Episode 21 – Dairy Farming Synthetic Free (Not Organic) with Andrew and Linda Whiting

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Today’s episode is with dairy farmers Andrew and Linda whiting who farm 600acres, in Simpson Victoria with 800mm annual rainfall. With me is Shelley Scouller, Nutrisoil’s new Communications extraordinaire.

Andrew and Linda Whiting were share farming when they decided to become self-start dairy farmers 18 years ago. They bought a dairy farm which had become run down and in fact had stopped milking. Everything the Whitings had was put into the purchase, finding themselves in a position with low equity they just put their heads down and worked hard.

The Whitings inherited soil with low pH (4.3 in places), and low potassium areas, their soils were high in iron, phosphorus was locked up, and there was an abundance of sorrel and fog grass.

They were applying 300 units of Nitrogen per year and lime followed the cows every 3 weeks. While they achieved industry benchmark of 1 tonne per 100mm rainfall of dry matter, money was going around in circles and they could not get ahead. They were at the top of their field, but there were cracks in the system.

This is a story of never giving up, having an open mind, searching for their path ,taking one step after the other until their system came together. They now farm with no synthetic inputs, and the only herbicides they use are spot sprays for blackberries and thistles.

This is the path of Linda and Andrew Whiting.

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