Category Archives: Land and water

Green vegetables grow at the feet of big mountains

Green vegetables and hydroponics combine nicely when consumers are close but productive land is scarce Green vegetables are best produced close to where people live.  But nature often needs a little help to make it happen.  That is where glasshouses … Continue reading

Posted in horticulture, Land and water, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Is regenerative agriculture the real deal

Regenerative agriculture is in vogue as a concept but what does it really mean? I often get asked my opinion about regenerative agriculture.  My standard rejoinder is to ask what does the questioner mean by ‘regenerative agriculture’? That typically gets … Continue reading

Posted in Agribusiness, Dairy, greenhouse gases, Land and water, Water | 18 Comments

Artificial-food debate needs science, not science fiction

In recent months I have received many emails asking if I have seen the RethinkX report  demonstrating how in ten years’ time animal proteins will have been largely replaced by artificial foods. By 2030, demand for cattle products will supposedly … Continue reading

Posted in Agribusiness, Dairy, Land and water, Meat Industry | 11 Comments

Carbon farming has hidden consequences

New Zealand’s Zero Carbon Bill is based on the assumption that carbon farming through forestry provides a climate-change solution, at least until the arrival of new technologies that allow New Zealand to move away from fossil fuels. In contrast, Environment … Continue reading

Posted in carbon farming, forestry, greenhouse gases, Land and water | 30 Comments

Finding the path for dairy

I have always been optimistic about the long-term future of dairy. I think it is likely that dairy will remain one of the pillars that underpins the New Zealand economy. But we sure do have some challenges! The first challenge … Continue reading

Posted in Dairy, Land and water | 7 Comments

Wilding pines march across the Wakatipu landscape

The Wakatipu Basin, with Queenstown as its main town and Arrowtown a secondary town, is a key location for the war between wilding pines and humans. On the human side, the war is led by the Department of Conservation (DOC), … Continue reading

Posted in Land and water, Outdoors with nature, The High Country, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The sun must never set on New Zealand’s agriculture

These are increasingly troubled times for New Zealand agriculture.  A significant proportion of the population has turned against farmers for environmental reasons relating to nutrient leaching and water quality. There is also a loud political narrative about methane from ruminant … Continue reading

Posted in Agribusiness, Dairy, Land and water | 12 Comments

NZ dairy challenged by need for strategic reset

[This article is the first of a fortnightly series I will be writing for Stuff (online) and associated regional papers ( formerly Fairfax, but now under the Stuff banner). As such, they are largely about bringing agricultural and rural issues … Continue reading

Posted in Dairy, Land and water | 6 Comments

Short and long-lived greenhouse gases need separate regulatory baskets

A key issue for New Zealand is how to meet the Paris commitments for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Fundamental to any analysis is the different attributes of long-lived and short-lived gases.  In particular, how should methane be accounted for, and … Continue reading

Posted in Agribusiness, Dairy, Land and water, Science ethics and communication, Water | 8 Comments

The High Country is a battle ground

There is an ongoing battle between conservationists and farmers over the future of high-country farming. Groups with recreation interests are also involved in the fight. For much of the last 20 years, the rules of the battle have largely been … Continue reading

Posted in Land and water, Outdoors with nature, The High Country, Water | Leave a comment