Tips For Fast Farming

There are many joys and benefits of having your own personal small farm, a for-profit hobby farm, a nursery, or a community garden. Fresh produce, being able to work outdoors, the pride of cultivating organic food – the list goes on and on.

Patience, however, is an aspect of small farming that many people struggle with.

Farming requires a lot of time and dedication, and it can be can a tedious task for those of us that are used to instant gratification.

As the saying goes, patience takes practice. Luckily, greenPRO has a few tips and tricks to speed up the farming process up to 6 times – no patience necessary!

Farm with a Plan.

Set a goal for your land and work backward to develop practical steps you need to take in order to achieve your end goal. Planning this in advance speeds up work in the field, and ensures you don’t skip crucial steps that you would otherwise need to backtrack to complete.

Every time you go on your land to work, have a clear mission and stick to it. It can be easy to get sidetracked or distracted, but this wastes time and prolongs the wait to enjoy your harvest.

If you need help planning, check out the following resources:

Select Fast-Growing Vegetables.

Not all vegetables grow at the same pace. Be strategic and select veggies that don’t require months of harvesting.

Here are our top suggestions for quick-growing vegetables you can produce in most areas of Queensland and Western Australia:

  • Radishes – yield in 21 days
  • Spring onions – yield in 21 days
  • Lettuce – yields in 30 days
  • Turnips – yield in 30 to 55 days
  • Zucchini – yields in 40 to 50 days

Select Fast-Growing Fruits.

If you want to sweeten your farm, select fast-growing fruit trees instead (or in addition to) vegetable crops.

  • Peach trees are one of the fastest growing fruit trees. They can grow up to 15 feet within a year, and harvestable fruit appears as early as two years.
  • Apple trees are also fairly fast. Within two years you will have delicious apples to eat and sell.
  • Cherry trees are full grown and producing fruit within 1 to 3 years.

Use multi-purpose farm implements.

When you can, do multiple jobs at once. It may sound impossible, but with the right equipment, it’s not.

Our 6-in-1 Seeder allows you to disc, plough, fertilise, seed, cover, and roll in one pass of your ATV. Just hook up the 6-in-1 seeder to the back of your ATV and enjoy the ride. It saves you money, time, blood, sweat, and tears.

If you want to see our seeder in action, check out our field day events or contact greenPRO to book a demo.

Your Preparation Checklist

Whether you’ve been maintaining land for decades or have just begun your journey with land cultivation, it’s important to review your practices and processes. Over time, it can be easy to get into a mechanical routine, and before you know it, you’re cutting corners at your land’s expense. If you’re just starting out, you want to establish good habits for the long-term health of your crops.

However, before you dive into best practices, you need to do some preparation. You can’t tend to your land properly unless you know your land, the climate, water laws, and your available water sources. In other words, you need to do homework before you can enact irrigation best practices.

We’ve developed a checklist to help you prepare for irrigation best practices, so your land can flourish, and all your hard work can pay off.

Know Your Climate

This might seem obvious, but do you really know your climate?

Do you understand the rainfall patterns, the temperature fluctuations, the evaporation rate? Do you know what the forecast is saying about the climate in the future? This information is crucial for good planning and proper land and irrigation management.

Think about it. If you know a dry spell is coming at the end of the month, you can base your irrigation practices on that information so your pasture don’t suffer. You need to be proactive to keep your land healthy and happy.

We recommend using the government’s Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) website. It has the most accurate and current information to help you plan your land maintenance.

Failing to pay attention to this information can have significant consequences, and can leave you ill prepared. The climate can quickly change, so make sure you stay up to date with forecast information.

Screenshot taken from The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) website.

Know Your License Conditions

If you have a fair amount of land, it’s likely you have a water license or permit (or should have one – check with the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation). Basically, if you draw groundwater or use surface water from a watercourse, you need to have a license.

It’s important to understand the conditions of your license and abide by it – both for environmental reasons, and to avoid penalties and legal recourse. The conditions around your permit or license will play a big part in how you form your land maintenance practices.

