• W.C. Stafford



Just as I am convinced that only by the full development of the downlands under a system of mixed arable farming can South Canterbury achieve the fullest production, so I am convinced that arable farming can only be built around good pasture. The world today is covered with examples of the failure to recognise this latter fact. Under conditions of suitable climate, contour, and soil, grass and crop with the grazing animal are complementary ; if any one should dominate, it is freely admitted that it should be grass. On the other hand, the fact that through the downlands climatic conditions the fullest production under an extensive grassland system cannot be achieved must also be recognised. These climatic conditions make the truly permanent high-producing pasture an impossibility. It has been found on the South Canterbury downs that the maximum effective life of a pasture under good maintenance and management is 8 years. If left longer than that, it rapidly deteriorates in carrying capacity. The basis of downs farming must therefore be, as far as we know at present, that no pasture on the downs should be, over the age of 8 -years. Under present conditions, of course, this presents to the established farmer, provided he. holds sufficient land, less difficulty without crop than it does with crop. Nevertheless, all-grass farming under the downs climatic conditions does not give maximum pr+ duction, because built-up fertility through grass and animal cannot be used.