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How pastoral farming can be the answer

P.W. Burton   The assertion by some farmers that a loss of short term income justifies continued land and water degradation, is wrong on two counts. The increase in nitrates and phosphorus in our groundwater is a result of the over application of bag N, partly...

Why cost isn’t the most important thing

P.W. Burton   The old saying that cost is soon forgotten with only performance remembered, has endured for generations because it contains a large element of truth, and it applies to fertiliser as much as it does to any other consumable. The mainstream fertiliser...

Fresh information changes behaviour

P.W. Burton   We farmed in an era when the information from the major research stations, primarily that from Ruakura, was taken as gospel, and farming practices reflected our belief in its correctness. We were told that pasture was a total diet for dairy cows, and...

Grandparenting is missing the point

PW Burton The link between 750,000 tonnes of urea a year being applied to New Zealand soils and excess nitrate-N in streams, lakes, and groundwater is difficult to refute. In fact, of the many people that I’ve discussed the issue with, no-one denies that it exists. As...

What will be the change kicker?

PW Burton It was interesting to receive a phone call from a retired economist recently. He rang to say that the point made in my latest article that farmers were not to blame for the practises resulting in environmental degradation, instead fault lay with the advice...

Fewer cows is not the answer

PW Burton Two reports just released reviewing New Zealand’s environmental performance, (OECD and GLOBE NZ) have both called for a substantial reduction in animal livestock numbers. Prime Minister Bill English has stated that the Government has no intention of...

It’s easy to throw stones

PW Burton When everyone in the farming industry is either hurting, or at least feeling like it might be their turn soon, it’s easy to let rip and at the moment the dairy industry resembles a ­barn door and therefore an easy target. What’s important to remember is that...

It’s all about power

PW Burton Rachel Stewart’s recent column on the Advertising Standards Authority decision, on the Greenpeace TV advertisements, should be taken seriously by famers, because the Authority is simply reflecting what the majority of people believe. It’s an argument that...

What you may not already know

PW Burton A popular belief at present is that a concerted push to reduce the environmental pressure of intensive pastoral farming will mean less pasture grown, resulting in decreasing total farm production, smaller factories and associated infra-structure, fewer...

Why it won’t make any difference

PW Burton The official report states sheep are the likely source of the campylobacter contamination of the Havelock North water supply. For those that believe dairy cows are the source of all contaminants in our groundwater it just doesn’t matter, they will continue...

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