Agriculture

Trickle down carbon sequestration - Crikey Creek

Daniel Collins Nov 20, 2009

Nick Smith has suggested to farmers that they start offsetting their greenhouse gas emissions by planting trees. A risk with this is that planting trees may compromise water supply. Compared with pasture, trees tend to reduce the amount of rainfall that reaches rivers and aquifers. A larger canopy traps more rain as it falls, so it evaporates directly from … Read More

Tim Groser to FedFarmers: Water is the key - Crikey Creek

Daniel Collins Nov 04, 2009

New Zealand doesn’t export milk and beef, or even grass. It exports water. This is how Tim Groser sees NZ’s agricultural relationship with the world. A country well-off in terms of water is well-prepared to feed a swelling global population. Tim Grosner wears many hats, but they are all connected: Minster of Trade, Minister of Conservation, Associate Minister of Foreign … Read More

MfE groundwater report: “Propaganda” or misunderstood? - Crikey Creek

Daniel Collins Oct 22, 2009

The Ministry for the Environment released a report yesterday on New Zealand’s groundwater quality, prepared by Geological and Nuclear Sciences Ltd. Today, I read in the Christchurch Press that the report concludes that “groundwater quality has no significant relationship with land use”. What’s more, Green Party co-leader Russel Norman called it “propaganda”. Bold claims indeed. Fortunately we can … Read More

Metagenomics-finding organisms from their genomes - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Oct 20, 2009

Scientists are surveying the genomes found in environments, a modern way to find what micro-organisms live there. There has been an explosions of "-omics" over the last decade. Metagenomics is the moniker given to genomic, or DNA sequence, surveys of environmental samples. Basically metagenomics involves researchers collecting DNA samples from, say, the ocean, beach … Read More

Is agricultural trade liberalisation bad for the climate? - Degrees of Change

Andy Reisinger Oct 14, 2009

A Dutch research team has analysed the effect of agricultural trade liberalisation on global greenhouse gas emissions. Their study finds that a full liberalisation of agricultural trade (ie, removal of all trade barriers, quota and subsidies globally) would result in a 6% increase in global greenhouse gas emissions in 2015. Most … Read More

Self-interested, myopic hot-air - Hot Topic

Gareth Renowden Sep 26, 2009

New Zealand’s farming leadership have not distinguished themselves in the debate about climate policy. Federated Farmers president Don Nicholson has called for NZ to set no target for emissions reductions and for agriculture to be excluded from the emissions trading scheme, and former vice-president Frank Brenmuhl is still ruminating on the need for more debate [...] … Read More