Rural round-up

Ballance delivers cash to shareholders up front:

. . . Farm nutrient co-operative Ballance Agri-Nutrients has fast-tracked its 2014/15 rebate and dividend payment to get much-needed cash to farmers early.

On 31 July, the co-operative will begin its distribution of an average $60 per tonne, seven weeks ahead of its normal payment schedule. The rebate, averaging $55.83 a tonne along with a 10 cent dividend per share will see a total distribution to shareholders of $76 million – equating to 94 percent of its $81 million gross trading result.

Chairman David Peacocke said today that the co-operative’s solid performance meant it could support its shareholders and move quickly to do so. . .

Mixing style, substance and ambition – Sally Rae:

Chanelle Purser is possibly the most stylish calf rearer in Crookston.

Her fur jacket might usually remain in the wardrobe while she is in the calf shed, but brightly painted fingers dispense milk to hungry charges.

Mrs Purser (42) is somewhat of a dynamo, farming with her husband Phil in West Otago and running a successful retail business in Gore, but she takes it all in her well-manicured stride. . .

Strong demand for good farm dogs – Diane Bishop:

A shortage of good working dogs pushed prices up at the Gore dog sale.

PGG Wrightson Gore livestock manager Mark Cuttance said the top heading dogs fetched $5500 to $5700 while the top huntaways made about $5600 at the sale on Wednesday July 29.

Cuttance wasn’t surprised.

“We expect that sort of money for the top end dogs,” he said.

Cuttance said there was a shortage of good working dogs, because of less shepherds on the land, and vendors saw the Gore dog sale as the perfect opportunity to achieve market value for their dogs in a competitive environment. . . .

Mid Canterbury farmland sold to foreign-owned Craigmore Farming – Jack Montgomerie:

A company associated with a South Canterbury rich-lister has bought more Canterbury farmland.

An Overseas Investment Office decision released on Friday stated the 95 per cent foreign-owned Craigmore Farming NZ Limited Partnership had received approval to buy 83 hectares of land.

Craigmore planned to incorporate the cropping land on New Park Rd, located about 15 kilometres southwest of Ashburton, into its Wairepo dairy farm operation. . .

End the squabbling over free range – David Leyonhjelm:

TO scramble the metaphors, various thin-shelled types are running around like headless chooks over free-range eggs, proclaiming the sky will fall if the law doesn’t tell us all what the term means.

Facts and evidence are as scarce as hen’s teeth, while market forces are disappearing faster than a randy rooster.

The cause is the fact that consumers are increasingly choosing free-range eggs over cage eggs. There are no health, welfare, nutritional or environmental advantages to this. Cage and free-range eggs are no different, although free-range eggs are more likely to be contaminated by chook poo. . .

 Pretty Woman protecting soils:

JULIA Roberts is getting dirty with the aim of helping agriculture.

The Academy Award winner and star of such films as Pretty Woman and Mystic Pizza, has become the latest in a line of international VIPs to call for action to protect soils.

The Hollywood actress has become the newest face of the Save Our Soils initiative, following in the footsteps of several dedicated environmentalists including the Dalai Lama, Bishop Desmond Tutu, activist Vandana Shiva and conservationist Douglas Tompkins. . .

Green dilemma – a GE rice that reduces greenhouse gas emissions – Kiwiblog:

This will pose a dilemma for the Greens. Scientists have developed a genetically engineered rice crop that has significantly reduced methane (the most powerful greenhouse gas) emissions over normal rice.

So if the Greens truly believe their rhetoric that greenhouse gas emissions are the biggest threat to Earth today, surely this means they will drop their opposition to genetically engineered crops and welcome this GE rice?

Nature Magazine reports:

Atmospheric methane is the second most important greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide, and is responsible for about 20% of the global warming effect since pre-industrial times1, 2. Rice paddies are the largest anthropogenic methane source and produce 7–17% of atmospheric methane2, 3. Warm waterlogged soil and exuded nutrients from rice roots provide ideal conditions for methanogenesis in paddies with annual methane emissions of 25–100-million tonnes3, 4. This scenario will be exacerbated by an expansion in rice cultivation needed to meet the escalating demand for food in the coming decades4.  . .

Apropos of which with a hat tip to Utopia:

44 Responses to Rural round-up

  1. Mr E says:

    Great rice story,
    Thanks Ele.

    Like

  2. Mr Jim Rose may not like to hear it but there’s plenty of right-wing big businessmen who don’t want GMO…

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/hawkes-bay-today/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503462&objectid=11311504

    Seems he don’t understand

    Like

  3. Mr E says:

    Numbers.
    Which of those “businessmen” are “rightwing”?

    Like

  4. homepaddock says:

    And which base what they want on science?

    Like

  5. Mr E says:

    Early arguments to GE material release were based on our ability to control the dispersal of GE material. Now arguments against GE material seem to be claiming we can control the dispersal of GE material.

