Ross Girdwood - Jerilderie, New South Wales, Australia
Irrigation and Dryland Farmer
FT1200 Case Study - 20th January 2010
"My brother and I own and operate a 5000 acre irrigation and dryland farm just north
of the town of Jerilderie, where we grow summer and winter crops and a self replacing flock of 2500 merino ewes.
Our average annual rainfall is usually between 350mm and 420mm, however for the last three or
four years it has been around 200 -250mm. Due to the continuing drought, to maintain our sheep numbers.
We had to either buy irrigation water or fodder. Both options where expensive."
"We made the decision to purchase a 1.2 ton per day hydroponic fodder production system in 2008 and the system was installed and operational by December 2008.
Given the continuing drought without the fodder system we would have had to sell a large number of our
breeding flock when sheep prices were low due to the large number of sheep on the market.
Because of the fodder system we are in a position to sell our sheep when we want to not when we have
to because of lack or cost of feed.
The fact that we can grow on a daily basis, 1.2 ton of fresh green hydroponic sprouting barley sprouts which are rich in
vital nutrients and enzymes means as an integrated part of our feeding regime, means our livestock
continue to thrive during the torrid summer months."
"In addition our ewes went from a birth rate of 120% before the fodder system to 180%.
Given the system produces high quality green feed in 7 full days with only 700 litres
of daily water usage per day, means I am not putting a huge strain on my water resources to
feed my livestock and in turn costs less money.
The H2O Farm system doesn't use pesticides or phosphates, it only uses plant essential trace elements and is a fully recirculating system."
"From a land footprint perspective the H2O Farm system is unbeatable. No spraying of weeds
on the property, no fencing, no extra council rates, no road maintenance and the product is extremely water wise.
What would it have cost me to go out and buy land to be able to produce the annual
fodder tonnage I produce in an area no bigger than 10.5m by 14m? I don't want to think about it!
I am sure I have reduced my carbon footprint with a H2O Farm system."
- Ross Girdwood
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