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


In this webinar, Southern Cross University Senior Lecturer, Dr Hanabeth Luke, shares the preliminary data from the ongoing Soil CRC Surveying farm practices project, including the co-design process of the survey with the community. The focus is on the social, economic, and environmental factors that drive farmer decision-making, across multiple regions nationally.

This webinar relates to the first stage of the project (1.2.004), and the results for the surveyed landholders in North Central Victoria, the Eyre Peninsula of South Australia, and the Northern Wheatbelt region of Western Australia.

Project aim

The Surveying farm practices project aims to understand why some farmers engage in certain practices while others don’t. It focuses on economic, environmental, and social factors, to improve engagement between grower groups and their growers and drive future research strategies.

The surveys conducted in collaboration with local partners aim to identify and address the motivations for change in farming practices, support strategic planning for grower groups, and ultimately improve soil stewardship and productivity in Australian landscapes.

About the survey

The survey methodology includes national spatially referenced data, allowing for the analysis of the relationship between farmers’ practices and soil type.

The surveys are designed in collaboration with local partners to address region-specific topics and gather information on demographics and practices, providing a comprehensive understanding of the farming community.

The key priorities identified in the survey were understanding how to come together as a group, addressing the needs of young farmers, and building farm resilience and adaptability for the future.

Research findings

Preliminary findings include:

  • The number one priority for farmers is to pass on a healthy and sustainable farm for future generations.
  • Water security emerged as a significant concern for farmers, highlighting the impact of changing climate on agricultural practices.
  • Other farmers are an important source of knowledge and trust in the agricultural community, highlighting the significance of knowledge sharing and trust in organisations and government departments.
  • Younger farmers in South Australia are more likely to involve others in decision making, feel less supported in their farming activities, and are less involved in industry groups
  • Across regions, farmers value passing on a healthier farm for future generations, looking after their family’s needs, creating wealth, and preventing pollution.
  • Only half of farmers in Australia conduct soil testing, highlighting a lack of knowledge and adoption of some essential practices, but collaborations with local partners aim to address this issue and improve soil stewardship and productivity in Australian landscapes.

Further information

Information about the Surveying farm practices project and related reports can be found on the Soil CRC website:



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