Not all water sources require a license or permit. For example, farm dams and tanks don’t need a license if they are not on a watercourse or wetland, or there is no noticeable reduction of water flow in the watercourse or wetland.

Screenshot taken from The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.

Know Your Water Usage Patterns

Do you know how much water you are currently using? Do you know how that water is distributed and used across your assets (livestock, irrigation, dairy shed, etc.)? You need to know how your water is allocated before you can properly plan and make strategic adjustments. You don’t want to be left with pouring all your water into one area, or dispersing your water so thinly that all your assets are left dry and damaged.

Image of the The Bureau of Meteorology’s Water Storage app that lets you compare water levels and volumes for more than 300 publicly-owned lakes, reservoirs and weirs around Australia.

 

Know Your Water Options & Availability

Consider all the different sources you can gather water from. Make a list of sources that you can use on a continual basis, and sources that can be used in the case of an emergency or drought. Water options may include direct pumping from streams, water from storage and catchment dams, groundwater, and water from irrigation schemes. Tools like That Dam Pump Trailer can help you get creative. Even if you have no mains power access around your land, you can still irrigate for up to 20 hours, so long as you have dam water access.

 

Image of that Dam Pump Trailer on farm in the Adelaide Hills, SA.

 

Know the Water Management Act

The Water Management Act may be broad, but it’s crucial to consider. Review it and make sure your irrigation strategy meets its requirements – you don’t want to be responsible for ecological damage or cutting into your community’s water needs.

The Water Management Act 1999 is part of the State’s integrated Resource Management and Planning System and provides for the management of Tasmania’s freshwater resources.

 

Know the Suitability of Your Water of Irrigation

It’s important to assess your water sources for risk of salinity. It can be easy to forget that not all water is suitable or healthy for your crops, livestock, and other needs. Before you risk using contaminated water, just think about the consequences it could have. It’s always worth it to find a healthy water source instead of putting your livestock or crops in jeopardy.

Know the suitability of your irrigation for your crops and your animals.

First things first:

Your irrigation practices will be dictated by the types of soil you use. Make sure you know the following about your soils:

  • Crop and pasture suitability
  • Crop frequency
  • Capability for irrigation and drainage
  • Potential for soil erosion
  • Water holding capacity
  • Infiltration rate/rate of application of water

We highly recommend you record this information for future reference. This is a lot of important data, and you should not rely on memory. You will likely need to update it as time goes on, so make sure you can make amendments to the document.

This information will be important to reference as you are building your irrigation best practices. It can also be helpful for licensing or permit applications, or if you ever decide to sell your land.

As you make changes to this document, note seasons and dates. Having a record of how your soil and pasture changes over time is beneficial in the long run.

Soil Monitoring

Soil monitoring tools can help you track crop water usage and plan correct irrigation scheduling. Here are a few tools we recommend:

  • Irrigation WA Smartphone App – Developed by the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA), this app lets you select multiple production features like soil type, crop variety, and irrigation type, to give you the best irrigation scheduling advice specific to your land. This no-cost tool is ideal for smaller farm and fields that don’t have the extra money to spend on commercial software;
  • Plexus – This farm measurement system uses low maintenance, solar powered field stations to pull your data and deliver it to you via the cloud. If you want extremely accurate data on soil moisture tension, content, temperature, and EC, this is a great option; and
  • Wildeye – This tool is similar to Plexus, and allows you to create a free demo account. It is not powered by solar power, however.

 

Preventing Soil Erosion

Soil erosion occurs when the structure of your soil degrades due to environmental factors like water and wind. When the top layer of soil is eroded, rills and gullies can occur, which makes the cultivation of paddocks impossible.

You can help prevent soil erosion by maintaining good pasture cover, and grassed waterways.

If you’re in need of a temporary solution, spread mulch with straw, bark, and compost around the problem areas. It acts like a shock absorber and prevents access water from destroying the soil’s structure. You can also use hay bales to slow water flow, if the soil erosion is occurring at the bottom of a hill.

