CategoryAgTech

How Microbial Communities Improve Agricultural Production

The world of biological farming is not confined to what happens in soil.  Biological products have been available for decades and provide strong competition for traditional chemical products.  Unlike many reach-for-the-shelf chemicals, biological products require more preparation and strategic thinking in their use.  The spray and walk away mentality falls short of the next level of agricultural...

Farming For Resilience

Short interval, higher intensity grazing on taller mixed grass paddocks

This is the final article in a three-part series on ‘regrooving’ NZ agriculture. In my first article, I focused on the links between flavour and nutrient density in the foods we produce: soil microbes and minerals make for more plant flavour compounds and vitamins in our food. In the second piece I discussed the effects of our paradigm regarding fertilisers and agrichemical choices: how changing...

The Interwoven World | Te Ao i Whiria

It’s two years now since the launch of Our Forest Future, where I called for 1.3 million hectares of new forest planting for a greener, more climate-aligned economy. A lot has changed since then, which I’ll come to soon, but first I want to talk about a lesson I’ve learned. In Aotearoa New Zealand, many of us see forests as a binary choice. It’s either native conservation forests, managed under...

Sacred Cows of Agriculture

In my first article I discussed the connection between soil qualities, flavour and nutrition in our food. I defended cows as valuable contributors to healthy farming. Here I talk some more about those actual cows but more about our mental sacred cows. When you hear the word ‘sacred cows’ do you tend to think of Hindu religious beliefs about the sanctity of bovines? On an ecosystem level I do...

New Zealand’s foresters should not be punished for managing their forests sustainably

The New Zealand Institute for Forestry (NZIF) advocates for the adoption of an integrated land use policy for New Zealand. NZIF members’ interests are for more forests for conservation, production, urban forestry, recreation, biodiversity and wellbeing. Forests’ role in New Zealand’s future requires a wider societal debate. The future of forestry in New Zealand depends on the community’s...

Farming must respect the past but build a different future

As chief executive of a two billion dollar agriculture sector business, I have the job of trying to figure out how we make the transition from a traditional farming business, which has been New Zealand’s backbone for over a century, to a new, yet to be fully defined, farming future. But before we look to the future, here’s a bit of history. Pāmu, formerly Landcorp, has been around for 130 years...

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