The Nailer farm uses regenerative–carbon practices to rotationally graze 220 dairy cows and 60 replacement heifers over only 90 hectares, and they also rear many spring calves.
In addition to building pasture diversity with different plant species, for four years the Nailers have supplemented small amounts of certified biochar Agspand’s FEEDCHAR® via their monthly dairy cow ration, which is mixed by their local stockfeed company, as well as supplied Feedchar to their calves and heifers.
Using these natural and organic systems is providing excellent health and economic benefits for the farm.
At this time of the year the dairy cows are on a 21-day rotation over diverse pasture and, while they are doing so, their carbon-rich manures — up to 25 kilos per animal per day — are spread and buried as food for plants and living organisms in the soil, which together naturally improve the soil’s porosity, nutrition and water-holding capacity. Over multiple seasons, this practice may assist the farm’s pasture resilience through drier seasons and help to reduce input costs.
The Nailer farm’s long-term animal, soil and pasture health as well as quality milk outputs using Agspand’s Feedchar® are providing multiple ongoing benefits, the main outcomes being:
- Calm, relaxed animals with maintained body condition
- Consistently low cell counts
- Virtually no mastitis, laminitis, photosensitivity or bovine liver disease
- Less drenching and antibiotic use
- High AI conception rates
- Average heifer liveweight 400 kilos at 15 months of age
- Soil organic carbon levels climbing towards 10%
- Rises in soil phosphorus, plant-available nitrate-N and ammonium-N
- More sulphur, calcium and magnesium recorded in soils
- Reduced conventional fertiliser application
- Shorter irrigation time
- Overall, healthy, profitable farming.
From health, derives profit. If you are interested in healthy, profitable agriculture with feed-grade biochar for dairies and livestock in Australia, please call Agspand’s FEEDCHAR® on 03 6333 1132 during office hours.
Written by Karen Enkelaar, Director, Agspand Pty Ltd, Launceston, Tasmania, December 2022. Photos by Karen Enkelaar and Kellie Morris, TFGA.