Leading the way in pasture improvement
ABOVE: photo featuring Richard Avendano, Agrimix CEO- Ben Sawley and QUT’s David Rowlings
“Towri” is now a far cry from the state it was in when George and Maree took over 30 years ago. It has been transformed from having low-fertility, sandy, acidic soil to being a productive grazing property – currently running an 800 head Angus cow herd that’s quickly building back up to the pre-drought level of 1200.
Of course, this kind of transformation requires a lot of learning and a lot of hard work, and for the Avendanos, this is a family affair. George and Maree have raised three sons, whom George describes as his best friends. Two of them are integral to the success of the family property, with Matt running the farm alongside George and Richard (a consulting agronomist) helping out with the decision making.
George also credits some of their success to his interest in innovation and trying new things. This is what led to the Avendanos trialling Progardes® in 2019.
They planted 1.5kg of seed to the hectare across 100 acres, deliberately putting the plant to the test by doing “all the wrong things” to see how it would fare. Despite the rigorous testing conditions, the Progardes® persisted and still came back, even after heaving grazing. The trial paddock is now in its third season and remains thick with Progardes® – the perennial, prolific seed recruiter passed the test!
“We are renovating our pasture with a multi-pasture species mix, building soil carbon and increasing biodiversity.”
Given the success of this trial paddock, the Avendanos are now going to trial faecal seeding as a method to establish Progardes® into an existing tropical grasses paddock. This involves feeding the seed to cattle through dry lick, with the seed being dispersed across the paddock in their dung. Embracing new innovations, they are also about to start a carbon sequestration project.
With their balanced approach to pasture management and willingness to learn and try new things, the Avendanos are assured of continued success. We look forward to seeing the results of their next trials!
George and Maree Avendano, “Towri”, Boggabri, NSW