Word of the day

August 22, 2019

Lynchet – a ridge or ledge formed along the downhill side of a plot by ploughing in ancient times;  an earth terrace found on the side of a hill.


Sowell says

August 22, 2019


Rural round-up

August 22, 2019

600 farmers in big water project

Large-scale initiative in Southland expected to have big effect on water quality:

You could say it’s “ace” that more than 600 farmers and multiple agencies are working together to improve water quality in the Aparima catchment area in the deep south.

ACE – otherwise known as the Aparima Community Environment (ACE) project – is a farmer-led initiative in Southland aimed at over 600 farms spread over 207,000 hectares – with 81 per cent of that area developed. It has multi-agency participation with DairyNZ, Beef & Lamb and Environment Southland involved.

The ace thing about ACE, says DairyNZ’s strategy and investment leader for responsible dairying, Dr David Burger, is its enormous scale and the intent to support all land managers in good farming practice. It will also track what happens on every single farm in the six Aparima catchment groups – Pourakino, Lower Aparima, Orepuki, Mid Aparima, Upper Aparima and Waimatuku – and relate this to water quality downstream. . . 

Federated Farmers hails court ruling as a win for Rotorua community:

The voices of farmers in Rotorua, led by Federated Farmers, have been instrumental in the Environment Court’s rejection of Land Use Capability (LUC) as a tool for nitrogen allocation.

Federated Farmers, along with the Lake Rotorua Primary Producers Collective, has been fighting a proposal by Rotorua Lakes Council, forestry and others seeking to allocate nitrogen discharges using LUC methodology.  With evidence from member farmers in the catchment, as well as by engaging experts and consultants, Federated Farmers demonstrated the LUC proposal would fail farm businesses and their communities to the point of potential ruin, Feds environment spokesperson Chris Allen said.

“It would also have had a more uncertain environmental outcome than the original proposal  by Bay of Plenty Regional Council in Plan Change 10,” he said.

“We’re pleased the Court comprehensively rejected the LUC proposal that would have required nitrogen discharge reductions of 80% by dairy farmers and 40% by drystock farmers.  In contrast, the allocation for forestry would have increased six fold. This would have meant that most farmers would have had to lease back nitrogen (that had been transferred to forestry) in order to continue farming.” . . 

Forget about another share trading review – Sudesh Kissun:

Former Fonterra director Nicola Shadbolt says the recent collapse of a few dairy cooperatives should be blamed on their strategy, not their co-op structure.

She says the collapse of Australia’s biggest dairy co-op Murray Goulburn and the demise of Westland Milk co-op on the West Coast is not about their structure.

“It is governance, it is strategy. I mean for every two co-ops that fail there are about a thousand corporates… nobody says of the corporates that it’s their business model. But with co-ops it’s always their business model that is blamed.”

Shadbolt, a fierce proponent of the cooperative model, is aware of moves by some farmers and a few directors to return capital structure to the table. . .

Is there a future for OZ Fonterra as Fonterra’s finances unravel – Keith Woodford:

Fonterra’s announcement that it expects a loss of around $600 million or more for the year ended 31 July 2019 has big ramifications for Oz Fonterra.  With overseas-milk pools now lying outside the central focus of Fonterra’s new strategy, and with Fonterra seriously short of capital, the Australian-milk pool and associated processing assets look increasingly burdensome.

If Fonterra were to divest its Australian operations, then it would demonstrate that Fonterra really is retreating to be a New Zealand producer of New Zealand dairy ingredients. It would also reinforce the notion that consumer-branded products are now largely beyond its reach.

This strategic position is close to where Fonterra was in around 2006, when it decided that it was 50 years too late to take on the likes of Nestlé.  It did have both Australian and Chilean operations at that time but they were smaller than now. It also took on an initial shareholding in Chinese San Lu at that time, but essentially Fonterra saw itself as a New Zealand-based co-operative. . .

Agriculture fears it will be milked by EU free trade deal – Mike Foley:

Australia risks trading away hundreds of millions of dollars in agricultural earnings if it doesn’t negotiate significant concessions from the European Union.

That’s according to industry groups Australian Dairy Farmers and the National Farmers’ Federation, which warned Trade Minister Simon Birmingham the EU will have to reduce its onerous tariffs and import barriers to make a free trade agreement (FTA).

“There would be no point in doing the deal for Australian farmers if we can’t see a realistic and positive outcome from this FTA,” NFF president Tony Mahar said. . . 

