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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Raising chickens on pasture has many benefits which include improved soil health, improved pasture health, and improved chicken health – which improves the health of the produce, be it meat or eggs. Read this blog to find out how this is archived.
Rather than dwelling on the negative aspect of degradation, I would prefer to focus on the strategies and opportunities which are available to farmers in restoring the soil.
I am a strong advocate for the responsible use of natural resources for productive and efficient commercial agriculture. When it comes to nitrogen, this means exploring alternative sources to purely relying on chemical fertilisers.
We all know that in order to get different results, you need to do something differently. You cannot expect to get different results if you carry on doing the same things over and over again. The first key to achieving healthy soils is in changing your mindset.
I think the concept of soil life can be challenging for some farmers, as it is not something that they can see. They can’t see the actual organisms we are speaking about, and they can’t see the direct benefit that they provide.