June 2019

Targets and Practicalities

It is totally understandable that there is a lot of concern in the farming community as the Government gets down to the serious business of setting carbon targets and gas emission targets for agriculture.

In my opinion it is not helped in the least by predictions of catastrophic events.  New Zealand agriculture is not going to end, and we are not going to go broke either.  However, we do have to take account of the new world we find ourselves in.  Dare I say it, this is something I have been talking about for years.  This day was always going to arrive.

First things first, and the first thing as far as I am concerned is the fact that we cannot monitor what we do not measure.  Therefore, Fertilizer New Zealand can incorporate a test for soil carbon in its suite of tests that we do for our customers on a regular basis around the country.  This test is not expensive, and it is going to become critically important.  Like a lot of soil tests the true picture is built up over time.  These tests are not something we can draw meaningful conclusions from on a one-off basis.  But over time a picture will emerge from which we can make sensible decisions.  Unlike governments, we operate at grass roots level and we are going to take immediate action on this issue because the sooner we start the better for our customers.

I am going to make a very rash statement here and I am going to predict that many of our grassland farms are putting carbon into our soils every day.     

But now isn’t the time for us to talk past each other; rather it is a time for us to check the facts.  I believe many farmers could be adding carbon to the soils, but we don’t have the facts, which is the reason why we need to measure our carbon.

Who knows!!  It may be that you will receive a cheque in the mail for carbon sequestration.

But don’t count on that happening!!!!!

Please call one of our field representatives to begin this new and exciting journey with us.

0800 337 869