For a longer-term solution, methodically place rocks and boulders around the areas you want to slow the flow of water. You can protect your soil from wind erosion by using sheets of geo-textile, nylon, or jut matting. These sheets of fabric prevent your soil from blowing away and are porous, so the soil can still receive water. Other long-term solutions include changes to your landscape, like creating contour swales, terraces, or sump pits.

Preventing Soil Compaction

Soil compaction – when soil particles are pressed together tightly, reducing air and pore space between the particles – occurs due to the soil not receiving enough water, and/or stress being applied, such as heavy machinery or animal feet. Soil compaction negatively effects root growth, which in turn can lead to stunted and drought-stressed plants.

Compacted Soil
Healthy Soil

Preventing soil compaction comes down to your infrastructure. You should avoid using oversized equipment, try to combine field operations, and minimising your tractor weight. This used to be a tall order to ask for smaller establishments – but since greenPRO has developed a line catered to smaller, non-industrial-sized farm and fields, preventing soil compaction has never been easier.

All greenPRO’s implements are designed to be towed behind an ATV, so you can rest assured you aren’t putting too much force on your soil. The 6-IN-1 Seeder has the ability to disc, plough, fertilise, seed, cover, and roll in one single operation, so you are combining 6 different manoeuvers, minimising weight and disruption on your soil. This implement was designed to be lightweight and compact, so it can also save you up to 63% in fuel costs.

The results are in – the 6-IN-1 Seeder reduces soil compaction by 6 times.

Given how hot and arid Australia is, you need to be ready to manage irrigation under dry circumstances. Our best advice: know your crop, know how it responds to periods of drought, and know what tools are available for irrigation management.

How do Perennial Pasture Crops Deal with drought?

 

Perennial pastures are very sensitive to late irrigation start-up and missed irrigations. When irrigations are missed or even delayed, plants go into partial water stress, which leads to growth decline.

Even once the stressed pasture is fully irrigated, there is a lag period before growth rates go back to normal. It takes several weeks for perennial crops to fully recover.

You can avoid missed or delayed irrigation with the right irrigator. The GPI-100 Solar Powered Travelling Irrigator helps ensure you don’t run out of water and all your crops are irrigated properly with water pressure as low as 20psi. It’s ideal for smaller areas of land, like small farms, parks, gardens, nurseries, hobby properties, sports fields, race tracks, golf courses, equestrian stables and arena’s.

The GPI-100 Irrigator can water a 1 acre paddock in a single pass (so long as the paddock dimensions are 38 metres wide by 105 metres long). If you set the retraction speed for 6 hours from 2 to 12, the amount of water dispensed will be:

  • 88 litres/min X 60 minutes X 6 hours = 31,680 litres

Over 1 acre or an area of 4000 square metres, this is the equivalent of receiving approximately 8mm of “rain.”

TIP: If you find yourself with reduced water supplies and can’t get your hands on a GPI-100 Solar Powered Travelling Irrigator, minimise the area of pasture you are irrigating, so that at least a portion of your land is receiving a full requirement of water.

Do not continue to irrigate the same area of land with less water per hectare. This is a common strategy, but under-irrigating a large area just leaves you with a large amount of arid land.

How do Forage Crops Deal with drought?

 Forage crops are more tolerant of delayed or missed irrigations. They also respond favourably and lucratively to once-off irrigations in the mid to latter phases of their growth period, so if you need to conserve water, there are ways to manage and still have your crop flourish.

If your crops are decently damp, you may be able to stop irrigation in the summer and save your water for early autumn. Be careful how you store the water – dam or surface storage containers have a high evaporation rate, decreasing your total volume of water for autumn. Carefully weigh the pros and cons before stopping summer irrigation.

The Best Crops for Dry Climates

Summer Forage Crops

  • Millets are quick-maturing summer cereals used in quality animal feed. These crops can be grazed 5 to 7 weeks after sowing. We recommend pearl millet or pennisetum millet, which have excellent drought tolerance, unlike Japanese millet.
  • Cowpea is a multi-purpose legume that is an easy crop to establish, adaptable to a wide range of soils, drought tolerant, and provides high yields in a short period of time.

