Macadamia Industry


As you would understand Peter is extremely busy running around the country and still keeping watch over his projects however at times his schedule allows some time to address groups who are interested in meeting and hearing him talk about Natural Sequence Farming.

If you would like that, please let us know here and we will see what can be arranged.

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Macadamia Industry

Postby Macadamias » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:14 am

Peter is attending a workshop at Bauple Qld in the near future. Wondering if it would be possible for Peter to inspect a typical macadamia orchard while in the area and advise the possibility/practicality of applying (some) NSF principals to macadamia orchards. The industry has a problem with tree decline in some older orchards 15yrs +, and with declining yield from older trees. It is reckoned that the problem has a fair bit to do with declining soil carbon levels. I have a view that many of the NSF principals could be applied to improve the sustainability of orchards.
Brice Kaddatz

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Postby alan » Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:55 am

Not the answer you want (I am sure Duane will reply) but this may help in the meantime if you haven't seen it:

"Such a condition may obtain when some of the links in the chain are weak while one or more are overly strong. This results in an unbalanced soil.
Occasionally a farmer will throw his soil out of balance by pursuing the wrong course in an effort to strengthen the fertility of his land; by overbuilding one or more links to the neglect of the others.
Several years ago I ran onto a case of this kind while checking California orchards for suitable budwood for the various nurseries. The orchard in question had long been an excellent producer. Then it just gave up without any apparent reason. However, when I visited the orchard it was a picture of health and vigor. But it hadn’t been that way a great while, and the orchard’s owner assured me he had learned a valuable lesson in soil management through a serious mistake.
What had happened was that this man had been fertilizing heavily with a certain commercial product, and had neglected his organic fertilizer.
Since he was getting good crops of high-class fruits with his system, he increased his concentrates, hoping to raise his production still more. He had promised himself, he told me, that he would get his legumes going the following spring. He felt that would be soon enough. But Nature follows her own laws, not man’s whims. She soon showed this orchardist how the breaking of her soil-fertility laws doesn’t pay.
One day this man noticed that something was happening to some of his trees. The trees appeared anaemic. A branch here and there, he told me; then the whole tree. The trees didn’t appear to be actually diseased; just weak and hungry looking, and that right when he was stuffing them with expensive fertilizer.
In less than one season more than half of his trees were affected. All of the trees produced fruit, but only a small percentage of the fruit was marketable. And by the end of the year practically all of the trees were “sick.” He sought advice and relief from every available source, but received no encouragement. All he learned was that his orchard was apparently done for and that his only choice was to build him a new orchard – but not on the same land.
So he finally concluded to pull out his trees, but decided to wait a year before doing it. Not that he had any hope of saving his orchard; only that he believed he could by then give up his trees with greater peace of mind. And he did nothing whatever to his orchard that year except to flood the area occasionally. There was no pruning, no spraying, no cultivating. He turned the orchard over to anything that wanted to grow in it – which meant a grand array of California weeds.
And those weeds took hold with a vengeance. In places, he said, the weeds grew so tall they almost hid the trees. In early autumn of the second year he happened to notice that the trees along the outer edge, instead of dying completely as they were supposed to do, had done just the opposite. They were now green and healthy looking. And that discovery sent him exploring in his weed jungle. What he found there brought him more and greater surprises. The trees inside the weed patch were thriving even better than those in the outer rows.
It was easy to see what had taken place in this man’s orchard: the orchard soil had been thrown completely out of balance through a tooheavy application of the rich mineral fertilizer. The trees were overfed in one direction. They were not getting enough other food to go along with the strong mineral. At the critical moment the weeds had come forward and with their vigorous roots opened up the lower soil so the concentrates could be distributed by the irrigation water throughout the larger soil zone. The weed growth had probably been too dense to permit a large amount of deep diving; but there had been enough fiberization of the subsoil to save the day. Of course, the weeds themselves made use of great quantities of the minerals, but by the time the fruit grower was ready to roll the weeds down and work them into the soil, the soil zone was sufficiently enlarged to prevent further concentration when the decayed plants released their minerals.
When I last saw this orchard it was very much of a weed patch. Weeds were growing with legumes. I do not recall whether or not the legumes had been inoculated, but I do remember that the weeds and legumes were doing wll together. Which is to say, the weeds were being controlled to a certain degree now. “And my fertilizer from now on is going to be legumes combined with weeds,” this man assured me -- “and with plenty of emphasis on the weeds!”
In short, in maintaining the soil-fertility chain, or in keeping up soil balance, watch the fertility chain as a whole. Don’t emphasize some links to the neglect of others that are just as important. It is actually true that a soil is no stronger than its weakest fertility link. Keeping a balance in the fertility chain is practical agriculture at its best."

Excerpt from:

Weeds, Guardians of the Soil by Joseph A. Cocannouer

PDF here: ... 283%29.pdf

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