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Through Maarten’s research work, discussions with Landcare groups and a wide range of farmers, he has come to the belief that science must take a broader view to achieve the sustainable development of agricultural industries.

To achieve this we have to look at the whole farming system - where everything is linked to everything else.

The main focus of Maarten’s work is helping farmers improve the profitability of their operations by harnessing the power of natural soil processes, improving their use of inputs and understanding those practices that negatively impact on soil health. A healthy soil produces better crops and pastures, requiring less fertilisers and agro-chemicals for similar productivity, and resulting in healthier feed for animals and healthier food for humans.

Biological agriculture leads to higher biodiversity on farms and a greatly reduced impact on catchment environments. This process can achieve a doubling of the organic carbon content of the soil, and, if practised Australia-wide, could capture most CO2 released in the country and slow climate change.