Regenerative ag’s mythology questioned – David Anderson:
The “mythology” of regenerative agriculture and lack of scientific evidence has prompted two renowned plant scientists to write to Ag Minister Damien O’Connor.
In the letter, Lincoln University’s Professor Derek Moot and retired plant scientist Professor Warwick Scott, express their concerns about the increased profile of regenerative agriculture in New Zealand media and farming sectors.
They have called on the minister to convene an expert panel of scientists to review all the claims made about practice.
“It is important that sound science drives our agricultural systems,” they say. “We believe such a panel should provide a robust critique of the claims made about ‘regenerative agriculture’ to ensure the public, industry and policy makers have a balanced and scientifically informed view of the ideas promulgated.” . .
To say Rachel Stewart isn’t backward in coming forward is somewhat of an understatement.
The self-described “ex-media, ex-farmer, ex-train driver” falconer has often ruffled feathers with her forthright opinions – especially when it comes agriculture.
So Stewart’s’ recent Twitter activity, criticising the Green Party and coming out in support of farmers, caught the attention of The Country’s Jamie Mackay, who invited her to talk on today’s show.
The Greens are moving away from their environmental roots and becoming too urban, Stewart told Mackay. . .
Seeking new markets in the West – Keith Woodford:
Neither Europe nor the USA are going to do us any trading favours. It is all about self-interest
In recent weeks I have been exploring and writing about some of the challenges in finding new markets that would allow New Zealand to stem its increasing reliance on China. My focus in the last three trade articles has been first on North East Asia, then the ASEAN countries of South East Asia, then South Asia and Iran. This week I look further west to Europe and the Americas before completing the circle.
First to recap a little.
The emergence of China as the most important trading partner of New Zealand has been a function of natural alignment between what New Zealand produces and what China wanted, complemented by New Zealand also wanting what China has been producing at lower cost than anyone else. . .
A pest known for damaging tomato plants and other crops has been detected in New Zealand for the first time
Biosecurity New Zealand said two populations of the tomato red spider mite (Tetranychus evansi) were found near Auckland Airport and in Pakuranga as part of routine surveillance several weeks ago.
Tomato red spider mites are the size of a full stop and are very difficult to identify. The mite’s main hosts are plants in the Solanaceae family, including tomatoes, potatoes and eggplants. They also attack beans, kumara and some ornamentals – roses and orchids. . .
New Zealand is one step closer to establishing the country’s first plantation of Juniperus communis – whose berries are the key ingredient of gin – following a nationwide search for the elusive conifer.
About 40 trees were discovered as part of the Great New Zealand Juniper Hunt, and seedlings are now being nurtured at Massey University and at two locations in Taranaki.
Egmont Village lifestyle block owner Marlene Busby had aspirations of making gin herself when she snipped a bit of juniper bush at a garden centre some 30 years ago.
“At the time I sort of took a little bit. They were going to pull them out anyway so it didn’t really [matter] any way. . .
Waitaki’s geological wonderland – Mike Yardley:
Crossing the border dividing Canterbury from Otago, the Waitaki River, is like a pathway into another world. A region built on the remains of prehistoric creatures from a vanished world. The wondrous Waitaki District has always been proud of its rocks, lustily exemplified by the creamy pure texture of Oamaru Stone that underpins the classic good looks of the historic town’s Victorian Precinct. But before hitting town, I ventured west into the heart of the Waitaki Valley, to delightful Duntroon, with its pending designation as a Global Geopark by UNESCO. As Australasia’s first Geopark, it threads together the spell-binding natural landforms, abundant fossil finds and rich cultural history of the Waitaki Valley, which was under sea when Zealandia drifted away from Gondwana. Seismic forces later thrust the ancient seabed upwards, at the same time that the Southern Alps were formed.
Robert Campbell, the wealthy land-owner and runholder established Duntroon in 1864, naming it in honour of his Scottish birthplace. This cute-as-a-button village is home to the Vanished World Fossil Centre, but before heading there, don’t miss Duntroon’s assorted trove of evocative landmarks. . .