A fact sheet to support the Soil CRC’s ‘Adoptability techniques and practices for soil management’ webinar, delivered as part of our ‘Building technical capacity for improved soil management’ webinar series.


In this webinar, Rural Sociologist and University of Tasmania Professor, Dr Vaughan Higgins, shares the development of an adoptability framework for soil management, helping farmer groups identify and address challenges related to adoption of soil management practices. Adoption priorities, challenges in adoption and the importance of local context are also discussed.

Adoption priorities

Dr Higgin’s Soil CRC research focuses on identifying adoption priorities and strategies for encouraging adoption of improved soil management in farming systems. It emphasises the importance of translating priorities into on-the-ground practices to ensure effective implementation.

Challenges in adoption

The study identifies key challenges faced in promoting adoption, including tensions between ethical farming practices and financial viability, limited funding for research and extension, disconnects between scientific priorities and local practices, and issues with data management and interpretation. Addressing these challenges is crucial for successful soil improvement initiatives.

Adoptability framework for soil management

The Soil CRC has developed an adoptability framework for soil management, which helps farming groups identify and address challenges related to soil adoption. It is intended to be a diagnostic tool for farming groups and other stakeholders to address local soil improvement priorities. It is also a social learning tool to facilitate discussions among stakeholders.

The framework uses four steps: 1) identifying soil improvement challenges, 2) considering possible innovations, 3) identifying adoptability drivers, and 4) proposing interventions. A traffic light system is used to categorise different drivers of adoptability.

Tailored adoptability frameworks

Through workshops with farming groups, the generic adoptability framework was tailored to specific regions. The tailored frameworks focused on local soil challenges and priorities, enabling better-targeted soil management resources and communications for improved adoption.

Further research and collaboration are needed to bridge the gap between government priorities and farmer adoption. One of the important steps is to focus on farmers and their adoption of technologies and practices.

Related Soil CRC projects

  • Project 1.2.002 Why soil management practices are adopted
  • Project 1.2.008 Packaging Soil CRC tools to enhance extension and adoption of improved soil management practices
  • Project 1.4.002 Building farmer innovation capability
  • Project 1.4.005 A new tool for assessing the benefits of adopting new farming practices.


This webinar was recorded in 2021 as part of the ‘Building technical capacity for improved soil management’ webinar series. It was produced by the Soil CRC and jointly funded through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Posted Apr 17, 2024