Category Archives: Environment

Shale gas and earthquakes

Bentonite is often used in the drilling fluid used in drilling for shale gas, Bentonite is a pure natural clay. you can eat it, it is not toxic (but it will may you constipated).

See  https://landresearchonline.com/shale-gas/ 

Land Research Ltd, 27 June 18

 

Organic N and crop growth

As the previous post here showed, Organic N, then, is different.  It just sits there in the store, alive with micro-organisms and giving some (but very low losses) to the soil atmosphere and groundwater.  However, it is different in a staggeringly complex and important way.  When conditions favour both plant and fungi, the mycorrhizae feed at one end of their hyphae on the organic matter and the other end of each hypha either crosses the root hair wall into the plant body, or wraps round the root hair (much like the placenta of a mammal).  This is a closed conduit! Not only is this why natural ecosystems do not leak nutrients and pollute the ground water, they also feed the plant with complex molecules, already some way down the route for forming cellulose and amino acids – so accelerating growth. Even more staggering, these mycorrhizae can suck nutrients out of some plants (weeds?) and transfer then to others (crops?).

There is enough urban waste in the world to supply enough nutrients to feed the world – without manufacturing fertilisers. (But we do actually need both.)

See the next blog in this series for more on profitable, eco-mimic fertiliser mechanisms and also “Survival” by bill Butterworth, published on Amazon.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd,   29 May 2018

 

The Soil N Store

S Michael Gove’s staff look at the environment v. Farming, they might do woerse than to read this series of posts on N fertilisers.

When ammonium nitrate hits the soil moisture, it forms two “ions”.  The ammonium carries a positive charge and is an “anion”.  The nitrate carries a negative charge and is a “cation”. Sands have a very low ability to hold onto nutrients whether they be anions or cations..  Clays have some useful colloidal capacity which has some ability to hold onto anions (so it will hold some ammonium ion) but not much ability to hold cations (so it will hold very little nitrate).

“Humus” is a very complex and variable black tarry material made up of large, Carbon-based chain molecules (so in chemists’ language they are “organic Carbon” molecules) forming hydrocarbons, carbohydrates and proteins.  The proteins carry one or more Nitrogen molecules. These molecules are insoluble in water.  So this humus-N will not leach out in rain or irrigation. More than that, humus is very colloidal, so it will hold both ammonium and nitrate ions and reduce the leaching of synthetic N.

So, pushing up the organic matter in soils is a real economic and environmental plus.

See the next post on this blog for how organic N storage work sand promotes crop growth.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd,   May 2018

 

Synthetic N Fertiliser

In the UK , around 80 % of the cultivation energy we use is to undo previous traffic compaction and around 50 % of the energy we use to manufacture and spread fertiliser goes into the groundwater. This is neither profitable in the short run nor sustainable in the long.

The nature of the Nitrogen molecule carrier/store dramatically affects not only N fertiliser losses to groundwater, but how it gets into the plant and promotes growth.

Nitrogen fertiliser can be applied in two forms; as soluble in water (such as ammonium nitrate) and as organically bound N (as part of long, Carbon-chain molecules).If the molecule is relatively small and in-organic (mot part of a Carbon chain molecule), then it can be absorbed across the root-hair wall and progressively built up by the plant metabolism into amino acids and plant proteins. This route has served us well and saved countless billions from starving and postponed their death.

There is a problem.  While “artificial” or “synthetic” fertiliser N certainly has its place, the energy cost of manufacture and the losses to groundwater are unsustainable. The alternative will be discussed in the next post on this blog.

Also see “Reversing global Warming for Profit” by Bill Butterworth published on Amazon.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd,   20 May 2018

 

The Land, population and policy

Once we have built on land, it can never again be farmed to produce food.

As I drive around the country, the rash of “toy town” building estates continues to eat up farmland much as the red blotches of measles cover a child’s body.  Apparently, the “build more houses” policy will solve all the country’s economic problems. I remember Stephen Nortcliff saying at a meeting of the BSSS (British Society of Soil Science)  “when land is built on, we can never have it back for farming.”

In round figures, there was a net immigration into the UK last year of over 500,000 and we built a little over 100,000 houses. On top of that there appears to be a growing policy as part of Brexit that we trade exports of manufactured goods and services for imports of food and turn the countryside into a play area for urban people.  We do this as a short term politically correct expedient and our long term peril.  Write to your MP about it.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd  22 April 18

 

 

 

Farm Labour and change

 

 

Post Brexit, UK farming faces the biggest change for over 100 years.  So, is there a connection between this…

… and this?

 

Farming and the Health Budget.  3. Health Education

Fresh air, walking, communing with nature, getting away from the rush, good food.  Farming is now grubbing out young, viable fruit orchards for apples, pears, plumbs, raspberries, strawberries – and because EU labour has gone back home. If people want welfare support, health support, then each individual has to help themselves wherever they can.  Gentle exercise fruit picking, together with others at the same stage of health, under the guidance of health specialists, could do for themselves, farming, the nation and the Budget, and the taxpayer a favour.  And it could be fun!  Pretty good for NHS staff, too.

We really do have to start thinking outside the box in order to ensure profit is generated in farming because that is where the resources come from to maintain what the politicians politely call “the environment”.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 2 March 18

Vision of UK Farming

THIS

For half a century, the British government and (latterly) the EU have supported production.

OR THIS

Of late, the UK Environment Secretary has begun to signal a further shift in financial support towards a politically correct view of “the environment”.

We actually produce more per ha than any other country on earth.  We produce the most policed and safest food compared with every other country on earth.

So where will UK farming be in 10 years’ time?  By current political correctness, no doubt with awfully nice, “fluffy” environmental “improvements”.

We certainly do need to work very hard at environmental safety and care.  We certainly need to protect and encourage wild life.  However, stifling farm production will do little help on these matters.  If we really want to help “the environment”, whatever you understand by that, then we need to stop people breeding.  It is not about race, it is about numbers. Common sense tells us that uncontrolled population growth, globally and in the UK, by whatever route, must eventually destroy everything we value. But, then, common sense ain’t common any more.  For a larger, researched and balanced review of population growth and food production, see https://www.amazon.co.uk/Survival-Sustainable-Energy-Wastes-Shale/dp/1523264217

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd 19 February 2018

We actually produce more per ha than any other country on earth.  We produce the most policed and safest food compared with every other country on earth.

So where will UK farming be in 10 years’ time?  By current political correctness, no doubt with awfully nice, “fluffy” environmental “improvements”.

We certainly do need to work very hard at environmental safety and care.  We certainly need to protect and encourage wild life.  However, stifling farm production will do little help on these matters.  If we really want to help “the environment”, whatever you understand by that, then we need to stop people breeding.  It is not about race, it is about numbers. Common sense tells us that uncontrolled population growth, globally and in the UK, by whatever route, must eventually destroy everything we value. But, then, common sense ain’t common any more.  For a larger, researched and balanced review of population growth and food production, see https://www.amazon.co.uk/Survival-Sustainable-Energy-Wastes-Shale/dp/1523264217

Bill Butterworth, Land Reseaarch Ltd 19 February 2018