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On-Farm Biodiversity

 

 

Biodiversity means that we should allow different plants and animals to grow and live in our farm. At the same time, we must also allow only one type of plant in a cropping area if we hope to run an efficient farm. What we can do to increase on-farm biodiversity is to plant suitable trees in non- cropping areas so homes are made available to a great number of animals and insects. We certainly do not want our crops to be surrounded by an ecological desert.

We enjoy the beauty and tranquillity that trees and animals provide to the farm. Our crops are also better protected against pests and diseases when surrounded by a more natural environment. We are also convinced that by increasing biodiversity in our farm we are actually increasing its value for future generations.

 Native trees

Where possible we plant native and indigenous trees and shrubs in the buffer zones that divide paddocks in the farm. We do not remove dead trees either, as they provide homes for animals and useful insects.

Birds

We are already enjoying the benefits from the trees we have planted over the years. Our farm is home to different types of birds such as owls, Willy wag tails, wrens, and swallows. We frequently see hawks flying over our farm. All these birds help us control pests that otherwise would probably have to be controlled by other means.

We also see a large number of migratory water birds using our farm dams at different times of the year.

Native animals

Our native trees are also attracting native animals to our farm. We have seen animals such as echidnas, possums, blue- tongued lizards and snakes. We expect that more animals will live in our farm as the trees we have planted grow overtime.

Challenges

By making our farm a good place for animals, we have also attracted foxes. Foxes are eating some of our crops (who can blame them), but more importantly, they attack the native animals we are trying to protect. We have established a program to control foxes, and we are committed to continue to attract native animals regardless of the challenges we might face.

Future developments

We are already working on plans to establish a wetland area in our farm. The wetland area will not only help us purify water before releasing it to the environment, but it will also attract even more animals and birds to our farm. The beauty of the farm will also be significantly increased.

 


 
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Peter Schreurs and Sons
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