A Sustainable Farming System through improved understanding of soil quality

  • Sarah Tholstrup of Liebe Group presenting the project at Blues for the Bush 2014

  • Sarah Tholstrup of Liebe Group with Luke Bayley of Gunduwa

Project Description


This project will improve our understanding of the impacts of farming on soil microbiology by comparing remnant vegetation to farming land in the shires of Perenjori, Dalwallinu, Wongan-Ballidu and Coorow. Results from this project will have implication to the mining sector and land across WA.


10 paired sites of different soil types and farming systems will be analysed for a number of soil properties such as microbial biomass, organic carbon, soil disease, pH, soil strength, nutrient analysis and soil structure.

Once the biological differences between remnant vegetation and agricultural soils is identified the research community can move forward to develop interventions to begin process of soil health improvement. Collaboration between landholders and researchers to create better understanding of the health of their soil and the impact agricultural practices has had on this.


The study showed that soils with remnant vegetation did not differ significantly when analysing key chemical and biological properties. The implementation of best management practices such as liming, minimium till and targeted fertiliser applications ensures agricultural soils are sustainable. Results also indicate that the rehabilitation approach taken by Mount Gibson Mining has returned the sites soil chemistry and biological properties to near remnant. Download this paper about the Project Results for more information.


Project Details

  • OrganisationLiebe Group
  • Year2014
  • Funding$20,000