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QLD Soil Field Day

June 18 @ 11:41 pm

$40 – $50

This event has been postponed until further notice

Sunday 12 July 2020 –aFthonia Farms, 69 Brennan Rd, Hannon (via Toowoomba), QLD.

Field Day Host – Vanessa Dart, owner of aFthonia Farms


Registration from: 8.30 am at aFthonia Farms –
park vehicles in the designated area and meet at the shed for refreshments on arrival

AM: Presentations – The science and economics

  • 9.00 AM Session 1 (45 min): Introductions / “Setting the scene & defining the problem” – Greg Seymour (AOA CEO)/ “Lifting grove productivity and OliveCare® grove best practice checklists” – Peter McFarlane  (OliveCare® Administrator)
  • 9.45 AM Session 2 (75 Min): “Understanding the role of soil carbon, soil water and soil biology” with John Barton (Charton & Bang, Research & Development)
    • What is soil carbon and where does it come from
    • Soil carbon and soil water
    • Collecting more water
    • Holding more water
    • Giving more water
    • Reducing losses
    • Economic benefits
    • The importance of building soil and tree health for IPDM
    • Composting training course and consultancy services
  • 11.00 AM Break for refreshments at aFthonia Farms – at the shed (15 Minutes)
  • 11.15 PM Session 3 (75 Min): “Application of remote sensing to grove operations including monitoring tree health” with Remote Sensing Project Team (Joel McKechnie  and Craig Shephard (UNE)):
    • an update of the irrigation trial, sensors and results thus far
    • the imagery work (tree health, water stress, relationships to productivity
    • national mapping
  • 12.30 PM (45 Min): Lunch break at aFthonia Farms – at the shed

PM: In the field at aFthonia Farms

  • 1.15 PM Session 4 (45 Min) Service Providers (TBA) Mini-presentations / demonstrations / useful take home lessons on monitoring / measurement / testing – including:
    • Soil testing – chemistry and physical properties
    • Leaf analysis and tree nutrition
    • Measuring microbial activity in soil
    • Soil moisture monitoring
    • On-farm weather stations
    • Tree health – monitoring soil-born pathogens & other fungal diseases and pests of olives with Associate Professor Robert Spooner-Hart (University of Western Sydney)
  • 2.00 PM Session 5 (75 Min): Grove innovations and issues: “Olive grove redevelopment and management to improve soil and tree health and grove productivity” with Vanessa Dart (aFthonia Farms):
    • Use of compost and mulch to increase soil carbon for soil moisture retention and improve tree health
    • Lessons learned making organic certified compost
    • Use of compost starter cultures need to generate heat with an active compost
    • Sourcing organic certified compost / ingredients / expertise
    • Organic pest / disease and weed control
    • Inspection of a soil profile trench
    • Soil testing before composting and monitoring progress in the grove – pH / organic carbon / nutrient levels and developing a tree nutrition program
    • Dealing with soil drainage issues – ‘wet feet’ – using contours (keyline principles) and strategies for overcoming water repellent  (hydrophobic) soils
    • Organic pest / disease and weed control
    • Incorporating the use of animals in groves – poultry, sheep & goats, companion planting and leaving longer grass in the inter-row to encourage beneficial insects
    • Peacock spot and other fungal disease problems
    • Bugs and bushfire
    • Canopy rejuvenation, maintenance pruning, tree training for hand harvest – build laterals
  • 3.15 PM Break for refreshments at aFthonia Farms – at the shed  (15 Minutes)
  • 3.30 PM Session 6 (75 Min): Composting – making and using with John Barton (Charton & Bang, Research & Development)
  • 4.45 PM Field day feedback and evaluation – at the shed (15 Min)
  • 5.00 PM Field day concludes followed by refreshments until 6.00 pm – at the shed

Registrations close 3 July 2020



This project has been funded by Hort Innovation, using the Hort Innovation olive research and development levy, co-investment from the Australian Olive Association and contributions from the Australian Government.



June 18
11:41 pm
$40 – $50
Event Categories:


Australian Olive Association


aFthonia Farms
69 Brennan Road
Hampton, Queensland 4352 Australia
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