Nick Jacometti & Peter Smith | Case Study
BUFTON FARMING GROUP
James Bufton | Case Study
Catherine Velisha | Case Study
Annemaree Docking | Case Study
Luke Sadler | Case Study
Ann Fraser | Case Study
Paul Gazzola | Case Study
Tyson Lewis | Case Study
John Pederson | Case Study
MAIN RIDGE DIARY
Bess Noxon | Case Study
Aspects and Slopes
Soil type and Structure
Soils with a pH less than 7.0 in water.
The process whereby soils become acidic over time as a result of:
The degradation of organic materials and release of nutrients by microorganisms in the presence of oxygen.Aggregates – Tiny clumps made of soil particles. The action of the soil microbiota contributes to the formation of aggregates which in turn is beneficial for the soil, as soil with good aggregates will hold more water and has a better structure
Soils with a pH more than 7.0 in water.
The degradation of organic materials and release of nutrients by microorganisms in the absence of oxygen.
The direction towards which the land slopes, e.g. a farm with a northern aspect slopes downwards to the north. Aspect determines how intense the exposure to sun and wind is likely to be. It can also determine the likelihood of severe events such as bushfire.
Biotic things are living and once-living (plants, animals, bacteria) and abiotic things are inert or non-living (rock, wind, frost).
The variety of all living things; the different plants, animals and micro-organisms, the genetic information they contain and the ecosystems they form.
The total quantity or mass of organic matter in a place. For example, biomass in a pasture refers to all the grasses and plant matter on the land, along with its associated biome of living organisms and soil microbiology.
An ecological community, characterised by distinctive plant and animal species and maintained under the climatic conditions of the area, e.g. Mallee scrub or cool temperate forest. See microbiome.
A design approach that seeks to mimic the way nature does things. For example, rotating stock through small areas to graze intensely before leaving the area for a long period of rest (up to a year) seeks to mimic the way herds of grazing animals move across an open landscape. The intent is to encourage ecosystem health.
Soil additives, such as compost or vermicompost (worm farm solid or liquid compost), that stimulate microbial activity in soil.
Plants, animals, microorganisms and other living things. For example, soil biota refers to all living things in the soil, including but not limited to vertebrates, invertebrates, microorganisms, fungi and bacteria.
The measure of the capacity of a soil to hold the major cations: calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium (including hydrogen, aluminium and manganese in acid soils). It is an indicator of inherent soil fertility.
In any environment, communities are groups of living things that interact with each other. See also population.
As a result of tillage, trampling by stock and the weight of vehicles on the soil, compaction can occur. Compaction can lead to lower soil permeability (so it is harder for water to penetrate) and poorer soil aeration. It can lead to increased erosion and decreased plant productivity.
A change of the physical state of water from the gas phase into the liquid phase, condensation is the reverse of vaporisation. Dew is a form of condensation and is important to the small water cycle.
In regenerative agriculture, cover crops are grown to cover and protect the soil, and to feed the soil through nitrogen fixation and/or by being mulched into the soil to decompose in place.
The study of the relationships between plants, animals, people, and their environment, and the balances between these relationships. Ecologists look at the patterns in nature and the inter-dependencies of living things and the environment.
An area that is recognised for the type of community of living things it supports. The soil is one large ecosystem but contains numerous discrete ecosystems.
The zones in which environmental conditions change from one ecosystem to another. Naturally occurring ecosystem boundaries can represent unique habitats to which many species are specifically adapted.
The variety of ecosystems in a given place. A variety of habitats, communities and ecological relationships within a place.
Everything external to an organism including biotic (living) components – other organisms; and abiotic (non-living) components – air, water, light, oxygen, soil, climate and other physical factors.
The removal of rock or soil from one location and transport to another location. Erosion typically occurs by water and wind, and animal and human activity. Erosion removes organic matter and degrades soil fertility and soil structure.
The process by which water changes from liquid form to water vapour; evaporation in a farming context refers to the drying out of soil, vegetative matter, and standing water.
Easily crumbled or cultivated
Within any population of living things of the same species, individual organisms have different genetic material. The diversity of genetic material within a population contributes to its health because it makes the whole population less susceptible to being eradicated by one disease, pest or event such as drought.
The biological process by which a seed sprouts or develops into a small plant.
Gullies form where water erodes a slope or a stream bed, carrying away soil particles and cutting into the earth. Gullying can increase surface runoff, speeding up the process of soil erosion, destabilising an area such as a slope or bank.
The habitat of an animal or plant is the natural environment in which it normally lives or grows.
