Environment and emissions

Compostable netting a first

[13 August/The Country] Bostock New Zealand has become the first New Zealand grower to use home compostable netting for organic onions to help reduce the need for plastic packaging. It was also the first New Zealand apple grower to trial compostable fruit stickers this year. The company aims to lead the way in environmentally friendly...

Unsocial media

[13 August/Rural News] Differences are publicly emerging on social media between Federated Farmers and DairyNZ over support for the Government’s policies on sustainability. A lively exchange on twitter erupted last week after Tracy Brown, Chair of DairyNZ’s Dairy Environment Leaders Forum, tweeted a Ministry for Environment proposal on climate change and Federated Farmers Dairy Chairman...

Jacinda Ardern: New Zealand has ‘potential’ to be 100 per cent clean and green

[13 August/Stuff NZ] Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern states she hasn’t given up on New Zealand becoming 100 per cent clean and green, whilst farmers have acknowledged they trade on that reputation. The Prime Minister reported how the Emissions Trading Scheme needs to be designed so that farmers who are picking up the extra costs associated...

Farmer who confronted environmentalists about winter grazing speaks out

[13 August/Stuff NZ] Southland Farmer Jason Herrick confronted environmentalists who were taking pictures of cows on his farm standing in mud, reporting that he looks after his cows and the activists had no need to take photos of his stock for their campaign against winter grazing. But environmentalist Angus Robson, who spearheaded the campaign by...

Shadow of Resource Management Act review hangs over One Plan changes

  [13 August/Stuff NZ] Horizons Regional Council is in the process of changing its environment management rulebook, The One Plan whilst keeping an eye on a Government initiated review looming. The One Plan has been the subject of various court cases during the past decade so the council has recently made some changes to ensure...

Plastic pollution from giant sandbags threatens Baylys beach

[13 August/The Country] Giant plastic sandbags now litter the entranceway to Baylys beach after last weekend’s storm and some residents are blaming council decision makers. The bags were installed for just under $50,000 in 2015 by the Kaipara District Council to prevent erosion and to keep the access way clear for beach visitors, however locals...

The raw truths about vegan farming

[13 August/The Country] The IPCC special report, Climate Change and Land, released last week, has found a third of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the “land”: largely farming, food production, land clearing and deforestation. Beyond Meat claims its plant-based burger requires 99% less water, 93% less land, 90% fewer greenhouse emissions and 46%...

Eat plants to help the climate, IPCC report suggests

[09 August/Stuff NZ] A new report into climate change by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), gives a detailed look into the impact climate change will have in the future and pushes for citizens to think about their actions. The report, which was released on Thursday, covers an extensive range of topics and looks...

Rick’s Beef: Science and an equitable framework vital

[08 August/The Country] Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) has made a submission to the Government urging them to adopt a science-based approach to changes to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill so the country can meet its Paris Agreement commitments while ensuring a more equitable framework for all sectors of the economy....

Tree plan on only marginal land

[08 August/Farmers Weekly] Drylandcarbon was formed in March by Air NZ, Contact Energy, Genesis Energy and Z Energy to sequester carbon on their behalf, however Executive Director Ant Beverley reports that they acknowledge the concerns of rural communities that jobs and services are lost when farmland is converted to forestry. The firm will buy 20,000ha...

Fonterra will record farm gases

[08 August/Farmers Weekly] Fonterra Co-operative Group has committed to provide annual biological greenhouse gas emissions reports for each of its 10,000-plus milk supply farms from the end of this season onwards after a pilot scheme on more than 100 farms produced a robust method for quantifying farm emissions. The co-operative included the commitment in their...

What the UN’s latest big climate report means for NZ

[08 August/The Country] A just-released major UN report on climate change has big implications for agricultural New Zealand according to scientists and researchers. Associate Professor Anita Wreford, of Lincoln University reported that it was highly relevant to New Zealand as it grappled for trade-off with reducing emissions, as around half are contributed by agriculture. Prof....

