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Soil Secrets: A masterclass from a leading scientist’s farm (Part 1)

How does an expert soil researcher use his knowledge in practical ways to make on-farm decisions?

Join Southern Cross University PhD candidate, Cameron Copeland, as he visits a Northern NSW property owned by his supervisor, Dr Lukas Van Zwieten.

Lukas is a principal soils research scientist with NSW Department of Primary Industries and a program leader with the Soil CRC. He’s also a farmer, growing custard apples and figs commercially, and running cattle.

In Part One of this masterclass video, Lukas takes Cameron on a tour of his farm, explaining how he builds soil organic carbon, what amendments he uses, and the importance of ground cover and working with the biology that’s already within the soil.

soil secrets part 1 video

Soil Secrets: A masterclass from a leading scientist’s farm (Part 2)

In part two of the masterclass with soil researcher Dr Lukas Van Zwieten, we take a look at how he uses compost in his horticultural production system.

PhD candidate Cameron Copeland shares his own expertise on soil microbiomes, and how they can help with disease suppression and in building healthy soils.

Lukas explains the work he puts in to achieve productive pastures for his cattle, including rotational grazing, maintaining good ground cover, and having diversity in the pastures.

Finally, Lukas shares his top three tips for other farmers in caring for their soils.

soil secrets part 2 video

Soil testing can be incredibly useful for farmers as they work to understand their landscape and build resilience in the face of a changing climate. 

But what do the lab results actually mean? What exactly should you be looking at when you get them back? 

Graham Lancaster, Senior Manager at Southern Cross University’s Environmental Analysis Laboratory, talks through some of the most important things to consider when you receive your results from the lab. 

This a behind-the-scenes look at what happens when your soil samples arrive in the lab, right through to the results and the practical information you need to implement biological and regenerative changes on your farm. 

understanding your soils test