Agriculture

New Zealand’s zero carbon bill: much ado about methane - Guest Work

Guest Author Jul 14, 2018

Robert McLachlan, Massey University New Zealand could become the first country in the world to put a price on greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. Leading up to the 2017 election, the now Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern famously described climate change as “my generation’s nuclear-free moment”. The promised zero carbon bill is now underway, but in an unusual … Read More

Eradicating cattle disease M. bovis in New Zealand may be costly, even impossible, but we must try - Guest Work

Guest Author Jul 13, 2018

Richard Laven, Massey University In May this year, the New Zealand government decided that it would attempt to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis, a bacterial disease that affects cattle. A phased eradication means that an additional 126,000 livestock will need to be culled, at an estimated cost of NZ$886 million. Here’s what we know, what we don’t know and … Read More

Thinking beyond the impossible burger - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Jul 12, 2018

The agricultural sector has long been called a “sunset industry”. If so, it’s more a long drawn out polar twilight than a quick tropical dusk. Rosie Bosworth has written about New Zealand becoming the ‘Detroit of Agriculture’. Scary stuff, for some. A welcome transformation for others, if you read the opinion pieces. But are predictions of the … Read More

The ‘Impossible Burger’ is not genetically modified - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Jul 06, 2018

In the New Zealand media and social media people are talking about this genetically modified ‘Impossible Burger’. Except it’s not. Sorry everyone, but it really isn’t genetically modified. What was genetic engineered is a yeast that makes one of the ingredients used in the ‘Impossible Burger’. It’s just a different way of making that ingredient. The ingredient is the same … Read More

The science behind the Impossible Burger - Infectious Thoughts

Siouxsie Wiles Jul 05, 2018

Air New Zealand has just announced The Impossible Burger is now available to a minuscule number of their customers, a move described as an “existential threat” by New Zealand First’s Mark Patterson. So what is all the fuss is about? This week, Air New Zealand announced that Business Premier “foodies” on their Los Angeles to Auckland flights would be able … Read More

Remembering Peter Nelson’s advice – pest management for the 21st century - Politecol

- Wayne Linklater Jun 14, 2018

Peter Nelson is remembered as a founder of modern, 21st Century, pest management in New Zealand. In 1993, reflecting on our nation’s failure to eradicate Australian brushtail possum, rabbits and deer, he wrote: “The aim of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is to reduce pest damage to tolerable levels by using a variety of techniques, and ultimately also to reduce … Read More

Why are we gifting so much to farmers? - The Dismal Science

Michael Reddell May 29, 2018

Despite announcing yesterday a plan that aims to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis from New Zealand, there was no sign of the pro-active release of any background papers or analysis. We don’t have copies of the relevant Cabinet papers, or the relevant advice from The Treasury or MPI. Not that long ago, the incoming government talked of its commitment to open government, … Read More

Our soils: more than meets the (developer’s) eye - Guest Work

Guest Author May 04, 2018

Pierre Roudier With a title like “Precious arable land”, needless to say, I’ve read with interest Eric Crampton’s opinion piece published on Sciblogs recently. It followed the release of Our Land 2018, the Ministry for the Environment’s report about the state of New Zealand’s land resources. One of the main outcomes of this report is the impact of … Read More

60 years in orbit for ‘grapefruit satellite’ – the oldest human object in space - Guest Work

Guest Author Mar 22, 2018

Alice Gorman, Flinders University This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Sixty years ago, a grapefruit-sized aluminium sphere with six antennas and some tiny solar cells was launched into Earth orbit. The Vanguard 1 satellite is still up there and is the oldest human-made object in space. It’s our first … Read More