The carbon price marches on – Keith Woodford:
NZU investors are now driving the price of carbon as they play the market
As I write this in late January 2022, the carbon price in the open market is $75, with this measured per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). That is an increase of just over 10 percent since the last auction of units by the Government less than two months ago in December 2021. It is also 95 percent higher than the price of carbon this time last year.
The most recent 10 percent increase may not sound much. But the fact that the market price has now breached $70 is significant. It means that there is a developing consensus among players in the carbon market that, at the next auction on 16 March, the Government’s seven million NZU cost-containment reserve for all of 2022 will be exhausted.
If the reserve is exhausted in March, it is likely to be onwards and upwards from there for the carbon price, with three further auctions in 2022 unconstrained by any cost-containment reserve. . .
Economic boost of almost $14bn comes from lift in Fonterra milk payment – Point of Order:
While most of the economy is struggling with the impact of the Covid pandemic, the dairy industry is riding a prosperity wave.
In the wake of high prices recorded at last week’s Global Auction, the big co-op Fonterra has lifted its forecast milk payment to farmers for this season to a new record level between $8.90 and $9.50kg/MS.. That’s up from its forecast in early December of between $8.40 an d $9kg/MS..
The midpoint of the range, which farmers are paid off, increased to $9.20kg/MS from $8.70, the highest level since Fonterra was formed in 2001. The co-op paid farmers $7.54kg/MS last season, and its previous record was $8.40kg/MS in the 2013/14 season.
Global dairy prices hit an eight-year-high at auction last week, as tight milk supply has strengthened demand for New Zealand’s most significant export commodity. Prices have been supported this season by weaker milk production in this country because of poor weather and higher feed costs. . .
Alliance has launched a premium Wagyu beef offer to farmers in a bid to increase value and meet consumer demand in its international markets.
The red meat cooperative is partnering with Southern Stations Wagyu who will provide the genetics from its Australian based Red Wagyu bulls to farmers here.
Farmers can sign a supply contract for cattle with a minimum of 50 percent red or black wagyu genetics.
Red wagyu and black wagyu are different breeds of Japanese cattle, both known for their high intramuscular fat content and marbling ability. . .
Rumours that the embattled specialty dairy company A2 Milk is being eyed as a possible takeover target is being credited with driving its shareprice more than 7 percent higher.
The Australian newspaper has linked A2 Milk to the Canadian dairy giant Saputo, which is reported to be close to making a big acquisition.
A2 has been [https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/business/454339/a2-milk-changing-growth-strategy-after-china-infant-formula-market-forces-adaptions touted as a possible takeover target over the past year as it struggled to restore its earnings, profits and share price in the face of disrupted sales channels, excess stock and a slide in sales of infant formula in the key Chinese market.
A2 declined comment on the speculation. . .
Traffic stopping sunflower field in Tararua a sight to behold – George Heagney:
A field blooming with thousands of sunflowers, intended to subdue speeding motorists, appears to be having the desired effect.
The striking sight even has travellers pulling off the country road to pose and take photos with the radiant backdrop.
Abbe Hoare planted 47,000 sunflower seeds in a half-hectare block near the roadside of her farm at Mangamaire, south of Pahīatua.
The sunflowers started flowering about 10 days ago and now the field is filled with bright yellow heads all facing east, which are expected to last until the end of February. . .
World’s first CRISPR-edited sugarcane developed in Brazil – Daniel Azevedo:
Scientists from Embrapa Agroenergia in Brazil have developed the first sugarcane varieties edited using CRISPR gene editing technology. The edited sugarcane varieties are called Cana Flex I and Cana Flex II. The respective distinctive features are easier cell wall digestibility and higher sucrose concentration in plant tissues.
The edited plants are considered non-transgenic, or DNA-Free, according to Normative Resolution No. 16 (RN No. 16) of the National Biosafety Technical Commission (CTNBio), issued on 12/9/2021. Both developments used the CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats), a “Nobel prized” and revolutionary gene manipulation technique discovered in 2012.
They respond to one of the biggest scientific challenges in the sugarcane sector: easy enzyme’s access into sugars trapped in cells, which facilitates ethanol production (first and second generation), and better extraction of other bioproducts.
In the case of Cana Flex I, the CRISPR technique silenced the gene responsible for the rigidity of the plant cell wall, in order to increase its “digestibility”. This means the enzymatic hydrolysis process – a chemical process that extracts compounds from plant biomass – is more efficient. . .