Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Organic farmers cope better in drought


Organic farmers cope better in drought


"The recent suggestion from Federated Farmers vice president William Rolleston to allow genetically engineered ryegrass into NZ to alleviate the drought is outrageous and factually inaccurate," says Debbie Swanwick, spokesperson for Soil & Health - Organic NZ.

"Rather than going down the risky GE path, farmers will do better using sustainable organic practices," Swanwick says. A 2007 study led by Ivette Perfecto, of the University of Michigan, showed that in developing countries, where the chances of famine are greatest, organic methods could double or triple crop yields. (1) This is also supported by a similar study conducted by the United Nations in 2010. (3)

"To take advantage of farmers in their time of need by force feeding them incorrect science is not protecting the interests of those who you are supposed to represent - it is betraying them," Swanwick says.

GE crops have no proven resilience in drought conditions but instead introduce multiple risks and problems. Last year the failure of the genetically engineered Bt corn crop put over 70% of America’s corn at risk. The rootworm, now resistant to the Bt protein, prevents corn roots from absorbing water. “The situation became agricultural suicide in the middle of last year’s drought in the US," says Swanwick. (2)

By contrast, Soil & Health - Organic NZ is getting reports that organic farmers in the North Island are generally doing better in the drought than their conventional counterparts. Armed with better soil structures and water-holding capacity, the use of a diversity of pasture species including deep-rooted species like chicory that withstand drought better, and tree crops and shelterbelts, they have been able to protect their animals and their incomes. Some are even capitalizing on their investments by selling baleage for additional stockfeed which is now in high demand.

"In the absence of Federated Farmers giving their members all the facts, we will. The success of NZ internationally is built on farming and our farmers and to undermine them and their investment is scandalous, especially when your remit is to protect this sector," says Swanwick.

Soil & Health is one of the oldest organic organisations in the world and advocates for the consumer's right to have fresh, healthy, organic food free of GE, pesticides and additives. and their right to know what is in their food. Oranga nuku, oranga kai oranga tangata. To learn more about what is really in your food subscribe to their Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/OrganicNZ


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Science: Hookworm Discovery At Malaghan Institute

Professor Graham Le Gros has led a team which has stimulated both innate and memory responses to the parasite, discovering along the way the unexpected behaviour of one particular immune cell, in Hookworm, one of the world’s most devastating tropical ... More>>

Business: Provinces Urged To Make Full Use Of New Air Services

Provincial New Zealand has been urged to use new air services to Auckland or risk losing them either partially or completely. The stark warning was issued today by Far North mayor John Carter at a ceremony at Kaitaia airport to mark the final Air ... More>>

Mobile: 2degrees To Credit All Calls And SMS To Nepal

In the wake of the devastating earthquake in Nepal in the weekend, 2degrees will be crediting all calls and SMS messages made to mobiles and landlines in Nepal from Friday 24th April until midnight Wednesday 29th April. More>>

Scoop Business: Alex Swney Pleads Guilty To $2.5M Fraud Charge

Alex Swney, former chief executive of the Auckland city centre business association Heart of the City, has pleaded guilty to dishonestly using documents to obtain $2.5 million. More>>

ALSO:

Petrol Burns Prices: Second Consecutive Quarterly Fall For CPI

The consumers price index (CPI) fell 0.3 percent in the March 2015 quarter, following a 0.2 percent fall in the December 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. The last time the CPI showed two consecutive quarterly falls was in the December 1998 and March 1999 quarters. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Broadcasters Launch Battle Against Global Mode ISPs

New Zealand broadcasters have confirmed they’ve launched legal proceedings against internet service providers who give customers’ access to “global mode”, which allows customers access to offshore online content, claiming it breaches the local content providers’ copyright. More>>

ALSO:

Sanford: Closure Of Christchurch Mussel Processing Plant Confirmed

The decision comes after a period of consultation with the 232 staff employed at the Riccarton site, who were told on 9 April that Sanford was considering the future of mussel processing in Christchurch. Recent weather patterns had impacted on natural spat (offspring) supply... More>>

ALSO:

Price Of Cheese: Dairy Product Prices Fall To The Lowest This Year

Dairy product prices fell in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, hitting the lowest level in the 2015 auctions so far, as prices for milk powder and butter slid amid concern about the outlook for commodities. More>>

ALSO:

Houston, We Have An Air Route: Air New Zealand To Fly Direct To The Heart Of Texas

Air New Zealand will fly its completely refitted Boeing 777-200 aircraft between Auckland and Houston up to five times a week opening up the state of Texas as well as popular nearby tourist states such as Louisiana and Florida. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news