19 Oct 2009

'Profits boosted' by carbon farming methods

11:40 am on 19 October 2009

A leading New Zealand advocate of carbon farming says there's solid evidence that substantial improvement in soil carbon levels can provide farmers with healthier profits.

Peter Floyd from Cambridge runs a farm management consultancy as well as running his own property.

He says a back-to-basics approach by a number of clients in the past three years has resulted in improved soils and pastures and higher levels of soil carbon, which have a monetary value over and above animal profitability.

Among the measures, he says, are a reduction of stock rates by up to 30%, not grazing pastures so hard and using fewer chemicals and more lime and dolomite.

"We're taking highly intensive Waikato farms with high stocking rates and turning them round - doubling their profit in three years."

A meeting at the Matamata Club on Tuesday and a field day at Kukerenui in Northland on Thursday will discuss the approach Peter Floyd advocates.