Growers wary of Russia-Ukraine conflict – Annette Scott:
Cropping farmers are wrapping up one of the worst harvests they’ve seen.
Coupled with the threat of the long-term implications of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, things can’t get much worse, United Wheatgrowers chair and Mid Canterbury cropping farmer Brian Leadley said.
“It’s got beyond urgent for many crops, the damage is done now, particularly for cereals and cut grasses,” Leadley said.
“The weather hasn’t played its part right back from flowering time in December, covid has created logistics issues and now we have the added confusion of the Russia-Ukraine war – both that are large and strong grain growing nations. . .
Nervous final push ahead for Marlborough wine vintage – Morgane Solignac:
This year’s Marlborough wine vintage is shaping up to be a good one, but pressure is high as the industry navigates Covid, a labour crunch and Mother Nature.
Marlborough contractor Alapa Vineyard Services owner Alan Wilkinson usually employs 250 seasonal workers, but he is 60 per cent down this year with only 100 staff.
“We were supposed to get 22 Samoan workers last November, but they only just arrived last week,” he said.
“Last year we had 70 Thai workers but 20 of them have returned home over the last four months for various reasons. . .
Diversity for sustainability – Hugh Stringleman:
Concern for the soil structure after summer maize cropping with conventional tillage has led Northland dairy farmers Adam and Laura Cullen to introduce multi-species cover crops over the prior winter and use direct drilling where possible. They are only beginning to see the benefits of this regenerative approach, they told Hugh Stringleman.
Adam Cullen, of Ararua in the Kaipara District, has rediscovered his enthusiasm for agriculture and applies his curiosity to finding new ways of dairying better, says his wife Laura.
The change of mindset prioritises improving the environment and the farm resources rather than constantly driving for production.
But the Cullens are not following a formula or prescription, rather being adaptive to their circumstances and farming conditions. . .
Art for farming’s sake – Peter Burke:
A warning from his wife not to hang around the house and get under her feet when he retires has prompted a Feilding-based farmer to launch himself into a new and successful career – as an artist, painting rural scenes.
Seventy-three year-old Graham Christensen was brought up on a farm and as a youngster helped with shearing and the like before eventually doing a degree at Lincoln University.
His first job was with the old MAF where he managed the sheep breeding programme on Mana Island, near Wellington. . .
The search has begun to find Aotearoa New Zealand’s most exceptional primary sector employers.
Entries have opened for the 2022 Primary Industries Good Employer Awards, which are run by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and the Agricultural and Marketing Research and Development Trust (AGMARDT).
“The Awards provide the opportunity to recognise and celebrate outstanding employers across the primary sector that may otherwise fly under the radar,” said MPI’s director of investment, skills and performance Cheyne Gillooly.
“The sector has been resilient throughout the pandemic and the hard mahi of farmers, growers and processors is leading our export-led recovery from COVID-19. . .
Death by red meat is unsubstantiated – Frank Frank Mitloehner:
One might expect that a major breakthrough delivered by a well-respected organization – especially when the breakthrough seriously overrides a conclusion drawn merely two years earlier – to be backed by cold, hard facts. And yet, they are woefully absent from a Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) that calls unprocessed red meat an unconditional health risk.
The 2019 report points to a 36-fold higher estimate of deaths attributable to unprocessed red meat consumption than what is outlined in GBD’s 2017 study. In other words, any amount of red meat intake can lead to serious health complications, particularly cancer. The claim is made all the more shocking by the fact that GBD’s previous report assigns relatively low death risk to animal-sourced foods.
Prof. Alice V. Stanton, a world-renowned physician who specializes in the study of pharmacy and biomedical sciences at RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, is cautioning us not to buy in. After a period of intense work with a team of researchers, that included Stanton, Frédéric Leroy, Christopher Elliott, Neil Mann, Patrick Wall and Stefaan De Smet, their take on GBD’s no-red-meat-ever cry was published in the well-regarded Lancet Feb. 25. The GBD study fails to clarify how it came to its conclusions, Stanton says.
The GBD report isn’t the only time meat has been castigated. A 2015 study from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) tried its best to link meat with certain types of cancer, namely colorectal cancer. The organization eventually released the full scientific basis of its finding, confirming just how weak the evidence linking meat and colorectal cancer is. Amidst confusion, the World Health Organization (WHO) – the parent organization of IARC – came forward to deflate IARC’s claim and reassure the public that meat should be consumed in moderation as part of a healthy, balanced diet. . .