The Problem: Marginal farmland, soils degraded from high chemical use, mixed soils, lack of rainfall, erratic weather, lack of root systems and lack of knowledge.
What Did The Haggerty’s Do?
They acquired knowledge. Firstly they attended an Arden Andersen course and then Dianne did Elaine Ingham’s 2 week soil course to understand how to get an active, healthy soil life back on the farm. Then, realising that moisture was No. 1 and that they needed to be flexible with the seasons, they reintroduced the microbes, minimalised chemical use and maintained ground covers to allow a good root system to develop.
The Results: Outstanding! Taking a step-by-step approach the soils have become healthy and retain moisture. Yields are up, weeds and diseases are minimal and input costs are down. The Haggerty’s have an extremely viable farming future ahead.
We’d like to thank Ian and Dianne for their generosity in sharing their valuable experiences about their transition to biological fanning. A special thanks also to the Haggerty Family for their kind hospitality. Also we acknowledge Nutrisoil for their support.
For all farmers who have sandy soils, marginal farmland, soils degraded from high chemical use, lack of rainfall, erratic weather and want to do biological farming.
Ian and Dianne Haggerty, cropping farmers in Western Australia, know the importance of their soils “Improving biological activity in the soil helps to build rich top soils, but this can’t be done when high analysis fertilizers like N and P are being used.” Ian Haggerty says that abandoning traditional farming practices and moving into biological farming requires a careful transition period. “Because soil function has been impaired by chemicals it needs a gradual integration of biological farming practices,” Ian Haggerty said. The Haggerty’s have successfully improved soils on degraded farms bringing them back to life.