Farming for climate change - dairy farming with Jet and Emma

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Join Jet and Emma for yet another peek behind the scenes of a productive dairy farm.

Join Jet and Emma for yet another peek behind the scenes of a productive dairy farm.

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  • 1. Getting Down and Dirty on the dairy farm with Emma & Jet
  • 2. Emma and Jet • My name is Emma I am 16. As part of my HSC I am doing a dairy traineeship at Clover Hill Dairies • My name is Jet. I am also doing a dairy traineeship with Alan and Leesa Swan at Hillview Dairy
  • 3. Hi I’m Jet Hi I’m Emma
  • 4. What are Emma and Jet going to talk about today? Jet and Emma are going to talk about sustainable farming practices.
  • 5. Update on farm yard happenings • Cows in cyberspace have earned Dairy Youth Australia Inc a grant from Kiama council. • We plan to use the grant to expand the topics, including creating videos on both the Dairy Youth Australia Inc and the Landlearn NSW website. • We are also very keen to profile dairy industry careers.
  • 6. More updates on farm yard happenings Nick is the star of ―The Slice of Life‖ photo shoot in the Illawarra Mercury Weekender
  • 7. This is Illawarra Mercury photographer Greg Totman taking every opportunity to get that special shot.
  • 8. Maybe the white shirt wasn’t such a wise idea!!!!
  • 9. viat And the end result. Looks pretty classy doesn’t it ?
  • 10. Oscar has a happy reunion with his family Remember Oscar the little Silky chicken we had to raise in the bathroom under a light because his mum and dad didn’t want him ?
  • 11. Great news after ten days living in the bathroom Oscar’s mum and dad and brothers and sisters welcome him home .
  • 12. Its like he never left !!! Hello Oscar. Okay Oscar is happy so lets get on with today’s story.
  • 13. Sustainable Agriculture Definition: • Sustainable agriculture is profitable agriculture that protects and replenishes resources rather than using them up. • It is a system that produces what we need while working in harmony with the environment.
  • 14. Sustainable Agriculture cont… • As a major agricultural exporter, Australia feeds not only its own population but also some 50 million people in other countries. These exports are vital to our economy and make an important contribution to the world’s food supply. • Farmers and scientists are working together to lift production and improve product quality, and also to overcome major threats to sustainability that have emerged over the years. • As farmers we know we must look after our land so we can continue to produce food to feed the people of Australia and those in other countries. • Dairy farms rely on natural resources like sunlight, soil and water as well nutrients (food or chemicals) to grow the pastures to feed the cows to produce milk.
  • 15. So lets have a look at sustainable dairy farming. And if you want to learn more about the words underlined in blue click on them.
  • 16. Sustainable Farming at Clover Hill Our farm business is a partnership between our cows and the landscape Our farm is in an environmentally sensitive rainforest . The rainforest supports many native animal species. Supporting this biodiversity is important to us .
  • 17. Strategies Some of the things we are doing include: • Trees: Undertaken extensive tree plantings and established shelterbelts to provide both protection and shade for the cows and the indigenous animals. • Troughs: Installed off stream gravity fed water troughs in all paddocks which means we can fence off our waterways. This has resulted in improved water quality for our cows and the wider catchment and less riparian erosion – and of course gravity fed water means we can significantly reduce our stationery energy use.
  • 18. We have troughs in all our paddocks so the cows don’t need to enter the creeks to get water.
  • 19. Strategies cont…. • Laneways: Invested in well built laneways to provide for cow comfort. This has the added benefit of improving downstream and on farm water quality because faster cow flow means more nutrients stay on the paddocks and less is deposited in the laneways. • Pasture: Optimising pasture cover is good for the cows and milk production and its good for water quality as good pasture cover means less nutrient runoff in high rainfall events. • Soil Health and Fertiliser Use - We measure what goes in and what goes out – this means we can reduce unnecessary fertiliser use and reduce green house gas emissions and costs.
  • 20. So for our farm to be sustainable it must be a partnership between the cows and the landscape. Lets have a look at all the things that need to work in partnership.
  • 21. Soil worms Oxygen Food/ Nutrients Shelter Fertiliser Pasture trees and Organic matter shrubs Weather Temperature Sunshine rain
  • 22. Lets look at each one 1. Soil 2. Nutrients 3. Weather 4. Shelter
  • 23. Healthy Soil If you want to learn more about the words • A healthy soil is a soil that underlined in blue. is productive and easy to Click on them manage under the intended land use. • It has biological, chemical and physical properties that promote the health of plants, animals and humans while also maintaining environmental quality.
  • 24. Did you know that if your soil has worms its healthy soil? Image:
  • 25. More stuff about worms • Earthworms are like free farm help. They help to "turn" the soil—bringing down organic matter from the top and mixing it with the soil below. • Another interesting job that the worm has is that of making fertilizer. Pretty amazing for just a little old worm, don't you think? Good stuff on worms here:
  • 26. Most soils contain four basic components: mineral particles, water, air, and organic matter. Organic matter can be further sub-divided into humus, roots, and living organisms. The values given above are for an average soil.
  • 27. And of course plants live in soil. So lets look at what makes plants tick. Lets start with the science and photosynthesis
  • 28. Photosynthesis Carbon dioxide + water + sunlight = sugar + oxygen • Plants absorb a common gas called carbon dioxide, pull water up through their roots and use light to make sugar. • Plants use the sugar to grow. • Plants give off oxygen as a by-product. • The green parts of the plant make the sugar and oxygen.
