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The advantages of summer clover

That permanent grazed pasture plants require a steady supply of nitrogen for optimum performance is not in question. Nitrogen is usually supplied in one of two ways, either in the form of urea, or from the atmosphere fixed by bacteria on the roots of clovers, lucerne,...

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...

Why regenerative wins – every time

By Peter Burton To have a view on regenerative farming it’s essential that the term be defined, and in our view most New Zealand pastoral farmers are currently abiding by regenerative farming principles and have been for the last fifty years or more. Any operator on a...

Has farming sold its soul?

By Peter Burton The days of capital gains, particularly on intensive dairy operations has come to a grinding halt and that’s causing real concern amongst many farmers, and it shouldn’t. A payout in excess of $7/kg/MS should provide any well-run operation with enough...

Farmers have been misled

By Peter Burton In Oct 2006 an article was published containing a summary of a report by Tim Bromilow a Scottish soil scientist after having spent 6 weeks travelling around New Zealand. Although complimentary in regard to the ability of Fonterra, scientists and famers...

When less N leads to more growth

By Peter Burton   I recently read a report on the experience of a large dairy operation where there was a 20% reduction in pasture production Year 1 when changing from a conventional N driven soil fertility programme to a certified organic programme. In time a...

What does “science-based” actually mean?

From Peter Burton Change is inevitable, and we are entering an era of unprecedented change with currently accepted farming practises under review with wide-spread reform already underway. Unfortunately, fundamental change doesn’t happen on a slow and steady basis,...

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...

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