Soil Biology with Joel Williams

 

 

Understanding Soil Biology and Soil Health Lecture Series

With Joel Williams

 

Joel Williams is a passionate educator and crop and soil health consultant and who has worked between Australia and the UK for the past 12 years. Joel will be delivering a 1 day training event in 3 various locations nationwide. Joel will provide an in-depth training day to cover the organic and conventional farming. Topics that will be covered are Soil Health, Soil Management, Ecology. 

Bio:

Joel Williams is an independent crop and soil health consultant and educator providing educational services to primary producers on a range of soil and plant health related topics. He is a soils enthusiast and healthy soils advocate and a passionate presenter on soil biology, soil health and integrated approaches of sustainable farming. Joel has worked with both conventional and organic farms improving biological practices where he integrates soil chemical and biological assessments along with plant nutritional analysis as a joined-up strategy for farm management. Joel has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science specialising in crop and soil sciences and a keen interest in managing soil microbial ecology and plant & soil nutrition to optimise plant immunity, soil health and soil carbon sequestration. He has a passion for teaching and sharing both scientific and practical knowledge on sustainable growing practices and has previously lectured farming audiences in Australia, UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Latvia, South Africa, Kenya, Canada and the US.

  Reducing the Fertiliser Budget: Integrating Nutrition and Biology for Plant Health

 

·         Introduction: The Living Soil

o   Defining a healthy soil in the context of soil chemistry, physics and biology.

o   Introduction to the key groups of organisms in the soil ecosystem.

o   Understanding the role of soil biology toward nutrient supply and crop production.

o   Nutrient cycling, availability and extraction by plants.

o   Ecological Succession and fungal:bacterial balance.

o   Photosynthesis, root exudates and rhizosphere interactions.

o   Biological link to soil carbon sequestration, soil structure and nutrient acquisition.

o   Mycorrhizal fungi, glomalin, aggregation and disease suppression.

o   Soil disturbance – cultivation and no-till, impacts on carbon cycling, aggregation, how to offset negative effects of tillage to support soil life.

·         Making the most of soil: Unlocking soil nutrients and improving input efficiency

o   Leveraging existing soil fertility and optimising purchased inputs.

o   Understanding total, exchangeable, soluble nutrient pools.

o   Nutrient behaviour in soils; nutrient synergies/antagonisms.

o   Cover crops and green manures – diversity and digestion.

o   The biological link to foliar applied inputs – nutrition, photosynthesis and root exudates as drivers of soil health.

·         Managing manures, Composting and Compost Extracts

o   Composts vs manures.

o   The compost process – C:N ratio, microbial changes over time.

o   Composting summary – feedstocks, temperature, moisture, oxygen, turning.

o   Pile construction – practical account of how to make compost for soil application – windrow and static piles.

o   Compost maturation and using finished compost.

o   Practical manure management and compost making on a time budget.

o   Compost extracts and compost teas – production and practice.

·         Plant Health and Integrated Pest Management

o   Rethinking minerals and microbes – optimising photosynthesis, crop quality and pest and disease resistance – are we ‘thinking’ the right way about plant health and pest problems?

o   The management of disease, insects and weed pressure as an integrated nutritional and biological approach toward plant health.

o   Disease management and novel approaches to managing plant immune responses – biostimulants, bioinoculants, compost extracts.

o   Compost teas for plant health and disease management.

o   Plant nutrition – functions of essential minerals, nutrient mobility, deficiency diagnosis.

o   Weeds as indictors, fungal:bacterial ratio.

o   Integrating a holistic picture of soil health and plant health into a broader strategy of sustainable production.

 Fees include teas / Coffees & Light Lunch

To Book Contact National Organic Training Skillnet, You can pay over the phone or register at info@nots.ie tel 0719640688