Still dairy farming in 2022.

After nearly 7 years we are still dairy farming in South Gippsland. Around our area there have been several farms that have closed. Overall, Australia wide, dairy farms are getting fewer and bigger but according to the latest statistics, total milk production is down. Milk price is rising so that’s a positive. Last year we…

Dairy farming in SW Gippsland – our farm.

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 inĀ  a Harley Davidson without any practice”. Its true we bought a going dairy farm but we…

Low tech filter for farm dam water

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…

Sustainable farming – what is it?

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…

Farm water supply investigation

A preliminary investigation was carried out on the quality of water in two dams on a dairy farm in West Gippsland. The dams are a short distance apart in the same gully. The Upper dam is spring fed and can overflow into the Lower dam. The water was tested during summer. At that time the…

Acidity and major nutrients in dairy farm soil

What is the connection between soil pH, acidity, nutrients and amount of lime required to raise the soil pH? When we think of soil acidity most people think of pH. But pH is a measure of active acidity which can be measured with a meter, test strips or indicator solution or powder. In simple terms…

How much phosphorus is in dairy farm soil?

How much phosphorus is there in farm soils? I’m in the process of carrying out a quick assessment of soils on a dairy farm in West Gippsland. Phosphorus use is an increasingly important topic from a $ cost as well as environmental perspective. In this study samples were taken from the same sites previously tested…

Effluent management on a dairy farm

For the last few weeks I’ve been visiting a dairy farm in West Gippsland to learn a bit more about how dairy farms work. It’s also an opportunity to apply some ideas about soil and water management in a practical context. Cows can deposit around 8 – 10% of manure and urine output around the…