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Optimising soil health – a low-cost option

Dr. Graham Sparling in his lecture to a packed theatre in 2004 stated, “It’s a sobering thought that our entire high-tech world is ultimately supported by life in the top 20cm of the soil.” Dr. Sparling, then a leading Landcare Research scientist, went on to say that...

Carbon positive – naturally

Jargon is a mode of speech familiar only to a group or profession. Its widely used by the scientific fraternity, particularly with respect to agriculture, and its effect, whether deliberate or otherwise, has been to limit open discussion. When you are unsure of the...

Getting lost in the detail?

What should be bothering you most, methane, nitrous oxide, nitrate-nitrogen levels in ground water, carbon sequestration, or the politics of it all? Making sense of any complex situation requires a clear vision of the big picture. With that in place the detail can be...

Why denying the obvious won’t work

Below is a recently taken photograph of a Functional Fertiliser client’s property from 2,500ft. The move to organic certification was made in March 2013 with all required nutrients applied annually. Without accurate rainfall data it’s not possible to know whether it’s...

Carbon positive farming? Absolutely!

The last article was written prior to the release of the Climate Change Commission’s draft plan for slashing New Zealand’s emissions. From the article ominously titled, The Government will not hold back, there is a call for a 15% reduction in animal numbers, less...

The greatest constant is change

In the last 60 years walk through cowsheds have been replaced by step-ups, then herringbones, and now rotaries.  And robots! Fifty dairy cows used to be an economic family farm in the 1960’s, and in the 1970’s a 150-cow unit was regarded as the maximum that could be...

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