Resilient Cropping

[Completed Project]

How resilient is your farm?
One of the most challenging things farmers must manage is unpredictable, extreme weather events. In the last two years New Zealand cropping farmers have faced droughts, rain and snow storms and high winds. Crops have been damaged, with losses to yield, quality and farm profitability.

Resilience is the ability to bounce back after an adverse event.

When we are generally happy and healthy we can handle most things nature (or life) throws at us. If we are run down, tired and sick, the slightest thing seems to knock us for six.

Farms are very much the same. If the soil is healthy and water is available, if infrastructure and capital are in place, a farm handles adverse events more easily; it can bounce back into profitable business.

And the reverse is true too. Beaten up soils, lack of water, inadequate or poorly maintained infrastructure and high gearing leaves a farm (and its people) at higher risk when bad things happen.

The “Resilient Cropping” initiative aimed to build resilience into crop farming. It was a joint venture between LandWISE, the Foundation for Arable Research, Horticulture NZ and Tahuri Whenua, the Maori Vegetable Growers’ Collective. The work was funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries.

In-field discussions

On-farm discussions were held with vegetable and arable growers in Bulls, Hastings, Takapau, Gisborne, Seddon, Levin, Dargaville and Kaiapoi. Additional arable days were run by FAR.

Topics

RESILIENT SOILS

  • Understanding my resource
  • Improving the situation

RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

  • Soil health
  • Irrigation
  • Water use efficiency – managing your supply
  • Drainage – new technologies
  • Fuel use efficiency
  • Nutrient management

Resources

A number of printable resources were developed for this project. They are available here>

 

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