20 Sep 2010

Farmers seek funds for bio farming study

3:13 pm on 20 September 2010

A group of farmers is hoping to gain financial backing for research that intends to prove biological farming is more environmentally and economically sustainable than conventional dairying.

It is hoped that biological systems may provide a solution to the problem of nutrient leaching into the catchments of the central North Island.

Biological farming is a holistic approach to improving soil conditions so the increased activity of beneficial microbes can speed up nutrient cycling.

Farmers using biological systems have observed positive changes to soil, plant and animal health.

These observations were presented by the Crown Research Institute, Scion, at the Maori Land Conference in July this year.

The Rotorua Lakes and Land Trust, a joint venture between Te Arawa and Federated Farmers, is approaching potential funders.

The proposed $400,000 research would compare at least two biological with two conventional dairy farms in Edgecumbe and Reporoa over three years.