Winter Forage Crops

  • Forage oats are a reliable winter crop that can produce high-quality feed at a time when most pastures are inactive. Oats are often used to fatten livestock during autumn to early spring.
  • Annual ryegrass grows vigorously and is tolerant of drought, continuous grazing, low soil fertility, and even some insects. This crop is highly nutritious and useful for hay.

 

Irrigated forage crops generally have better water use efficiency, as they tend to produce more feed per mL of water, compared to irrigated pasture crops. However, if you already have irrigated pasture crops established, it is likely not worth it economically to switch over to forage crops. Finding a proper irrigator for your needs is the most cost-effective route.

The Small Farms Guide 7 Reasons Why You Should Kill Weeds With The ATV Sprayer Trailer

Weeds are a major threat to the establishment of good pasture. They don’t just smother pastures but harm livestock as well. Weeds are known to out-compete pastures because they’re resistant to pests and diseases that normally affect them in their natural settings. That’s why you might have noticed the weeds in your pastures looking more vibrant than the grass you’re trying to nurture. The following are 7 reasons why you should kill weeds using the ATV Sprayer Trailer.

1. Competition for nutrients

Weeds are hardy and vigorous in the way they grow. They grow so fast that even before you know it, they have outgrown your pastures. All this is because of the large amounts of water and soil nutrients they consume, to the detriment of your pastures. It is wise to use the ATV Sprayer Trailer as a weed spray for your pastures and get rid of weeds.

2. Competition for water

Have you noticed how hydrated the weeds in your pastures look? Well, it’s because they transpire more water than the planted pastures. The weeds, therefore end up looking greener than your pastures. So, ensure you weed spray your pastures using the ATV Sprayer Trailer. 

3. Competition for solar energy

About 99 percent of the dry matter in pastures is made up of organic matter that depends on energy from the sun. Weeds are known to grow faster than your pastures. They end up creating sheds that deny the pastures adequate sunlight. The pastures, therefore, end up performing badly despite having adequate water and nutrient supply.  Use the greenPRO weed sprayer to quickly spot-spray patches of weeds around fence posts. Or go all out and easily kill off a large plot of thick, stubborn weeds.

4. Competition for space

Weeds compete with your pastures for space both in the rhizosphere and atmosphere. When your pastures are infested with weeds, they have limited space to develop shoots and leaves. This causes reduced photosynthesis, thus reducing the productivity of your pastures. Hey, get the ATV Sprayer Trailer and rid your pastures of all weeds.

5. Weeds impair the quality of livestock produce

Weeds in pastures are forage crops that introduce undesirable flavours to milk and meat animals. Others get attached to the body of sheep thus reducing the quality of wool produced. So, if you want to get high-quality produce from your animals, use a good weed spray with the ATV Sprayer Trailer to rid your pastures of weeds.

6. Weeds harm your animal’s health

Unlike pastures, weeds contain high levels of alkaloids, tannins, glycosides, oxalates, and other substances that are poisonous to animals when ingested. For example, Silky lupine is known to cause crooked calf disease when eaten in the pasture. So, why expose your animals to dangerous weeds? Get rid of them using the ATV weed sprayer from greenPRO.

7. Weeds harbour insect pests and diseases

They offer shelter to various insect pests and diseases. They also act as alternative hosts thus endangering your pastures with the threat of getting infected with harmful pests and diseases. Who likes sickly pastures? Use the ATV weed sprayer to get rid of all weeds in your pastures.

Clearly, there is no reason why you shouldn’t get the ATV Sprayer Trailer for

greener and healthier pastures. It’s the best weed sprayer you’ll ever use to kill weeds!

The Small Farms Guide Seeding our knowledge of helpful tips and tricks to farmers around the country.