  • 29. Image:
  • 30. Holding the soil together • A web of powerful roots deep underground also helps hold the soil together and keeps its nutrients exactly where they’re needed. • Soils become well-conditioned and able to grow better pasture. • Stronger soils and better pastures are then better-able to fight off attacks from weeds and harmful insects.
  • 31. As we know Cows can eat 100kgs grass per day which is cows eat lots of grass. a wheelbarrow full. So how do we make the grass grow faster and thicker and full of lots of sugars?
  • 32. Fertiliser is very useful in this process. Read all about fertiliser in our Grow Grass Grow series
  • 33. and remembering with fertiliser – the aim of the game… is to keep the nutrients on the pasture and out of the airways and waterways. So its very important to: • measure what goes in and what goes out and • only apply what you need, where you need it and not when rain is going to bucket down.
  • 34. So farmers wouldn’t put fertilisers out in this weather, especially as there is no grass cover to hold the nutrients and prevent soil erosion.
  • 35. What Goes in vs. What Goes Out Nutrient budgeting is used by all good farmers. • The process involves balancing nutrients coming into the farming system with those leaving. • The aim is to prevent pollution events and save costs by precisely matching the nutrient requirements of the crop with application of organic and inorganic fertilizers.
  • 36. Nutrient Management Plan A nutrient management plan is a set of conservation practices designed to use fertilizer and/or manure effectively while protecting against the potential adverse impacts of manure, erosion and organic by-products on water quality. To create the plan we: • Soil test • Manure test • Practice erosion control • Manage soil for pH • Time fertilizer/manure application.
  • 37. You grow lots and Look what lots of yummy short happens when sweet grass and you you spread have clean fertiliser waterways. properly. So healthy dairy farm landscapes are very important for both the farmer and the environment.
  • 38. Pasture Strategies • We farm in that small pocket of Australia where traditional climate variability is much greater than that predicted by climate change modelling • So for us climate change will certainly have positives. It is predicted that there will be a slight increase in temperature with little impact on average rainfall which means we can grow more pasture with less feed gaps (we are usually short of pasture in March & April) • Our key management strategy is to grow as much pasture as we can and this allows us to have a high stocking rate. We currently run 4 to 5 cows/ ha. • We are trialling water and nutrient efficient grasses. Pastures that use less fertiliser and grow better on the moisture shoulders mean we can reduce costs and emissions • We grow drought tolerant pasture species with potential for rapid recovery after drought
  • 39. How does the weather affect farming • Cows don’t like it too hot or too cold –between 15 and 25 degrees centigrade. • Cows need shade and shelter to produce milk. • The weather also affects how and when the grass grows ( and of course it grows much faster in spring). Australian cows are lucky they get to live outside in the sunshine and fresh air and eat grass
  • 40. We girls are very sensitive to sudden temperature changes.
  • 41. Now we are going to talk about the importance of shelter for the farm land and the animals.
  • 42. Shelter • Planting trees and shrubs means many good things for birds and native animals, for other sorts of plants, for the soil and … oh yes, for the cows, too. • Planted in rows, trees offer shelter from wind, rain and hot sun. • These shelterbelts of trees and plants make life more comfortable for the dairy cows … and the people who work with them.
  • 43. Shelter belts • Down below the ground, these shelterbelts are doing more good work. • Their powerful roots are pushing through the soil to drag up water. • This action means that the soils do not get too soggy, or waterlogged. • Nor do they get too full of salt – a problem called soil salinity.
  • 44. This is a new shelterbelt we have planted
  • 45. In 2007 we increased the length of the shelterbelt and put in a big T section of trees to protect our cows who are calving
  • 46. Shelterbelts provide a safe habit for native animals. Here you see a shelter corridor. This happens when you connect the shelterbelts together. I.e. the newly planted trees connect with the trees that have been there a long time .
  • 47. Shelterbelts help protect native animals from foxes. Foxes are nasty nasty nasty for many reasons.
  • 48. In a nutshell So as you can see sustainable farming is the Sustainable farming is the same same as sustainable living – its all about using resources wisely
  • 49. CLOVER HILL DAIRIES WINS 2009 NSW LANDCARE PRIMARY PRODUCERS AWARD • Winning this award has been the highlight of our farming journey. • It doesn’t mean we are perfect farmers- far from it – what it means is we are adaptive and resilient. • We are committed to producing more milk profitably and ethically using scarcer and more expensive recourses smarter.
  • 50. Did you know Charles Stuart Uni has a Master of Sustainable Agriculture course??? This course is designed to meet the changing needs of agriculture by equipping students with the necessary skills to balance the natural resource, human and economic factors that affect agricultural sustainability
  • 51. Visit our new Website
  • 52. Jet and Emma Farm Management Education Series K to 12 Links Milk It Farm to Factory Grow Grass Grow Seeding Time How it all began – a Taste for Dairy Sustainable Farming Circle of Life – Calf to Cow
  • 53. Acknowledgements Farm yard animal graphics have been created for the ―Jet and Emma Get Down and Dirty on the Farm‖ series by students from Mt Terry Public School
  • 54. The Jet and Emma Series is a Dairy Youth Australia inc initiative assisted by Kiama Municipal Council through its Sustainable Living Grants Program.
  • 55. Watch this space we will be back soon