Monday, March 11, 2013


Several blogs are embedding a video featuring a 23 min lecture, part of an hour full length effort on combating desertification by Allan Savory who in the early years of his study advocated culling elephant herds to combat desertification on the vulnerable fringes of the deserts of Africa.  He has now worked out what many graziers have known for years but has remained hidden, due to an unpopular perception stance in great debates on denuding of soils contributing to degredation.

Most farmers I have encountered in over 60 years of life are basically environmentalists, if only because they understand a poorly maintained machine will eventually fail, often with devastating outcomes. Yes, there are some tossers in farming, there is at least one in every bus.

Dung and litter, acting as natures mulch, protects soils from the massive evaporation that turns bare soils to desert, as do soils that are poorly and non grazed soils.

This has some ramifications for significant areas of the South Island that have been retired to the DOC estate in some very low rainfall zones.  Now over grazing is still a real danger but controlled rotational methods that mimic to some extent the grazing behavior of the massive herds of the Prairies and the Savannah  are being promoted by Savory in some of the very endangered areas throughout the world with amazing results.

My efforts at embedding being non existent I can get there by google "allan savory, how to green the desert". Go on - invest 20 minutes of your life, it may surprise you.


JC said...

Forty odd years ago in the Wairarapa we called it "mob stocking" and "rotational grazing". Fifty odd years ago the author Robert Ruark described something very similar on a Kenyan farm.

There's nothing new under the sun, including the vast ignorance of the greenies and the political classes.


Anonymous said...

Good post GD
That video should be compulsory viewing. Rotational grazing is the very reason the farm I grew up on 40 years ago still looks as good as it did then.
The sooner the world embraces this type of common sense and logical thinking the better.
As JC points out ignorance is the greatest threat.