    Bizarre.

    Like

  6. That’s my service number for the record bud – course you’d know that if you’d done your hitch.

    Moving on

    Mr Bostock – one of the biggest employers in The Mighty Bay. If you release GMO’s then that ruins his brand and a lot of others too

    I guess ya’ll happy to pay the compensation to the businesses and the dole to all those adversely affected right.

    Like

  7. Mr E says:

    Numbers,
    I knew that is your service number- you have said it somewhere on a blog before. I have heard your called “numbers” before, I hope you are ok with it.

    Mr Bostock is a right winger? Why do you say that?

    Like

  8. Freddy says:

    There are two quite separate issues with GMOs.
    1, does genetically modified crops such as apples or rice have any health side effects on the consumer, answer is most probably no.
    2, does our food producer’s customers have concerns with GE food, the answer is probably yes.
    You would think Mr Bostock has done some market research to backup his position, after all he and his fellow HB growers have the most skin in the game. HP you have the ear of these that rule can we see some market research carried out, if it is shown the customer has no concerns with GE food I like many would withdraw our opposition.

    Like

  9. You call me whatever ya like Mrs E, there’s not a bad name under the sun I haven’t been called in my time

    Why would I call him right-wing – Well because he’s big business…..just like me hahaha jokes that last bit

    The argument against GMO ain’t a scientific argument – it’s a business argument – surely Mr Jim Rose and ya’ll can understand that.

    Now back to my question – are those who release GMO’s gonna front up the cash for the businesses adversely affected and those who’s livelihoods are endangered???

    Like

  10. Mr E says:

    Numbers,
    You think Bostock is right wing because he runs a large business?
    I’m not sure you are right.

    https://home.greens.org.nz/goodfarmstories/john-vicki-bostock

    Like

  11. So he is a leftie

    My question still stands unanswered and ignored

    Like

  12. Mr E says:

    I think the best answer is a question

    Are those who restrict GMO’s gonna front up the cash for the businesses adversely affected and those who’s livelihoods are restricted???

    Like

  13. homepaddock says:

    r101… people say they want a lot of things but when most buy they are governed by price and quality.

    Like

  14. I’ll take that as a go F-yourself then I guess???

    Like

  15. TraceyS says:

    “…MPI had failed to provide a cost/benefit analysis that would justify curtailing the power of councils to ban GMOs…Government-owned research institute, Scion, was trying to genetically engineer sterile plantation trees, which would prevent the spread of “wilding” pine – trees which reproduce themselves in unwanted areas – Pure Hawke’s Bay said.

    It but added: “Effectively, MPI is guessing that GM sterility is more valuable to Hawke’s Bay agricultural economy than maintenance of the region’s GM free status and marketing and branding campaigns that seek to leverage off that status as high end food producers.”

    The business case is not “sterility” vs the effect on high end food branding. It is the effects of wilding pines on landscape and tourism vs the effects of GM on high end food branding.

    Would the protestors support the economic cost/benefit analysis if it didn’t fall their way?

    Or would they find another angle?

    Like

  16. It’s them dam wilding plants I tell ya – they driving all the tourists away and if only they was gone tourism numbers would be up….

    Yeah Right

    Ya’ll taking the piss. I’m born and bred in The Mighty Bay and that’s the first I heard of wilding plants wrecking havoc on the Mighty Hawkes Bays tourism industry

    “Would the protestors support the economic cost/benefit analysis if it didn’t fall their way?” Tracey S

    I suppose it boils down to trust for me – a commodity in short supply these days

    Ya’ll willing to stump up the cash if established business takes a hit and people lose their livelihoods???

    Ignore and redirect

    Like

  17. TraceyS says:

    Native bush is important to tourism.

    Pressure from that industry on the forestry industry could mean restrictions on planting in some areas.

    Are you,1016132nzblogger, going to stump up with the cash to that industry if it shrinks over time due to an inability to utilise emerging technologies?

    Your comments actually highlight the Minister’s concerns. You only see things from your regional perspective – much like the local authorities would. But there is a much bigger and more complex picture.

    And how on earth do adjacent Councils adopt different positions on GM without seeding a war between neighbours?

    Like

  18. TraceyS says:

    Link for above pic of wilding pines in Hawke’s Bay by Marie Taylor:
    http://www.openspace.org.nz/Site/Managing_your_covenant/Pest_and_weed_control/wilding_pines_control.aspx

    Like

  19. Nice photo Tracey S – haven’t heard of a chainsaw

    Let me tell you something bud and tell your Minister pal while you’re at it [who’s in the pocket of the multi-national forestry corporations] tourists come to the Mighty Hawkes Bay for the Sun and the seasonal jobs.

