Farming Profitably within Environmental Limits
18 April 2017
Cost effective nitrogen management is the key to environmentally sound, profitable and productive farming.
Dr Christine Jones - international authority on soil health and profitable farming systems will be back in New Zealand by popular demand following a successful tour in 2015 – The International Year of Soils, where she ran seven workshops speaking to over 700 farmers across the country.
Tane Bradley, General Manager for AgriSea New Zealand Limited said they were excited to bring Farming Profitably within Environmental Limits to New Zealand farmers.
“Along with her international experience Dr Christine Jones is also well aware of New Zealand soil conditions, has conducted research on New Zealand farms and understands our environmental constraints.”
Her practical, well researched workshops will show farmers how they can farm profitably within environmental limits.
Dr Christine Jones said the use of inorganic nitrogen in agriculture is recognised as a highly inefficient and polluting practice.
“Statistics New Zealand shows that New Zealand imported 650,000 tonnes of urea in 2015-16 at a cost of $281 million.”
“Volatilisation and leaching losses of 60-90% would equate to annual wastage somewhere between $168 million to $252 million, representing a high economic cost to farmers.”
She said weaning off inorganic nitrogen wouldn’t entirely solve the problem – high levels of urinary nitrogen are an issue when cows are grazing low diversity pastures dominated by ryegrass and the crude protein content of ryegrass is too high for lactating dairy cows.
“New Zealand milk urea nitrogen (MUN) levels are among the highest, if not the highest in world and could be the underlying cause of unacceptably high empty rates in dairy cows, particularly in the Waikato.”
“Research shows feeding mixed pastures like Chicory and Plantain results in a 20 percent reduction in urinary N with no reduction and often an increase in milk yield and some research shows a 50 percent reduction in urinary N simply by grazing a mixed sward.”
Her workshops will expand on her three principles for farming profitably within environmental limits.
• Support the innate capacity of soil microbial communities to fix atmospheric nitrogen biologically.
• Improve the capacity of the soil to act as an effective bio-filter.
• Incorporate as much pasture diversity as possible to reduce the excretion of urinary N by livestock with the potential to reduce or eliminate the need for inorganic fertiliser.
Dr Christine Jones has helped farmers all around the world transition from high input systems and her life’s work has been supporting farmers worldwide and showing them how they can maximise the use of their land while remaining sustainable both environmentally and economically.
Tickets available directly from AgriSea on 0800 SEAWEED or www.eventbrite.co.nz
About AgriSea New Zealand Limited
Brewing quality products since 1996 AgriSea NZ Ltd is a multi-award winning sustainable New Zealand company, family owned and operated. The company produces Seaweed Soil, Foliar, Pasture and Animal Health concentrates for agriculture, viticulture and apiculture.
The New Zealand native seaweed species (Ecklonia radiate) is batch-brewed with specially selected herbs for up to 90-days. The natural brewing process eliminates the use of processing with heat, chemicals, freezing or dehydration that might ‘denature’ the sensitive nutrient balance, allowing the natural growth stimulants and micro-nutrients to be released in an active form to enhance soil and plant health. AgriSea’s natural brewing methods are unique for commercial production.