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The Haddon Family: Farmers protecting Geographe Bay

27 April, 2020

The Haddon family runs the largest dairy farm in Busselton. They are big, brave and on board to protect our waterways.

Elaine and Neville Haddon started dairy farming in Yoongarillup in 1984 and now milk 1300 cows with their son Garry, his wife Tiffany and young family. They supply Harvey Fresh with over 12 million litres of milk every year.

A large herd and increasing feed costs means they are always looking for ways to grow grass as efficiently as possible.

Since 2011, they have been soil testing with GeoCatch to refine their annual fertiliser plan. Regular soil testing has enabled them to maximise grass production, save money and identify trends across the farm.

Less fertiliser on paddocks is great news for the Haddon’s hip pocket and great for our waterways, which are impacted by fertiliser run-off.

“We now target specific paddocks, so each paddock only gets what it needs. It’s too expensive to put the wrong fertiliser in the wrong place,” said Elaine Haddon.

This year they are moving to a cloud-based mapping program to further improve accuracy when spreading fertiliser.
They are also in the middle of upgrading their dairy shed effluent system, which will allow them to reuse effluent across a larger area of the farm, further reducing the need for additional fertiliser. And as host farms for the uPtake phosphorus trials, they are helping validate the science behind fertiliser recommendations.

“We want to be sustainable, this is our livelihood, and it’s important to us as part of this community,” said Elaine.

To learn more about the Haddons’ farming story in the Geographe Bay Catchment, watch their video about farming in the Geopgraphe Bay Catchment.

GeoCatch works with farmers in partnership with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development through Revitalising Geographe Waterways.