THE Plane Creek Sustainable Farmers (PCSF) group is bringing a soil health workshop to Mackay on February 21.
Chairman of the group Peter Creber said the SRDC (Sugar Research and Development Corporation)-funded workshop was being conducted by Dr Ash Martin, an expert in the field of microbiology and managing director of Microbiology Australia.
"We are extremely pleased to be able to bring someone to Mackay of Dr Martin's calibre to help us to learn more about the make-up of our soils, and how to better manage it for improved soil health and productivity," Mr Creber said.
Dr Martin has more than 17 years experience in applied industrial and agricultural microbiology and agronomy.
"What really works for us is that Microbiology Australia is dedicated to increasing the productivity, sustainability and profitability of farmers by delivering practical information," Mr Creber said.
The workshop will be held at the Mackay Bowls Club from 8am to 4pm and is suited to all cane growers who would like to gain a better understanding of soil microbes and how they work.
The workshop will cover a diverse range of subjects to do with microbes and soil health in sugar cane.
Mr Creber said members of PCSF were working closely with the group Farmacist.
"We will be conducting trials with microbes following the workshop, and SRDC are keen for us to be a part of one of their much bigger trials.
"Reef Rescue also is very keen to be a part of the trial project and the replicated trials over a period of five years," he said.
Mr Creber said the wet year of 2010, and to some extent 2011, had had an adverse effect on the microbial structure of the soil virtually shutting them down.
Cost of the workshop is $88 - including a booklet and lunch.