Renowned regenerative farmer, David Marsh from “Allendale” Boroowa, NSW, says one of the most satisfying effects of his change from conventional farming has been his sense of calm, even during the current dry.
In the latest interview in the Soils For Life video series, David Marsh says “the big unsung story is the calmness that comes over you when you feel like you’re doing good things for the planet and not getting anxious”.
David has been practicing regenerative farming for 20 years, but says anxiety was a constant before he changed his practices.
“We used to go backwards financially. We’d be anxious about our financial position, the land would look absolutely terrible, we loved the land and yet we were turning it into a desert. We hated that”.
“The most common question you get asked is ‘how many DSEs are you running?’ and I used to beat myself on the chest and say ‘we’re running or trying to run 15 DSEs to the hectare’. Now the question is irrelevant to me now. The answer to the question is ‘how many stock are you running?’ It’s always whatever is appropriate for the current conditions because the conditions are constantly changing, so we’re constantly changing our stocking rate”.
“Now that means we’ve gone through 9 years of drought from 2002 to 2010. We didn’t feed any animals, didn’t spend a cent on feeding”.
“We didn’t lose ground cover because we changed the numbers of animals up and down and then in this current 18 months of very dry weather we’re much better at estimating how much grass we’ve got all the time and so we’ve got appropriate numbers”.
“We’ve got a lot of grass – we’ve got 150 days of grass ahead of us right now”.
In his interview, David explains how conventional farming tries to interfere with the landscape’s natural tendencies.
“It’s easy to make a profit when your costs are very low, which they are if you get into regenerative agriculture because the landscape is doing the work”.
“In fact, a lot of the things you do is thinking about all the things you don’t need to do any more, because the landscape is doing it for you. We’re just tapping into natural systems”.
Find David Marsh’s interview here.