Why agriculture matters

 

It’s more than ironic that opposition parties which like to think they champion the poor everywhere and might appreciate the value of agriculture in developing countries don’t appreciate what is does – economically, socially and environmentally in New Zealand.

Perhaps they’re suffering from a particularly ignorant form of NIMBYism.

 

191 Responses to Why agriculture matters

  1. pdm says:

    The Greens will not believe this.

  2. Bulaman says:

    Forestry matters as well. Not that you would know it from current and previous governments

  3. Dave Kennedy says:

    Of course the Greens support agriculture, it’s important for both ourselves and the economy. It’s just the sustainability of practice that concerns us. https://home.greens.org.nz/goodfarmstories

  4. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    Please list practices that concern you, then if you don’t mind, the evidence that supports your view od unsustainability.

    When you come to a public forum claiming support of Ag, then slate it as unsustainable in the next breath, you immediately undermine yourself.

    Thanks.

  5. Dave Kennedy says:

    Oh dear, Mr E, we have covered much of this in the past. I can give give a number of examples and can find you links of evidence if necessary.
    – importing 1 million tonnes of phosphate a year with the concerning levels of cadmium. Someone told me that the high levels of cadmium in the Bluff oysters is because of farm runoff (I don’t have evidence myself but this was recently passed on from someone in the industry).
    -We are moving away from pasture based agriculture and are now importing feed to support greater intensification (I million tonnes of palm kernel a year).
    -I have spoken to those involved with putting in field tiles and farm drainage and they are concerned with the amount of nutrients that they are effectively channelling into our streams and rivers. Riparian planting just creates a false sense of security and is as good as useless for farms he has worked on, apparently.
    -We already have high demand on water resources in Southland with shortages in Northern Southland.
    -One farmer that I was talking during the campaign said that once he owned his own farm he reduced stock numbers considerably from those he managed previously. He told me many farms are being stocked at unsustainable levels and despite downsizing his herd his returns per cow became greater. There is a great variance in farming practice and still too many are not farming within the limits of their land.
    -Shifting to genetically engineered plants will be problematic (swedes).
    -We are not managing our biosecurity very well and clover weevil and giant buttercup etc will cause ongoing problems unless we change our practices.
    Agriculture is hugely important but too much of what we do is effectively shitting in our nest unless we have most farmers farming sustainably, and it doesn’t have to be organic.

  6. Mr E says:

    I too am having an “oh dear” moment Dave.

    It seems like you have been sucked in stupidity Dave. Much of your evidence seems to be based on stupid stupid suggestions.

    Firstly that stupid cadmium comment. Before you go blaming phosphate fertiliser, ask your self the origins of phosphate rock. In that answer lies the rediculousness of you cadmium conundrum. It is a very simple answer.

    We then move on to PKE. Although I don’t like the product, it is fair to say stopping this product is unlikely to have a skerric of an effect. The value of PKE is so low for the harvesters, that they don’t care too much for it. It is a little like suggesting that stopping the sale of ox tongue will stop dairy farmers milking cows.

    And your comment about drain layers. That they worry about the nutrients they pipe into rivers! Wow you really are sourcing you nutrient advice from an interesting location. Forget about scientists, drain layers, that is where we seek the good oil.

    Regarding your comment about stocking rates. “One farmer” told you that was the case. I’ll tell you Dave, at least two farmers have told me the opposite, that means I have trumped you. As silly as that sounds is as silly as your evidence sounds to me. “One farmer”! Sheesh! That’s the evidence you use to criticise our producers on a public website, one that our market place can easily access. That is disgraceful in my opinion, nothing less.

    Then you have waffled about genetic engineering, mumbling about swedes. What on earth are you on about, a logical person might ask. We’ve had no purposeful releases of GE plants in NZ. Please name the variety of swede you are referring to. If you are referring to HT swedes, under current controversy, it is not GE. Unless of course you consider basic Darwin selection pressures, GE.

    Then you seem to blame farmers for bio security.

    This entire response is a very very sad one from you Dave. I’d suggest if you plan to criticise our farm systems on a public forum you come armed with a lot more that some stupid fact less claims.

    As much as I like you Dave, I’ll not tolerate the underhanded undermining of markets that seemingly rolls off your tongue with apparent little thought.

    Please be a little more thoughtful when you criticise our producers. Our market place is watching, and it doesn’t take a lot to cause damage.

  7. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, I must admit your responses were surprising and while dismissive had few supporting arguments:

    -We currently import most of our phosphate from Western Sahara and hope to get the stuff from under the sea near the Chatham Islands. Many intensively farmed areas are already reaching the upper limits of what is considered safe for cadmium levels and stock offal is being destroyed because it its even safe for the consumption of pets.
    -1 million tonnes a year of PKE isn’t a small amount and you have to admit that few dairy farms can claim that they are fully pasture based. Most cows just have a life of around five years now because they don’t get the minerals etc they need from their diet to live much longer. Many end up crippled from a lack of calcium. Industrial farming and over stocking on many farms has its down side. I get told this by those involved in the industry.
    -Are you telling me that drain layers don’t understand what is happening on the farms where they work? I find that many such people actually have a lot of knowledge based on first hand experience. It is important to have multiple sources of information.
    -My conversation with one farmer was indeed anecdotal but he is actually one of many I have spoken to and you can’t seriously tell me that over-stocking on many farms isn’t an issue.
    -There is some doubt about the origins of HT swedes and the claims that they do not have GE origins haven’t been convincingly answered. There is a big push for GE crops and yet the kind of industry that comes out of this herbicide, corporate crop dependency is a fraught one.
    -I don’t blame bio-secruity on farmers, I was referring to the sustainability of the sector as a whole and bio-security is one factor that threatens this.

  8. Gravedodger says:

    Rising cadmium levels in Bluff oysters so that is why they taste so much better than those orrible bludy rock oysters.

    I wonder if that one farmer who supports daves thesis is in fact that dominant land holder and manager of massive farming operations in Marlborough who goes by the name Steffan Browning.
    He is truly dominating all things agriculture in that center of nz agriculture.
    Did you know that aquaculture covers “every square inch” of the Sounds.
    That will be why Kiwirail is going gangbusters to open a ferry terminal at Cape Campbell oh hang on they have sold that land now, oh dear perhaps they are going to Karamea.

    I spoke to one farmer, two farmers have told me, it is well known in farming circles, jesus wept Dave you really need to get out more.
    Browning is a lifestyler and is as related to farming as I am.
    ps I retired 15 years ago.

    So much pure drivel in two compost comments really organic eh.

  9. Dave Kennedy says:

    Gravedodger, what in particular did you disagree with?

    That cadmium levels are dangerously high:
    http://www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/Services/Publications/Technical-Reports/TR-200551/

    That dairy farms are becoming less pasture based:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/10184386/Milk-price-leads-to-record-feed-imports

    I find it highly entertaining that when I provide links to science and academics I am told to stop providing links supporting my arguments and that it is those with ‘skin in the game’ who really know what’s happening. I repeat what I have heard from those actually in the business and it is suddenly not scientific and hardly representative of all 😉

    Gravedodger, you are very good at trying to discredit the messengers but very light on robust arguments, in fact the ones you do use are becoming extraordinarily ridiculous.

  10. TraceyS says:

    https://home.greens.org.nz/goodfarmstories

    I often wonder about the emphasis here. Is it on good stories about farms or stories about “good farms”? If the latter, the suggestion is that there are “bad farms”. Which is not good in my opinion.

  11. Dave Kennedy says:

    Oh dear, Tracey, you are rather desperate in your attempts to vilify the Greens.

  12. Gravedodger says:

    DaveK in a moment of further extraordinary ridiculousness I followed your two links above.

    You made a claim about high Cadmium levels in Bluff oysters and the link above relates to Cd in Waikato farmland being in the opinion of someone whose name escapes me being dangerously high.
    Now an enviable intellect such as yourself may be able to explain to an extraordinarily ridiculous person such as moi how those two facts you promulgate might be related.
    The second link starts with a fact that may just be explained by a knowledge of commercial reality. Palm kernal is a dietary filler that is cheap as chips to expand a high energy diet and in times of feed insufficiency is used by dairy farmers in conjunction with higher cost supplements.
    The main opposition to palm kernal from those of your ilk comes as an adjunct to the campaign to oppose Palm oil production expansion that comes from the more laudible opposition to massive clearance of rain forest.
    I have no knowledge of author Hutchins qualifications but to suggest the increase in kernal imports as being a direct result of the milk price is humorous to say the least.
    In my more extraordinary ridiculous moments I might have investigated if the suggested high level of imports might have been related to feed shortages due to drought, pastures damaged by flooding and the availability of a very price competitive feed expander.

    Then again I am sort of driven in forming my opinions by a smidgen of commercial reality and political dogma around celebrity causes does not rate anywhere near as prominently.

    Yes I will attack moronic messengers and if you want another example just take some time to investigate the current paranoid messaging around Ebola. It is a virus FFS and the current crisis has killed around 4000 victims. Eight times that number died on US roads last year and 150 times the Ebola dead were killed by Malaria in 2012.
    Now who do we think might oppose DDT being employed to reduce Malaria mosquito vectors and save nearly three quarters of a million victims.

    Now I wont waste time providing links that a dumbarse person with an extraordinary level of ridiculousness can easily discover but you keep searching for relevance wherever you can.

  13. Mr E says:

    I concur with GD regarding the cadmium claims. Dave has supported a claim that agriculture is responsible for Cd in oysters. I am absolutely sure Cd in the Waikato is not getting into bluff oysters.

    Dave also missed my point about the source of phosphate – and therefore cadmium. Phosphate rock comes from marine sediments Dave. Your accusation that farmers are responsible for Cd in oysters is a bit like blaming farmers for starch in potatoes.

    Following your divergence to criticise Cd in phosphate, why do farmers use phosphate Dave? Have you ever asked that? The main reason, as once described to me by a scientist, is to grow legumes. In NZ that is mostly clovers. Because they are considered as New Zealand’s competitive edge. The cornerstone of New Zealand’s systems. The axis on which our clean green claims are based.

    Now think about the action of restricting cheap phosphate Dave. Where to you think it will take NZ. To a cleaner greener more productive NZ?

    “1 million tonnes a year of PKE isn’t a small amount”. That is not the point. I am told by an expert that the extract makes up less than 5% of Palm value. If farmers don’t use it – it could become a waste product – bad for the environment, no?

    When you recycle a car battery is that good or bad? Follow that thought process.

    “Most cows just have a life of around five years now because they don’t get the minerals – ”
    Why do you make such ridiculous claims? You are saying the main reasons for cow mortality is trace element deficiency. Do you know how silly that sounds?

    “Are you telling me that drain layers don’t understand what is happening on the farms where they work?”

    Dave are you telling me that drain layers have a good enough understanding of farm nutrient loss to solely base an industry criticism on? That is how it appears.

    “you can’t seriously tell me that over-stocking on many farms isn’t an issue.”

    I have not seen evidence to suggest that it is an issue. Can you provide any. Other then one farmers opinion. PS my two farmers still trump you.

    “There is some doubt about the origins of HT swedes ”

    Who doubts or where is this doubt? Is it just you Dave? Blurting out a conspiracy theory. Or do you support a crowd of tin foil hat wearing wizards?

  14. TraceyS says:

    “Oh dear, Tracey, you are rather desperate in your attempts to vilify the Greens”

    Hey Dave, take a look in the mirror. Who will YOU “vilify” today?

    And since when was “wondering” equal to vilification? Never in this country as I know it. Nor shall it ever be I hope.

    “Thou canst not touch the freedom of my mind.”
    ― Milton

  15. Dave Kennedy says:

    Gravedodger and Mr E, your arguments are becoming increasingly thin. Cadmium is a toxin and prolonged and constant use of Superphosphate is a known issue, especially in dairying regions:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/179037/Group-looks-at-cadmium-contamination-on-farms

    Mr E, at least you can quote me properly rather than copying Tracey by being very selective and inventing an argument. I never said that poor cow health was just because they didn’t get enough minerals, what I actually said was:
    “Most cows just have a life of around five years now because they don’t get the minerals etc they need from their diet to live much longer” A lack of a varied diet and good quality feed is also part of this and as you yourself said, PKE is just a filler and has little food value. Cows who are well looked after can easily have a productive life of over ten years, why is this not reflected in the industry as a whole?

    You need to also listen to your previous Federated farmers President Bruce Wills about the importance of sustainable stock numbers in drought prone regions. As with any industry there will be a range of performance within farmers and I have been told by Dairy NZ and Fonterra people that at least 10% of dairy farmers are poor performers and are the cause of much of the bad press. The management of the bottom end performers is actually crucial and in dairying that 10% involves at least 660,000 cows and 160,000 hectares of land. This means a substantial animal welfare and environmental issues.

    “Dave are you telling me that drain layers have a good enough understanding of farm nutrient loss to solely base an industry criticism on?” They are one part of the picture and have a good understanding of the effects of what they do.

    I have no proof that the HT swedes are GE, but that knowing that the Chair of Southland’s Federated farmers has visited the US and come back singing the praises of GE and Monsanto is a huge concern. The potential problem with crops that have had a huge commercial investment is that the companies involved want to see a return on that investment and the failings are sometimes hidden until costs have been covered and the damage caused is not really a concern.

    I openly admit that I am not a farmer and therefore rely on multiple sources of information to form my opinions. Your argument seems to be not to value the opinion of drain layers, scientists or others who have a contrary view to your own. While I do value the opinion of actual farmers I do find a large variance in those opinions and there is the real concern that all that I hear from farmers should also be taken with a grain of salt: http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/news/6209132/Self-policing-of-waterways-woeful

  16. Gravedodger says:

    DaveK when next you are in Hawkes Bay seek out a few of the farmers from Mr Wills district, it could be an electric light moment.
    That said Mr Wills showed admirable abilities as a leader and spokesman for the industry.
    All Blacks do not necessarily make good coaches.

    Bruce Wills was a banker with a familial connection to the land.

  17. TraceyS says:

    Dave:

    “I never said that poor cow health was just because they didn’t get enough minerals, what I actually said was:

    “Most cows just have a life of around five years now because they don’t get the minerals etc they need from their diet to live much longer”

    LOL. No, you’re definitely not a farmer are you!

    Seems you don’t want to draw a link between cow nutrition, health, and longevity. Why is that now?

  18. Dave Kennedy says:

    Grave Dodger, I’m getting the message now. I shouldn’t listen to the opinions of drain layers, most scientist (apart from those you agree with), The Fonterra and DairyNZ people I meet with, the farmers that I talk to don’t count and the past president of the Feds doesn’t know what he’s talking about either. Given that neither you or Mr E provide few links to support your arguments, I’m a bit perplexed about where you get your info from, is it just from inside your own heads.

    “Seems you don’t want to draw a link between cow nutrition, health, and longevity.”

    Tracey, I’m sorry but a lot of the time I just don’t understand what you are trying to argue. Of course I want to draw a link between nutrition and mortality, that was my purpose in mentioning it in the first place.

  19. Gravedodger says:

    Hi Dave yep surviving as a farmer for nearly 50 years you pick up the odd wrinkle and I still have a connection via several still fully engaged so just because I dont link to it all is no surprise.

    My view of Mr Wills as a successful and practising farmer is not from published data and My assessment of his presidency is largely based on his public profile.

    Some of your links are of very low value to your pov and the Cd was a classic.

    Of course a drain layer has an intimate knowledge of water movement from the rain cycle to the sea from the surface of the land to the drain outfall via his work but nutrient transfer might just be a little more problematical unless he is a soil and nutrient scientist who lays drains as a sideline.
    However you did not really make that point clear.
    What we do know is you have been a school teacher and Dipton is in your CV still not the complete picture IMHO.

  20. TraceyS says:

    Here’s the conversation around nutrition:

    Dave: “Most cows just have a life of around five years now because they don’t get the minerals – ”

    Mr E: “You are saying the main reasons for cow mortality is trace element deficiency.”

    Dave: “I never said that poor cow health was just because they didn’t get enough minerals”

    You first appeared to be saying that a lifespan of 5 years is due to mineral deficiencies. On that Mr E picked you up spot-on. And then you seemed to try and back-track on that a bit. I guess to leave room for other dastardly things farmers do to prematurely shorten the lives of stock like feeding them HT (or is it GE) swedes.

    If you dropped the attitude that you know how to make farms better then maybe I’d pick your message up differently. But your approach is that of a Mr-know-it-all and that is really irritating, Dave.

    It will also get you absolutely nowhere with farmers, no matter how many links you produce.

  21. Dave Kennedy says:

    Gravedodger, I have most of your criticisms are not based on counter arguments but questioning the value of the messenger. Do you have evidence that field tiles and drains do not also transfer nutrients into our ditches creeks and rivers? So which of my two recent cadmium links had no value and why?

    I am actually more than happy to be proven wrong, which is actually why comment here, but if the best you can do is just attempt to discredit the source rather than the content, I am not learning a lot.

    “If you dropped the attitude that you know how to make farms better then maybe I’d pick your message up differently. But your approach is that of a Mr-know-it-all and that is really irritating, Dave.”

    I have made it very clear on numerous occasions that I do not know it all and what I actually do is throw out challenges based on what I have found. What you really object to is someone with an opinion different to your own. I make no excuses for being opinionated, but I do try to express informed opinions.

    Tracey, how about producing an actual argument rather than misrepresenting and attacking me. I am genuinely wanting a some counter arguments otherwise I must believe my assumptions are correct.

    Which statements are factually wrong and why:

    The productive life of a cow when treated well is over ten years.

    Why is the average lifespan of dairy cows much less than this?

    Dairy herds are growing larger and needing more supplementary feed to compliment the pasture.

    Around 10% of dairy farmers (its probably larger) struggle with environmental compliance and demonstrate poor animal husbandry and pasture management.

    Almost 40% of dairy farms are not managed by an owner operator and while this is not bad in itself, fewer farmers have a strong connection to the land they farm and are more likely to be profit driven than environmentally focussed.

  22. TraceyS says:

    I wasn’t misrepresenting or attacking you. Rather, I was genuinely confused by the lack of clarity in your message. Leaving out important bits does tend to have that effect!

    For example:

    “The productive life of a cow when treated well is over ten years. Why is the average lifespan of dairy cows much less than this?”

    Because the farmer culls them before five years in favour of younger and more productive animals, duh!

    What farmer would want a herd full of ten-year-old cows? Ever heard of risk management?

    Farming is a business – like it or not Dave!

    Now how about we have a real debate about something of greater importance than cow nutrition? Child nutrition! We could discuss the nutritional benefits of the human stomach-filler-with minerals-added, PKE equivalent: Weetbix (with milk of course!)

  23. TraceyS says:

    PS. never assume your assumption are correct. That’s a pretty silly (and highly unscientific) thing to do.

  24. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, are you telling me that cows cannot remain productive for longer than five years if fed well and not stressed? Are the dairy farmers I talk to wrong in explaining this to me?

  25. TraceyS says:

    No Dave – I did not say “cannot” or any word to that effect.

  26. Dave Kennedy says:

    Then what was I saying that was silly?

  27. Mr E says:

    Very sad David Kennedy,
    Let me summarise:

    There is no link between bluff oysters and farmers phosphate use. Evidence is non-existent and it fails the logic test.

    Yet you publically bash the industry on this basis.

    The main reason for cow replacement had nothing to do with trace minerals.

    Yet you publically bash the industry on this basis.

    HT swedes have nothing to do with genetic engineering. There is no evidence, and all information is to the contrary.

