No Free lunch! – Rural News:
The ink was barely dry on the Government’s newly released emissions reductions plan before the whining began.
“Agriculture – New Zealand’s largest emitting sector – has got off scot-free, again!” the whiners cried. “And it is getting $339m for a new Centre for Climate Action on Agricultural Emissions, despite the sector not paying any money into the Emissions Trade Scheme.”
On the surface, that may be true. However, you only need to dig a little deeper to see there are no easy answers to agriculture’s emissions profile.
New Zealand is unique in that almost half of the country’s greenhouse gases come from the agricultural sector. However, as has been shown in the wake of Covid and the demise of NZ’s once bustling tourism sector, it’s our dairy, meat, horticulture and other primary produce that this country now relies on for income. . .
“State-owned enterprises shouldn’t be competing with Kiwi businesses, and there’s no greater example of this than Landcorp,” says ACT’s Primary Industries spokesperson Mark Cameron.
“The Government has no business being in farming, it’s interfering in the free market and New Zealand has plenty of ambitious, talented farmers who deserve the opportunity to farm the land currently owned by Landcorp.
“An independent review into Landcorp that was undertaken in 2021 said the organisation failed to meet financial forecasts, had high corporate costs, and invested in unprofitable off-farm ventures.
“No private operation would be able to fail like this, Landcorp is taking taxpayers for a ride. . .
Farmers hit hard by the Ashburton floods say their farms have recovered well and in some cases their pastures are better than before.
It is a year since heavy rainfall caused rivers in mid-Canterbury to burst their banks, spewing shingle across farmland and leaving hectares of land under water.
Bryan Beeston’s dairy farm backs onto the North Branch of the Ashburton River in the worst-hit area of Greenstreet.
On the day of the flood the water breached the two-metre stock bank and tore through the farm, washing away 198 of his dairy cows, ripping out fences and flooding houses and sheds on the property. . .
New Great Walk over the hump – Vaneesa Bellew :
Tired trampers might sometimes beg to differ with the assertion that the destination counts for less than the journey. But the country’s newest Great Walk, with its benefits for the Waiua community, should avoid any such arguments
The Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track will add to its pioneering narrative when it becomes a Great Walk next year and creates history as the only such walk not managed by the Department of Conservation (DoC).
Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track Inc will continue to operate the 61km three-day loop on behalf of the Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track Charitable Trust when it becomes New Zealand’s 11th Great Walk at the start of the 2023-24 season.
Glenn Thomas, chair of the trust, and board director, says the trust and DoC are getting down to the “nuts and bolts” of an agreement on how the partnership will operate. “It’s a process and it’s going very well,” he says. . .
With ‘Moving Day’ just around the corner (June 1), it’s a good time for farmers to review their biosecurity practices while moving their animals.
“Good planning and communication can help ensure a smooth Moving Day,” says Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) Eradication Programme Director Simon Andrew.
“Thanks to the hard work and sacrifice of farmers and the wider agricultural sector, we have made good progress toward eradicating M. bovis since it was first detected in New Zealand in 2017. We are now aiming to move from delimiting – controlling the last known pockets of M. bovis – to gathering negative test result data to support a statement of provisional absence of M. bovis.
“Good biosecurity practices remain essential to fighting this disease. If left unchecked, the disease could have cost industry an estimated $1.2 billion over the first 10 years, with ongoing productivity losses across the farming sector and animal welfare concerns.” . .
When the Bruderhof community came to the Inverell district in 1999 they were seeking a return to agronomic roots and in the years since have lifted their beef production as a direct result of growing soil carbon.
A Christian community originally founded in Germany in 1920, Bruderhof was ousted by the Nazis and fled to the Cotswolds, in England, where they changed-up a local farm from poor to high quality in just four years. When World War Two loomed large they sailed over the Atlantic and crossed the equator to set up camp in the jungles of Paraguay.
“My father was a Gaucho,” says community farm manager Johannes Meier. “They clawed out a life in the remote jungle and savannah and they were on horseback sunrise to sunset, raising tick-resistant Zebu cattle.”
German farmers perfected sustainable agriculture in the millennia before their scientists discovered a way of making nitrogen fertiliser from the air but those old-school methods were maintained by the Bruderhof community – formed three years before the invention of the Haber-Bosch process. . .