Storing Carbon At Three Levels By Integrating No-Kill Cropping


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Soil carbon come easy when you look after the life in the soils, said Farmer Bruce Maynard from Narromine, NSW Australia at the Third Annual Carbon Farming Conference & Expo 2009 in Orange NSW Australia - the only soil carbon farming conference of its type in the world. (4-5 November 2009)

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  • It is different from grazing grasses and forbs.Rest period is important.Defoliation amount is equally important- it’s not just the leaves, it’s branches also.Pruning of the shrubs has to be achieved in a way that does not deplete groundcover.To achieve the above adequate subdivisions may be even more important than for grass.
  • Storing Carbon At Three Levels By Integrating No-Kill Cropping

    1. 1. From Crazy To Lazy<br />The Story of one family’s change toward long term sustainability.<br />A story recorded in Carbon.<br />
    2. 2. Willydah and the Maynards<br />Fifth generation of our family on the property.<br />Situated on the Central West Plains of NSW between Narromine and Trangie 55 mins from Dubbo.<br />Rainfall average 500mm<br />Evaporation average 1890mm<br />Soils: Mainly Red Earths, Red-Brown Earths with some Gray Clays, Brown Clays and Gilgaid soils.<br />Farm size: 1476 hectares<br />
    3. 3. Our History <br />Traditional Crop/Wool/Cattle/Pig Producers.<br />Found ourselves working harder and harder to stay in the same spot.<br />7 year Rotation- 4 yrs Lucerne, 3 yrs Crop.<br />‘Best Practice’ was not progressing our ecology or business.<br />
    4. 4. We had to change<br />Traditional, conventional and best management practices were all unable to solve our problems.<br />Inputs were high and risk was high.<br />Enjoyment was limited and declining.<br />Our land was slowly sickening (bare soil, erosion)<br />
    5. 5. The road toward a more complete picture<br />We have implemented as many management methods as available and to that we have added the No Kill Cropping breakthrough. <br />
    6. 6. Whole Farm Plan<br />We now plan for a hundred years and manage for this year.<br />
    7. 7. Saltbush<br />A great drought easer- it smooths the feed rollercoaster- we started in 1989.<br />Effective windbreak at ground level.<br />Gets shrub layer into the landscape economically.<br />
    8. 8. Why Shrubs At All?<br />For production purposes shrubs do these things:<br /><ul><li>Smooth the forage supply over the year.
    9. 9. Supply nutrients unavailable in pastures alone.
    10. 10. Supply standing drought fodder unaffected by the usual degradation cycle of grasses.
    11. 11. Supply secondary compounds.</li></li></ul><li>Saltbush puts a layer in the Landscape<br />Shrub layers can be added without subtracting from the grassland productivity.<br />
    12. 12. Shrub Secondary Compounds<br />Some secondary compounds assist rumen function- some reduce methane production.<br />Animals have been shown to ‘self medicate’ by sourcing plants and at times in particular sequences.<br />Many of these grazing behaviours are learned associations and can be passed on from generation to generation.<br />Grazing behaviours include the methods of how to harvest forage from novel plants.<br />
    13. 13. Layouts<br />The way shrubs are spread across the landscape will determine:<br /><ul><li>Above and below ground biodiversity results
    14. 14. Soil Health
    15. 15. Windspeed effects
    16. 16. Profitability long term</li></li></ul><li>Linear Layouts<br />Straight line designs will always induce results that are less than optimum.<br />Even short lengths promote wind speed acceleration and dessication.<br />
    17. 17. Alley Farming<br />Shrubs in windbreaks<br />No longer just in straight lines.<br />
    18. 18. Regeneration Areas<br />15% of the property is in “Core Conservation” areas.<br />These are only grazed rarely.<br />
    19. 19. Biodiversity Hot Spots<br />Diverse places get special consideration.<br />
    20. 20. Individual Paddock Trees<br />Important stepping stones for wildlife and predators.<br />
    21. 21. Holistic Management and Permaculture<br />Love the principles!<br />Everything is connected to everything else.<br />Assuming that you are wrong.<br />These formed some of the base for our farmscaping.<br />
    22. 22. Time Control Grazing<br />Second biggest change to Willydah.<br />Changed pastures to Grasslands with much higher stocking rates and stock performance but better natural functioning.<br />Use principles from HRM, Cell Grazing and Prograze.<br />From this sort of Monoculture<br />To This Polyculture<br />
    23. 23. Access Laneways<br />Stock Movement<br />Vehicle Access/Restriction<br />Electric fence checking<br />Water supply checking<br />