Any owner of a small farm who wishes to graze their animals on lush green pastures grasses should read this! The reason is that it’s not every day that you receive great advice on how to improve your pastures. Therefore, you may find the following tips to be helpful. pasture grasses pasture grasses pasture grasses 

1. Test and prepare the soil.

It is not rocket science. First, you must prepare the soil. Start by obtaining an accurate soil sample, testing it, and using it to improve the soil accordingly. Your local extension service should be of help in testing and improving the soil.

2. Select the right pasture seed mix.

Selecting the right seed mixture is imperative. Evaluate your geographical region and the application for which you want the grass. It could be for grazing or harvesting hay. Whatever your circumstances, you need to choose the mix of pasture seed that’s right for you. You will discover that each pasture seed  mix is formulated specifically for its application and region.

3. Properly prepare the seedbed.

The next step, to get the pasture grasses up and producing, is to ensure that you adequately prepare the seedbed on your small farm. For your pasture feed to establish optimally, it requires a fine, and firm seedbed. Don’t forget that you will need to carry out some irrigation, once you have done the planting. So have your solar powered travelling irrigator on standby.

4. Plant seed using the right method.

If you prefer it, use the no-till method by spraying all the vegetation for the best results. Pasture seeds should not be planted too deep, or too far apart. Ensure adequate seed-to-soil contact by rolling (packing) soil.

5. Keep it moist.

All seeds need moisture to get established. Using irrigation, you can ensure that your pasture gets off to a good start. That is if you didn’t plant your seed during the fall or spring seasons. There is an alternative in frost seeding, which can be accomplished by broadcasting seed during the months when the soil is freezing at night and thawing during the day.

6. Allow grass to get established.

Before you start heavy grazing or re-stocking, first allow the plants to get well established. When plants reach 8 to 12 inches, mow or lightly graze down to no less than 3 inches in height. Allow the pasture to regrow to between 18 and 20 inches before grazing again. With this, you encourage the grass and also assists legume establishment by allowing more light into the base. You should continue with this rotational grazing to ensure the productivity of the pasture remains at a high level. Be careful not to overgraze, especially for some species such as orchard-grass that do not reach their full potential until the second season.  establish pasture  establish pasture  establish pasture 

7. Use fertiliser.

Apply nitrogenous fertiliser on your small farm between three and four weeks after planting, and successively after that. This will prolong the life of the pasture and improve its performance. However, don’t apply fertiliser when it’s dry. Make sure to do irrigation first as the fertiliser may dry the grass. Talk to your agricultural agent for specifications on the type of fertiliser to apply.

Well, what’s stopping you?

  Go on and establish green pasture on your small farm!

The Small Farms Guide Water your waiting for.

You know the “look” – the bone weary, dirt covered farmer braces his back with one hand and pushes his hat back with the other casting his gaze skyward at the lone cloud in the sky.  Hoping for rain, not just for his pastures and crops, but also just to settle the dust that covers and clogs everything from noses to air filters.

This time of year in Australia, most of us are not worrying too much about rain, but in just a few months that will all change. Dams will certainly be filled and retention waters ready to broadcast, but there is one problem…

Rain transports itself – dam and well water don’t!

Getting water from point A to point B has historically never been fun. Water’s heavy and has a nagging tendency to escape from your chosen vessel and disappear into the wrong bit of ground.

That whole “water’s heavy” bit has caused a good deal of trouble over the years. Pumping equipment has always been heavy and unwieldy meaning the operator had to be a fairly strapping fellow. And any day he had to water, he could forget about doing anything else! Other duties he was going to handle got pushed down the list, which meant his lands could fall behind in the dry seasons because he was tied up pumping, transferring, and spraying water.

That is – until the greenPRO irrigator was born! With a new set of ideas about what irrigation and irrigators should look and be like. You see, when we started designing irrigators for the farm and paddock two years ago, we started with a clean sheet of paper. We put aside what it should look like, and instead, imagined all the tasks it needed to do. The end result? An irrigation platform unlike any other. Solar powered, self-adjusting, and versatile enough to be used in the paddock, the pasture, or even for fire suppression. The solar powered Traveling Irrigator received rave reviews by the professionals at the Australia National Field Days … and if anyone has “seen it all” they certainly have.

