The most common question ringing in the heads of those that have just completed NTS training is, “where do I start?” There is no longer a question about the need to start, or the likely benefits of beginning a new chapter in your farming story. Whether you have just experienced eight hours or 38 hours of an ocean of information, there is no doubt about the rationale and rewards. However, there is typically a 10% retention rate of this huge body of information and this partial retention can create confusion. Confusion can, in turn, create indecision, and the classic response of the undecided is to do nothing. (more…)
Golf course management is notoriously chemically intensive. What else would you expect with a monoculture grown on nutrient deficient sand? A single-species, nitrogen-packed carpet that must remain forever green. It is hard not to feel concerned about golf course staff working amidst a stream of toxins. It is similarly disturbing to watch the early bird golfers plucking dripping balls from greens that were drenched in chemicals minutes earlier. These chemicals absorb through the skin as surely as if you had put them in your mouth and the finger lickers get a double dose. (more…)
NTS has been working in sustainable turf management for over 15 years. There are now multiple golf clubs, turf farms and sports fields that successfully utilise biological principles and products. These include iconic venues like the Royal Selangor Golf Club in Malaysia, Sheshan Golf Club in Shanghai, Le Touessrok in Mauritius, the Headlands Golf Course in Queensland and Wembley Stadium in England. (more…)
We had a wonderful, if not a little frantic time during this tour of Africa. It was great to be able to help out in my partner, Moira’s, homeland of Zimbabwe. I spoke at the Ezekiel Guti University to a crowd of 150 key people. There are now two new Zimbabwean distributors and they are setting a date for a four-day course next year. I had expected economic chaos in a country that has only just emerged from hyper-inflation. It was amazing to hear about the dramatic demise of their currency. They went from being on par with the pound, to carrying suitcases full of money to the store to buy their basics. (more…)
This year, to date, I have visited fifteen countries and I have visits to at least fifteen more destinations scheduled before the year’s end. It feels as though the world has awoken and there is an urgency to update and improve an agricultural model that is no longer serving us. Sometimes during my diverse travels I encounter a consultant who simply stands out from the crowd. When this occurs, I like to share some insights from these special people. (more…)
Humic and fulvic acid (collectively known as humates), have become the most important tools in regenerative agriculture. In recent years, it has been recognised that these natural acids can also be of considerable value in livestock production. Horse Saver™ is the latest addition to the popular Stock Saver™ range. This new addition is in recognition of the fact that monogastrics actually respond at least as well as ruminants to humate supplementation.
We receive many queries from around the world on a weekly basis and I sometimes have the opportunity to check out the responses from our technical team. Steve Capeness is my talented co-presenter at seminars around the world. He is also our Sales Manager and an accomplished biological agronomist. I have decided to include some of Steve’s comprehensive responses to questions in Nutrition Matters, as they can also serve to educate our readers. This is the first of what will become a regular feature. (more…)
The dictionary definition of the word “science” is “adherence to natural laws and principles”. Nature has all of the answers and we were supposed to learn from her, rather than think we can do better. A prime example of this “learning” potential relates to the role of anaerobic organisms in human, animal and plant health. For some reason there was little enquiry into Nature’s broader intention when considering the presence of multiple strains of lactobacillus on the surface of every leaf. (more…)
Much of what we have done in modern agriculture contradicts natural laws and principles. In our arrogance we have focused upon either changing nature or depreciating natural capital with an extractive, symptom-treating approach. There is a growing realisation that this is a bankrupt philosophy and now it is time to change. If we observe Nature, we see very rapidly that she abhors a vacuum. If land is cleared she will cover that bare soil as rapidly as possible. There will not be one weed, but a diversity of pioneer plant life that fills the gap. (more…)
David and Kim Hunt grow limes near Maryborough in Queensland. They are relative newcomers to this industry so they attended the four-day NTS Certificate in Sustainable Agriculture course to bring themselves up to speed with the most productive strategies for high-production, sustainable horticulture. They also decided to enlist the help of accomplished biological orchard consultant, Heinz Gugger, who farms stone fruit and persimmons, biologically, near Amamoor in South-East Queensland.
This package of empowerment through education and informed guidance has proven very productive. The orchard of 2100 trees was producing just 30 tonnes of limes when they purchased the property two years ago. The yield this past year had increased to 100 tonnes and the focus is now on improving quality rather than yield. (more…)