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Research, Papers, Reports and Articles

Consultancy, machinery design and sales

Physical Weeding: A business I co-own with Tim Chamberlain that specialises in agricultural equipment for physical weed management including direct fired steam weeders, flame weeders, the Four Wheel Hoe (pedestrian hoe), and false seed bed tillers (cultivators). The site also contains more recent information on physical and cultural weed management techniques than the organic weed management document below which I would like to rewite as a book.

Agro-Ecological Investment Management Ltd. Is an agro-ecological asset management business, providing a complete range of ecological agricultural land management services, for which I am Director and Head of Agronomy.

Information on my advisory and consultancy services for organic horticulture

Publications

Documents are listed in reverse chronological order 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003.

Please feel free to copy, use, further distribute and refer to any of these reports for private, personal, scientific or other non-commercial use unless otherwise indicated. If you wish to copy or reproduce any of the reports or parts thereof in any format for commercial (i.e., profit making) purposes please contact me for permission giving details.

2013 Return to top

Expanding the Potential of Intrarow Soil Thermal Weeding. (PDF 1.6MB)

2012 Return to top

Initial Results for Tomato Potato Psyllid (TPP) Management with Mesh Crop Covers. (PDF 1.2MB)

The Future of Farming? (external web page) Follow up article to "A Philosophical Perspective" (see 2011 below) for the ASABE (American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers) Journal 'Resource: Engineering & Technology for a Sustainable World'. This is a copyrighted work so I am unable to provide direct downloads. Please contact me for an ePrint. Download reference in RIS format.

Biochar: The need for precaution? (PDF 38KB) Edited version of the Mother Earth article (see 2011 below) for Organic NZ magazine. Download reference in RIS format.

2011 Return to top

The Future Farming Centre Launch Lecture (webpage)

No long-term fix. (web page) Letter to the Editor of New Scientist. Download reference in RIS format.

Biochar: The need for precaution? (PDF 80KB). Article in 'Mother Earth' a Journal of the Soil Association . Download reference in RIS format.

A Philosophical Perspective (external web page) Short article for the 'Farm of the Future' a special issue of the ASABE (American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers) Journal 'Resource: Engineering & Technology for a Sustainable World'. This is a copyrighted work so I am unable to provide direct downloads. Please contact me for an ePrint. Download reference in RIS format.

2010 Return to top

Integrating crop production into organic pastoral livestock systems. Book section in Organic Pastoral Resource Guide, second edition.( The hyperlink is to the book's homepage on the ODGP website, the book is free). Download reference in RIS format.

Energy & Agriculture and Tillage & Soil Management: In a post-peak fossil fuel world with a warming climate (Powerpoint presentation 5.3MB) Presentation from seminar given on 21 November 2010 at Scargill Hall North Canterbury.

Precision Ag for ecological farming systems (5.6MB PDF paper and 6.9MB presentation). Paper and presentation given at LandWISE Conference 2010: Know Your Farm - with Precision Ag. 12-13 May, Havelock North, New Zealand. Download reference in RIS format.

Thermal weed management for crop production (621KB pdf file). Article written for eOrganic (USA) eOrganic article page (requires registration and login). Please note that the article states that steam weeders are not widely available. The article was written for a USA audience and PhysicalWeeding does not yet have a presence in the states. However, if you are interested in steam weeders they can be purchased direct from PhysicalWeeding.

2009 Return to top

Innovative concepts & techniques for successful weed management in organic cropping (external webpage). Webinar for The Certified Organic Associations of British Columbia (COABC), Canada.

A direct fired steam weeder (webpage). Paper published in Weed Research Journal. Download reference in RIS format.

Trials of a crimper-roller for killing cover crops for organic and non-herbicide, no-till cropping (30KB pdf file) Paper presented at the 8th Workshop of the EWRS Working Group: Physical and Cultural Weed Control, Zaragoza, Spain, 9-11 March 2009. Download reference in RIS format. Please also see other outputs from this research below.

