Climate Change Commission pours reality on HWEN proposals – Keith Woodford:
Industry groups now need to decide how to manage the HWEN stand-off with the risk of being left outside the tent
Big decisions are now required, both by rural industry groups and Government, following the Climate Change Commission advice on the He Waka Eke Noa proposals (HWEN). The Climate Change Commission, chaired by Rod Carr, has supported some aspects of the HWEN proposals put forward by industry, but has poured cold reality on other aspects.
Beef+ Lamb and DairyNZ have responded by suggesting that it is all or nothing. However, that is not going to wash with Government. Once again, the rural industry groups have challenging decisions to make as to whether they are inside the tent or outside the tent.
First, there is a key area of agreement which needs to be celebrated. The Climate Change Commission supports the split-gas approach, with this being fundamental to keeping methane away from the Emission Trading Scheme. Given this support, the Government can now be expected to align firmly with this. But there is still a lot of hard work to be done on sorting out the pricing mechanism for methane. . .
Calls for help over ‘exploding’ rabbit plague grow louder – Jill Herron:
A government agency has been instructed to crack down on an out-of-control rabbit population decimating lakeside land
Government-managed land in Central Otago with an “exploding” uncontrolled rabbit population is finally getting attention after the Otago Regional Council stepped in.
Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) has confirmed the council inspected land it manages near Cromwell and Lake Dunstan and found it has “unacceptable levels” of rabbits.
The agency, along with a number of land-holders, has received a council “request for work” letter as part of a reinvigorated effort to push back the tide of rabbits decimating lifestyle blocks, farms and crown land. . .
Farmers who are intensively grazing forage crops are being encouraged to consider planting a catch crop to make use of the nutrients left in the paddock once grazing has finished.
Heather McKay, Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s Environmental Policy Manager, says farm-scale trials has shown that catch crops can reduce nutrient losses from the soil by up to 40% in some soil types.
“Sown as soon as ground conditions allow, catch crops such as oats or rye corn can be really effective at capturing nutrients and turning them into valuable drymatter.”
Trial work carried out by Plant & Food Research has shown oats to be an ideal catch crop in that they are cold tolerant and germinate at five degrees and above. They reduce water in the soil and capture soil nitrogen (N) left in the wake of winter grazing. . .
A New Zealand-designed frost fighting machine that looks like a giant hair dryer could become hot property in France.
Hamilton engineer Fred Phillips, along with two colleagues, started working on the machine, called the Heat Ranger ten years ago.
It is a five-metre tall machine that heats up to between 300 and 600 degrees Celsius, and pushes out air that is 35 degrees C, protecting 15 hectares of grape vines.
In 2020 one machine was used in Blenheim and one in France. . . .
Covers give calves a jump start – Nigel Malthus:
A Christchurch manufacturer of woollen calf covers says his newest product should find favour with the dairy farmers of Southland – even though his main market is the beef ranchers of North America.
David Brown is promoting his Fit N Forget calf covers, made of hessian-reinforced wool. They are sized for the typical American black Angus beef calf, at 85kg liveweight and with leg holes more closely spaced than a dairy calf cover, to match their stockier build.
Selling online, his main market is in the northern states of Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota, with their particularly harsh winters.
But Brown also sees a market for them in New Zealand, even on dairy farms, whenever a farmer is not seeking dairy replacements but is using beef genetics to enhance the value of his calves. . .
Three outstanding women have taken out first, second and third place with Laura Schultz from Trevelyans named Bay of Plenty’s Young Grower for 2022 at an awards dinner in Tauranga last night.
The competition took place yesterday, 20 July, at Mount Maunganui College, where eight competitors tested their skills and ability to run a successful horticulture business in a series of challenges. These were followed by a speech competition titled ‘What I’ll be growing in 2050’, at a gala dinner last night.
Laura excelled in the individual challenges, and impressed judges with her speech on providing the best quality produce by adapting to climate change to grow crops which meet the changing environment. Yanika Reiter came in second place, while Emily Woods was third.
Laura’s prize includes an all-expenses paid trip to Wellington to compete for the title of National Young Grower of the Year 2022, in September, as well as $1,500 cash. . .