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Colin Seis: Regenerative Land Management at Winona


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Colin Seis is the name most often associated with "Pasture Cropping". This technique is revolutionising cropping and grazing operations, This presentation was given at the Carbon Farming Expo & Conference Orange 18-19 November, 2008. Orange is in new South Wales, Australia.

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Colin Seis: Regenerative Land Management at Winona

  1. 1. Regenerative Land Management on “Winona” Colin Seis
  2. 2. “ Winona” November 2008
  3. 3. Winona in 2008 <ul><li>Myself and son Nick </li></ul><ul><li>Situated 20 k north of Gulgong </li></ul><ul><li>840 Ha </li></ul><ul><li>Granite soil, Ph 5.0-5.5, 650 ml av. rainfall </li></ul><ul><li>4000 Merino sheep (time control grazed) </li></ul><ul><li>500 acres cropped annually (Pasture Cropped) </li></ul><ul><li>55 year-old Merino Stud. </li></ul><ul><li>30 year-old Kelpie working-dog stud </li></ul>
  4. 4. Sowing wheat 1920s
  5. 5. Industrialised agriculture on “Winona”: <ul><li>Destroyed our grasslands </li></ul><ul><li>Created weeds </li></ul><ul><li>Became unprofitable </li></ul><ul><li>Destroyed our resource base – soil </li></ul><ul><li>Created soil erosion </li></ul><ul><li>Created major dry-land salinity problems </li></ul><ul><li>Depleted our soil carbon </li></ul><ul><li>THE INDUSTRIALISED EXPERIMENT FAILED! </li></ul>
  6. 6. I decided to restore Winona’s native grasslands <ul><li>In 1992 </li></ul>
  7. 7. Why? <ul><li>The industrialised system was sending us broke! </li></ul><ul><li>The outcome was: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Greater resilience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased species diversity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improved soil health </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased soil carbon </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enhanced ecological function </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>INCREASED PROFITS </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. How did we do this?
  9. 9. We changed grazing management to Time Control Grazing and cropping management to Pasture Cropping
  10. 10. Pasture Cropping is a land management technique that mimics the function of native grassland, where perennial and annual species grow symbiotically and each benefits the other
  11. 12. Pasture Cropping Grazing and cropping are combined and managed in a way where each one benefits the other.
  12. 13. Pasture Cropping <ul><li>Zero till sowing of crops into perennial pasture. </li></ul><ul><li>Never Never Plough. </li></ul><ul><li>Never kill perennial species. </li></ul><ul><li>Perennial pastures can be native or introduced. </li></ul><ul><li>Weeds are managed by creating large quantities of thick litter by using correct grazing management of livestock. </li></ul>
  13. 21. Pasture Change on Winona since 1999 <ul><li>Perennial native grass has increased from 10%-80% </li></ul><ul><li>Native perennial diversity has increased from 12 to 50 </li></ul><ul><li>species </li></ul><ul><li>Weeds have decreased from 60% to 5% of the pasture </li></ul><ul><li>Research has shown Pasture Cropping will increase perennial grass seedling recruitment ( Grain & Graze ) </li></ul>
  14. 22. Bacteria have increased 3.5 times. Fungi have increased 9 times Protozoa have increased 10 times Nematodes have increased 60 times Increase in soil microbes ( Soil food-web analysis March 2007)
  15. 23. Increase in insect numbers and diversity Elise Wenden October 2007 <ul><li>Insects numbers have increased by 600% </li></ul><ul><li>Insect diversity has increased by 25% </li></ul>
  16. 24. Organic Carbon <ul><li>Pasture Cropping and the recreation of a native grassland has improved soil organic carbon. </li></ul><ul><li>On Winona soil carbon levels have increased from 1.8% in 1995 to 3% - 4% in 2006. </li></ul><ul><li>. </li></ul>
  17. 28. By increasing soil carbon and ecological function we have: <ul><li>Increased soil water-holding capacity (drought tolerance) </li></ul><ul><li>Improved nutrient availability (reduce fertiliser) </li></ul><ul><li>Increased plant, animal & insect diversity ( resilience ) </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced plant disease (no fungicides) </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced insect attack ( no insecticides) </li></ul><ul><li>Increased soil-microbial numbers & diversity </li></ul><ul><li>BECOME MORE PROFITABLE </li></ul>
  18. 29. Agriculture becomes more profitable, regenerative, restores ecological function & restores soil carbon <ul><li>When agricultural practices function closer to Nature’s original design </li></ul>
  19. 30. With thanks to ... for inspiration