The Triple Lyoness Farm believes in a operating a sustainable farm that will provide a healthy environment in the years to come for our livestock, the native species and our family. Over the years, Rod and Janet have made small alterations to the production methods of cattle and poultry to create a more sustainable operation.
We applied for the Environmental Farm Plan in 2004. With the funding support we received, we purchased seedling spruce trees that were later transplanted to create shelter belts. Shelter belts act as precipitation catchers, prevent soil erosion, provide wind protection for the livestock and provide habitat for wildlife. We also installed fence lines along the creeks and dugouts on our property to allow the sensitive riparian area to act as a filtration system for water run off and provide habitat for wildlife. The vegetation in the riparian ares is able to absorb and utilize excess nutrients from the water run off therefore preventing a surplus of nutrients in the water sources. In addition, it allows water species to be undisturbed, because our livestock are drinking from troughs, not directly from the creeks or dugouts.
(Spruce tree shelter belt)
Solar powered water systems have been installed to provide a low energy water source for our cattle during the sunny, summer months. With this system, we have fenced off the dugouts and other water sources to protect the riparian area. The solar panels use sunlight to charge a deep cycle battery which operates a water pump and provides ample water for the livestock. The cattle drink from a trough and do not disturb the sensitive area around the dugout.
During winter, the cattle's feeding and bedding areas build up with manure. To minimize build-up, we move the hay feeders once a week. This spreads out the concentration of manure over the pasture which acts as fertilizer in the spring. The spacing promotes the livestock to exercise when they walk from hay to water to bedding. By spreading out the manure, it allows the vegetation and soil to more easily absorb nutrients during the spring melt. To optimize the fertilization practises, we also spread the manure and straw from the bedding area onto our pastures.
A similar principle is carried out in the poultry operation with the sheds. Every two days the sheds are moved one shed length around the pasture. This allows the chickens and turkeys to graze fresh, green grass and at the same time they 'fertilize' the grass throughout the whole pasture.