The soil thermostat

What would it mean to your enterprise if your soils were warmer in winter and cooler in summer? Money in the pocket as your growing seasons increase perhaps? Producers I work with commonly report earlier grass growth and longer milking/growing seasons as their soil health improves. There are two...
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Huguelkultur

The farm here is flat, with a pretty nasty hardpan, so when a friend mentioned Hugelkultur we were keen to try it out. Basically they are a type of ‘mega raised’ beds, made from whole tree trunks and wood waste rounds covered with a thin layer of topsoil. Over...
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Pasture Mealy Bug

I have been meeting farmers confounded by poor grass growth and zero clover, and despite their best intentions and repeat applications of Super and Urea they have been unable to lift their growth. Pulling out the trusty spade and taking a look underground has revealed an army of fluffy...
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Droughts and Biology

This summer may have been a reprieve for beach lovers following the last few wet ones, but with drought declared across much of the North Island, there’s a lot of farmers hurting out there. In the Hawkes Bay we expect summer-dry conditions; but the dry and cold spring which...
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Onehunga Weed

I love weeds, truly! They are the most amazing indicator of soil conditions, they can offer you far more information than any soil test. The secret to weeds is to observe them in their natural state: does this weed like soils which are wet, exposed, tight, stock camps, old...
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Biofertilisers

nicole masters
There is a growing number of bio-fertilisers now available on the market, and this trend is set to continue with PGP providing $9.75 million to one or NZ’s largest fertiliser companies to help develop biological products. Fortunately many of these biofertilisers are already present in well managed soils; including...
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The Use of Refractometers

I get alot of queries about the use of refractometers and the value of Brix, so here is an overview: REFRACTOMETER THE ESSENTIAL TOOL The planet as we know has been made possible through the action of tiny solar factories located inside plant cells. It may sound farfetched, but...
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