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Courtesy of FFC Saskatchewan
Sustainable farming applies to livestock too
Increasingly, farmers are adding livestock to their crop rotation plans. This method means growing forages – grasses and plants that are part of the farm animal diet – in between  eld crops, and letting livestock, like cattle or sheep, graze those  elds. Not only does this add an extra type of crop to the rotation, but the manure from the livestock adds natural fertilizers back into the soil. Livestock are also being grazed on land where other crops are being grown, such as in orchards between apple tree rows, for example.
The origin of soil
Sandi Knight
Farmers have different soil types with which to work, depending on where they live. The various types of soil found across Canada are directly linked to glacial movement during the last Ice Age. About 12,000 years ago, glaciers slowly ground rocks into  ner particles as they moved south. As those glaciers retreated, they left that sand and gravel behind in the soil. Combined with annual cycles of plant and animal growth and decay over millions of years, that process has built Canada’s soils into what they are today.
Animal feed plays a key role in recycling. When ethanol is made, starch is removed from corn. What’s left behind – called dried distillers’ grain – is an excellent feed source for pigs and cattle.
42 The Real Dirt on Farming
Pro le
Brett Schuyler & Carrie Woolley
Brett Schuyler farms with his wife Carrie Woolley, brother, parents and aunt and uncle in southern Ontario. He had little interest in the family farm until university, but joined full-time in 2008 when he realized the opportunities it could offer – and after convincing his dad and uncle that he could add value to the business.
The farm produces apples, cherries, corn, soy, and lamb, and Brett says it’s interesting how these can come together to make the farm more ef cient. His favourite example: their sheep  ock grazes in the farm’s orchards, pastures, and  elds of cover crops.
“Managing the farm is tremendously rewarding. There is a huge opportunity to  nd ways to have a positive effect on the environment, but we also impact people’s lives. With more than 10 full time employees and 140 seasonal workers, it feels really good to see the jobs created by the farm”. (Brett Schuyler)
Carrie Woolley & Brett Schuyler

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