Nutrient limits lift paperwork burden:
NEVER MIND the limits, it’s the paperwork that’s the real threat in regional council moves to cut nutrient losses and meet central Government’s National Policy Statement on Freshwater Quality, cropping farmers have been told.
That was one of three “slightly controversial” points Roger Williams of the Foundation of Arable Research presented to growers at FAR’s South Canterbury and North Otago trials hub field day.
Compared to dairy farms, cropping systems are hugely complex and data intensive and, as some at the field day confirmed, inputting data into Overseer as required by regional plans can take days. . .
Farm open day opens up the dairy industry:
Lincoln University Dairy Farm (LUDF) opened its gates on Saturday to the Canterbury public to showcase the operations of a commercial dairy farm, with 540 visitors taking the opportunity to learn about the transformation of ‘sunshine into food’.
Visitors to the farm were able to get a glimpse into the complex world of modern dairy farming: looking at everything from the science behind photosynthesis, soil types; irrigation; fertiliser; grass and cow digestion; breeding; milking; right through to the collection and transportation of milk and on-processing, finally reaching the many international markets the New Zealand dairy industry serves.
New Zealand-based end users such as EasiYo and boutique cheese and yoghurt makers provided tasty examples of where the milk ends up, and Fonterra provided Primo and CalciYum milk drinks and Tip Top Fruju’s and Trumpets in return for donations for the Philippine’s Disaster Relief, raising $350. . .
Move over GPD: putting a wellbeing value on outdoor education:
Measuring economic value should mean more than just Gross Domestic Product (GDP). That’s according to Professor of Economics, Paul Dalziel , of Lincoln University’s Agribusiness and Economics Research Unit (AERU) who was speaking at The World Outdoors Summit in Rotorua last week.
Professor Dalziel argued for factoring in the idea of wellbeing to any equation which aims to measure economic value. More specifically, he was speaking with regards to wellbeing and economic value as it relates to outdoor recreation.
Although warning of the necessity for a cautious approach when allocating an economic value to the natural environment, Professor Dalziel did stress that the requirement for considering wellbeing within any such calculation stems from the idea that all economic value has a social dimension attached to it. The very fact that an individual may choose to walk the Milford Track, for instance, comes from a belief that the activity has a ‘wellbeing value’ associated with it. Otherwise the individual would not take up the activity. . .
The gap between consumer perceptions and farming reality – Mike Keogh:
If ever farmers needed reminding of the dangers of the ‘gap’ between consumer perceptions and farming reality, the recent decision by Woolworths to phase out caged eggs from its stores over the next five years has highlighted this risk. The decision, if implemented, will dramatically increase the disease risk faced by egg farmers, and also has the potential to have a much wider impact on biosecurity arrangements throughout the entire agricultural sector.
Woolworths recently announced it would stop selling caged eggs by 2018. It also announced that eggs from caged hens would not be used as ingredients for home-brand products from that date, although how this would be enforced (eggs are a major ingredient in pasta and noodles, a lot of which is imported from overseas) was not spelled out.
The biosecurity implications of this proposal were discussed by leading veterinarian Dr. Peter Scott of Melbourne University at the annual conference of the Australian Egg Corporation, held this week in Perth. He pointed out that the main source of Avian Influenza infection for Australian poultry farms is wild waterbirds. . .
Australian agriculture needs a brand and a brand champion – Mike Keogh:
If the pundits are to be believed, Australian agriculture is on the cusp of a boom that will rival the pound-a-pound wool boom of the 1950s. Rapidly growing Asian consumer demand for food, coupled with Australia’s close proximity to Asia has, in the eyes of plenty of commentators and policy makers, put Australian farmers in the box seat to experience a new era of sustained profitability and expansion.
But over the last five years, contrary to the above projections, Australian agriculture’s export performance in Asian markets has been lagging badly, relative to the performance of our major competitors. Australian agriculture has lost market share in all the big five Asian markets – Japan, Korea, China, Indonesia and India. And while Australian agricultural exports to Asia have been growing at around 8% per annum over the past five years, exporters like New Zealand, the USA, Canada and Brazil have experienced annual growth rates in excess of 20% per annum. . .
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