Agribusiness Breaks New Ground...Literally!

Thursday 24th September 2020

'Tussock and Debbie Mitchell ... have donated 2 hectares of land for a long term regenerative farming project'

With the advent of an increase in regenerative farming in New Zealand, Tussock and Debbie Mitchell have kindly agreed to help the Department of Agricultural Science and Business yet again. After the release of the dung beetles on their farm earlier this year, they have now donated two hectares of land for a long term regenerative farming project.

This project will run parallel to the dung beetle project to see the kind of synergistic effect they exert on the pastures, soils and animal health. 'Control paddocks' will serve as a comparison as to the potential benefits of the beetles and the regenerative method of growing feed.

Unlike conventional pastures that contain 3-4 species of grass, regenerative mixes have anywhere from 15-40 species including tall growth species like sunflowers. The idea is provide variety to grazing animals and ensure deep root penetration for well aerated and draining soils capable of supporting extensive microflora and fauna.

The paddock in question has been turned over for the last time and undergone a few processing steps (see photos) and will be ready for sowing early October. No more tilling there as this releases the valuable carbon stores needed to produce the best soils (according to the theory). 91kg of seed is currently on its way from the Maniototo!

We extend our sincere thanks to the Mitchells for making it possible to provide real-life and contextualized studies for the girls and boys who are part of our department. If you would like more information about Agricultural and Environmental Science and the two-year Agribusiness programme, contact Dr. Craig Preston at JMC and Mr Sam Doran at Columba College (