Reaching a compromise between a biological and conventional farming system has resulted in increased stocking rates. Improved soil structure and reduced input costs for a Tasmanian producer. Rob Tole had been caught in a high input regime of fertilisers, fungicides and insecticides. In his cropping enterprise at Cressy when an issue with pugged soils had far reaching consequences. The waterlogged and compacted soils resulted in a yield penalty in the crops following and started Rob on a path to finding solutions.
He trialled TM Agricultural, an organic soil activation product produced by Best Environmental Technologies. On his worst paddocks with beneficial results and now uses the product across 100 per cent of his farm. Set in a 650mm rainfall zone, the 550ha property is at the foot of the Great Western Tiers with soil types comprising heavy black to lighter sandy loams. Around 60 per cent of the farm is dedicated to irrigation with nine fixed pivots irrigation 320ha. Applications of up to 10 tonnes/ha of lime has resulted in a soil pH of 5.9-6.2 and Olsen P levels are high at 25mg/kg.