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Pastoral Farming in New Zealand [ニュージーランドの放牧の話]

posted May 15, 2013, 6:26 PM by Yoshitaka Uchida Hokudai
Since I came back to Japan from New Zealand where I spent nearly 8 years studying farming, many ask me what was like farming in New Zealand. When you study farming in New Zealand, particularly at Lincoln University, you pretty much study everything about pastoral farming. You are required to do about 40 weeks of practical work on different farms over summer so you do not really have summer holidays for the first three years of your University life. That was how I learnt farming in New Zealand. 

I realized that many pastoral farmers in Japan (there are not many but the numbers are increasing) are trying to learn from New Zealand farming systems. By comparing the two countries, in terms of climate, Japan has a huge advantage over New Zealand because we have a lot of rains. We do have more severe winter and heavier snows in Japan but I still believe that Japanese pastoral farming has a huge potentials. Also, I have to comment on soils because I am a soil scientist. Japanese top soils are much deeper when compared to New Zealand soils. That means plants growing in Japanese soils can potentially grow better because roots can penetrate deeper into soils.