Kalfresh was started in 1992 by father and son team, Barry and Robert Hinrichsen at Kalbar in the Fassifern Valley south-west of Brisbane. Kalfresh has now expanded to properties across the Fassifern and Lockyer Valleys and Wallaville near Bundaberg, growing more than 600 hectares of carrots, beans, onions and pumpkins.
Kalfresh farming operations are managed by Robert Hinrichsen, who has a commitment to good farming techniques. Rob could see soil structure and biology declining under the standard intensive vegetable production practices. This was leading to increased production costs and soil disease issues, and an over reliance on soil fumigants such as metham sodium.
Six years ago, Rob and his team decided to focus on and adopt four key practices to improve the health of his soil and business:
- Controlled Traffic Farming (permanent beds)
- Compost and biological fertilisers
- Cover crops
- Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
Rob and the Soil Wealth team are now working together on the challenges of soil compaction, surface sealing and the soilborne disease pythium. At the Kalbar site demonstrations are being conducted on the potential benefits of variable rates of compost, cover cropping and a beneficial bacteria (QST 713).