SOIL FOODWEB INSTITUTESoil Rehab Specialists Since 1986
Soil Foodweb is an international soil biology group providing laboratory soil testing and soil biology consultancy services.  It was founded by Dr Elaine Ingham, a leading international soil microbiologist.  The systems developed by Dr Ingham have been designed to analyse the microbiology present in soil samples and to develop appropriate responses to achieve desired levels and balances of soil microbiology.

The Soil Foodweb Institute have been soil rehabilitation specialists since 1986.

By utilising our services you will learn how you can manage and maintain a balanced and healthy soil.

A key benefit of using the SFI methodology is the reduction of artificial chemical inputs and an increase in the soil biology. Disease suppression is substantially enhanced and water usage generally declines.

The team at SFI is fully committed to assisting growers achieve true sustainable soil fertility without the need for toxic and costly chemicals, thereby enabling you to improve crop yields and the returns on your investment. You’d be amazed at how cost effective our programs actually are and how beneficial it can be to have a professional on your team to guide you through the processes involved. In effect Soil Foodweb Institute offers a window into plant-soil and foliar relationships.

PLEASE SEND ALL SAMPLES TO: Po Box 318 Millicent, SA, 5280, Australia

                                                          Ph: 08 87334457 or 02 66225150 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Our new address is 12 Ridge Terrace, Millicent, SA, 5280



2nd, 3rd & 4th of June (Tues, Wed, Thurs) 2020 being held at 12 Ridge Terrace, Millicent, SA 5280

Applying SFI Methodology to Create Compost, Compost Tea and Analysing the Tea Created - 3 day, face to face


Intermediate Microscope Course

5th, 6th & 7th of June (Fri, Sat, Sun) June 2020 being held at 12 Ridge Terrace, Millicent, SA 5280

Book in for just one or both workshops

 <<< Just click the Workshops, Courses and Webinar menu to your left for more detail or go to the Online Shop to book your spot!.  

Achieving the right biology enhances these key functions:

Disease protection – minimizes to eliminate the need for pesticides

Nutrient immobilization – reduces leaching of nutrients from your soil

Nutrient availability – optimal forms in the right place at the right time

Decomposition of toxins – removes harmful residues

Root health, root depth, water retention, aerobic conditions in soil and improved soil structure – less watering needed, lessen your dependence on fertilizers

If you don’t know what organisms are present in your soil and on your plants’ leaves, then much of your management is being left to chance!

Chief science officer: Dr. Elaine Ingham - General Manager: Chris Ellery

Business Development : David Ellery

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About These Terms and Conditions

In these Terms and Conditions "we" and "us" mean Soil Foodweb Institute Pty Ltd ACN 137 827 395 and "you" means you the customer.

These Terms and Conditions together with your Order constitute the entire Contract between us and you for the supply of Products. The Contract cannot be varied unless we agree to vary it in writing or by email.

Australian Sales Only

We only sell and ship Products within Australia and New Zealand. We will not make deliveries outside of these regions.

Legal Capacity to Transact

If you are under the age eighteen (18) years you cannot place orders with us.

By accepting these Terms and Conditions you acknowledge that you are over the age of eighteen (18) years.

Should Soil Foodweb Institute suffer any damage or other losses as a result of a transaction entered into by a minor, Soil Foodweb Institute reserves the right to seek compensation for such losses from the parents or guardians of the minor who caused any order(s) to be placed with Soil Foodweb Institute.

Placing Your Order

You may place an Order by filling in the Order Form on the Soil Foodweb Institute Web Site and clicking the "Submit My Order" button.

When you place your Order, we will issue you with an Order Number. We will do this by email.

By placing an Order, you make an offer to us to purchase the Products you have selected based on these Terms and Conditions. Information contained on the Soil Foodweb Institute website constitutes an invitation to treat. No information on our website constitutes or should be deemed as an offer by us to supply any Products; however Soil Foodweb Institute will make every effort to supply Products to you. We will notify you that your order is being processed by sending you an Order Confirmation and tax invoice via email; however, we do not formally accept your offer until your order has passed our internal validation procedures for verifying the bona fides of each order placed, for the purpose of preventing credit card or payment fraud. Soil Foodweb International and its affiliates reserve the right to refuse service, terminate accounts, remove or edit content, or cancel orders in their sole discretion. We will confirm acceptance of your order when we send you an email confirming shipment of the goods you have ordered. If we cannot process or accept your Order after payment is received we will contact you by email or telephone.

Payment Methods and Processing

Soil Foodweb Institute currently only accepts PayPal as a means to make payment on line.

Payment processing will not begin until we receive all the information we need.

Orders placed on a weekend or a Public holiday will not begin payment processing until the next business day. Business days are Monday through Friday, excluding NSW Public holidays.

