineralisable nitrogen
The user guide is currently a 45 loose-leaf page document with colour photographs. The associated kit is packed into a standard size plastic tool box.
Although intended as a soil health assessment tool for farmers, advisers and industry field representatives, the kit requires an experienced operator if full benefit is to be obtained.
This latter aspect is evolving within each industry, due to the lack of data from around the world, but the more information that users can supply in their relevant localities, industries or communities, the better the interpretations that can be provided in the future.
|Soil Structure Assessment Kit - A Guide to Assessing the Structure of Red Duplex Soil|
Former Dept Conservation and Environment, Victoria
ISBN 0 7241 9937 3
Developed as an educational aid for farmers in the irrigation districts with red texture-contrast (i.e. duplex) soils.
Booklet of 20 pages, including coloured photographs and illustrations. Loose leaf recording sheet included.
Intended for farmers and extension officers. Although designed as a self-explanatory kit, it is preferable for users to be taken through it with an extension officer in the first instance.
It does not give specific solutions to soil problems but provides information to develop a management strategy to overcome specific problems.
|Better Soils Mean Better Business|
Better Soils Technical Committee (Agricultural Bureau Project) - SA
Developed as a foundation document for the ‘Better Soils Program’ in South Australia. It contains information about all major soil conditions experienced in SA. In many situations it explains how to measure and monitor their conditions.
|The sections of the manual include:
Booklet of 48 pages including coloured photographs and illustrations.
This manual is designed for farmers, as part of a group format of the ‘Better Soils Program’.
Extensive soil pit photos of the main agricultural soil in SA.
The principles of good soil health are generally the same whether they are referring to a vineyard, dairy pasture or cropping soil.
Hyperlink : http://www.bettersoils.com.au/modules.htm (link no longer active)
|Crop Monitoring Guide|
Better Information – Better Decisions
Rural Solutions SA
5th Edition, 2006
ISBN 0 7590 1377 2
An essential guide and reference to the practices, growth stages and benchmarks for crop performance. It is also a guide to the detailed assessment of each critical growth stage of a crop.
|This guide includes five soil checks that are undertaken as part of a monitoring program:
Book of 154 pages that includes black and white photographs and illustrations. Relevant Sections of the book are from pages 47 – 62.
Designed as a ready and valuable reference for any farmer’s day-to-day decision making. Also intended for groups, whether a PMP, Landcare group or local crop group.
|Fertilising Grazed Pastures|
DPI Beef Industry Officers
The Target 10 Soils and Fertiliser Activity Group
This publication is a result of the adaptation of the Target 10 ‘Fertilising Dairy Pasture’ manual. The aim is to enable farmers to make more informed cost-effective fertiliser management decisions. Pasture production depends on sound use of fertilisers and it is important to understand soil condition if best results are to be achieved from fertiliser use.
Relevant sections of the manual are:
Loose leaf format in a ring binder (240 pages) including mainly black and white illustrations and photographs.
Developed as a source of reference material for use by farmers during the Program, but will serve as useful resource material for other training events.
|Measuring and Managing Soil Water|
CSIRO, GRDC, undated
An action learning program designed for farmers and consultants to gain an improved understanding of soil water management in dryland cropping systems.
This program is run over two workshops, each containing sessions and associated activities. Some of the workshop sessions are pre-season, the field activities (during the season) and review and presentation (post-harvest). Some of the session work includes:
Understanding soil and water processes
Developing practical skills in soil water measurement
Using soil water information in management decisions.
Field activities including characterising a soil for Plant Available Water Capacity and monitoring for plant available water over a season.
Loose leaf booklet of 77 pages including black and white photographs and illustrations.
Designed for farmers and consultants to learn the tools in workshop sessions and then having the experience to undertake them on their own farms.
