Word of the day

12/10/2020

Grufeling  – to lie close wrapped up and in a comfortable-looking manner, used in ridicule.


Sowell says

12/10/2020


Rural round-up

12/10/2020

Potential animal welfare crisis looming – Sudesh Kissun:

A local vet recruitment agency says the vet shortage situation in the country is getting more dire by the day. 

Julie South, of VetStaff, says that while the Government’s recent decision to let overseas vets into the country for work is a step in the right direction, it’s nowhere near enough to cover the current shortage.

“They need to allow almost ten times that many in to ease the animal welfare and human stress and mental health issues the shortage is causing,” she told Rural News. . .

Hort’s priorities for a newly-elected government – Mike Chapman:

The biggest challenge facing horticulture is labour and we will – as a collective sector – ask the new government to focus attention in this area.

As a result of Covid, many New Zealanders need to develop new skills and take on positions in essential industries such as horticulture – industries that are pivotal to the country’s economic and social recovery.

This is no easy task. The new government will need to complete the reform of the education and training system so that it reflects post-Covid requirements for flexible delivery and the fostering of innovation.

While New Zealand’s border challenges may currently appear stark, the horticulture industry believes they can be managed in such a way to protect the health of New Zealanders while also ensuring the country can prosper economically, through access to skills and labour that can only be obtained from overseas

Composting mootels can transform dairy, but only if we get things right – Keith Woodford:

Some readers will know that I have been writing about composting mootels for the last three years. I have been suggesting that these mootels can transform New Zealand dairy.   I remain of that perspective, but only if we get things right.

When I first wrote about ‘composting mootels’, I referred to them as ‘composting barns’. Subsequently, I have stepped back from using the term ‘barn’ because it was leading to misunderstandings.   For many folk in the New Zealand dairy industry, the word ‘barn’ is like the mythical red rag to the bull.

Composting mootels are like no other type of barn. They are open structures that focus on cow comfort. Cows love them. They can be a great enhancement to animal welfare.  There is minimal smell – very different to most barns. They can fit seamlessly into New Zealand pastoral systems and in the process solve key environmental problems. . . 

Clydesdales popular centre of attention :

It was horsepower of the old-fashioned variety that proved a drawcard at the Otago Field Days in Palmerston yesterday.

John Booth, from the Dayboo Clydesdale stud in Mid Canterbury, brought Dayboo Annie and Dayboo Sam south, for wagon rides, a children’s tug-of-war today and general admiration – and plenty of pats – from field day visitors.

Mr Booth, who has 17 Clydesdales, enjoyed dealing with the public and both he and the two horses were very patient with the children clamouring for a closer look.

The two-day event, which continues today, moved back to its original site at the Palmerston Showgrounds as it was being planned during Covid-19 Alert Level 2, and allowed for more space than its previous location at the saleyards, chief executive Paul Mutch said. . . 

Rhys Hall announced as 2020 Corteva NZ Young Viticulturist of the Year:

Congratulations to Rhys Hall who became the 2020 Corteva NZ Young Viticulturist of the Year on 8th October. Hall was representing Marlborough and is Assistant Vineyard Manager at Indevin’s Bankhouse.

Congratulations also to Sam Bain from Constellation Brands who came second and George Bunnett from Irrigation Services who came third.

The other contestants were Annabel Angland from Peregrine Wines, Tahryn Mason from Villa Maria and Lacey Agate from Bellbird Spring. . .

Cattle splinter groups urged to ‘get back in the boat’ – Shan Goodwin:

CALLS for unity in advocacy, particularly where grassfed cattle producers are concerned, were made at an industry event, held both live and online, this week.

Hosted by Agforce Queensland, The Business of Beef featured four prominent Queensland producers: David Hill, Bryce Camm, Mark Davie and Russell Lethbridge.

Mr Davie kicked off the talk about the need to have a ‘strong, united, well-funded force’ working on behalf of grassfed producers.

