My Writing


Trees and pasture productivity are rarely discussed in the same conversation, but farmers who think of trees as either shading out grass growth or taking away valuable grazing land are missing out on vital pasture productivity potential. The last couple of decades in farming has been led by the ‘green revolution’ and solutions that are sold in big white bags or plastic drums. As a Farm advisor working with leading soil scientists and...

Read More

There is a common misconception in the farming world that’s harming your profits and potentially your future. We’re led to believe – in increasingly clever and technical ways – that we need fertilisers in order to increase the productivity of pasture or meadow. But just as humans aren’t ‘statin deficient’ when they have a heart attack; grasslands aren’t ‘fertiliser deficient’ if their performance is poor. How to...

Read More

I don’t know many livestock farmers who wouldn’t want to increase the amount of grass they can grow and reduce their input costs. But so often the recommended mainstream methods of increasing pasture productivity are leading us down a money dwindling one-way street. I was recently reading about some research conducted by Simon Fraser University in Brittish Columbia of farms in Alberta growing oilseed rape. They compared...

Read More

Water in Plain Sight I read much of this book while sitting under a gorgeous acacia tree in Maasai land, Kenya. The temperature under the tree was pleasant and it protected my lily white December skin from blistering in the harsh sun that was beating down. This accentuated the point made very clearly in Water in plain sight; we need trees to live successfully on planet earth. We were in Kenya to visit Dalmas Tiampati to better...

Read More

Overgrazing Farmers are accused of it, the biodiversity of the British uplands have been damaged by it for sure, but it’s also happening on conservation land grazed by only a tiny number of wild deer so what’s the deal here? The first misconception I would like to address is: that land is not overgrazed; plants are. If a field grows ten species of grass plant and a herbivore grazer takes a liking to that plant, that plant will...

Read More

Are your pastures increasing in moss and rush? As I have been walking around the pastures and meadows in the Lake District where I live, I’ve been astonished by how prevalent moss and rush is becoming in fields that were once dominated by grasses. I’d like to throw around a few ideas about why this is happening. First, you must understand what a grass plant needs to be healthy and thrive. For a species or several species...

Read More