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One Man’s Waste Is Another Man’s Soil Ameliorant

The Victorian Coalition Government will contribute $64,000 towards a feasibility study into the large-scale use of organic waste as a soil ameliorant.

In welcoming the announcement by Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development, Peter Ryan, Mr Mulder said there is potential for organic waste, such as manure, sewage and straw, to become a valuable resource for our farmers, provided it can be sourced and processed in a cost effective way and supplied in sufficient quantities.

“This project will help answer questions such as how much farm land can be treated in this way, how much processing the waste material will need to undergo, and what the economic impact will be.

“Previous studies have estimated productivity gains of 60 per cent to 120 per cent where ameliorants are used to overcome limitations in the subsoil, which equates to a substantial increase in crops and pastures.

“Not only does this represent an opportunity to boost agricultural production and food security, it could support the creation of a new waste processing industry, with the potential to create jobs and deliver economic benefits to regional communities.”

Mr Mulder said the $104,000 project would be managed by Southern Farming Systems and would involve the eight shires of Barwon South West region: Greater Geelong, Golden Plains, Surf Coast, Colac Otway, Corangamite, Moyne, Glenelg and Southern Grampians.

“State agencies, farmers, businesses and local councils will work together to complete this project, while Southern Farming Systems will lead trials of various subsoil ameliorants to gauge their effectiveness,” he said.

“New technologies that have the potential to increase productivity in important agricultural regions like Barwon South West will play a key role in achieving the Victorian Coalition Government’s goal of doubling food and fibre production by 2030.