Innovative Landcarer helps others adopt sustainable farms

By Christopher Gillies

Since winning the 2014 Bob Hawke Landcare Award, Colin Seis has continued his work in regenerating and sustaining farming systems. Invited by Landcare groups across the country, he has held workshops to teach farmers and land manager the techniques he’s adopted to successfully repair and sustain the land.

“It’s been a great opportunity to show farmers how they can implement principles that work with the environment, and not against it,” Colin said.

2014 Bob Hawke Landcare Australia Award winner Colin Seis is continuing his work in farm sustainability.

A key part of Colin’s work is the development of a cropping system that takes advantage of native pastures growth period with winter crops. The system involves sowing of a single crop species, like wheat, into perennial grassland or pastures. Colin said his pasture cropping system works because native pastures grow during summer months and go dormant over winter. This creates a system for livestock to graze over the summer, and as the months cool and grass goes dormant, the winter crop grows and is harvested before summer returns.

Colin has also travelled overseas to provide workshops. To date, three million acres of farmland are adopting his techniques around the world.

Colin’s work is the development of a cropping system that takes advantage of natural pasture growth.

He said more farmers are adopting a sustainable approach, because they could see the damage done by using techniques that didn’t fit with the Australian environment and the cost of chemicals and inputs was becoming too expensive.

Farmers looking at ways to repair their soils and adopt a sustainable approach should start from grassroots and let nature take the lead.

“Plants. Plant lots of perennial plants. Doing this repairs the soil, that in turns cycles nutrients, and are taken up by crops and pastures,” Colin explained.

Colin is working on pasture cropping further by using multiple species. This ‘multi species pasture cropping’ uses plants that grow good quality forage, have a range of different root systems and will add organic matter to the soil.

Later this year Colin will be releasing his book ‘Regeneration’ that covers his land management techniques.

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