Year-round species focus
LODDON Plains Future Farming group hosted independent agronomist and multi-species cropping specialist Jade Killoran for two sessions last week on healthy farming systems.
At the Loddon Plains Landcare Network’s base in the goods shed in Inglewood on Wednesday evening, participants were treated to an in-depth workshop and presentation by Ms. Killoran that included the basics of planning and establishing a year-round multi-species cropping program in a cash-crop, livestock or mixed farming system
Participants were given information about how to establish and identify where multi-species cropping can fit in a farming enterprise, autumn and summer cropping mixes for low rainfall in dryland farming conditions, and basics in managed grazing, planning to close summer feed gaps and fertiliser inputs.
The Thursday paddock walk was held at a farm in Salisbury West with local farmer Paul Condliffe taking participants through a summer multi-species crop over native pasture that he intends to build over time to provide feed opportunities for cattle through summer.
The paddock walk provided great insight into beginning the transition to using multi species seed mixes and the practicalities it presents in regard to stock and crop management in the initial phases.
The Thursday session also provided further on-ground advice and knowledge from Ms. Killoran on the advantages of multi species covers including greater paddock diversity and improved moisture retention and soil health.
It also included a brief demonstration by Loddon Plains Landcare Network’s manager - projects and operations and regenerative and sustainable agriculture officer Danny Pettingill.
The demonstration looked at assessing and identifying soil profiles and how to take a soil sample for soil testing.
Danny said that to follow on from this event, another workshop and field day focusing on soil ecosystems and biology with soil scientist Theresa Chapman will be held next month.
“This event will focus on soil benefits through improved management practices including managing vegetation cover, improving water cycle and moisture retention, soil health and the soil ecosystem,” Danny said.
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