Part of our philosophy includes encouraging producers to consider if they can apply a way of production that will work as close as possible with the tools that nature has provided.
WE BELIEVE IT IS A PROVEN WAY OF LONG TERM SURVIVAL
Many primary producers believe that it is impossible to farm organically.
However, we are forgetting that it is only in the last 100 years that there have been any other options to farming.
ORGANIC FARMING OFFERS:-
- A range of flexible alternatives in all areas of agriculture.
- A method of sustaining the health of soils, the plants and animals living off what that soil produces and last, but not least, the human race.
- A chemically free alternative for fertilising, pest and weed control, animal antibiotics, genetically modified plants and any synthetic additives such as growth hormones to food.
ON THE OTHER SIDE IT:-
- Puts it at odds with the producers of synthetic and chemically produced soil, plant and animal additives.
- Involves companies that don’t historically have an agricultural history and in many cases have adapted other products they manufacture to meet what they have convinced farmers they need in agriculture.
- Involves organisations that are very powerful, both politically and financially and so have a distinct advantage over organic organisations who are usually grass roots farmers without the funding or influence to match the publicity machines of the multi national companies that have dominated the direction of world food production in recent decades.
We have spoken of balance and consistency as being the key factors that our system is aiming for. It would not be remiss to add sustainability to those key areas.
*Organic production methods will offer the closest guarantee to sustainability in agriculture that is available.*
The key to what the soil will produce lies in the way that it is managed and each soil type in each different environment requires different methods of management. Farmers who have lived and worked and watched their soil produce will know what it needs.
The soil itself has a powerful system for rejuvenating itself.
It has a total biological system that includes replacing the nutrients etc. removed by plants and animals - if it is given the chance.
THE CHEMICAL ADDICTION
The use of chemical based products in the soil has been proven to provide short term gains in production. However, like many products, that is what the manufacturers are relying on.
In a sense, it becomes an addiction.
The unfortunate thing is that these chemicals reduce the soil’s ability to continue its self creating capacity because they destroy relevant micro-organisms necessary for this process.
So whilst the short term gains may be significant, the long term affects have not been fully realised as yet although there are some signs that are becoming evident. The worm populations in soils that have been chemically farmed are rarely if ever as good as those practising organic methods. This is a reflection of the soils overall biological health. The disappointing fact is that whilst science has developed all these products to improve short term gains, it has not done the long term studies necessary to verify that these products will guarantee sustainability.
Remember, soils have been farmed organically for hundreds of years and still produced.
Certainly, with the advent of modern agricultural methods, there are now even more tools available to add to organic farming techniques that also increase production and efficiency.
COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABILITY.
There are many ways that you, as producers, can move your farming operation toward a more sustainable, organic approach.
For the sceptics, why not start by changing some of the ways you do things on just a small scale.
- Try using some of the organic fertilisers that are available on the market today on a small area and see what differences are made.
- When you do this, ensure you have some soil tests done prior to changing and then on an annual basis so you can monitor the changes.
- Also, just dig out a small piece of dirt, say 6 square inches and six inches deep and count the number of worms prior to starting the change and repeat this again on an annual basis as well.
- Other methods that you can change include a minimal till approach and the reduction in use of fast moving, cutting implements in tilling the soil.
- Leave some areas of native grass and plants for animals to graze because these often contain nutrients and minerals that are important for the animal’s diet. On most properties, there are areas that are not arable that will provide sufficient choices of this type for the animals.
Today, the organic industry is being regulated and for a producer to sell products using an organic label, they need to be registered with an accredited organisation.
Whilst this is necessary so that consumers can be guaranteed that what they buy as organic is in fact what it says it is, the additional paper work etc. is a deterrent to some producers. Unfortunately, we live in a society that is becoming more and more regulated and, in a sense, this is the opposite to the freedom that we associate with working with nature and being flexible in being able to go with the natural flow of the environment.
THE CLASSIC/ORGANIC CONNECTION
Changes to our management practices need commitment to be successful. We discuss change on another page that I suggest that you have a look at as well.
This topic is discussed more fully in our book.
So the commitment to change management practices is both physical and psychological. The more committed you are the more likely it is that success will follow.
We know that to introduce an organic approach to your management practice as well as start to look at using an evaluation system such as ours is a big commitment.
However, without one, the other will not reach its full potential.
The fact that your property has an organic, or even more so, a biodynamic registration doesn’t necessarily mean that the meat and milk that you produce will necessarily be of the highest quality.
It will almost certainly be of a much higher standard than products grown with the aid of artificial and chemical additives.
Things such as taste will more than likely be much better from biodynamic and organic sources.
However, things like tenderness in meat are more genetically based, so it is important to use a selection system that will identify those traits.
THAT IS WHERE THE CLASSIC SYSTEM ADDS THE
ULTIMATE PREMIUM TO YOUR PRODUCTS.