Protecting and managing the environment is becoming increasingly important, but what measures (if any) will the Farmers Weekly Farmer Focus writers be taking in 2006?
• Chris Harrold: Better waste management and correct disposal will obviously help the environment, (all extra costs that we are unable to pass on) plus run-off prevention from our light soils on sloping fields as part of our cross compliance are our new measures to implement this year.
• James Stafford: Environmental issues, Going full steam into ELS and reducing harmful gas emissions by supplying all cattle with corks.
• Richard Ward: None – Farming does not pay enough to be able to afford any!
• Peter Hogg: We have been in stewardship for 10 years and have entered the ELS. New improvements will be by default due to the low input system that we are now forced into by the ‘three Rs’ – Rules, Red tape and Reduction in price. The sad thing is this will be worse for the global environment.
• Mark Ireland: I count ourselves lucky in that we have a correct set of Rural Land Registry maps. As long as I haven’t made too much fuss we hope to be accepted into the Entry Level scheme, which will result in 30 acres being taken out of arable production for the good of the environment.
• Hendrik Visser: With the new laws for putting on nitrogen and phosphate there is little room for putting on manure, so on our own farm we will protect the environment but the pigs are still their and the manure is their also?
• Richard Crewe: Put as much time as I can into the Ethanol Group Project that hopefully will build a production plant in this area to provide low emission fuels to Canadians.
• Matthew Dale: Although it is legislation that is being forced upon us and more hassle, I think that the proper rinsing and recycling of spray cans has to be ultimately better than burning. The same is true of the pressure being brought to bear on soil erosion and nutrient loss – we try to manage that side of things well but there is more that we could and will do.
• David Greasby: It is important that farming environmental success is heard through the fog of blanket philosophies. I will continue to do what is right for this farm, which includes the adoption and adaptation of new ideas and techniques – always aiming for a balance between our farming and environmental contribution.
• Bill Davey: The voluntary installation of electronic metering of our water abstraction from both of our deep aquifer wells, not only for our own records but to demonstrate our commitment towards sustainability to Environment Canterbury, our regional council.
• John Jeffrey: Green nappies, no doubt in every sense of the word!
• Mark McFerran: I have a hedgerow to plant up both sides of the new laneway to the little cottage we are in the process of building along with a 0.25 acre of trees to plant on two other sites on farm. Also to manage the 67 acres of rough grass margins and wild bird cover currently on the farm.
• Simon Redfearn: Burning less diesel and reducing soil erosion by means of adopting min-till and direct drilling techniques.
• Kevin Littleboy: Learn to walk again, as energy costs have become a restrictive pleasure.
• Andrew Peddie: We’re applying to join the rural stewardship scheme, so in the eyes of the politicians we will be doing lots of things to improve the environment.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the FWi Forum.