Wednesday, April 24, 2024

PULPIT: Not all old men are grumpy

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Recently we read vitriol attacking funding for regenerative education as if a misdirection of government funds.
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The inference that only the approved are capable of scientific agricultural conclusions is misguided.

Aside from insulting our intelligence, it reeks of dark age thinking reliving historical glory days.

All science is anecdotal of a past point in time, yet living agriculture is about decision-making for the future markets. 

Rick Cameron | August 25, 2020 from GlobalHQ on Vimeo.

Ask any ram, bull or plant breeder whose minds are decades ahead.

It is our duty for the future to produce nutrient-dense foods for today’s children. We are all paying increased health costs for poor nutrition. 

Discerning mothers will scan the supermarket stalls for food with their phones enabling validated choices.

The same tool the producers can validate their outputs from their own practices, as we learn together.

Soil health and its improving practices are major contributors to these differences. The subtleties take time and knowledge to apply for those willing to learn.  

Farmers are sharing results from their self-funded open-air laboratories of these good and bad comparisons. 

This is what regenerating agriculture is all about and it has yesterday’s teachers scrambling for definitions.

These futuristic results are peer reviewed and shared through Quorum Sense and other Facebook groups with screened memberships.

This will create jealousy, not only for the data but as a competition for taxpayer funding.

Regenerating agriculture is an attitude change from the increased awareness of nature’s powers.

Video and the internet have revolutionised how and whom we graziers and croppers learn from. The majority of our teachers are international grandparents sharing wisdom, pictures, figures and results we can see in our own homes.

They are not commercial scientists with pre-designed  agendas or sales representatives on commissions. They are sharing what doesn’t work as well by volunteering their time and properties for inspection. 

These gifts of time and resources are deemed a cult and if kindness to our fellow human beings is deemed to be a cult, sobeit.

Interesting that the strongest critics stimulating debate here in New Zealand are commercially funded authors.

Nature’s powers around underground livestock has been illustrated to such an extent with colour video and microscopes to expose our unintended arrogance. 

The losses due to disturbance, laying bare and synthetic interference can be clearly seen.

These dots are being connected to the foods we consume.

Livestock aboveground play an integral part of nature’s powers that the fence has interfered with, and grazers will learn the powers of plant recovery that differ for tufted grasses versus turf grasses. 

Higher density, short interval, with frequency of moves for better animal performance, suffers from a lack of a simple mechanical gate time release mechanism for widespread adoption. 

Any student is capable of solving this to create themselves an opportunity.

Correct animal nutrient placement called fertilising reduces the need for imported materials. With knowledge of adaptive planned grazing for correct plant recovery while remaining vegetative, the existing seed bank delivers greater diversity within 2-4 years.

This keeps on improving, increasing soil organic matter and retaining more rainfall.

These three factors help mitigate the highest cost to farming, which are those extended dry periods.

From experience of actively measuring treated from controls of animal impact in a living chaotic environment that farming endures, we have not seen any economical nutrient losses in our nine years of  herbage testing the same plots. 

Our 100m2 maintenance fertiliser plot doesn’t plate any more grass than the animal-only paddock surrounding it.

From hundreds of penetrometer readings, the most grass grows where dung and urine are placed, regardless of resistance. 

From more hundreds of a 400mm open-visual probe, carbon trails, clay levels and grass roots can be seen far quicker than any spade. 

Just as we observe animals’ wisdom with a multichoice mineral trailer, we find it too exposes a list of myths in nature’s  living environment.

It is understandable the fear of losing volume production exists but, more volume alone is stressful to resources be they land, water or human. And not always an increase in net profit.

If we are not profitable, we are not worthy community contributors, and quality becomes the smarter target.

The future, if one is to add value to, is to add taste and the increased nutrients within that. This is old technology I have used on-farm for two years with no help or interest from any existing government-funded institution. 

As a matchbox sized spectrometer it is easily pocketed by both customer and producer.

I have created fingerprints for chemicals, live animal fat, water, metals, wool types and grass quality as well as the standard readings for fruits, meats, dairy, cocoa and body fat.

With Kiwi ingenuity and curiosity, there is opportunity to validate minerals in soil, herbage and grains for exchanges in ownership.

So, now self-motivated risk-takers can meet online in Quorum Sense, where hobbies are turned into business. 

The Government’s courage to invest is looking pretty good supporting grassroots innovators.

Be warned, this can be pleasurable and NZ needs happier farmers now more than ever.

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