Episode 17 – Regenerative Cropping & Genetic Sheep Breeding with Anthony Thomas, Co-hosted with Dr Charles Massy

Today’s conversation is with Anthony Thomas and with me co-hosting is Dr Charles Massy. We recorded this podcast in March when we were there for the Three Springs Biological Farming Roundtable.

Anthony and Geraldine Thomas farm approx. 8000Ha in the North Midlands of W.A at Three Springs. Anthony and Geraldine operate Hill Padua Polls, breeding multipurpose Merinos, and crop 1300 Ha regeneratively. Adam Thomas their great nephew share farms the rest of the cropping program.

Anthony has always been focused on soil health starting in the 1970s working with Agro Nutritional Research Laboratories run by the late Tom Arkley who analysed their soils and pastures. Arden Anderson has been another influence for Anthony.

For the past two years, Anthony’s cropping system has dropped fertiliser inputs down to 5 units of Nitrogen and 5 L of NutriSoil at sowing and as a foliar, and he has been using NutriSoil and calcium across his pastures.

The combination of careful genetic breeding, low stress sheep management and working with nature has resulted in quiet, highly fertile sheep that do not require mulesing. His soils are visually increasing soil organic matter and measuring decreased compaction.

Dr Charles Massy, my special co-host is a Monaro woolgrower, a scientist and a renowned author. His classic book The Australian Merino: The Story of a Nation, is the account of how Merino sheep became one of the main supports of the Australian economy. More recently, Charles’ book Call of the Reed Warbler: A New Agriculture, a New Earth, exemplifies his role as an advocate for regenerative agriculture.

This is my enlightening conversation with Anthony Thomas and Dr Charles Massy.


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