At the time the loggers arrived

rainforests were still pristine

now after a couple of hundred years

there’s no virgin bush to be seen

They took the best land and clear felled

as much of the bush as they could

Turned rain forest into moonscape

often without using the wood

As soon as a forest disappears

rainfall starts abating

This leads to droughts, then to storms

The effects are devastating

Storms erode the biomass

creeks and rivers flood

and silt up, flooding farmlands

topsoil turns to mud

Once the topsoil washes off

and land and creeks dry out

farmlands turn to dust bowls

And again begins the drought

With nothing to restrain the soil

whenever it rains or blows

it ends up in the ocean or on

Aotearoa’s snows

Australia’s most valuable export

washes off or blows away

After centuries in the making

topsoil can go in a day

Hybrid seeds do not do well

in natural growing conditions

And chemicals they need create

financial impositions

Insecticides for insects

herbicides for weeds

fungicides for mouldy growth

are minimal toxic needs

Just imagine eating food

sprayed with that cocktail

What a thing to have to do

not to have crops fail

But that’s not all that hybrid crops

need to keep condition

Huge amounts of water

are needed in addition

Any use of biocides

breeds its own resistance

giving rise to stronger strains

that grow with more persistence

Ruining land by over grazing,

and using poisonous sprays

is short term economics

In the end the farmer pays

Nature won’t be bettered

by going artificial

as if the use of chemicals

would be more beneficial

Farmers thought it was a way

to cut down on their toil

but chemical farming

always degrades the soil

Much of phosphates that are used

wash into water courses

and feed the blue-green algae

killing cattle, sheep and horses

Clearing trees to get more water

has brought many farms to a halt

When the water tables rise

land inundates with salt

Farmers are finding the hard way

they cannot do as they please

by turning their back on nature and

destroying all the trees

Soil is the life blood

of every single farm

The secret to survival

is not to do it harm

Australia is losing farmland

at an ever increasing rate

Many farmers don’t know why

and put it down to fate

Malpractice is more fitting

for land this way afflicted

Problems the farmer suffers

are often self-inflicted

Twelve tonnes of topsoil are consumed

to grow each tonne of wheat

Why do we call that farming

instead of a mining feat?

Ecologists have a term

which gives a clear indication

of where these farms are headed

it’s called desertification

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