Well, much to everyone’s surprise we are still farming after 5 years! Someone said our act of faith in starting a dairy farm at a low time in the industry was like “attempting to jump over 50 cars in a Harley Davidson without any practice”. Its true we bought a going dairy farm but we… Continue reading Dairy farming in SW Gippsland – our farm.
We’ve had our dairy farm for just over 2 1/2 years and that’s also as long as we have been dairying! The farm is 250 acres of rolling hills in South West Gippsland. The current herd is 125 milkers, 50 heifers which are up and coming milkers, and 75 calves. Around the farm. This summer… Continue reading Our dairy farm
Farm dam water is challenging to treat because it typically has high overall bacteria levels, is often discoloured by humic materials, has elevated turbidity and often has elevated levels of fresh organic matter. On our dairy farm we rely on dam water through the dry months. The dam water is pumped to a holding tank… Continue reading Low tech filter for farm dam water
After a lot of searching we finally found a new home for our calves, 173 acres in Ranceby in South Gippsland. The previous owners Robin and Deb McKinnon were very helpful in showing us their production figures, explaining how the farm worked and then allowing us to move some machinery and cows early.… Continue reading Our new farm
In our quest to become dairy farmers we have leased a few acres in Gembrook to grow pasture and forage crops for our small herd. The land is run down pasture and I have outlined soil test results in the last few entries. To get this pasture productive again we need to raise the pH,… Continue reading How to sow new pasture and forage crops
Up to now we’ve looked at some of the main physical factors in the soil at the Gembrook horse property. Now its time to look at the other main nutrients and the soil’s fertility. Soils have an ability to loosely hold nutrients to prevent leaching and to make them slowly available to plants. This applies… Continue reading Farm soil testing – major nutrients
In a previous blog entry, March 11 2014 I described some of the physical factors in a pasture soil in Gembrook that I had tested. The soil was very acidic with a very low proportion of fresh organic matter. Exchangeable acidity results from prolonged leaching of good nutrients from soils. The pool is considerable larger… Continue reading Farm soil testing – acidity and phosphorus
Yesterday as a guest of Trevor and Anne-Marie Mills and the Western Port Catchment Landcare Network I attended a field day on the Mills’ dairy farm at Drouin South. Amongst the principles of sustainable agriculture are that farming should: – provide an amenable lifestyle for the farmer & family – protect and enhance the productive… Continue reading Sustainable farming – what is it?
A complete soil test is an important first step to help restore the productivity of pastures. Most soil tests provide a breakdown of major and minor plant nutrients but many also profile the soil’s overall health, potential and fertility. I was recently asked to visit a property in Gembrook east of Melbourne that was used… Continue reading How can I improve the pasture on my farm?