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TAS Country : September 16th 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010 Tasmanian Country 5 News SOW GOOD: Terry White of Highfrith Seeds with some of his recently dried produce. Pictures: RICHARD JUPE land THIS Jennifer Crawley from seed of good idea ''They've only got to do it for a couple of years then they can put back grass and clovers on the rest of their farm.'' Terry said many farms were sadly lacking in grass and clovers or were overstocked and overgrazed. Grazing management was the key, Terry said. ''Everyone grazes everything down to the ground. Nothing seeds, nothing's left on the ground,'' he said. ''I put lots of lime and lots of clover back into the ground which holds more moisture.'' Terry has talked with Victorian sustainable farming guru Peter Andrews and agrees with his principles of natural sequence farming. ''Everyone's after the fast buck with the fast grass but it's not sustainable,'' Terry said. ''You're going to grow it one year and the next year, then after that you've got no grass, it rains and it runs away. ''Ideally you have to be understocked all the time and take advantage of the markets. ''Buy and sell when the markets are right if you are understocked.'' ''I don't plough anything; that's just a waste of time, ploughing ground up. ''If you put a paddock in and sow it down to grass and clover, it can take you up to 10 years to recover the cost unless you've got a really high value crop like poppies bringing in lots of money. ''You certainly can't do it with ordinary cereals. If you get three good crops in five years you've done well --- you are going to get two failures. You're better off sticking with plain old grass and clover and undergrazing it.'' Terry is working on the biological and holistic side of farming. He says he wants to bring the farm back to a natural environment and get the birds and animals back. ''Too many consultants in the past have said they can get this and that per hectare and it just doesn't work; its not sustainable,'' Terry said. He calls himself an opportunist and attends lots of seminars. ''I left school when I was 16 and I'm trying to catch up,'' Terry said. ''I try and go to everything I can and see what I can learn from other peoples places. ''I think you learn more by doing that and seeing some of the mistakes they've made.'' He travels interstate to visit other properties and seed companies. Four generations of Whites have farmed Highfirth including Terry's son, Trent who works with his father. Terry, 62, has sheared around the state and interstate for 20 years to support his farm. Highfirth is a dryland farm. ''We've got only the natural stuff,'' Terry said. ''Just water holes and the creek until it dries up --- but it lasts the stock I've got. ''We used to have a 28-inch rainfall --- last year was out of the box, amazing, huge with 40-inches but now normally we don't even get 24 or 25.'' Terry buys and sells his Angus calves and first cross lambs according to market demand. The original flock of 4000 Merinos has shrunk to 600 because of the drought. Terry trades Merinos and first cross lambs. There are 25 Angus heifers due to calve. ''I'll sell the calves, I'm not going to rear them,'' Terry said. Mainly grass and clover grow on Highfirth. ''The whole farm is under grass. I cut it just to get the seed off it and the rest goes into straw,'' Terry said. There are 600 bales that will go back through the cattle this year and next. Don t let slugs chew into your poppy profit. www.agnova.com.au ALL WEATHER SLUG AND SNAIL BAIT Metarex is the smart choice to protect your poppies. Slugs can t resist it. Broadcast Metarex after planting and get unmatched rainfastness and performance. Don t wait til it s too late. Registered trademark of De Sangosse, France METAD0810 The best rainfast slug bait registered for use in poppies. Available from SERVE-AG branches. TASMANIAN ALKALOIDS Value Adding in Tasmania 2027824-100716 Germinating poppy crops can be at risk. Watch out for slugs, snails, earthmites and springtails. Take appropriate action if required. Your Field Officer can advise. .
September 9th 2010
September 23rd 2010