A dairy farm needs grass. Cows eat it and make milk from it. So simple! And yet the science and methods behind our grass, our soil and our fertiliser are anything but. Traditional dairy farms use chemical fertiliser, and over time they put more and more on to make the grass grow. What this actually does is damage the soil, reducing the amount of nutrients, minerals and carbon, and therefore what the grass can draw on to grow.
The Green Pastures farming methodology is based around using the waste on our farms – yes, the poo! – to create healthy compost, which we use as a rich, organic, sustainable fertiliser to replace chemical or synthetic fertilisers. And by mapping and managing nutrient movements around the farm we can continue to improve the soil, continue to use fewer synthetic fertilisers and reduce the carbon footprint on each farm. This helps wake the soil up and bring it back to life to its healthy, natural state. And it works!
Worms are a great indicator of healthy soil. Before they started farming this way, Green Pastures farmers may have found 2 to 10 worms per square foot of soil. Now when they dig, they might find 20 to 50.
Clover will regenerate in healthy soil after years of lying dormant. Several of our farms have seen the return of clover after having been absent for 10 or 15 years.
Our farming methodologies take us back to how our grandparents farmed. While we’re not completely ‘organic’ or ‘biodynamic’, we do apply many of these principles in our farming, and combine them with so-called ‘modern’ farming techniques to create a sustainable, responsible farming methodology that produces great outcomes for the farm, the animals, the produce and lower prices for the consumer.