Rural round-up

Optimistic over farming sector’s future – Sally Rae:

Federated Farmers national president Bruce Wills stands down next month after three years in the role. He talks to agribusiness reporter Sally Rae about his tenure and his optimism for the agricultural industry’s future.

His desk might have been cleared in Wellington but New Zealand’s farming community can be assured they have not seen the last of Bruce Wills.

After three years at the governance helm of Federated Farmers and a prior three-year tenure as meat and fibre chairman, his involvement, following the organisation’s annual meeting on July 4, will only be as a ”very loyal” member. . .

Why a carbon tax is udderly useless to us – William Rolleston:

The overwhelming scientific consensus is that human activity, including agriculture, plays a significant role in climate change.

Yet the Green Party’s proposal to tax biological emissions is bad policy for climate change and the economy.

Along with every other New Zealander, farmers already pay for their carbon-dioxide emissions in the current Emissions Trading Scheme. The issue, the Greens argue, boils down to biological emissions in the form of methane and nitrous oxide.

Methane is a powerful but short-lived greenhouse gas generated by bacteria in the stomach of farm animals. It lasts around seven years before being converted back to carbon dioxide which is taken up by plants. The methane cycle is complete when animals eat those plants in turn. Methane is measured as kilograms of carbon dioxide based on a 100-year time frame.

This time frame has been chosen by international agreement but any period could have been chosen. . .

Harriet takes on shepherds challenge – Sally Rae:

Harriet Gardner admits she might not be the ”fastest in the world” at it – but she can shear a sheep.

That skill will be crucial when Miss Gardner (20) takes part in the preliminary round of competition at the World Young Shepherds Challenge at Lincoln from July 3-5.

The competition will be held alongside the ANZ Young Farmer Contest grand final events. It will consist of shearing, condition scoring, a quad bike obstacle course, identifying sheep breeds, feet trimming, drenching, counting sheep and demonstrating knowledge ofthe sheep industry. . .

$75m for NZ-Singapore ‘Foods for Health’ projects:

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce today announced that the Government will invest NZ$1.75 million to fund New Zealand-Singapore collaborative research projects on the development of food products with validated health benefits. 

New Zealand’s investment will be matched by Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), bringing the total investment amount to approximately NZ$3.5 million over two years.

“One of the goals of the Business Growth Agenda is to grow exports from 30 per cent to 40 per cent of GDP by 2025. Continuing to develop our innovation in the food science and technology industry will be a key contributor to achieving this,” Mr Joyce says. . . .

A champion for farming :

Fiona Hancox’s father was Colin Richardson, a man who started life as a townie, before eventually owning 12 West Otago farms as well as being extensively involved in farming politics.

Although the son of a tailor, he decided at an early age he wanted to be a farmer.

His first agricultural job was on a property at Crookston, before moving to Gimmerburn to work for the Paterson family and to be a fencing contractor.

Jim Paterson helped him into his first farm – Avalon – at Heriot, when he was 24. . .

Former chair appointed to deer board:

Clive Jermy OMNZ, a well-known red deer stud breeder, has been appointed to the board of Deer Industry New Zealand (DINZ) for a three-year term. He is one of four producer board members, replacing Tim Aitken, Hawkes Bay.

Mr Jermy is a former board chair, standing down in 2007. Before that he was chair of the New Zealand Deer Farmers’ Association.

NZDFA selection and appointments panel chair David Stevens said the panel had interviewed three skilled and talented candidates and the decision process was extremely challenging. The unsuccessful candidates were Tim Aitken, who stood for re-election and Otago-based businessman and deer farmer Grant Cochrane. . .


11 Responses to Rural round-up

  1. “Methane is short-lived”: Correct, but misleading. CO2 is a stock pollutant, it’s the total amount that matters, methane is a flow pollutant, it’s the rate at which it is added to the atmosphere that matters. That rate is increasing. That’s why methane is up 150% on pre-industrial levels (CO2 is up 43%). It’s a significant component of global warming.

