Rural round-up

IPCC Mitigation Report redefines agriculture as ‘green tech’:

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Mitigation Report places New Zealand in a very good position so long as the policy nexus supports the carbon efficient production of food.

“The IPCC’s Mitigation Report projects that emissions from Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use could, by 2050, be half of what they were in 2010,” says Dr William Rolleston, Federated Farmers Vice-President.

“In the IPCC’s Mitigation Report summary for policymakers, agriculture is seen as being positive because it “plays a central role for food security and sustainable development”.

“We think the IPCC has come a very long way from 2007. There is an increasing alignment between climate change and food insecurity, arguably, the two biggest challenges our species will face this century. . .

Tukituki decision a win for water quality and farming:

The draft decision by the Board of Inquiry (BOI) on the Tukituki Catchment proposal represents a significant win for freshwater management and the urgency of a transition to environmentally sustainable agriculture in New Zealand, says Fish & Game NZ.

Fish & Game lead the evidence presented against the most contentious issue in front of the BOI which was Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s proposed “single nutrient management” approach – this focussed only on the management of phosphorous and set instream nitrogen limits at toxic levels. . .

Kiwi on the farm:

The sight of kiwi scratching the grass on Richard Gardner’s farm near Kaipara is now a common sight, thanks to his family’s dedication to a restoration project in the area.

Richard Gardner says they’ve been controlling pests in a fenced-off area of bush on his land and last year decided to introduce kiwi back into the area for the first time in 50 years.

He says his sister, Gill Adshead, and her husband, Kevin, were initially behind the restoration of 400 hectares of native bush, which is now home to kiwi. . .

Barns could give us the best of both worlds – James Houghton:

In a recent column by Sir David Skegg, he says we need to stop pretending that we can have our cake and eat it too. Whilst right now that may not be the case it is definitely a possibility.

Right now we are working to get the balance right between the environment and economy. Yes there is intensification and with that comes responsibility. Farmers are upgrading their infrastructure to keep within the acceptable limits, which involves nutrient budgets, cattle housing, new technology, and overseer programs. Overall New Zealand dairy farmers are investing a conservative $3 billion into improving their environmental impact, which is nothing to snort at. For each individual dairy farmer that equates to about a $250,000 investment, you can say we are taking every practical step to improve our environment.

It is all well and good to say we need a balance between meeting the Government’s target of doubling our exports by 2025 and maintaining and improving our water quality – everyone will agree with you here, but who sets that balance? It comes down to where your priorities lie, and everyone’s priorities are different. . .

Whitebait partners look for solutions:

Waikato-Tainui, local marae, councils and agencies are working together to better manage whitebait fisheries at Port Waikato following the compilation of a new report.

The report is the result of an initial scoping project to better understand the complex and inter-related resource management issues around whitebaiting in the lower Waikato River. The area has traditionally been a plentiful source of whitebait but over the years more and more people are seeking to gather the delicacy there.

With more people comes increased pressures for space to build stands, an increase in the number and size of baches and associated pressures such as sewage management, and a growing amount of whitebait being taken.  . .

Alps trail activity booms – Rebecca Fox:

In its first ”official” season, activity on the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail is much higher than the forecast.

Tourism Waitaki general manager Jason Gaskill said monthly trail counter readings from September 2013 to February this year show 3604 cyclists used the Lake Ohau Lodge section of the trail, 4815 cycled the Lake Pukaki section and 3646 passed the Ohau Weir section.

”The numbers are fantastic … they are higher than what was forecast,” Mr Gaskill said.

”In a lot of ways, it’d be hard to imagine how things could have gone a lot better [this season].” . . .

Feed statistics reflect the growth of New Zealand dairy production:

Annual Feed Production Statistics compiled by the New Zealand Feed Manufacturers Association (NZFMA) for the year 2013 reflect the changing face of feed production. Based on figures supplied by NZFMA member companies nationwide, the NZFMA annual statistics report the total tonnages of manufactured animal feed and the tonnages of raw materials used in the production of compound feed in New Zealand. (Compound feed is heat-treated feed produced in a feed mill in pellet or mashed form.)

In 2013, compound feed production increased by 2.8% to 991,027 tonnes and raw material usage rose by 4.1% to 983,440 tonnes. The four main grains used were wheat (58.8%), barley (17.4%), sorghum (12.2%) and maize (10.3%). The majority of compound feed was produced in the North Island (65.3%). 86% of compound feed is currently produced in bulk form and 14% is bagged. . .

