Professor of the Bleeding Obvious

Bless Jan Wright, the last cab on the rank finally works out that land use intensification exemplified by modern day dairy farming is bad for freshwater.

Who’d have thought that high cow stocking rates, massive volumes of cow piss and poo, mega-irrigation schemes, highly evaporative pivot irrigators and dams which impede migratory fish passage would be bad for rivers?

Read her report here:

..and still HBRC think Ruataniwha Dam is A Good Idea

From Nigel Juby , executive member of the NZFFA:

I’m getting the same message from (dairy farming) clients regarding the Ruataniwha proposal – at a farm level, no matter how they do the sums, farmers can’t get the numbers to work for them.

To paraphrase what one very good dry stock farmer said to me “basically, even if I completely change my farming system, my lifestyle and my debt levels, signing up for the Ruataniwha scheme won’t stack up for me financially – and for me to change, it has to stack up really well.” He did acknowledge that the best option for him financially would be for all his neighbours to be irrigated, then, if he ever wanted to sell, he would make a huge, tax free, capital gain. But overall, the costs were just too great and he has no plans to sell anyway.

Sheep and beef looking much healthier than dairy at the moment.

Most of you probably know all this though.

Responding to Irrigation NZ – An Open Letter from Bryce Johnson

Bryce hitting the nail on the head in his letter below.  Quite why Irrigation NZ and Fed Farmers hail the Opuha Dam as some sort of environmental saviour is a mystery.  It dried up last summer and the highly regulated flow has armoured the river bed and encouraged toxic cyano-bacterial growth in a river that is now a pitiful shadow of its former pre-dam self.  Read on…