We aim to regenerate our business
Regenerating Our Soil
We used to talk about sustaining our business – but why sustain something that’s not good enough? So, we’re regenerating our organic milk business – that is our natural resources, our profitability and our lifestyle.
By regenerating our soil, we aim to put more carbon underground. We can achieve this by having more plants photosynthesizing, all year round, and having a microbial community in the soil that uses the sugars that the plants are producing. Having a higher level of soil carbon will help hold more soil moisture and more soil nutrients. If we can achieve these outcomes, our land will be more productive, we won’t need to irrigate as often or use as much water, and the food that we produce will have a greater nutritive value.
Regenerative strategies include:
Having a diversity of plants in pasture - this aids animal health as cattle need a diversity of nutrients, and diversity of plants supports diversity of soil microbes.
Managing grazing to retain soil cover, so that the soil and soil life are always protected. Bare soil can reach extreme temperatures on very hot days and minute microbes will quickly dehydrate
Minimal cultivation of soil to avoid the breakdown of soil structure,
No use of synthetic fertilisers, herbicides etc, which kill life in the soil,
Allowing plants to grow to a size where they grow large roots. Roots put exudates in the soil which feed the soil microbes; in return the microbes deliver nutrients and moisture to plants,
Cattle are a key component of regenerative grazing – they graze the plants which then regrow.
The plants then take more CO out of the air and put some of the carbon in the soil. Cattle urine and manure provides nutrients and microbes to aid soil fertility.
Although cattle emit methane, they have an important role in increasing soil carbon
Benefits will include providing cattle with shade and shelter, slowing wind speed, and providing habitat for wildlife. Mature plants – especially some Acacias and Eucalypts - can be lightly grazed to provide animals with phytonutrients that aid animal health – for example reducing parasites.
The trees are also important in the water cycle – the loss of forests across the globe has had a major impact on the water cycle and rainfall.
We aim to plant 100,000 trees by 2030.
Encouraging dung beetles which bury manure. This means the nutrients are more available to plants, the pasture grows better and more evenly.