With the guidance of a local company the Bellingen RSL Golf Club has cut its chemical bill by two-thirds, saving thousands of dollars and doing its bit to help the local environment. Course superintendent Noel Kerr said that with the help of a program devised by Bellingen company Agrisense, he had been able to substantially reduce the use of fertilisers and fungicides on the course. 'I used to spray every month, but I haven't sprayed any fungicides in three months', Mr Kerr said. We've been using Agrisense for the past 12 months and its definitely been terrific.

I'm a big fan.Marc Percival said that Agrisense offers biological and chemical soil analysis, remedies to restore life to soil and ongoing monitoring. The remedies are based around a biological liquid brewed from various composts, as well as a high level of aeration. Many of what are considered the normal practises of farming or horticulture put stress on your soil biota. Ploughing, using pesticides, driving on the soil and compressing it, they all change the soil's biota.

The big thing that has disappeared from the soil since we have been tilling is fungi - most soils are very bacterial. He said tests had shown the Bellingen Golf Course greens had a biological imbalance, typical of most golf courses in the area. Disease comes about because of imbalance Mr Percival said 'but Bellingen Golf Course has had no outbreaks of disease since they've been using our program.'

Bellingen Golf Course,

I am a Macadamia grower on the Mid North Coast with approximately 1800 trees under management. The main orchard was planted 1992 using mixed HAAS and Australian A series varieties grafted onto H2 rootstock. Research published by the Australian Macadamia Society and Queensland and NSW Agricultural Departments formed the basis of my specific horticultural knowledge and techniques. A system of industry best practices was implemented which included a program of annual soil testing with analysis and advice based on standard sampling and testing regimes.

In 2004 I observed a significant deterioration in the crop yield and kernel quality with no obvious cause being highlighted in the soil tests or horticultural practices. We engaged Marc Percival as our agronomist at this point. Marc immediately embarked on an intensive investigation which included soil health, tree nutrition and cation balancing. A number of major deficiencies in soil health and cation balancing were identified and a subsequent remedial program was put in place.

The end result was the restoration of our yields and kernel quality to above industry standards the following year. We have retained Marc on a continuing basis as our agronomist since this event and have been rewarded with high yields and kernel quality as a result of his programs and advice, a lot of which have now been adopted industry wide. We have also observed a measurable increase in orchard vitality and soil condition since Marc's techniques have been adopted.

D.Philips , Macadamia Grower NSW

Peter and I have engaged Marc Percival to assist us on our Macadamia Farm with Soil and Leaf Analysis and Fertiliser Recommendations and Compost Teas since the end of 2003.

The health of our soil and hence our Macadamia Trees have improved dramatically under Marc's guidance. 18 months ago our new slope of 1200 young (average 6 yrs) Macadamia Trees, all became yellow, sparse and sickly.

A leaf and root analysis failed to give a decisive diagnosis. Marc prescribed a fertiliser & soil health regeneration regime that completely turned these trees around. From looking like they were all dying, they are now green, flushing well and laden with nuts. We have always found Marc to be very responsive to requests and timeframes.

We wish to become organic certified in the future and Marc has been active in researching and suggesting ways to achieve this. Marc is very personable, knowledgeable and helpful and we are happy to recommend him to other growers.

Susan Ranking, Macadamia Grower NSW