No Kill Cropping with Bruce Maynard

Bruce Maynard is a lazy farmer. Learn how he Pasture Croppingearned the “Lazy Farmer” label by integrating cropping, livestock and no stress stockmanship.


Walt Davis

 

 

 
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[Content protected for Lifetime, Yearly, Monthly members only]

About Bruce Maynard, Pasture Cropping and No Kill Cropping:

Willydah – Bruce Maynard’s Farm – No Kill Cropping

Colin Seis’ interview on Pasture Cropping in Australia

Cover Crops from A-Z with Keith Berns – Green Cover Seed

Willydah:

Willydah is a 1500 hectare farm situated 20km West of Narromine, NSW, Australia.
The property can be seen on Google Earth and is clearly visible as being differently managed than its surroundings from a distance of 200 kilometres.
Willydah has a mixture of soil types from hard setting red earths to grey cracking clays. Much of this has been deposited in (geologically speaking) relatively recent times.

The Landscape

Willydah sits in an area that was a mixture of Open Woodland, Grasslands and Shrublands with some thicker stands of Trees along watercourses. The landscape had been managed in one form or another by aboriginal people with the intensity of that impact increasing within the last 6000 years. Grassland management became more noticeable with the usage of grinding stone technologies around 2000 years ago and the grasslands around Willydah were definitely used extensively for this purpose.
Vegetation types on the farm include Yellow Box Woodland, Yanganbil Grassland, Silver Leaved Ironbark Woodland, Myall Shrubland and Bimble Box/Cypress Pine Woodland.

The History

At the time of European settlement the occupying people of the local area were the Wongaibon and Wiradjuri. Wooden artefacts from these groups are the most sought after relics due to their sophisticated and artistic merits.
Colonising of the area began with large sheep runs in the latter half of the 19th Century before these were broken up into farmable sized holdings when the railways came through in the 1880’s.
It was during this time that the Bragg family established Mungeribar and it was from this holding that Willydah later evolved.
The Maynard family has had a long association with Wheat, Sheep, Pigs and Beef growing, even winning the world wheat competition on one occasion.
In more recent times the property was a mixed farming operation using a long term direct drilling rotation to supplement the sheep/beef operation.

The Methods Used Now

Since a major change in thinking in the late 1980’s the property is now practicing more than a dozen varied and interesting management techniques. These are all aimed at regenerating natural functions on the property with the view of long term sustainability.
The methods and the year of their adoption are: Saltbush Block Plantings 1990, Whole Farm Plan 1991, Time Control Grazing 1994, Access Laneways 1995, No Kill Cropping (Advance Sowing) 1996, Holistic Resource Management 1997, Alley Farming 1998, Stress Free Stockmanship Methods 2000, Whybother Treeplanting Method 2001, Direct Tree Seeding 2001, Advance Tree Seeding 2002, Agroforestry Treeplantings 2002, Target Saltbush Plantings 2004, Spiral Saltbush Plantings 2005,
Carbon Tree Plantings 2007, Multi species grazing 2008. The integration of all these methods is what stands Willydah apart as an effective and sustainable operation.

The People

Willydah is presently managed and operated by Bruce and Roz Maynard. Their children are Liam, Ella and Hannah. Bruce and Roz are keen to encourage their children to stay and continue the work on the property well into the future if that coincides with their personal goals. Establishing the conditions for enjoyable achievement for the family is the prime goal.

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  • Paddy

    Hi Chris, This was a really insightful discussion. The idea of sowing into a dry land is thought provoking. I have been dedicated to low stress stock management and absolutely agree with Bruce. Weed eaters, thats something else. I heard Fred Provensa talk about it but assumed it was limited to academic areas of the world. Obviously not. I need to think more about this as a tool.

    • ChrisStelzer

      Thanks for listening Paddy, Bruce has definitely done some serious work on his farm and his practices are thought provoking. I’m always impressed by the Australians!

  • Hugo van den Berg

    Bruce Maynard dropped some profound guidelines in his answers. Congrats Chris, you managed to get a diamond on your podcast here. For example, while on a entirely different topic, the dialogue was about cattle, I (having paused to get coffee, and re-entered), thought it was about people!, the dialogue pushed for having old and young cattle so that wonderful things happen, I still related to that. I got it wrong, (it followed a minute later into the talk), but I still could relate. Imagine, if you can transplant a true of one system (cattle) into an other (people) then that true becomes more profound. I had that experience several times (3) during the listening to this discussion of experienced people (Chris and Bruce). So THANK YOU.

    • ChrisStelzer

      Hugo thank you for listening, as always. I love doing the podcast so I’m glad you were able to get a lot out of it. I’m always open to suggestions as well, a listener suggested Bruce, I’ve never heard of him until then.