Labour shifts goalposts on forestry goal, its first policy of 2020 campaign – Thomas Coughlan:
Labour has quietly shifted the goalposts on its first campaign promise of the 2020 campaign, a policy that would make it more difficult to plant swathes of prime food-producing land in trees to harvest carbon credits.
Last July, Labour’s rural communities spokesman Kieran McAnulty and Forestry spokesman Stuart Nash promised that within six months of the next Government being formed, Labour would amend National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry to allow councils to determine for themselves what classes of land can be used for plantation and carbon forests.
Resource consent would have been required for plantation forests to be grown on land known as “elite soils”, land which has a Land Use Capability Class of 1-5. Land of a higher ranking, deemed less essential for food production, could still be used for forestry as now. . .
There are fears rural communities in the south may be left behind during the Covid-19 vaccine rollout.
Community leaders say there has been scant information about when vulnerable populations in remote areas can expect to be inoculated.
The Southern DHB said more clinics would open by the end of July in remote areas so no one was more than an hour from the nearest clinic.
Fiordland Community Board chair Sarah Greaney said despite group 3 – those over 65 or at greater risk from Covid-19 – being eligible for the vaccine, the nearest clinic at present was 140km away in Gore. . .
Breakthrough in Hawkes Bay Bay TB response – Sally Murphy:
The animal health agency working to eradicate TB in the Hawkes Bay has gained access to two large forestry blocks in order to cull possums.
OSPRI is working to eradicate the disease – which is spread mainly by possums and can compromise immune systems in stock, causing serious production losses and animal welfare issues.
There are currently 18 herds infected with Bovine TB in the region – but there are also 572 herds under restricted movement controls – which means those farmers can’t move stock off farm without approval – which is a source of great frustration for some in the area.
During the response OSPRI has had trouble getting approval from some land owners to carry out pest control work, which can involve 1080 drops. . .
Mid Canterbury Arable Farmer David Grant was awarded the “Federated Farmers Arable Farmer of the Year Award 2021” at the arable industry awards in Christchurch tonight.
David’s contribution to the industry through is work with the Foundation for Arable Research, and in innovation and information sharing, made him an outstanding candidate for this year’s award, Feds Arable chair Colin Hurst said.
The Arable Farmer of the Year Award is designed to recognise a member who excels at arable farming and to acknowledge the standard of excellence they set for the industry. . .
Net Carbon Zero Certified* Beef, Regenerative Agriculture and the elimination of coal by 2030; today, Silver Fern Farms has committed to several bold initiatives to drive its vision of being the world’s most successful and sustainable grass-fed red meat company.
Silver Fern Farms Co-Chair, Rob Hewett, said it was after a significant amount of work and with real satisfaction the company was in the position to make these commitments publicly.
“We have set targets to stretch us, but we are ready for the challenge. If anything, we are committed to investing to accelerate our progress to achieve these significant milestones early. . .
Australian oat noodles and oat ‘rice’ are set to become popular pantry staples here and overseas, once new manufacturing processes developed by the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC) are matched with the right commercial partners.
AEGIC is looking for food brands, manufacturers or investors who can fast-track getting the new healthy plant-based products to market, and help move oats beyond the breakfast table to becoming an option for lunch, dinner and snacks.
Developed from Australian oats, which are high in beta glucan, the new products offer superior nutritional benefits.
AEGIC’s oat rice has twice as much dietary fibre than other white and brown rices, fewer carbohydrates, more protein, and a greater concentration of healthy unsaturated fatty acids. . .
BEACON advances the inclusion of EO satellites within the AgI processes and adopts a smart contract and blockchain technology which will low the operational and administrative costs by transforming traditional processes to automated ones.
Agricultural Insurance (AgI) is the most weather-dependent sector among insurance services. The premiums’ calculations and the development of new products are highly depending on the continuously changing climate and the high variability of extreme weather events, for which such historic records are absent or not sufficiently accurate. In addition, the damage assessment and the handling of claims is rather costly including high operational and administrative costs since the verification of a claim requires on-the-spot inspections. Most of the times, the results of such inspections are controversial, since the final estimations are performed by inspectors who by human nature are less objective. . .