Word of the day

19/03/2021

Listicle – a piece of writing or other content presented wholly or partly in the form of a list; an article consisting of a series of items presented as a list; a published article structured in the form of a list, typically having some additional content relating to each item; an article made up of a series of facts, tips, quotations, or examples organised around a particular theme.


Yes Sir Humphrey

19/03/2021


Rural round-up

19/03/2021

B+LNZ’s reaction to the Government’s intensive winter grazing announcement:

B+LNZ chief executive Sam McIvor says it’s encouraging the Government has accepted some of the Southland winter grazing advisory group’s proposals, including supporting an industry-led Intensive Winter Grazing (IWG) module to farm plans in the coming year, and the delayed implementation of the winter grazing rules.

Minister O’Connor made the point to our Annual Meeting that more time is needed to work through the Southland group’s recommendations and to write robust policy as a result. We welcome this commitment to getting it right and look forward to working with the Government on this process.

“B+LNZ has been an integral part of the industry front-footing action on the ground. Our belief has always been that industry-led, tested and practical solutions achieve better results than arbitrary rules.

“B+LNZ led the development of the IWG module, and this module is already part of the B+LNZ farm plan launched today and which is being rolled out in the coming weeks as part of our commitment to supporting resilient, profitable farming businesses while achieving positive and lasting environmental outcomes. . .

Rural health workers decline Covid-19 vaccine due to ‘hours of travel’ – Rowan Quinn:

Some rural doctors, nurses and frontline health workers are turning down their first chance of getting a Covid vaccine because they would have to take hours out of their busy day to get one..

They fear it is a signal for what is to come for the wider rural community.

Whangamata doctor and Rural GPs Network chair Fiona Bolden said frontline health staff in the Coromandel have had the call up to get their first vaccination.

Some had not been able to take it up because they would have to make a return journey to Hamilton to get it, and do that again for the second dose three weeks later . . .

Pastoral lease reform back to the future? – Catherine Irons, Mike Britton, Allan Brent:

Will the Crown Pastoral Land Reform Bill achieve its objectives or will it turn the clock back, reviving old tensions

The Crown Pastoral Land Reform Bill, currently before Parliament, will end the 30-year programme called tenure review. Tenure review allows pastoral leaseholders to separate the land they lease from the Crown into two types: farmland where the farm is owned by them freehold and conservation land held by the Crown.

If the Bill becomes law, remaining pastoral leases will continue but with stronger rules limiting the changes leaseholders might make to their farming methods.

We are members of a newly established non-governmental organisation, the Environmental Law Initiative, and we think this Bill will in fact create greater problems in a climate-changed future. . . .

Saving Dolly – Owen Jennings:

The cow has become a much maligned beast of late.  She makes our rivers unswimmable, puts nitrogen in our drinking water, pugs the ground causing erosion and farts and belches poisonous Greenhouse Gases into the atmosphere.  No wonder people don’t want to eat her bountiful products anymore.

Of course, most of that, if not all, is blatantly untrue but it makes for selling copy, keeping well paid academics in their job and the green lobby groups’ coffers filled.

Take the bit about farting and belching.  The story goes that cows emit Methane as they chew their cud.  Methane is a potent Greenhouse Gas.  Greenhouse Gases trap heat in the atmosphere and warm our planet.  The story concludes it is going to get so hot we are all going to die.  Leaves Baldacci and Grisham in the dust.

Now for some balance.  Farms use huge amounts of CO2.  Dr Bradley Case at AUT found farms take in about 90% of the Greenhouse Gas they emit in the woody vegetation and trees alone on the farm. That’s not counting the grass which uses even more CO2 in photosynthesis.  Farms are a net sink. . . 

Native plants can boost crop yields new study shows – Hugo Cameron:

New research shows fruit and vegetable growers can utilise native bush to increase yields and protect plants from pests.

The Plant and Food Research study found having more native plants near crops could attract insects that help with pollination and combat some harmful pests.

Figures from the Ministry for Primary Industries showed insect-pollinated crops such as kiwifruit and avocados were worth about $2 billion to the national economy. . .

Foot and Mouth: hoping that painful lessons have been learnt :

SIR, – Your recent articles commemorating the 20th anniversary of the 2001 foot-and-mouth (FMD) outbreak brought back some bitter and heartbreaking memories for my family.

We had not been farming for long here and were in the process of building up a pedigree flock of 1000 Lleyn ewes when disaster struck as a result of a single ram being purchased at Longtown on that fateful day, February 22, resulting in the entire flock along with my wife’s cherished, prize-winning flock of Jacobs as well as some rare breeds being culled.

The irony for us was that not only was the ram and our flock never infected with the disease, but the nearest outbreak to us was more than 40 miles away

 


Yes Sir Humphrey

19/03/2021


Govt admits it got grazing regs wrong

19/03/2021

The government’s change of heart over winter grazing regulations is an admission it got them badly wrong:

Environment Minister David Parker has had no choice but to defer the implementation of the intensive winter grazing in Southland for one year, National’s Agriculture spokesperson David Bennett says.

“This is the third time there’s been changes to this set of regulations. Minister Parker clearly rushed the process, he didn’t consult properly with the sector, and now he’s having to delay for a year.

“While farmers will welcome the delay, there is still a lot of work to be done to make sure any new regulations can actually be achieved.

“The Minister has developed a policy based on ideological notions and once again he has had to back down after realising it isn’t practical or based in science.

The new regulations must be based on science and they would be a lot better if they are led by farmers and not politicians and bureaucrats who don’t understand the issues.

“Farmers showed up in their hundreds to tell Minister Parker his regulations were rushed and unachievable.

“But this playing for time gives no certainty or clarity around what farmers will be expected to have implemented by next year.

“The risk is that the Minister sets unachievable standards, opening up the prospect of the Intensive Water Grazing rules being implemented in Southland.

“National supports having cleaner waterways in New Zealand but we have to back farmers to farm their way to better outcomes. They must see a pathway to improve while being profitable.

“Farmers want practical solutions, and National would work with the regions to make sure the rules are suited to every area.”

So much money and time have been wasted over the initial proposals that were impractical and had support from neither farmers who’d have had to implement them nor councils which would have had to monitor them.

The government must use the extra time to work with farmers and councils to get regulations which are workable and lead to improved water quality without sabotaging food production the way the initial proposals would have.

 


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