An irrigator designed to meet every need – not just be pressed into service. We built our Traveling Irrigator with a new set of ideas – made almost independent of water pressure, performing impeccably at less than 20psi! Process management system – both water and wire – controlled with integrated variable speed controls, ‘set and forget’ technology and an automatic shut-off system.

Most importantly? greenPRO’s design is a creation born of the minds and hands of Australian men and women who have worked the Land Down Under. The people who know that there is everywhere else and then there is Australia. Just as importantly, because we know the land, when you have a question about the Irrigator (or any other implement we provide), you get real service from your countrymen – not some call center on the other side of the globe, not some city folks who don’t know a plough from a harrow.

Providing better implements for Australia’s farmers – that’s what we do at greenPRO and our Traveling Irrigator is just another great example.

The Small Farms Guide Techniques To Use For Better Harvests and Healthier Livestock

As the specialists in helping the small farmer become more efficient and more productive with their operation. greenPRO, as a division of Quik Corp, has spent decades building the right products for the backbone of the farming industry in Australia.  Truth be told, we hear questions all year-round, not only about our products, but about techniques to use for better harvests and healthier livestock.

Right now, much of that conversation hinges on the preparation of pasture.  After all, September through December is when many small farmers start to think about renewing older pasture, but in reality, the time to think about new pastures is years before.  In those preparation years, your primary focus needs to be on weed elimination for both plants and seeds in the soil and making sure that your pH is correct.  These two years of preparation are critical before you ever hook up the cultivator – remember, here in Australia, good grazing is a matter of hard work, not building a fence.

While you can easily spend 25% to 50% of the total graze value making that pasture “work”, it is also critical to remember that if you haven’t killed off the weeds, the fertiliser helps them too.

After killing off the weeds in the unseeded period – which should be for at least six months, you need to get the soil tested and continue to spray out any weeds.

After this 6-month period, look to apply an annual “manure crop” such as rye corn, tick beans or even mustard greens to help generate more nitrogen in the soil – don’t forget, a good starter fertiliser is a smart move at this phase as well.

The good news is that this crop can be grazed once established, and sometimes imports like chicory can be used (if carefully monitored and grazed closely) to ensure the untilled period reuse the same techniques from the previous season.  The new year brings some new techniques, too.  Of pivotal importance is what is to be sown – certain pasture crops like certain planting techniques – so make sure that you choose the right technique for the right crop. Want a PRO-tip?  You also want to limit any impaction of the soil at this time – exactly why we designed our 6-IN-1 SEEDER to make this a one-step “one pass” operation.

In addition to this, it is critical in these preparation phases to correctly identify any pests or weeds and take the appropriate measures.  Once successfully established, you’ll be able to manage your pastures using rotational grazing, controlling weeds with herbicides and replacing soil nutrients with fertiliser. Farming equipment Farming equipment Farming equipment 

In the end, pasture that has “gone back” can be brought back… more importantly, you can cut down drastically on seed and fertiliser costs by managing pasture more efficiently and more effectively year-to-year.

The Small Farms Guide How Does A Grass Seeder Work?

Before you use a piece of equipment, it’s always good to know how it works. This allows you to use the implement properly and troubleshoot in a way that (hopefully) won’t break the equipment.

Some seeders, like broadcast seeders and drop seeders, require the soil to be prepared by other machines before being used. Other seeders, like slicer seeders or slit grass seeders, prepare the soil and plant seeds in one pass. These seeders are used in what is referred to as “no-till” and “low-till” farming.

Broadcast Seeders & Drop Seeders

After the land has been prepared you can use a broadcast seeder or drop seeder to quicken the seeding process.

Broadcast seeders have a large material hopper positioned over a horizontal spinning disk. Most disks typically have a series of 3 or 4 fins attached to it, which spray the seeds in various directions as they drop down through the hopper. Broadcast seeders are much faster than drop seeders.

