Rural News Group - NZ farmers world leaders in water, soil management

Rural News Group - NZ farmers world leaders in water, soil management

New Zealand dairy farmers could lead the global move to new production systems that deliver twice the food from half the water and soil, according to Australian science author Julian Cribb.

“Kiwi farmers are world leaders in the wise management of water, soil and nutrients,” says Cribb, who will speak at the DairyNZ Farmers’ Forum on May 8-9 in Hamilton.

(Photo Credit - Rural News Group)

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Scoop Business: DCANZ, DairyNZ and MPI endorse Dairy Declaration of Rotterdam

Scoop Business: DCANZ, DairyNZ and MPI endorse Dairy Declaration of Rotterdam

“We are pleased to endorse the Dairy Declaration of Rotterdam as a signal of strong support for the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and for the important role of the dairy sector in the global community’s efforts toward sustainable development,” says Kimberly Crewther, Executive Director of DCANZ.

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Dairy NZ - Dairy could be hit with a trifecta of taxes

Dairy NZ - Dairy could be hit with a trifecta of taxes

Green Party and Labour Party policymakers want to hit dairy farmers with a trifecta of environmental taxes that could cost an average of $18,000 per year for each farm, and for those farmers that draw water for irrigation the cost would be in excess of $63,000 per year, says DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle.

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NZ Farmer - Dairy industry committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions

NZ Farmer - Dairy industry committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions

Regardless of the outcome of this month's general election, New Zealand's dairy industry is already committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, DairyNZ says.

"There's a political consensus, regardless of who wins the election, that action must be taken," DairyNZ senior policy advisor Kara Lok told rural professionals in New Plymouth on Friday.

Half of New Zealand's GHG emissions came from agriculture and the dairy industry accounted for 46 per cent of total agricultural emissions, Lok said.

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The Country - Listen: DairyNZ's Michael Spaans on the Farming Leaders Group

For the first time in this country, a group of pastoral farming leaders have joined forces and committed to working towards making New Zealand's rivers swimmable for future generations. They are the Farming Leaders Group.

DairyNZ Chair Michael Spaans caught up with The Country Early Edition's Dom George to explain the reasons behind the creation of the Farming Leaders Group of which he is a member.

Spaans says the New Zealand dairy industry has voluntarily cleaned up waterways but the message doesn't seem to translate to the urban population. This is one of the main reasons the Farming Leaders Group was formed.

"We know as a dairy industry we've been doing a lot over the past 10 years, but we just don't seem to be getting the message through so we came together as a group."

Spaans admits there will be some rivers that will be very challenging to clean up but the group are prepared to talk to the communities affected and set achievable and realistic targets.

Listen to the interview here

DairyNZ: 6 key findings about catch crops and fodder beet

DairyNZ: 6 key findings about catch crops and fodder beet

Over a six-year period, DairyNZ is investing $450,000 of the farmers' levy annually in a research programme called Forages for Reduced Nitrate Leaching (FRNL).

Here, we highlight some key discoveries made about catch crops and fodder beet.
In Canterbury, FRNL has been investigating the potential yield and reduced risk of nitrate leaching from using oats as a catch-crop after winter-grazed kale.

We found catch crops can:

* Reduce soil mineral nitrogen and nitrate (N) leaching by about 30 per cent
* Increase dry matter (DM) yield on the same land by 6-12t DM/ha annually, depending on the season and sowing date
* Cut the cost of growing DM by 3c/kg DM.

That's good news but, before sowing a catch crop, farmers should consider whether their farm has reliable summer rain or irrigation for establishment of the next main crop.

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Michael Spaans: Every dairy farmer will have a water protection plan

Michael Spaans: Every dairy farmer will have a water protection plan

For the first time, New Zealand's farming leaders have come together not to lobby a government or defend environmental criticism but to make a pledge for change.

The change committed to is for New Zealand's rivers being swimmable for our children and grandchildren.

It's not that we have been blind to the environmental challenges New Zealand is facing. But like climate change, some issues are too large for just one sector to manage on its own. Water quality is one of them.

While the dairy sector voluntarily launched the sustainable dairying water accord in 2013, and has made significant headway improving farming practices, this is the first time all livestock farming sectors have agreed to work together for change.

But we alone can't make all the changes needed to improve the country's water issues.

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Tim Mackle: Carbon budgets offer 'certainty'

Tim Mackle: Carbon budgets offer 'certainty'

DairyNZ welcomes the release of a report by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, which recommends New Zealand approach climate change in a similar manner to the United Kingdom.

Dr Jan Wright recommends the Government set up an independent Climate Change Commission to propose carbon budgets as stepping stones towards meeting greenhouse gas targets, which would provide certainty and transparency about how New Zealand climate change targets will be met.

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