NZ Farmer - Private high country land access a privilege, not a right
RNZ - Government urged to reconsider irrigation wind-down
Pat Deavoll writes:
A few weeks ago, a friend and I had a lovely ride across a couple of Canterbury high country stations on our motorbikes.
The track straddled two farms, and we sought permission from both. The farmers were happy with us going through with one requesting we pay $10 per bike, and the other asking that we didn't post anything on social media as they didn't want to have a "rush of bikers" over their land. Fair enough.
RNZ - Debate on water issues in Canterbury
The new government is being urged not to follow through on its promise to cancel any new loans to irrigation schemes.
Its predecessor pledged $400 million from the sale of state assets towards helping schemes get off the ground as a way to boost economic growth, but all of that was about to end.
The Country - Jacinda Ardern explains how Zero Carbon 2050 will affect farming
Water quality and the intensification of farming has become a contentious issue for Canterbury in recent years.
Nitrate levels are stubbornly high in and around private drinking water wells, potentially posing risks to infants under 6 months old.
ODT - Four southern rural projects gain MPI sustainable farming grants
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told The Country she realises agriculture is an "incredibly important industry for us," and that the Government will carry the "bulk of the cost" of the ways to mitigate emissions. Listen on the link below
Newsroom - Ardern and Shaw hope for bi-partisan Carbon Act
Four southern farming and rural organisations have secured more than $1 million in project funding in the Ministry for Primary Industries’ latest $7.15 million sustainable farming fund grants writes Simon Hartley of the Otago Daily Times.
Clear climate change pathway needed for dairy - Dr Tim Mackle
Jacinda Ardern and James Shaw are giving themselves most of their first term of Parliament to try to build a Climate Commission and a Zero Carbon Act with bi-partisan support. National is open to it. Bernard Hickey reports.
Forum - Let's crunch the facts and the debate on irrigation
DairyNZ Chief Executive Tim Mackle has welcomed the announcement of the Government’s timeframes for putting in place an independent Climate Change Commission and consulting on the proposed Zero Carbon Bill from May 2018.
NZ Herald - Steve Maharey - New Zealand needs irrigation
The public debate about agriculture and its relationship with the environment was a feature of our 2017 general election and will continue.
A key issue at the heart of the polarised debate in our communities is the impacts of agriculture on waterways and water quality.
AgriView seeks to provide a perspective based on scientific research in the interests of informed decision making and public understanding. To this end we are going to commission background articles on the many issues which affect the social licence of agriculture to produce food security and wealth for our society.
This article was written by recent BA (EngLit) Honours Graduate, Tom McDougall.
NZ Farmer - Dairy farmers clean up act in response to public pressure
Irrigation has become a dirty word due to public perception that water storage equals more dairy cows says Steve Maharey.
NZ Farmer - Water maze to filter sediment is part of a plan to protect Waikato farm's lake
Public pressure is working and Canterbury's dairy farmers are knuckling down and making an effort to improve the state of the waterways, says a dairy leader.
There has been a "significant shift" in the attitude of dairy farmers towards water quality over the past couple of years, said Mid Canterbury farmer Tom Mason, a member of the DairyNZ Dairy Environment Leaders Network.
Stuff - Modelling shows Christchurch drinking water nitrate levels safe
At the side of a Waikato farm lake is a maze of S-bends and narrow-necked pools.
Stream water meanders through the hurdles on its way to a peat lake on Mill Ridge farm, filtering sediment along the way.
The farm was one of 40 around the country to accept visitors as part of Fonterra's Open Gates day.
RNZ - Minister warned of critical pressure on natural resources
Scientists have found nitrates from North Canterbury agriculture may enter aquifers and as a result, Christchurch's drinking water could be affected.
However, the predictions are not likely to come into effect for between 50 to100 years and even then drinking water was expected to remain safe.
The Country - Reducing nitrogen leaching
The Environment Ministry has warned its minister that pressures on New Zealand's natural resources are reaching a critical point.
NZ Farmer - Otago University researchers lauded for world leading freshwater study
Research shows pastures containing plantain and Italian ryegrass could help reduce nitrogen leaching without compromising productivity.
$21 million research collaboration to improve waterways by breeding cows with reduced nitrogen in their urine
Otago University students and staff have set up a world leading system for testing freshwater in a "real" rather than laboratory situation.
On Otago's Kauru River, the researchers can test for a variety of indicators to see how freshwater ecosystems respond to multiple agricultural stresses, including high and low flows, the presence of pesticides, nitrogen, and phosphate.
They have also designed it to study what happens to the water under a climate warming scenario - a world first.
Dairy farms open gates to show urban visitors what they're doing to protect waterways
The dairy sector has welcomed the Government’s announcement it will invest alongside farmers in a seven-year $21 million research partnership that will boost the current effort to clean up rural waterways.
NZ Farmer - Finger pointing at agriculture misplaced in scary uncertain future
Forty dairy farms are joining the Dairy Tomorrow Initiative to give members of the public an opportunity to see first hand what farmers are doing to protect waterways and mitigate environmental impacts.
The Country - O'Connor says agribusiness needs to focus on being the best
Northland dairy farmer, Lyn Webster, muses on the current state of dialogue about agriculture.
New Minister of Agriculture Damien O'Connor wants farmers to focus on being the best in the world to ensure the sector survives in the long term