    You’d know that if you actually lived here and cared about The Mighty Hawkes Bay

    “And how on earth do adjacent Councils adopt different positions on GM without seeding a war between neighbours?” Tracey S

    You are right what’s to stop your mob waging economic warfare and releasing you’re GMO’s???

    Ya’ll willing to stump up the cash if established business takes a hit and people lose their livelihoods???

    Ignore and redirect

    Like

  20. TraceyS says:

    I think it’s interesting that “…79 per cent said that regions should be able to choose whether they wanted to stay GM-free.”

    Of course particular regions might choose not to remain GM-free. So by devolving the choice to regional level you are bound to get the same outcome eventually. But instead of industries battling it out it will be region against region.

    You’re an army man. Which battle would you choose?

    Like

  21. Ya’ll willing to stump up the cash if established business takes a hit and people lose their livelihoods???

    Impossible to get a simple yes/no answer from ya – crooked as a dogs!!!

    Like

  22. Mr E says:

    Tracey,
    You’ve pretty much nailed it.

    Can one region claim to be GE free when the neighbouring is not?
    I think not. So it really is a national scale policy issue.

    I pointed out earlier, one of the main arguments against GE release is the inability to control dispersment of the modified genes. When regions have no physical barrier and a poor governed barrier, GE material will spread uncontrollably.

    The obvious fact of the matter is we are an export nation. Our logging businesses needs to compete effectively on a level playing field. If other countries can use GE to gain an edge – we are on the way down. Ideology can hurt our enterprises.

    It could also hurt our ability to control our impacts on nature and our wellbeing. Fighting against rice that is good for health, could equally be a fight against rumen bacteria that reduce methane outputs. Issues that challenge our humanity.

    As Numbers pointed out, CE could also hurt our Tourism and farmers that trade on an ideological image. So there is balance that needs to be considered.

    Therein lies a great reason for democracy.

    GE is an issue that needs to be considered at a national level and democracy chose the National Government to deal with it.

    I wonder if Number’s issues are really a challenge to democracy, and if they are, it seems a strange thing for a New Zealand soldier to do.

    Like

  23. TraceyS says:

    Yes absolutely it is, and should remain, a national-level policy matter. In business, anyone who depends on their external environment staying the same is dreaming. None of us are in control of external factors and therefore we need to build businesses which are internally resilient to change. Change doesn’t always go the way we would like. It cannot possibly.

    Tough calls like whether to accept GE need to be made at a high level. I’d rather that than having decisions delegated which are just too hard to make between regions (and even within regions) pitting people against one another geographically. That would be incredibly irresponsible for any government to allow without a game plan for how to deal with the inevitable aftermath. Number may be up for a fight but I value harmony with my neighbours.

    Like

  24. TraceyS says:

    *Numbers*

    Like

  25. Mr E says:

    Tracey,

    I have no faith that my local council, with their limited number of staff expertise, and knowledge to consider the GE issue fully.

    At least Government has the support of huge government departments like DOC, MPI, AGR, EPA, etc, to inform their decision.

    The Councils should have a better gauge of peoples wants, but in my experience they don’t. At Council level, I think peoples political agendas, bias, and predetermination dominate the credibility of change. The poor pay rates, and huge work load, affects peoples ability to conform to the wants of the many.

    So often the tail wags the dog. Actually I think the whisker wags the pack of dogs.

    Like

  26. Play the man all you like

    Ya’ll gonna stump up the cash if established business takes a hit and people lose their livelihoods???

    Like

  27. farmerbraun says:

    Mr E says:-
    “Are those who restrict GMO’s gonna front up the cash for the businesses adversely affected and those who’s livelihoods are restricted???”

    Mr E, with respect, the right to make a living has NEVER taken precedence over the neighbour’s right to the free and undisturbed possession , and the quiet enjoyment of his own property.
    As you pointed out the spread of some GMOs can’t be controlled.
    The law says that if you cannot confine it to your own property then you can’t do it.
    That is the tort of nuisance.

    So your question is not really addressing the real issue.
    I can imagine GMOs which would not run counter to the tort of nuisance.
    Take the opossum; if we could alter the sex ratio of male to female by GE, and thus eradicate the vermin, would there be any harm to others?

    Like

  28. TraceyS says:

    “…if we could alter the sex ratio of male to female by GE, and thus eradicate the vermin, would there be any harm to others?”

    Those involved in the “$150 million possum products industry” – you might want to redirect your question to them farmerbraun!
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/67775562/DOC-opens-estate-to-possum-trappers

    Their likely objection would be just one factor to take into account. And the disadvantages may not outweigh the advantages.

    Like

  29. farmerbraun says:

    There would be the usual vested interest groups bleating incessantly.

    The question is – what is the point of a conservation estate that is not being conserved?

    Like

  30. Mr E says:

    Farmerbraun,
    “The law says that if you cannot confine it to your own property then you can’t do it.
    That is the tort of nuisance.”

