Featured Farms

Rhizoterra works with farmers from all over the world.  These farmers come to us for advising on whole systems farm changes in improve soil health. 

Park Dairy located in Wonthaggi Victoria Australia:

Park Dairy
5 James Street
North Wonthaggi  3995
Australia

Judith, Simon, Carolyn, Jessica, and Thomas Park Dairy. Rhizoterra began consulting with the Park Dairy in April 2013 Jill visited the farm in July 2013. By visiting the dairy, Jill could see the current pasture management practices and was able to make some suggestions on how to change their practices to create a more productive and healthier system. We started by taking soil samples to have a better idea of the current soil structure. By seeing the data from the tests it gave us a better idea of what changes need to be made to improve the overall system. The Park Dairy is currently working on a whole system change to.

  • Building soil health and feed quality.
  • Growing roots and building better soil structure by no till pasture over sowing with a diverse mix of annual, biennial, and perennial forage mixes.
  • Healthy cows, more and healthy calves from nutrient dense food.
  • Resulting in better water management and efficient use of fertilizer.

The objectives of the project:

By 2018 Park's Dairy would like to be self-sufficient in home grown feed and increase their 17-18 week in calf rate from 70% to 97%. 

The Park's take a view that providing high nutrition in a diverse mineral rich leaf based diet with less or no grain will assist them in their quest to increase the in-calf rate, increase profitability and long term viability. 

To achieve their goal, Park's Dairy is focusing on:

  1. Ameliorating soil constraints such as compaction (leading to reduced water and air infiltration), balancing soil fertility for optimum plant uptake (particularly calcium, Boron, and potassium), and increasing the level of organic carbon and N to improve soil biological function. 
  2. Trialing a variety of perennial and annual species over sown in the pasture to grow quality nutritious home grown feed, particularly in summer when sunlight is at a maximum but heat and moisture stress shut down photosynthetic production of their current ryegrass dominated pasture species.
  3. Introducing summer silage crops onto the farm, so as to supply the dairy with nutrient dense silage in winter.

This project is partially funded by the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority. This grant focuses  on The Gippsland Soil Trial Directory is a part of the Healthy Soils - Sustainable Farms project funded by the Australian Government.

The objective of the directory is to collate and assess data from soil trials, demonstrations and studies across Gippsland and to build the evidence base around changes in soil in response to management actions. The Park Dairy is considered a demonstration farm that will collect data to share it with other farmers in the region improve soil health.

 

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