(extract from email to warmwell received June 18 2005)
"....where will our soil fertility come from if the livestock manure is no longer an input within the system?"I was particularly disturbed the other night when I read that email on farmtalking about the removal of 30,000 Shetland sheep each year for incineration on the mainland. This just gutted me, and I felt this surge of inner anger.....Roy Anderson is certainly a central player. the fact that they can launch these mass cull schemes on the basis of the result of some stupid computer modelling programme , which costs the taxpayer a fortune. yet what real good do these predictions provide for anyone ?
I wonder whether the expansion of oilseed biofuels is something to do with trying to drive cattle farming out of England ? But where will our soil fertility come from if the livestock manure is no longer an input within the system?
30,000 calves per year are apparently taken out of the foodchain per year due to passport application refusals. What the (farming media) do not realise is that when the smaller farmers are all gone, there will only be a few farmers left to buy their magazine. So why don't they run stories to help the farmers maintain themselves against government stamp out schemes ?
I just do not know what we can do about all of this... I have more TB reactors going on tuesday for slaughter.... another 10 have developed inconclusive lumps , which probably means that they will go positive after the next test in six weeks time.
The one alteration in our farming system is that we have ceased to use lime based fertilisers due to our drastic cost cutting measures. The upshot of this is increased soil acidity, reflected by the take over of our fields by buttercups where clover used to flourish. Increased soil acidity results in increased iron levels in the pasture grasses, which, in turn, increases iron uptake in the biosystem of the grazing animals. It is well recognised that iron is an essential co factor that is required by the TB mycobacterium in order to manifest its pathogenicity - disease causing capacity.
Intriguingly, the TB hotspot areas are in the areas where iron ore used to be mined - Cornwall /Devon/ Brendon hills/Exmoor/Forest of Dean/Mendip hills.
Trials in an area of intensive mycobacteria infestation in Michigan , involved the liming of pastures of the affected farms which produced a ten fold reduction in incidence of the infection. Why does DEFRA ignore this kind of published study? If lime spreading is all that is required to lock up the iron in the TB affected areas, then it would pay the government well to subsidise lime spreading on all TB farms at a greatly reduced overall cost in relation to the cost of the massive TB cull scheme that is currently in place.
I have ordered in the limespreaders as well as started to feed my cows a supply of lactoferrin protein which should chelate the excess iron within their biosystems as a best means of halting the disease in its tracks. I will let you know if I produce the same dramatic results of recovery that were produced in Michigan