Loss of farming land – Clive Bibby:
I have written about this before but up until now, nobody in authority seems to be listening or worse still, is hoping that it will just continue to happen and no body will notice.
In fact it appears that the “one way” transfer of our productive grazing land into the fast expanding exotic forestry estate is all part of the government’s plan to achieve its ill advised zero carbon emissions target. More about that later.
The upcoming sale of 6200 hectares of prime East Coast hill country (Huiarua and Matanui Stns) with a combined carrying capacity of over 45,000 stock units and the probability that it might all end up in trees is more than just a little bit worrying.
In the NZ context this is the classic example of what is being allowed to happen to our most precious asset and worse still- it is promoted as being in the nation’s best long term interest. What a sick joke. . .
$20m possum control plan to eradicate bovine TB in Hawke’s Bay over next five years – Maddisyn Jeffares:
A bid to eradicate bovine tuberculosis in Hawke’s Bay will see $20 million committed to possum control in the region over the next five years.
Hawke’s Bay farmers and hunters have since 2019 been struggling with bovine tuberculosis’s spread. As at February, 15 herds were infected.
Operational Solutions for Primary Industries (Ospri) works to control the spread of the disease, which is mainly transmitted by possums.
Ospri says what it is doing is working. Between August and October it completed aerial operations covering about 30,000 hectares including in Waipunga near the Napier Taupō Road, Waikoau, Willowflat and Poronui-Ripia. . .
A new research project involving 45 Canterbury farms will look at how specifically designed native plantings could be used to attract beneficial insects, boosting farm yields.
The project is being led by Plant and Food Research, with $2.2 million of funding coming from the Ministry for Primary Industries Plant Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund and a range of industry partners investing just over $1m.
The project will plant land that is currently under-utilised – such as fence lines, road verges and watercourses – with local native plants that have been proven to support and maintain beneficial insect life.
Plant & Food Research lead researcher Dr Melanie Davidson said native plantings could host many beneficial insects that support farming in Aotearoa. These insects included pollinators and natural enemies of insect pests. . .
Bank of New Zealand’s (BNZ) Shift Happens – Future of agribusiness reporttoday reveals a divided primary sector, adapting to the challenges of climate change and regulation, demanding more from rural connectivity, and grappling with COVID-induced supply chain pain and labour constraints.
When considering the future, the Shift Happens survey found New Zealand’s agribusinesses evenly split. 53% expressed optimism for the future (down from 58% in 2020) while an increasing number of farmers were feeling threatened by change and its impact on the long-term success of their agribusiness (42% to 47%). Those who were more optimistic about the future, were also more likely to embrace the myriad solutions available to overcome the current challenges impacting the sector.
The survey also found:
- Rural connectivity as the most influential megaforce on the future of agribusinesses (54%) with 70% of farmers seeing it as essential to the increasing use of technology and data collection. . . .
A global campaign backed by leading meat businesses has been launched in Aotearoa New Zealand to change perceptions of careers in the meat industry, highlight female role models and encourage more women to join the sector.
‘She Looks Like Me’ Aotearoa will showcase the breadth of roles and career options that exist in the meat supply chain and launches with the ‘day in the life’ video of Cromwell Butcher, Jayne McMillan who has combined her love of science and her connection to the rural sector.
“When I started in the industry, 27 years ago, there were no women on the processing floor and they were largely confined to administration roles. Through hard work, passion and resilience I now own and operate a boutique butchery and delicatessen where I am CEO, Human Resource Manager, Accountant, Butcher, Packer, Customer Service Representative and more.”
I am proud to share my meat industry story through the ‘She Looks Like Me’ campaign, and urge any women to consider this sector. There is a role for everyone, from technical, butchery or trimming through to marketing, procurement, and leadership – your opportunity for growth is endless. Take the leap. I am living, breathing proof of where that first step can take you.” . .
It’sa concept that’s taken root in the past few decades: planting trees on farms.
Aside from sheltering livestock, trees can be used to reduce soil erosion and salinity. They can support food and fibre production, enhance biodiversity and beautify the landscape while creating additional income opportunities from tree products.
One farmer who is keen on trees is Andrew Stewart. The fourth-generation farmer and agricultural scientist recently took home the Bob Hawke Landcare Award for environmental work and sustainable agricultural achievements.
The award comes with a $50,000 prize to develop knowledge and contributions to Landcare. . .