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Title: Characterisation of farmers' soil sense and the implications for on-farm monitoring of soil health
Contributor(s): Lobry De Bruyn, L (author)orcid ; Abbey, JA (author)
Publication Date: 2003
DOI: 10.1071/EA00176
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Abstract: If farmers are to determine whether their farm goals for resource condition are being met, and whether changes in farm management are leading towards a more sustainable farming system, then they need to be able to monitor these areas. Yet to date, an easy to use, practical and reliable method to be used by farmers to monitor trends in soil health has not been developed. This has been a consequence mainly of developing soil monitoring packages in isolation from the end user, and relying on 'expert' advice to guide farmers' management of the soil rather than empowering them to be more self-reliant in this area. This study sought to collaborate with farmers in the development of a soil health checklist. The research process acknowledged the importance of local conditions, farmers' existing knowledge on soils and their preferences for delivery and presentation of the final product. The study focused on farmers located in the north-west cropping region of New South Wales, Australia. This article reports on a prototype for a farmer's soil health checklist — the features they use, how they recognise those features, especially the language they use to describe a healthy and unhealthy soil, and finally the techniques they use to determine those features.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 43(3), p. 285-305
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 0816-1089
Field of Research (FOR): 050205 Environmental Management
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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