Success from the ground up – Luke Chivers:
Future Post is leading change in on-farm sustainability with its new environmentally friendly fence post that won the top Agricultural Innovation award at this year’s Fieldays.
“It came as a huge surprise,” Future Post founder Jerome Wenzlick said.
“We weren’t expecting to win, that’s for sure.” . .
Whereas I’m not exactly persuaded by James Cameron and Sir Peter Jackson that New Zealand can or should go meat-free, I’m pretty sure we could manage without three more Avatar films.
“What we need,” Cameron told us last week, “is a nice transition to a meatless or relatively meatless world in 20 or 30 years.”
Even for a filmmaker better known for special effects than human-seeming dialogue, this is a clunker.
To be fair, though, when you’ve made a couple of billion dollars from blue aliens on a fictitious planet, and when you have come to regard New Zealand as your personal movie set, what’s so hard about replacing dairy and meat with plant-based alternatives? . . .
Grain sector sees bold future – Annette Scott:
New Zealand is behind other countries in developing and investing in plant-based food ingredients and it’s time to bite the bullet, Plant Research managing director Adrian Russell says.
Agriculture and the world food supply are in the biggest revolution in history, Russell told the Grain and Seed Industry Forum at Lincoln.
“There’s incredibly exciting times to get into as an industry, things are changing and we need to change with it.
“The rise of the flexitarian consuming less meat is predicted to quadruple global pea protein demand by 2025. . .
Rural boards changing – Brent Melville:
Rural New Zealand boardrooms, once the exclusive enclave of the old boys’ club, are becoming more diversified.
It is not happening quickly. But it is happening.
Women account for only about one in four board members of the large primary sector co-operatives. Two are on the 11-strong Fonterra board and they comprise two of seven on the Silver Fern Farms board, two of nine on the Board of Alliance Farmers Produce and three of 10 on the Farmlands board. . .
New job helps with title aspirations – Sally Brooker:
Alan Harvey’s new job is proving great preparation for his tilt at the Young Farmer of the Year title.
The Aorangi region representative in the grand final has moved from being an agricultural consultant for Agri Planz to operations manager for North Otago dairy farming company Borst Holdings Ltd.
After winning the Aorangi competition in February, Mr Harvey said he would have to work on his knowledge of the dairy sector before the national final in Hawke’s Bay on July 4 to 6. So he is filling the gaps in his knowledge while enjoying the variety his job brings. . .
A locally developed, industry-led source assurance programme will set the bar for consumers by enabling them to trace their eggs back to the farm they came from to verify that the eggs they want to buy are the eggs in the carton, says New Zealand’s Egg Producers Federation (EPF).
“True source assurance comes from authenticity across multiple platforms, and for that reason, we see this as the most ambitious primary industry-led programme available,” says EPF Executive Director, Michael Brooks. . .
The slow welcome death of GMO panic – Abe Greenwald:
In the United States, the public panic about the dangers of genetically modified foods is fading fast. This is an amazing—and rare—triumph of reason and science over public hysteria and political posturing.
On Monday, for example, the New York Times published an article by Knuvul Sheikh detailing recent advances in genetically modified crops without offering a single word about potential health dangers or environmental concerns. In fact, it seems there’s a rebranding effort on the left to hype GMO foods as a vital response to climate change.
After describing the benefits of growing plants under artificial light conditions, Sheikh writes: “Researchers have also adopted new genetic techniques to optimize flowering times and make plants more resistant to the rigors of a warming planet.” What types of techniques? None other than Crispr-style gene editing: “Unlike older crossbreeding and crop modification techniques, newer tools like Crispr allow scientists to snip out portions of the plant’s own DNA that may make it vulnerable to disease. . .