First we irrigate the paddocks with water at the right time of year - usually spring and autumn - to grow the natural seed bases in the soil. No fertilizer or pesticides are used.
On pasture that has been traditionally cropped as our Shepparton goat farms have, the soil carbon is poor. Several seasons may be needed for the soil to recover and grow anything.
With the right weather conditions many seeds germinate from the soil and grow rapidly. Many of these are weeds which sheep and cattle will not eat but goats will. This is our secret weapon: no pesticides, no fertiliser and no sowing of seeds; just what is in the soil. We can then let the goats eat it direct or...
Cut it and let it dry for bailing. Our feed cost is normally 10% of normal animal feed that is organically grown. Sometimes some weeds cause problems of sickness and sterility to the goats. We are still in the process of fine tuning this process to maximize breeding and animal size naturally.
We hope in the future to use what we are learning at Shepparton about increasing soil carbon from these natural methods to help rehabilitate dilapidated cropping farms and transform them into goat farms that increase soil carbon and derive an income from farmed carbon credits.
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