Advantages of Animals on the Farm

Mon, Feb 13th, 2017

Martin was honored to run a workshop at the 2017 Guelph Organic Conference. He spoke on the "Advantages of Animals on the Farm".

Here are the main points and excerpts from the workshop.

Advantages of Animals on the Farm

  • The history of domestication of plants and animals and where we are today.
  • Why soil is critical for civilizations to survive. 
  • Eating animal meat (in moderation) creates a real sustianable organic farm system because it supports soil development. 
Why industrial farming is failing us
  • More energy goes into farming than is harvested
  • Soil depletion is happening at an alarming rate


Certain chicken farms produce 3 million birds per year, requires approximately 6000 tonnes of feed or 2000 acres of land. 

Ruminants & Perennial Forages
  • Every increase of 1% organic matter (O.M)  in the soil will tie up 25 tonnes of carbon.
  • An increase of 1% O.M per 10 years is achievable.

We continually work hard to improve our soil at Mapleton's. This past summer was very dry, nevertheless our corn did not suffer due to its hearty root system.

Benefits of Perennial Forages: 

Examples: Alfalfa, red clover, white clover

  • Builds soil
  • Increases soil organic matter
  • Increases soil life
  • Reduces soil erosion
  • Retains nutrition
  • Moves nutrients up from the deeper soil layer
  • Create wildlife habitats

At Mapleton's...

Our Crop Rotation
  • 3 years hay/ pasture
  • After 2nd cut of hay in 3rd year, compost 10t/acre plus a cover crop of oats for oatlage.
  • Corn for 1 year
  • Soy beans for 1 year
  • Oats and peas under seeded with hay/pasture mix (60% alfalfa 40% grasses) for 1 year

An increase of 1% organic matter in the soil is equivalent to 25t of carbon per hectare.

Total cropped land in Canada is 25 million hectacres.

If every farmer increased their organic matter by 0.1% every year, as Mapleton's has done, we can estimate the amount of suquestered carbon to be:

25x 2.5=62.5 megatonne of carbon.

Canada's total C02 emission is 732 megatonne therefore estimating an impact of 8-9%.

Rotational Grazing

Our cows have access to the outdoors from approx May-Oct. After they go through the milker they are directed by a fence and a one way gate outside. After they reach the pasture, they have the freedom to graze or return to the barn.

Loose Housing and Compost Pack

Our loose housing allows cows to be cows, while our compost pack reduces greenhouse gases. 

Click here for more info on the Compost Pack

Here are the results of a sample from our compost pack.

Animal Welfare

At Mapleton's we view our farm as an ecosystem and work to maintain balance in all aspects of our business and keep everyone (animals, humans and plants) working together in harmony. We frequently receive questions about breeding and separating the mothers from the calves. More information is available at the links below.

Breeding: Click Here for More Info

Separating Mothers and Calves: Click Here for More Info

Consumer Education

We strongly believe that we are food producers and not commodity producers. We practice an open relationship with our customers and invite them to view our farm. We encourage consumers and visitors to ask questions so we can properly inform the public about organic farming. 

Visit the Farm

Guelph Organic Conference Trade Show

Mapleton's is always excited to attend the trade show and meet with leading players in the organic industry.

Thank you for the support!

The Guelph Organic Conference is held each year at the end of January/ early February. For more information visit here.

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Benefits of the Compost Pack

At Mapleton's we use a Compost Pack in our Main Dairy Barn.

To read more about this system and the benefits it offers our cows please visit here...

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