August 2, 2022

How regenerative farming methods are helping growers build and store more carbon on their farms will be the focus of one of Australia’s leading farmer conferences in Moama this month.

The latest innovations in broadacre cropping and grazing will be on the agenda at the VicNoTill conference ‘Carbon Power’, a three-day event starting on August 16 at the Rich River Golf Club Resort.

More than 250 cropping and livestock farmers from across Australia are expected to attend Carbon Power which includes a farm visit, dinner and two days of speakers and panel discussions. It coincides with the farmer-led group’s 20th anniversary.

VicNoTill president Dan Fox said farmers were excited for the return of one of Australian agriculture’s leading events for broadacre farmers.

“VicNoTill has a reputation for challenging the way we have all grown to understand ‘good farming’ and our conference always opens people’s minds and creates collective enthusiasm for rethinking our farming systems,” Dan said.

“It’s been two years since our last conference and we are all more than ready to get together. This event is a great opportunity to share ideas and catch up on the latest innovations in regenerative farming.

“There will be plenty of lively discussions with some of Australia’s leading scientists, researchers and farmers.”

The conference will start on Tuesday August 16 with a visit to the property of Grant Sims for a rainfall simulator and soil pit demonstration and a tour of his on-farm biofertiliser set up. Grant, the 6th generation on his family’s mixed farming property, is a former VicNoTill president and Coles Weekly Times Farmer of the Year.

A dinner on Tuesday night will include a discussion on how the season is looking and how regenerative farming techniques are helping broadacre cropping and grazing farmers manage seasonal challenges.

Conference speakers and panel discussions start on Wednesday August 17 for two days.

  • Keynote speaker is Graeme Sait, an internationally sought after presenter on the links between soil, plant, animal and human health. The author of Nutrition Rules is also recognised for his TED Talk ‘Humus saves the world’.
  • Other keynote speakers include Dr Terry McCosker, who will release his latest carbon data from his Australia-wide sampling of sequestration rates; and Michael Eyres and Edward Scott from Field Systems Australia who will focus on soil performance in managed agricultural landscapes.
  • Other speakers are producer Harry Youngman who combines soil science, plant biology and animal breeding to store and sell carbon; Riverina mixed farming couple David and Jenny Thompson who are changing the way they farm to produce healthy plants and animals; and VicNoTill board member Brendan Pattison, who is building carbon in his strip and disc cropping  system.

Dan said it was an exciting time to be involved in agriculture, but the biggest challenge of the past couple of years had been the lack of face-to-face contact with like-minded people.

 “VicNoTill has always been about learning together and sharing what we learn. Although we’ve tried to do this online as much as possible over the past couple of years, it’s still not the same as getting together in person.

“We are proud to continue our genuine approach to farmers helping farmers and can’t wait to see some new faces as well as old at the conference.”