Queensland farmers can continue using composts and other organic products on farm following continued advocacy by the Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) and industry members.
After a three-year review of the regulated waste classification and the waste-related Environmentally Relevant Activity frameworks, the Department of Environment and Science specified a clear exemption for on-farm composting within the waste management licencing framework.
QFF President Stuart Armitage said farmers recognised the need to improve soil structure and supply organic nutrients.
“While many farmers have amended their soils and improved soil quality through the application of their own-manufactured composts, the sector has never had a clear exemption for this common-sense activity,” Mr Armitage said.
“Composts and other organic products can assist soils to retain moisture, particularly during prolonged dry periods, and provide crucial, slow-release nutrients to crops that can lead to long-term yield and on-farm productivity increases.”
“Composts are also a useful tool to help farmers meet sustainability outcomes associated with best management practice as they help to build natural soil fertility. They can also reduce the use of inorganic fertilisers in some soils, reducing input costs as a result.”
However, QFF was disappointed the organic material processing regulations now include new licensing requirements for facilities that operate an anaerobic digester.
“QFF has been working with farmers and rural communities to recognise the importance of farm sustainability and to grow and develop the resource recovery sector in Queensland.”
“These new requirements may seriously impede future investment in Queensland’s bioenergy sector which offers great opportunities for agriculture.”