Planting new ideas

LIKE many farmers Don Causley is always open to hearing how he can achieve an increased yield from his crops and improve his farming practices.

“We always try to do things better than we do at present,” he said.

For this reason he was one of about 70 Clarence Valley people from the land who attended yesterday's sustainable agriculture forum at Maclean Services Club.

A Chatsworth Island sugar cane and vegetable farmer for the past 25 years, Mr Causley said the guest speakers at the forum put forward some very useful ideas.

“There were some new ideas presented and hopefully they can be of use to us,” he said.

Mr Causley, who produces some vegetables for his son's Causley Fresh fruit shops, said the forums were a great initiative.

“These sorts of forums and good research and development are some of the things that I think are lacking in agriculture at the moment.”

The forum showcased some of the Northern River's most groundbreaking sustainable agriculture projects.

Those at the forum heard addresses from keynote speakers including Greg Reid of the NSW Department of Primary Industries and Mallanganee's Stuart Larsson of Mara Seeds.

Farmers heard presentations about softer farming methods, sustainable farm planning, improved greenhouse production practices, biological farming methods, soil health for commercial food production and sustainable grazing.

Part of the Northern Rivers Foodlinks programs, the forum, also held at Casino, Ballina and Murwillumbah, addressed local food production, distribution and consumption in the region.

Northern Rivers Food Links' project manager Sam Muller said she was extremely pleased with the response to the forums.

“It is certainly heartening to know that we have such a great cross-section of producers who are obviously passionate, dedicated and committed to securing a sustainable food future for our region,” she said.

Ms Muller said the forums encouraged greater understanding and knowledge sharing on approaches to sustainable agriculture practices in the region.

“Our Sustainable Agriculture Project partners provided an amazing resource of experience and knowledge, particularly in regards to sustainable agriculture practices on-farm, impacts of climate change on food production, whilst still maintaining a focus on economic outcomes needed to keep farmers on the land,” she said.

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