Irrigation problems call for new approaches – Gerald Piddock:
Getting to the future first could see New Zealand become a world leader in sustainable, irrigated agriculture, says a visiting Australian academic.
By achieving an innovative vision for agriculture, New Zealand could then trade this to the world market, Dr Peter Ellyard told delegates at the IrrigationNZ Conference in Timaru.
“I think what you need to do is create a vision for irrigated agriculture for the year 2050 and say `this is what we think we could look like’, and say `why not?”‘ . . .
Management of water resources the problem – Gerald Piddock:
The world does not face a water crisis, but a crisis of water management, an international expert on water says.
The solution to future problems around water management is integrated water resources management by managing the resource across all of its different uses, Danish professor Torkil Jonch Clausen told delegates at the IrrigationNZ conference in Timaru.
This is currently not being done, he said.
“I don’t think the world faces a water crisis, if we act intelligently. We have all the water we need but we do face a crisis in governance in a world of uncertainty.” . . .
Opuha dam held up as fine irrigation example – Gerald Piddock:
South Canterbury’s Opuha Dam should be sold to the public as what irrigation can achieve, the IrrigationNZ conference in Timaru was told. Showcasing such schemes would help improve overall public perceptions of irrigation.
Improving perceptions of irrigation among the wider public could be achieved through better branding and celebrating industry success stories, industry experts said. . .
NZ must make the most of its assets now if it’s to recover – Gerald Piddock:
Growing the levers that generate income is the “only palatable option” in getting New Zealand’s economy back on its feet, ANZ chief economist Cameron Bagrie says.
New Zealand needed to recognise what it has that is world class which include its water resources, potential minerals, tourism and global reputation, he said in an address at the IrrigationNZ Conference in Timaru.
“They are tremendously powerful areas of strategic advantage.” . . .
‘Wow Factor’ Farm Wins Supreme Title in Southland Ballance Farm Environment Awards
Opio farmers Michael and Karen Blomfield, the owners of an “industry-leading” dairy farm, have won the Supreme award in the 2012 Southland Ballance Farm Environment Awards.
Ballance Farm Environment Award (BFEA) judges were lavish in their praise of the couple’s 220ha former sheep and beef farm, describing it as an “impeccable and aesthetically pleasing farm with the wow factor”.
“This dairy business can be highlighted as demonstrating all the disciplines we would have expected of a medium scale operation that epitomises near optimum environmental, social and financial sustainability.” . . .
Doug’s drought solution leverages water – Jon Morgan:
Doug Avery admits he’s “a bit flash” on the environment and the need to build good soils.
That’s because the 2010 South Island Farmer of the Year has been through the pain of long drought years that hit his Marlborough farm in the 1980s and 90s.
The “decarbonising” of the Marlborough farmland by generations of farmers left him embarrassed to be a farmer, he told a Hawke’s Bay Future Farming Conference.
“But farmers are not the problem,” he said. “We are the solution. As landholders of this country we occupy most of the land that is not in bush or mountain pasture. We must be the guardians of this valuable and ongoing resource.” . . .
Wool must mean wool – Bruce Wills:
What would happen if a local wine company produced a nice bottle of sparkling wine, so nice, they put ‘Champagne’ on the label? In a matter of days they’d feel some hefty legal muscle because since the 1890’s, the French have protected ‘Champagne’ with passion. The French could so easily have given a Gallic shrug, uttered sacré bleu and seen Champagne become another generic name for sparkling wine. Having once tried a $2.99 bottle of American ‘Champagne,’ there’s a few choice words I could use to explain why the French should protect their $7 billion industry.
The Champagne houses couldn’t do this without the active backing of their government. If you want to deal with France or Europe for that matter, you have to respect what intellectual property means. While I’m passionate about wool, the industry around it has sometimes resembled an epic disaster movie. After the boom years of the 1950’s we got so caught up in minutia and infighting, we lost control of our most precious asset being the word ‘wool’ itself. . .
Orchards struggle to find workers – Peter Watson:
Some orchardists are scrambling for pickers as the apple harvest reaches its busiest period.
A late start to the season means the harvest has been compressed into a shorter period.
This has pushed up the demand for staff.
However, growers are finding it difficult to recruit and retain experienced pickers in particular, as foreign workers resume their travels and Kiwis often find the work too hard for the money they can earn. . .
Controversial wood strategy shows promise:
The Wood Council of New Zealand (Woodco) released its Strategic Action Plan for Forestry at the FORESTWOOD 2012 national conference for the forest and wood products sector in Wellington last month.
At the ForestWood Conference a new action plan emerged from within that strategy – one which strongly recommends a steep change and leap forward for the industry. Richard Phillips, of North Carolina State University, made a compelling presentation for a new “mega-mill” in the form of a one million tonne per annum integrated pulp mill built to also house integrated biomass and biofuel production cells. . .
Think solar when building a barn – Business Blog:
Anyone constructing a new agricultural building should consider maximising additional income from a roof-mounted solar installation, says Strutt & Parker.
The firm has just opened one of its first solar barn projects at EW Davies Farms in Thaxted, Essex (pictured below) and says that even with the lower Feed-in Tariffs a solar barn should pay for itself in around 20 years. . .