Posts

The “too much of a good thing” effect of nitrogen

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Nitrogen is a nutrient that is crucial for the optimal growth of plants. Its role in plant health may very well be unparalleled, but what happens when it becomes excessive in the soil? Is it “the more the better”, or rather a case of “too much of a good thing”?

Journey to sustainability

Case study: The journey to sustainability

Reading Time: 15 minutes

The SWAN system is composed of soil, water, atmosphere and nutrient components. The best way to show how these integrated and interrelated measures reflect the journey of improving agricultural sustainability is to show a case study of a farm which has become more sustainable over the past five years.

What farmers can learn from the drought

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The reality is that adapting agricultural practices when the drought is already upon us is actually too late. Sustainable agriculture should be a way of life.

Don’t expect miracle pastures from nitrogen alone

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Nitrogen alone cannot carry the responsibilities of other nutrients in the plant. That is why farmers need to have a balance of all essential plant nutrients in order to archive optimal growth.

Five benefits of multi-species pastures

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The benefits of multispecies pasture are not only limited to the benefits mentioned in this blog, they are far greater. I have isolated these ones because they are the most pertinent and directly relate to farm profitability.

Pasture soil

Black maize beetles on dairy pastures

Reading Time: 6 minutes

The black maize beetle is a pest to many of the pasture grasses planted on Eastern Cape dairy farms. Two of the most prominent grasses which are favoured by these beetles are ryegrass and kikuyu.

Lucerne pasture: The king of fodder crops

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Farmers that include lucerne as part of their pasture mixtures will benefit from free nitrogen both from the atmosphere and from an enhanced mineralisation rate that will be stimulated by diverse pastures. The free nitrogen will help reduce fertiliser costs and improve farm efficiency.

Examining soil

Do you ever examine your soil?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

These two very simple visual assessments can give farmers an idea of how good the structure of the soil is on their farms. They are also a good demonstration of the benefits of soil carbon and how carbon contributes to well aggregated soil.

Upside down thinking

Reading Time: 3 minutes

An upside down way of thinking, as with regenerative agriculture, is to start with the soil. Read this blog to find out more about this upside down thinking.

Happy soil life, happy grass, happy cows

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Is there a link between regenerative agricultural practices and the idea of happy soil life, happy grass, happy cows? Read this blog to find out more.