Want to protect the planet? Eat more beef, not less – Patrick Holden:

If students and staff at Goldsmiths University really want to help the environment, they should end their ban on selling beef on campus. Far from being the bogeymen portrayed by environmental campaigners, sustainably farmed beef and dairy cattle are integral to maintaining our green and pleasant land, keeping our waterways free of chemicals and feeding our population in the most efficient manner possible.

Two thirds of UK farmland is under grass and in most cases cannot be used for other crops. The only responsible way to convert this into food is to feed it to cattle, which are capable of deriving 100 per cent of their nutrition from grass and therefore are more efficient on such land than chickens or pigs. Even on grassland where crops could be grown, ploughing it up to create arable farms would release huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere and require the use of pesticides, herbicides and fertiliser, all of which can devastate biodiversity.

Cattle farming does not just help to maintain grassland – it also works to improve the sustainability of existing cropland.  . . 


One size doesn’t fit all water

August 22, 2019

Federated Farmers is sending the government a strong message on water quality:

A ‘one size fits all’, inflexible and punitive regulatory regime for water quality just gets backs – and costs – up and most importantly will not work, Federated Farmers says.

“We have consistently argued that farmers will get alongside and work with sensible, practical and affordable catchment-based solutions based on an accurate assessment of the actual water quality,” Feds environment spokesperson Chris Allen says.

Labour and the Greens both tried to sell one-size for all policies before the election and every time they did support for national improved.

Environment Minister David Parker has said announcements on tighter regulations on the agricultural sector are imminent.

“We all want good, fresh water.  All of us – farmers included – need, and have effects on, water quality whether we drink it, use it for some commercial purpose or recreate in it.

“The question is how you drive water quality improvements.  There’s no doubt there is a place for rules and regulation, but they must take into account the circumstances of each catchment – soil types, land uses and community priorities to name a few,” Allen said.

What is needed and what works for one water way is not necessarily what will work and what’s needed for another.

“We must keep up the momentum with the water quality improvements we are already seeing in many catchments, not cut across this with cumbersome, draconian, one-size-fits-all regulations.”

Federated Farmers believes regional councils should be required to go through the nutrient limit setting process as per the current National Policy Statement, “with a stick approach to achieve it,” Allen said.

“Some councils haven’t done it, and that’s a problem.  If the reason is capacity issues for smaller councils, the government could help with resourcing. But we have to bear in mind that these processes are complex and take time.”

On stock exclusion, the issue is about keeping stock out of water, not mandatory and arbitrary setbacks.  A significant amount of work has already been done by farmers applying the appropriate method to achieve stock exclusion.

“In dairy districts, we should build on the Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord.  Farmers have already invested huge amounts of time and effort, resulting in outcomes including stock being excluded from waterways on 97.5% of dairy farms, and more than 99.7% of regular stock crossing points on dairy farms now having bridges or culverts. We are seeing the improvements form this sort of work coming though. For example, a recent regional council report shows that water quality in Taranaki rivers is showing long-term improvement.  Nearly half the rivers showed significant improvement, which has flowed from the stock exclusion, extensive riparian plantings farmers have done and changes to effluent disposal.

“There are now a lot of regional councils which do have good rules for stock exclusion, based on what is needed for their region.  They are fit for purpose and farmers have gone on and are living with them. Councils that don’t have rules are a minority and need to get on with the job.” 

If councils already have rules which work, they should be left to carry on with them.

Any proposed changes should be underpinned by robust cost-benefit analysis and rather than bald measurements of attributes (nitrogen, turbidity, phosphorus, etc) the catchment-based improvement programmes should be geared around the values the local community rate as the priorities – for example, can you swim in it, can fish and macroinvertebrates thrive in it, Allen said.

They should also take into account nature’s contribution to water pollution, like the nesting seagulls which foul several rivers, including the Kakanui from which we get our drinking water.

“When we do issue national environmental reports, the findings should come with the full picture.  What was the season like – hot, dry, wet…all of those things affect water quality and we need that context, not just bald numbers from a very limited number of sites.”

Farmers would also like to see consistency in approach across the sectors, and appropriate recognition of where changes that have been made, whether by urban or rural sectors, that are delivering improvements to water quality. 

Consistency would be a much needed improvement on current rules, or at least the application of them, that take a much more lenient approach to councils that allow storm water and sewerage to pollute waterways and beaches than it does to farmers.

Recognition of changes already made would help ensure those who are already doing their bit aren’t penalised to help the laggards.

Clean water is essential for human health and plays a big role in recreation.

We all have an interest in making improvements, it’s how it’s done is worrying farmers.