2008 Return to top

Fundamentals of Nutrient Management: Why Nutrient Replacement is Essential in Organic and all Agriculture (150KB pdf file). Synthesis paper presented at the 2008 Teagasc Organic Conference (2 December) Download reference in RIS format.

Results from an arable crop rotation study at Oak Park 2000 - 2007 T. Kennedy, C. Merfield and A. Mahon (36KB pdf file). Results paper presented at the 2008 Teagasc Organic Conference (2 December) Download reference in RIS format.

Soil Nutrient Management for Irish Organic Agriculture (110KB pdf file). Information booklet to be published by Teagasc (this version is in the pre-press format)

Debating organics (web page). Article in Irish Farmers Monthly debating a previous article by Matt O'Keeffe . Includes scans of final articles. Download reference in RIS format.

Soil husbandry and tillage / The big dig debate (web page). Article on soil husbandry and tillage published in Organic NZ magazine in three parts. Only part one has been published to date, with the rest to be published in the upcoming editions. Download reference for part one in RIS format.

EU pesticide legislation (web page). Letter to the Editor of the Irish Farmers Journal. Download reference in RIS format.

Nutrient management in organic agriculture (139KB pdf file). Chapter from the Teagasc "Major and micro nutrient advice for productive agricultural crops, 3rd Edition" also known as the 'Green Book'. Download reference in RIS format. This book is published without copyright. NB: Plant nutrients in Ireland, including this book, are expressed as percentage element, in the UK and some other territories they are expresses as percentage oxides, e.g., P2O5 and K20.

2007 Return to top

Irish farmers should learn from the past for a better future (web page) Letter to the Editor of the Irish Farmers Journal. Download reference in RIS format.

Has organics over-hyped the benefits of compost? / Don't believe the hype (web page) Comment article in Organic Farming Magazine Download reference in RIS format.

The limits of science and the science of limits. (web page) Letter to the Editor of the Irish Farmers Journal.

Roller crimpers: One route to organic no-till farming (web page) Information piece (in press for Organic NZ magazine) Also see the report to the Sustainable Farming Fund (below).

Time to repeal the noxious weeds act (web page) Letter to the Editor of the Irish Farmers Journal.

Biochar: an agri-climatic revolution? (web page) Opinion piece, also contains further discussion on issues raised by the 'Is composting un-organic?' article (below).

Global warming: Has organics missed the sustainability boat? (web page) Opinion piece.

Is composting un-organic? (web page) Opinion piece published in Organic NZ Download reference in RIS format.

A submission to the Soil Associations’ green paper on air freighting organic products (web page) Submission made with Prof. N Holden to the Soil Associations’ green paper on air freighting organic products.

‘Sound science’?: A different perspective (web page) Opinion piece responding to Joel Salatin’s article ‘‘Sound science’ is killing us’ published in Acres USA April 2004 and reprinted in Organic Farming (Soil Association) spring 2007 issue.

Initial trials of a crimper roller in New Zealand. (400 KB pdf file) This is a copy of a final report to the Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) of the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.  Download reference in RIS format.

The fallacy of food miles (web page). Opinion piece published in The Bulletin of The Organic Research Centre, Elm Farm. Download reference in RIS format.

2006 Return to top

PhD Thesis: Organic F1 Hybrid Carrot Seed (Daucus carota L.) Production: The Effect of Crop Density on Seed Yield and Quality, Thermal Weeding and Fungal Pathogen Management (web page with link to PDF file of whole thesis). Download reference in RIS format.

Overview of organic agriculture: Book chapter in Organic Agriculture: A Global Perspective by CSIRO Publishing in Australia ISBN 0643090908. This is a copyright work and I am unable to provide copies, however, the chapter is available for downloading from the CSIRO website. Download reference in RIS format.

Steam and fish fertilisers: A potential organic systemic herbicide? Paper (30KB pdf file) and presentation (Power Point file 1.32MB) given to the 7th workshop of the European Weed Research Society working group: Physical and Cultural Weed Control, 11-14 March 2007 Salem, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany . Download reference in RIS format. Short report (web page), published in several nonscientific media on trials to see if foliar fertilizers or vegetable oils in conjunction with steam gave a systemic weed kill with additional comments about the ill-advised practice of using concentrated fish and other fertilizers as herbicides.

2005 Return to top

The effect of seed moisture content and the duration and temperature of hot water treatment on carrot seed viability and the control of Alternaria radicina. Poster (7.52MB) and paper (96KB) presented at the First Scientific Conference of the International Society of Organic Agriculture Research (ISOFAR) "Researching Sustainable Systems" Adelaide, Australia 2005. Download reference in RIS format.

2004 Return to top

Formal collaboration amongst four tertiary education institutions to advance environmental sustainability (Poster in PowerPoint format 29KB) presented at the The 4th Australasian Conference Of Sustainable Campuses held at the EcoCentre, Griffith University, Nathan Campus, 30th September to 1st October 2004. PDF version of poster in word processor format (27KB) including the full terms of reference for the Canterbury Tertiary Alliance Environmental Sustainability Working Group. Download reference in RIS format.

The Organic Seed Market and Computer Vision Guidance Systems for Agriculture (65KB pdf file). Lincoln Foundation Report July 2004. Download reference in RIS format.

Video analysis of predation by polyphagous invertebrate predators in the laboratory and field (web page). Abstract only with link to source on science direct or contact me for a copy. This paper is the copyright of the publishing journal who should be contacted regarding all copyright issues. Download reference in RIS format.

2003 and earlier Return to top

Organic Agriculture. Chapter in the Lincoln University Farm Technical Manual. Download reference in RIS format. This is a copyright work, if you wish to have a copy of this chapter please contact me.

Time for Organic Producer Co-Ops? (web page). Opinion piece published in Organic NZ July/August issue 2002.

Predator interactions within a trophic level: Phalangium Opilio L. (Arachnida: Opiliones) and mites (Arachnida: Acari) (web page with link to full thesis in pdf format) Masters of Applied Science Thesis Download reference in RIS format.

Certenz: Friend or Foe? (web page) Opinion piece published in Organic NZ September/October issue 2000.

Organic weed management: A practical guide. (446 KB pdf file) A report, with figures, describing the systems and practice required for weed control in organic horticultural and agriculture in temperate climates. Updated in September 2002 with additional information on perennial crops, composts, manures, irrigation, post harvest issues, thermal weeders, and an updated further sources of information section. Download reference in RIS format.

Industrial hemp and its potential for New Zealand. (web page) A Report for the 1999 Kellogg Rural Leadership Course, November 1999. Download reference in RIS format.

Automation of report and thesis writing. (224 KB Word XP file) A document explaining and demonstrating Microsoft Word features of value for writing reports.

Thesis and dissertation template. (74KB Word XP document template) An example of a Word template designed for a thesis or dissertation. Includes explanatory text and is designed to be read in conjunction with the automation of report and thesis writing document above.

The Biological Control of Pea Root Rot and Damping off on Lettuce by Effective Microorganisms. (27 KB pdf file) Sixth Conference on Effective Microorganisms Sara Buri Thailand 1998. Download reference in RIS format. (To my knowledge the proceedings for this conference have never been published)

Utilisation of effective microorganisms commercial organic agriculture - a case study from New Zealand. (170 KB pdf file) Download reference in RIS format. 5th International Nature Farming Conference, Bangkok, Thailand 1997.

Organic soil management in New Zealand. (44 KB pdf file) A report written for the NZ MAF (Ministry of Agriculture and Food) for their organic farming booklet series in 1995. N.B. The sections of this report relating to Bio-Gro standards are now out of date because the Bio-Gro standards have been revised. The technical information is still applicable. An updated version is available from Organic Exporters of New Zealand Inc.

The organic industry. The need for clear goals and criteria for decision making: A perspective of two producers. (24 KB pdf file) A Paper written with Tim Chamberlain for the 10th IFOAM conference held in 1994 at Lincoln University, NZ. Download reference in RIS format. (N.B. While this paper was presented at the conference it was not included in the published conference proceedings.)

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Copyright 2011 Charles N. Merfield.