Inaya and Emma go to the show

Emma with her Reserve Champion Ribbon and 1st Ribbon

More we all went to the Paparoa A & P Show where Inaya was showing a Miniature Hereford named Emma today for our lovely friend Janet who owns Riverlets Miniature Hereford Stud here in the Kaipara. We visited there a few weeks ago and I took some lovely photos of the bulls and calves at the stud. I'll have to write about that very soon I've been so busy lately and haven't had much of a chance to catch up with the blog or my blogging friends.

Inaya spent a day working with Emma and Janet to get it right for the Paparoa Show which was held today. Everyone had such fun with the cattle in the ring today. We had calves, kids and fun going on all over the show. Inaya and Emma won one of their classes then went onto the Championship for Female in the Beef Section. She got Reserve which was fantastic. Emma was so good and Inaya did a great job of handling here. Three seasons with Anne Shank's Calf Club calves have done her proud. Anne is wonderful at teaching the kids skills with the calves and it paid off today with Inaya at an A & P Show. More to come but this is the start of what was a very long and exciting day for the girls and I.

It was awesome.


Farmers recruit the dung beetle

Federated Farmers is celebrating the Environmental Risk Management Authority’s (ERMA) approval for the importation and release of eleven dung beetle species. The Federation believes these will make a great contribution to agriculture’s environmental performance.

"It’s a very good day because ERMA’s process has been thorough, rigorous and sound," says John Hartnell, Federated Farmers biosecurity spokesperson.

“Dung beetles provide an environmental and agriculture win-win by breaking down ruminant dung while building the organic structure of soil.

“One of the major benefits of dung beetles is their ability to reduce farm related environmental degradation.

“These beetles rapidly break down ruminant dung thereby reducing farm related run off. They also act like a mini fertiliser factory while aerating soils and this boosts pasture productivity.

“For over 160 years New Zealand has had the livestock but not the insects that had co-evolved a symbiotic relationship with them. Part of the ERMA process was to ensure our native dung beetles would not be displaced.

“The difference being that our native beetles have evolved different tastes.

“The dung beetle species being imported tunnel only as deep as earthworms. This has obvious benefit to all pasture especially as their tunnels are continually backfilled.

“The benefits are most acute in summer when soils harden. These dung beetles can go where earthworms fear to burrow.

“It also means less flies and that has a major and obvious benefit for animal health. Reducing nitrous oxide run off is another direct benefit of these amazing little insects.

“With members of Federated Farmers Auckland province as part of the Dung Beetle Strategy Release Group, this is a great day for all involved,” Mr Hartnell concluded.


New EPA could tame the RMA

Federated Farmers welcomes the new Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) but still has some reservations on how the new body will work and whether it will deliver the promised efficiencies.

“If the EPA can streamline Resource Management Act (RMA) processes then we’re all for it,” says Don Nicolson, Federated Farmers president.

“The concern is that the EPA could become another government funded environmental advocate. We worry that the Bill’s definition of the EPA’s intended functions and the scope of its objectives is very wide.

“This national body must deliver efficiencies from its takeover of the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) and administration of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), or the whole thing could be counterproductive.

“What we don’t want is for the EPA to duplicate functions from elsewhere.

“Federated Farmers supports a more centralised and uniform framework for implementing RMA processes. This should improve the management of natural resources, increase transparency and remove regional inconsistencies.

“It’s important that local authorities aren’t completely neutered. The EPA must not take decision making away from local communities or force additional ‘top down’ rules that local authorities are expected to implement with the costs passed on to ratepayers.

“We appreciate the desire to reduce unnecessary delays in major projects that are important for advancing infrastructure. The years it takes to get through the consent process does create too much cost and uncertainty. It makes economic sense to reduce those delays.

“The critically important factor remains the protection of property rights. Referring major projects directly to a ‘one stop shop’ for consenting mustn’t prevent affected individuals from having a say.

“Maintaining authority over property is a key tenet of the Federation.

“Federated Farmers also wants Government to consider introducing advisory committees to keep a check on the EPA’s progress as well as offering practical advice on the implementation of national standards.

“This will be a critical tool to allow the EPA to connect with industry and local communities ensuring that a good balance is struck between competing demands.

“The EPA must provide good independent advice from a technical and scientific standpoint, which will assist the Ministry for the Environment and the Minister himself to assist in proper decision making.

“The last thing our industry, or indeed any other, needs is more compliance costs, more regulatory hoops to jump through and more confusion. We have enough of that already,” Mr Nicolson concluded.