Friday, 03 November 2017 21:52

Ground Cover Mantra

Recent weed and grazing management workshops Landcare have hosted in Upper Lachlan have all come back to one common theme – Ground Cover!

Many complex systems operate across our landscape. Nutrient and water cycling. Pasture and stock management. Native birds, reptiles and insects. Shelter belts and paddock trees. Anyone on the land would agree, you never stop learning.

But one simple rule seems to transcend and benefit all – maintain ground cover!

Weed seeds would, no doubt, be widely distributed across our landscape, but with no bare ground they are given no opportunity to germinate. Pastures will respond far quicker to favourable growing conditions if sufficient root and leaf remain. Water moves across the landscape much slower when it has to make its way through plant matter. This means more will soak deep down into your soil profile. Often I have heard farmers happily explain they received big falls of rain but very little has run into their dams.

Maintaining ground cover means organic matter has an opportunity to build up. Organic matter feeds the enormous range of micro fauna, fungi and bacteria living in the soil. All this biological life in the soil help cycle nutrients from an unavailable to an available state for plants to use. They aerate the soil, reduce compaction and improve structure.

The stock you run will be more robust because they graze on a wider variety of more nutritious plants. And they will have access to better feed sooner, when growing conditions become favourable. Many of the landscapes complex systems will function as they should, and all you have to do is maintain ground cover!

For more information contact; Ruth Aveyard 0447 242 474 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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