Green Manuring 2

Because of the failure of the early summer green manure crop of Millet in late October, I decided to plant another crop and do it correct this time. I miscalculated the seed volume by a factor of ten, and in turn had a very lousy outcome. In essence it just meant I could wipe out one more generation of weeds without much effort, and there was little rain in that period so no erosion!

I chose to put another crop of Japanese Millet in late February, it is advisable not to sow until the soil temperature is above 14°C, which in February is no issue, Millet does not tolerate frost, and the frosts will not be here until late June/July, last year we only had two or three mild occurrences.

The recommended sowing rates vary according to the situation – as a guide, 12 kg/ha for lighter/poorer soils and up to 20-25 kg/ha for heavier, more fertile soils. These are the suggested rates from the NSW DPI. I put in the higher rate as I am after bulk, green matter. It will also allow me to slash, have regrowth and then plant the winter crop with legumes.

Regrowth of millet following slashing is very good if soil moisture and nitrogen levels are sufficient. I have been watering regularly and put 100Kg/1000m2 of certified Terra Firma pellets. The growth has been outstanding and goes to show that weed supression, good growth and positive outcomes can be attained without Glyphosate or DAP.

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Certification Acceptance

I received the information I had been eagerly awaiting for 4 weeks…

The hard work, the OMP (Organic Management Plan), the intensive soil test, inspection and record keeping practices that have been pursued over the years had been accepted by the board and I had completed the first official step to full certification. The real work now begins.

There where a few “Minor Non-Compliance’s” and no “Major Non-Compliance’s”.

I am trying to source certified green manuring seeds: – Millet, Dunn Peas and Oats (If anyone knows of a supplier of these… please, please let me know!)

There was a few chemicals/fertilisers in the shed from previous owner of property (Insecticides, Superphosphate, and some Glyphosate) I have since removed them.

The Certificate of Analysis for pesticides in the soil shows Nil for all tested chemicals, basically the soil is in excellent condition, with no pesticides or chemicals present. The hard work in this area is paying off.

The next 12 months will see a consolidation, a better record keeping practise and a refining of what I know about the healthy soil/healthy farm principle.