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Nutrient-rich grass must be better

Dr Arden Andersen (left), and Dr Paul Dettloff check out the soil on a Waikato farm.

While the average horse owner doesn’t use much fertiliser and doesn’t want to be inundated with grass, that’s not to say he doesn’t want nutrient-rich grass for his equine mate.Many horse owners are caught up in a cycle of providing excessive quantities of vitamins and minerals to their four legged friends, in an effort to make them healthier.

But what if they could be feeding their horses nutrient-rich grass instead?

In recent years NZ farmers and growers have been helped to “join the dots” and grow healthier produce with assistance from world-renowned expert Arden Andersen.

The American, who will visit NZ early next year lectures on biological growing practices and tells those interested, often farmers, how they, and their animals, can benefit and at the same time improve their bottom line.

So what about Natural versus synthetic? Are you better with supplements or the real thing?

At a recent conference Dr Anderson said:

“I hear this organic versus non-organic versus biological, etc. etc. and unfortunately today, some of the best as well as some of the worst produce on the market is organic.

“The bottom line is nutrition.”

Dr Anderson said that no foods have a greater nutrient density than the soils upon which they were grown.”

So, what nutritional benefit can a horse possibly gain from grazing horse sour pasture?

Often, it’s not what is eaten that is the issue; it’s more what is not eaten.

And, as Dr Arden said, often what is eaten is “just not good enough.”

Dr Andersen will conduct a four-course speaking tour; two focusing on soils being held in Ashburton and Taupo, and two on human health in Havelock North and Auckland.

Biological agriculture focuses on re-establishing mineral balance and enhancing beneficial microbiology in the soil and is applicable to all production sectors.

A conservative estimate is that 100,000 hectares of land is being farmed by biological principles by hundreds of farmers across all agriculture sectors.

The approach uses both conventional and organic farming methods and combines chemistry, physics, biology and microbiology, with the use of sound agricultural management practices.

These practices include full spectrum mineralisation and supporting microbial diversity that leads to rapid increases in humus, reduced use of petrochemical inputs, and results in nutrient-dense food.

Biological management of soil increases availability of balanced minerals, making it possible for pasture or crops to be more nutritionally-dense, all the while sequestering carbon in the soil for better water retention.

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