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
The moon moves the tides twice a day. We are missing out on this power.
The UK has some of the highest tides in the world. Tidal power using barrages can have problems with sedimentation but inlet-outlet design can substantially solve this . Wild life changes but does not lose out. We loose out by not doing it. On every count, it is better than nuclear.
Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd. 22 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;
Only farmers can deliver this.
Only farmers can deliver the following. According to World Bank figures, the global production of urban waste is above 2 billion tonnes and rising. My own experience of composting urban wastes suggests that, technically (if the regulators could come to terms with this) maybe 25% of that could be composted and put to farm land, and possibly more if put to forestry land. If the compost contained only 2% of each of N, P and K, then that would be 10 million tonnes of each. One tonne of N nutrient, made in a modern USA factory, takes 21,000 kWh to make and deliver. So, or the N alone, that would save the use of 210,000,000 kWh of electrical power generation, most of which comes from burning coal and oil. Bearing in mind most N production in the world is several times less efficient than in the USA, and that the rest of the figures err on the side of caution, then recycling urban waste by composting to land would save probably around 1 trillion KWh pa and the associated Carbon dioxide production. As a rough guide, that would save 350,000,000 tonnes of Carbon dioxide being pumped into out atmosphere, every year.
There is a bonus, crops grown on high organic Carbon soils need less irrigation and less crop protection sprays. Cereal crop lodge (fall flat) less. Crops yield a little more. What we need is active, controlled enabling, not ever-increasing suppression and indifference form government.
Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd. 18 October 18
It is not impossible to turn global warming upside down.
The New Scientist this week comments on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report that we have 12 years to save the planet. Interestingly, while pointing out that the evidence is overwhelming that the rise in global warming is human-made and really dangerous and already producing problems, they also argue that the evidence is that we can do something about it.
What this blog is sometimes about is that composting urban waste globally could make a real contribution to limiting and even reversing by locking up Carbon in organic matter and by reducing and eliminating the manufacture of Nitrogen fertilisers (which, according to UN-sponsored research takes 21,000 kWh to make one tonne of N nutrient – and that is in a modern and efficient USA factory).
Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 16 October 18