Time to reopen the GE in agriculture debate – Jacqueline Rowarth:
Ideologically-based beliefs are preventing consumers from experiencing the benefits that gene editing in agriculture can bring, Dr Jacqueline Rowarth writes.
It is over two decades since the Royal Commission on genetic modification (GM) responded to the task of evaluating the technology within the context of New Zealand.
The major theme of the 473-page report was self-described as “preserving opportunities”.
The authors went to considerable lengths to explain the different concerns and perspectives of New Zealanders who, by and large, were comfortable with GM for medical purposes, but were less so in food production. . .
Holy cow milk is best! – Warren McNab:
Plant-based beverages are expensive and provide only a small fraction of the nutritional goodness of cow’s milk.
These are the findings of a new study, published in the Frontiers in Nutrition journal (August 8), which assessed the nutritional profiles of a range of plant-based beverages – such as soy, oat, coconut, almond or rice drinks – and compared them to standard bovine milk.
Researchers collected 103 plant-based products from supermarkets in Palmerston North, New Zealand. These drinks were found to have much lower quantities of the 20 nutrients measured – such as calcium and protein – and were significantly more costly than cow’s milk.
The study was carried out by Riddet Institute scientists, from Massey University, in Palmerston North. The Riddet Institute is a Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE), hosted by Massey University. . .
The National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Land will provide protection for the country’s best land and soil so it can be used to produce food.
‘Covid has taught us that we can’t take for granted that there’ll always be New Zealand grown vegetables and fruit on our retailers’ shelves,’ says HortNZ Chief Executive, Nadine Tunley.
‘HortNZ has advocated for nearly a decade for government policy that recognises the importance of our best soils, and ensures that they are prioritised for what they are best for – producing healthy vegetables and fruit.
‘All along, we have said that with good planning, New Zealand can have fresh vegetables and fruit, and houses.’ . .
Otago Regional Council (ORC) has upgraded its online consent mapping site in a move designed to make the service more farmer-friendly.
The map, Consents in Otago, now includes a property-by-address, legal description or consent number search function, satellite imagery similar to Google Maps, plus named waterways, a polygon/draw tool and also a print button, says Alexandra King, ORC team leader consents.
“It’s now much more user friendly for farmers who’re working through the mapping part of their applications, specifically intensive winter grazing plans,” she says.
King says the tool allows farmers to easily identify and measure blocks throughout their farms, and help them in identifying risk areas/sensitive receptors on-farm such as critical source areas, waterways, wetlands or water bores. . .
Mossop’s Honey and Apiculture New Zealand are looking for the next Ron Mossop Youth Scholarship recipient to get a boost into the apiculture industry.
The scholarship was set up five years ago as a way of giving young people the best possible start in the apiculture industry. It includes $2000 to be put towards best-practice training or set-up costs, membership of industry body Apiculture New Zealand for a year, attendance at the industry’s national conference in the year of the award and an accommodation allowance for Conference.
Last year’s recipient, Alyssa Wilson from Canterbury, is currently finishing off a Primary ITO course the scholarship helped pay for. The course involves writing about and photographing her practical experience working at Gowanleagold with beekeeper James Corson, where she says she is “learning heaps”.
While attending the Apiculture New Zealand Conference in Christchurch this year, Alyssa says she particularly enjoyed listening to Dr Sammy Ramsey, one of the international speakers from the United States. . .
Fears Australian farm labour woes may worsen with loss of UK backpackers under trade deal – Khaled Al Khawaldeh:
Rosie Bradford arrived from the UK in November 2019 on a working holiday visa ready to trade in some of her youthful energy for the chance to enjoy the Aussie sun for an extra year or two.
“The only reason I went to do it [farm work] was obviously to get my second and third year. I was so focused on that but after doing it, I would definitely say I would have still done it,” she said.
“I absolutely do not regret doing farm work at all. I learned a lot from those experiences. And I met so many amazing people. But to be honest [without the compulsion] I probably wouldn’t have done … I probably wouldn’t have been that interested.”
Bradford would end up spending three years working in parts of the country where most Australian workers do not venture. Picking bananas in Tully, oranges and mandarins in Gayndah, grafting in Tasmania, and even working on a fishing boat in Darwin. Like many of her compatriots, she helped fill a gap in a workforce stretched thin in a vast, but highly urbanised, country. . .