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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...

Why urban folk are confused

It’s been fascinating talking over Christmas and New Year with smart intelligent people that have no direct farming connection. They’re keen to embrace a more environmentally focussed future even if that means having the inconvenience and extra cost of less plastic,...

Meeting future farming requirements

I remember my father’s comment regarding my assertion that the quantity of pasture grown now in the Central Waikato may have declined since the late 1970’s early 80’s. His comment was that milk production per hectare had climbed markedly since then, with the inference...

The importance of cycling

By P.W. Burton At a recently held farmer information day on the coming changes to soil fertility programmes, soil tests from a highly productive intensively farmed pastoral property were presented. The tests were taken prior to the introduction of a biologically based...

Reducing P inputs

By P.W. Burton At the meeting on regenerative pastoral farming held recently in Gore, the topic of appropriate Olsen P levels was raised.   A farmer participant was a little disturbed that a featured, recently- developed and highly productive grazing block close to...

Why science always wins

By P.W. Burton Science, according to the Concise Oxford Dictionary, is systematic and formulated knowledge.  Primarily it’s about measures, and when it comes to fertiliser it’s about performance measured over time. Soil fertility programmes here were developed...

The benefits of fewer cows

By P.W. Burton If the chat amongst farmers is correct, and it almost always is, regulation is about to be imposed on dairy farmers, and a cornerstone of it will be a requirement for cow numbers to be reduced. The thinking is that cows are the primary producers of the...

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