Fonterra says targets too tough

[06 August/Farmers Weekly] Fonterra Co-operative states that Climate change legislation being debated will require all greenhouse gas emissions from dairy farms to fall by up to 62 percent by 2050. The co-operative believes that the methane targets are very ambitious although it supports the overall Zero Carbon Bill. Fonterra’s submission supports splitting targets for biogenic...

Dairy farmer fined $40,000 after effluent runs into Pomahaka River

[03 August/Rural Health] Last month Greg Cowley Ltd. was charged after effluent from the Balclutha farm ran into the Pomahaka river and was fined $39,000. The enforcement action followed a council inspection in April 2018, where it was discovered an irrigator had failed and gone unchecked for six hours. Otago Regional Council Regulatory General Manager...

Plant milks worse for environment than cow milk: Fonterra

[02 August/Stuff NZ] Milk substitutes such as soy, almond, oat and rice have double the greenhouse gas emissions of Fonterra’s milk produced in New Zealand, when compared on the basis of their nutrient content. Milk protein is up to 30 per cent higher in nutritional quality than the quality of the highest scoring plant proteins....

Green MP Chloe Swarbrick thanks Fonterra for leadership on issue of climate change

Green MP Chloe Swarbrick thanks Fonterra for leadership on issue of climate change [01 August/The Country] Fonterra Co-operative supports the Government’s Zero Carbon bill but is urging a cross-party approach on the legislation and it also wants the 2050 biogenic methane target set at 24 per cent less than 2017 levels, the low end of...

Farmers vs industry on day one of Zero Carbon bill hearings

[01 August/Scoop] The first day of hearings on the government’s Zero Carbon legislation heard from a variety of farmers and heavy hitting lobby groups. Local Government NZ submitted that rural areas feared a massive shift to tree planting would hollow out their communities. It was pointed out that new low emissions technologies need to be...

Soils could become a carbon sink

[01 August/Farmers Weekly] The Interim Climate Change Committee recently ruled out using soil to store carbon on farms because the science doesn’t support it. However research is under way to see how that might change in the future. Plant and Food Research Science Group Leader Dr Mike Beare has reported that increasing the amount of...

‘Worst fears confirmed’ as hunters release their own dead deer survey after Molesworth 1080 drop

‘Worst fears confirmed’ as hunters release their own dead deer survey after Molesworth 1080 drop [01 August/Stuff NZ] The Marlborough branch of the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association released its own research on how aerial 1080 operations affect wild deer findings based on a survey covering 74.5 square kilometres of Molesworth Station, after an Ospri 1080...

Wood-fired boiler for Fonterra at Studholme

[31 July/Rural Life] Fonterra Co-operative has announced that they will not install any new coal burning boilers nor increase coal burning capacity at their plants, meaning that they will be using woody biomass to fire a potential new boiler at Studholme instead of coal. The co-operative’s plan to build a 30-tonne/hour coal-fired boiler at Studholme...

Dairy farm planting projects proliferate

[31 July/Rural Life] Helen Wells and her two adult children Julie and Phil Wells began planting 11 years ago and are showing others how doing so can help improve biodiversity on farm. The family started with the aim of beautifying a dairy shed area on their 420 hectare farm and now plant up to 1000...

Removal would cost billions: report

[31 July/Rural Life] Removing pesticide products could slash more than $11billion in value across New Zealand commercial crops, according to a new report from the NZ Institute of Economic Research (NZIER). The NZ Association for Animal Health and Crop Protection (Agcarm), which represents a number of agrichemical brands, commissioned the report in late 2018 to...

Danone to cut carbon emissions at Balclutha plant to zero

[30 July/Stuff NZ] French company Danone is investing $40 million to build a milk spray drying plant in Balclutha which will be powered by forest waste, making it carbon neutral by 2021. Most of the investment will be spent on a $30m biomass boiler that will reduce the plant’s CO2 emissions by 20,000 tonnes per...

Countdown’s BYO container scheme goes nationwide

[29 July/Stuff NZ] Countdown supermarkets are rolling out a bring-your-own container scheme across the country this week after a successful six week trial in selected stores. Consumers can now bring their own containers to deli, meat and seafood counters where they will be cleaned, dried and weighed by staff before being filled. The initiative is...