Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Carbon Farming Group - new biological farming video.

Post written by R. Cretney

A new video released by the Carbon Farming Group demonstrates the case study of one farm in the Golden Bay area that is successfully applying biological farming principles.

Late last year Motu Research Analyst Zack Dorner compiled a comprehensive post on the arguments for and against biological farming as a method for increasing stores of soil carbon. The evidence put forward by scientists in this area shows that the evidence for biological farming is currently less than conclusive. Troy Baisden, who is mentioned in Zack's post, says that while the evidence is not currently strong in favor of the techniques, they are probably not harmful to soil carbon levels.

However this does not mean biological farming has no benefits for farmers. This latest video from the Carbon Farming Group details some of the other benefits that farmers using this technique might benefit from, including adaptation to different climates. Mark Manson, who narrates the video, discusses the benefits to his family farm. While reducing stocking rates he has maintained and improved the milk production of his farm through changes to the management of stock feed and soil conditions.

One of the features of his farm is that it is significantly comprised of land that is particularly dry– especially during the summer months. In past years this has led to Mark having to sell stock when feed supplies became low. Now however, through focusing on improving the base saturation of the soil (a focus on soil pH, magnesium, sodium and potassium), the soil is more resilient to climatic changes, more biologically diverse and experiences less compaction. Combined with a diversification of grass types this means that Mark can successfully run the same stock numbers throughout the year, even in dry conditions.

You can read more about biological farming from the Carbon Farming Group here.

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