John Clothier: Christmas Creek Pastoral Company

John Clothier: Christmas Creek Pastoral Company
December 16, 2015 Comments Off on John Clothier: Christmas Creek Pastoral Company Chicken Litter,Farming,Rural Services Charmaine Acworth

John Clothier is the owner and manager of Christmas Creek Pastoral Company, a 147 hectare property 20 minutes south of Beaudesert.  As well as providing agistment services to thoroughbred race horses, he also runs 200-300 head of beef cattle.  For his cattle feed, he plants rye grass in winter and millet and sorghum in summer, as well as improved pastures for year-round grazing.

John purchased the property in 2007, and farmed it for several years using a mix of Natramin and chicken litter, whilst trying to back away from the use of chemical fertilisers.  John recognised the property needed some additional inputs, so he requested we take some soil samples and send them away to an independent Agronomist.  We then used these results to recommend a customised fertiliser blend, containing chicken manure, gypsum, potash, lime, boron and zinc.  These products were blended and spread, with Petrik microbial stimulants applied during the spreading process.  John has been gradually repeating this process across his whole property since early 2010, with fantastic results.

“I consider good, healthy soil to be the best bank account you’ll ever have.  If you keep taking out and not putting back in, eventually you’ll go broke.  Poor soil health can be fixed, but you have to do it in a structured manner and slowly bring it back, or you’ll go down the gurgler” says John.

Stuart Arthy from Arthy Rural Services commended John on his approach.  “Intensive farming practices and the overuse of chemical fertilisers have often led to the depletion of essential nutrients and minerals in many Australian farms.  It’s not something that can be fixed overnight, but it can be done.”

John has had over time other property owners commenting on how green his paddocks are and how healthy his livestock look.  “Since Arthy Rural Services have been treating my paddocks I’ve been able to increase my stocking rates, the herd health has improved and I’ve noticed a reduction in weeds in the treated paddocks as well.  Wherever a weed grows grass doesn’t, but because my soil is so healthy, the grass naturally overtakes the weeds.  Last year I was able to bale 1000 small rye and clover bales, and approx 88 round bales of millet hay off the treated paddocks. This, combined with multiple grazings made the whole process more than economically viable.”

Spreading chicken litter and Petrik products at Christmas Creek Pastoral – Nov 2015
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