    Yet you publically bash the industry on this basis.

    Russell Macpherson has never drawn a link between HT swedes and genetic engineering.

    Yet you like to publically bash the industry on this basis.

    I really hope you are embarrassed by your statements Dave. I think you should be.

    Your scant knowledge of farming seems to be a factor in your apparent tendency to replace unknown details with what I consider to be strange, silly, even stupid statements.

    If you are going to be critical of good industries and the people within, I’d recommend you sit at the table with a little more than the weird remarks you have portrayed here. I’d recommend you educate yourself. And I am not talking about a waffle with the local drain layer.

  28. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E

    There has never been research on whether the levels of cadmium in Bluff oysters is due to run off from farms, it is just conjecture, but it is possible. This was never meant to be one of my main concerns but something mentioned in passing as a possibility. We sometimes forget that what we do on farms can have an effect on our coastal waters and i don’t think that you can deny this. You have proof that the cadmium comes fro elsewhere?

    I never said that the main reason for cow replacement was lack of trace minerals, the etc was just so that I didn’t have to list the other factors such as diet and stress from over stocking. Some dairy farmers only milk once a day or have the cows milk themselves voluntarily and this means less stress and a longer productive life too. The savings on labour and not culling as often from these systems sometimes balance the lower production levels.

    You may very well be right about the HT swedes, it was just conjecture on my part because the responses about the origins haven’t been that convincing to me (i did qualify this statement at the time and you have chosen to ignore this). My concern with Russel’s enthusiasm for GE crops isn’t just environmental (although the herbicide use is a concern) but it is potentially locking into the corporatisation of crops and the restrictions and penalties that can arise from their use:
    http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=15825

    Just back up a little with your accusations that I am bashing the industry. Here is my original statement at the beginning of the thread that got your knickers in a twist:
    “Of course the Greens support agriculture, it’s important for both ourselves and the economy. It’s just the sustainability of practice that concerns us. https://home.greens.org.nz/goodfarmstories

    This was in response to a rather outlandish statement of Ele’s where she claims:
    “It’s more than ironic that opposition parties which like to think they champion the poor everywhere and might appreciate the value of agriculture in developing countries don’t appreciate what is does – economically, socially and environmentally in New Zealand.”

    Perhaps they’re suffering from a particularly ignorant form of NIMBYism.”

    I respond with the view that the Greens most definitely see the value of agriculture as long as it is managed sustainably and include a link celebrating sustainable solutions. This is an attack? I feel you have become as sensitive as Tracey, Mr E, and your arguments are starting to look similar, attacking the side issues and ignoring the substance.

  29. Mr E says:

    “it is just conjecture, but it is possible”

    Phosphate rock = marine sediment
    Marine sediment includes shellfish
    Oysters = shellfish

    Your continued ignorance of a basic concept, probably doesn’t look all that good to Joe public visiting this blog.

    I read from your latest post that you generally agree with me. You’ve arrived here with scant all. Just a bit of what you call conjecture and what I call silly statements.

    However it appears that you still don’t realise why farmers replace livestock. And quite frankly it is beyond my patience grade to explain it.

    You’ve called farming unsustainable. And you have criticised standard practices suggesting they are unacceptable. Using some of the most limp arguements, I think, have ever been presented in the homepaddock.
    This is an attack Dave. Do you expect people to let that slide on by? Perhaps slap you on the back and say – “compelling Dave”. I’m sure you don’t get that type of dishonest response around the Green Party head table. You don’t do you?

  30. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E you may very well be right regarding the oysters but what I have read is that coastal waters near intensively farmed areas can have cadmium levels higher than what is naturally found in the sea. Your fixation with this is bizarre as it was a side issue for me at best. It seems that you have latched on to it as the only thing that you can really challenge me on.

    Farmers cull cows when their milk production begins to drop, in most dairy farms this occurs after five years, especially when intensive practices are used. But cows can still be very productive at ten years or more given the right conditions. http://www.nzhfa.org.nz/files/Production%20Stats%202012-13.pdf

    Please explain what I don’t understand and why it is beyond your patience to do so?

    If my arguments about unsustainable farming methods are so limp then why aren’t you challenging my evidence more robustly and prove otherwise?

    DairyNZ appears to support my view that the industry is not currently operating sustainably and have a strategy to make it so, the strategy covers many of the concerns I have expressed here earlier:
    http://www.dairynz.co.nz/media/209786/Strategy-for-Sustainable-Dairy-Farming-2013-2020.pdf

    Fonterra appears to agree with my concerns about PKE
    http://www.fonterra.com/global/en/sustainability+platform/sustainable+dairying/sustainable+dairying+(sd)/sustainable+dairying

    Here is support for reducing stock numbers:
    http://profitfocusedfarming.com/fewer-cows-can-mean-better-profits/

    I seem to be able to find evidence and support for most of my claims from within your own industry, and there is general acceptance that current practices are not sustainable. You are looking a little isolated in your thinking Mr E, who do you actually have on your side?

  31. TraceyS says:

    Said Dave to Mr E:

    “It seems that you have latched on to it as the only thing that you can really challenge me on.”

    Hilarious! That sort of arrogance will get you nowhere fast.

  32. Gravedodger says:

    To get that grudging admission there might have been a chink in the self righteous armour around where the Cd in Foveaux Straight might have come from when on the 10th it was as a direct result of phosphate going from farm to sea via those bloody tile drains, only took 4 days.

    “But your approach is that of a Mr-know-it-all and that is really irritating, Dave.”
    That statement you attributed to me came from TraceyS at 3 25.

    Methinks you need to clear your screen of the accumulated spittal as you bash your poor keyboard.

    Have an incredibly nice day Mr School Teacher, just take the opportunity to get out more.

    You see the bit you and your nice pink fleshed green skinned persons miss around the dairy industry is that on the whole it is an incredible well managed and structured industry that has single handedly brought this country through the biggest challenges economically since the 1930s and as with any industry there will be bad apples.

    You and your self absorbed acolytes latch onto every little bit of adverse activity that is being addressed by the overwhelming majority of the players in a series of publicity stunts and in that process you all have no compunction in using “facts” however weak or totally false for political ends.

    That sanctimonious approach is easily and nearly always demolished but that never gets in the way of your political agenda.
    Hence the demolition of your Cd effort.
    Hence your missing the kernal of truth in what Ele posted.
    Hence your pathetic use of ” a farmer, a couple of farmers, owners not managing, a drain layer, productive cow life and the other garbage”, employed as propaganda.
    That crap will go down really well at a meeting of your political fellow travellers where such “landscape painting ” will sound great but when you are challenged here you react a tad churlishly.

  33. Mr E says:

    OK Dave,
    I thought we had established your claims are flawed, and I thought you were in agreement. Sadly you appear to have had a brain fart and have gone back to bizarreness. I’m a bit shocked we are still here. But if you need some kind of references to dispute your ‘one farmer’ and ‘drain layer’ claims – sure.

    Let me re-highlight your claims

    1,Farmers are responsible for Cd in oysters at Bluff

    2,The main reason for cow replacement is trace elements, minerals etc (apparently etc is nutrition) and the lack there of in PKE. Now that claim has morphed into the main reason for cow mortality is age – but cows don’t need to be culled on age if they are fed well – not fed PKE

    3,HT swedes are GE – and apparently Russell is linked to that claim.

    Lets start with
    1,Farmers are responsible for Cd in oysters at Bluff

    I have claimed Cd is intrinsic in Oysters – Like starch in Potatoes.
    There is endless evidence to support this.

    http://www.oniris-nantes.fr/fileadmin/redaction/Bibliotheque/Documents_liens_espace_documentaire_Chantrerie/ist.pdf

    Do we need to gone on about this? Honestly? How about you simply retract the statement. That is easy enough isn’t it?

    2,The main reason for cow replacement is trace elements, minerals etc (apparently etc is nutrition) and the lack there of in PKE.

    The odd thing is, I don’t have to provide a link on this one. You have done it quite well. Although it appears you have missed the point of the link you provided.
    Go to the 4th table – where they have picked the top cow in each age range.

    I’ll list the milk production for you
    1st 2 yr 5509 litres
    2nd 3 yr 6070 litres
    3rd 4 yr 12,219
    4th 5 yr 8,918
    5th 6yr 7,219
    6th 7yr 6,186
    7th 8yr 7,973
    8th 9 yr 6,985
    9th 10yr+ 5,501

    I hope right now you are having a light bulb moment. Yes Dave, as cows get older production drops. The best cows in each age range in the Holstein Fresian Comp display this. A 10 yr old cow, in this example produces less than half of a yr old cow. Whilst production is the main driver of cow replacement other factors like increased risk of disease, fertility, structure (lameness) also come into play.

    PKE is high in Copper and Selenium and low in Magnesium. Does this affect cow mortality – almost never. The few exceptions I have heard of have been where farmers have continued copper supplementation whilst feeding PKE. In this situation – the farmers is at fault not the PKE.

    The bigger picture is though – PKE is a really good product to feed cows, it is higher in energy and protein than grass.

    The main involuntary reasons for removing cows from the herd include infertility, and feeding a supplement can reduce the risk of infertility by ensuring energy and protein levels are appropriate.

    It is fair to say that – PKE is used as a supplement to benefit a herd of cows, not provide detriment. And where PKE is used to improve fertility of livestock, it can increase longevity. Not reduce it as you suggest.

    Do we need to gone on about this? Honestly? How about you simply retract the statement. That is easy enough isn’t it?

    3,HT swedes are GE – and apparently Russell is linked to that claim.

    I know exactly where HT swedes came from. HT swedes were selected on their basis of herbicide tolerance to Telar. This was part of a breeding programme. The important word for you Dave is breeding. Breeding is not engineering.

    http://www.pggwrightson.co.nz/Userfiles/files/Rural%20Supplies%20Publications/Technical%20Guides%20and%20Resources/2013%20Spring%20Land_Cleancrop%20Brassica.pdf

    Casting aspersions that NZ is releasing GE material is an extremely serious thing to do Dave. I think Politicians should be a lot more careful with NZs reputation that you have shown here Dave. Very very unpatriotic in my opinion.

    Do we need to gone on about this? Honestly? How about you simply retract the statement. That is easy enough isn’t it?

  34. Dave Kennedy says:

    Arrogance? Hardly Tracey, pure observation, he does mention it three times and it dominates each comment.

    I have been widely criticized here for repeating things I have heard from within the industry that support my view that agriculture, especially dairying, isn’t currently being managed sustainably. I am talking about the industry as a whole and not criticizing individual farmers as there are a number who are making a real effort in this regard.

    I note that none of you have questioned my last links that show that both DairyNZ and Fonterra recognize that the industry is unsustainable.

    None of you offer any substantial arguments and instead resort to multiple personal attacks:

    Apparently I am “silly”, “criticizing producers on a public website” which is “disgraceful”, I have been “sucked in stupidity” (whatever that means), I speak “pure drivel” in “compost comments” (very creative GD), I use “moronic messengers” and am a dumbarse person with an “extraordinary level of ridiculousness “, I “waffle and mumble”, I am “undermining markets”, I “support a crowd of tinfoil hat wearing wizards”, I have “an attitude”, I will “get nowhere with farmers”, I am “pretty silly” and unscientific”, I am “sad”, I am “Publically (publicly?) bashing the industry”, I “should be embarrassed”, I use “limp arguements” (arguments?), I have”scant knowledge of farming”, I make “strange, silly and even stupid statements”, I make “weird remarks” and “need to educate myself”, I need to “stop talking to drain layers”, I have pushed you “beyond your patience”, I have “used some of the most limp statements that have ever been presented in the Homepaddock”, I am making “an attack” and I am “hilarious” and display the “sort of arrogance that will get me nowhere fast”.

    Luckily most of the people within your industry don’t engage like this. I was recently interviewed by someone from DairyNZ because of my local profile on environmental issues. He wanted to know what my specific concerns were and what the industry could do that would reassure me (or those with similar views). We didn’t agree on a number of areas but we were able to discuss the issues and he put the industry’s case without abuse and putdowns. I have chats with Russell Macpherson and Doug Fraser of the Southland Feds and we have robust exchanges of views and we swap links through emails to support them.

    As I have stated before, I had hoped to learn something through these exchanges but instead I have learned a lot about what you think of me and have got a lot of opinion and much bluff and bluster. The only link you provide to support your views was from Tracey who linked again to our Green website 😛

    I wonder if I mention oysters again, whether it will spark Mr E off on another tirade 😉

  35. Ray says:

    “How about you simply retract the statement.”
    Are you MAD???
    Expect rational arguement from a lefty green?
    Tediously predictable self-righteousness more like it.
    If he agreed with you, you’d both be wrong.
    Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

  36. TraceyS says:

    Dave

    “It seems that you have latched on to it as the only thing that you can really challenge me on.”

    The bold bit is the display of arrogance. Mr E did challenge you on many issues and did so quite effectively in my opinion. Now instead of facing up to being beat you duck and dive and complain of hurt feelings. Sensitive much?

    Get over it.

  37. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    Some of your “Apparently I am ” statements are wrong. Examples include “silly’ claims which according to my read, refer to the statements. Not to you.

    Examples like:”I have pushed you “beyond your patience”,” are miss quoting.

    You are politicking Dave. This blog has always been about the validity of your statements. But if you are fishing for sympathy, I’ll dish it out. I feel sorry for you Dave.

    I also feel sorry for the owners of HT swedes, who you have implicated in some kind of GE conspiracy.
    I also feel sorry for Phosphate users who you have implicated in damage of the bluff oyster industry
    I also feel sorry for PKE users who you have suggested are killing their livestock by using it.

    These people have my sympathy. The seem to be undergoing an attack that is based on a very poor foundation.

    Luckily I am here to defend them. So chin up. 🙂

  38. Dave Kennedy says:

    My apologies, Mr E, I published my last comment only to discover that you have actually attempted to have a rational argument. I will go through your points:

    1. I never stated that farmers were responsible for the Cd in Bluff Oysters, I just suggested it was possible. I have read the BC research and you will note that in other research it states that while Cd occurs naturally in the Pacific Ocean, that natural levels can be raised through farm and mining runoff. I won’t die in a ditch over this issue but as there is no local research on this either of us could be correct.

    2. You must also be aware that if cows are treated well then it is less likely that they will need to be culled. A less intensive regime like once a day milking, fewer stock numbers and a rich diet can extend the productive life of a cow. Lameness is often a result of lack of calcium. There is research to show that the loss of production from less intensive practices can be made up through less labour costs etc. The link I provided was to support the fact that 10 year old cows could remain very productive given the right circumstances.

    3. You missed my point about PKE, I mentioned it to prove that we are becoming dependent on imported feed and can’t sustain the industry just on what we produce ourselves. A truly sustainable industry or farm does not have to rely on imported resources that only extends our already substantial current account deficit. You may be right about the food value of PKE, I have been told otherwise by some farmers.

    4. If you look at any reference to to HT crops the vast majority are developed through GE. You could be right about the natural development of this particular swede but the HT industry has not got a good record regarding honesty. My concerns about Monsanto are widespread and you only need to talk to ordinary farmers in the US to learn about the dark side of this industry.

    If you look at my original statements you will be aware that you have distorted my arguments substantially. In summary here is what I was actually saying (check and see):

    1. Cadmium toxicity is a problem in dairying regions that are intensively farmed.

    2. We are relying more on imported feed and can’t just rely on what is produced on the farm any more (this isn’t sustainable practice).

    3. We are still struggling to protect our waterways from intensive dairying.

    4. Too many farms are carrying more stock than the farm can support.

    5. There are issues around HT crops that aren’t sustainable and the push for GE crops is a concern.

    6. I am concerned that our biosecurity measures may not be enough to protect the industry (government’s responsibility) Foot and Mouth or something similar could be devastating and we are already suffering from clover weevil and the giant buttercup.

    For all of the five points above I supplied links and other supporting arguments that you haven’t challenged. I am hardly attacking the industry in a irresponsible way as all of my points have already been supported by the likes of DairyNZ and most have been included in their sustainability strategy.

  39. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    You appear to be ducking and dive and diverting from your claims. Never the less. I will respond to these ones.

    1. Cadmium toxicity is a problem in dairying regions that are intensively farmed.

    No it isn’t.

    ” it is not a food safety issue, and there are no traces in milk”

    It has been present in some crops but a ridiculously small handful, and they are generally as an interaction of a prior soil presence.

    Does it get into food – MPI is responsible for monitoring – here is what they say
    “The most recent 2009 Total Diet Study shows dietary exposures to cadmium well below acceptable dietary intake levels established by the World Health Organisation’s experts and do not suggest any cause for concern.

    In addition, ongoing testing of individual animal and food products by MPI has confirmed substantial compliance with cadmium levels, which is in line with international standards and findings. ”

    When levels do increase- a working group exists to ensure levels are managed. This includes the Regional councils. They set the levels tolerate in fertilizer. As levels increase tolerances will no doubt reduce. Phosphate will become more expensive.

    2. We are relying more on imported feed and can’t just rely on what is produced on the farm any more (this isn’t sustainable practice

    Nonsense – we can rely on what the farm will produce with small changes. We simply choose not to because there is an advantage in sourcing outside feed. Big deal orange peel.

    3. We are still struggling to protect our waterways from intensive dairying

    No we are not. “Of the parameters we monitor, all are either stable or improving at most monitored sites. Four of our parameters show stable or improving trends in 90% of sites.”

    http://www.mfe.govt.nz/environmental-reporting/fresh-water/river-condition-indicator/summary-key-findings.html

    4. Too many farms are carrying more stock than the farm can support.

    No they are not.
    Per cow milk production has increased as has stocking rate. Farms have supported the growth. Some of the support includes off farm purchase of feed. But that is not unsustainable. It is profitable and market created by a market situation. I expect it will change to a degree this year. These things are not unsustainable, they are market dynamics.

    http://www.dairynz.co.nz/media/434165/new_zealand_dairy_statistics_2011-12.pdf

    5. There are issues around HT crops that aren’t sustainable and the push for GE crops is a concern.

    You’re welcome to have an opinion the GE is a concern. My opinion is that we need GE for future growth and environmental sustainability. Plenty of scientist and industry experts agree with me.

    Let me reiterate GE and HT swedes are mutually exclusive. Suggesting all HT producers are dishonest is like comparing your blog to Cameron Slaters. We comment on Eles blog, good evidence that not all blogs are dirty.

    6. I am concerned that our biosecurity measures may not be enough

    Good – We need to stay vigilant. You will be pleased that National has just boosted those measures then. Who would have painted you as a National Supporter? not me.

  40. JC says:

    A very entertaining thread. The bit about the life expectancy of a cow is intriguing and directly applicable to sheep as well.

    I’m looking forward to exporting 10 year old Canterbury Lamb.

    JC

  41. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E

    1) ” it is not a food safety issue, and there are no traces in milk”

    It is a food safety issue, contaminated offal has to be destroyed and many areas with high toxicity levels cannot be used for housing developments. According to the Waikato Regional Council:
    “Conservatively, the average cadmium concentration in Waikato dairy soils is projected to reach the recommended guideline in under 16 years”

    2) It is a big deal (with extra orange peel), Mr E.

    “New Zealand’s pasture-based system used to give them almost automatic right to being the lowest cost milk producers in the world, but they are down in the order as they intensify farming systems, says a Rabobank dairy report.”

