Can biological / sustainable / organic farming increase real production to keep up with the growing world population. Over the next 20 years we will need twice as much food as we do now. We need honest real solutions to meet this challenge.
Please find below the topics in this issue. I got sent another issue so I have posted it.
- Less Dependency
- Don’t Violate the Principles of the Cow
- MBA Working with Organic Valley on Transition Plot Research
- Tibetan farmers face challenges
- 2009 Winter Meeting Schedule
It looks like Gary has a very busy Winter schedule. To view this newsletter click on the link below or right click on the link and choose “Save as” to put a copy on your computer.
Please find below the topics in this issue. This is the last issue MBA will be posting me, you can get further issues at Midwestern Bio-Ag
- New Remote Consulting Program
- Biofumigant crop
- Understanding Magnesium
- From CRP to Organic
- MBA Two Day Conference
- Trading Post
- Energy sources for dairy cattle
To view this newsletter click on the link below or right click on the link and choose “Save as” to put a copy on your computer.
In February in many coastal areas of Australia, summer humidity sets in and everything rots out from under you. This is also the month of the year when the worst lawn problems appear. In some areas the dreaded armyworm marches across entire neighbourhoods; symptoms include the browning off of huge lawn areas almost overnight. On closer inspection. small, greyish caterpillars can be found in tunnels just below the soil surface. Often, flocks of galahs or even starlings are blamed for the damage, but in fact these birds help by eating the armyworms.
JOBS TO DO NOW
• In coastal areas, powdery mildew Will be on the increase. This causes a talc like coating on leaves and, later, dieback of roses, crepe myrtles, cucumbers, zucchinis, pumpkins, grapes, fuchsias and anything else that happens to be lying around. To control this problem, spray with Benlate(not organic). Organic option would be milk.
• This is the last month (in non-tropical areas) to plant warm climate plants such as hibiscus, bougainvillea and frangipani. Later planting may cause problems.
• Watch out for fruit fly in central and northern areas; to control, spray with Lebaycid or Chemspray Fruit Fly Kit. Organic option is netting or fruit fly lure.
• Take a look at your native shrubs-if they have finished flowering and look a little scruffy, prune lightly all over. This helps them to live longer, look better and flower more.
• To control severe infestations of armyworms, spray with Carbaryl(Organic use neem)-and keep the galahs away for a few days. Fungal diseases in lawns, which appear as small, often dead patches, can be sprayed with Daconil or Mancozeb(Use organic fungicide). Don’t overwater, as this helps diseases to spread. Black beetles rarely do much damage, but in severe cases and as a last resort use any of the lawn beetle chemicals that are available.
• Fertilise citrus trees. Citrus will bravely fruit until they exhaust themselves and the surrounding soil, leading to die-back, collar rot etc, so get some chook manure or citrus food. Apply the manure as a surface mulch 1cm (0.5”) thick to the width of the branches (but keep it back 10cm/4″ from the trunk) and water in well with a sprinkler. A light application of trace elements, particularly in sandy soil areas, will help to make the fruit taste sweeter and the tree itself to resist disease and insect attack.
• Keep weeds and lawns away from the trunks of citrus trees. As well as competing for food and water, grass and weeds can hide problems such as collar rot, which affect the citrus trunk at ground level.
• This is a good time to fertilise. For year round feeding use nine-month Osmocote, Nutricote or Selley’s spikes, and for a quick boost use Nitrosol or Fish Emulsion. Always water well when you apply fertiliser.
• Either don’t bother to feed African violets or use African violet food only, and don’t overwater.
TIME TO PLANT
• Wok enthusiasts can plant snow peas, sugar snap peas and Chinese cabbage, all of which are really worthwhile. Purists who need lots of exercise might consider growing potatoes. This is also the time for beans, peas, broccoli, carrots, beetroot, lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower and tomatoes (in warmer areas).
• Flowering annuals to plant include violas, pansies, cinerarias and primulas.
Reference: Mr Don Burke
The lovely Willi Galloway from eHow shows us how to create newspaper seedling pots from old newspapers. Try to only use black and white newspaper as they don’t have the chemicals which are found in coloured newspaper. Always use a good quality compost (preferable organically certified) when potting up your seeds or seedlings for the best results.
This is a great old document from the CSIRO on composting. It is written for the home gardener but also has some great scientific information like the right carbon to nitrogen ratios(C/N ratio) for compost.
Composting – Making soil improver from rubbish
Rubbish is one product our society makes very well. We make mountains and oceans of it. We dump it in holes and in the sea, bury it and burn it. But when we run out of holes, when the sea can not take any more, and when we get sick of smoke in our eyes, what do we do then?
One answer given by those who are concerned about our soils and food production system is: “Compost it and return it to the soil”. They are, of course, referring to the many organic materials that we throw away or burn – lawn clippings, leaves, weeds, sawdust, paper, kitchen scraps, seaweed, etc. The compost heap can convert this bulky “rubbish” into a soil improver and fertiliser. This booklet is about the science and art of making compost, and has a bit of philosophy too.
To view this booklet below you will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed from www.adobe.com
Greensumption is the green washing of products to make them more appealing to the eco customer. Companies are now exploiting this green wave with products that are not really green as there are hidden unsustainable problems. One example is importing organic food from the other side of the world. General consumption needs to be reduced for there to be a real effect not just buying corporate green products.