Regenerative Farmers, Western Australia

Ian and Di farm approximately 18,000 hectares of land in Western Australia’s central wheatbelt, around 250 kilometres north east of Perth. After years of conventional farming, the Haggerty’s realized that their system was vulnerable to dry seasons. Input costs were steadily increasing without corresponding increases in productivity. Soil tests showed adequate nutrient levels, but tissue tests revealed nutrients were not getting to plants in appropriate balance, despite a comprehensive mineral fertilizer program. To top it off, rainfall from the year 2000 had been less than half the annual average {down from 325mmpa to 200mmpa} often falling in 3 to 5 mm events followed by windy weather, meaning much was lost to evaporation.

Maximizing crop production in dry years had become a real struggle and hard pans in their soils were severely restricting root growth. So, the Haggerty’s started to research biologically-based farming systems with the aim of increasing their soil’s microbial population, nutrient availability and moisture holding capacity.  What followed was a massive learning curve combining and adapting some of the world’s best ecological knowledge with much ground truthing and extension in harsh Western Australian semi-arid agricultural zone conditions.  Over time the Haggerty's have developed a farming system they term Natural Intelligence Farming which focuses on harnessing the dynamic, natural relationships that exists between all the organisms in the ecosystem. Optimising  microbiome integrity of soil, plant, animal and ultimately human microbiome is front and centre with this approach.  Ian and Di have a life mission to facilitate positive global change by rebuilding soils in semi-arid regions, producing and marketing premium food and fibre which supports the nutritional needs of humanity and planetary health.