 


Quote of the day

August 22, 2019

“You can’t teach an old dogma new tricks.” ― Dorothy Parker who was born on this day in 1893.


August 22 in history

August 22, 2019

565  St. Columba reported seeing a monster in Loch Ness.

1138 Battle of the Standard between Scotland and England.

1485  The Battle of Bosworth Field, the death of Richard III and the end of the House of Plantagenet.

1559 Bartolomé Carranza, Spanish archbishop, was arrested for heresy.

1642 Charles I called the English Parliament traitors. The English Civil Warbegan.

1654 Jacob Barsimson arrives in New Amsterdam – the first known Jewish immigrant to America.

1770  James Cook‘s expedition landed on the east coast of Australia.

1780 James Cook‘s ship HMS Resolution returned to England after Cook was killed in Hawaii.

1791  Beginning of the Haitian Slave Revolution in Saint-Domingue.

1798 French troops landed in Kilcummin harbour, County Mayo to aid Wolfe Tone’s United Irishmen’s Irish Rebellion.

1827 José de La Mar became President of Peru.

1831  Nat Turner’s slave rebellion commenced leading to the deaths of more than 50 whites and several hundred African Americans who are killed in retaliation for the uprising.

1849 The first air raid in history. Austria launched pilotless balloons against the Italian city of Venice.

1851 The first America’s Cup was won by the yacht America.

1862 Claude Debussy, French composer, was born (d. 1918).

1864  Twelve nations signed the First Geneva Convention. The Red Crosswas formed.

1875 The Treaty of Saint Petersburg between Japan and Russia was ratified, providing for the exchange of Sakhalin for the Kuril Islands.

1893 Dorothy Parker, American writer, was born (d. 1967).

1901 Cadillac Motor Company was founded.

1902  Theodore Roosevelt became the first President of the United States to ride in an automobile.

1909 Julius J. Epstein, American screenwriter, was born (d. 2000).

1915 James Hillier, Co-inventor of the electron microscope, was born (d. 2007).

1922  Michael Collins, Commander-in-Chief of the Irish Free State Army was shot dead during an Anti-Treaty ambush at Béal na mBláth, County Cork, during the Irish Civil War.

1925 Honor Blackman, English actress, was born.

1926  Gold was discovered in Johannesburg.

1932 The BBC first experimented with television broadcasting.

1934  Bill Woodfull of Australia became the only cricket captain to twice regain The Ashes.

1934 – Norman Schwarzkopf, U.S. general, was born.

1934 – Sir Donald McIntyre, English bass-baritone, was born.

1935 E. Annie Proulx, American author, was born.

1939  Valerie Harper, American actress, was born.

1941 World War II: German troops reached Leningrad, leading to the siege of Leningrad.

1942  World War II: Brazil declared war on Germany and Italy.

1944 World War II: Romania wascaptured by the Soviet Union.

1949  Queen Charlotte earthquake: Canada’s largest earthquake since 1700.

1950  Althea Gibson became the first black competitor in international tennis.

1952 The penal colony on Devil’s Island was permanently closed.

1961  Roland Orzabal, British musician (Tears for Fears), was born.

1962 An attempt to assassinate French president Charles de Gaulle failed.

196  The NS Savannah, the world’s first nuclear-powered cargo ship, completed its maiden voyage.

1963  Joe Walker in an X-15 test plane reached an altitude of 106 km (66 mi).

1968 Pope Paul VI arrived in Bogotá –  the first visit of a pope to Latin America.

1969 New Zealand’s first Young Farmer of the Year contest was won by Gary Frazer.

First 'Young Farmer of the Year' chosen

1972 Rhodesia was expelled by the IOC for its racist policies.

1973 Howie Dorough, American singer (Backstreet Boys), was born.

1978 The Frente Sandinista de Liberacion – FSLN – occupied national palace in Nicaragua.

1989 The first ring of Neptune was discovered.

1996  Bill Clinton signed welfare reform into law, representing major shift in US welfare policy

2003  Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore was suspended after refusing to comply with a federal court order to remove a rock inscribed with the Ten Commandments from the lobby of the Alabama Supreme Court building.

2004   The Scream and Madonna, two paintings by Edvard Munch, were stolen at gunpoint from a museum in Oslo.

2007 – The Storm botnet, a botnet created by the Storm Worm, sent out a record 57 million e-mails in one day.

2012 – Ethnic clashes over grazing rights for cattle in Kenya’s Tana River District resulted in more than 52 deaths.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


%d bloggers like this: