Australia's human stocking rate is utter madness

Opinion: Australia's human stocking rate is utter madness


Opinion
John Carter says he has learnt many farming lessons, including the ability of an oak tree's deep roots, shade, acorns and leaf litter to raise soil fertility.

John Carter says he has learnt many farming lessons, including the ability of an oak tree's deep roots, shade, acorns and leaf litter to raise soil fertility.

Aa

John Carter writes about population growth in Australia.

Aa

There is apparently a deep yearning for "roots" (origin) in our urban society.

Radio National keeps interviewing First Australians about their land. Interviews with authors Bruce Pascoe and Charlie Massy leave a very warped impression.

City based journalists take phrases from both authors and deride our agricultural efforts since 1788. They don't comprehend that the First Peoples' form of agriculture never saw more than 500-750,000 humans in Australia.

We now have 25 million, a 50-fold increase, with more than 200,000 more immigrants each year. Three years' immigration would equal Australia's highest population prior to 1788. Madness.

The US is said to have had 9-15 million Indigenous people when Europeans arrived - water and good soil being the difference. They have only had a 25-fold population increase - half our expansion in almost twice the time frame!

Our urban critics, in their human feedlots, take food and water supplies for granted. Translate population change on the Australian continent to a current hobby farmer with 100 acres. A four-person family owner would need to make provision for 200 visitors for the weekend - and every day going forward.

Under First Nation's self sufficiency they would have no access to shops and no underground water pumps.

Canberra "farmers" should also contribute food to their ludicrous "Food bowl of Asia" policy. Obesity won't be their problem.

I have read Bruce Pascoe's 'Dark Emu'. It is a well written, deeply researched and thought-provoking book - much better than the simplistic ideas his radio interviewers leave. He supports the culling of kangaroos, their use for human consumption and is critical of animal liberation opposition.

Charlie Massey's 'Call of the Reed Warbler' has an amazing number of references. He has visited a lot of innovative Australian farmers and outlines their contributions as well as references to Aboriginal work.

It is a valuable contribution but, hopefully, a future edition will edit repetition and add how each of his innovators have survived or failed. Analysis of their failures would be a valuable guide for those trying the systems. The Voisin/ Savory fixed rotational grazing is an example. I have seen four disasters since 1968.

After 65 years as a learning agriculturalist running cattle, I have learnt three certainties that only apply to where I live. They are; flexibility - no two years, seasons or markets are the same and one needs different strategies. Agistment is an essential tool; Phalaris tuberosa backed by sub clover is a survivor. I have dense areas untouched by fertiliser or chemical for 50 odd years; oak trees' deep roots, shade, acorns and leaf litter raise soil fertility, they are moderately fire resistant and grow faster than is generally assumed.

With no major irrigation projects backed by government in 70 years, we haven't the resources to fully feed our current population. Continued expansion is insanity.

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by