You can learn more at Agritech New Zealand.
Todd Muller says the current Government does not see agribusiness as part of the future of New Zealand’s economy.
National’s primary industries spokesman told The Country’s Jamie Mackay that this philosphy “runs deep” within the Labour Party, saying Helen Clark once described agribusiness as “a sunset industry” when she was Prime Minister.
“They have a philosophical view the primary industries, somehow, are not part of New Zealand’s future and I totally reject that view. I always have. I think food and fibre are going to be critical for New Zealand in the future”. . .
(You’ll find a link to the interview if you click on the headline above).
Regenerative Farming: Can meat save the planet? – Bonnie Flaws:
Grazing animals are vital to addressing the climate crisis. Blink. Yep, you read that right.
Cows, sheep, bison, even pigs, goats and chickens are part of the solution, not the enemy.
But ever since the 2006 UN report on livestock that blamed meat production for contributing to climate change, it’s been taking some flack.
However, a growing body of research shows that livestock, managed properly, help build organic matter and store carbon in the soil which is the second largest carbon sink after our oceans, according to the European Environment Agency. . .
Understanding business empowers busy farmer – Sally Rae:
Jess Lamb loves being busy.
That is just as well, given the amount of things going on in her life, whether it is farming, children, part-time work as a beauty therapist or her involvement with the local fire brigade.
Mrs Lamb farms with her husband Greg in the Wendon Valley, near Gore, where their children Stevie (6) and Mac (5) are sixth-generation on the land.
She recently completed the Agri-Women’s Development Trust’s Understanding Your Farming Business programme, which aimed to equip and support women with the knowledge, skills and confidence to lift the performance and profitability of their farming business. . .
Roadshows define agtech strategy – Colin Williscroft:
Farmers are being encouraged to have their say on the types of technology that will be of most benefit to the primary sector.
The Agritech Strategy Roadshow is travelling around the country seeking feedback to help identify key priority areas for Government action to support the sector.
Agritech New Zealand is partnering with several government agencies to develop a range of industry-led initiatives and actions to help the agricultural technology sector, lift export earnings and provide more innovation. . .
The IPCC special report, Climate Change and Land, released last night, has found a third of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the “land”: largely farming, food production, land clearing and deforestation.
Sustainable farming is a major focus of the report, as plants and soil can potentially hold huge amounts of carbon. But it’s incredibly difficult as a consumer to work out the overall footprint of individual products, because they don’t take these considerations into account.
Two vegan brands have published reports on the environmental footprint of their burgers. Impossible Foods claims its burger requires 87% less water and 96% less land, and produces 89% fewer greenhouse-gas emissions than a beef version. Additionally, it would contribute 92% less aquatic pollutants.
Similarly, Beyond Meat claims its burger requires 99% less water, 93% less land, 90% fewer greenhouse emissions and 46% less energy than a beef burger.
But these results have focused on areas where vegan products perform well, and do not account for soil carbon or potential deforestation. This might change the picture. . .
Red meat is not only important for a balanced diet – it has an important role in balanced, natural farming, too.
There is a lot of talk at the moment about sustainable food and the impact eating red meat has on the environment.
We’ve teamed up with the Meat Advisory Panel to provide some useful, fact-based messages to help you have positive, engaging conversations about agriculture, red meat and the environment.
Without livestock, the landscape would change significantly, as we reported in the Landscapes without Livestock project.
This visualised the impacts of a reduction in beef and sheep farming on some of England’s most cherished landscapes over a 30-year period. You can explore one example with the image slider above. . .
Tasman District Council U-turn on Waimea dam draws mixed reaction – Cherie Sivignon:
The Tasman District Council decision on Thursday to revoke its earlier in-principle agreement to effectively end the Waimea dam project has received a mixed reaction.
Nelson MP Dr Nick Smith welcomed the 9-5 vote to proceed with the $102 million project after a new funding model was presented to councillors, calling it the right decision for the region’s future.
“The big gains from this project are environmental and economic,” Smith said. “It will enable the minimum flows in summer in the Waimea River to be lifted five-fold and fully meet the national standards for water quality. It will also enable another 1200ha of horticulture, creating more wealth and jobs.” . .
Tough job to get staff – Neal Wallace:
Labour hungry farmers and primary industry employers face stiff competition for school leavers with regional unemployment below 5%, secondary school teachers are warning.
Mid Canterbury’s unemployment rate is 2%, creating a competitive job market with school leavers having multiple offers and attractive wages and employment conditions, Ashburton College principal Ross Preece said.
So the days of farmers offering youth rates or minimum wages and expecting them to work 50-hour weeks are gone. . .
Better understanding of nutrient movement – Pam Tipa:
We need a better understanding of nutrient transport across catchments, says Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE), Simon Upton.
And he says we also need better understanding of what nutrient models can and can’t do to assist in building a picture and better communication of what is happening to water quality. Upton highlighted several gaps and faults in this information to a recent Environmental Defence Society conference.
The PCE is analysing Overseer as a tool for measuring water pollution from agricultural sources. Upton told the conference he is not yet in a position to preview findings on his Overseer report.
But the need for better understanding of nutrient transport, models and communication were among aspects which so far stand out to him in his findings. . .
Inquiry after lambs killed – Tim Miller:
Mosgiel man Roy Nimmo says the killing of three of his two-week-old lambs is abhorrent and whoever is responsible should take a long hard look at themselves.
The three lambs were being kept in a paddock next to his home in Cemetery Rd, beside the East Taieri Church, with about 15 other lambs and ewes.
A ewe was also shot in the head but at this stage was still alive, Mr Nimmo said. . .
Agritech deal opens door to US markets – Esther Taunton:
New Zealand’s agritech innovators will have better access to the massive United States market through two new partnerships.
Agritech New Zealand, which represents some of the country’s top tech companies, has signed an agreement with California-based Western Growers, a trade organisation whose members provide more than half the nation’s fresh fruit and vegetables.
Signed last week, the deal will open doors for Kiwi agritech companies to enter the US market via the Western Growers Centre for Innovation and Technology in California and for US-based agritech startups to access the New Zealand market, Agritech NZ executive director Peter Wren-Hilton said. . .
Shortfall of tractor drivers a concern – Yvonne O’Hara:
Although a new apprenticeship scheme will address future labour needs in the horticultural industry nationally, there is also a shortage of skilled tractor drivers and irrigation technicians to work on Central Otago vineyards that needs to be addressed.
The three-year programme provides on the job training and support for 100 new horticulture and viticulture apprentices, and was launched last month.
It is supported by New Zealand Winegrowers, Primary ITO, the Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) . .
The current drought is showing the detrimental impact that the $1/litre milk and the discounting of dairy products has had on the profitability of dairy farmers across NSW.
Retailers’ behavior to discount dairy products had deteriorated farmers’ economic resilience and the prolonged drought is highlighting the reduced profits of farmers.
Preparing for drought requires that during good years farmers from across all commodities have extra cash that they reinvest back into their farm to prepare for the lean times. . .