How New Zealand’s climate fight is threatening its iconic farmland – Serena Solomon:
As the country puts a growing price on greenhouse emissions, investors are rushing to buy up pastures and plant carbon-sucking trees.
Horehore Station, a sheep and cattle ranch, sprawls across 4,000 acres on New Zealand’s North Island, its jagged expanse of uneven hills and steep gullies blanketed in lush green grass.
It is good, productive farmland, despite the rugged landscape. But it soon won’t be a farm anymore.
The land’s owner, John Hindrup, who bought it in 2013 for 1.8 million New Zealand dollars, sold it this year for 13 million, or $8.2 million. His windfall came courtesy of a newly lucrative industry in New Zealand: Forestry investors will cover the property in trees, making money not from their timber, but from the carbon the trees will suck from the atmosphere. . .
Foot and Mouth: NZ’s doomsday disease – Emile Donovan:
New Zealand’s farming sector is on red alert for the highly contagious disease that could devastate the livestock industry. We’ve never had an outbreak in this country but can we stop it from sneaking past the border indefinitely?
In May of this year, Indonesia confirmed its first case of foot-and-mouth disease – or FMD – since the nation was declared FMD-free in 1986.
Given Indonesia’s proximity to Australia – one of our biggest trading partners – and, indeed, to Aotearoa itself, this rang biosecurity alarm bells.
FMD is a huge threat to New Zealand’s agricultural sector. Agriculture minister Damien O’Connor described the spread of the disease here as “doomsday” for the farming community. . .
Developments coming to help reduce on-farm GHGs – David Anderson:
Despite the challenge of agricultural emissions making up 50% of NZ’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) profile, there are several mitigation options in the pipeline.
At the recent Red Meat Sector Conference in Christchurch, Sinead Leahy – principal science advisor at the NZ Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre (NZAGRC) – outlined some of these developments and work being done in this space.
She told the audience that under the United Nations’ Paris Agreement, NZ has committed to reduce its emissions to 50% below 2005 levels by 2030.
“When you look at NZ’s emissions profile there are two sectors Developments coming to help reduce on-farm GHGs that stand out where reductions can be made – the transport sector and the agriculture sector.” . .
NZ-made electric tractor boon for orchard – Tracie Barrett :
A fossil fuel-free cherry orchard at Mt Pisa, outside Cromwell, has taken delivery of an electric tractor to pull and power its electric sprayer.
The tractor was delivered this week on a fossil fuel-free road trip. Loxley Innovation founder Duncan Aitken towed the tractor, the Blue.E2, from Christchurch to Central Otago behind a Tesla.
The Blue.E2 was an upgrade to the original Blue.E that he converted from diesel to electric in the shed at his Christchurch home more than four years ago, for use on the 5ha farmlet he and wife, Thea Hewitt, own.
The upgrade takes the electric battery from 8.5kwh to 20kwh. . .
Small crop loss surprises farmers – Tim Cronshaw:
A final count-up of losses has revealed that arable farmers are down in yields by a surprisingly small 4% for the main crops.
Worse yields were predicted immediately after a tough harvest in Canterbury and other growing regions.
After factoring in a 4% increase in area harvested, the Arable Industry Marketing Initiative (Aimi) calculated there is no change from the tonnages of the previous season for the six main crops.
However, it did underline that this could be inflated as test weights in some regions were down because of poor weather, which could lead to less grain in silos than expected.
For poor countries already facing debt distress as food crisis looms – Marcello Esteváo :
The war in Ukraine could soon deliver a tragic blow to many of the world’s poorest countries:
, the World Bank’s latest data show. Over the next year, the tab for imports of wheat, rice, and maize in these countries is expected to rise by the equivalent of more than 1 percent of GDP. That is more than twice the size of the 2021-2022 increase—and, given the relatively small size of these economies, it’s also twice as large as the expected increase for middle-income economies.
some that are already in the midst of a simultaneous debt and food crisis. . .But several middle-income countries are at risk as well—including