We process PayPal payments after you click the "Submit My Order" button.

For PayPal payments we will email a tax invoice to you with your Order Confirmation. Your tax invoice is your proof of purchase.


Soil Foodweb Institute purchases include GST.


Soil Foodweb Institute always seeks to list Products with the most competitive prices.

Soil Foodweb Institute reserves the right to change prices for Products displayed at Soil Foodweb Institute at any time.

Supply of Your Products

Subject to these Terms and Conditions, we will supply to you the Products indicated on your Order Confirmation.

When your Order items have been dispatched, we will email you to confirm shipment of each item including a tracking number for each item.

Delivery of Your Products

Delivery time takes up to 10 working days from the date your payment is received. The estimated delivery times are in business days (Monday through Friday) excluding Public holidays.

Although every effort is made to ship your Order according to the estimated delivery times provided, estimated ship times may change due to changes in supply or circumstances beyond our control. If your Product has not arrived after the estimated delivery time, please contact us here.

Unless otherwise agreed by us, we will deliver your Products to the address indicated on your Order Confirmation. If no-one is available to take delivery of your Products, our carrier (Australia Post eParcel) will leave a card so you can pick-up your Product from your local Post Office. Where delivery is by our courier service and no-one is available to take delivery, they will leave a card requesting you to telephone them to arrange a suitable time and date for delivery.

We will use our reasonable efforts to deliver your Products to you within the estimated delivery time indicated on your Order Confirmation; however, we do not guarantee that we will deliver within this time frame.

Title and risk of loss to all Products will pass to you on delivery.


Soil Foodweb Institute in its absolute discretion may from time to time provide discount Coupons to existing and/or new customers.

Coupons can only be used towards the payment of Products on our website.

Coupons can only be used in accordance with the Terms and Conditions under which the Coupons are issued. Any Terms and Conditions governing the use of a coupon will accompany that Coupon. Soil Foodweb Institute will determine the content of Terms and Conditions governing Coupons in its absolute discretion.

Where a Coupon is used towards the payment of a Product (or Products):

  1. There may be an outstanding balance due on the Product; and
  2. You must thereafter pay any outstanding balance due on the Product by PayPal.

"Refunded Credits"

We may credit "Your Account" with a Refund Credit from time to time. Soil Foodweb Institute will only provide Refund Credits under the Terms and Conditions detailed under "Your Rights to Return a Product".

Where "Your Account" holds Refund Credits and you place an Order for a Product or Products but you have insufficient Refund Credits to apply towards the outstanding balance due on the Product (or Products), you must pay any remaining outstanding balance due on the Product by PayPal.

You can only request to redeem the full amount of your Refund Credits held in "Your Account". To redeem your Refund Credits contact Customer Service via email. We will only redeem Refund Credits by issuing a cheque sent to your mailing address.

If you cancel a contract because of a breach of statutory condition (eg if the Product is Dead on Arrival), a refund will be payable.

Returning a Product

If you change your mind about a purchase or make an incorrect choice, we will provide you with a store credit for unopened products within 14 days. This excludes all delivery costs.

If the Product is damaged we have indicated below what you should do and how Soil Foodweb Institute will respond to the problem.

Soil Foodweb Institute will not provide a refund or replace a product that has been misused, or mishandled.

For further assistance with product returns, please visit our Customer Service Help Centre.

Return Authorisation Number - A Must Have

A Return Authorisation (RA) number is required for replacement Products and refunds.

Where Customer Service has provisionally determined that a Product is DOA, DSAA or LD, Customer Service will issue you with an RA. Products cannot be returned without an RA. The Product should be returned to Soil Foodweb Institute within 30 calendar days of the issuance of the RA. Where possible, all Products must be packed in the original, unmarked packaging including any accessories, manuals, documentation and registration that shipped with the Product.

When a Replacement Product is arranged:

  • A replacement for the same Product that you ordered will be shipped to you at our expense after we have received your returned item(s).
  • The delivery time for the replacement Product will be the same as stated for the original product.

Our Liability

We will not be liable for any loss of income, loss of profits, loss of contracts, loss of data or for any indirect or consequential loss or damage of any kind howsoever arising and whether caused by tort (including negligence), breach of contract or otherwise.

Our maximum aggregate liability for any Product supplied to you whether in contract, tort (including negligence) or otherwise shall in no circumstances exceed the amount payable by you to us in respect of the Product(s) in question.

