Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Score one (more) for free markets and individual responsibility...

Kiwis continue to show the world how unsubsidized farming can work better than socialized agriculture. Farmers make good decisions when allowed to focus on their own farm's future and use their own judgments.
Farmers are using less chemical fertiliser on their land, figures released by a fertiliser manufacturers' research association show.

Fertiliser companies Ravensdown and Ballance sold about 13 percent less fertiliser during the 2005/06 financial year than the previous year, Fert Research's latest newsletter said.

This was the largest annual decrease since the government abolished fertiliser subsidies in the 1980s.

The companies said that over the last decade they had pumped millions of dollars into finding ways to make fertiliser use more sustainable and less damaging to the environment.

Of particular concern was the amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur and potassium that ran-off farmland into streams and rivers.

In part, the reduction was because more farmers were using nutrient budgets, which helped them see if they were using their chemicals efficiently, Fert Research technical director Hilton Furness said.

This self-imposed discipline will "significantly advance the cause of sustainable farming", whereas regulations will not, Dr Furness said. [More]

We will be bombarded with assertions over the course of developing the next farm bill about how powerless farmers are to manage their destinies. New Zealanders offer a refreshing disproof of this position.

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