Monday, 12 February 2018
Ground Effect®, Autumn 2018
Welcome to the sixth edition of Ground Effect
This edition of Ground Effect ® is packed with doctorates delivering their perspectives. As we look back on the previous five editions of Ground Effect, it’s clear that the publication has been doing its bit to enable smarter farming. Looking ahead, the country will need smarter farming more than ever, so it’s clear that magazines like this have a role to play. In Ground Effect #6, Ravensdown has assembled the viewpoints of some leading agri-science minds. Professor Keith Woodford, Dr Gwyneth Verkerk, Dr John Roche and our very own Dr Hendrik Venter and Dr Ants Roberts outline their perspectives on issues as diverse as water, animal welfare, the power of pasture, the benefits of potash and the process of soil testing.
In the agri-sciences, it’s all about applying the discipline and being accessible; not just about waxing lyrical about the latest theory or preaching from a pulpit. All these leaders have devoted countless days to this academic engagement and their passion to communicate is inspiring.
This academic “grunt” is important as New Zealand seeks to have an informed debate about allocation/protection of natural resources, national prosperity and thriving rural communities. Of course, farmers learn from farmers so it’s interesting to read about the co-operative’s shareholders: Ali and Dion from Wairarapa, the Averys of Marlborough, the Wilkins of Southland and Reporoa dairy and beef farmer Hamish Lee.
Many of Ravensdown’s agri managers are not just Certified Nutrient Management Advisors; they either have been or are, practising farmers. Kate Macgregor is now a part-time Senior Agri Manager as she takes over a 124ha sheep and beef farm.On page 28 Kate explains how the learning never stops.
On page 36 Senior Agri Manager Jane Mayo outlines how clover, which fixes nitrogen from the air as it grows, can be applied by aircraft or truck.
Guest writer Mike Peterson discusses the importance of trade deals for the New Zealand economy on page 34. Mike is a sheep and beef farmer in the Hawke's Bay and special agricultural trade envoy to boot. Meanwhile, Tina Porou outlines a framework called “Te Mana o te Wai” on page 38, which sets out a hierarchy of responsibilities when it comes to a cultural approach to managing our freshwater.
The environment is a recurring theme with cadmium, effluent management and water quality all featured. Page 9 covers mitigating nutrient loss, page 14 looks at cutting nitrous oxide emissions and on page 41 you can read about how to choose an environmental consultant.
As a farmer-owned co-operative, our commitment as nutrient efficiency specialists is to supply the necessary amount of nutrients – no more, no less – and help minimise losses for the benefit of the farm and the environment.