Click here for LandWISE 2017: Are we ready for automation?

LandWISE promotes sustainable production through leadership, support and research.  Since we began in a field in 1999, we’ve completed a range of projects helping to conserve our soils, use our water wisely and get environmental and economic benefits from new (and old) technology options.

For the last sixteen years we’ve worked with lead farmers, researchers and industry to understand and share knowledge of how Precision Agriculture can improve farm businesses.

Our fourteenth Annual AgriTech Conference (fifteen if you count our first “Autumn Seminar”) was held in May 2016. We have run numerous other workshops and field events, produced many helpful fact sheets, guidebooks and published the book “A Guide to Smart Farming” with a current distribution of over 6,500 copies across New Zealand and around the world.

A key focus is our MicroFarm, exploring cropping from a systems perspective. Our central question is how we can maximise production with the minimum footprint. The MicroFarm is sponsored by Ballance AgriNutrients and BASF Crop Protection and supported by many service providers, suppliers, contractors and farmers. We are very grateful!

We welcome membership from people or organisations interested in our activities and ambitions.


2 thoughts on “Welcome”

  1. Re: Irrigation

    I am interested in the current awareness of the effects of long term effects on soil structure of over watered soils.

    I had experience in the 80’s of soil water scheduling/ management in Northland and wondered and pondered the effects of continual optimal water content on soil structure. It seemed to me that if one was to keep soil water contents optimised through out the season and every season then one was stopping one of the most significant soil forming processes, ie shrinkage.

    I would expect to see a gradual decline in soil crumb size in such a “well managed” soil.

    I was aware of one dairy farmer who installed a very large irrigation system on his farm on Mangakahia? clay/silt loam soil who was very disappointed to find that his soils became rapidly heavy and less healthy. In this soil type with a high percentage of swelling clay, shrinkage on an annual basis is likely to be a very significant part of the soil structure process.

    I would imagine that many of the clayey East coast soils are also prone to rapid deterioration when deprived of an an annual shrinkage event to reform soil crumbs.

    I have never read anything about this or heard of anyone speak of this potential issue and would be very interested to hear what your community thinks of the risk and how it might be better managed and monitored. As an issue with sustainability of soils it is potentially very serious.

  2. It is important to understand soil variability with reliable water monitoring for appropriate management of irrigated soils. Long periods of soil wetness can contribute to soil structural decline. However good management of irrigated soils lies in the ability to provide water in amounts and at rates that allow profitable plant growth; but minimise leaching and periods where the soil is too wet. Correctly applied irrigation promotes plant root activity which will enhance soil structural development. Management strategies should aim to continuously maximize structural stability and to remove external stresses on the soil structure (e.g. traffic).
    More information can be found in this interesting report:
    The Impact of Irrigation on Soil Structure, by RS Murray and CD Grant, School of Earth & Environmental Sciences, The University of Adelaide, July 2007

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