The people at Glen Eden Holsteins are our greatest asset and our next most important asset is our land. Our goal is to constantly improve the health of our soils and pastures, ensuring that the milk we produce is a healthy, natural product. The philosophy driven by the Glen Eden Holsteins team is to focus on increasing cow health via increased soil and pasture quality. To maximise the health of our eco-system we take stock of soil and plant nutrient levels, identify the limiting factors and address them via a number of tools.
Our management team monitor the immediate term production with a feed ration to balance any changes in feed quality or composition to ensure milking performance is maintained at target levels. We believe in using natural fertilisers and are investing in natural mineral blends to re-balance soil chemistry with lime, manure and trace elements. Along with our grazing strategies our ability to harvest sunlight and water is steadily increasing without a total reliance on traditional fertilisers.
This strategy is moving our landscape toward the goal of a healthy sustainable and re-generative production system. Our monitoring programs show the following:
- Observable colonisation of soil and root-zone with beneficial fungi saprophytes which aid nutrient and residue cycling;
- Increase in earthworm counts from little to nil, to now having measured 25T per hectare eating their own body weight daily and producing free fertiliser in the process;
- Improved soil pH (0.24 average) and organic carbon% increase of 0.10% farm average;
- Increased cow conception and calving rates in 18 months of 7%;
- Improved pasture feed quality has been worth $1.00-$1.40 head per day.