In the same way people and machinery are vital assets to a farm business, so too is your soil, explains agroecologist David Hardwick.
And, like any capital asset, if you don't keep it in good condition, the business is compromised, he says.
Exploring ways to regenerate and manage soil for productive rural businesses will be the focus of a three-day "boot camp" at Bowna property, Bibbaringa, from July 27 to 29.
The Digging Deeper: Soil Essentials is a hands-on soil skills training program where participants learn to read soil tests, assess soil in the paddock and make effective soil decisions for their properties.
Mr Hardwick, a former lecturer at the TAFE environmental centre at Thurgoona and renowned soil health expert, says his work has "gone nuts" in recent years as more farmers embrace holistic management practices.
From sugar cane to dairy farming (often working with local Landcare groups), his focus is to help farmers build on their own skill set.
"Unfortunately commercial agronomy has become more sales driven," Mr Hardwick said.
"We want to help people identify their own soil issues so they spend money in the right place at the right time."
In the past five years there has been a growing openness among more conventional farmers about regenerative agriculture, according to Mr Hardwick, who points out the early pioneers were changing their practices at the start of the 1990s.
He describes regenerative agriculture as a "21st century, science based way of farming".
"It applies an ecological approach to agriculture, working with the ecology of your farm to achieve profitable production along with looking after the natural capital of your business, your soils, water and vegetation, for long term-resilience," he said.
The Bowna boot camp - to be held in the woolshed at Bibbaringa, an ecological beef production property - is one of several intensive courses coming up in the Riverina and Murray regions.
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