Regen Ag helps burnt country bounce back

Regen Ag helps burnt country bounce back | Photos

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Multi-species pastures flourish after fire.

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Like many around the country, cattle farmer Martin Royds, Braidwood had a long summer.

Five of his eight blocks in the Braidwood district burnt in a 72 day-period, from early December to February.

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The Land caught up with Mr Royds in December, when 30 per cent of his home property, Jillamatong, had already been affected by fires.

But, since then the country has rebounded.

Mr Royds practices regenerative agriculture and had sequestered large amounts of carbon into the soil.

He said the carbon levels along with good ground cover and the driest conditions recorded since 1885, meant it burnt hot.

But at the time, he also hoped the high levels of carbon would help the land recover, and it has.

"It looks beautiful, we drilled multi-species plants into the country that got burnt and fire break areas," Mr Royds said.

"We put in more than 12 different species, then we sprayed some biological stimulants donated by Island Biologicals.

"The sunflowers are flowering now, I've got huge tillage radishes.

"They've pushed half a metre into the soil and have opened it up where it got all cooked and compacted.

"There's pasture up to your knees it places."

Mr Royds said they had significant rainfall this year, starting in January.

"In half an hour it went from bone dry to flood with a 60 mil rainfall event, up from the river from me," Mr Royds said.

"That was in late-January, there were just storms going around but the fires were still going."

They then had 116 millimetres in February and 96mm in March, but less than half their average rainfall for April (just 27mm) meant the country was starting to dry out again.

"It's still not fully recovered, I've had no run off into my dams and weirs as yet, it's green but not growing."

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