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Soil Health And Pasture Recovery For Australian Farms

Soil Health And Pasture Recovery For Australian Farms

In general, pastures are known to be resilient and have their own form of defence mechanism to enhance their survival during tough farming weather conditions in Australia. Depending on the type of pasture will affect how well it adapts to conditions like droughts, bushfires, and floods.

Pasture recovery for fires

After your pasture has faced significant drought or fire, there’s a high chance that this has affected the ability for your crop to grow. The intensity of the effects of fire on your pasture varies from pasture species, but there are some ways you can deal with the effects of fire on your farm.

To read more on Pasture improvment, check out Pasture Improvement Using A Tractor Aerator

Fire intensity

The heat and intensity of the fire have a massive effect on your pastures recovery. There are 3 categories of intensity.

Cool to moderate burns- this is when most of your plants are burnt with some seed and subterranean surviving. You will see a small residue of unburnt pasture. Usually occurring where there is little dry grass.

Hot burns- this is when plants and seeds are totally burnt. Your topsoil is charred and bare. Hot burns happen when your area has an abundance of biomass from crop stubble or a lightly grazed pasture.

Very hot burns- your soil is virtually cleaned out. All plant and seed material is destroyed and fire burns are evident on the tip organic matter layer of your soil.

Effects on soil fertility

Any nutrients parenting in any plant material are returned to your soil in the form of ash. In the long run, your pasture won’t gain any additional nutrients because of the fire.

As a general rule, fire reduces the amount of nitrogen available to your recovering pasture because of the burnt organic matter releasing nitrogen into the atmosphere.

When your pasture has a good history and is regularly fertilised, you have a higher chance of a faster recovery.

Read also on Aeration

Ways to aid pasture recovery

Here are some ways you can accelerate your pastures recovery:

  • Harrowing the paddock: heavy harrowing can unearth any buried seeds and improve your pastures germination.
    See our Folding Mounted Harrows
    See our Paddock Harrows
  • Grazing: it’s recommended to leave your livestock off any burnt pastures for at least 6 weeks or more to improve your plant’s growth survival.
  • Fertiliser: where there are regenerated crops or your pasture seeds have been sown, adding fertiliser can hasten growth and recovery.
  • Use a chemical in conjunction with a speed disc: if your pasture has developed dense weeds you may need to chemically control them or disturb them before you start sowing new pasture seed. Redistributing the top soil with a speed disc can help in removing unwanted plant matter that is in your soil bed. Distributing chemicals over this can then clear further roots and provide a better canvas for sowing seeds.
    See our Disc O Mulch
    See our Seed Drill

 

If you’re wanting to know about the products listed above or have any questions regarding our other farming machinery available, give us a call on (02) 8776 3354 or get in contact with us at sales@farmtech.com.au.

You Can also read on Combating Soil Compaction with Aervators

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