The Mulloon Institute recently hosted scientists and students with research interests in regenerative agriculture and the use of precision technologies for large-scale landscape restoration, carbon drawdown and improvement of agricultural productivity.
The group included Professor Justin Borevitz from the Borevitz Lab at Australian National University and students Kirsty Yeates and Ming-Dao Chia, along with James Murray from BioCarbon Engineering in the UK. BioCarbon Engineering is an innovative organisation using drones for large-scale ecosystem restoration projects, including mapping and identifying potential zones for seeding of trees and shrubs remotely.
At Mulloon Creek Natural Farms, they visited the Natural Sequence Farming (NSF) pilot project where rehydration works and bioengineering are helping to restore landscape function and boost productivity and environmental outcomes. The riparian zone they viewed around Peter’s Pond has had a proliferation of vegetation since rehydration works were established in 2007, creating significant increases in productivity and diversity, equating to an increase in bio-carbon.
The group also visited hill country on the farm where a step diffusion system has been implemented to rehydrate and regenerate a degraded gully system. Despite very little rain since its installation in March 2018, the site already shows signs of regeneration with a good mix of vegetation growth, including some summer grass species still surviving despite winter frosts thanks to localised micro-climate conditions and water retention in the landscape.
Honours student Ming-Dao captured drone footage of the step diffusion system showing the three different zones that have been re-established as steps to slow down water; infiltration (aided by trees), agricultural (pasture, vegetables), and filtration to ensure water is cleaned before moving further down the system.
Thanks to Luke Peel, Michael Fitzgerald and Scott Middlebrook from Mulloon who were on hand during the tour to explain various aspects of the works being shown.