    How are you going with the methane lost from your livestock, with the nutrients lost from your soils, things that farming is not currently containing.

    Under you definition, farming would be illegal.

    I wonder – when you breath out, if you consider handing yourself into the Police.

    Heck – human life- illegal.

    Like

  31. Paranormal says:

    A truly Green perspective Mr E – human life – illegal

    Like

  32. Paranormal says:

    For the record we are talking about the tort of nuisance. The rule stems from Rylands v Fletcher
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rylands_v_Fletcher

    Like

  33. farmerbraun says:

    Reductio ad absurdium Mr E.

    Fortunately that has never stood scrutiny in a case of nuisance , for the obvious reason that frivolous and vexatious objections are not upheld by the courts.

    The test is what a reasonable person would consider to be a nuisance.
    It is quite certain that cow burps could not be held to be a nuisance, and unless there was e.g. an excessive application, nutrient loss , similarly , could not be held to be a nuisance.

    On the other hand , harmful spray drift , offensive odour , noise etc , have all been found to be nuisance in particular circumstances , but not in all circumstances.

    I take it that your were referring obliquely to the SCOTUS ‘decision” that CO2 is a pollutant.

    Yep, agree totally.

    Like

  34. farmerbraun says:

    Just to make that quite clear, in my view calling CO2 a pollutant is the height of stupidity.

    Like

  35. Mr E says:

    Farmerbraun,

    Many users of water don’t want your nutrients in it (or mine for that matter). You/we are therefore effecting them adversely.

    There are also users of air who don’t want your (or mine) Methane in it. You/we are therefore effecting them adversely.

    You can deny all you like, the reality is, everything we do, creates ripples, and some ripples are unwanted by others. GE could also create ripples, and research is trying to understand both positive and negative ripples. It is the role of science to understand what ripples are. It is the role of policitics to determine when positive ripples outweigh the negative ripples enough to take risks.

    Regarding your upset about the definition of CO2. I’d encourage you chill out. People define elements based on how they perceive them. For you I am sure gorse would be defined as a weed. For English farmers, using it as a hedge and fencing product, it is a valuable resource.

    The same goes for CO2. There are of course times when CO2 is a pollutant. Chemists often concern themselves with CO2 affecting/polluting reactions. It is all a matter of perspective. Don’t let others perspective upset you. One persons junk is another’s treasure.

    Like

  36. TraceyS says:

    Sad story, no winners:
    http://www.abc.net.au/austory/content/2015/s4199983.htm

    Is GM seed not always sterile? Would sterile seed have prevented the deregistration and subsequent action? Wheat flowers produce pollen. But no mention of pollen contamination being a problem. Maybe it’s easily removed and therefore undetectable in standard tests for genetic modification?

    Like

  37. TraceyS says:

    I think we could be headed for a time when the most benign of land uses are preferred.

    Some here might like that.

    But I would encourage them to think about the logical consequences of that. Often it is money which affords the right to be choosy.

    Like

  38. farmerbraun says:

    “You can deny all you like,”

    But I did not and I won’t. Your red herring will not attract bigger game:-) You cite two examples that would not be nuisance in law.
    That is my point.
    The topic was GE and the potential to cause nuisance in law.
    I’m quite relaxed about the CO2 position because I am affected beneficially. As you say you can call it a poison , a pollutant, plant food if you like. It only matters when it costs.

    Like

  39. farmerbraun says:

    ” It is the role of policitics to determine when positive ripples outweigh the negative ripples enough to take risks.”

    I confess to being unable to trust politicians to determine anything other than where their personal self-interest might lie , and some of them can’t even get that right.
    🙂

    Like

  40. farmerbraun says:

    ” the most benign of land uses ”

    I’m guessing that you mean low-impact.
    But the fact remains that we cannot have increased soil fertility without getting enriched waters. That is the basic trade-off in agriculture/ outdoor recreation that some are aware of , but the number of such people grows proportionately fewer with increasing urbanisation /lack of scientific understanding / less involvement with the natural world.
    There are some who seem excessively devoted to quaint notions of desirability in relation to various types of low impact agriculture, but there is a balance to be achieved between exploitation and regeneration of soils, to achieve optimum long term sustainable yield , upon which the size of the feeding population depends.
    How long is the long term in agriculture?
    In NZ?
    In China?

    i chuckled at Chris Kelly of Landcorp advising dairy farmers to get through the present downturn by farming as their grandfathers did.
    That is what I have always done , except that I fill out a hell of a lot more paper.

    Like

  41. farmerbraun says:

    TraceyS says:
    August 8, 2015 at 11:35 pm.

    “I think we could be headed for a time when the most benign of land uses are preferred.”

    How do you see that agriculture would change if that preference were to come about?
    What current practises would no longer be seen?
    And what would be new?

    Like

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