Direct drilling will yield as good as any other system of cultivation, sometimes more. But only if it is understood as a system. Understand the drill itself.
I have been doing a significant amount of research recently, into climate change and its effects on all of us, but farming in particular. Firstly, the rate of change really does appear to the scientists involved to be picking up speed – still slow but beginning to speed up. The next ten years will be critical. The love affair with the car is the worst offender in producing CO2, then aircraft, but there does appear to be a growing lobby seeing farming as one of the bad bogey men. The culprits are methane (from ruminants) and CO2 from diesel engines and the production of mineral fertilisers (one tonne of N nutrient made in a modern, efficient USA factory takes 21,000 kWh to manufacture and deliver).
Yet more reasons to go direct frilling. However, do not think it is an easy way out, there is just as much husbandry in direct drilling as in 4 or 5 passes of conventional cultivations. Particularly watch compaction in previous operations.
Bill Butterworth Land Research Ltd, 7 February ‘19
Sunlight is energy and it is for free!
Good news for those who have been eyeing Tesla’s new Solar Roof – the company just announced pricing for its photovoltaic tiles, and they come in at just $21.85 per square foot. That, they claim is nearly 20 percent cheaper than a normal roof once you factor in the energy savings and tax credits. Well, almost there – do it without tax credits and then we are there but OK for tax credits to get started.
At least, someone has finally grasped that making a conventional tiled roof, and then retro-fitting solar panels is little short of insane suicide. We have the technology to make a roof out of solar panels and we should never, from this day on, ever make another conventional roof.
Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd 18 January 2019
The morning of 2 Jan 19 over Heathrow.
To all my readers, may I wish you a Happy New Year and a long, comfortable future.
The picture above was taken shortly after sunrise and shows contrails of jets over-flying Heathrow. Note not to Heathrow, over Heathrow, going somewhere else. I counted 47 contrails. Each jet would have from 40 to 70 tonnes of fuel at take off. This is a tine fraction of what is happening globally, every minute of every day.
There is an old Apache saying; “The land is a mother that never dies”. Not if we care for it like this. If you want a long life, we had better stop this burning of fossilised fuels asap.
Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 2 Jan 19
Carbon Capture without giving us the Oxygen back would be a disaster.
It is in the nature of humans to look for the latest gismo, preferably with bells and whistles and girls dancing. Therefore the perceived “holy grail” of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is to take the flue gases from burning oil, coal and lignite, and put it down a deep hole and leave it there. So far, nobody has done this on a commercial scale successfully. If people don’t like shale gas exploration and the pressures used in “fracking”, CCS might be worse with the pressures involved and potential for catastrophic leakage. There is also a problem in that this route locks up the Oxygen and some living creatures might find that a bit difficult.
So, what answer is under our noses? It is called the green leaf. Green growth takes Carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and gives us the Oxygen back. Only farmers and foresters can do this. So, support them and stop building on land that will support green leaves. The alternative, according to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) is likely to be catastrophic.
Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 15 December ‘18
The summary of a new, detailed EU study is;
“Substantial health gains can be achieved from taking action to prevent climate change, independent of any future reductions in damages due to climate change. Some countries, such as China and India, could justify stringent mitigation efforts just by including health co-benefits in the analysis. Our results also suggest that the statement in the Paris Agreement to pursue efforts to limit temperature increase to 1·5°C could make economic sense in some scenarios and countries if health co-benefits are taken into account.”
What this means is that we will all be healthier and spend less on health if we sort out global warming – starting right now.
Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd 9th December 18
And, published in 2009 by MX Publishing;
A fundamental component of reversing climate change is to recycle a wide range of urban wastes to farm land,
Less concrete, more compost, less mineral fertiliser
A serious problem with populist utterances (of which Donald Trump is the best example, maybe ever) is that they tend to over-simplify answers to complex problems. I refer specifically to climate change. What Trump does is appeal to the masses about protection of jobs and, in the short run, he may have a point, especially if he chooses to ignore the jobs being created in renewable energy. (In the USA, there are now more jobs in solar than in coal production.) If Mr Trump and others want a quick fix for climate change, recycling waste to farm and forestry land and locking up the Carbon as organic matter would be a good start. If the UK Environment Agency could also revert to previous regulation on composting which would allow a farm to start composting without spending £ hundreds of thousands on concrete, that would help the environment, too. (Concrete takes a lot of energy to manufacture and put in place and with good practice, concrete is not actually necessary for large scale composting. However, it will allow faster work with heavier equipment and a wider range of input materials.)
For more on “Only farmers can do this”, see “Survival”.
Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd. 5th December 2018
Suffolk now. Just wait.
The latest UK government climate change predictions, UKCP18, found British summer temperatures could be 5.4°C higher by 2070 while average rainfall is expected to fall by 47% over the same period. Sea level rise is likely to be around 1.15m in the Thames Estuary by 2100.
Recycling most urban wastes to farm land, reducing the use of manufactured fertilisers, particularly Nitrogen (manufacture has s very high energy cost) can raise yields, reduces irrigation need, reduce crop disease and lock up Carbon. And the green leaf takes Carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and gives us Oxygen back! Only farming can do this. Far from being difficult with regulation, our children will not forgive us if we do not actively promote and enable this. No just nice words, real action to enable is necessary.
Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd 30 November 2018
P.S. Also see “Reversing Global Warming for Profit”, published by MX Publishing.