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Tinkering won’t fix the Nitrate issue

P.W.Burton   The reason for excess Nitrate entering waterways and aquifers is that too much ‘bag N’ is being applied to pastures. The total amount being applied varies depending on the source with a figure of 750,000 tonne regularly appearing. Nitrogen is sold as a...

Is science killing pastoral farming?

P.W.Burton One well-known farm consultant derides any alternative to the superphosphate, muriate of potash, and urea driven soil fertility system as “flying in the face of sixty years of science”, with performance data being rejected as anecdotal. The value of soil...

What will it take to change course?

P.W. Burton   That New Zealand will shift from its present short-term focussed, carbon-depleting mainstream soil fertility model to a genuine sustainable carbon positive one, is a given.  It will happen, the only questions are when, and what event will trigger that...

Thinking is the tiring bit

P.W. Burton   Doing stuff, particularly for practical people, is the easiest and most satisfying part of the farming process.  It’s the planning bit that takes the real effort and in many instances planning is not well done, with the big picture always remaining...

When change is inevitable.

P.W. Burton   Climate change – whether or not you believe that it’s our fault, seems to be an oft quoted phrase at present. There are still those who might admit to the warming, but choose to see it as part of Earth’s long term variations, but we are, even today,...

What fertiliser and religion have in common

P.W. Burton   When our own knowledge is lacking and there are those that profess to be all knowing, it’s far easier to accept their authoritatively stated position than spend time and effort nutting it out for ourselves. We then justify that decision by checking with...

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