Drop seeders employ the same basic concept that broadcast seeders use, only, drop seeders are designed to plant seeds in rows. Drop seeders are much more precise in planting seeds, as seeds only drop where the operator walks. This implement is slower than a broadcast seeder because it has to be used methodically.

Slicer Seeders & Slit Grass Seeders

Slicer seeders  (also called slit grass seeders) do not require you to prepare your land before use. These implements perform two functions: they open up the soil and deposit the seed.

Slit grass seeders have blades that slice shallow vertical rows into the soil and drop seed directly into the freshly made crevasse. These implements optimize seed germination, as the seed is deposited deep into the soil where it can quickly begin to germinate. There is much less risk of seed being blown or washed away by the elements, or pests getting to it.

The 6-in-1 Seeder

Exclusively by greenPRO, the 6-in-1 seeder does exactly what its name says: performs six functions at once. It will disc, plough, fertilise, seed, cover and roll all in the one action. All you need to worry about is attaching the seeder to your UTV or ATV, and cruising over the land you want to cultivate. Yep, it can really be that easy.

Learn more about the 6-in-1 seeder or contact us to request a free demonstration.

The Small Farms Guide To Till or not to Till

In the grand scheme of things, sooner or later, everything comes back into style.  In some cases, as we “rediscover” old ways or “forgotten” techniques, we realise that the improved version that we may have done for many years really wasn’t all that improved.  Don’t believe it?

Look at the prices commanded for grass-fed beef.  Free range chickens.  “Organic” anything at the market.

All were the practical, real-world techniques used for countless generations of farmers around the world … and they are all popular again and perceived as somehow “better” by discerning purchasers.

It makes you wonder what else we have collectively turned our backs on over the years.  When it comes to small farming we ask, how can they be reliably worked by only a handful of people and still provide high-quality outputs?

Enter – or re-enterno-till farming.

That’s right.  NO-till farming.  That means not turning over the soil in preference to letting nature run its course through a completely different strategy with respect to cover crops, crop rotation, pasture establishment, and most importantly, pasture enrichment.  A little history on the ideas behind the concept…

Most, if not all, modern farming methods derive from the idea of the plough.  Whether wielded by draft animals or behind an air-conditioned tractor; the plough has reigned supreme for many years.  Is it really necessary?  Starting in the 1940’s, the no-till ideology has maintained that the smarter – and older strategy of clearing the land and keeping it productive without turning over the soil can raise moisture levels in the land, sequester carbon effectively, and provide high yields at a fraction of the costs that tillage requires.

More importantly, no-till farming generally means that the horsepower required to pull a seeder through pasture is dramatically reduced.  Not needing the high-torque drawbar ratings of big equipment means that no-till farming is perfect for the small farmer who desires to use a small ATV, UTV, or even a  “Garden tractor”, in combination with the greenPRO 6-IN-1 SEEDER.

An even more critical part of the equation is that in no-till farming, the land is being used throughout every season, thus soil preparation and over-seeding needs to become an easy-to-perform operation.  The more times you can over-seed your pastures with season active growing seeds, the richer your pastures become, hence the better the health and growth performance of the animals grazing that pasture.

Let’s take a look at implementing a useful rotation using no-till techniques.  Year one, we might have wheat already established, but then, after harvest, sow summer pasture grass seeds into the stubble.  Year two, winter oats and a mixed cereal combination are over-sown into the summer pasture and animals allowed to gaze on rotation.  Years three, four, and five, again, mixed summer grasses, legumes, and cereals are planted with animals grazing in rotation so as to allow grasses to reach maturity throughout the rotation period.

Additionally, you’ll not fight any native grasses that choose to develop alongside your sown grasses and cereals.  By keeping your fields constantly seeded and productive all year-round, you limit the amount of weeds that can exist in the field and the animal grazers, in this example, provide manure and do not lead to soil impaction typically caused by heavy farming equipment.  More importantly, you’re able to do all this with fewer implements, less time input and reduced overall costs.