    “At best New Zealand is in the middle of the pack now in terms of production costs and it does mean the competitive advantage is more reliant on efficiencies outside of the farmgate,” said New Zealand and Asia dairy research director Hayley Moynihan.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/dairy/9457326/NZs-dairy-industry-losing-its-price-edge

    3) I stand by my claim that we are struggling with water quality, while any improvement should be celebrated we are still experiencing unacceptable levels of pollution and nitrate levels have increased. It also takes time for the leaching through to ground water to occur and our estuaries are suffering from accumulated build up of sediment. We have a log way to go to turn things around if it is possible at all.

    4) Intensive stocking isn’t sustainable environmentally or economically. I even produced a link that supported the economic wisdom of lower stocking levels. Your response didn’t make sense as you contradicted yourself.

    5) You are misquoting me again, I never said all HT producers are dishonest, the industry itself hasn’t got a good reputation. Monsanto was the corporation that impressed Russell and yet they have a horrendous reputation for destroying the livelihoods of ordinary farmers with their corporate domination of seed markets:

    http://www.i-sis.org.uk/MonsantovsFarmers.php

    6) Pleased to see some support for one of my points, but i hope the Government does enough, they are good at claiming that they are spending more money in an area but it doesn’t mean it is enough and they may even be bringing it back to what it was before they cut it. They did this to early childhood education, where they gutted the sector by cutting $400,000 from the budget and since then they crow about how much more they are spending on it as they slowly restore the original funding.

  42. Dave Kennedy says:

    JC, broken down dairy cows don’t produce good meat either but 10 year old sheep may still produce reasonable qualities of milk (relatively speaking) I’s good to compare apples with apples or udders with udders 😉

  43. Dave Kennedy says:

    Oh, I forgot to respond to Ray’s earlier contribution. Thanks Ray for your enlightening addition to the thread, I have more comments to add to my list of abuse. It’s a good thing we Greenies are resilient and have a sense of humour. Gravedoger is always the winner when it comes to insults, he is the most creative. You need to get lessons from him, Ray 😉

  44. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    1) if Cadmium was not regulated, I would agree that it is a sustainability issue.

    But it is regulated.
    The Cadmium Working Group involves representatives from central and local government and the primary sector.
    Central Government: The Ministry for Primary Industries and the Ministry for the Environment.
    Local Government: Environment Waikato, Environment Bay of Plenty, the Taranaki Regional Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council and Environment Canterbury.
    Fertiliser industry: Ballance Agri-Nutrients, Ravensdown and the Fertiliser Association
    Primary sector: DairyNZ, Horticulture New Zealand, Beef + Lamb NZ, Federated Farmers

    The working group has already tightened the level at which cadmium can be contained in fertilizer. As levels in soil increase they will continue to tighten the tolerance.
    That is sustainable. There is not need to chicken little. Only kidneys are discarded. Hardly anything to worry about. Unless you like kidney pie?

    2)Farmers use high inputs when they make high returns. When they make low returns they reduce inputs. If you don’t believe that at the moment you must have your head in the sand. Dairy farmers are flat stick cutting costs.
    That is not a sustainability issue Dave. It is market dynamics. It has been happening since well before you and me.
    Chill out.

    3)Ding Ding Ding. You get the prize for bring up estuaries.
    Lets take Waituna – the sediment that is in there, where did it come from? Research says 95% comes from bank erosion and less than 5 % from farming.

    Riverton estuary – sediment – Research says 75% comes from the sea. Of the remaining 25% – half of that comes from bank erosion.

    In both example only small amounts come from farming.
    If you are worried about estuaries – focus your concerns on bank erosion. Not farming.

    http://www.dairyatwork.co.nz/land-water/sediment-fingerprinting-in-southland-waterways/

    4) Did you read the link you provided?

    “The outline of Glassey’s paper given in 3rd September issue of Rural News indicates that for six years out of nine, the profit from the no-N farmlet was about the same as from the farmlet receiving 181kgN/ha/year. In the other three years the nitrogen farmlet was more profitable i.e. the value of the extra milk solids it produced more than offset the higher production costs.”

    5) You doubt the honesty of PGG Wrightson because of Monsantos actions. That is like me doubting your actions because of the actions of Cameron Slater.

    6)Yay – Go National. Let’s wave the flag together.

  45. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E

    1) I am aware of the working groups and regulations, but at the moment current levels of application are not sustainable long term. The working groups were established because there is enough concern to warrant monitoring and a tightening of tolerance will be necessary (as you say). This is no chicken little stuff, it is fact. What happens when tolerance levels are reached in 16 years as predicted? If we had safer methods then we should already be using them or have a transition plan.

    2) “Farmers use high inputs when they make high returns. When they make low returns they reduce inputs.” This is very basic economics Mr E and you are insulting my intelligence by mentioning it in this way. As I said earlier we have around 10% of farmers who may reduce inputs in dangerous ways that can damage the environment or harm the health of stock (the 10% figure comes from my discussions with a Fonterra manager) . Environmental sustainability is often ditched when prices drop if farmers lack sophistication in their management. Mr E, you talk of farming as if it is one homogenous group, when it clearly is not, not all farms are managed the same and not all farmers are competent. When under economic pressure, like the current drop in dairy prices, Some struggling farmers will feel forced to make decisions to remain profitable that will have negative environmental consequences and be unsustainable.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11118858
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/10210678/Farmer-broke-law-cops-fine

    3) The eutrophication of estuaries needs to be looked at longitudinally, the current changes are the result of build up over time and the current levels of sediment are historical. There is a huge difference between sea sediment and farm sourced as the latter has a high level of potentially damaging nutrients, you are not comparing like with like. Current trends are showing higher levels of sediment from dairying and the Waituna has only been saved through flushing from the sea. What is concerning about the Waituna is that it was a unique, mainly freshwater habitat which meant many fish were maturing in the lagoon rather than heading out to sea and the plants (like the Ruppia) have adapted to this environment. Sea flushing may stop flipping from high levels of nutrients but it is destroying what made the lagoon special and an internationally regarded environment (Ramsar). You need to talk to the scientists concerned and the Waituna Landcare group as I have rather than relying on the spin from your industry only.

    4) Sorry Mr E, you’ve lost me with this, how does this prove that many farms aren’t when I thought this was an environmental sustainability concern.

  46. Dave Kennedy says:

    Oops “aren’t over-stocked” (number 4)

  47. Mr E says:

    1) Speak to any of the working group – as I have, you will soon realise that is their key role is to tighten the limits as Cd increases.
    The management group includes elected environment people.
    You really are worrying when there is no need. Relax, your don’t need to micro-manage every environmental risk. Trust people. You are not the only one who cares for the environment.

    2) “you are insulting my intelligence by mentioning it in this way.”
    I doubt that.
    These are the things that farmers are talking about reducing:
    Phosphate
    Nitrogen
    Potassium
    Reduced grain feeding
    Reduced PKE feeding
    Cultivation
    Regrassing
    Reduced plant replacement

    All things that can be done in the short term with minimal impact on returns. If anything some of the items could have a marginal positive impact on the environment.

    Your link (only one works) has nothing to do with reduced returns and consequential bad behavior. Just bad behavior. They certainly are not evidence of bad environmental behavior as a result.
    Your suggestion that dairy farmers will lower their environmental standards with lower returns offends me, and I am not a dairy farmer.

    3) Yes sediment is there from long term events. Like bank erosion and marine sediment deposition. Did you read the link – about research done by NIWA.

    “Current trends are showing higher levels of sediment from dairying and the Waituna has only been saved through flushing from the sea.”

    No Dave- growing evidence shows Dairying has almost nothing to do with sediment in the estuary. Bank Erosion is the issue. The same reason why he Government forked out $785,000.

    I’d go as far as to say, I reckon environmental expectations have had a negative impact on the estuary. Fencing off creeks has increased the amount of bank sloughing – I have seen it 1st hand on a significant scale and now I am alerted to it I see it all the time. Whilst adopting environmental best practice, a large back fire has happened.

    “You need to talk to the scientists concerned and the Waituna Landcare group as I have rather than relying on the spin from your industry only. ”

    What is my industry Dave? Im not supporting an industry I am part of as you rudely suggest. I’ve talked to plenty of scientists on the issue and I have a growing view that Dairy has been unfairly targeted when it comes to Waituna.

    Knowing your tendancy to criticise the Dairying industry, and recent evidence would suggest carelessly, I doubt you will pick up on this. I expect you will keep banging your drum ‘dairy is bad for Waituna’. It is so easy to do isn’t it.

    4) You said “Intensive stocking isn’t sustainable environmentally or economically. I even produced a link that supported the economic wisdom of lower stocking levels.”

    Read for meaning Dave – Your link
    “six years out of nine, the profit from the no-N farmlet was about the same as from the farmlet receiving 181kgN/ha/year. In the other three years the nitrogen farmlet was more profitable ”

    Your own ‘supporting’ link undermines your argument.

  48. Dave Kennedy says:

    1) Sorry Mr E, while I am sure there are good people who care about the environment in these working groups I can already guess what will happen. There won’t be enough money spent on research to support alternative practices and once the limit is reached it will probably be extended. A lot will depend on the economic climate in the future as well, when things are tight economically environmental concerns are often brushed to one side. Whatever may happen, I am still right about cadmium, current use of Superphosphate isn’t at an environmentally sustainable level.

    2) You are misquoting me again and assuming that most dairy farmers will react in similar ways and all will be responsible. You know this isn’t true and not all farmers will be as responsible as yourself. When things become really desperate, even good farmers may take concerning shortcuts. This happens in all business sectors when things get tough, why should farming be exempt?

    3) Bank erosion had a fairly minimal impact on the Waituna and a huge effort was made to work with local farmers on alternative wintering practices. To say that dairying has been unfairly targeted in the Waituna catchment is nonsense. Most agree that many of the Dairy consents given out a few years ago shouldn’t have happened as the land is unsuitable. The increase in nutrients and sediment increased at a similar rate to rapid increase in dairying in the area (doubling since 2000). http://www.es.govt.nz/environment/land/wetlands/waituna-lagoon/

    Also there is a huge difference between attacking dairying as a whole, which I rarely do, and voicing concern at elements within the industry. Most of the concerns I have expressed here are openly acknowledged by DairyNZ which is why they have established the sustainability strategy. Venture Southland’s Lean Dairy programme is also getting some great results in shifting farm practices to more sustainable ones.

    4) Sorry Mr E, I don’t see any reference to environmental sustainability, or perhaps I missed something that you need to explain to me.

  49. TraceyS says:

    Something Mr E said reminded me of this:

    http://www.odt.co.nz/regions/north-otago/300802/farmer-suggests-cleaning-out-culverts

    “Mr Pile, who farms 400ha at McPherson Rd and Corbett Rd, said there were two areas where water was being blocked – on the eastern side of the railway, where gorse and bracken had overgrown, and a flood channel at Hilderthorpe, where grass was blocking water flow. ”

    “Mr Pile said the surface flooding at Hilderthorpe had become worse in recent years, citing the introduction of ORC policy requiring the exclusion of dairy cows from waterways as a contributing factor.

    ”The cows used to be able to go to the flood channel to graze, so now the water can’t run because of the grass that’s growing,” he said.

    ”Each time it floods, the grass pulls up the sediment, gradually raising the level of the waterbed – it has got to be cleaned out.”

    (the emphasis is mine)

    This shows that there are no easy solutions. The remedial work involves activities which would add more sediment into to the waterway.

    “Sustainability” is a popular modern buzz-word but *reality* and *practicality* still rule supreme in the real world. When push comes to shove we ALL revert back to them.

  50. Dave Kennedy says:

    An interesting story, Tracey, is it better to have the water flowing or the water to be clean? We need cows to keep flood channels unblocked, good grief!

  51. TraceyS says:

    Not necessarily cows, Dave. We can always use machines…
    http://www.odt.co.nz/regions/north-otago/303146/work-flood-channels-begins

  52. TraceyS says:

    Dave can afford to scoff at the suggestion of grazing being beneficial but those of us with waterways to protect on our properties are directly faced with the practical dilemmas surrounding the various alternatives. As can be seen by this example there are wider public issues to consider as well. Rural people care deeply about that sort of thing.

    I wonder what ideas Diligent Dave can provide. Have flood channels regularly nuked with Roundup to keep them clear? Chemicals, at least, are “clean” compared to shit or dirt. On appearances anyway. Glyphosate is clear, contains no nitrogen, and decomposes to manganese, phosphoric acid, carbon dioxide and phosphate.

    But when it comes down to it I think I’d prefer animals over machines or chemicals – any day.

  53. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, you are actually serious when you share stuff like this aren’t you?

  54. TraceyS says:

    What are your suggestions Dave? How could problems like this be resolved?

    Please don’t provide a “link”. I want to hear your practical ideas.

  55. Mr E says:

    Dave seems naïve the a current best practice recommendations coming from our regional council staff is for strategic grazing of river banks.

    1) “I can already guess what will happen.” No you can’t guess what will happen. That is up to a committee which includes elected officials. I’d say nearly all on that committee are experts in their field. They have already proved your guess wrong by voluntarily reducing the concentration of Cd that fertilizer can contain. The suggestion that you know the future outcome of complex decisions by experts seems very arrogant.

    The ironic thing about your cadmium rant – Organic farmers have the worst potential to build up cadmium as some of the worst fertilisers are their only option to reduce Cd. The reduction in tolerance applied by the management committee has already affected one organic farmers I know.

    Fertilisers with the lowest levels of Cd are commonly used on conventional farmer such as DAP, widely used by dairy farmers and not available to organic.

    And you are wrong if you think nothing is happening – in July 2014 a tiered management system was adapted by the management group that limits the type of fertilizer that can be used according to Cd soil test and fertilizer application rates.

    2)When things become really desperate, even good farmers may take concerning shortcuts –

    Sadly I don’t share your contempt of farmers or concern that this is a sustainability issue. NEARLY ALL FARMERS will reduce inputs this year according to industry experts, and this will in my opinion smoother the unlikely suggestion that an increased number will get things wrong.

    3) “Bank erosion had a fairly minimal impact on the Waituna” – nonsense. Science says otherwise. Science says that 95% of sediment is from bank erosion. You appear to be a science denier.

    Whilst I admire farmers efforts, come back to me when you can quantify the impact that their efforts made, because I can quantify that the contribute less than 5% of sediment, so any efforts are likely to be insignificant in the scheme of things.

    “attacking dairying as a whole, which I rarely do”

    You attack dairying as a whole – shame on you. I guess at least you have admitted it, which is the first step in overcoming a problem.

    4) Dave your link does not hold the economic conclusion you portray, neither does it have the information to consider the alternative more environmentally sustainable. That is obvious.

  56. Paranormal says:

    Mr E – magnificent stuff and yet another demolition of the HP Green fanatic. I wonder why we bother pointing out the blinding obvious to him though as he never seems to take it on board, being right and wrapped in sanctimony as he is.

    DK thought he may have been wrong once, – but he was mistaken…. 🙂

  57. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, this thread started because I wanted to counter Ele’s rather extreme statement claiming opposition parties don’t appreciate farming. I have attended meetings where John Key has blatantly told farmers that if the Green Party got into government then we would destroy the industry. I have spent considerable time talking and trying to build relationships with those involved with farming at a local level to explain that the Green Party want a strong future for agriculture. This can only be achieved through collaboration with the industry (one of our principles is ‘appropriate decision making’ which means involving those most effected by any decision), making the industry more sustainable (a vision DairyNZ and most others actually share) and ensuring that our clean green brand is based on reality (because as a food producing country this is a vital image to ensure continued markets for our exports). The areas I voiced concern about were ones that threaten sustainability and there is ample support for each:

    1) High cadmium levels is an identified problem that is considered serious enough to set up working groups, have robust monitoring and make sure offal from animals grazing on land with high toxicity levels are destroyed. I identified that this is an issue that will limit sustainability if not managed well and you argue that I am ranting and it is a non issue. I think it remains an issue until it is no longer a threat, it may be a problem that is being managed, but the fact is that it is still an identified problem and careful management is needed.

    2) I had a link to a quote from the New Zealand and Asia dairy research director for Robobank who claimed that New Zealand dairying is no longer pasture based as farms intensify. The fact that our production now has to be supported by imported feed means that we no longer have the cheapest production costs and we have lost a competitive edge. I attempted to explain how cows in large intensively farmed herds (all statistics show that cow herds are growing and farms are becoming more intensive) tend to have shorter productive lives. If we have to import large quantities of feed and our cows are often stressed (this varies across farms) then this is not a sustainable situation. Your line of argument that I am accusing all farmers of making bad choices is nonsense and an attempt to shift attention from my substantive concern which is obviously shared by those who have concerns about the economic viability of dairying if we shift too far from pasture based farming.

    3) You seem to be fixated by this bank erosion business as a cause for the high levels of sediment carried in our waterways. Surely if streams etc were well fenced from stock and riparian planting existed a good amount of the bank erosion wouldn’t occur. You also need to factor in the fact that after heavy rain Environment Southland generally warn people to stay out of rivers because of the high levels of pollutants from farm runoff. http://www.es.govt.nz/media/36250/bathing_and_shellfish_web.pdf

    4) This point about unsustainable stocking levels is covered by number two, because the more intensively we stock the less able we can sustainably feed a herd from what can be produced on the farm.

    We seem to have an acceptance of my concerns about being associated with GE seed and the environmental and corporate threats that could result and the need for robust biosecurity.

  58. Mr E says:

    “this thread started because I wanted to counter Ele’s rather extreme statement claiming opposition parties don’t appreciate farming”

    And in my opinion, all you have done is proven Ele correct.

    “I have attended meetings where John Key has blatantly told farmers that if the Green Party got into government then we would destroy the industry”

    I concur with John. And you willingness to slate standard farm practices, based on what seems to me, a relatively poor understanding, appears to be pretty good evidence of the likelihood.

    “trying to build relationships”
    I’d expect comments here like you have made about Russell McPherson and about farming in general wont help your relationship building. I doubt you are serious about relationship building.

    “collaboration with the industry”
    Collaboration with Agriculture and the Greens? Perhaps you could team up with the Feds – those GE promoting villans. Perhaps you could collaborate with the Fertiliser companies – those heavy metal polluting villans. Perhaps you could collaborate with Dairy Farmers those intensifying cow killing PKE useing, cadmium polluting, nutrient polluting villans. Perhaps you could collaborate with PGGwrightsons after you wrongly accused them of creating and releasing GE material.

    Me thinks ‘collaboration not’. You don’t appear to understand the first step of collaboration. Maintain a good relationship.

    1) “High cadmium levels is an identified problem” – Not according to MPI, Balance, Ravensdown, Fertiliser association, and the Cadmium Working Group.
    It is a carefully managed mineral, of little threat.
    But I doubt you can see that over the sound of your own drum. Or the difficulty to advert ones eyes from the horizon due to the threat of a falling sky.

    2) “I had a link to a quote from the New Zealand and Asia dairy research director for Robobank who claimed that New Zealand dairying is no longer pasture based as farms intensify”

    That is another stupid statement.

    Roughly 1.6Million hectares of NZ is under dairy farming – Conservatively if they produce 12tonnes of grass (DM) per hectare that is 19,200,000,000kg of feed. Compared to your 850,000,000kg of PKE (DM). Less than 4% of feeding is PKE. We are still pasture based.

    “I attempted to explain how cows in large intensively farmed herds (all statistics show that cow herds are growing and farms are becoming more intensive) tend to have shorter productive lives”

    Sadly you have failed to prove an inverse relationship with nutrition or PKE. It is likely that the opposite occurs.

    3) You seem to be fixated by this bank erosion business as a cause for the high levels of sediment carried in our waterways.

