Why healthy land is important for a healthy region
The Wimmera community and its’ farmers are highly dependent on the productivity of the region’s soils. Soils are a key natural asset whose health is fundamental to productive and sustainable farming systems. They are also important to the health of waterways and native vegetation.
Agriculture plays a significant role in determining and maintaining the health of our soils, and in turn the economic, social and environmental state of the region.
Soils used for agriculture and managed by private landholders comprise 85% of the Wimmera. Before 1997, agricultural production in the Wimmera was worth approximately $700 million, this totals some 10 per cent by value of Victoria’s agricultural production.
How landholders manage their soils impacts on present and future generations. It is imperative that this valuable resource is protected. Because agriculture dominates the Wimmera landscape it is necessary that agricultural activities, many of which relate to management of soils, do not negatively impact on the natural environment including waterways.
It is clear that productive and sustainable farming systems require sound soil management practices that minimise on and off farm impacts. ‘Best practice’ in soil management continues to evolve with farmers continually improving their understanding of soils.
Farmers have become increasingly aware that good environmental practice is compatible with good business practice.
How Wimmera CMA works with farmers
Wimmera CMA undertakes planning and funds projects to help farmers manage threats to agricultural land, especially salinity, wind erosion, water erosion and loss of organic matter and nutrients. The objective is to manage agricultural land within its capability and to maintain and enhance the region’s soils, while improving and sustaining the profitability of the agricultural sector.
Partnerships with service providers such as the Department of Primary Industries and farmer industry groups such as Wimmera Conservation Farming Association and Victorian No Till Farming Association are critical to achieving outcomes.
The ways in which Wimmera CMA encourages practice change includes:
- Providing incentive grants for landholders to revegetate land, farm forestry and plant perennial pastures in priority areas
- Managing the Catchment Tender Project which rewards landholders for planting trees to lower saline groundwater tables
- Facilitating Property Management Planning
- Supporting Wimmera Landcare
- Investing in projects with service providers such as the Department of Primary Industries and farmer industry groups such as Wimmera Conservation Farming Association and Victorian No Till Farming Association
- Supporting and participating in knowledge sharing with interest and industry groups.
- Sharing knowledge through field days and vents
- Research and development activities
To find out more about Wimmera CMA priorities that improve the region’s sustainability and productivity: