Sustainable Winegrowing & Biological Farming
Biological Farming is the most sustainable programme, even more so than organics.
This from the Bio Ag website.
‘Many progressive NZ farmers are seeking alternatives to their current management practices, particularly their reliance on pesticides and high analysis fertilisers. Biological farming is one such alternative. It presents a viable method of producing high quality, nutritious produce with reduced dependence on inorganic fertilisers, pesticides or gene modification.
Biological farming is based on scientific principles and common sense. Central to this is the realisation that microbes are the basis of all agricultural production systems. Many growers are already familiar with the importance of microbes in ruminant nutrition. Another example is the role of Rhizobium bacteria in encouraging nitrogen fixation in legumes.
This not only decreases the amount of organic matter converted to humus and microbial activity over time, but impacts on the soil’s capacity to hold water. For example, it is estimated that a one percent increase in humus can allow soil to hold an extra 80,000 litres of water per hectare.
The application of microbial nutrients, such as fermented liquid cultures, to bare earth or foliage helps to establish a thriving and sustainable microbial population in the soil. The soil foodweb plays an important role in converting previously-applied calcium and phosphate that has been locked up as tri-calcium phosphate back into plant-usable forms. If the system is balanced, the soil foodweb will also help to maintain a satisfactory soil pH. By improving soil microbial mass and diversity, producers can improve the natural fertility of their soils. In turn, this increases the amount of plant-available and therefore livestock-available nutrients.’
Biological farming presents a major challenge to conventional thinking, but it's what we're pursuing on the land where we source our grapes.