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sustainable farming

Running the Farm : Sustainable Farming

This section contains articles to help you farm in a sustainable manner. There are hundreds of other useful articles in our lifestyle file. If you're looking for something in particular then use the search box above. If not, then browse the article titles and see what there is to help you. If you can't find an answer here then why not ask in our discussion forums? One of the very friendly and helpful members is sure to be able to help you.

New articles are added all the time so don't forget to check back here regularly!


The first in a new series on Sustainable Farming - what it is and what you need to understand to know you're doing the right thing. This article looks at the question "What is sustainable farming?"

In a nutshell, the soil is the basis of all farm productivity. The soil is where you start planning your sustainability programme.

Soil erosion is a natural process, where soils is stripped from the earth's surface and moved to another location.

Weeds are plants that grow in the wrong place, they have a big negative visual image for the property.

Soil health is not easy to define, but it is vital to the health of the plants that grow in it, and the animals that graze it.

Watching my friend labouring passionately on a windy, exposed hillside at a sloping Kaimai lifestyle block, I thought she was a little bit mad.

Keith Olsen never considered keeping a small apiary on his 10 hectare South Otago lifestyle block but when a close family friend wanted to offload his bee-keeping equipment, the opportunity suddenly presented itself.

Pugging happens when grazing animals tread wet soils and sink in to the pasture surface and leave large holes.

It is good advice when looking at a new property to inspect the water supply before  you look at anything else. 

This question is of greatest concern to small lifestyle farmers. 

Pasture grows well in New Zealand, and that's the key to our low-cost farm export business. 

There is a wide range of pests in New Zealand that damage pasture.

Animals that are not healthy are not productive, and they add cost to the business. 

The Australian Brushtail Possum (Trichosorus vulpecula) was introduced into New Zealand in the late 1800s to establish an export fur trade. 

Captain James Cook first introduced rabbits to New Zealand as an emergency food source for shipwrecked sailors.

Fencing to subdivide a farm is a basic requirement to keep control of pasture growth.

Hhoneybee numbers are dwindling at an alarming rate, and this is of concern because honeybees are hugely important as pollinators of plants.

Bees are among the hardest workers on the farm and in the garden

If you own any land that is worth protecting, consider protecting it permanently by applying a covenant.

Good drainage is the basis of a healthy productive soil. 

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