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Why denying the obvious won’t work

Below is a recently taken photograph of a Functional Fertiliser client’s property from 2,500ft. The move to organic certification was made in March 2013 with all required nutrients applied annually. Without accurate rainfall data it’s not possible to know whether it’s...

Carbon positive farming? Absolutely!

The last article was written prior to the release of the Climate Change Commission’s draft plan for slashing New Zealand’s emissions. From the article ominously titled, The Government will not hold back, there is a call for a 15% reduction in animal numbers, less...

The greatest constant is change

In the last 60 years walk through cowsheds have been replaced by step-ups, then herringbones, and now rotaries.  And robots! Fifty dairy cows used to be an economic family farm in the 1960’s, and in the 1970’s a 150-cow unit was regarded as the maximum that could be...

Why earthworms are essential

As a sharemilker, coming from an education background with only school and university holiday experience on dairy farms and hungry for information, I collected and stashed any interesting and potentially useful information. It’s been kept in boxes and added to over...

The importance of growing clover

There ae differences between farms.  Size and contour vary, as does the type and number of animals grazed.  However, whether dryland or irrigated, there is one constant, the necessity of nitrogen for pasture growth. The air we breathe is 78% nitrogen, so there is no...

Carbon positive farming

As I write this article pasture growth in many farming regions is restricted by a lack of moisture and a genuine spring flush has not arrived. It’s easy to say that we shouldn’t worry about stuff we have no control over, however a lack of rain this early in the season...

Inevitable change

That change is coming in the agricultural sector is not in question, the only questions are, how big and how soon? With environmental degradation heading many people’s priority list it’s almost inevitable the incoming government will grasp the opportunity to make...

Inputs, outputs and outcomes all matter

Without energy life does not exist, and the purpose of pasture is to convert energy from sunlight into food, providing the energy essential for human survival. The conversion process is known as photosynthesis, whereby via plant leaves sunlight interacts with carbon,...

The not so secret agenda

That the country is resolutely heading towards a carbon neutral economy is not the least bit secret, nor will the target change with a different government. Farming will, over the next few years, become increasingly buoyant with not only higher market prices but a...

Digestion always comes before growth

Many areas have received insufficient rain for strong growth before the middle of May, which means there’s little time left before the winter slow growth period sets in. The question often asked is whether compensatory growth is likely during winter.  While soil...