    Umm- it is responsible for 95% of sediment in the Waituna – fixation is sensible, rather than bashing farmers who are largely not responsible for the issue.
    Eyes off the horizon and on the issue, and all of that Dave.

    “You also need to factor in the fact that after heavy rain Environment Southland generally warn people to stay out of rivers.”

    Ecoli has been declining in Southland Rivers for well over 10 years Dave. Whilst the dairy boom has been occurring, by the way. How much of the Ecoli comes from farms is unknown. So blaming farmers is pretty scandalous in my opinion.
    Indeed the index for assessing bathing sites is fundamentally flawed and issue I have raised with the Ministry for the Enviroment.

    “This subjectivity means there are perhaps differences in interpretation across regions. In our efforts for continual improvement, the guidelines are to be reviewed and subjectivity will be given consideration”

    “We seem to have an acceptance of my concerns about being associated with GE seed”

    Yes if we agree that your accusation of commercial companies releasing GE seed in NZ is completely unfounded – based on some sour feelings you have for GE companies overseas. Then yes- I think we have some agreement.
    (I still think you should apologise to PGGwrightson for this smear, in the spirit of collaboration Dave, perhaps then I will consider an apology for a suggested comparison between you and Slater)

    “environmental and corporate threats”
    That was not discussed or agreed on. You appear to be spinning like a top.

    “the need for robust biosecurity”. Yes we agreed we are both now National supporters given their improvements in biosecurity.

  59. Mr E says:

    “Mr E – magnificent stuff” – Thanks Paranormal.

    “Mr E did challenge you on many issues and did so quite effectively in my opinion” Thanks Tracey

    A labour of love, I am sure you will agree.

  60. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E

    The angry abusive comments are not coming from myself and the fact that people within the industry are wanting to make ongoing contact with me (despite being not a farmer) means that my attempts at building positive relationships must be be working. You constantly use emotive language that imply that I think people in your industry are villains etc which is clearly not the case and I never use this language.

    You are just doing what Key attempts to do, create an image of the Greens as being farmer hating extremists out to destroy agriculture as we know it (he practically said this at a Federated Farmers AGM). This sort of stuff is just desperate spin and the more emotive the language the less credible you become.

    Where do I accuse PGGwrightsons of creating and releasing GE material? This is libelous stuff and does you no credit. I expect an apology from you for your blatant lie. Find the nonexistent quote where I say this and I will apologise and withdraw, if you can’t then I expect you to do the decent thing if you have any honour at all!

    Surely you are not so naive to believe that companies selling fertilizer and seed etc operate in a purely altruistic manner. They are all businesses that are dependent on making a profit and growing their market. This isn’t a criticism, its a fact. There will always be a conflict of interest when those who profit from the sale of a product are part of any managing group that is set up to limit the use of the same product. The alcohol industry shouldn’t determine the conditions of sale and casinos shouldn’t regulate gambling and we need Pharmac to manage the sales of prescription drugs. This is why independent analysis is so important and why I don’t always accept everything I am told as you appear to do.

    As dairy farms continue to intensify and herds grow (fact) there is a limit to pasture based farming as we have done previously. We are rapidly shifting to a hybrid system where we have a combination of housing and pasture like they do elsewhere in the world. The costs of housing and feed with this system are considerable greater than just using pasture and this was what the Robobank advisor was referring to. PKE is not the only supplementary food used, maize silage, grain etc are also used as supplement feed.
    http://www.massey.ac.nz/~flrc/workshops/14/Manuscripts/Paper_Pow_2014.pdf

    It is not possible to continue being a fully pasture based industry and manage the environmental consequences with the stock numbers we now have: http://keithwoodford.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/reworking-new-zealands-dairy-systems/

    “Yes we agreed we are both now National supporters given their improvements in biosecurity.” What a silly statement Mr E, I am a supporter of good biosecurity if National improves their previous woeful approach, all they are doing is meeting Green concerns.

    https://home.greens.org.nz/press-releases/mpi-pig-headed-about-biosecurity

  61. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    I said
    “Please list practices that concern you”

    You said
    “Shifting to genetically engineered plants will be problematic (swedes).”

    I said
    “If you are referring to HT swedes, under current controversy, it is not GE”

    You said
    “There is some doubt about the origins of HT swedes and the claims that they do not have GE origins haven’t been convincingly answered”

    I said
    “Who doubts or where is this doubt? Is it just you Dave?”

    You said
    “it was just conjecture on my part because the responses about the origins haven’t been that convincing to me”

    PGGwrightson bred, own the rights to and distributed HT swedes.
    Own your statements Dave – for goodness sake.

    “Surely you are not so naive to believe that companies selling fertilizer and seed etc operate in a purely altruistic manner”

    Surely you are not so naive to believe that companies selling fertilizer and seed etc operate in a manner that will eventually destroy their future? Particularly when the manner is governed to a large degree by elected officials.

    “As dairy farms continue to intensify and herds grow (fact)”
    Not a fact Dave – unless your predictions are fact .

    “We are rapidly shifting ”
    no we ARE not – you are making predictions again. We have been slowly and to a small percentage, doesn’t mean we still ARE.

    “PKE is not the only supplementary food used, maize silage, grain etc are also used as supplement feed.” Do you have issue with those other supplements too?

    “It is not possible to continue being a fully pasture based industry and manage the environmental consequences with the stock numbers we now have”
    Prof Woodford says this-
    “It does not matter what is done in terms of reduced stocking rate or reduced fertiliser or different grasses”

    Another one of those links that you probably shouldn’t have provided. It has stuffed your argument again. Keith says stocking rate is not important.

    “What a silly statement Mr E, I am a supporter of good biosecurity if National improves their previous woeful approach, all they are doing is meeting Green concerns.”

    So you support Greens concerns – a need to improve biosecurity, National makes improvements which you agree with – meeting those Green Concerns – That is not support? How bizarre. How silly of me to think it was. What was I thinking!

  62. Dave Kennedy says:

    I thought so, Mr E, no honour. The PPGWrightson statement doesn’t exist, just a concern from about the downside of HT swedes and their origins that even you haven’t been able to answer. Judging by your line of argument I will expect no apology, however the more you make baseless claims like this, the weaker your argument.

    “Surely you are not so naive to believe that companies selling fertilizer and seed etc operate in a manner that will eventually destroy their future?”

    We are talking about complex situations that can’t be responded to so simplistically. What is a positive commercial future for one company does not necessarily mean all will benefit from their success. Tobacco is an extreme example of where a company profits from the misery of others and tobacco companies profit from the dependency and addiction of their customers. Monsanto operates in a similar way and by patenting seed and building dependency through monopolizing supply, they move from a supporting role to a controlling one. I sincerely hope that New Zealand farmers never get trapped into a relationship with the likes of Monsanto.

    If there were less toxic alternatives to superphosphate would the phosphate industry encourage a shift to their use instead of their own product? Or would they keep promoting the use of the product as long as toxicity levels don’t get too extreme while they work on how to extend the life of their industry?

    My issue with supplementary feed is mainly that the more that is needed, the less sustainable the industry. In the US protein production has become extremely inefficient by focussing much crop production to feeding cattle. The inputs required to produce a single hamburger is now ridiculous and we need to be careful we don’t follow a similar unsustainable path to produce a litre of milk.
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/06/27/155527365/visualizing-a-nation-of-meat-eaters

    Mr E, it is you who didn’t read Prof Woodford properly, he totally supports my concerns regarding the sustainability of pasture based farming based on current stock numbers. Taking sentences out of context appears to be your stock in trade. Here is the context:

    The New Zealand dairy industry has always prided itself as being different. Whereas most other countries developed their dairy industries based on the housing of cows for much or all of the year, the New Zealand industry has always been pasture-based. The cows harvest the grass themselves, the cost of production has been low, and the image was of ‘clean and green’.

    Alas, we now know the image of ‘clean and green’ was never quite true. Although a huge amount has been done to clean up the industry, with fencing of waterways, nutrient budgets and meticulous management of effluent from the milking shed, there is a fundamental problem still to be tackled. This fundamental problem is the concentration of nitrogen in the urine patches which grazing cows leave behind.

    The dominant belief amongst scientists is that when a cow urinates she deposits nitrogen in the urine patch at up to 1000 kg per ha. Not all of my animal scientist colleagues are convinced about this specific number, but regardless of the exact amount, it is inevitable that there will be significant nitrogen leaching from urine patches deposited in autumn and winter.

    It does not matter what is done in terms of reduced stocking rate or reduced fertiliser or different grasses. (this is your quote) As long as the cows are grazing the paddocks in autumn and winter, then there is going to be significant loss of nitrogen into waterways and underground aquifers.

    Prof Woodford goes on to describe the growing use of winter housing etc.

    Mr E, innuendo, blatant lies, misquoting, lifting quotes out of context, personal abuse, wild accusations and ignoring the substantive argument by picking on side issues are not doing your argument any favours.

  63. Mr E says:

    Good grief Dave,

    “Shifting to genetically engineered plants will be problematic (swedes).”
    And upon my questioning you confirmed you were referring to HT swedes, a brand owned, bred and distributed by PGGwrightson . Unless I am wrong, you absolutely have claimed a GE conspiracy in New Zealand. At the heart of if, HT swedes, according to your own statements.

    Telling me I have no honor, after the stones you have thrown in this thread, and the honorable defense I have presented, I am lost for words. Bare minimum I am embarrassed for you.

    Please state where I have done the following:
    “Blatant lies”
    “wild accusations”
    ‘misquoted’
    “personal abuse”

    I currently careless about the discussion regarding feed PKE and GE and am focused on the accusations you have slated against me.

  64. Paranormal says:

    DK “innuendo, blatant lies, misquoting, lifting quotes out of context, personal abuse, wild accusations and ignoring the substantive argument by picking on side issues” pretty much summarises your contribution to discussion here. Particularly when you are called out on your greenwash.

  65. Mr E says:

    Thanks for your support Paranormal.

  66. TraceyS says:

    Robobank”?

    Hehe.

    An unfortunate error.

  67. TraceyS says:

    No need for thanks, Mr E. What goes around comes around.

    “A labour of love, I am sure you will agree.”

    Absolutely.

  68. TraceyS says:

    To claim someone has no honour because they simply differ on opinion or detail is…dishonouring them I think.

    Now we should take a moment to stop and think about what moves Dave to do that to Mr E.

  69. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, I don’t think you understand the meaning of Green wash and I’ll give you a little challenge, find convincing examples of all the things that you claimed I did. I have challenged Mr E on all the things that I listed on this thread, now it’s your turn to show where I have done the same, it’s easy to make the accusations you need to back them up 😉

    Tracey, well done you found an error, I made a typo 😉

  70. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, yep you are wrong I never accused PGGWrightson of anything, stop digging!

  71. TraceyS says:

    “…I made a typo”

    Twice in a row, so I thought you had the spelling of it wrong.

  72. Dave Kennedy says:

    And Mr E, just read through the thread again and see where I have already challenged you on lying, innuendo etc, it’s tiresome to go through it all again.

    You could at least explain your misrepresentation of Woodford:
    “Keith says stocking rate is not important.” I would love to see you explain yourself out of that one 😉

  73. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    PGGwrightsons are the undisputed co creators of HT swedes- like it or not, you have implicated them in your conspiracy.

    I can’t believe you still think you are onto something with Keith’s article. I’ll deal with the article once we clear the air regarding your accusations.

    Your accusation that I am a dishonourable, lying, abusive person is serious one don’t you think?

  74. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, you win, I got it right the first time and got it wrong the next and I did point out spelling errors from others, so I deserved having it pointed out 😛

  75. Mr E says:

    “Now we should take a moment to stop and think about what moves Dave to do that to Mr E.”

    I’d be interested in your view Tracey.

    I have also noted that Dave has accused me of being a dishonourable, lying, abusive person.

    When asked to qualify those accusations “it’s tiresome to go through it all again. ”

    Fascinating.

  76. Dave Kennedy says:

    “do you support a crowd of tin foil hat wearing wizards?” What?

    “I am not talking about a waffle with the local drain layer.” A very damning statement about drain layers.

    “PGGwrightsons are the undisputed co creators of HT swedes- like it or not, you have implicated them in your conspiracy.”
    What conspiracy? the fact that you keep saying this and not apologizing for the misrepresentation and libelous statement is proof of your dishonorable behaviour.

    “Then you seem to blame farmers for bio security.” Where?

    “Your scant knowledge of farming” Interestingly in a much earlier conversation you actually praised me for being well informed and knowledgeable and the fact that you have only responded to a fraction of links to supporting articles and research is telling.

    “That is another stupid statement.” The statement came from a Rabobank agricultural advisor, so they are stupid?

    “I don’t share your contempt of farmers” what on earth do base this bizarre and damning statement on?

    “Yet you publicly bash the industry” By repeating and linking to articles and statements from within the industry, really?

    “And you have criticised standard practices suggesting they are unacceptable. Using some of the most limp arguements, I think, have ever been presented in the home paddock.” And yet you haven’t commented on my Dairy NZ sustainability strategy that I used to support my argument and totally misrepresented Woodford’s article. Are both of these limp?

    “PKE is a really good product to feed cows” An exaggeration,in reality PKE is variable in quality and cannot replace good pasture:
    http://www.dairynz.co.nz/feed/supplements/supplement-types/palm-kernel-extract-pke/

    “I think Politicians should be a lot more careful with NZs reputation that you have shown here Dave. Very very unpatriotic in my opinion.”
    Good grief, you will be claiming treason next 😛

  77. Dave Kennedy says:

    I also do note Mr E that most of the questions and challenges I have put to you through this thread, you haven’t addressed and you have been very selective in the ones you have responded to 😉

  78. Mr E says:

    Please be specific Dave,
    Where is the dishonour, abuse and lying?

  79. Dave Kennedy says:

    Narrowed to three 😉

    It is dishonorable to make serious accusations that have have little foundation: my contempt of farmers, my supposed conspiracy theory and nonexistent accusation against PGGWrightson, my unpatriotic behaviour and me single handedly damaging our markets by spreading un truthful information. These are very emotive and very calculated to discredit me.

    It is also abusive to accuse people of things they never did and to suggest stupidity, disgraceful behaviour, being unpatriotic and ranting.

    As for the lying, you know full well that many of the things you have accused me of are untrue and you are only saying them to distract attention from the substantive argument.

    Now that I have tried to answer (or ‘address’ as the Speaker of the House would expect) nearly every question or challenge you have put to me, how about you go back and address the many i have put to you but you have chosen to ignore 😉

  80. Mr E says:

    It is as I thought. You have nothing.

    Ill break it into small chunks to explain.

    “It is dishonorable to make serious accusations that have have little foundation”

    So there is foundation to my accusations – almost within seconds you undermine your argument.

    “my contempt of farmers,”
    You said this yourself
    “attacking dairying as a whole, which I rarely do”

    Are you telling me that when you attack dairying as a whole it is not out of contempt, it must be out of respect – HAHAHAHA!!!!

    ” my supposed conspiracy theory and nonexistent accusation against PGGWrightson, ”

    Do I need to keep repeating the conversation and statements? It is clear as day to me and I expect to readers. I am happy to let readers judge as they will. Although it is a grim reminder to me of what politics can be all about. I take that back and apologise. Some politicians aren’t about that.

    “my unpatriotic behaviour and me single handedly damaging our markets by spreading un truthful information. ”

    Where did I suggest untruthfulness? Wrong is not necessarily dishonest. Show me where I have accused you of dishonesty.

    “These are very emotive and very calculated to discredit me.”

    I call a spade a spade. If I disagree with you and provide evidence, it is discrediting you in a calculating way – Cry me a river Dave. A politician that appears sensitive to disagreements. Wow.

    “It is also abusive to accuse people of things they never did and to suggest stupidity, disgraceful behaviour, being unpatriotic and ranting.”

    I’ve never called you stupid or disgraceful or unpatriotic Dave, but I have called some of your arguments and statements stupid, disgraceful and unpatriotic. There is a big difference between labelling someone verses their actions. I think you will find, in each case, I have referred to your statements or arguments. That is not abusive – it is disagreement. If you want people to agree with each of your statements perhaps your should create a blog and restrict access, create an echo chamber, so to speak – wait a minute!

    My summary is that you have accused me of personal abuse, dishonesty, and dishonour. I have achieved none of those things. All I have achieved is disagreeing with you Dave. Seemingly the most sensitive politician I have ever debated with.

  81. TraceyS says:

    Dave Kennedy says:

    “Tracey, you win, I got it right the first time and got it wrong the next and I did point out spelling errors from others, so I deserved having it pointed out”

    So you won’t mind me pointing out that you did use “Robobank” twice in a row – at 10.36am and 1.06pm.

    For the sake of clarity and to save any daft claims, I am pointing out your mistake, not calling you a liar.

    Now, from your statement above, I deduce that you accept you should take what you give (on that we agree). Not so long ago you stated that I “support the exploitation of workers” (this was based on my voting choice in the General Election).

    From this you did not back down, ie. you stood by the claim in spite of having no information on which to base that statement and being given ample opportunity to rethink things and retract it.

    I understand why, totally. You went too far and then were scared to admit you were wrong because you didn’t trust my next move.

    There’s the answer to your curiosity at 8:27pm, Mr E. Dug a hole too deep before realising what would have to be done to get out. So stay in hole and try and pull others (you this time) in for company.

    I’m not sure why some people do this. Admitting a mistake, or an exaggeration, is much easier. Humility is not a character flaw.

  82. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, I am happy to admit to a couple of spelling errors and i do often make typos here as well. However I won’t back down on my claim that you support the exploitation of workers if you voted for National. I do believe that they are going to make meal breaks optional and allow employers to step away from collective bargaining. They have already allowed pay rates to slip behind productivity gains and almost 50% of workers got no pay rise last year. It’s diabolical. This is what you voted for. This is your hole I’m afraid 😦

  83. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, you are very clever, you have created a lot of distraction about stuff and nonsense and i do declare that you are probably much more sensitive than I when going to such detail to explain yourself 😉

    But there are all the challenges and questions that you have cleverly avoided and left hanging unanswered….

    Just read the sustainability strategy and the good prof properly then ask yourself is the dairy industry sustainable if it continues as it is?

    Try swimming in your nearest river immediately after a heavy rain.

    Have a check of the latest dairy prices.

    Take note of the number of herd homes being built in Southland.

    Have a chat to the past president of Federated Farmers about sustainable stocking.

    Eat an oyster or two and think of me 😉

  84. Dave Kennedy says:

    You can also all wonder why I am responding at 3 am in the morning too 😉

  85. Paranormal says:

    DK you really need to get some perspective.

    As for your request to yet again show your failings – i suggest you reread this thread and others where you have been repeatedly called out on your green tinged BS.

    Here’s the list again for ease of reference:
    “innuendo, blatant lies, misquoting, lifting quotes out of context, personal abuse, wild accusations and ignoring the substantive argument by picking on side issues”

    Just have a look at the post on retirement villages where i yet again pointed out your complete lack of knowledge on commercial matters. Then again the leaky building post was another. Or go way back to the first time i wasted my time following your links to find they didn’t say what you said they did. That was when i pulled you up on the greenwash you were spouting about deep sea drilling. All of those contain the full range of your specialty – innuendo, blatant lies, misquoting etc.

    It’s almost as if you have obtained a ‘not achieved’ in reading comprehension. Whether that is deliberate or inadvertent i guess we’ll never know.

  86. TraceyS says:

    “However I won’t back down on my claim that you support the exploitation of workers…”

    I’m sorry Dave, but the examples you gave are not “exploitation of workers”. Changes to tea breaks, collective bargaining, and not getting a pay rise every year are not examples of “exploitation”.