“What I’m talking about is a restructure of CCA (Cattle Council of Australia),” he said. . . 


Yes Sir Humphrey

12/10/2020


Valuing food security

12/10/2020

The importance of food security has been acknowledged in the recipient of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize :

The need for international solidarity and multilateral cooperation is more conspicuous than ever. The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2020 to the World Food Programme (WFP) for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.

The World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organisation addressing hunger and promoting food security. In 2019, the WFP provided assistance to close to 100 million people in 88 countries who are victims of acute food insecurity and hunger. In 2015, eradicating hunger was adopted as one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The WFP is the UN’s primary instrument for realising this goal. In recent years, the situation has taken a negative turn. In 2019, 135 million people suffered from acute hunger, the highest number in many years. Most of the increase was caused by war and armed conflict.

The coronavirus pandemic has contributed to a strong upsurge in the number of victims of hunger in the world.  . . 

Food insecurity is not a problem that is peculiar to the developing world.  The growing demand for food banks and the need to feed children at school are evidence that hunger is a problem in New Zealand too.

Food security ought to be the prime concern of every government.

This was recognised in the Paris Accord which stated that reducing carbon emissions should not come at the expense of food production.

Too many environmentalists and politicians, forget this with their campaigns against farming as Marcus Holtkoetter writes:

The European Commission has a plan to eliminate modern farming in Europe.

The details emerged last month, as part of a “European Green Deal” announced late last year that calls for the continent to become “climate neutral” by 2050.

The commission speaks of “turning climate and environmental challenges into opportunities.” It also talks about “making the transition just and inclusive for all.”

It should have added three words: “except for farmers.”That’s because the EU Commission just released its “Farm to Fork” strategy, which is the agricultural portion of the European Green Deal. It announces a series of unrealistic goals: In the next decade, farmers like me are supposed to slash our use of crop-protection products by half, cut our application of fertilizer by 20 percent, and transform a quarter of total farmland into organic production.

None of this, of course, is supposed to disrupt anybody’s dinner.

Europeans are blessed to live in a well-fed society. We have stable governments, reliable infrastructure, and advanced economies. We also have some of the best farmland in the world, with good soil and strong yields, year after year. Through intensive farming, we achieve excellent results-and we don’t face the problems of hunger and malnutrition that plague less fortunate people in other societies.

What the European Commission now proposes, essentially, is smaller harvests. For consumers, this will lead directly to one thing: Higher prices. Food will cost more.

There’s also a deeper problem. How are farmers supposed to make a living when we’re growing fewer crops and selling less food? The commission fails to consider one of the most likely results of its misbegotten approach to agriculture: When farmers can’t turn a profit, they’ll quit farming.

If that happens, the smaller harvests will shrink even further.

This defies what the commission says is its major goal, which is to make “the EU’s economy sustainable.” It needs to understand that there is no such thing as economic sustainability without a sustainable economy.

It also raises the question of where our food will come from, if it doesn’t come from our own farms. We could always import more food from other places. Global trade already is an essential feature of food production. We should encourage more of it.

Yet the European Green Deal will lead to substandard farming in places with less productive farmland. This may help fill bellies in a Europe that has fewer farmers. It may even salve the consciences of activists and bureaucrats in Brussels. It certainly won’t help the climate.

Our goal should be to grow more food on less land. Yet the EU’s present approach, driven by ideology rather than science, will lead to growing less food on more land.

What’s “green” about that?

There is nothing green about that, just as there is nothing green about the anti-farming measures here which don’t appreciate how efficient New Zealand food production is; the impact on food supply, and price, if production is cut and the environmental cost if reductions in production here are replaced by increases in production in other much less efficient places.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has recognised the importance of food security, and the dangers posed to world peace by food insecurity.

Hunger can cause wars and those who put the environment before food should understand there’s nothing green about wars.


%d bloggers like this: