No change to methane targets – Neal Wallace:
Methane reduction targets are to remain but the Environment Select Committee considering submissions on the Zero Carbon Bill is recommending greater safeguards for using forestry to offset emissions.
The committee recommends the proposed Climate Change Commission be given power to consider the form of greenhouse gas emission targets to ensure targets stay fit for purpose and to consider the impact of forestry offsets.
Another change will allow the commission to recommend changes to the 2050 targets if a significant change is likely to occur. . .
At last, a break in the clouds for NZ’s dairy farmers : Fonterra suppliers could be looking at a sharp lift in income, as the co-op revises its forecast range for the milk price to $6.55-$7.55 kg/MS.And the signals are strong enough to underpin projections the milk price will rise to its highest level since 2014 when the price hit $8.40.
This may diminish, if not completely halt, the grumbling in the cowsheds at Fonterra’s dismal performance over the last couple of seasons, racking up losses and cutting its dividend.
Whether it will eliminate the animosity towards the government, which is proposing to penalise dairy farmers over methane emissions and through its freshwater policy, is less certain. . .
Digging deeper into soil’s black box – Dr Jacqueline Rowarth:
Could soil organic matter be used for carbon credits?
Organic matter is the black box of the soil: it determines many factors in biological activities but predicting the outcomes of those biological activities is not easy.
With sand, silt and clay, organic matter affects soil structure, porosity, drainage and nutrient availability. It supports soil organisms by providing energy and nutrients for growth and reproduction. . .
Vaccinations protect people, animals – Mark Ross:
As we struggle to fathom how we ended up in the throes of a measles outbreak again, we’re reminded of the importance of vaccinations to protect us from life-threatening diseases.
This is no less true for animals which can share diseases with people. Vaccination vastly improves the health of people and animals and is vital for continuing to meet the health challenges of growing populations. . .
Is technology a threat to dairy? – Danielle Appleton :
The New Zealand dairy industry is facing major disruption from synthetic dairy, similar to the synthetic fibres that triggered the decline of the wool industry in the 1980s.
Technology companies are now making real dairy products, without cows.
Their aim is to make real dairy products far cheaper than traditional farming can within the next 10 to 15 years. . .
Prospects for a $7-plus farmgate milk price in 2020 have firmed with the lower New Zealand dollar value and a spring production peak that might not reach any great height.
ASB senior rural economist Nathan Penny believes the NZ dollar falling below US63c is worth up to 50c/kg to the milk price after the delay of the Fonterra currency hedging policy works through.
Fonterra was already forecasting $6.25-$7.25/kg ahead of any currency boost and ASB has pegged $7 before the possible currency upside, Penny said. . .
One single windswept tree block has produced the most extraordinary and expensive Mānuka honey that the world has ever seen.
Ahuriri-based The True Honey Co is now selling its supplies of its 2017 Rare Harvest to luxury retailers such as Selfridges and Harrods in London.
The retailers are buying up to 10 of the 230 gram jars at a time to secure a supply with each jar selling for £1388 (NZD$2815) in the United Kingdom. . .
Why farmers should avoid magic and opt for science -Phil Holmes and Ian McLean:
Unfortunately, and to its detriment, broadacre agriculture is not always an evidence-based industry at producer level.
Yes, there are areas where evidence drives what is done, but it is far from universal. Too much attention is placed on fads and searches for silver bullets.
By way of contrast, consider engineering. If it was not based on hard evidence, planes would fall out of the sky, buildings would collapse and bridges would cave in. It is the ultimate discipline in everyday life. . .