The case study was aimed at finding opportunities for pasture-based farmers to use water more efficiently by the installation of water meters on centre pivots, which accurately measured how much was water is used for irrigation.
Taking advantage, or greater advantage, of biological nitrogen fixation, seems like a logical option for a chemical nitrogen substitute. Adding legumes to your cropping system, and managing them well, has great potential to add significant amounts of nitrogen to your system, in a more sustainable way than chemical fertilisers.
Every farmer should assess their system and see where they still have opportunities to improve. This will probably show them whether their stocking rate is too low, too high, or just right. The data in this case study would suggest that very few farms are in the just right category.
We did not need this research to give us confidence in the principles we advocate for in terms of nitrogen fertiliser management on dairy pastures. But it is encouraging to see other research which confirms what we have been observing.
We have a huge database of soil results from many pasture-based dairy farms throughout the coastal region of South Africa. I thought it might be interesting to have a look at some of the trends that can be seen from this database.
The purpose of this article is purely to provoke thought. To ask you to consider where you fall in the spectrum of techonogist and environmentalist, and to think about how this perspective influences your view of the solutions that are presented to you every day.
We have recently implemented a new assessment which assigns each farm participating with Trace & Save a sustainability status. The purpose of this status is not necessary to categorise each farm and say whether they are good or not. It is rather to identify where the farm is on their sustainability journey.
The main culprit, of nitrous oxide emissions, in agriculture is the excessive use of synthetic nitrogen fertilisers. Fortunately, that is something farmers can do something about.
Transpiration depends on evaporation, therefore factors affecting the rate of evaporation also affect the rate of transpiration.
Soil fungi increase security, awareness, and knowledge for those connected to them. Any soil management action that results in the breakage of these connections, such as tillage and fungicides, destroys the entire nerve system of the soil thus isolating plants and soil organisms from each other.