The Furrow

A view of the constructed wetland on the farm

Keeping It Clean

One of the most challenging places to farm in an environmentally-friendly way is in a catchment that runs into a small freshwater lake. But what if the farm feeds into two sensitive catchments that both feed into a third? And what if it involves some steep hillsides and around 520 dairy cows? One New Zealand dairy farming family has embraced this challenge by changing their farming practices to protect their sensitive environment.

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Rob Ruwoldt inspects soil from his field

Zero-Till Means Big Gains

Even though they copped plenty of criticism as one of the earliest adopters of no-till farming practices, Rob Ruwoldt says their family farm’s most dramatic change came when they combined it with a controlled traffic system. More than a decade on, the results speak for themselves. Being able to reliably measure moisture and other climatic conditions takes significant guesswork out of key decisions, and has allowed them to almost double their tonnage per hectare.

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