A water tax isn’t workable – but changes on the farm are improving water efficiency
IrrigationNZ says that introducing a nationwide water tax is not workable, and that allowing irrigators to continue to invest in more modern irrigation systems rather than taxing them will result in the biggest improvements in water use efficiency.
“A water tax has been considered in other countries internationally but in every case it has been abandoned. Other countries have found it too complex and expensive to design a fair water tax which can be easily implemented without resulting in adverse outcomes,” says IrrigationNZ Chief Executive Andrew Curtis. . .
A conservation group has failed in its legal bid to stop a 1080 drop in the Hunua Ranges near Auckland.
The Friends of Sherwood Trust won a temporary injunction in the Environment Court halting the major pest control programme two weeks ago.
It argued that the drop breached the Resource Management Act which prohibits the dropping of substances in beds of lakes and rivers.
However today the court refused the Trust’s bid to further halt the drop.
“We are not persuaded that there is likely to be serious harm to the environment if the proposed application proceeds.” . .
Plans for huge tahr cull upset Otago hunters – Simon Hartley:
A sweeping cull of at least 17,500 Himalayan mountain tahr proposed by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage, has outraged some recreational hunters in Otago.
Ms Sage’s sudden announcement of the high killing ratio may yet be challenged in court.
Killing of the tahr, which are related to goats and were introduced here in 1904, is to start within two weeks.
Ms Sage is proposing the Department of Conservation kill 10,000 animals in various areas in the Southern Alps over the next eight months because the animal’s estimated 35,000 population was “three times” that permitted by the long established Himalayan Tahr Control Plan. . .
Meat firms need more staff – Chris Tobin:
South Canterbury meat companies are so desperate for workers to start the new killing season they are recruiting overseas.
Immigration NZ has approved work visas for 24 migrant employees to work at Alliance Smithfield this season.
Figures released to The Courier by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) show Immigration NZ has also allowed Silver Fern Farms to employ 49 overseas workers in Canterbury, although the information did not specify what the break-down figures between the company’s two plants at Pareora and Belfast, Christchurch, were.
Work visas for 18 overseas workers for Anzco Foods at Ashburton have also been approved. . .
A new range of software subscriptions from FarmIQ address the growing information needs of New Zealand dairy and livestock industry.
With a clear focus on the information needs of dairy and livestock farmers, the new packs will help mainstream New Zealand farmers run more productive and sustainable operations.
Darryn Pegram, FarmIQ Chief Executive Officer, said subscriptions start at $55 a month for the new “Everyday FarmIQ” software pack, delivering a broad suite of recording and reporting tools. . .
New findings suggest that more intensive agriculture might be the “least bad” option for feeding the world while saving its species – provided use of such “land-efficient” systems prevents further conversion of wilderness to farmland.
Agriculture that appears to be more eco-friendly but uses more land may actually have greater environmental costs per unit of food than “high-yield” farming that uses less land, a new study has found.
There is mounting evidence that the best way to meet rising food demand while conserving biodiversity is to wring as much food as sustainably possible from the land we do farm, so that more natural habitats can be “spared the plough”. . . .