    Here’s why I think that way, taking tea breaks as an example. Prior to 2008 there was no legislated requirement but employers did it anyway. From the Department of Labour:

    “Few employers had to make changes to employees’ breaks as breaks that met or exceeded the minimum set out in the Act were reported to be widely in place prior to the amendment.”

    Prior to the amendment! How did this happen without the law telling employers what to do? Could employers…..possibly…..have an ounce of common sense between them? Surely not! Banish that thought.

    Health and safety legislation is sufficient to require employers to ensure that employees are not overworked. Most employers live in fear of not taking “all practicable steps” and if an accident happens and a worker has been disallowed breaks for an unreasonable period of time then this is probably going to be seen by the authorities as not taking all practicable steps to prevent harm. We do not need another, impractical, piece of law which appears to assume all workers are based in offices.

    I wrote a tea break clause the other day. It was impossible to comply strictly with the legislative requirements in our business. I did my best to write a fair clause that worked. If you think that’s exploitation then you need to grow up!

    Did you accuse your National Party rival in Invercargill electorate of supporting worker exploitation during the election campaign? If not, why are you prepared to do it to me?

    Will you make that accusation publicly when the amendment passes? Bet you won’t because it won’t do your popularity any good as it has not done here.

  87. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal the generally accepted meaning of ‘greenwash’ is when a business promotes a product as being green when it isn’t or greatly exaggerates its green credentials. I don’t think that term applies to me.

    It does seem to annoy people here but I generally like to use references and links to show support for my ideas and what i find happens is that I am more likely to have my own character questioned rather than my supporting material and it is interesting how people have responded.

    Mr E has accused me of damaging overseas markets and attacking farmers by suggesting that dairying is not yet operating sustainably. I would have thought the fact that both DairyNZ and Fonterra accept this and DairyNZ even has a sustainability strategy to work towards sustainable practices supports my claim.

    I also said that many farms are carrying more stock than can be what can be sustainably supported on the farm was an issue. The evidence I used to support this was the growth in herd numbers, Prof Woodford’s article and ex Fed President Bruce Wills’ concerns. Mr E quoted the prof out of context and hasn’t responded to my questions about this and Gravedodger claimed that Bruce Wills doesn’t know what he is talking about. It is widely accepted that New Zealand is moving away from pasture based farming and using more supplementary feed and herd homes and the Rabobank advisor was one of many who are voicing concern because we are losing a competitive edge by raising the level of inputs required on our farms.

    I voiced concern at the use HT crops and potentially GE crops becoming used in NZ because of the increased use of herbicide that will be used and the worry of allowing the likes of Monsanto into the country. These are real concerns and no conspiracy theory as Mr E suggested. The libelous and hysterical comments from Mr E in response were extraordinary. I am still waiting for an explanation on how HT crops can be developed without some form of genetic engineering, it may be possible but because most do come out of some form of GE I thought the question was reasonable. Rather than the question being addressed I am attacked instead, this would make anyone think that something dodgy must be happening rather than a reasonable explanation.

    Your questioning of my understanding of profit in relation to rest homes didn’t discount my key argument about the unreasonably low pay and poor conditions that rest home workers endure. The profits recorded by Ryman Health could easily support the better training and wages their staff need.

    As for deep sea drilling, you only have to look at the difficulties Shell is having in the Arctic to cause concerns at what may happen in the Great South Basin. There is the real possibility that this Government’s subsidising of a sunset industry (many investors are getting our of oil) will end in tears like Solid Energy’s mad lignite schemes. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/22/rockefeller-heirs-divest-fossil-fuels-climate-change

    85 comments on this thread and five people desperately attacking me, I’m flattered to warrant so much attention and such desperate attempts to counter what i am saying.

    Mr E considers what he is doing as a labour of love, presumably defending the good name of farming from a dangerous ignorant Green (I am guessing that is what he is thinking).

    As for the Greens we want a healthy strong farming sector that isn’t reliant on high levels of imports, that is sustainably managed so that our rivers can flow clean and we gain a global reputation for clean green produce based on reality rather than spin. I don’t buy the argument that we are already farming sustainably and our rivers are clean and that we can’t do much better than we are.

    To achieve this the Greens want much more spent on R & D, we would like to add value to our raw commodities so that farmers can earn more without having to resort to producing quantity rather than quality and we would like to progress this in collaboration with the sector (where the knowledge and examples of what can be done already largely exists).

  88. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, there has been a steady erosion of workers rights over time to the extent that many workers now (through casualisation) have no certainty of hours or income any more. Median wages have not kept up with living costs and the fact that we need to subsidise wages through Working For Families is a concern. This Government claims that getting people into work will lift them out of poverty but this is clearly not true with current wages. Invercargill proves this point. We have less than 5% unemployment so should not have a poverty problem and yet out of 29 schools 6 are decile two and 5 are decile three. To get those decile classifications households must be on low incomes where they struggle to meet basic needs, rely on some state support and overcrowded housing is common. We have less than 5% unemployment and yet 30% of our families are seriously struggling to live on their incomes. The local salvation Army are giving out more and more food parcels to working families.

    We have virtually no middle deciles in Invercargill (there is not one decile 6 or 7 school in our city) but we have lots of decile 8, 9 and 10 schools. Workers are being exploited under this government, the recession effectively ended in 2011 here but the trickle down to workers wages has not happened, the growth in wealth is being captured at the top. Our wealthy get taxed less than in Australia and our poor get taxed far more.

    You may not have intentionally voted for this, but the reality is that you did and over the next three years things are only going to get worse for many of our kids (285,000 living in poverty and growing).

  89. Dave Kennedy says:

    Oh, by the way the median income in Invercargill according to the last census is $22,000. 50% of us earn this or less. Only 14% of invercargill earn more that $50,000. As you can imagine if you are on an income of $22,000 or less trying to heat an older home in Winter here is very expensive, spending up to $5,000 a year on electricity isn’t uncommon and yet that is around 25% of the annual median wage. I was recently told of a family who had their power cut off and couldn’t afford to get connected again and lived for 7 months with no power and cooked on their BBQ.

  90. Paranormal says:

    DK – Greennwash suits you down to the ground: From Investopedia –
    DEFINITION of ‘Greenwashing’

    When a company, government or other group promotes green-based environmental initiatives or images but actually operates in a way that is damaging to the environment or in an opposite manner to the goal of the announced initiatives. This can also include misleading customers about the environmental benefits of a product through misleading advertising and unsubstantiated claims.

    You use links to back up your argument, but when those links are followed they are generally found to not say what you want them to say. Your links in the post on the risks of deep sea oil research actually said the opposite of what you said they did.

    The fact you don’t get the profit issue at Ryman Health and are still banging on your drum that doesn’t exist seems to match your use of “innuendo, blatant lies, misquoting, lifting quotes out of context, personal abuse, wild accusations and ignoring the substantive argument by picking on side issues”

    Have you stopped to consider that at 85 comments this could be considered sport?

  91. Paranormal says:

    BTW it’s not the governments fault what people in Invercargill earn. I suggest you refer to Bob Jones for what will help them: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/bob-jones/news/article.cfm?a_id=250&objectid=11341758

    I was in Invercargill weekend before last and the workers that served me seemed very happy.

  92. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, I admit that I am not perfect but I disagree about the quality of my links overall and the the proof is in this thread where few have been challenged and if they have it has been done very ineptly.

    Paranormal the example you provide are very telling, you obviously didn’t read the comments after Bob Jones’s piece to learn what the majority who read it thought 😉

    “I was in Invercargill weekend before last and the workers that served me seemed very happy.”

    Yep that pretty much sums up the sort of robust evidence that most of you rely on. Try speaking to anyone involved in aged care, teacher aids, hospital kitchens, many dairy farm workers… Also have a look at my statistics again and work out what it would take to support a family on $22,000.

  93. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal it is the Government (both Labour and National admittedly) who are subsidising wages through working for families (costing us around $2-3 billion a year) and keeping the minimum wage at well below a living wage. National also reintroduced the youth rate which effectively dropped the median wage too.

  94. TraceyS says:

    “85 comments on this thread and five people desperately attacking me”

    *disagreeing* with you. And behaving in no worse a manner than you behave yourself.

  95. TraceyS says:

    “…getting people into work will lift them out of poverty but this is clearly not true with current wages. Invercargill proves this point”

    What point did Invercargill prove at the General Election? The point that they preferred the National Party over Labour and Greens (combined) by a margin of nearly 6,000 votes.

    That must be a very sore point indeed.

    You need to rethink things, Dave. You have just called nearly half of all voters in the Invercargill electorate “supporters of worker exploitation”.

    Retract now or your political career might be very short.

  96. TraceyS says:

    Dave, unless you think all 16,880 National voters in Invercargill are employers, you have claimed that a fair number of workers are responsible for their own exploitation by the way they voted.

    This is appalling. It repulses me to be quite honest because I believe in the human right to hold political opinion without discrimination. Claiming that workers voluntarily support their own exploitation is hideous in my view.

  97. Paranormal says:

    DK, yet again you prove my point. Greenwash to the max.

    At the risk of falling for your threadjack :-

    As you consistently prove statistics without context are the next best thing to lies and disinformation. How many of those students that pump up the Invercargill economy, doing part time work, are included in the income stats to reduce the median?

    You even contradict your own statistics when you point out the obvious (well it was so obvious I didn’t bother previously) – people aren’t supporting a family on $22k per annum.

    The fact the left don’t like Bob Jones comments doesn’t mean the comments aren’t accurate or factual. And as Tracey points out, probably why those in Invercargill chose National over the reds.

    Also to assist you from Collins English dictionary: humour (ˈhjuːmə) or humor
    n
    1. the quality of being funny
    2. Also called: sense of humour the ability to appreciate or express that which is humorous
    3. situations, speech, or writings that are thought to be humorous
    4.
    a. a state of mind; temper; mood
    b. (in combination): ill humour; good humour.
    5. temperament or disposition
    6. a caprice or whim
    7. (Physiology) any of various fluids in the body, esp the aqueous humour and vitreous humour
    8. (Physiology) Also called: cardinal humour any of the four bodily fluids (blood, phlegm, choler or yellow bile, melancholy or black bile) formerly thought to determine emotional and physical disposition
    9. out of humour in a bad mood
    vb (tr)
    10. to attempt to gratify; indulge: he humoured the boy’s whims.
    11. to adapt oneself to: to humour someone’s fantasies.

    You should try to breath through your nose more and try to get some perspective.

  98. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, if you look at the census data for Invercargill you will find that only 14% of us earned more than $50,000. You are right about the statistics including students and it will also include beneficiaries too but the living wage is set at around $39,000 and I would say most wage earners would struggle to earn that. A woman I know who works in home support was only able to earn $14,000 last year, most teacher aids would earn around $15,000 and those who are in casual jobs that are on call would struggle to break $15,000 too. All these people are considered to be employed and many may have dependent children. According to Roy Morgan about 11% of the workforce are underemployed, meaning that they are actively looking for more work.

    I think you will be surprised at what young families have to live on, they do tend to be the poorest households, they will get Working for Families.

    Looking at New Zealand as a whole and including incomes from all sources the median weekly income is $600 a week or $32,100 a year. Again the living wage is around $39,000, so more than half of us don’t receive an income that is easy to live on.

    If we look at wage and salary earners it does increase to $863 a week or $44,800 a year. The median for wage earners is only $5,800 more than the living wage but over 25% of workers will probably earn less than $30,000 and this again is supported by the decile ranking of school communities in Invercargill where 11 out of 29 schools were decile 3 or less.

  99. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Claiming that workers voluntarily support their own exploitation is hideous in my view.”

    Tracey, it is a hideous situation when people vote for their own exploitation but that is because they are not always well informed when they vote (this isn’t necessarily their fault as there wasn’t a lot on policy in the MSM). Also remember that around 1 million didn’t vote and a good number of them will be exploited workers too.

    You are also right about the importance of not being discriminated against because of your political persuasion, it happens a lot to us Greens. You will be aware that iI have to endure a lot of abuse here because of my beliefs, it’s shocking 😉

  100. Dave Kennedy says:

    Just to make 100 comments on this libel thread, I thought I’d ask Paranormal to summarize what he liked about Bob Jones’ article, what were the key points that impressed him?

  101. TraceyS says:

    “You are also right about the importance of not being discriminated against because of your political persuasion….I have to endure a lot of abuse here because of my beliefs, it’s shocking”

    Oh well, Dave, you have to put up with things as a politician (although I disagree that you experience “abuse” here. What you experience is vehement disagreement. If you feel abused by the process of people forthrightly expressing their position you should not come here).

    The general public in no way deserve to be called “supporters of exploitation” because of how they vote. That’s obscene. I don’t care if people vote for National because of the colour of a fine summer sky, or Labour because they like strawberries. If that is what is important to them then it is not for you or I to criticise – certainly not our place to abuse them with the disgusting connotations of terms like “exploiter”.

    It’s not my place to recommend against it. However, I don’t see people about to change their strong voicing of opinions just because it upsets you. One thing I suggest you could choose to do is re-read you comments before positing and ask yourself the question “Am I being a bit extreme?”. Yep – you are I reckon. You use words that are unreasonably strong in the circumstances and that’s why you get up people’s noses.

    Of course you are free to keep getting up people if want. But why whinge about it if it’s what you choose?

  102. TraceyS says:

    “It’s not my place to recommend against it” (you commenting here, I mean)

  103. JacknJill says:

    “You will be aware that iI have to endure a lot of abuse here because of my beliefs, it’s shocking ”
    “Just to make 100 comments on this libel thread”

    Mr Kennedy, please stop with the victim card.
    Up till now you just come across as an amusing idiot, full of your own brilliance on every conceivable subject.
    Now you are venturing into paranoia.
    Harden up petal.

  104. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, I do hope you note my smiley winking faces at the end of many of my comments, this means I am saying things with a smile and a twinkle in my eye. I know what I am saying here is extreme for this blog, talking about clean rivers, sustainable business and lifting children out of poverty is pretty radical stuff here but i hope some readers may be convinced of the truth behind it.

    Yes, voters do need to be told that they have voted for the exploitation of workers, otherwise they may do it again. Voting should be informed and this National Government have become skilled at blocking information getting out. They have stopped independent environmental reporting, they are trying to restrict what scientists can say, they have bullied teachers and principals who have question the professional sense behind education policy, through Cameron Slater they take out critics of the Governmentand when different interest groups ask for National Policy on issues important to them it is refused.

    Not only did many workers vote for a Government that allows the exploitation of workers but they voted for a Government that blocks access to information that will inform voters of their real record. No wonder our Ombudsmen are concerned at the treatment of schools and parents in Christchurch:
    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/12/ombudsman-exposes-dishonesty-and-poor.html

  105. TraceyS says:

    “I do hope you note my smiley winking faces at the end of many of my comments, this means I am saying things with a smile and a twinkle in my eye.”

    I don’t care what’s in your eye Dave and I ignore smileys when overused as you do

    The rest of your comment is gutter-talk and not worth responding to.

  106. Dave Kennedy says:

    Jacknjill, surely i don’t have to explain to you the meaning of a winking smiley face too 😉

    I am perfectly aware of how people behave on this blog as I have been commenting here for some time and have been called everything from a child molester to a dumbarse. I generally just let it roll over me, but occasionally point out that it actually doesn’t make for a an illuminating discussion. I can now add ‘amusing idiot’ to my list, thanks for that 😉

  107. Mr E says:

    When I do it – abuse and innuendo.
    When Dave does it – it is a twinkle.

    Shameless double standards.

    Apologies for my absence. Busy old day in the life of Mr E.

  108. Dave Kennedy says:

    I admit you’re not as bad as some Mr E, and you do try to rubbish the comments rather than the person (but it often means the same in the end). Try a smiley face at the end of your remarks it makes all the difference 😉

  109. TraceyS says:

    Blog comments don’t maketh the man Dave.

    But you have still a lot to learn.

    What were you up to Mr E?

  110. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    Are you so sensitive that you need a smiley face at the end of each statement? 🙂

    Let us dissect Eugene’s moronic stuff 🙂

    Eugene says:
    “ECan’s proposed plan variation for the Selwyn-Waihora catchment allows for a major increase in nitrate pollution in shallow groundwater – up to 8.5 mg/l of nitrate-nitrogen”

    11.3mg/l is the current drinking standard – although it has been debated that it should be higher by some and lower by others. The Selwyn river sits around 5.6mg/l in the lower catchment – Coes ford a frequented Mr E swimming spot in my younger days. Well 8.5 seems reasonable to me. I wonder what Eugene thinks? 🙂

    “It will allow nitrate levels to get too close to the unacceptable maximum for drinking water and prevent prompt remedial action such as changes in land use to reduce leaching.”

    Ummmm – No it won’t. 8.5 – safe as houses, according the standards.:)

    “Nitrate in drinking water can cause significant health effects including blue baby syndrome.”

    The sky is falling the sky is falling. 🙂

    “By allowing a high level of nitrate nitrogen pollution of groundwater in Variation 1, ECan is effectively implementing the National Government’s agenda.”

    It is also providing the Elected Councils agenda for dairy expansion. Oh democracy – such a tough thing on the Greens 🙂

    “ECan’s weak plan limits on nitrate pollution conveniently allow for a major expansion in dairying and intensive land use in the Selwyn-Waihora zone and don’t adequately protect its aquifers as the major source of drinking water. Once contaminated with high levels of nitrate-nitrogen, aquifers are almost impossible to clean-up.”

    Uh duh – this is about “shallow drinking water”. Shallow drinking water often has a rapid recharge and the quality can be rapidly modified. Take Southland for example. Water has rapid recharge meaning responses to behaviours can be quickly monitored.
    Not surprising to many – as dairying in the region has boomed, most water quality measurable significantly improved according to the ES SOE report. Even the Ecoli, a potential polluter of swimming sites. Its better with Dairy growth in the region.:)

  111. Mr E says:

    Tracey,
    My day went something like this:
    Feed myself – have a worker exploiting coffee
    Feed the pets – Such well loved animals.
    Inspect the lawn for potential organophosphate treatment
    Chat to the neighbour – a worker exploiter.
    Chat to an intensifying, phosphate using, polluting farmer, who exploits workers
    And another
    Go for a drive – spew out pollution.
    Spend some quality time with family.
    Get gifted lunch – cold lamb and quiche. The lamb, no doubt cadmium infected, but who can turn down a free lunch. Wince while eating as the cadmium goes down – smile and go “Nom Nom”
    Text a friend of mine – a PKE using cow killer, polluter and worker exploiter.
    Arrange the weekend activities, including potential killing of organic ‘pest(s)’
    Buy a vehicle – a polluting one
    Cook dinner – mince and risotto – Cadmium infected no doubt. Smile and “Nom Nom”
    Fix broken electronics – waste not, want not.
    Enjoy the labours of fixing broken electronics.
    Read a blog – shake my head.
    Retire satisfied with the days activities.

  112. Mr E says:

    Oh know – I forgot all the smileys!!!
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  113. Paranormal says:

    DK – the fact you cannot see the arrogance and ignorance displayed in this comment: “Tracey, it is a hideous situation when people vote for their own exploitation but that is because they are not always well informed when they vote” is a prime reason why you get roundly dumped on both here and in the election.

    Let me paraphrase – “if all those poor stupid people had only seen the true light of the Green Way….”

