It is about that time of year when South Australian producers are preparing their land for their 2017 crops. This takes a huge amount of time and effort and is a part of what we do here at Princess Royal Station in Burra.
The seeding program at Princess Royal Station is specially designed to promote the well-being of our soil health. This assists in giving our cattle customers a beef product like no other.
The health and well-being of our livestock is at the forefront of our processes at Princess Royal. To ensure that we’re giving our animals the best, we make sure that their environment is as pristine as it can be.
A chain of responsibility exists from our farming team, through to our livestock team, through to our feeding team, then our freight team through to our customers.
But, what is involved in preparing for seeding?
Typically, farmers will spray their land for pests and weeds with herbicides in preparation for harvest. This year we have experienced a reasonably wet early summer, resulting in more weeds than normal.
Thus, these needed to be sprayed out to help to conserve the moisture in the soil for the coming crop.
At Princess Royal, we use the manure from our beef feedlot to spread over our cropping land. This limits our reliance on synthetic fertilisers and is a sustainable method of removing our waste.
Spreading manure commences just after harvest so that the nutrients from the waste can be absorbed into the soil and the coming crop can reap the full benefits.
The soil must be cultivated.
Cultivation involved physically disturbing the soil for seedbed preparation, weed control and moisture conservation.
Burning the stubble left in the paddock from harvest. It is also used by producers to reduce weeds and pests such as mice. This is a method that has been used by farmers for hundreds of years to quickly and effectively clean up a paddock before harvest.
Once all of these steps have taken place, farmers will start to seed their 2017 crops, monitoring their progress using technology, skill and experience.
Once our crops are seeded, we use a weed control program to make sure the unwanted pests and weeds don’t overrun them.