14 Responses to Rural round-up

  1. robertguyton says:

    William Rolleston of the Feds says:
    “We may also have a thing or two to learn from the organic sector so long as it is based on sound science.”
    Yes, William, indeed. However, you’ll have to ask Ele to stop her relentless, emotional disparaging of the organic sector in order to make progress with any farmers who read Homepaddock.


  2. willdwan says:

    Everyone has something to teach you. I have found organic guys quite good at disease prevention, particularly with metabolics. I suppose they have to be, it’s not as if any of their remedies work. Dolomite is an organic product I like. But they do struggle with parasites, producing some of the poorest lambs I have ever seen. My point is, I am happy to learn from organics and use what I feel is of benefit, but I have no intention of converting.
    What will you do when you realise persuasion won’t be enough to bring about your utopia? I suspect persuasion will become force. It always does with your kind.


  3. robertguyton says:

    My kind?
    Don’t be a dick.


  4. willdwan says:

    You’re such a grouch these days Robert…Cheer up mate, it’s getting so you’re no fun anymore.


  5. Mr E says:

    Lets have it Robert – Your list of things that the conventional farmers have learned from organic farmers. I’m all ears and I’m rubbing my hands together in expectation of learning a thing or two.

    The most resent lesson I learned about organics was that from Prof Rowarth – suggesting that they worse carbon polluters than conventional.

    That’s shameful I think. And if Ele, wanted to challenge them on that issue, I’ll join her.

    Please organic farmers – Clean up your act. Some of you might have it right but apparently most of you don’t.


  6. TraceyS says:

    It’s crazy to have policy promoting conversion to organic when there are so many good things for the environment that can be done on conventional farms. Why put farms into the boxes of conventional or organic? These are artificial distinctions which clearly generate division and conflict between people. Our farm will never be organic because we spray gorse and will always have to. But if I were to take Robert there I bet he would struggle to describe any organic practices that would a. be practical and b. benefit the environment any more than the way we are doing things now. I’ve done years of informal research into organic alternatives, and short of adopting a radically different approach such as dividing the land up into tiny blocks and installing a family on each to work fulltime hard labour with teams of PD workers or WWOOFs who would do nothing else with their lives but slave over the land, organic conversion would be nigh on impossible.


  7. robertguyton says:

    Right-O, Will.
    Mr E – what have conventional farmers learned from organic farmers?
    All farmers were farming organically, back in the day.
    Farming springs from ‘the organic movement’. Everything that was done prior to the petroleum era were are now at the tail-end of was done organically.
    The list, Mr E, is almost as long as the time humans have been practicing agriculture.
    Sheesh! It’s tiring having to start back at square one!


  8. robertguyton says:

    ” But if I were to take Robert there I bet he would struggle to describe any organic practices that would a. be practical and b. benefit the environment any more than the way we are doing things now.”
    Wrong on every count, Tracey. I would help you improve your practices hugely and I’d not struggle to do it, I’d do it with ease.


  9. TraceyS says:

    Don’t be a dork, Robert! You can’t possibly know that you could achieve improvements “hugely” and “with ease” when you have seen neither land nor practices.


  10. Mr E says:

    “Farming springs from ‘the organic movement’.”
    Your telling me the organic movement existed before farming? Yeh nah.

    I also noted you suggested that organic farmers showed the way since petrol was used? Ah the good old days. Where bush was burned to the ground and milled using horse and cart. Yay organics! Great policy Robert.


  11. Mr E says:

    *before* not *since*


  12. JC says:

    “Your telling me the organic movement existed before farming? Yeh nah.”

    I covered that some days ago. All farming was organic from about 9000 years ago and mankind starved, even in Europe till fossil fuel became a standard use.. reference Africa for a modern version of starvation due to lack of oil and fertilisers and improved genetics.

    Right now the most modern example of a nation refusing to use GM is Zimbabwe. GM products would massively alleviate starvation in that country but loosen the political control of its dictator.

    Its the same in the West, nuclear power and fracking as mandated by the latest IPCC reports would lessen Green power and therefore must be fought to retain power and relevance.

    As so many people have pointed out.. they will listen to the Greens when they stop gallivanting around the Globe spreading their religion and use Skype, allow GM and GE and promote nuclear power and fracking. Till then they must be considered colossal users of fossil fuels and the world’s biggest hypocrites.



  13. robertguyton says:

    “All farming was organic from about 9000 years ago and mankind starved”

    Odd that mankind survived those 9000 years.

    Isn’t it.

    JC’s claim is perhaps the lamest I’ve ever read (bar the last one I cited here).


  14. robertguyton says:

    “You’re”, Mr E.



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