Remember, bigger is not always better and there is plenty of wisdom that we sometimes forget.  Australia is a place unto itself when it comes to our seasons and how we approach farming.  By deploying techniques that work in your particular area you can use your lands more efficiently and not spend a fortune in large expensive equipment, time, fuel, tools, and chemicals that can cause severe damage to your property in the long run. no till farming no till farming

Travelling irrigators are the closest thing to a perfect watering solution for small farmers.

As you know, water is a precious commodity and using it effectively is paramount to your success or failure each year. Water can also be a major hassle without the right equipment and implements.

Travelling irrigators are ideal for people who are:

  • Tired of hauling hoses
  • Fed up with watching their irrigation system like a hawk
  • Don’t want to deal with a dusty arena

Still not convinced a travelling irrigator would make your life easier?

Here are greenPRO’s top 7 reasons why you should consider a portable irrigation system:

1. Mobility

As the name suggests, travelling irrigators can be moved around to water land here, there, and everywhere.

It’s incredibly versatile, which is helpful when you are a small land owner. Your land might have different watering needs, and travelling irrigators allow you to position the system where you want, at the pressure you want, for the length of time you want.

You can use a travelling irrigator to water an area of parkland, and then bring it around to use on your paddock or equestrian arena. You can even transport it to use on sporting fields, golf courses, and many other types of land.

It saves you money on multiple stationary irrigation systems, and gives you the freedom to target different areas of land.

2. No Pressure? No Problem!

Limited pressure can be a serious issue for many irrigation systems. greenPRO’s travelling irrigator is solar powered and operates effectively with water pressure as low as 20psi.

Zero water pressure is used to rewind the hose, and the 12v motor retracts the sprinker. Running your irrigation system on a lower pressure allows you to limit the amount of water delivered and stretch out your source for as long as possible.

3. Low Impact

One of the biggest problems that landowners struggle with is when cover soils are packed down by heavy equipment. We built the Traveling Irrigator to be heavy duty and light weight for a host of reasons, but chief among them was to limit soil impaction.

We know families that have spent generations getting their farmlands to optimal aeration, and towing hundreds or thousands of kilos over those lands mitigates loads of hard work. This machine is easily towed, by a small tractor or ATV, and uses large flotation style tyres to make sure it leaves minimal evidence of it ever having crossed your property. It is also fitted with turf-friendly spikes, and that’s another powerful plus point. When dealing with an equestrian area, it also waters evenly, rather than leaving dangerous hard or deep boggy spots behind.

4. Unlike a bad employee, a Traveling Irrigator can take care of itself

Not only did we build this with variable speed control, but it also has unique ‘set and forget’ shut-off technology. This allows you to set it up and then leave it to work while you get on with your own. Even better? You can set the Traveling Irrigator to run one piece in the evening or at night while you move it to handle another operation the next day.

5. Unique Adaptability

By using the common water inlets and a built-in pressure gauge, GreenPRO has made the Travelling Irrigator easy to operate. Simply activate the right valving, connect it to the available water source, engage the motor and it’s ready to go! Knowing the folks would use this in a myriad of ways we’ve designed the handles to be reversible. Allowing the implement to be towed by a small vehicle or ATV.

6. Built by the folks who understand the problem!

Designed by Australians, built from Australian components. The Traveling Irrigator was created as a solution for people who need to handle specific small farm duties in Australia. This isn’t some cheap Chinese import or a colossal U. S. monster. This is built for the way that farmers and smallholders here in Australia actually use their lands. We know that your applications might range from dust control to fire protection, paddock watering to crop irrigation; or for vineyard or orchard irrigation – and so many other possible locations and potential uses.

7. Makes a complicated task an enjoyable activity.

The greenPRO travelling Irrigator transforms what can be the most frustrating and time-consuming of tasks into a simple process. Created for Australian weather and designed to be simple to use. Guaranteed to get the job done, time and time again. Which, come to think of it, could be the perfect description for most Australians!