Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Your Royal Highness, I Have The Drill For You

Your Royal Highness, I Have The Drill For You

Thursday, November 15

A world authority on soil science and the inventor of a revolutionary new no-tillage seed drill has invited HRH Prince Charles to see it in action in the United Kingdom.

Dr John Baker met Prince Charles in Feilding today and discussed the drill which is almost fail safe and already helping to sustainably feed the world.

“I was delighted to meet an international leader who’s knowledgeable about the importance of soil biology in growing the world’s food and whose Duchy of Cornwall supports many charitable causes,” John Baker says.

“I am certain our no-tillage drill would help to increase production and yield on the properties comprising the Duchy of Cornwall.”

Prince Charles is patron of Garden Organic, the United Kingdom’s largest organic charity trust, and he contributes produce from his many farms to it.

Dr John Baker extended the invitation to HRH’s private secretary immediately following his conversation with Prince Charles.

Because of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall’s tight schedule, John was unable to demonstrate his Cross-Slot no-tillage drill to them but can access a drill in Oxfordshire that could be demonstrated to Prince Charles back in England.

Contained in the gift from the people of Feilding to them both are books Dr John Baker has written, a letter of introduction, a one page summary and DVDs on the Cross-Slot no-tillage drill.

Following 30 years of research at Massey University, Dr Baker decided there had to be a better way to sow seeds. He researched and developed Cross Slot no-tillage drills which penetrate through crop residues or vegetation on top of the ground and sow seed and fertiliser in different bands at the same time.

The Cross Slot process causes minimal or low disturbance to the soil, traps the humidity, preserves the micro-organisms and soil life and largely prevents carbon from escaping into the atmosphere.

No-Tillage is the equivalent of keyhole surgery as opposed to ploughing which is invasive surgery and contributes to global warming. The result of no-tillage is increased yields and the near elimination of crop failure and soil erosion. The long term outcome is sustainable food production which can feed millions of families.

While Dr Baker’s machines are used extensively in Australia and the prairies of America and Canada, there are very few in Great Britain.

John Baker explains the modern concept of no-tillage was invented in England in the 1960s but the equipment created the wrong shape of slot which resulted in unreliable seed germination.

Several were sent to New Zealand and John Baker, as a young soil scientist, discovered that the machinery provided a more hostile environment than ploughing for encouraging plant growth.

He devoted his Ph.D to finding out why it failed and what needed to be done to correct it. In doing so he discarded all the so-called knowledge about what a seed needed to germinate in a tilled soil and discovered unknown facts about the potential benefits of germinating seeds in untilled soils.

“Phase two was to create fail safe equipment to make that happen,” John Baker says. “And we did.”

Baker No-Tillage’s Cross Slot drills have now been in production for 15 years and are considered by the United Nations FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) to be the best in the world. For his part in developing the drill, John was created an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2006 and has been nominated for the World Food Prize in 2012 and 2013.

Recently he warned that if conventional ploughing isn’t replaced by no-tillage within 50 years there’ll be famine and drought in areas of the world.

“When the soil is ploughed it releases much of the carbon back into the atmosphere. The long term result is a reduction in soil organic matter, which in turn leads to soil erosion, dust storms and ultimately famine,” he says.

If HRH Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are willing to see a demonstration, John will fly over and showing them the technology that will increase yields and help to feed the world.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Media: Fairfax Moves To Create Modern Newsroom

Fairfax Media New Zealand continues its newsroom transformation this week, with a proposal to further organise its editorial operations into focused, local teams and specialist national topic areas. More>>

ALSO:

Dairy: Fonterra Forecast For 2015/16 Season

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited has today reduced its forecast Farmgate Milk Price for the 2014/15 season to $4.40 per kgMS. Along with its previously announced forecast dividend range of 20-30 cents per share, the change amounts to a forecast ... More>>

ALSO:

BusinessDesk: SkyCity Lifts Minimum Convention Centre Investment To $430M

SkyCity Entertainment Group, the casino operator, has lifted the minimum it will invest in the Auckland International Convention Centre to $430 million and said total costs including land may be $450 million to $470 million. More>>

Statistics: Drop In Dairy Prices Leads Fall In Exports

Total goods exports fell $240 million (5.5 percent) to $4.2 billion in April 2015 compared with April 2014, Statistics New Zealand said today. More>>

BusinessDesk: APN's NZME Sees Future In Paywalls, Growth In Digital Sales

APN News & Media has touted a single newsroom concept for its NZME unit in New Zealand, similar to what Germany's Die Welt uses, saying an 'integrated sales proposition' is helping it win market share, including ... More>>

Labour Party: Global Milk Prices Now Lowest In 6 Years

The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices ... More>>


BusinessDesk: NZ Inflation Expectations Creep Higher In June Survey

May 19 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand businesses lifted their expectations for inflation over the next two years, sapping any immediate pressure on the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates, and prompting the kiwi dollar to jump higher. More>>

BusinessDesk: Lower Fuel Costs Drive Down NZ Producer Input, Output Prices

May 19 - Producer input and output prices fell in the first quarter, mainly reflecting lower fuel costs and weakness in prices of meat and dairy products. More>>

Media: Fairfax Media NZ Announces Senior Editorial Team

Fairfax Media New Zealand has today confirmed its new editorial leadership team, as part of a transformation of its newsrooms aimed at enhancing local and national journalism across digital and print. More>>

Science: Flavonoids Reduce Cold And Cough Risk

Flavonoids reduce cold and cough risk Research from the University of Auckland shows eating flavonoids – found in green tea, apples, blueberries, cocoa, red wine and onions – can significantly reduce the risk of catching colds and coughs. The research, ... More>>

BusinessDesk: RBNZ House Alert Speech The Catalyst For Government Action

Prime Minister John Key all but conceded that pressure from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand for concerted action on rampant Auckland house prices was one of the main catalysts for the government's weekend announcements about tightly ... More>>

BusinessDesk: How To Fall Foul Of The New Housing Tax Rules: Tips From IRD

Just because you rented out your investment property doesn't absolve you from paying tax, says the Inland Revenue Department in a summary of commonly made mistakes by non-professional property investors when it comes to their tax liability.More>>

Legal: Superdiversity Law, Policy And Business Stocktake Announced

Mai Chen, Managing Partner at Chen Palmer New Zealand Public and Employment Law Specialists and Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Auckland, today announced the establishment ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news