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…

A pasture puzzle partly solved?

Its easy to get tied up with the day to day chores of a farm and it seems to be inevitable more so if you’re running a dairy farm! But sometimes its good to take a walk out on the farm without any particular job in mind just to see how things are going. This…

How to sow new pasture and forage crops

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,…

Farm soil testing – major nutrients

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…

Farm soil testing – acidity and phosphorus

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…

How can I improve the pasture on my farm?

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…

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…

Organic matter in dairy farm pasture

The benefits of organic matter in soil are well known. Organic matter improves factors including water holding capacity, nutrient holding capacity and structure. But organic matter can be made up of more longer lasting humus through partially broken down material to fresh material from plants and animals that has recently entered the soil. This fresh…