Detailed description of soil sampling for soil salinity and interpreting soil test results. Soil Acidity and Liming
|Salt Kit - A “Do-It-Yourself” Salinity Identification Kit for Farmers of the North Victorian Irrigation Region|
|Former Victorian Department of Agriculture, Energy and Minerals (1995) |
ISBN 0 7306 6455 4
The Salt Kit consists of two parts:
i). folder containing a general description of the visual soil and plant symptoms related to salinity, sodicity and waterlogging; a description of how to install a test-well, how to collect and test water and soil samples, and a guide to interpreting the results and record sheets.
ii). set of containers and plastic bags used for sampling and mixing soil as well as water samplers.
|The kits sections include:
The Manual is a loose leaf A4 binder consisting of 60 pages with coloured photographs and illustrations. The Salt Kit has been designed so that each Chapter can ‘stand-alone’.
Designed for farmers so it can be used individually or as part of a Group activity – and aimed at providing a basis for decision making across a whole catchment.
|Soil Acidity and Liming|
Agfact AC. 19, second edition 1996
Detailed document covering all aspects of soil acidification - including causes and amelioration. The sections of the booklet include:
24 page booklet with coloured photographs and illustrations.
Extension officers, consultants and farmers. There may be some clarification required for farmers regarding the technical aspects of soil acidification.
|Soil Guide: A Handbook for Understanding and Managing Agricultural Soils.|
Geoff Moore (editor)
Agriculture Western Australia
First published March 1998
Reprinted July 2001
ISBN 0 7307 0057 7
This handbook is designed to identify the soil properties affecting management, production and sustainable land management at the paddock scale. It provides links between different soils, their properties and management options. The information can be expanded to a catchment or regional scale using knowledge of the spatial distribution of soils. Although the handbook is specifically designed for rain-fed agriculture in south-western Australia, many sections are relevant to other regions of Australia.
The handbook chapters include:
A 380 page book with photos, diagrams and tables and illustrations.
Users of this handbook do not require a detailed technical knowledge of soils, however, simple skills such as field texturing and a basic knowledge of soil science is required. Useful as a reference resource for field staff and advisers.
|Soil Matters - Monitoring Soil Water and Nutrients in Dryland Farming|
Neal Dalgliesh and Mike Foale
CSIRO Australia, 1998
ISBN 0 643 06375 7
Describes ‘best practice’ for monitoring soils for water and nutrients. The manual is a starting point for developing the linkage between applied research and the needs of the industry to make better use of the soil resource. Adoption of the methods and the subsequent use of the results by farmers will represent a great advance in soil monitoring and accessing cropping potential. It should result in a much better understanding of what is happening in the soil and plant environment, any opportunities and risks, and should lead to better resource management.
The manual comprises a set of modules that provide background information on, and describe the best practice in, soil monitoring. There are 5 modules and appendices in the main book:
122 page book with colour photographs and illustrations. Also includes a Land Resource Area Map for the Central Darling Downs.
For farmers and consultants in the field of the northern cropping region of New South Wales and Queensland.
|Soils and Fertilisers Exposed|
Agriculture Victoria, 1995
ISBN 0 7306 6401 5
Provide users with an understanding of:
Soils and fertilisers
What nutrients are required by plants to produce fast growing high quality pastures
Principles of how to determine which nutrients, and how much, are required by plants
How to compare the costs of relevant nutrients from the multitude of nutrient sources in the market place.
106 page booklet with black and white photographs and very few illustrations.
Intended for the course users of ‘Target 10’ workshops.
The first few chapters provide a very broad overview of the soil properties (structure, pH, nutrients).
Its focus, however, is to concentrate of soil fertility and the appropriate nutrients to apply to produce a healthy dairy pasture.
|Soil Pit Field Day Notes|
Former Agriculture Victoria (1993-2006)
Mark Imhof et al
A series of 35 booklets providing information on key soil types associated with Landholder Groups (Landcare, Farm Advance) in North Central, North East, Goulburn Broken, Mallee, West Gippsland and Wimmera regions as well as for DPI led excursions and field days. Booklets were associated with Soil Pit Field Days held with groups and as ‘companion material’ for excursions.
