Taking the crosshairs off farmers - Willy Leferink:
Some politicians and lobby groups hell-bent on making farming a feature of the 2014 general election will be taking names and counting numbers. Yet if you search online with the words “big targets,” you’ll find the banks are in the gun in the United Kingdom while across the ditch, it is tax cheats.
In the universe which is the European Union, its Climate Commissioner has challenged other carbon emitters to follow its lead. Those big target emitters are the United States, who contribute 15.6 percent of global emissions and this surprised me, China, which is now up to 23.6 percent. Then again, a fair chunk of humanity and the global economy resides there and in the other big target emitters; Russia, India, Brazil and Indonesia.
Speaking of Russia, I guess Vladimir Putin has made himself a big target for his ‘hostile takeover’ of the Crimea. While the west rattled less its sabres and more its teacups,you’ve got to wonder if Putin is reassembling old Russia in some kind of geopolitical Lego.
So what’s the lesson here for farmers? . . .
While the South Island’s West Coast bore the brunt of former Cyclone Ita’s wrath, the defining image is that taken by the Otago Daily Times, of past Federated Farmers North Otago provincial president, Robert Borst, using his digger to rescue a motorist trapped by rising floodwaters.
“This is one of the worst storms I can recall,” says Katie Milne, Federated Farmers West Coast provincial president and the Federation’s adverse events spokesperson.
“Federated Farmers is working with the West Coast Rural Support Trust and we’d like to ask the media to help us in spreading the Trust’s direct telephone number to affected farmers: 03 738 0038. I need to stress this applies to the West Coast only.
“Getting the Rural Support Trust’s number (03 738 0038) out there is particularly important to beef farmers or graziers who may be struggling. . . .
Wheat disease develops fungicide resistance – Annette Scott:
New Zealand wheat growers will need to rethink their crop-disease management following confirmation the wheat disease speckled leaf blotch has developed fungicide resistance.
Septoria tritici blotch (STB), or speckled leaf blotch, the principal disease affecting NZ wheat crops over the past four years, has developed resistance to the fungicide group that has been most effective in controlling it.
A research team led by Dr Suvi Viljanen-Rollinson, from Plant and Food Research at Lincoln, working with scientists at Rothamsted in the United Kingdom and Aarhus University in Denmark, has confirmed resistance by the NZ zymoseptoria tritici population to quinone outside inhibitors (QoIs), a fungicide group commonly referred to as the strobilurins. . . .
Federated Farmers is thrilled by the improving health of the Manawatu River. A detailed report for the Manawatu River Leaders Forum reveals that the first three years of the clean up have been a success.
“This report is a huge boost for the farming community,” says Andrew Hoggard, Federated Farmers Manawatu-Rangitikei provincial president.
“While improvements in water quality aren’t able to be measured overnight, we are seeing a downward trend already in nutrient and e-coli levels. With 93 percent compliance and climbing in the Manawatu-Wanganui Region, this improving trend will only continue.
“What we can measure is the actions of our community and the numbers are so encouraging it’s something the farming community can take pride in. Well over 100 kilometres of waterways have been fenced, over 60,000 plants planted for erosion control and riparian margins, as well as farm plans and mapping well under way. . . .
Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith and Associate Minister Peter Dunne today announced the appointment of 11 members to the inaugural Game Animal Council.
“The new Game Animal Council is about giving hunters of deer, thar, chamois and pigs an active voice in the management of their recreation. These appointments include a diverse range of interests in hunting and a geographic spread across the country,” Dr Smith says.
The 11 members are:
· Donald Hammond (chair)
· Thomas (Mark) Brough
· Roger Duxfield
· Professor Geoffrey Kerr
· Steven McFall
· Alexander (Alec) McIver
· William Garry Ottmann
· Terence Pierson
· Roy Sloan
· Carol Watson