Blue Mountains News
Sustainable Farming Workshops for Capertee and Hampton
“We are so pleased to have Colin Seis here in the Lithgow region. His many years of experience will bring wisdom and some diversity to these huge issues we are tackling together throughout our drought affected communities,” said Mayor Ray Thompson.
Colin Seis and Daryl Cluff pioneered “pasture cropping” in 1993 and since that time, Colin has fine–tuned and improved the technique on his property Winona at Gulgong. Due to this, it is now possible to grow many different types of winter and summer sown crops, without destroying the perennial pasture base. The practice has now spread to all states of Australia and in a growing number of countries worldwide.
In contrast to conventional cropping that is sown into bare soil or stubble, ‘Pasture Cropping’ creates and exploits temporary competitive niches in the root ecology of the perennial pastures to enable the optimal growth of the short-term annual grain crop.
‘Pasture Cropping’ avoids the need to kill the competitive pastures prior to sowing the crop thereby maintaining living plant cover of the soil so as to enhance its biological health, water retention and their protection from wind and water erosion relative to conventional crop practices.
Colin Seis has seen the need for ‘fast tracking’ improvement in degraded soil and grassland as well as producing crops for human consumption and /or stock feed. Since 2010 he has been developing ‘multi species pasture cropping’ with the aim of producing better quality forage and improving soil health.
‘Multi species pasture cropping’ uses all of the methods used in ‘pasture cropping’ but with the addition of 10 or more compatible annual crops that are sown at the same time. The mix of species improves soil microbial health, soil structure, nutrient cycling, as well as producing excellent stock feed. It has the added advantage of being able to harvest a grain crop after the multi species crop is removed by grazing.
Colin will also be teaching about grazing management, soil, pasture, grasslands, weeds, and how to manage our properties to generate more profit, and less risk, with fewer inputs of fertiliser and pesticides.
Colin will be appearing at:
- the Farmers Long Lunch at the Capertee Royal Hotel on Sunday October 13 starting at 11:00am; and
- the Farmers Long Arvo at the Hampton Halfway Hotel Motel on Saturday November 23 starting at 4:00pm.
- Presenting a full day workshop on his renowned Pasture Cropping methods on Sunday November 24 at Hampton. Places are strictly limited so please rsvp to book your spot by calling Ali Kim Community Development Officer on 6354 9999.
We have also secured 4 ‘on farm’ individual consultations with Colin which include a written report. These consultations will be allocated by ballot. Please contact Ali Kim Community Development Officer on 63549999 to get your name in the draw to have a chance to win one of these strictly limited consultations (valued at $500).
This program is funded through the Commonwealth Government Drought Communities Program with the aim of addressing the impact of the drought on the community. The program focuses on the economic impact of the drought and the structural factors that contribute to mental health and well-being in the Lithgow LGA.
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