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No change for some.

By Peter Burton The saying in the investment world, “you’re either a contrarian or a victim” could equally apply to the farming community. No-one I’ve spoken to applauds the introduction of the recently announced fresh-water standards, soon to become a legal...

Why the cow is not the problem

By Peter Burton Were the cow the problem the answer would be simple.  Eliminate cows and the problem goes away. Without cows pastures would rapidly move from high fertility grasses and clovers to low fertility browntop, followed by gorse, scrub, and eventually native...

Encouraging signs, but the danger remains

By Peter Burton On almost a daily basis I talk and work with farmers moving away from the soil fertility model focussed on driving mono-culture pastures with soluble phosphorus accompanied by regular applications of nitrogen. Those in that group I’ve had contact with...

Stuart Pritchard Organic Farmer

By Lloyd Chapman – OTAKI MAIL, MAY 2019 The three Pritchard brothers, David, Nigel and Stuart are old Ōtaki identities. This story involves Stuart, whose cv talks of dairy farming, horticulture, property development, land and building amongst other career activities....

Fundamentals misunderstood

Peter Burton 16th June 2019 Farming is quickly becoming a taxation bonanza for the government.  A tax on nitrous oxide and methane emissions is coming even if not labelled as such.  Farmers ultimately will fund ongoing research that will spawn further study on other...

Is science being misused?

Peter Burton 13th May 2019 Because it is under permanent grazed pasture that carbon can be most readily sequestered pastoral farmers should be excited about an economy that is putting increased focus and value on carbon. And yet we’re not, for the very good reason...

The secret of truly successful farmers

P.W. Burton The last two springs have been excessively wet in most regions resulting in slower overall growth in part due to treading damage. In prolonged periods of wet weather animals will cause a mess, that’s inevitable.  The choice is whether to make a big mess in...

Time for a Change – A Proven Method

As we see it, pastoral farming in this country is at a crossroads, with the path ahead uncharted territory. Environmental considerations will be at the forefront of soon to be implemented regulations, and as with all major change, it’s likely that the pendulum will...

Unnoticed Theft, from “A Full Life, poems by Sue Edmonds”

UNNOTICED THEFT They are stealing soil carbon while nobody cares By the grain, like sand, or a tonne a hectare a year So the pasture grows less and they use more urea. They are stealing the net which holds the moisture And the minerals, and feeds the inhabitants Who...

Exceptional growth after summer dry

By P.W. Burton In nature there’s always a trade. When summer pasture growth has been limited by lack of moisture, after rain arrives compensatory growth can be expected. During early autumn soil temperatures remain high, sunshine hours are adequate and there’s an...

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