In the heart of Hawke’s Bay, Simon and Lou White have built a diverse arable cropping operation with soil health at its core. Their farming philosophy has made their business resilient to the region’s challenging weather patterns.
The White’s and their three children farm a mix of arable cropping and sheep and beef finishing across the 1100-hectare property, including a lease property, which has been in their family for three generations.
Simon says their focus is on future-proofing their farm for another generational transition by making sure they have the most efficient irrigation systems that work environmentally, economically and socially.
“We use four pivots with variable rate irrigation technology. We have been using this system to isolate blocks based on our farm’s soil types and the seasonal crops we have in the ground, to get the best out of both our irrigation and our farm,” Simon said. . .
Canterbury water ruling will affect wetlands, roads – Oliver Lewis :
Councils and developers may find it difficult, if not impossible, to build new roads and wetlands in parts of Canterbury as a result of a court decision involving controversial water bottlers.
Environment Canterbury (ECan) says it’s obliged to implement its regional plan as directed by the court, but experts are warning the new consenting approach could seriously impede development and are calling on the regional council to find a sensible solution. . .
High global prices continue to drive export growth for New Zealand red meat with the value of exports to almost all major markets increasing during September, however there are signs of a slow-down in some key markets, according to an analysis by the Meat Industry Association (MIA).
New Zealand exported red meat and co-products worth $777 million during September, a 21 per cent increase on last year. The top three markets were China ($286m), the United States ($149m) and the Netherlands ($29m).
High export values over the last 12 months also saw the value of total red meat and fifth quarter exports (co-products) reach $11.5 billion in the year ended September, up 20 per cent from the previous year.
Beef exports were worth $4.8 billion for the year (up 25 per cent), sheepmeat exports were worth $4.5 billion (up 15 per cent), and fifth quarter exports were worth $2.2 billion (up 20 per cent). . .
The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand ( DCANZ) is welcoming the New Zealand government taking further legal steps to address Canadian dairy import rules that breach the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
The move follows consultations held earlier in the year, at New Zealand’s request, between the two countries to seek to resolve New Zealand claims that Canada is not implementing its commitments under the agreement.
“We are not surprised that the consultations haven’t resolved our concerns over the conditions for imports under the CPTPP quotas,” says DCANZ Executive Director Kimberly Crewther.
“Experience has shown that where its dairy import policies are concerned, Canada needs to be compelled to make changes that bring it in line with its international commitments.” . .
Mike Casey, owner of the world’s first zero fossil fuel orchard located in Central Otago, will share his pioneering journey to fully electrify his six-hectare orchard at the New Zealand Agricultural Show in Christchurch on 10th November.
Forest Lodge Orchard’s entire commercial operation from New Zealand’s first electric frost fighting fans to irrigation, tools and vehicles is powered by electricity and via power that is generated and stored on farm using solar and batteries.
Mike is currently trialling a converted electric tractor and expects delivery of New Zealand’s first electric tractor next year. He says it is important not to let perfection be the enemy when it comes to making changes on-farm.
“We need to start by looking at the choices we make for things we can control like the equipment we use on our farms. I have gone ahead and done everything I can do to eliminate reliance on fossil fuels, but farmers can also adopt a step-by-step approach if they want to start going down the same path.” . .
Oat milk is killing the planet – John John Lewis-Stempel :
What did you pour over the breakfast cereal this morning? Oatly? Almond milk? Coconut milk? Surely not old-fashioned cow’s milk? As the splash of recent protests by Animal Rebellion (an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion) have warned: the bovine white stuff is the devil’s secretion. Targeting high-end grocers — such as Waitrose, Harrods and M&S Foods — in their “Milk Pour” campaign, these climate-change activists have tipped litres of dairy all over the hallowed floors of middle-class temples, while holding placards demanding a “plant-based future”.
But isn’t “Milk Pour” just a little hard to swallow? Doesn’t it actually stink of First Worldism? A cynic might even suggest that Skylar Sharples and her friends are the dupes of the billion-dollar alt-milk industry. Despite its we-save-the-world advertising, alt-milk is implicated in enough environmental destruction to turn you green, but only with sickness at the hypocrisy.
We all know the problems with dairy. It’s Daisy the cow’s methane burps, and the fact that livestock takes up so much of the globe’s surface. Except that the prime reason for the planetary extent of livestock is that vast tracts of the Earth consist of grass and scrub — food humans cannot eat, but which Daisy and her ilk can turn into nutritious meat and dairy, stuff that humans can chow. Far from being upscale food, as “Milk Pour” would have you believe, dairy — that is cow, sheep, goat, buffalo, donkey, horse milk — is the necessary subsistence food of millions of pastoralist peoples across the world, from Eastern Africa to Mongolia. I cannot wait for Skylar and her activist friends to spread the word to Maasai herders, to chuck away their milk while declaiming a “plant-based future”. . .