Your Data - Use And Protection

By placing your Order, you agree that we may store, process and use data collected from your Order Form for the purposes of processing your Order. If you so indicate on the appropriate section of your Order Form, by placing your Order you also agree that we may use such data, other than credit card details, in order to provide you with information from time to time on other Soil Foodweb International Products that may be of interest to you. If you do not agree to our using such data in order to provide you with information on other Soil Foodweb Institute Products, you should indicate your non-agreement on the appropriate section of your Order Form. You may obtain a copy of the data held by us concerning you on request in writing. We reserve the right to charge an administration fee for processing such request. If any data held by us concerning you is incorrect, we will correct it on your written request. Please refer to our Privacy Statement.


You shall not assign any rights and obligations under these Terms and Conditions whether in whole or in part without the prior written consent of Soil Foodweb Institute. Any unauthorised assignment shall be deemed null and void.

If any provision of these Terms and Conditions is held by any competent authority to be invalid or unenforceable in whole or in part, the validity of the other provisions of these Terms and Conditions and the remainder of the provisions in question shall not be affected thereby.

Neither our failure nor your failure to enforce any Term or Condition constitutes a waiver of such Term or Condition. Such failure shall in no way affect the right to later enforce such Term or Condition.

Soil Foodweb Institute reserves the right to change the Terms and Conditions of sale at any time.

No Soil Foodweb Institute employee or agent has the authority to vary any of the Terms and Conditions governing any sale.

Force Majeure

Soil Foodweb Instutute shall not be liable for any delay in performing any of its obligations under these Terms and Conditions if such delay is caused by circumstances beyond the reasonable control of Soil Foodweb Institute, and Soil Foodweb Institute shall be entitled to a reasonable extension of time for the performance of such obligations.

Governing Law

These Terms and Conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of New South Wales and shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of New South Wales.

The Soil Foodweb Tick of Approval indicates that a product or service offered by a supplier meets the exacting standards established by SFI.  Buyers and clients can be assured that companies holding the SFI TOA provide products or services in accordance with the latest in soil science, and at levels superior to standard regulations relating to agricultural inputs and their management.

You can find products with the Soil Foodweb Tick of Approval in the left-hand menu.

If you are interested in having your product or service approved, or you would like to find out more about the Tick of Approval in the menu item underneath this page on the left , click here for full details of the SFI Tick of Approval/certification program in hard copy to print or download or please call us on (02) 66225150 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Glossary of Soil Health Terms


Fungi are comprised of microscopic cells that grow in long threads called hyphae.  Fungal hyphae bind soil particles into macro-aggregates which increase the soil’s ability to absorb and retain water.  Fungi also play an important role in the breaking down of organic matter into useful forms and assists in nutrient retention and disease suppression.

 BacteriaBacteria also play a vital role in breaking down organic matter, maintaining the soils ability to retain nutrients, assisting in disease suppression and helping improve soil structure by forming micro-aggregates.  Certain types of bacteria also undertake a range of other functions including the breaking down of toxic compounds and assisting with nitrogen fixation.
active fungal and bacterial biomass At SFI we measure active fungal and bacterial biomass in addition to total fungal and bacterial biomass.  Active biomass is a measure of the organisms that are metabolising or “doing the work”.  Fungi and bacteria are active when food resources are available and conditions are favourable (eg. moisture, temperature, etc).  If activity is low then organisms may need feeding. To assess active organisms a dye is used that the active organisms take up so that they become easier to identify (pictured).
 ProtozoaProtozoa are single celled organisms that primarily consume bacteria and release nutrients in forms that can readily be absorbed by plants.  There are three different groups of protozoa in soil - flagellates, amoebae and ciliates.  If a soil contains a large number of ciliates this indicates it is in an anaerobic / compacted condition.
 NematodesNematodes are classified in a number of functional groups based on their food source - fungal, bacterial, or root feeders.  There are also predatory nematodes that eat other nematodes.  The majority of nematodes are beneficial as they form an integral part of the soil food web.  They convert nutrients into plant available forms by consuming either fungi or bacteria.  Beneficial nematodes also consume disease causing organisms, and are an important food source for larger organisms.  The presence of root feeding nematodes in high numbers is an indication that the soil food web is in a degraded state.
 Mycorrhizal fungi Mycorrhizal fungi colonise the roots of most plant species, forming a mutually beneficial relationship that has a significant role in nutrient uptake and protects against root feeding nematodes and pathogens.  Mycorrhizal fungi are especially important in supplying plant available phosphorus.  Many studies have documented a decrease in mycorrhizal colonisation when soluble phosphorus levels are high, usually as a result of excessive use of inorganic fertilisers.
Pictures from top to bottom: Fungal hyphae; Bacteria (cocci); Active Fungi on leaf surface; Protozoa – amoebae bottom right of picture and two amoebae cysts; Fungal-feeding nematode; Vesicular Arbuscular Mycorrhizal fungi (VAM).

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