Grant Simms Industry Tour

Grant Simms Industry Tour

Community Participation

The issue

Cover crops are plants or a diverse mixture of plants that are grown to help supress weeds, manage soil erosion, soil fertility, soil quality, water, disease, wildlife, and biodiversity. They can be used as a rotation in a cropping pasture system and can provide biomass that can be grazed with very little input. Biofertilizer can make plant nutrients more available to plant and influence the production of plant hormones. They can reduce the need for traditional fertilizers which is a great alternative as the price of fertiliser is making in unaffordable for many. Traditional fertilisers are becoming less affordable which means many people are looking for alternative and ways they can save money by doing more themselves. People are becoming more aware of the importance of preserving their topsoil which contains a large amount of the beneficial soil biology and a way to do this is to use cover crops to keep the topsoil intact.

The solution

WMLIG had about 50 people attend a field day at Grant Sims multi-enterprise farm where he gave attendees a tour of his biofertilizer manufacturing facility, explained how it works and why he decided to start making his own. He also went through the different cover crop seed mixes they put together and when and where they should be used. Grant has a wealth of knowledge about biofertilizer and cover crops explaining the benefits for livestock and crops, including: Enhances soil biology and improves soil structure. Increases infiltration. Reduces erosion. Assists in suppressing weeds. Increases nutrient cycling and wildlife propagation. Provide huge amounts of biomass that can be grazed with very little input. Low risk and low input for maximum production above and below ground. Grant has the facilities to make his own biofertilizer on farm, the benefits of biofertilizers are: Making plant nutrients more available to the plants. Enhances the production of plant hormones. Biofertilizers are cost effective when compared to traditional fertilizers. Reduce the need for traditional fertilisers. There is a potential for yield increases. Can improve the physical and chemical structure of the soil. It is eco-friendly.

The impact

Following the Industry Tour attendees were more than likely to make an on-farm changes, including: Apply liquid fertiliser, grow cover crops and spread gypsum for calcium. Leave more cover on the ground and try some cover crops. Manage ground cover better and make own fertiliser.

Key facts

  • Seed Mix Options
  • High density winter and summer cover crops and forages.
  • Starter mixes for winter and summer.
  • Soil health biological primers.
  • Dairy mixes (annual and perennials)
  • Fruit and nut orchard mixes.
  • Equine mixes.
  • Wine and vine interrow mixes.
  • Seed mix options

Project Partners