Sustainable land management

Healthy Landscapes: Practical Regenerative Agricultural Communities

We have introduced the Practical Regenerative Agricultural Communities program to raise awareness about sustainable management practices that improve soil health, reduce exposure to climate risk, enhance biodiversity and increase productivity. 

The program focuses on supporting landholders to identify and implement appropriate regenerative agricultural practices on-farm to build biodiversity and contribute to carbon sequestration.

About the program

What is regenerative agriculture?

Regenerative agriculture is a system of farming principles and practices that increases biodiversity, enriches soils and improves the water cycle. It is based on five key pillars:  

  • Don’t disturb the soil (utilise no-till agricultural methods) 
  • Keep a living root below the soil 
  • Keep green growing cover above the soil
  • Diversify the crop rotation (multi-species cover cropping)  
  • Integrate animals into the farming system

Regenerative agriculture aims to capture carbon in soil, trees and vegetation contributing to carbon sequestration while also increasing on-farm resilience to climate variability.  

What is regenerative grazing?

Regenerative grazing aims to increase perennial pasture species, including native grasses, while also increasing species diversity, by integrating livestock into the system. Landholders incorporate high-intensity grazing regimes followed by long rest periods, the approach increases the organic matter in soils and facilitates all-year-round ground cover, protecting soils from sunlight and erosion. This approach increases soil health and improves water retention and drainage. Livestock benefit from a consistent and complete diet, which results in improved health and productivity.

What is on-farm biodiversity?

Biodiversity refers to the diversity of life forms on a property, a locality and your region. This includes the micro-organisms found in soils and water, fungi, plants, insects, birds and all other animals that live on land, in rivers and wetlands.

These life forms interact between themselves and with the non-living parts of the environment to form ecosystems. Healthy ecosystems benefit farms by maintaining soil and water quality, providing shelter and a balanced diet for livestock while assisting with reducing pests and diseases. In turn, on-farm biodiversity has the potential to connect positively with the ecosystems of neighbouring properties and surrounding bushland.  

The Practical Regenerative Agricultural Communities Program aims to:   

  • Improve soil health
  • Improve groundcover through grazing
  • Improve biodiversity on-farm
  • Improve waterway health
  • Improve productivity

The program consists of: 

  • Individual, on-farm advice to landholders
  • A series of webinars, workshops and field days
  • A holistic grazing management short course
  • Farmer discussion groups
Eligibility

All land managers in Macedon Ranges Shire, Hepburn Shire and the City of Greater Bendigo are eligible to participate. Priority for individual, on-farm advice will be given to properties over two hectares in area.  

Individual advice is practical and matched to landholders with any experience level and livestock including, but not limited to, cattle, sheep, horses, pigs and alpacas.

Program contacts

Sally Beer, Agribusiness Officer, City of Greater Bendigo

[email protected]

Jason McAinch, Private Land Conservation Officer, Macedon Ranges Shire Council 

0455 210 436

Book a free property visit, please fill in the expression of interest form.

 

Program partners

This program is being delivered as a partnership between:

  • Macedon Ranges Shire Council
  • City of Greater Bendigo
  • Hepburn Shire Council
  • North Central Catchment Management Authority
  • Melbourne Water
  • Upper Campaspe Landcare Network

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