    As for Bob Jones talking sense – the fact of the matter is, if you want to earn more, you can’t expect a hand out from your employer you need to upskill yourself. Whether that is tertiary training, work experience or whatever. It’s works the same for everyone. The Greens and radical left are preaching dependency and expectation whereas the right believe in aspiration – no wonder the country moved that way.

    We’ve had this discussion before as well around productivity. Your Keynesian spend and hope approach is completely debased, but you still cling to it. You quote Ford paying his workers more lifting wages in the US, without understanding why or how it was possible for Ford to do that.

    Ultimately you prove again that you work in Greenwash. This drive to lift minimum wages and the ‘living wage’ whilst sounding emotionally caring will cause the opposite. There will be a corresponding loss in lower paid entry level jobs if your proposals were ever implemented.

    Next comes the facts of life. Whilst a lot of people, me included, enter the workforce at minimum wages, most move on to higher wages as experience and knowledge grows. Minimum wage jobs should only ever be treated as a stepping stone, not the end point you hold them out to be.

  114. Paranormal says:

    Mr E – excellent yet again. Thank you, you’ve brightened the morning.

  115. Mr E says:

    I no – oh know 🙂

  116. Mr E says:

    Thanks Para –
    I started the day in a funny mood. I’ve already laughed with a few mates. Or was it dishonourable abusing innuendo? I can’t decide.
    🙂

  117. Dave Kennedy says:

    Thanks Mr E, so much better imagining you smiling as you defend your patch, I was beginning to feel that you were getting a little tense.

    It looks like Green thinking is getting more support with we Greens achieving the highest ever polling result of 17.5%, only 2.5% less than National’s 20% in 2002. This was a large 7% leap for us since the election and National is down by 3.5%. Our membership has grown substantially too with a large number joining since the election.

    “It is also providing the Elected Councils agenda for dairy expansion. Oh democracy – such a tough thing on the Greens”

    Oh dear, Mr E, sadly Ecan is not an elected Council, democracy was removed again from the region until 2016.
    http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/debates/debates/50HansD_20130226_00000044/environment-canterbury-temporary-commissioners-and-improved

    It does appear that the National Government want to advance a particular agenda without public input and stopping the five yearly environmental reporting has meant that only independent voices of scientists like Mike Joy are able to reveal the truth behind what is happening to our rivers.

    “Ummmm – No it won’t. 8.5 – safe as houses, according the standards.:)”

    Really, I don’t think that i want anything to do with any house you’re associated with. 8.5 is hitting the maximum tolerated level and makes any water recording beyond this a ‘nitrate hotspot’ that needs to be monitored. Once 8.5 is reached it is very possible that quality could fluctuate above this. My alarm bells are ringing and so should yours.
    http://www.es.govt.nz/media/22464/groundwater-case-study-nitrates.pdf

    Paranormal, you do paraphrase abnormally (you need a name change) and put words in my mouth that I never actually said. I don’t think People who vote National are stupid, just ill-informed and it is always interesting how National are determined to keep it that way. National is one of the few parties that refuses to share its broader policies for those who ask for them. This has been happening for some time and yet they have secret agendas that should be publicly known. Introducing Charter Schools was always their intention and not ACT’s idea, it was a surprise to John Banks when included in their agreement. Lesley Longstone had already been appointed to lead the Education Ministry with her background of managing the introduction of Charter Schools in the UK (why else would she be appointed?).

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/election-2011/policies/14

    “The Greens and radical left are preaching dependency and expectation whereas the right believe in aspiration – no wonder the country moved that way.”

    I would love you to find evidence for this in our economic policies where aspiration abounds:
    https://www.greens.org.nz/policy/smarter-economy

    Matthew Hooton, hardly a lefty, voices concern in the NBR about the rising levels of corporate welfare that has occurred under this Government. Carbon credits are subsidized, the Hollywood film industry and oil industries have tax cuts, businesses have wages subsidized with Working for Families, the Dairy Industry has irrigation subsidized… This its a huge burden on taxpayers and means less can be spent on health and education. If we are talking about dependency perhaps we should look more broadly 😉

    One of the better investments wouldn’t be subsidizing businesses to do more of the same, but to invest more in R & D and innovation, which would be the Greens preference as you would have seen. This is much more aspirational and progressive.

    What did you think of our policy to encourage and support digital manufacturing?

  118. Paranormal says:

    I guess it depends on whether they were worker exploiters, class traitors, or the noble poor, or :-), or ;-), or 😦

    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 Thanks again for the chuckles.- the nows, no not knows, the noes have it, or do they? 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  119. TraceyS says:

    Thanks Mr E.

    Dave – how would you expect Mr E’s associates would react if he implied they support worker exploitation? I’m guessing they would never speak to him ever again.

    If you want to change things, you need open dialogue with those who have the real ability to make change happen. And that is people on the ground.

    Piss them off and you have got no hope at all. The fact that you are willing to piss off nearly 50% of voters in your electorate indicates to me that you already have no hope. And for that reason, people will not follow you.

  120. TraceyS says:

    One last gripe with you before I move on, Dave. You wrote:

    “Oh, by the way the median income in Invercargill according to the last census is $22,000”

    Oh! But this is not correct. And this is certainly not the first time that I have had to pull you up on your use of numbers. The Median Total Personal Income for Invercargill electorate from the 2013 Census is $28,600 (almost exactly the same as the National median). Furthermore, if you look at working aged-people (age 20 to 65) the median is $38,200. This is not family or household income. It is personal income.

    Those numbers quite clearly show that people are better off in work than on benefits.

    And they will also be better off in dual-earner households.

    🙂 seriously!

  121. Dave Kennedy says:

    I have a reply waiting on Ele to moderate (as it has one too many links I guess) sorry for the perceived lack of response 😛

    Paranormal you are getting really good with the smiley faces by the way They do say if you smile a lot it actually lifts you mood. You will be thinking so positively soon that you will be wanting to join the Greens 😉

    “If you want to change things, you need open dialogue with those who have the real ability to make change happen. And that is people on the ground.”

    Tracey, I totally agree with you and this is an important part of my philosophy and possibly why Green Party membership and support is growing.

    It is also important not to hide the truth and worker exploitation is a growing phenomenon in NZ.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/dairy/9447037/Survey-uncovers-underpaid-dairy-workers

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11221972

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/314356/migrant-workers-exploitation-fears

  122. Mr E says:

    Tracey,
    I’d never imply that or any of those other points, not only because I like having friends but because I simply don’t believe it.

    Dave’s attack of the actions of many many people, vilifies the majority.

    The term ‘environmental sustainability’ is unachievable in the form that so many environmentalists apply it. They consider it from an absolutist point of view, which always fails practical and possible point of view.

    Take Dave’s criticism that cadmium application is not sustainable. The only way to make it sustainable is to eliminate it 100%. With todays technology that means elimination Phosphate use almost completely. Without phosphate food production will fall through the floor. Food prices will go up. People will starve.

    Is starving people sustainable?

    No the practical thing to do is to manage cadmium. And in my opinion the Cadmium Management Group are doing that well. Admirably, I would say.

    Sitting at my desk I look around, everything I can see fails the environmental sustainability test. Everything.

    It is my opinion that the greens use negative view of the world to gain support. I think it is quite unpleasant.

  123. TraceyS says:

    No farming operation is sustainable by Dave’s criteria – not even organic farming. His comments indicate that “sustainable” to him means a closed system ie. no reliance on importation. Show me a modern farm that neither uses, nor necessitates the use of, significant quantities of oil derived inputs. Farming is, and will always be, highly dependent on imports and the importing practices of other countries. Why pick on PKE alone?

    If he was being honest with us, he would admit that his wish is to see a return to antiquity in respect of many land practices. If that is not his wish, he’s yet to wake up from his lovely dream. It is sad that some people will not face reality until their own belly rumbles. That is the greatest threat we face as a species – oh shit – where has all the food gone?

    “Sitting at my desk I look around, everything I can see fails the environmental sustainability test. Everything.”

    Unfortunately that is true.

  124. TraceyS says:

    “If you want to change things, you need open dialogue with those who have the real ability to make change happen. And that is people on the ground.”

    Tracey, I totally agree with you and this is an important part of my philosophy and possibly why Green Party membership and support is growing.

    Riiight – just not the Green vote….. 🙂

  125. Paranormal says:

    DK – interesting you keep smiling after every thorough spanking you receive. It’s as if you enjoy it….

  126. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E and Tracey, it is interesting how you attempt to exaggerate everything to the furthest extreme when talking about the Green concerns.

    We are actually discussing what should be tolerated levels of toxicity and pollution. I am sure both of you are not wanting to destroy the environment that you rely on but the fact of the matter is that we are pushing environmental tolerances beyond what can be sustained even in the short term.

    Mr E claims that current phosphate use is sustainable when it clearly isn’t, that is why working groups are needed to monitor cadmium levels and why regional councils are applying limits. Once those limits are reached, what is the strategy and what can replace phosphate on farms that have gone beyond those limits? If there was a viable alternative it would already be in use.

    Nitrogen levels are actually increasing in our rivers and ground water and it may take many years from now for the effects of past and current practices to reach aquifers in the same way that estuaries, lagoons and lakes can flip from a build up of nutrients and sediment over time, we have yet to fully realize the consequence of what we are doing now.

    http://www2.epa.gov/nutrientpollution/problem

    http://www.3news.co.nz/tvshows/campbelllive/a-bleak-future-for-new-zealands-waterways-2014052817

    I am actually very impressed with many of the advances in farm management. I spoke recently to someone involved with developing irrigation systems that continual monitor moisture levels so that a minimum of water is applied to maintain pasture growth and leaching of nutrients. There are lots of good things occurring.

    The big issue is that the growth of the industry and the increasing size of dairy herds has meant that advances in management are being negated by the growth of cow numbers. It would make much more sense to manage what we have before expanding further. It would also make much more sense to base the economic growth of the industry on added value than increasing quantity. While overall stock numbers have decreased one cow produces more waste than a sheep and cow numbers are steadily increasing.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/dairy/9522856/NZs-dairy-cattle-population-hits-6-6-million

  127. Dave Kennedy says:

    Thanks Mr E, so much better imagining you smiling as you defend your patch, I was beginning to feel that you were getting a little tense.

    It looks like Green thinking is getting more support with we Greens achieving the highest ever polling result of 17.5%, only 2.5% less than National’s 20% in 2002. This was a large 7% leap for us since the election and National is down by 3.5%. Our membership has grown substantially too with a large number joining since the election.

    “It is also providing the Elected Councils agenda for dairy expansion. Oh democracy – such a tough thing on the Greens”

    Oh dear, Mr E, sadly Ecan is not an elected Council, democracy was removed again from the region until 2016.

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/debates/debates/50HansD_20130226_00000044/environment-canterbury-temporary-commissioners-and-improved

    It does appear that the National Government want to advance a particular agenda without public input and stopping the five yearly environmental reporting has meant that only independent voices of scientists like Mike Joy are able to reveal the truth behind what is happening to our rivers.

    “Ummmm – No it won’t. 8.5 – safe as houses, according the standards.:)”

    Really, I don’t think that i want anything to do with any house you’re associated with. 8.5 is hitting the maximum tolerated level and makes any water recording beyond this a ‘nitrate hotspot’ that needs to be monitored. Once 8.5 is reached it is very possible that quality could fluctuate above this. My alarm bells are ringing and so should yours.

    http://www.es.govt.nz/media/22464/groundwater-case-study-nitrates.pdf

    Paranormal, you do paraphrase abnormally (you need a name change) and put words in my mouth that I never actually said. I don’t think People who vote National are stupid, just ill-informed and it is always interesting how National are determined to keep it that way. National is one of the few parties that refuses to share its broader policies for those who ask for them. This has been happening for some time and yet they have secret agendas that should be publicly known. Introducing Charter Schools was always their intention and not ACT’s idea, it was a surprise to John Banks when included in their agreement. Lesley Longstone had already been appointed to lead the Education Ministry with her background of managing the introduction of Charter Schools in the UK (why else would she be appointed?).

    “The Greens and radical left are preaching dependency and expectation whereas the right believe in aspiration – no wonder the country moved that way.”

    I would love you to find evidence for this in our economic policies where aspiration abounds:

    https://www.greens.org.nz/policy/smarter-economy

    Matthew Hooton, hardly a lefty, voices concern in the NBR about the rising levels of corporate welfare that has occurred under this Government. Carbon credits are subsidized, the Hollywood film industry and oil industries have tax cuts, businesses have wages subsidized with Working for Families, the Dairy Industry has irrigation subsidized… This its a huge burden on taxpayers and means less can be spent on health and education. If we are talking about dependency perhaps we should look more broadly 😉

    One of the better investments wouldn’t be subsidizing businesses to do more of the same, but to invest more in R & D and innovation, which would be the Greens preference as you would have seen. This is much more aspirational and progressive.

    What did you think of our policy to encourage and support digital manufacturing?

  128. Dave Kennedy says:

    I removed a link so that my previous comment can be seen

  129. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, I guess that it depends on what you call spanking, the term ‘wet bus ticket’ comes to mind 😉

  130. TraceyS says:

    Oh my you complain very loudly for someone being spanked with a wet bus ticket!

  131. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    Your theory that Cadmium is a problem and HT swedes are GE indicate your alarm bells don’t stop. They ring constantly. It must be deafening. 🙂

    Elected by elected. That’s a problem for you? Canterbury voted for status quo, commissioners. 🙂

    Funny to watch you studying the polls already. Funny. You don’t seen to have learned anything from the last poll. 🙂

  132. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, I say that there are issues that are unsustainable at current levels and possibilities that need more thought before engagement and you leap to conspiracy theories. I use links to local body and industry sites to support my case and you say I am attacking farmers expressing extreme views. It is you who are over-reacting and have the tinnitus problem. You have responded to few of my questions relating to the majority of the links I provided.

    “Canterbury voted for status quo, commissioners.”

    No they didn’t, read my link, it was legislated!

    It is clear that since the election many voters have realized what they voted for and there is a shift to the Green. What is your explanation?

    Tracey, me complaining, where? 🙂

    I just respond and debate stuff when I have the time.

  133. JacknJill says:

    “I just respond and debate stuff when I have the time.”
    No you don’t “debate stuff”
    You supply interminable links to other peoples opinion.
    Much like a school teacher would order “reading assignments”
    for primary age pupils.
    Oh wait………..

  134. Dave Kennedy says:

    JacknJill, 135 comments and six people enthusiastically trying to rubbish me, pretty good for a school teacher whose only skill is ordering reading assignments for primary students. At least the others do try to put forward a contrary point of view.

    Three comments, three putdowns, a Cameron Slater protege? 😉

  135. Mr E says:

    Dave claims cadmium in oysters, GE swedes, PKE kills cows, one poll a month after the election is a better reflection of people’s views, and I am the conspiracy theorist. Ha, ha, haaaaa!

  136. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E misrepresents and exaggerates to try and win arguments and refuses to answer questions and respond to challenges but instead focusses on side issues and distractions. A little like the Government he supports.

    Blatant link to own blog (apologies Ele): http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2014/10/secrets-lies-and-revelations.html

    😉

  137. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    You have sort to table the points you have raised as “side issues and distractions”

    Very well – tabled.

  138. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, I say that importing PKE is one example of how dairying is shifting from being pasture based, you translate this as me saying “PKE kills cows”, it is difficult to have an intelligent discussion with someone who continually misrepresents my arguments.

    I have noted that my last blog post has already had over 320 views (and rapidly growing) and I have had no one challenge (in the comments) my sources or thinking on this government’s blatant dishonesty.

    I link to Ele’s blog on mine and am brave enough to comment here to provide an alternative view. If I am so wrong in my thinking why do few people challenge me directly?

  139. Mr E says:

    “1 million tonnes a year of PKE isn’t a small amount and you have to admit that few dairy farms can claim that they are fully pasture based. Most cows just have a life of around five years now because they don’t get the minerals etc they need from their diet to live much longer. Many end up crippled from a lack of calcium.”

    Misrepresentation indeed. If you struggle with intelligent discussion, I suggest you stop trying to be intelligent.

    I don’t comment on your blog. Amongst the reasons why, is you block commentary from the likes of me, whereas Ele welcomes my type of access.

    I think you don’t get comparable comment numbers because you have blocked access by many, not because you lack controversy. I have seen other blogs rapidly decline when they do this (block access). You’ll no doubt have seen it too.

  140. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, more misrepresentation, Paranormal and others who have commented here comment on my blog and I would welcome you. I had to limit access to those who wanted to remain totally anonymous because I was plagued by commercial spammers for a while and at one stage had more views from Poland than anywhere else. I would be intrigued to know what stops you because if Paranormal and others who don’t always share my views can comment, so should you. If it is because you want no one to trace your comments back to your real identity then I can’t help you. Hit and run commenters lack credibility anyway.

    Your leap from my quote to claiming that I said PKE kills cows is the same as your accusation that I said PGGWrighston sells
    GE seed. Total misrepresentation.

    All the questions and challenges I put to you regarding my evidence are still hanging there unanswered.

  141. Gravedodger says:

    Ele put up a post that made absolute sense based on a farmer in Tanzania and his belief in the simple fact:
    “Growth in agriculture is more effective in reducing poverty than any other industry.”

    After nearly 150 comments over a third of them from a loser in the recent elections 4th candidate and 4th party vote behind in a contest a self styled political giant predicted as a win for one Dave Kennedy do you not think Dave, your take on matters primary production might have more resonance if you grudgingly accepted a view closer to the facts as Mr Peter Milembe of Nyandira Village sees them in his world that knows real poverty every day the sun comes up.
    Agriculture in Peter’s world struggles to provide for him and his immediate family without considering what it contributes to others, in his village, his district, his country, his continent.

    Of course in a perfect world some of the sustainability you have obsessed over, here in the last week will be addressed but what New Zealand Farmers do to contribute to the worlds consumables is possibly one of the most sustainable in the world.
    Of course a tall poppy chopping nimby with massive chips on both shoulders will find areas where criticism is an option but whether it is justified or fair, well that is another matter.

    DaveK where do you think the world will produce the means of covering the vast gap in what our world needs to just feed those poor bastards to the north of Peters village in the sub Sahara.
    Where will the wealth to sustain the comparatively rich bastards you comment about in poverty ( sorry I don’t agree) here in the country you seem to want to destroy as the way of life built by generations of farmers.

    So much of the absolute drivel you have spouted in this thread will result in a devastation of so much of the NZ productive sector should you and your acolytes gain sufficient political power to wreak your view of the world on a voting support base who have no idea as to the ramifications your view on primary production will entail.

    Those who have chosen to challenge your sometimes wonderfully exotic claims do so with a knowledge base formed from years of coalface activity where more educated minds might place inputs as ideas and research based protocols into the system as trials but to adopt the hair raising simplistic garbage you have been spouting would be rejected as fanciful in polite circles.

    If you are serious about a future in the political jungle may I suggest a bit of reflection as to why your beloved melons barely trod water at around 10%.
    I would respectfully claim I love my environment as much as you do but that is no longer the question is it, we now must accept your leadership’s hard left economic and political mantra as the future of our country and that dear DaveK is your first problem in your search for relevance.

    Just read what Peter is quoted as saying at the opening of Ele’s post.

  142. Mr E says:

    Warning- This is a very repetive comment. I have done as Dave asked and answered his questions. Nearly all of which I had answered before.

    Dave –

    “Total misrepresentation” Not in my view. You seem to be dancing on the head of a pin, and it is funny to watch.

    “All the questions and challenges I put to you regarding my evidence are still hanging there unanswered.”

