Interest in, and support for, biological farming systems is growing in New Zealand. This is because some farmers are anxious about the increased use of synthetic fertilisers that has caused both economic (eg increase in fertiliser costs) and enviromental concerns (eg water quality). In New Zealand, nutrient leaching has become a risk to the viability of many farming ventures as farmers are compelled to reduce nutrient losses.
Farmers using biological farming systems have observed positive changes to soil, and improvements in plant and animal health. Scientific investigation is warranted to establish the mechanisms and processes responsible for these observed improvements in economic and enviromental performance and to ensure that potential benefits can be more widely adopted.
In recent years, water quality has become an importment issue in New Zealand. The increased use of synthetic fertilisers, such as urea, has not only been expensive to farming systems, but also considered as one of the causes of water quality degradation.
Farmers are now interested in exploring how biological farming can be used to achieve the same results as current farming practices.