Winter Crops

Winter Crops

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

We determined very early on that we needed to assess carefully our strategy for producing winter fodder crops. We could clearly see issues of soil loss and waterway sedimentation arising from placement of our 2014 fodder crops (swedes) that largely reflected animal impacts on drainage areas on some of our north-west facing slopes (mainly paddocks ‘175’ and ‘176’). We had insufficient riparian buffering of small waterways that drained directly into a permanent waterway (‘New Block 4’). While we couldn’t change much in 2014, this realisation has certainly guided all subsequent crop placements on the farm. Planning for the winter of 2015 involved a careful assessment of risks around waterway contamination, with stock exclusion from sensitive areas within chosen paddocks by use of electric fencing.

2014 swede crop in paddocks 175 and 176.

Compaction damage at the bottom of paddock 176, about 20 meters from stream

Ponding of sediments below the crop just prior to drainage into stream

Damage to a small feeder stream running through the crop.  In retrospect this should have been fenced off with electric fencing