Field Trips

We are pleased to offer the following Field Trips for participants in the 2018 National Soils Conference. Please note that Field Trips are not included as part of full conference registration fees; participation fees for each trip are listed below. You can book a field trip when you register to attend the conference.

Places are limited for each trip, so ensure that you book early to ensure you do not miss out on your preferred Field Trip

Riverina Branch 2-Day Pre-Conference Field Trip 17 – 18th November

Organisers: Susan Orgill, Sam North, Jason Condon, John Angus, Sergio Moroni, Guangdi Li

Depart: Canberra 17th Nov 2018 at 0800 (overnight accommodation in Wagga Wagga)
Arrive: Canberra 18th Nov 2018 at 1700

Cost: $380 inc GST per person. Inclusions: accommodation, lunch and dinner (day 1), breakfast and lunch (day 2).

The south-west slopes region of New South Wales is a highly productive and diverse agricultural region. Mixed farming dominates in a climate with significant summer rainfall, with dryland cropping and pastures for sheep and cattle. Reliable rainfall makes it a productive and safe agricultural region, but a consequence of this is that it is also one of the most highly cleared and altered lands in the state. Major soil constraints in this region are soil acidity, nutrient deficiency and nutrient stratification, with small but significant areas of compaction, surface crusting and sodicity. Field trip participants will be joined by leading soil, crop and pasture researchers from Charles Sturt University, NSW Department of Primary Industries and CSIRO who integrate soil science with agronomy and plant physiology to increase agricultural productivity.

This field trip will include stops at the following locations:

Day 1
– Harden to hear about CSIRO (Kirkegaard et al.) long-term tillage, stubble management and nutrient trials
– Wattle Flat, Stockinbingal – John Angus. View two soil pits separated by 1-2 km on a gentle slope (1 in ~400) and discuss the reason for the poor crop productivity at the lower site. Maybe shallower rooting depth and less available soil water due to subsurface sodicity.
– Temora to inspect an on-farm large-scale field site using various soil organic and inorganic amendments to manage subsoil acidity at a joint site with NSW DPI and Farmlink Research (Li et al.)
– Dinner, tasting and guest speaker at the Wine and Grape Centre at CSU

Day 2
– Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga to view the rhizolysimeter research facilities (Moroni et al). The CSU Rhizolysimeter Facility is the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. This stop will include a presentation from Dr Sergio Moroni (CSU) about using the rhizolysimeter to quantify the root and water dynamics of diverse canola germplasm that may be suitable to early sowing in environments with a dry finish (Optimised Canola Profitability Project).
– Cootamundra to hear about innovative strategies to manage subsoil acidity at a NSW DPI long-term site (Li et al.)

WEDNESDAY 21 NOVEMBER – Winery Field Trip to the Yass Valley

Delegates at the 2018 National Soils Conference in Canberra are invited to participate in a soils-winery field trip to the Yass Valley, NSW, with a chance to taste some great wines from two of Canberra’s best known vineyards, Clonakilla and Gallaghers. You will also learn more about the age old debate about how important (or not) the soil (or, as the French would say, the ‘terroir’) is for making a great wine. Richard Greene (Emeritus Academic at the ANU) and Peter Fogarty (local soil consultant) will be the guides for the day.

Besides learning about the soils at the two vineyards, we will visit two roadside stops to give you some background to the origin of the soils in the region. Peter Fogarty and Richard Greene will discuss the contribution of windblown (aeolian) fine silt to the development of vineyard soils in the region. These aeolian deposits (also named “parna”) which overlay the parent geology are thought to be critical in determining the properties of the wines.

Depart: 9:00am from Hyatt Hotel Canberra

Return: 5:00pm (approx) to Hyatt Hotel Canberra.

Cost:  $120 inc GST per person Inclusions: bus transportation, talks from the wine makers and the two guides on vineyard soils, wine tasting, morning tea and lunch, and field guide.

  (Roadside Aeolian deposit at Yass Valley)

WEDNESDAY 21 NOVEMBER – Urban Soils Field Trip (Canberra)

Canberra prides itself on being progressive and innovative, and this means more than marriage equality and cultural holidays. New soil science technologies and project management techniques are used at a number of sites across Canberra to maximise the benefit of the soils encountered, preserve Canberra’s natural features, and minimise soil waste—potentially big problems in a city subject to intense urban development.

Delegates at the 2018 National Soils Conference are invited to participate in an Urban soils trip in the ACT region where they will explore how urban soil science has been used to

  1. landscape Canberra’s newest infrastructure projects;
  2. transform thousands of tonnes of slurry into reusable soils; and
  3. transform some of the most contaminated industrial sites in Canberra into a sophisticated up-market suburb.

We’ll travel via Canberra’s new Light Rail (if it’s ready on time) and via bus. We will talk while we go over some of Canberra’s unique soil features which have been protected from development including arsenic laden gossens, acid sulfide rock deposits, the pedoderm, and its paleochannels. Your hosts for the trip are: Julia Jasonsmith (Murrang Earth Sciences), John O’Brien (Agon Environmental), and Kelly Lee (SESL Australia).

(image: Light Rail Construction: courtesy of Canberra Metro )

Depart:  8:30am from Hyatt Hotel Canberra

Return: 3:30pm (approx.) to Hyatt Hotel Canberra

Cost: $120 inc GST per person. Inclusions: bus and light rail transport, field guide, morning tea and lunch plus an ice cream stop. 

You’ll need to be wearing sturdy shoes and capable of walking for up to an hour at a time at some of the field sites, and you also need to bring a hat, sun-cream, and have a drink bottle.

WEDNESDAY 21 NOVEMBER – Young Horticultural Field Trip

This tour is organized by Roy Lawrie and Brian Jenkins, members of the NSW Soil Knowledge Network, a group of mainly retired soil scientists who are still active in promoting soils through various activities. The tour will travel to Young, an agriculturally productive district 150 km northwest of Canberra and notable for its deep red soils (dermosols, chromosols and kandosols). Soil related issues to be discussed will include aspects of soil formation, dust accessions, salinity, and management for fruit production, with a focus on grapes and cherries. Participants will have the opportunity to sample local products of the district (Hilltops Region) particularly wine and fresh-picked, early season cherries.

Depart:  8:30am from Hyatt Hotel Canberra

Return: 6:30pm (approx.) to Hyatt Hotel Canberra

Cost: $120 inc GST per person. Inclusions: bus travel and field guide, and entry to various farms, vineyards and orchards. The tour is fully catered, including morning tea and lunch. 

You’ll need to be wearing sturdy shoes and bring a hat, sun-cream, and have a drink bottle.
Numbers on the trip are limited so you need to book early.