    You’ve left a lot of my questions unanswered, but I tend to get over it quickly. You sound to me, demanding and authoritarian and it is not very appealing and I am left asking why would I. But as you have humoured me with some of your responses, I will respond to the questions I think you want answered. As Im not sure if I am tackling the right ones – I tackle them all.

    “Are you telling me that drain layers don’t understand what is happening on the farms where they work?”
    Using drain layers as a basis to which one attacked farmers Nutrient loss, does not greet the reader with confidence.

    “Cows who are well looked after can easily have a productive life of over ten years, why is this not reflected in the industry as a whole?”

    Surely we have answered this Dave – A mob of the best 10 year old cows in NZ, adlib fed, will never produce what the best 4yr cows will produce, fed adlib. I would expect a 50% reduction.

    “Why is the average lifespan of dairy cows much less than this?”

    As above – Id expect a teen farmer would know this basic concept. PKE is nothing to do with lifespan. If anything – as a supplement, feeding when pasture has low protein or total diet is limiting PKE should extend the lifetime productivity.

    “You have proof that the cadmium comes fro elsewhere? ”
    There are plenty of papers to should accumulation of CD in Oysters. I have provided a link

    “I respond with the view that the Greens most definitely see the value of agriculture as long as it is managed sustainably and include a link celebrating sustainable solutions. This is an attack?”
    Yes in my view.

    “Please explain what I don’t understand and why it is beyond your patience to do so?” As above.

    “If my arguments about unsustainable farming methods are so limp then why aren’t you challenging my evidence more robustly and prove otherwise? ” Dave I also suggested your evidence is limp.

    “You are looking a little isolated in your thinking Mr E, who do you actually have on your side?”
    Tell me who has more support on this thread. Check the Thumbs Dave.

    “What happens when tolerance levels are reached in 16 years as predicted?”
    That is based on an old tolerance level. New tolerances indicate we should be fine for 100 years at least.

    “When things become really desperate, even good farmers may take concerning shortcuts. This happens in all business sectors when things get tough, why should farming be exempt? ” That is a silly statement. There is plenty of evidence to show dairy farmers work under strict environmental conditions. There is general acceptance that a double standard exits where Council effluent infringements go un punished where farmers get dragged through court for potential pollution.

    Where do I accuse PGGwrightsons of creating and releasing GE material?
    HT swedes = PGG Wrightson manufactured product.

    “If there were less toxic alternatives to superphosphate would the phosphate industry encourage a shift to their use instead of their own product? Or would they keep promoting the use of the product as long as toxicity levels don’t get too extreme while they work on how to extend the life of their industry?”
    I mentioned the tiered approach where companies are encouraged to recommend alternatives or lees of a product based on the Cd soil test. So the answer to your questions – Yes, No.

    ““do you support a crowd of tin foil hat wearing wizards?” What?”

    You answered this question yourself. You said it was just you making the claim.

    “What conspiracy?” As above. HT swedes = PGG Wrightson manufactured product.

    “Then you seem to blame farmers for bio security.” Where?

    ” “That is another stupid statement.” The statement came from a Rabobank agricultural advisor, so they are stupid?”
    I dealt with question – making stupid comments doesn’t mean someone is stupid.

    ““I don’t share your contempt of farmers” what on earth do base this bizarre and damning statement on?”
    Remember – your claims of whole industry attacks.

    ““Yet you publicly bash the industry” By repeating and linking to articles and statements from within the industry, really?”
    Did I say that? Nope.

    And yet you haven’t commented on my Dairy NZ sustainability strategy that I used to support my argument and totally misrepresented Woodford’s article. Are both of these limp?
    You didn’t ask me.

    If you are –
    It seems to me your PKE claims became a nutrition claim, which became stocking rate claim and has now become a ‘cow numbers’ claim.
    Clearly Keith’s article says “It does not matter what is done in terms of reduced stocking rate ” Which has really undermined your ‘stocking rates’ claim.

    ie
    “Industrial farming and over stocking on many farms has its down side”

    “My conversation with one farmer was indeed anecdotal but he is actually one of many I have spoken to and you can’t seriously tell me that over-stocking on many farms isn’t an issue”

    “I never said that the main reason for cow replacement was lack of trace minerals, the etc was just so that I didn’t have to list the other factors such as diet and stress from over stocking”

    “Intensive stocking isn’t sustainable environmentally or economically. I even produced a link that supported the economic wisdom of lower stocking”

    But lets deal with your morphed claim. That stock numbers are too high. Keith provides NO evidence to support that claim. Nilch, Zero, Nada.

    “Once those limits are reached, what is the strategy and what can replace phosphate on farms that have gone beyond those limits?” In 100 years who knows – Maybe we will have GE clover that doesn’t need phosphate to fix Nitrogen?

    “Just read the sustainability strategy and the good prof properly then ask yourself is the dairy industry sustainable if it continues as it is?”Rhetorical question.

    Right that is it – I can’t find any other questions. I have answered them all, it seems, and repeated myself again and again.

    As for you suggestion that Fonterra agrees with your concerns, as you suggest with your link – it appears not to me. Although it is fair to say you have not been consistent with your reasoning of concern for PKE.
    One minute it is nutrition killing cows, next it is overstocking, next it is stock numbers, next it is tropical deforestation. I wonder it the list will keep growing as you appear to struggle with your understanding.

  143. Dave Kennedy says:

    Gravedodger you reference to feeding the world displays your ignorance of what is actually happening in a global sense. The demand for burger beef in the US is destroying sustainable agriculture and if we aren’t careful we could follow: http://www.worldwatch.org/node/549

    Mr E, thank you for making the effort, but your answers are revealing:

    “Using drain layers as a basis to which one attacked farmers Nutrient loss, does not greet the reader with confidence.”
    Using drain layers for some evidence of where nutrients and runoff is directed adds to the picture. Discounting them is arrogance.

    “Surely we have answered this Dave – A mob of the best 10 year old cows in NZ, adlib fed, will never produce what the best 4yr cows will produce, fed adlib. I would expect a 50% reduction.”
    Not according to the figures I linked to. Are you telling me that cows can’t have their productive life extended under different management systems?

    DairyNZ must also be attacking farmers by have a sustainability strategy, the word sustainability obviously implies a huge threat to you.

    “I also suggested your evidence is limp.”
    Specifically which evidence? DairyNZ? the research links (you clearly misrepresented Prof Woodford)? I did ask you why you quoted him out of context, still no response. Woodford was saying that by reducing stocking numbers it still will not adequately deal with the unacceptable levels of nitrogen being produced, what you are deriving from this statement is something completely different.

    “That stock numbers are too high. Keith provides NO evidence to support that claim. Nilch, Zero, Nada.” Good grief! His whole article was about the fact that current levels of nitrogen leaching was already too high and reducing stock numbers somewhat wasn’t going to make a huge difference. he suggested that herd homes would be the logical way of managing the environmental damage. What on earth did you think the article was about?

    So the Rabobank advisor made a stupid comment, interesting 😉

    Your response to the phosphate use is interesting, especially when you claim the raising toxicity levels is one way of dealing with it, a little like raising the allowable levels of nitrogen in water 😉

    The HT Swede issue is a fabrication on your part and expressing doubts and asking for clarification is no conspiracy theory. How did they develop the seed? There could be a reasonable explanation and the more you scream “conspiracy” the more I think there is something to hide. You are creating the potential of a conspiracy by totally ignoring the original concern.

    I used the million tonnes of PKE a year as an example of how we are more reliant on imported feed and are less pasture based. The quality of PKE as a food is debatable and a side issue (the original source supports environmentally damaging practices acknowledged by Fonterra). I also linked to other supplementary food sources that you ignored when trying to prove that PKE was a small fraction of total feed. The fact is most farmers are more reliant on supplementary feed than ever before, especially as herd number grow.

    My concern about increasing herd numbers is a very valid one, while environmental farm practices are improving all the time it won’t make a noticeable difference if herd numbers continue to increase. Rather than managing what we have well we are expanding to current limits which were already at worrying levels.

    “Rhetorical question.” this was one of the key issues behind the discussion and the very thing i wanted your position on. The rhetorical element seems to be your version of sustainable and judging by your answers it seems being sustainable means something quite different from me. It appears sustainability still involves high levels of imports and environmental degradation and no need for improvement as supported by DairyNZ. You appear to be angry for me to challenge the status quo.

    Maybe we will have GE clover that doesn’t need phosphate to fix Nitrogen? Obviously no alternative yet and your suggestion is a huge worry (Monsanto?).

    “I wonder it the list will keep growing as you appear to struggle with your understanding.”

    If you read the thread, I kept trying to bring things back to the core arguments and it was you, dear Mr E, that uses straw men to distract from them.

    When you mentioned my lack of commenting support in this thread, I had to chuckle, try commenting on my blog and see what happens 😉

  144. TraceyS says:

    I can’t believe you’ve only just worked out that your definition of ‘sustainable’ is different to farmers’, Dave.

    To them sustainable includes everything from not shitting in one’s own nest to paying the bills next month.

    The greenies have hijacked the word ‘sustainable’ and made it into their very own buzzword. I very much dislike their constant, and narrow, use of it.

    I think what you really mean by ‘sustainable’ is better described as ‘self sufficient’. Those who call for it should test it in the lab first. This is easy done since most of us have access to one – our own home. I would suggest that if it can’t be done there, it can’t be done.

  145. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, you can’t make a sweeping statement like that and be credible. Farmers do not speak with one voice, they are not all the same. Some farmers are fully organic, some are a mixture of organic, biological and traditional methods and others have a very industrial approach and push the limits of what is environmentally acceptable. To say that ‘farmers’ think in a certain way is like saying all Maori think the same or all Pakeha share the same beliefs. Amongst the Green Party we have a range of views about what should be considered ‘sustainable’. Even Federated Farmers doesn’t represent all farmers and some have told me that they don’t agree with many of the local leadership’s stands on issues.

    Our local Green Branch is a relatively small one and yet we have five members who are farmers. For you to imply that being a Green Party member isn’t compatible with being a farmer is nonsense.

    To me there is a continuum of different levels of sustainable practice and famers will be spread along this. I talk to many people in the industry and most of my views are shaped by them. My Green Party link, that you have also used, celebrates existing practice and doesn’t support the impossible or implausible.

    Most solutions to many of our sustainability issues already exist and just need to be more widely adopted. Some issues are broader like the wisdom of continually producing greater quantities of product rather than looking at quality and adding value.

  146. TraceyS says:

    “To say that ‘farmers’ think in a certain way…”

    I didn’t say that at all.

    The definition of ‘sustainable’ is different when you’re running a business – different to yours – which from what I have observed here from your comments means “self-sufficient” (especially when you are talking down imported products).

    “…to imply that being a Green Party member isn’t compatible with being a farmer is nonsense.”

    I didn’t imply that. Freedom of association is one of my core beliefs, Dave. Have I not made that quite clear previously? Or is the concept just too foreign to you?

    “To me there is a continuum of different levels of sustainable practice…”

    So there is such a thing as a little bit sustainable? LOL

  147. TraceyS says:

    “Most solutions to many of our sustainability issues already exist and just need to be more widely adopted.”

    Including genetic engineering. Sooner or later you’re probably going to have to face that fact.

  148. Dave Kennedy says:

    “…your definition of ‘sustainable’ is different to farmers’, Dave.”

    Which farmers? Many agree with me.

    This is an interesting opinion piece: http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/opinion/10609049/Whats-the-source-of-Fed-funds

    Goodness me the plot thickens…

  149. Roger Barton says:

    Dave you’re in trouble bothering to post a link to a continuum of the diatribe published by the Taranaki Daily News from that particular contributor. That “journalist” could run a firewood business with the wood (not chips) on both shoulders. As for your push for us to extract greater value for our produce…well I thought food was too expensive and driving poverty levels to new highs. We can’t have it both ways. I would support greater revenues from our agricultural produce. I don’t believe people value their 3 meals a day highly enough…too busy chasing other frivolous things at the big Red Barn amongst other places. By the way…I’ve enjoyed this thread and the combined contributions.

  150. Gravedodger says:

    @ Davek x sixty whatever comments, since you seem to be at a loose end currently, one simple question.

    Your take on “why agriculture matters” in the context of Peter Milembe’s stated opinion?

    My suggestion your remarks predicated on almost the entire policy in the GP manifesto were a thread jack seemed to go over your indoctrinated head, eliciting your charge of my being ignorant as if that claim is relevant, true or false.

    I totally concur about your diversionary remarks about clearing vast areas of tropical rain forest for any reason particularly when held against the vast undeveloped grasslands of the world.
    I didn’t take Peter to be clearing rainforest to grow ground beef, I took it he was advocating agriculture as an industry to provide food, employment, pride in activity, self worth and a better world for people and avoiding the more disconnected lives that support most other industries

    Your week of pulpit screeching based entirely on the GP manifesto with zero regard for reality or Peter Milembe’s belief statement is so far beyond debate as to be offensive.

    I wont hang about awaiting your measured response as I do not anticipate an answer will eventuate, that would require some thought and original thinking something strangely absent from your use of party mantras.

    Your thread jack opinions have been taken apart and demolished daily and even hourly yet you just slither off in a side ways move to quote another dumb GP mantra based claim that will always sound great at a meeting of the minds never involved in the real world but existing in a beltway theory shop selling a program on how to gain electoral relevance.

    Green Party on the 20th had 10.2% it went up to 11% when those who choose not to live here and put their skin in the game raised the vote by nearly 1%.
    Many of that 11% have absolutely no idea what you have been dribbling on about for a week now.
    Wake up man, my belief in the fact that in world terms, how we as a farming nation, produce such an array of quality produce in a sustainable way is almost without peer in the world market place and your continued nit picking is way beyond tiresome.
    Does your party run workshops on avoiding truth and reality while preaching the party mantra or are you just a natural.

    I’ll pop back tomorrow and guess what I expect, DaveK will be still preaching his shallow soundbite based opinions on how we are going to hell in a handcart but with him comfortable in the nice warm blanket provided by real people doing real work to feed and clothe themselves and enough left over to assist many throughout the world, sort of what this post started with a week ago.

  151. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    I asked you for sustainability fears and evidence. You cited a discussion with a drain layer about nutrient loss. If you think that is powerful evidence about nutrient loss on NZ farms, I can’t help you.

    “Not according to the figures I linked to”. Yes according to the figures you linked. I showed how a 3 year old cow will produce over 12k litres and a 10yr plus cow 5k litres – from your link.
    From your link please cite the evidence that a 10year old cow can produce as much as a 3-4year old.

    “DairyNZ must also be attacking farmers by have a sustainability strategy, the word sustainability obviously implies a huge threat to you.” That is a dense statement. One can maintain sustainability Dave.

    I asked for evidence for claims about stocking rates and you provide an opinion article from Keith Woodford. In that opinion article Keith provides no evidence that systems are not sustainable from a nutrient point of view. And he disagrees that stocking rate is important for improvements. I did not misquote him as you suggest. You are portraying your opinion as fact. In my view, it is not.

    Virtually none of the links you have provided appear to deliver evidence of your claims around sustainability. You appear to link with little thought about the point you are trying to make.
    The Woodford article is case and point. It only makes statements against yours regarding stocking rate, it makes no claims about sustainability accept some questioning of our image, and the bulk of the article is an opinion about feeding off grass in autumn winter to reduce nutrient loss. It is an evidence poor article.

    My history has been intertwined in science. I’ve sat beside Keith whilst listening to Rabobank, oddly. I look for evidence that shows hypotheses are tested, soundly and methodically.. Your evidence seems to be based on opinion. And it is easy to find opinions that oppose. Opinions are like…. Well you know.

    “The quality of PKE as a food is debatable”. Wording aside. You know grass can fail as a food source, don’t you Dave?

    The HT issue is not a fabrication. The words are here to back that up in black and white. How was the seed made? You must know how plant breeders select plants Dave. When it comes to tolerance you apply a stress and find plants that survive. In the case of HT swedes the chemical Telar was applied, a few plants survived and became the origin of the variety. There was nothing underhanded about it as you suggest. The process for selecting for insect tolerance or drought tolerance is exactly the same. How did the breeders know plants would be resistant to Telar? They didn’t. I understand it was a spray error that first made the discovery.
    The fact that I am having to explain rudimentary details to you reiterates my concern that you choose to attack farming activities from a very fragile vantage point – that of what I consider to be, a very basic understanding. On this day Dave, you seem like the kid from the back of the class, standing up lecturing the entire school.

    “My concern about increasing herd numbers is a very valid one”
    Ah now we are onto herd numbers – not PKE, stocking rate, nutrition. So what is your problem with herd numbers? And evidence please.

    “Rather than managing what we have well we are expanding to current limits which were already at worrying levels.”
    Worrying for you Dave – Why you worry you’ve not explained. Maybe it is like biting finger nails, a bad habit?

    “Your response to the phosphate use is interesting, especially when you claim the raising toxicity levels is one way of dealing with it, a little like raising the allowable levels of nitrogen in water ;-)”
    Allowable levels of nitrogen in water have been raised??? Where?
    I’m pleased you are interested in my phosphate points – it might mean we are getting somewhere. You see scientists and elected officials have considered the limits from a tiered point of view. The higher the soil Cd- the less phosphate and or Cd should be applied. The lowest tier action limit is well below any standard ever promoted.Clever aren’t they. That Cadmium Management Group. It seems we have nothing to worry about with that industry. Particularly when we have things like this happening.
    “The national average accumulation rate from 2003 to 2008 was estimated to be 5 μg/kg soil/yr. This is lower than the historical accumulation rate due to a reduction of cadmium concentration in fertilisers i.e. the fertiliser industry voluntary limit below 280 mg Cd/kg P, and lower phosphate application levels.”
    Yep – it is all in hand.

    Supplementary feed – again – so what is your concern? If it is grown here and fed there – that is a problem? Why.
    If we make more product out of imported feed profitably that is a problem? Why?
    Are you worried about overseas wild life? or what is your concern?
    Why is it a problem – and please don’t say because Fonterra said so. That is the same reason why two sheep fell of the cliff. Said sheep two “I fell off following sheep one”.
    Evidence Dave, evidence.

    Rhetorical question.
    “Just read the sustainability strategy and the good prof properly then ask yourself is the dairy industry sustainable if it continues as it is?”
    I asked myself that question, at your request. I pondered as you required. You didn’t ask for my view on that point Dave so I didn’t give it. Your explanation as to why I didn’t respond is wrong. i.e

    “The rhetorical element seems to be your version of sustainable and judging by your answers it seems being sustainable means something quite different from me. It appears sustainability still involves high levels of imports and environmental degradation and no need for improvement as supported by DairyNZ. You appear to be angry for me to challenge the status quo.

    Not only that it appears to be a poor excuse for an insult. Tracey has point out that the Greens have a warped sense of what sustainability is. I think it is warped by ideology, and blatantly ignores the issues around economic and social sustainability. The triple bottom line that many farmers like to refer to. A delicate balance, where favouring one with too much enthusiasm can cause problems with others. For these reasons I think the Green Party bangs the environmental drum more for some party marketing line rather than a happy future.

    “Obviously no alternative yet and your suggestion is a huge worry (Monsanto?).” There is that habit again – like biting nails. Relax Dave. Our future is in capable hands. Just join me in thanking goodness that they are not Green hands.

    “If you read the thread, I kept trying to bring things back to the core arguments and it was you, dear Mr E, that uses straw men to distract from them.”

    No you didn’t Dave. You appear confused about what your sustainability concerns are, slating all sorts of odd accusations against farmer activities – and other than others opinions – lack evidence to back them up.

