Rural round-up

Meeting the gas challenge – Tim Fulton:

New legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will hit farmers in the pocket. Tim Fulton reports.

Waikato farmer George Moss, who operates two dairy farms, believes running a small business can be just as difficult when meeting environmental targets as large scale farming.

Moss and wife Sharon operate two small dairy farms at Tokoroa in south Waikato. One is 72ha milking 180 Friesians and the other is 67ha milking 175 crossbreds. They also own an adjoining 40ha drystock block. . .

Fonterra co-op leader Miles Hurrell – we can turn this around – Jamie Gray:

Nearly a year into his job as chief executive of Fonterra, Miles Hurrell is a man on a very public mission.

Since late last year, the co-op has been pulling out all the stops to streamline itself, improve earnings and trim debt.

There has been no shortage of criticism and there’s a lot at stake. The livelihoods of about 10,000 farmer-shareholders depend on it, and Fonterra is New Zealand’s biggest exporter by far.

Stung by the co-op’s first-ever loss last year, Hurrell’s job is to turn around the supertanker that is Fonterra. . .

Berry farm gets government help to expand hydroponic operation – Esther Taunton:

A $2.37 million loan from the Provincial Growth Fund will allow a Northland company to expand its hydroponic berry-growing operation, creating dozens of new jobs in the process. 

However, not everyone is happy about the arrangement, with the Taxpayers’ Union saying Maungatapere Berries should have got a bank loan.

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced the partnership on Friday, saying it would allow the Whangarei-based business to add four hectares of berries to its existing operation. . .

Fingerprinting food :

AgResearch is finding new uses for a machine that uncovers the unique fingerprint of food.

The Crown agency’s lab at Lincoln is using a mass spectrometer to quickly analyse the interaction of genes and the environment.

In a sign of technology advances in the field, work that previously took over an hour can now be done in seconds on samples of meat, milk, plants and wine.

It will open up new opportunities for food science and industry, AgResearch senior research scientist Dr Alastair Ross, who leads the metabolomics platform, says. . .

Handpicked is judges’ top pick

Meat co-op Alliance Group’s Pure South Handpicked 55 Day Aged Beef has won international honours in the World Steak Challenge for the second year running.

Handpicked 55 Day Aged Beef, which combines selection for exceptional quality and marbling with extensive wet ageing, took out a gold medal for ribeye and a bronze medal for fillet at the event in Dublin, Ireland, on July 10.

The latest honours repeat the premium product’s success at last year’s contest, which helps benchmark the quality of beef production against global competitors. There were more than 300 entries from 25 countries in the competition. . . 

A 20% drop in methane emissions would cause global cooling, says expert – Lauren Dean:

A leading environmental professor has said farming can become completely ‘climate neutral’ if agricultural methane emissions are reduced by just 20 per cent over the next 30 years. . . 

Myles Allen, a professor from the University of Oxford, who has served on the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, claimed this kind of gentle reduction in methane emissions would be enough to fully compensate for the warming impact of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide from agriculture.

Farmers have already been cutting methane emissions by 10 per cent every 30 years, through measures such as better slurry storage and application. . .

Ongoing stable methane emissions from cattle doesn’t change the climate – Alan Lauder:

Could it be that a lot of cattle producers world-wide are being unfairly blamed for progressing climate change because of the methane released by their cattle? Going one step further, in this contributed article Alan Lauder, long-time grazier and author of the book Carbon Grazing – The Missing Link,  suggests that the methane emissions of the Australian sheep and cattle industry are not changing the climate, because they have been stable since the 1970’s.

WE have to ask the question, is the current way of comparing methane and carbon dioxide, using the Global Warming Potential (GWP) approach, the best way to assess the outcome of the methane produced by ruminant animals like sheep and cattle?

I raise the point, keeping in mind that the debate is about “climate change”. We keep hearing the comment that we have to limit “change” to two degrees.

I am not suggesting that the science the IPCC and the world is relying on is wrong, but maybe it is worth having another look at how we are interpreting it in the area of ruminant animals. . .


One Response to Rural round-up

  1. Murray Roxburgh says:

    “In 1919, a pound of lamb cost an average blue-collar worker 52 minutes of labor. In 2019? 12 minutes of labor. ”

    Meanwhile pensioners everywhere just look in the Butchers window, drool and remember the days of old when knights were bold, and still tell grandchildren other fairy tales when they got back home, using facetime.

    ps retired, on call 24/7 works out at just under three cents a minute in benefit income, takes a bloody lot of minutes to buy a “pound of Lamb”.
    Currently in supermarkets lamb over $30 a Kg = $12.50 a Lb = one 40 hour week to buy a one pound little bit of a leg.

    Cripes then nostalgia kicks in and recall the Butcher removing “The Knuckle” now called a “Lamb Shank” , weighed the leg, tossed the knuckle on the Leg and wrapped it up in news print paper, “there you are ‘Missus’ anything else today “, before giving the kids a Cherio while Missus paid the money over.
    In my earliest memories handing over “meat coupons” to help out the Poms post war as well.

    Doesn’t stop with the commercialisation of the humble lamb shank either with offals, pork belly, beef cheeks all in the gourmet range pricewise.
    Also where did the little plastic bag of “giblets” go, used to be inside the “chicken” removed before stuffing the bird and cooked in pan to enhance the gravy?

    Had a minor disaster recently at a popular Hawkes Bay eatery, chose the Lamb (not unusual) and received a compressed block of pulled lamb (?) meat seasoned beyond my taste expectations.
    Thank goodness for the chosen entree, had venison otherwise might have decided the Vegans revenge was being instigated, but right out of consideration as that venison perfectly cooked rare and to die for.

    Another of lifes past pleasures now long past.
    Lew Woods the Lamb drafter called every Christmas with a carton of “Lamb Tongues” in cans. Now almost unobtainable in supermarkets and big money when found. Also now removed from the head by a robotic and more resembling Lamb Tongue “Pieces” as it is rare to get a whole one in a can.

    Rant over!!!


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