Nature and high-end design meets farming – Bruce Wills:
Every time you think we know all there is to know about agriculture, nature has a habit of coming along, tapping you on the shoulder and reminding you that really, we don’t.
Like sand flies in summer, not all native species are what you could describe as cute, cuddly or wanted. Porina caterpillars love to chew the grass equally of lawns in-town and farm pasture in the countryside. Meanwhile, grass grubs attack grass from below ironically proving that beside scale, both town and country have much in common. These insects do their worst during the key periods of growth for pasture and lawns alike. If you live in town and find bare patches of lawn odds are you’ll know what I mean.
Since pasture is the engine room of any farm and directly supports half of everything we export to the world, helping to pay our way in it, farmers will spend many millions of dollars trying to control these insects. Nature being nature means this becomes a biological game of whack-a-mole. . .
Awards for 2013 – Willy Leferink:
As I look back upon 2013, I am going to present my own personal ‘awards’ reflecting some of the big items over the past year.
Given a lack of water defined 2013 at its beginning and water quality defined it at year’s end, my Al Gore Award for Most Underreported Inconvenient Truth goes to the Ministry for the Environment’s “River condition indicator Summary and key findings.” Why else would a 10-year summary of water quality testing released in July get so little fanfare for revealing, “Of the parameters we [the MfE] monitor, all are either stable or improving at most monitored sites. Four of our parameters show stable or improving trends in 90% of sites”.
Allied to this water theme water is my ‘Harold Camping/The End is Nigh Environmental Armageddon Award.’
This one goes to any celebrity water quality scientist telling the media that virtually all freshwater bathing sites are unsafe. It’s like hyperinflation meets bathing water quality but most Kiwis swimming at freshwater spots are letting their freestyle do the talking. The ‘Two Face Special Achievement Certificate’ goes to our friends at our national fishing club who told everyone in the media how terrible our water quality is and who’s largely to blame. That’s until they want to sell their fishing licenses when the fishing magically becomes fantastic. . .
Landfarming is safe practice – soil scientist – Adam Ray:
A soil scientist who has examined the controversial practice of landfarming says its opponents are ignoring evidence that it is safe.
Landfarming involves mixing mud and other drilling waste into low-quality soil, which then returns to pasture.
Scientist Doug Edmeades has examined soil from a farm near Hawera where it was carried out seven years ago.
“When I started out on this, I expected to find some interesting results,” he says. . .
Growing Up on a Farm: 25 Facts About Being a Farm Kid! – MyAGventures:
This post is dedicated to all you past, present and future farm kids out there. There may not be very many of us, but we truly are one-of-a-kind. In all honesty, I don’t know of a better way to grow up. Yes, we worked hard. Yes, we can tell stories all day long about our experiences both good and bad. Most importantly, yes we are proud to be farmers’ sons and farmers’ daughters. We are proud to be born and raised farm kids. We are proud to be future farmers.. .