Optimise your pasture health this Autumn

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14 month old steers

It’s that time of year, days will soon be getting cooler and everyone will be watching their weather apps for an indication of rain.
Moving into Autumn farmers are keen to set themselves up for quality and quantity pastures to carry them over the winter months. The key to optimising pastures is soil health, and healthy soils need active microbes.
Good grazing management is certainly one of the key drivers of improving soil and ultimately plant health. Diversity of plants and microbes is also critical, with the end goal of ensuring plant root zones can access the nutrients they need for healthy growth.
Understanding the relationship between plants and soil microbes is critical to being able to maximise plant health, soil health and pasture production. When plants are photosynthesising they leak exudates (carbohydrates) into the soil, these exudates feed the life in the soil (bacteria and fungi etc) and in exchange for these exudates the soil microbes gather nutrients for the plant.
Increasing photosynthesis can increase root growth and increase exudation, feeding that underground workforce in turn builds soil organic matter, therefore soil carbon, and ultimately improving water retention to create more resilient soils for long-term pasture health.
Otaway Angus cattle producer Kassie Williams has been changing her pasture management program over the last three years, and to say she is excited about inspecting her underground workforce is an understatement. She has been astounded by the improvement in aeration and water infiltration is such a short period of time.
Among other tools, Kassie has been using NutriSoil bio-stimulant for the past eighteen months as a foliar on her pastures to increase photosynthesis and feed her soil biology. Despite an exceptionally wet winter last year, Kassie managed to feed 75 cows, 65 calves, 40 steers and 35 heifers on her 350 acres and still got 80 rolls of hay from one paddock.
Kassie has noted the difference to her pastures within a week of applying NutriSoil, and while she attributes that to the combination of management practices and products, NutriSoil is one of the essential tools to help reach her long term goal of balancing her soil biology and soil health.
In Gippsland Ruth and David Read manage 2000 acres east of Stratford to turn over 1000 head of traders each year. Their grazing management has been finely tuned, along with a foliar program that contains minerals, a carbon source and microbes, which the Reads believe are vital ingredients for effective foliar applications on their pastures.
Multispecies crops are now in the program and at sowing seeds are inoculated with microbes and minerals. A liquid inject system is also used to deliver microbes, minerals and a carbon source, giving the plants a kick start.
NutriSoil is used as their microbial source, as the couple said it has proven to be consistent and reliable, providing the diversity of microbes they are after. They also use NutriSoil’s worm castings to make their own vermicast extract, providing carbon and additional microbes. The Reads have just started making their own bio ferments for plant available foliar nutrition. This will be mixed with NutriSoil and the vermicast extract to apply to the pasture.
Episode 18 of the Biological Farming Roundtable podcast features David and Ruth Read and has been downloaded 6000 times, you can listen to the podcast here Episode 18 – David and Ruth Read
If you would like to discuss how to incorporate NutriSoil into your pasture program don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and speak to one of our passionate staff members, or shoot an email to sales@nutrisoil.com.au

Kassie Williams soil sample

Checking her underground workforce regularly helps Kassie notice subtle improvements, she knows she is on track to better soil health

Gippsland farmers inspect pasture

Adding minerals, microbes and carbon are key ingredients for foliar applications

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