    “The methane cycle is complete…”: Incorrect. The CO2 is not all reabsorbed by grass, some of it stays in the atmosphere. That’s why atmospheric CO2 is increasing. The description as a closed cycle is incorrect.”

    Rolleston is dangerously wrong, as are those who subscribe to his wrongness.
    Anti-science Deniers, all.


  2. “It is a closed cycle, but it so happens that carbon in the seven-year methane part of the cycle causes far more warming than carbon in the CO2 part of the cycle. And the metric used to estimate the impact of emissions from ruminant animals ignores the CO2 part of the cycle, and averages (spreads) the global warming impact of that seven years over 100 years. If the metric was based on say, a ten-year standard, the charge would be much higher. The carbon would not be in the methane part of the cycle, if it weren’t for the livestock. We have a record number of ruminant livestock in the world today, because of the conversion of land from its natural state and from other uses. This in turn is driven by population growth and increasing wealth.”


  3. willdwan says:

    Except the parts of the spectrum in which methane absorbs infra-red are already saturated by water vapour, the primary greenhouse gas, or pollutant as you would say.

    You are as ignorant as you are rude.


  4. Mr E says:

    Robert cites:
    “The description as a closed cycle is incorrect”. And describes Rolleston as dangerously wrong, and followers “Anti-science Deniers”

    Then Robert cites:
    “It is a closed cycle”

    Let me say first of all, an Anti-science denier must be someone who denies Anti-Science. By calling Rolleston wrong then calling his followers Anti-science Deniers, you are in affect suggesting you are Anti-science.

    That makes sense to me. Robert – Anti-science.

    The next oddity
    You support a quote that says the cycle is not closed, then you cite a paper saying it is closed.

    Which is it Robert? Or is that the nature of Anti-science? You can be whimsical and come and go with what is right and wrong?


  5. willdwan – unsubstantiated twaddle.

    Mr E – creepy and confused. Perhaps you’d like to read the two passages again, this time with a cooler head (clue – they are discussing different cycles).


  6. Mr E says:

    Disagree – the statements I refer to both describe the methane Cycle.

    “It is a closed cycle, but it so happens that carbon in the seven-year methane part of the cycle…..”

    “The methane cycle is complete…”: Incorrect….”

    Anti-Science, Robert.


  7. “It is a closed cycle, but it so happens that carbon in the seven-year methane part of the cycle causes far more warming than carbon in the CO2 part of the cycle

    Oh dear.

    I’ve made bold the part you should consider, Mr (c)E


  8. On reflection, you are correct Mr E (creepy, I know). Both commenters are describing the CO2 cycle. I chose the two comments to illustrate a general opposition to Rolleston’s denialist diatribe and they don’t match exactly.
    I’m interested in methane and it’s effect in the atmosphere. With so much of it getting up there as a result of ruminants, and the warming it creates while it’s there, it is certainly a factor in the ‘greenhouse’ effect. Those years that methane is free in the atmosphere and not being cycled through grass and animal, are a huge factor in global warming. Bringing stored carbon out of the ground, where it was removed from the cycling of CO2 and methane creates a huge problem in that it has to ‘end up’ somewhere. You seem to be saying, no worries, it enters the grass/cow cycle and is ‘tied up, but I know it spends time in the atmosphere, causing warming, and dissolves in the ocean, causing acidification. These are not good things, so far as humankind is concerned. An over-stimulated atmosphere and an acidic ocean is anti-biotic and as part of the biota, I’m threatened by that.


  9. Mr E says:

    Good man Robert. I read the conversation too.


  10. Paranormal says:

    RG where is the proof that any carbon based gasses are warming the planet? The planet continually disproves AGW or whatever you want to call it this time. You are the one in denial that your unproven theory is unraveling.


  11. willdwan says:

    Can you imagine a scientist using the word ‘denier’? It sounds so much like infidel or atheist or doubting Thomas.


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