    Your ‘follow my link’ mantra is the undoing of you on this thread. You appear unable to go to your own links and come back with the evidence you need to explain your points.
    That you often claim – ‘my link is evidence’, is transparent to me, that your links fail to hold the evidence you need to have a robust debate.

    To me, you seem like a Green party politician that is capable of making lots of noise that contains little substance.

  152. Dave Kennedy says:

    Gravedodger, you need to go through the thread again and track what actually happened with this thread. Ele made a rash claim in her post that opposition parties didn’t value agriculture, I responded with a statement claiming the Greens very definitely value agriculture especially if it is based on sustainable practice.

    My statement was described as an attack on all farmers and Mr E demanded that I explain my views on sustainability and supply the evidence, which i did. I was then subjected to a high level of personal attacks (many of which I listed) and most of my evidence hasn’t been questioned.

    The real thing that has caused great angst and abuse here is my audacity to express an alternative view on a National supporting blog. Most of what I have expressed here are my own views shaped by conversations and what i have read, much of this has been linked to (as requested) and not one piece of Green Party policy has been quoted.

    For you to claim that New Zealand is without peer in sustainable agriculture is an audacious claim and, while I have huge admiration for New Zealand farmers as a whole, I would love to see the evidence for this. Many countries farm far more sustainably than us. We are blessed with a temperate climate and small population and can take advantage of that by producing much more food than we can consume ourselves, which makes us a significant exporter. We once had a reputation for pasture based farming and while this is still a dominant factor it is becoming less so and there is a push for increasing the quantity of what we produce, which puts greater demand on our natural resources.

    You also claim that I screech, I would use such a word to describe desperate and abusive comments and suggest you compare your last comment with mine and see who is using emotive language 😉

  153. Mr E says:

    Dave says
    “You also claim that I screech, I would use such a word to describe desperate and abusive comments and suggest you compare your last comment with mine and see who is using emotive language ;-)”

    “There could be a reasonable explanation and the more you scream “conspiracy” the more I think there is something to hide”

    Hahahhhhhhaaaaaaa

  154. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E

    The theme running through this thread is the view that a Green commenter suggesting that dairying isn’t currently being managed sustainably is serious attack on farmers and farming in New Zealand.

    I have been called arrogant for even suggesting that anything can be improved and i have been told that whether it be growing herd numbers, the use of superphosphate, the importation of feed, the potential use of GE crops or the quality of our waterways, everything is being managed well and agriculture is as sustainable as it could be.

    I have merely suggested throughout this thread that farming, especially dairying could be shifted to a more sustainable footing and have not even stated what potential limits could be, just that things could be better.

    I have been told that the cadmium problem is well in hand and that i can fully trust farmers and the industry to managing the toxicity levels well.

    I have been told that the productive life of a cow is around four years and this can’t be extended if the cow is managed differently.

    I have been told that the importing of PKE is not evidence that farmers are using more imported feed to support greater intensification and that all other supplementary feed is grown locally.

    I have been told the Prof Woodford’s concern about nitrogen leaching and how to manage it was actually something quite different and he has no problems with growing herd numbers.

    I have been told that ‘farmers’ have a view of sustainability that is quite different (presumably all farmers think alike) from the Greens. The farmers’ views are the correct ones and the Greens’ are wrong.

    I have been told that there is no threat from potential GE crops and corporations like Monsanto are a non issue for New Zealand.

    I have been told that the Greens only talk about protecting the environment because of a marketing ploy and our sustainability ideas are warped (but no views on DairyNZ’s sustainability strategy).

    I am told that the views that I have heard from drain layers have no value, Bruce Wills doesn’t know what he is talking about, scientists like Mike Joy are scaremongers. I am told to relax that the future of farming is in capable hands.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1112/S00093/fonterra-must-explain-self-reporting-inaccuracy.htm

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/10184386/Milk-price-leads-to-record-feed-imports

    http://sciblogs.co.nz/griffins-gadgets/2012/11/27/mike-joy-isnt-a-lone-voice-just-a-loud-one/

  155. Dave Kennedy says:

    Roger, you are obviously happy about exporting large quantities of milk powder as the basis for our dairy industry?

  156. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, it is you who brought up the conspiracy idea, i merely asked a question and i would have thought that maniacal laughter at the end of your last comment is a sign that you are cracking under pressure 😉

  157. Mr E says:

    “The theme running through this thread is the view that a Green commenter suggesting that dairying isn’t currently being managed sustainably is serious attack on farmers and farming in New Zealand.”

    Ok – I think you a being tough on yourself – but who am I do disagree. You are free to have an opinion.

    “I have been called arrogant for even suggesting that anything can be improved”
    No you haven’t. Nobody called you arrogant for suggesting improvements. Show me the statement that corroborates this claim.

    “I have been told that the productive life of a cow is around four years and this can’t be extended if the cow is managed differently.”

    No you haven’t. Please provide the evidence to back up this claim.

    “I have been told that the importing of PKE is not evidence that farmers are using more imported feed to support greater intensification and that all other supplementary feed is grown locally.”

    Nope – again. This is getting tedious Dave. Nobody said that. Please cite sentences that says that.

    “I have been told that there is no threat from potential GE crops and corporations like Monsanto are a non issue for New Zealand.”

    Where? Sentences like that don’t exist in this thread.

    “I am told that the views that I have heard from drain layers have no value,” Where? I didn’t say that. Who did?

    “Bruce Wills doesn’t know what he is talking about”
    Where? There is no evidence of that here. Other than you only GD referred to Bruce and he didn’t say that.

    I have been told that the Greens only talk about protecting the environment because of a marketing ploy and our sustainability ideas are warped (but no views on DairyNZ’s sustainability strategy). Erhmmm, nobody said that either.

    Very very sad Dave. You seem to have reduced many of you statements to one of the lowest points possible. It seems a place of desperation. Now I almost feel sorry for you.

    If you have been a little more thoughtful about your attacks on farming activities, I would feel sorry for you.

    As it stands, I don’t.

  158. Dave Kennedy says:

    I was paraphrasing Mr E. If that is not what you have implied then we must be in agreement, thank goodness for that, it’s taken a while 😉

  159. Roger Barton says:

    Dave…go read my post again…
    “I would support greater revenues from our agricultural produce”.
    I presume you don’t teach English?

  160. Mr E says:

    It seems clear you and I have a different definition of what paraphrasing is.
    I also suspect we hold a different definition of what a blatant lie is.

    As you have a history in teaching, I’m left wondering whether your definition is likely to be more realistic. Then I remembered that you are political party list member.

  161. Dave Kennedy says:

    Roger, I was basing my response on this: “As for your push for us to extract greater value for our produce…well I thought food was too expensive and driving poverty levels to new highs. We can’t have it both ways.”

    I wanted to clarify whether greater revenues could be generated by greater quantities or added value. We already add value locally but do little of this for our exports.

  162. Dave Kennedy says:

    My definition for paraphrasing: “a restatement of the meaning of a text or passage using other words”

    You obviously objected to what I took to be your messaging for each area we have discussed and if that is the case we must be in agreement, what other conclusion is there?

  163. Dave Kennedy says:

    Again there is the issue with the 10% of farmers who struggle with environmental stewardship (the 10% figure isn’t mine it has been mentioned by those in the industry).

    http://www.orc.govt.nz/News-and-Notices/Media-Releases/Media-releases—2014/Dairy-inspections-find-disappointing-practices/

  164. TraceyS says:

    Dave

    “Many countries farm far more sustainably than us.”

    What, no link??? Can you please provide a short-list of the best countries for sustainability (accompanied by definition of sustainable please).

    “I have been told that the productive life of a cow is around four years and this can’t be extended if the cow is managed differently.”

    You are being childish here. This is nothing short of toy throwing. What you have been told is that peak production is age 3-4 years.

    You claim to understand peak oil – but do you? You have previously argued that peak oil is basically the end of our future plans for oil. Yet you object to peak milk being the end of future for cow?

  165. TraceyS says:

    “I would have thought that maniacal laughter at the end of your last comment is a sign that you are cracking under pressure”

    Ahhhh, now we know what happened to Robert.

  166. Mr E says:

    Roger,
    I’d encourage you not to appeal to Dave’s comprehension abilities. Don’t do it.

    Dave,
    Gareth Morgan is grossly misleading the public with his opinion piece. I doubt he has read the National Policy Statment. Have you for that matter? 6.9mg/l is not the maximum limit. It is the maximum mean test a river can return. The key word is ‘mean’. The 95th percentile can be 9.8mg/l, meaning 5% of samples can be over that. Gareth has it wrong. Again, again.

    I’d consider calling Gareth grossly negligent for this error, but he is an economist, not a water quality expert. Stupid mistakes should probably be expected.

    I’ve got a niggly feeling I’ve seen this scenario before. Where an expert self anoints themselves as a ‘know it all’ on another subject matter. I just can’t quite think where.

  167. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey as i have said before, my personal belief is that there is a continuum of sustainable practice which leads to being able to farm with limited need to import resources such as fertilizer, fuel, supplementary feed etc and having the most reduced negative effect on the environment. At the moment we are dependent on imported resources and are not even near self sufficient as country let alone individual farms. We are also having a negative effect on greenhouse gas emissions and on water quality.

    There is always a play off between the ideal and practicality and we are by no means close to even implementing much that we could based on current knowledge. A range of farming practice between the best and the worst and lifting the worst should be an immediate priority as they do a lot of damage (documented).

    I think we are talking cross purposes regarding the life of dairy cows, you are and I have both recognized that the peak production of cows is reached after 4-5 years, i have never disagreed. What i have been saying is that the productive life can be

    I have never mentioned peak oil here, but the industry has seen its heyday, like coal, many are realizing that it is a sunset industry. This isn’t because reserves are limited, but because of the damage that fossil fuels are causing to the atmosphere. Major investors are already divesting themselves of oil company shares.

    You are right about Robert, he is not the man he once was. His beard has almost reaching waist level and he has aged dramatically over the last few months. His razor sharp wit is rarely apparent now and he has become almost sage like in his demeanor. It’s like he has swallowed the little book of calm 😉

  168. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, I don’t always agree with Gareth and don’t consider him an expert, but he does usually to do his background research.

    You have criticized practically all my experts and academics, who should I be reading and listening to? Who do you judge as expert or knowledgeable (other than yourself). Professor Jacqueline Rowarth perhaps?

  169. Dave Kennedy says:

    Oops, missed last bit of the third paragraph to Tracey, should read: “What i have been saying is that the productive life can be extended beyond that under the right circumstances.” I had included a link that Mr E disagreed with that had some 10 year old cows performing well.

  170. Mr E says:

    “You have criticized practically all my experts and academics, who should I be reading and listening to?”

    No I haven’t. I’ve criticised how you have used their information. Even when it came to Gareth, I didn’t criticise him, I criticised the misrepresentation of facts that is apparent.

    Who should you read or listen too? That is a risky business picking and choosing. I don’t. I often find myself frustrated with opinion articles as some authors can present controversial details as fact. My preference is scientific articles. I trawl journals. As boring as it sounds it is quite enjoyable. I gleem titbits along the way.
    When it comes to environmental science, often the data is freely available providing a source for self analysis. It can be a risky business analysing data. A strong understanding of statistics helps. If you have that, the task can be fascinating.

    Prof Jacqueline is a very clever young lady. She has whistled the same tunes for decades now and many (but not all) of her tunes have been and continue to be proven correct. But again, when Jacqueline says – I don’t leap to accept. I study her comments and seek the corroborating evidence.

    A scientific bent can both be a curse and a blessing both at the same time.

  171. TraceyS says:

    “…there is a continuum of sustainable practice which leads to being able to farm with limited need to import resources such as fertilizer, fuel, supplementary feed etc”

    Your view, Dave, of “sustainable” being a continuum rather than either true or false is rather…strange. But the sentence above confirms my supposition: that you define sustainability as the pathway to self-sufficiency. It is hard to see it any other way.

    I do think if you put that view to farmers fully, and openly, you will not meet with much general acceptance. And that would be my mildest expectation.

    You will try it – that much is clear. And I predict that as the penny drops that “sustainability” is purely a means to manipulate an hypothesized ideal end, one not of their choosing – nor proven, the farmers in your audience will make for the door as quickly as they can.

  172. TraceyS says:

    But then what right have I to make such sweeping predictions?

  173. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, a very good response, and it reads well if it wasn’t for the fact that you misrepresented Prof Woodford’s article and rarely link to any supporting research as you asked me to do.

    Your constant dismissal of all my supporting links seems more like a strategy to manage unwanted information rather than sincere engagement.

    I am left thinking my 1:51 pm comment summed it up, since you used your usual strategy of ignoring the substantive argument and tried to score points elsewhere 😉

  174. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, I’ll leave you with your suppositions, you’re heading off on another of your wild tangents where I don’t want to go. I am happy to support the intent of DairyNZ’s push for sustainability and many others in the industry who have a clear vision (from a farmer’s perspective) of what sustainability means:

    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/04/dairy-farmers-and-bullying-tactics.html

  175. TraceyS says:

    “6.9mg/l is not the maximum limit. It is the maximum mean test a river can return. The key word is ‘mean’. The 95th percentile can be 9.8mg/l, meaning 5% of samples can be over that. Gareth has it wrong. Again, again.”

    Mr E, you make it sound as though only 5% of test results can be over 9.8mg/l but I don’t think that is what you meant. Greater than 5% of tests could be over 9.8mg/l. It depends on the range of test results and whether the data are normally distributed.

    If the max mean of test results for a river must be no more than 6.9mg/l then if 10% of tests showed 0.9mg/l then 10% of tests could show 12.9mg/l (provided the data are normally distributed).

    And if, for example, four tests showed 0.9mg/l then that would allow for two tests showing 19mg/l without changing the mean from 6.9mg/l.

    I don’t see how you could know that the 95th percentile is 9.8mg/l without the data with which to calculate the standard deviation. Of course it could be 9.8mg/l but it could also be much higher – or lower – depending on how the data are distributed.

    So an absolute upper limit of 8.5mg/l (I’m assuming that’s what it is) will definitely be an improved standard over max mean of 6.9mg/l which allows for wide fluctuations and for ‘good’ readings to offset ‘bad’ ones.

  176. TraceyS says:

    Dave, you are fast backpedalling from your own comment again. Why do you write things if you don’t mean them? Here it is once more:

    “…there is a continuum of sustainable practice which leads to being able to farm with limited need to import resources such as fertilizer, fuel, supplementary feed etc”

    I read that as sustainability leads to self-sufficiency (paraphrasing’s OK yes?)

    Your goal. Not farmers’ (in general).

    I do understand why you don’t want to go there. Respecting your wish I will leave the discussion here.

  177. Dave Kennedy says:

    “And I predict that as the penny drops that “sustainability” is purely a means to manipulate an hypothesized ideal end, one not of their choosing – nor proven, the farmers in your audience will make for the door as quickly as they can.”

    Wild supposition 🙂

    A truly collaborative process that is properly supported and evidence based looks much different. This is why our good farm stories, including the likes of Bruce Wills, are used. Credibility is important and what you were implying is something quite different.

  178. TraceyS says:

    “I am happy to support the intent of DairyNZ’s push for sustainability…”

    “Push” will never work! People are not cattle – and you are not their farmer.

    Far from pushing, you need to win over individual human hearts and minds: one-by-one. Hard graft. That’s why you cannot start out with your ideal vision. Sooner or later you will have to moderate it, perhaps substantially, in order to bring people along.

    And by the time you get back to it you might find that your vision is quite changed. For one thing, you may gain a sense of social sustainability in the process.

  179. TraceyS says:

    Evidence LOL!

    Marketing I reckon.

  180. Mr E says:

    “you misrepresented Prof Woodford’s ”
    No I didn’t – you were on a stocking rate bent – I cited a statement from Keith, diminishing that.

    I’m surprised you are accusing me of misrepresenting after your so called paraphrasing diatribe. It is laughable.

    “Your constant dismissal of all my supporting links seems more like a strategy to manage unwanted information rather than sincere engagement.”

    Sincere engagement !!! HAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!
    October 21, 2014 at 11:30 am !

    “I am left thinking my 1:51 pm comment summed it up, since you used your usual strategy of ignoring the substantive argument and tried to score points elsewhere ;-)”

    Slap yourself on the back Dave. In my experience New Zealanders respect those that self-honour. 😉

    I suspect your definition of ‘substantive argument’ differs from mine significantly.

    Your suggestion that I tried to score points – wrong. I answered the question as openly and as honestly as I could.

    Tracey –
    It will be fascinating to see how the limits are applied.
    Whilst the mean can be assessed after collecting 2 data points the 95th percentile could not (accurately). There are different ways of coming to the 95th percentile. The most basic application is the Central Limit Theorem, assume the data is normally distributed (as most natural data sets are), and use the standard deviations to predict.
    The distribution could be tested as the data is collect. The difficultly comes in the fact that at least 30 data points are needed, so I expect a running data set will be used where old data will drop off and new data will come in. Another difficulty occurs if the data does not fit normal distributions, and it may be that the odd river does not fit.
    Each council is going to have to hire a statistician.- they’re rare as hens teeth. That is more cost. Each council is going to have to collect more water quality data to get a minimum of 30 data points within a given testing period.

    Yes it will be interesting to watch- but costly.

  181. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E the simplest way to solve the impasse around my summaries or paraphrasing of your arguments would be to go through each one and state what you and your supporters actually meant (Oct 21 11:30). Now that would be honest, sincere engagement.

  182. Mr E says:

    I thought that would be insulting your intelligence.
    I guess not.

  183. Dave Kennedy says:

    I guess this discussion is at an end then, it has been an epic one and it looks as though common ground or shared understandings are no closer than they were at the start. I am left to conclude that anything that is expressed by a Green here should be apposed with some energy and that all farmers should be trusted to get on with the job of farming in the best interests of the economy and the environment.

    While I am not reassured by those who comment here, there are others in the industry who obviously share my concerns that more could be done in terms of sustainable practice.
    http://www.dairyatwork.co.nz/land-water/green-farming-solutions-in-southland/

  184. Mr E says:

    “it has been an epic one” – Disagree. I suspect anyone who will read this will fell astonished and ashamed. That is not epic.

    “and it looks as though common ground or shared understandings are no closer than they were at the start” – Agree

    “I am left to conclude that anything that is expressed by a Green here should be apposed with some energy” – Oh no – can I take back my above agreement? Sorry Dave, I have inadvertently stuffed another of your arguments. One for the road, I suppose.

    “all farmers should be trusted to get on with the job of farming in the best interests of the economy and the environment.” – Disagree

    “While I am not reassured by those who comment here” – Back to worrying then I guess.

    “There are others in the industry who obviously share my concerns”
    Encourage them them to come here please. Bearing facts. Not magic and pixie dust.

  185. Dave Kennedy says:

    You’re incorrigible, Mr E, thanks for proving my point 😉

    E noho ra

  186. TraceyS says:

    Mr E

    “…assume the data is normally distributed (as most natural data sets are)”

    Isn’t that the point though? The presence of Nitrogen in water is not supposed to be a natural phenomenon and therefore will not necessarily be normally distributed. I guess if testing is truly random then this may be more likely. Hard to achieve though.

  187. Mr E says:

    There is loads of data to determine nitrate in water generally fits normal distribution and once 30 points are collected it can be tested again.

    I can’t remember the last time I tested a data set that was not normal or binomial distributed.

    The statement ‘as most biological data sets are’ is also true.

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