What sounds good may not be – Jacqueline Rowarth:
“The carbon market is based on the lack of delivery of an invisible substance to no one.”
This was investigative journalist Mark Schapiro’s description in a 2010 article in Harper’s Magazine, under the title of ‘Conning the climate’. The problem? The lack of ability to verify what was going on.
This, he explained, contrasts with traditional commodities, which must be delivered to someone in physical form. Schapiro avoided ‘the emperor has no clothes’ analogy but indicated that the people benefitting from the trading game were auditing companies who weren’t always employing appropriate people. He used the terms ‘flawed, inadequate, and overall failure to assign assessors with the proper technical skills’.
There are lessons in this for New Zealand. . .
The commercial flower industry is being left out in the cold in this latest lockdown. It’s an industry that can’t close its doors and get a wage subsidy to pay its staff. It’s a constant process of planting, toil and regeneration, National’s Horticulture spokesperson David Bennett says.
“Commercial growers are unable to send their products to market despite sales channels being open to other products. One grower told me they can buy ‘donuts and alcohol, but not flowers’.
“Horticulturists have been selfless and patient in complying with lockdowns like other New Zealanders. However, they do expect a fair playing field where they can undertake contactless delivery with consumers and other essential service retailers. . .
Latest lift in auction prices is an encouraging sign for the fortunes of dairy farmers – Point of Order:
The good news was running in favour of New Zealand’s meat producers early this week. Today it is running in favour of our dairy farmers.
The first Fonterra global dairy trade auction in three weeks had the most bidders in a year and charted prices on a rising trend, confirming the firm tone at the previous event was not a one-off.
The global dairy trade price index posted its biggest increase since early March, when it jumped 15%.
The key WMP product rose 3.3%, SMP was up 7.3% and both butter and cheese each rose almost 4%. Prices rose 4% overall in USD terms, although they were only up 1.2% in NZD terms, held back by a firming currency. . . .
Council’s waste plan puts Manawatū food production at risk – Emma Hatton:
Landowners in Manawatū are anxious their plots will be swept up in plans for the country’s largest-ever wastewater to land treatment system.
Productive land is caught up in the Palmerston North City Council’s proposal to discharge treated wastewater onto between 760 and 2000 hectares, instead of primarily into the Manawatū River.
Peter Wells’ family has been on the land since 1884. He and his wife run a farm and a wedding business on it.
“We would likely be included in the 760, certainly in the 2000. . .
More cases of the cattle disease M bovis are expected this spring, with bulk tank milk testing last month picking up 61 farms requiring further investigation.
The government has been working to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis since 2018. As part of that work, so far 172,000 cattle from 268 farms have been culled and $209.4 million has been paid in compensation to affected farmers.
Figures from the Ministry for Primary Industries show at moment there are just two farms, both in Canterbury, actively infected with M bovis.
MPI’s director of the M bovis eradication programme Stuart Anderson said it wouldn’t be surprised to see a small number of new cases this spring. . .
Kerry Harmer and her husband Paul farm Castleridge Station in the Ashburton Gorge and were concerned about the economic loss associated with lamb wastage, as well as the animal welfare implications.
Determined to address the issue, the couple have set up a lamb-rearing system – which includes automatic feeders – that minimises lamb losses and generates a profit of $50/head (including labour costs).
Kerry was a popular presenter on Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s Ladies’ Virtual Muster and joins Regional Associate Briar Huggett to discuss the Harmers’ journey and tips and tricks she has for other lamb rearers. . .
CSIRO, governments and industry put $150m into farm sector research – Kath Sullivan:
Increased exports, drought mitigation and new foods are at the centre of $150 million in research spending by governments and Australia’s farming industry.
It is hoped that the CSIRO-led research will help generate an additional $20 billion of value for Australia’s farm sector by the 2030.
CSIRO has committed an initial $79 million, with governments and industry kicking in $71 million, to fund the five-year research program, which will involve three key “missions”.
“We’ve decided to really focus our efforts on three big challenges that we think are existential for farming in Australia,” CSIRO agriculture and food deputy director Michael Robertson said. . .