This paddock (featured left) is now more productive than the other paddocks at the top of the property.
When I first met the Bactivate team at the start of our Mitta Valley Soils project they both suggested that paddock No 6 at the top of the property would be a good place to start using the pasture blend. A brave decision, choosing the worst paddock on the property.
Alan Rankin – Farmer.
In the past, this farm has had some challenges with its paddocks specifically in respect of soil structure. This has caused poor feed quality and the need for supplements for the cattle. The customer approached Bactivate to understand better its soils and offer economically viable solutions to address the overall challenges. A study was done over two paddocks.
What was measured?
Soil pH, cation exchange capacity, calcium to magnesium ratio and feed tests. pH is important to nutrient availability. Cation exchange capacity is a measure of the soils ability to hold on to nutrients (the higher the better). And the calcium to magnesium ratio is important to ensuring you don’t get nutrient lock up (if too much magnesium) or nutrient run off if too much calcium as it will be pores (ideal ratio is around 4:1).
- Soil pH improved 10% potentially improving nutrient availability and a better growing environment for plants.
- CEC improved 93% allowing for more efficient use of soil nutrients.
- Ca/Mg ratio also improved 17% to 3.88 indicating the soil structure improved.
- Soil pH dropped 7.8% to 5.9, future analysis will show if this is a trend.
- CEC improved 76% allowing for more efficient use of soil nutrients.
- Ca/Mg ratio also improved 2% points indicating a small improvement in soil structure.
Feed tests were conducted on Paddock 6. They showed:
- A clear improvement in feed quality.
- Improvement in energy values.
- Fat content was up an impressive 23.8%.
- All protein levels showed improvement.
- Fibre elements of the treated feed indicated clearly that less of the feed is potentially wasted by the animal.
Turned highly unproductive paddocks into a mainstay of the farm.