Corrigendum to: Soil indicators and their use by farmers in the Billabong Catchment, Southern New South Wales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

'Soil health' programs and projects in Australia's agricultural districts are designed to influence farmers' management behaviours, usually to produce better outcomes for production, conservation, and sustainability. These programs usually examine soil management practices from a soil science perspective, but how soils are understood by farmers, and how that understanding informs their farm management decisions, is poorly documented. The research presented in this paper sought to better understand how dryland farmers in the Billabong catchment of southern New South Wales use soil indicators to inform their management decisions. Thematic content analysis of transcripts of semi-structured, face-to-face interviews with farmers suggest several themes that have implications for soil scientists and other professionals wishing to promote soil health in the dryland farming regions of south-eastern Australia. In particular, all soil indicators, including those related to soil 'health', need to relate to some clear, practical use to farmers if they are to be used in farm decision making. This research highlights a reliance of the participants of this research on agronomists. Reliance on agronomists for soil management decisions may result in increasing loss of connectivity between farmers and their land. If this reflects a wider trend, soil health projects may need to consider where best to direct their capacity-building activities, and/or how to re-empower individual farmers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)340-340
Number of pages1
JournalSoil Research
Volume47
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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billabong
New South Wales
catchment
farmers
soil quality
soil
agronomists
soil management
farm
dryland farming
farm management
capacity building
soil science
indicator
arid lands
connectivity
decision making
interviews
management practice
sustainability

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title = "Corrigendum to: Soil indicators and their use by farmers in the Billabong Catchment, Southern New South Wales",
abstract = "'Soil health' programs and projects in Australia's agricultural districts are designed to influence farmers' management behaviours, usually to produce better outcomes for production, conservation, and sustainability. These programs usually examine soil management practices from a soil science perspective, but how soils are understood by farmers, and how that understanding informs their farm management decisions, is poorly documented. The research presented in this paper sought to better understand how dryland farmers in the Billabong catchment of southern New South Wales use soil indicators to inform their management decisions. Thematic content analysis of transcripts of semi-structured, face-to-face interviews with farmers suggest several themes that have implications for soil scientists and other professionals wishing to promote soil health in the dryland farming regions of south-eastern Australia. In particular, all soil indicators, including those related to soil 'health', need to relate to some clear, practical use to farmers if they are to be used in farm decision making. This research highlights a reliance of the participants of this research on agronomists. Reliance on agronomists for soil management decisions may result in increasing loss of connectivity between farmers and their land. If this reflects a wider trend, soil health projects may need to consider where best to direct their capacity-building activities, and/or how to re-empower individual farmers.",
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AB - 'Soil health' programs and projects in Australia's agricultural districts are designed to influence farmers' management behaviours, usually to produce better outcomes for production, conservation, and sustainability. These programs usually examine soil management practices from a soil science perspective, but how soils are understood by farmers, and how that understanding informs their farm management decisions, is poorly documented. The research presented in this paper sought to better understand how dryland farmers in the Billabong catchment of southern New South Wales use soil indicators to inform their management decisions. Thematic content analysis of transcripts of semi-structured, face-to-face interviews with farmers suggest several themes that have implications for soil scientists and other professionals wishing to promote soil health in the dryland farming regions of south-eastern Australia. In particular, all soil indicators, including those related to soil 'health', need to relate to some clear, practical use to farmers if they are to be used in farm decision making. This research highlights a reliance of the participants of this research on agronomists. Reliance on agronomists for soil management decisions may result in increasing loss of connectivity between farmers and their land. If this reflects a wider trend, soil health projects may need to consider where best to direct their capacity-building activities, and/or how to re-empower individual farmers.

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