Landholders, Departmental and other support staff were primary audience. Much of this information is now also been included on the Victorian Resources Online (VRO) website where available to wider range of users.
|Soil Sense Notes|
Former Agriculture Victoria
This manual is an extensive guide that covers the awareness and assessment of a range of soil issues and the management strategies that can improve farm management decisions.
There are six sections within this manual and there are a few topics covered in each of the sections including:
Loose leaf in a ring binder (25 individual notes). Each subject has its own loose leaf document of 6 pages or less with coloured photographs and illustrations.
A guide for landholders, advisers and extension officers to help assess the state of the soil and decide on appropriate management strategies.
|Soil Workshop Notes - Soil Observation & Interpretation|
The workshop and workshop notes intend to incorporate soils information into farm management by:
There are two workshops involved in the program:
Farmers attending a workshop, where they are taken through the notes and explanations.
|Southern Dryland SOILpak|
Nathalie Brown & Tom Green
NSW Agriculture 2001
ISBN 0 7347 1091 7
A guide to best practice soil management for dryland farmers (mixed cropping and grazing in the Murray and Murrumbidgee catchments). The manual is designed to be used as a first source of information to enable users to identify the nature and cause of soil problems.
Aim is to provide information that will help to increase farm profitability by improving farm management. It is based on an accumulation of information derived from numerous research workers, public and private sector advisers and agribusiness over many years.
|The sections of the Manual include: |
Part A – Introduction/an ideal Soil
Part B – Quick help
Part C – Looking at your soil
Part D – Practical soil management
Part E – Background information.
Five part section loose-leaf pages (approx 200) in a ring binder, black and white photographs and illustrations.
To help farmers to understand the basics of soils and assist farmers, consultants and extension officers with soil management decisions.
To be used as a recipe book, rather than read cover to cover, to deal with specific soil issues as they arise.
|Topactive - Workshop Activities For Groups|
PIRSA Rural Solutions (1999)
TOPACTIVE group workshops are training resource packages for use in the grains industry for presenting agronomic technology to grower and industry groups. These workshops can be presented as a one off, or grouped together to form a training program.
TOPACTIVE group workshops are presented as a useful structure that provides ideas, references and contacts, and can be modified to meet the individual needs of different groups. Not all details are provided – TOPACTIVE workshops are meant to complement, not replace the trainer’s knowledge, skills and ideas.
Booklets of 12 or fewer pages, with loose leaf evaluation and worksheets. TOPACTIVE workshop activities for groups include:
Workshops are intended for landholders, extension officers and industry groups.
For experienced extension workers, the ideas, materials and references provided may help save time in preparing for group workshops.
For inexperienced extension workers, TOPACTIVE should provide most of what you need to run effective group workshops.
|Understanding and Managing Soils in the Central Highlands - Field Manual|
G.F. Bourne & G.A. Tuck
Dept Primary Industries Queensland
The Land Management Field Manuals are targeted for the cropping lands of Queensland and focus on identifying appropriate land units and their limitations and to document techniques for best land resource management practice. A typical Land Resource Management Field Manual comprised three sections:
The three sections are held in a ring binder.
Manuals designed to be "self-help" documents, and to take over where the soil specialist leaves off. The manuals were targeted towards a broad audience, at a low-technical level, and designed for use in the field (loose- leaf laminated cards with colour photographs of the soils and landscapes, and summary land type descriptions, along with a full-colour printed map of the land resource).
|Farming Today for Tomorrow|
Kondinin Group, No. 60
‘Farming Ahead’ - a monthly magazine produced by the Kondinin group as the primary means by which farmers can access independent research and the most up-to-date developments in agriculture. A range of topics are covered monthly that include evaluation and comparisons of equipment, computer programs, the latest technology and science available.
This edition of the magazine has two relevant sections:
Soil structure (18 pages)
Soil fertility (15 pages)
Each section of the magazine is coloured coded and includes easily identifiable logos so that it is easy to find the relevant information. There are coloured and black and white photographs and illustrations throughout.
