Tag Archives: environment

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

 

“From our Own Resources”

We are loosing land, thousands of acres every year. We produce the safest arable products in the world.

We are losing dairy herds at a dramatic rate and importing milk. Less safe milk!

I hear the talk about “environment” and “countryside” on one side, on the other I hear talk of “productivity”.  Farming remains Britain’s biggest industry and farm production remains a fundamental component of the national economy.  If, for the sake of political correctness, the Environment Secretary ignores, or otherwise takes the emphasis off farm production, he does so at the peril of the national economy.  Where is common sense?  Where is the national vision?  Some will remember a White Paper from Peter Walker, Minister of Agriculture; “From our Own Resources”. What on earth has gone wrong with this nation?  Where is the vision of production and growth? Where is the statesman who can drive production up so that we can afford the NHS?  Without productivity, we are nothing.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd,  April 18

Despite the rain now, water may cost more in future

Britain has too much rain this spring. Nevertheless, farming may pay more for its water in future.

Facing a Global Water Crisis” in a piece written by Leah Schleifer.  With credit to them, I try here to relate those lessons to British farming and maybe farming elsewhere in developed counties that do not really think water may be a significant economic problem sooner rather than later.

 Reason 6. Water Is Wasted

The water in our water main grid is “potable”, i.e. drinkable.  Yet half the water used in domestic households is used to flush toilets, enters the sewage system and is treated and dumped into rivers. It is true that some of that water may be extracted lower down the river and re-used, but this is an incredibly wasteful system.

The washing down of dairies and other livestock enterprises on farms is similarly wasteful.

Conservation farming action;

  1. Harvest water off shed roofs and concrete areas,
  2. Wash down sensibly, limiting use to what is necessary.
  3. Get everyone to remember that water is a valuable and increasingly expensive resource.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd.,  7 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

Farming, the NHS and Exercise

Farming and the Health Budget.No 1 of 9 daily posts; Exercise

WHAT’S THE FINANCIAL CONNECTION BETWEEN THIS…

..AND THIS?

How about government joining the farm and health budgets and offering cash for a joint program between a hospital, local GP’s and local farmers to run jointly-designed exercise programs to;

  • Promote health generally. (so as to reduce health costs later.)
  • Prepare for operations. (e.g. lose weight).
  • Recuperate after treatment.
  • Prevent recurrence.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd. 26 February 18

 

Farming and the NHS Budget

Will any government keep its farm support promise, post Brexit? Should it? Will it be able to afford to? Here is an alternative if government gets short of cash – and it will!

Farming takes around £3 billion out of the EU pa.  If Brexit does go through, then that will disappear. The UK government has promised to match that for 5 years.  One has to suspect that there may be a certain amount of scope to interpret that. Most of the public cannot remember the country being short of food. The pressure from the voting public to support farming may pall into insignificance compared with pouring cash into the NHS. So can farming offer something to the NHS?  Farming manages the great outdoors and produces some of the safest food in the world.  These are directly related to both health (including all aspects of physical and mental health, preferably viewed holistically) and the cost of running the health services. Over the next 9 daily posts of this blog, I shall be raising some questions about the way farming could give the government two benefits for the price of one.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 25 February 2018

I can’t be bothered

On 20th February, BBC 1, Points West, reported on Prince Charles visiting the British Army Rapid Reaction Force in which around half the members are soldiers and other service personnel from other countries.  The visitors were about to go home and several were asked what they would miss about Britain.  Several answered with quips such as “the British weather”.  A lady soldier with good english and good humour said, “I will really miss hearing people say “I can’t be bothered”.  We do not have an equivalent expression in Germany”.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 21 February 18