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Web site © Chris Houghton 2017
OFFICE: 24 Mecca Lane, Bungendore, NSW, 2621
MAIL: 24 Mecca Lane, Bungendore, NSW, 2621
MOBILE: 0409 816 433
Independence underpins out service and as such the integrity of our recommendations and training is not compromised by product sales but are supported by evidence based science. Detailed agronomic planning and in-
Our services is always delivered with considering to the big picture. Care is taken to understand clients goals and objectives to ensure that recommendations and training products are correctly targeted. The following categories are not the extent of our services but provide a general idea of our scope.
Soil management within soil capabilities and timely corrective action are necessary for long term farm productivity. Farmers are helped to understand their soil types. This means identifying and dealing with key soil problems and avoiding poor soil management practices. Those practices that encourage improved plant growth also produce more robust root systems and increase access to nutrient and soil water. Consider the GROW-
Fertiliser and soil ameliorants (lime, gypsum) inputs should be guided by soil tests. Soil test results must guide decisions on products, rates, timing, etc, to get the best results for the least investment in a suitable time frame. Failure to address particular deficiencies can keep soils in an unproductive state leading to reduced production and returns for many years. Saving a few dollars by not soil testing can be very costly.
There are often many ways to correct nutrient deficiencies and soil chemistry problems. Products should be carefully selected to ensure that key issues are addressed. Many soils have multiple issues that cannot be addressed all at once. Interventions and inputs needs to be prioritised. Good decisions on correcting major issues early in an agronomy program should generate funds required to correct other issues in later years. Consider the GROW-
Pasture improvement needs careful planning. When done properly and combined with the correct lime and fertiliser inputs, stocking rates can sometimes be raised by up to 400% with benefits lasting for decades. Success requires a good plan and execution. No step should be missed. Pasture establishment failures can be very costly and can cause significant delays to improving overall carrying capacity. Consider the GROW-
Cropping with grazing only or dual purpose crops can play a key role in improving whole farm profitability. Winter cereal crops are ideal to fill the winter feed gap and forage brassica is ideal for summer/autumn feed for sheep. Annual ryegrass may be chosen for fodder conservation. The ability to fatten young stock through autumn, winter and spring can dramatically lift profitability in the cropping year. Cleaning problem weeds out of paddocks is a major benefit. Poorly planned and executed cropping programs will usually lose money. Getting it right means profitable crops and clean paddocks for sowing new pastures, leading to good returns from improved pasture species for years to come. Consider the GROW-
Weed management in grazing systems has never been a bigger issue. If weeds such as serrated tussock, Chilean needle grass and African lovegrass are on your farm, they will lead to dramatically reduced carrying capacity and even reduced land values if left uncontrolled. Many farmers struggle with broadleaf weeds such as thistles, Paterson’s curse, blackberry and fireweed. If they can’t be eradicated, weeds can usually be managed so that their impact is minimized. Often even the basics principles of weed control are not well understood. A critical factor in weed control is starting early before a large seedbank accumulates. Preventing overgrazing to allow adequate pasture competition and ensuring that weed control interventions are properly timed are also important factors. Consider the GROW-
Grazing management is key to achieving optimum returns to investment. There is an old saying, “Grass grows grass”. The green leaves of plants intercept sunlight allowing energy to be produced to allow the plant to grow. However plants that have been overgrazed intercept less sunlight as they have reduced leaf area. Continuous grazing allows animals to target the most nutritious plants and literally graze them to death. Poor grazing management reduces carrying capacity, pasture persistence and returns from pasture investment. Rotational grazing practices reverse that trend and also allow feed in the paddocks ahead to be measured(feed budgeting), ensuring better grazing decisions. Consider the GRAZMAN seminar.
Initial inspection – Soils, pastures, weeds, DSEs, set targets
GIS mapping –layout, access, key zones, weeds, water supply, etc
Soil testing, lime / fertiliser program
Plan/execute weed control, cropping and pasture programs
Coordination of contractors if necessary
Supervision / reporting to guide ongoing high quality outcomes