The Kondinin network of farmers, agribusiness, consultants, researchers and staff are committed to ensuring farmers have access to the best information available.
Provides information on soil structure decline (erosion, crusting, structure, ponding, organic matter, earthworms, trafficability), improving soil structure (gypsum).
Comparison of no-tillage, minimum till system, controlled traffic.
Provides information on the importance of soil fertility for long term profits (plant requirements, organic matter, low soil fertility, nutrient status, testing, soil pH, salinity, sodicity, waterlogging).
|Ground Cover Magazine|
Contact: Maureen Cribb GRDC 02 6272 5525
Soil Biology Supplement
Healthy soil healthy business.
Latest research on soil nutrition and management.
Subsoil Constraints Supplement
The enemies underground.
Hostile subsoils have a significant impact on yield and profits.
Nutrient Management Supplement
Matching the input to the output.
Deciding the right amount of fertiliser for the best results.
|Subsoil Constraints - Limiting crop profitability on alkaline soils in South Eastern Australia|
GRDC, Profitable Soils Group
Susbsoil constraints occur naturally on the neutral and alkaline soils of south-eastern Australia and can reduce grain yields and quality. The majority of subsoil constraints appear to have their greatest impact by inhibiting root growth and therefore can limit the amount of water and nutrients the crop can access.
The brochure covers a range of issues including:
A4 glossy Booklet of 8 pages with coloured photographs and illustrations.
A guide for extension officers, consultants and landholders to help assess subsoil constraints and to decide on appropriate management strategies.
Provides information on how to identify and ameliorate subsoil constraints.
|Dynamic Agriculture |
ISBN 0 07 471019 2
|Living Soil |
A closer look at soils and their management
School Resource Material by Julie Sharp
|Our Land |
Landcare activities for Upper Primary
NSCP, DCF&L 1989
|Planning for sustainable Land Use |
Combining family, profit and the environment
DPI, Landlearn, March 2004
Class and field activities for secondary students
|Pride in Victorian Farming |
Food and Agriculture in the Classroom
Teacher resource book, level 4, Grades 5 & 6
Environmental Education Resource
ISBN 097 504 564 4
A Resource Book for Schools
1998 DNRE, Victoeria
|Soil Magic |
Landcare Activities for Middle Primary
NSCP, DCF&L 1989
|Soil Project Sheets |
Ideas for use in schools
Land Protection Division, CF&L, NSCP, 1988
Soils Ain’t dirt
DPI, Landlearn, March 2003
Soils Ain’t Dirt
The Landcare Songbook for Kids
NSCP, DCF&L 1989
|The Mallee |
An education kit produced by the Aust National Botanic Gardens
|Achievements in Salinity Control |
Tape no. 2
Swan Hill Office (139)
|ATV 10 Newsfilm of 1982 drought in Mallee |
Swan Hill Office (54)
|CF&L Ouyen |
Swan Hill Office (51)
|Sustainable Productivity in Agriculture. “Landcare” |
Swan Hill Office (46)
|Mallee Landcare Documentary |
Landscape Change through community Partnerships (44)
|Murray Darling Basin Commission |
Swan Hill Office (42)
|Principles of Sustainable Agriculture |
Managing Soil Structure
Department of Ag and rural Affairs NSCP
Swan Hill Office(43)
|There’s no Money in Dust |
|Dryland Salinity it … or us! |
Murray Darling Basin Commission
|A Fresh Start |
|The Ultrasound of the Earth |
A surgical approach to salinity
|Dancing in the Dust |
6/11/2000 – Jenny Kendall
|Persistence Pays |
|4 part series of “Heartlands” |
Worms at Work.How to use the earthworm for good waste management and better soil
|Principles of Sustainable Agriculture |
Pasture Improvement in Vic
Dryland Salinity, combating the ‘grim creeper’
SHO(114 & 133)
|The Big Dry |
Dept Cons & Env