Hackles rise over stock reduction numbers – Hamish MacLean:
A possible 15% reduction in livestock numbers on red meat and dairy farms by 2030 could break New Zealand’s under-pressure agriculture industry, some farmers fear.
While industry groups are taking a cautious approach to the Climate Change Commission’s draft advice package, its preferred path includes reduced livestock numbers by 2030.
And the already weary farming sector feared an urban-centred Government could again make changes for rural New Zealand that did not match what was happening on the ground, Riverton sheep farmer Leon Black said.
Mr Black, a former Beef + Lamb New Zealand southern South Island director, said any policy that led to fewer farms in the South would be catastrophic for rural communities. . .
Concern over land reform changes – Annette Scott:
Changes proposed in the Crown Pastoral Land Reform Bill threaten the viability of high country farming for pastoral lessees.
The Bill proposes to amend the Crown Pastoral Land Act 1998 and the Land Act 1948, to end tenure review and redesign the regulatory system to deliver improved Crown pastoral outcomes.
But farmers say the Bill is poorly drafted, placing unreasonable limitations on day-to-day farming activities for pastoral leaseholders.
Farmers will be bogged down in red tape and environmental outcomes would go backwards. . .
Zespri faces a China conundrum – Keith Woodford:
China is New Zealand’s biggest kiwifruit market. Growth of this market has been spectacular with the Zespri-owned SunGold variety much-loved by Chinese consumers. The problem is that the Chinese are also growing at least 4000 hectares of SunGold without the permission of Zespri.
That compares to about 7000 hectares of SunGold grown in New Zealand.
The question now facing Zespri and the New Zealand kiwifruit industry is what to do about it. There are no easy solutions.
This issue is something I discussed with local folk in the kiwifruit-growing regions of China way back in the years between 2012 and 2015. It did not need an Einstein to work out that the SunGold budwood was already there. . .
Kiwifruit settlement a token, but an important one – Nikki Mandow:
This weekend’s settlement over PSA kiwifruit disease compensation is good news for the taxpayer, but bad news for business owners, particularly farmers.
On Saturday morning, a group of kiwifruit growers announced they had reached a settlement with the Crown over damages they suffered after virulent kiwifruit vine disease PSA entered New Zealand. The bacteria arrived in 2009 in imported Chinese pollen because of a Ministry of Primary Industries biosecurity blunder at the border, and it devastated the industry.
The growers wanted $450 million, plus interest, to compensate them for the destruction of their orchards; in some cases the destruction of their livelihoods.
But late on Friday night, with the final stage of a seven year-long court battle due to start in the Supreme Court today, they settled for $40 million. . .
The Maniototo A&P Show, scheduled for Wednesday, has been cancelled.
Secretary Janine Smith said organisers made the tough decision to cancel the show after the Government moved the nation to Alert Level 2 and Auckland to Alert Level 3 on Sunday night.
The situation was being assessed by the Government every 24 hours. . .
Cattle game is trusted; but society still wants oversight – Shan Goodwin:
Cattle producers enjoy a high level of trust by the Australian community but that does not equate to support for a relaxed regulatory environment.
This is the key finding from first-of-its-kind independent research into public perceptions of the cattle industry’s environmental performance, from a team headed up by The University of Queensland.
The work points to the need for a rethink of how the industry sometimes frames the relationship between environmental regulation and community trust.
A well-designed regulatory framework that is developed with the engagement of key stakeholders enables the demonstration of sound environmental performance and should not be framed as a burden, or the result of society being ‘on our back’, says lead researcher Dr Bradd Witt. . .