At Farming Secrets we continually find farmers whose methods and practices are ahead of the current technology. In many cases they are disparaged as what they are doing has not been proved by science that it works! Many of these farmers have reduced their inputs to a minimum by taking advantage of native pastures.
“Did you know that according to the DPI research, low input farming is more profitable on average than high input farming”? Take native grasses for instance.
Farmers have found that native grasses, if grazed the way that allows the native grasses to recover in the way they are accustomed to:-
- Outperform introduced species
- Require little or no fertilisers
- Produce feed in response to summer rains
- Grow throughout the year
- Keep stock extra healthy
- Give weight gain to stock equal or better than introduced species
- Virtually drought proof their properties
- Put more carbon back in the soil
These farmers also find that they do NOT have to:-
- Conserve feed in the form of hay or silage
- Feed out grain (or minimal amounts)
- Ever replace it if correctly grazed
- Plant it if they create the right conditions for it to reappear
The bottom line is far more profit for these farmers who carefully manage their native pastures. There are no costs such as are associated with:-
- Purchasing seed
- Time spent planting the seed
- Buying in feed all as native pastures grow all year round
- Lack of soil moisture
- Weed eradication
At this stage there is little scientific proof of what these farmers have found is true. In fact there is plenty of documentation and hearsay that native grasses are in fact inferior and provide a poor substitute for introduced pastures. However native pastures provide good ground cover and therefore protection for the soil microbes and competition for weeds. Whilst it may be true that some native pastures are be lower in protein these concerns are far outweighed when you look at the benefits.