A concentrated form of organic matter at an advanced stage of decomposition. When organic matter, such as manure and compost, fully breaks down it forms humus, which is stable and sponge-like, and can hold a lot of water.
Literally, ‘afraid of water’. Hydrophobic soils repel water – it beads or rolls off the surface and is not absorbed. Hydropobia occurs when a crust has formed on the top of the soil. It is prevented and cured by a long-term program to increase soil organic matter and create humus.
Integrated Pest Management seeks to reduce pests through a combination of management practices, including changing the conditions to adversely affect pests, preventing pests from entering or breeding through physical means such as traps, and using biological methods such as predators and parasites to control pest populations.
Identifying areas of land on a property that have similar land and soil types. This allows farmers to design their layout and activities to treat similar areas of land with similar management techniques. Land classing, among other benefits, helps regenerative farmers to work within the land’s potential, thereby avoiding land degradation (using land beyond its potential).
These tiny living things may be one cell, or a bundle of cells. They are too small to see with the naked eye.
An adjective describing the presence or activity of microbes in an environment.
Similar to a biome, a microbiome is smaller. For example, the soil microbiome includes the microorganisms, yeasts and bacteria in the soil.
A collective noun for all of the living things within a microbiome.
Literally, ‘one crop’, the word monocrop refers to agriculture that farms a single plant – e.g. a monoculture of corn. Monoculture is the opposite of diversity.
Means 'fungus root'. These are soil fungi that infect plant roots in a symbiotic relationship. The fungi act as rootlets and greatly increase the surface area available for uptake of nutrients (particularly phosphorus and zinc). The mycorrhizae then make these nutrients available to the plant. In exchange the plant provides sugars to sustain the fungi, as they cannot photosynthesis.
Anything that once was alive, including decaying plant matter, dead insects, bacteria, microbes and fungi. Organic matter is what the soil micro- and macro-organisms feed on.
On the edge of the urban, or city environment.
This is a measure of soil acidity and soil alkalinity on a scale of 0 (extremely acidic) to 14 (extremely alkaline).
In any environment, populations are groups of the same species living in the environment. Populations differ from communities in that populations are all the same species, whereas communities are more diverse.
A form of compaction, whereby soil is compressed by the hooves of stock. Clay soil when it is wet is particularly prone to pugging. Pugging creates compressed foot-marks which can lead to soil structure collapse and weed infestation.
Rain, drizzle, snow, sleet, hail and all forms of atmospheric water vapour that condense and fall to ground through gravity.
An area that, due to the prevailing wind direction and the location and elevation of nearby hills or mountains, receives little rain. This is because clouds drop their rain on the windward side of hills and mountains, and the side away from the wind, or lee side, receives less precipitation.
A field of agriculture that borrows understanding from ecology, conservation and rehabilitation. Regenerative agriculture seeks to improve the health of the farm ecosystem and its resilience in a changing climate, through focus on aspects including soil health and soil rehabilitation, water quality and biodiversity.
An expression of the amount of water vapour in the air, written as a percentage of the total possible water vapour holding capacity of air at that temperature.
Land that is next to, or influences a body of fresh water, such as creeks, rivers, dams and lakes.
The area around a plant root that is inhabited by a unique population of microorganisms influenced by root exudates.
Complex carbohydrates supplied by plants to soil microorganisms in exchange for water and nutrients.
A measure of the total soluble salts in a soil. A saline soil is one with an accumulation of free salts at the soil surface and/or within the profile affecting plant growth and/or land use.
The ratio of rise over run (height over distance) of a piece of land, slope is usually expressed as a percentage, e.g. ‘a 22% slope’. Slope is useful in many contexts as it means elements such as water or masses of cold air will move in predictable ways through gravity. Farmers can use slope and aspect to direct these resources to specific locations, such as by moving water from a header dam to a dam lower down the slope.
The small water cycle is a localised water cycle in which water vapour from locally evaporated moisture falls again in the same area as precipitation or condensation.
An important aspect of biodiversity, species diversity refers to the variety of types of species within a community or ecosystem (species richness), as well as to the abundance of organisms of each species (species abundance). Some ecosystems are more species-rich than others, e.g. rainforests have high species diversity as well as abundant numbers of individuals of each species, whereas arid ecosystems have lower species diversity and species abundance.
Describes the way the soil particles are arranged to form soil aggregates. Structure is important for aeration and drainage, and movement of plant roots deep into the soil.
A method of soil preparation commonly involving mechanical disturbance, such as overturning, digging, or ploughing the soil.
The saturation of soil by water, such that the air gaps between the soil aggregates are filled with water. Soil structure and soil microbiota populations may collapse in waterlogged soil.