Rural round-up

What NZ can learn (is Greenpeace listening?) from Sri Lanka’s blundering to combat climate change by going organic – Point of Order:

Sri Lanka is in the grip of its worst economic crisis in decades, facing depleted petrol reserves, food shortages and a chronic lack of medical supplies.

More than a month of mainly peaceful protests against the government’s handling of the economy turned deadly last week when supporters of the former prime minister stormed an anti-government protest site in the commercial capital Colombo.

For New Zealanders, the troubles being experienced by Sri Lanka’s 22 million people might trigger humanitarian concerns but – at first blush – have little to teach us about good policy.

Kiwis therefore may shrug  off Sri Lanka’s plight as the consequence of incompetence by the governing Rajapaksa brothers, one of whom has resigned as prime minister, the other whose job as president is under threat. . . 

No lessons in shaming and bullying farmers – Kathryn Wright :

Somewhere, beneath the hyperbole, there had to be a human.

Usually, in all disagreements and misunderstandings there are two factors at play – the issues and how the issues are being dealt with.

And in the very pertinent issue of our environment and how some environmental activists are presenting some southern farms, it is most certainly the latter. 

No one is disputing that the health of our land and water holds great importance, well, certainly not anyone that I know.  . . 

Angry farmers take carbon forestry protest to Stuart Nash’s doorstep – Tom Kitchin:

A group of angry East Coast farmers descended on Napier today to protest against carbon forestry, which they say is destroying their towns.

They left placards plastered on the steps of local MP Stuart Nash’s office, who is also the forestry minister.

Sophie Stoddart is a 14-year-old from Pōrangahau, at the southern end of Hawke’s Bay.

With the enemy – a pine needle in hand – she spoke passionately, saying carbon forestry could easily ruin her small town. . . 

Labour constraints see New Zealand apple and pear season estimate drop 12% on pre-season estimate :

New Zealand Apples and Pears (NZAPI), the industry organisation representing the country’s pipfruit growers, today released a crop re-forecast that predicts a decrease of 12% on the organisation’s pre-season estimate.

In January this year, the 2022 apple and pear crop was predicted to reach the equivalent of 23.2 million export boxes (Tray Carton Equivalents, or TCEs, as they’re known in the industry), destined for customers in more than 80 countries. That forecast has now been adjusted to be approximately 20.3 million boxes, representing an estimated reduction in export earnings of $105 million.

NZAPI CEO Terry Meikle says a perfect storm of adverse weather events in key growing regions and major labour shortages during the heart of the harvest combined to result in growers not being able maximise their crops.

“While our crop may be down by around 12% on initial estimates, it is a testament to the resilience and capability of our grower community that we are still likely to make the most from such an incredibly challenging harvest. . . 

Sarah Dobson wins 2022 Pukekohe Young Grower competition :

Sarah Dobson, a 25-year-old environment and sustainability technician at A.S. Wilcox, has won the 2022 Pukekohe Young Grower competition.

The competition tested the four contestant’s vegetable and fruit growing knowledge as well as the skills needed to be a successful grower. Contestants completed modules in marketing, compliance, pests and disease identification, safe tractor driving, health and safety, soil and fertilisers, irrigation and quality control.

‘I was so rapt when they called my name to say that I had won, I couldn’t believe it,’ says Sarah. ‘I wasn’t expecting to win as it was such a tight competition; all the other competitors were really strong.’

‘I really want to say a huge thanks to the team at A.S. Wilcox. I was quite nervous before the competition, but I did lots of preparation with help from my colleagues. Everyone there has been so supportive in helping me prepare. . . 

 

 

Ammoniated straw incorporation improves wheat production and soil fertility:

An international team of researchers, including from The University of Western Australia’s Institute of Agriculture, have determined that ammoniated straw incorporation (ASI) treatment significantly improves wheat crop production and soil fertility.

ASI is a process by which ammonia is added to stubbles/straw, which degrades the lignin and enhances nutrients for it to be more easily broken down by soil microbes.

The research, published in the journal Field Crops Research and led by Northwest A&F University in China, investigated the responses of soil properties, wheat yield and yield stability of wheat to ammoniated and conventional straw incorporation in the China’s Loess Plateau.

The three treatments applied in the study were straw (the control), conventional straw incorporation (CSI), and ASI. . . 

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