    24. 24. Animals are tools for Capturing Nutrients<br />We use animals as tools to assist growth of the plant layers.<br />We seek to utilise the vegetation as uniformly as possible by using Time Control Grazing Methods along with Stress Free Stockmanship.<br />As much diversity as possible to ensure adequate diet mixing.<br />
    25. 25. Electric Fencing<br />This tool has allowed more flexible, timely and appropriate grazing management.<br />
    26. 26. Stress Free Stockmanship<br />Additional production<br />Less sickness/parasites<br />Easy stockwork<br />
    27. 27. Trees for Carbon Credits<br />4% of our property planted with 104,000 Trees for Carbon Credits.<br />The trees have more benefit than just the $ generated- deep shade, shelter and greater diversity.<br />
    28. 28. What Are We Aiming For Now?<br />We strive to create a simple business which complicates the natural systems.<br />
    29. 29. Biodiversity<br />Different structures and different nutrients/compounds provide spaces for many species to prosper.<br />
    30. 30. What are we aiming for now?<br />To integrate annual, perennial, shrub and tree layers into a regenerative system.<br />
    31. 31. How Are We Integrating Veg Layers?<br />We continue to add species and layers- the more the better!<br />Our breakthrough: <br />No Kill Cropping<br />
    32. 32. Four Layers Of Vegetation<br />By No Kill Cropping we are able to have beneficial annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees all at the same time.<br />
    33. 33. No Kill Cropping<br />No Kill is now being implemented across Australia.<br />Australian made!<br />
    34. 34. No Kill Cropping Principles<br />Sowing is done dry.<br />Coulter type implements (no tynes).<br />No Fertiliser.<br />No Herbicides or Pesticides.<br />No change to grazing method.<br />
    35. 35. No Kill Cropping Advantages<br />High biodiversity.<br />No erosion, salinity, acidity risk.<br />Low Carbon usage.<br />High Carbon storage.<br />
    36. 36. Invention of No Kill<br />Developed by the Maynard Family in 1995.<br />Originally called “Advance Sowing”<br />
    37. 37. Invention of No Kill<br />Theory development drew partly from Permaculture Principles and Holistic Management .<br />Recognising of future trends- Climate Change, Peak Oil and terms of trade decline.<br />
    38. 38. No Kill Cropping Advantages<br />High biodiversity.<br />Minimal inputs.<br />No erosion, salinity, acidity risk.<br />Crop into marginal moisture areas.<br />Crop onto high slope areas.<br />Extra Grazing value.<br />Low Carbon usage.<br />High Carbon storage.<br />
    39. 39. No Kill stimulates natural functions<br />No Kill adds biomass but does not simplify grasslands.<br />It can restart ecological processes by establishing plants that then add ground cover, add carbon above and below the soil surface and encourage animal activity. <br />
    40. 40. Other uses for No Kill Cropping.<br />For direct treeseeding in areas with existing woody vegetation.<br />For redesign of vineyards to incorporate animals for disease control and nutrient cycling.<br />
    41. 41. Get The No Kill Thrill !!<br />Get properly informed!<br />Try two small areas on your property.<br />Start in an area that has perennials already.<br />Also plant one area that has many weeds.<br />Take photos and record your gross margin!<br />
    42. 42. The results of our journey-Fuel and Energy use<br />We had ten of these- and used them all over the course of a year.<br />We now have one and use about 500 litres of diesel for the farm per year- an 80% reduction!<br />Electricity usage is down to 50% of previous levels.<br />
    43. 43. The results of our journey- Animal Behaviour<br />More choice gives individual animals the opportunity to maximise their production and to lower their emissions.<br />
    44. 44. Results of the Journey- Plant Growth<br />Properly controlled and diverse grazing can allow plants to thrive completely across paddocks. Notice how plants are growing right down to the dam.<br />
    45. 45. The Results of the Journey- Soils<br />Immediately after 75mm of rain in 2 hours.<br />The puddles are only on an area that is slashed-not grazed.<br />
    46. 46. Paddocks of the future<br />Integrated cropping, grazing, forestry and biology- at the same time- not separate.<br />
    47. 47. Our Longterm Goals<br />To complicate the nature on our property and simplify the business.<br />We use methods that build natural capital.<br />
    48. 48. Multiple Layers<br />Multiple Layers = Multiple Benefits<br />Think about adding to the layers while not consuming fossil fuels.<br />
    49. 49. Working For The Future<br />Biodiverse landscapes create the interest that will keep future generations managing land.<br />
    50. 50. To find out more……<br />See the practical demonstration at lunchtime.<br />Go to the website-<br />Support the association- it’s free!<br />Have a yarn.<br />Come to the course at Bathurst next week.<br />