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Biodiversity for profit

Landholders can learn how they can improve – and profit – from effective natural resource management on their farm at a one-day conference in Dubbo on June 19.

Hosted by Central West Local Land Services, the conference is bringing industry professionals and farmers to explain how and why landholders should actively manage biodiversity to boost profitability.

Central West Local Land Services General Manager, Andrew Mulligan said topics covered on the day would include improving soil fertility and production capacity, farm resilience against climatic changes and weather events, and opportunities to profit from conservation agreements.

“The aim is to have open discussions and informative talks to relate what we know about effective resource management so people can implement these practices on farm,” Mr Mulligan said.

“There is an impressive line-up of speakers and well-known agricultural scientist (and former judge on ABC television series The New Inventors) Chris Russell will MC the day.”

The conference will be at Lazy River Estate, Dubbo on Tuesday 19 June from 9am to 3.30pm. Registration and the full program is available online at tinyurl.com/biodiversityforprofit.

Two families will share their experience from a farmer’s perspective, including sheep and cattle farmer, Colin Seis and Coonamble grower Anne Williams.

Since replacing chemical fertilisers with organic amendments designed to help improve soil biodiversity in 2007, the Williams family has seen significant increases to production yields.

Colin Seis will explain how adopting regenerative agriculture practices has changed the way his family runs their merino sheep and cattle operation.

"Regenerative agriculture has turned profit, productivity, and resilience around on our farm enterprises and I look forward to sharing this knowledge with conference delegates," Mr Seis said.

Industry professionals will also present their knowledge and apply it to the Central West region, including Dr Kate Andrews, Executive Officer for NRM Regions Australia who supports the international understanding that conservation and profitability are not mutually exclusive but are mutually dependent and mutually beneficial.

Dr Neal Hughes, Manager of the Climate and Water Economics section at the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) is also on the agenda.

“Central West farmers are heavily affected by climate variability and in particular the occurrence of droughts. Effective natural resource management on farm enterprises can help buffer against these events,” Mr Hughes said.

ENDS - Media contact: Donna Ambler, Central West Local Land Services, Phone: 0400 258 690