A La Trobe University researcher is unlocking the potential of central Victoria’s organic waste, as part of a two-year project aiming to improve agricultural practices and mitigate climate change.
Dr Jim Radford, from the Research Centre for Future Landscapes, is taking the kerbside-collected food and garden waste generated by residents in City of Greater Bendigo and Campaspe Shire and processed by local contractor, Biomix and spreading it over five local farms. Dr Radford said he hopes the organic compost will improve the soil enough to increase carbon draw-down from the atmosphere into the soil, where it will remain in solid form.
“We are measuring how the soil responds, particularly how its biology and structure changes,” Dr Radford said. “Our hope is that the compost will increase the soil’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by super-charging the soil microbes that are already present.”
The organic compost is being spread across the trial sites located on cattle farms in Stanhope, Raywood, Kyabram and Arnold. Each site is around seven hectares. DELWP Community and Partnerships Program Manager, Geoff Caine, said local research of this kind plays a vital role in addressing climate change on a larger scale. “If this project yields significant results, it creates an opportunity to reuse waste and create greater resilience for some farming systems, particularly organic farming,” Mr Caine said.