It was a soil bacteria course in New Zealand that convinced Reggie Davis to change his farming methods.
The fourth-generation Victorian dairy farmer had become increasingly concerned by the costs, chemicals and time involved in the use of nitrate fertilisers to maintain – what was considered to be – high-quality pasture for his dairy herd.
“I’ve always regarded myself as a progressive farmer, open to new ideas,” he says.
So when his dairy herd nutritionist mentioned that the US biological farming advocate Dr Arden Andersen was running a soil management course in New Zealand, Davis decided to go. He asked around to see if any neighbours might be interested. Within weeks, 40 other dairy farmers from Victoria’s south-west had signed up for Andersen’s course.