BioResources currently has two Landcare projects underway and has just (Feb 2021) been granted extensions. :-)
These projects are more focused on extension and on-farm decision making rather than research,
although there is some plant and insect surveying and soil analysis.
1. Dark macadamia orchard renovation, Northern Rivers
The Harris farm near Bangalow is undergoing a transition from close planted trees with little inter row to row removal and utilisation of cover crops to rejuvenate the soil and improve water penetration and water holding capacity, reduce run off as well as provide resources for beneficial insects and pollinators.
We are also doing some out of scope work at this site on macadamia lace bugs. Looking at lacebug behaviour and its natural enemies.
This farm was part of our recently completed Hort Innovation Project. See the report here in PDF: Report Planted Insectaries
Also Rex Harris is a keen Twitter follower and has great pics and video on his account including videos of the cover crops, direct seeding and crimper roller in action.
You dont need to have Twitter account. Go to: Rex Harris Twitter page
The project also monitors cover crop and insectary developments at other farms in the district and will present various media and farm visits as the project proceeds.
See some pics of another farm at Lindendale NSW in PDF: Planted insectaries Lindendale
2. Establishment and management of inter-rows & cover crops in young farms, Bundaberg.
This project engages with growers establishing new blocks of macadamias and trying to utilise cover crop techniques to improve soils. Its a challenging environment - long dry spells make cover crop establishment very difficult without irrigation especially winter crops. Irrigation options are being trialed.
This project involves engaging with these issues with the growers and trying to find a way through as the benefits of cover crops are well recognised.
Cover crops Northern Rivers
Young Crops Bundaberg
Inter-row management to aid beneficial arthropods and improve soil health