Government acknowledges carbon farming is not the silver bullet to address climate change

The acknowledgement by the Government that current policies will likely see too much carbon forestry planted, along with the opening up of a conversation for potential limits through the Emissions Trading Sceme, is being welcomed by Beef+Lamb NZ on behalf of sheep and beef farmers.

As AgScience reported yesterday, the Government has released a discussion paper, Transitioning to a low emissions and climate resilient future, which aims to help shape New Zealand’s emissions reduction plan.

B+LNZ says the paper notably contains a slight shift in how the Government is talking about the role of carbon-only exotic forestry in addressing climate change.

“We welcome the Government’s recognition that fossil fuel emissions must be reduced, rather than continually offset, to ensure a fair, equitable, and efficient transition to a low emissions economy,” says Sam McIvor, chief executive of Beef + Lamb New Zealand.

“The discussion document indicates any decision on changing the ETS rules would come by the end of 2022. We’re concerned that’s not fast enough given the scale and pace of land conversion happening.

“What we need is urgent action to adjust the ETS to limit the amount of carbon forestry offsets available to fossil fuel emitters. New Zealand is the only country with a regulatory ETS that currently allows 100 percent carbon forestry offsetting. We will be putting forward potential policy solutions as part of this process.” Continue reading

New research highlights differences in New Zealand beef

Pasture-raised beef is a cornerstone of the New Zealand meat industry. But do we really understand the benefits we get from the meat when it is raised this way?

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New research from the Riddet Institute indicates there are differences in meat quality relating to health and digestion, depending on how the animal is raised.

A research team led by Dr Lovedeep Kaur and Dr Mike Boland s from Massey University’s Manawatū campus compared the digestion differences between pasture-raised New Zealand beef to grain finished beef, and a plant-based alternative.

To mimic the human digestive tract, researchers used simulators in the laboratory to observe the differences.

They found differences in the fat content of the beef, potentially leading to better health outcomes. Continue reading

New Zealand is shown to be well placed to ride regenerative agriculture wave

There is a significant opportunity for New Zealand to position itself to take advantage of the global regenerative agriculture trend, according to market research into consumer attitudes commissioned by Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) and New Zealand Winegrowers (NZW).

But there is a recognition, too, that there is no clear definition of regenerative agriculture globally.

This paves the way for ‘regenerative’ being defined in a New Zealand context.

Although still in its infancy, regenerative agriculture is gathering momentum and is set to become a significant trend in food internationally, says Sam McIvor, chief executive of B+LNZ.

“Brands are beginning to follow the leads of farmers and growers in the support of regenerative agriculture, and while the concept has yet to properly take hold among consumers, this research reveals there is a bright future.

“Fortunately, we believe the majority of New Zealand’s sheep and beef farming practices naturally align with key pillars of regenerative products or production. Continue reading

Report highlights intensive winter grazing efforts by farm organisations

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A new report shows that farmers and regional councils are working together to improve practices with help from industry organisations such as B+LNZ.

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The Government put the implementation of the intensive winter grazing (IWG) rules on hold in March  after hearing significant concerns from industry on the practicality and workability of the rules.  The pause was conditional on increased monitoring and performance to ensure measurable improvements in relation to practice change and environmental outcomes, including documented plans.

Regional councils have recently released a report on how well farmers are adopting best management practice for these activities.

The report shows that efforts have been ramped up across the country. It confirms that farmers and councils are working together to improve their methods of winter grazing with help from industry organisations such as B+LNZ and DairyNZ. Continue reading