Soils are critical for all life on earth.
They support plant growth and contribute to the maintenance of natural and planted vegetation including food, fibre, foliage, fodder, fuel and medicinal products in relation to the prevailing climate, landscape and soil type and according to societal needs.
They play an important role in supporting animal biodiversity above ground, including wildlife and domesticated livestock; contribute to the quality and availability of our water supply; and pollution control through their absorption qualities.
To celebrate their cruciality, World Soil Day was held on December 5 focusing attention on the importance of healthy soil and advocating for the sustainable management of soil resources, with this year's theme to halt soil salinisation and enhance soil production.
For Queensland farmers, soil is the basis of our nation's agroecosystems, not only underpinning sustainable productivity, but also improving resilience.
This year, the Queensland Farmers' Federation is focusing its attention on our soil's role in agricultural production and for protecting natural environments.
This includes a series of upcoming workshops looking at the beneficial use of organic composts and other organic materials to improve soil health.
Australia has ancient soils that are typically low in organic matter and nutrients.
With the ongoing impacts of a changing climate, increased agricultural production and population growth, our soils are facing significant challenges and require greater attention and management.
To chart a course forward, there are funding opportunities available for interested farmers and agribusinesses to improve their soil management.
The state and federal governments announced funding last week for infrastructure grants under the Queensland Food Waste for Healthy Soils Program.
While the federal government also announced funding under the Future Drought Fund: Drought Resilient Soils and Landscapes Grants Program, to improve management of natural capital can build drought resilience.
With the National Soils Strategy now available, achieving its aims will require novel soil management strategies that can only be accomplished through investment in, and co-ordination of, interdisciplinary research and development which is accessible to farmers.
Noting that soils now provide farmers with natural capital market and agricultural stewardship opportunities.
Farmers and agribusinesses are encouraged to apply for funding to improve their soils and play their part to ensure the health of our soils.
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