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

 

Bigger role for water companies in farm strategy

Bigger role for water companies in farm strategy

Irrigation companies have a bigger role to play in helping farmers make strategic decisions on land use, future innovation strategist Roger Dennis says.

Dennis is a key-note speaker at Agri Innovation in Ashburton on 2 May, held jointly by MHV Water,
Ashburton Lyndhurst Irrigation and Barrhill Chertsey Irrigation.

He says many organisations influence farmers, but none is more agnostic about how farmers use their land than the company that delivers their water.

“Water companies care deeply about the environmental effects of farming and the efficient use of water. They have no preference for what farmers produce as long as they meet the necessary environmental hurdles, which puts them in a prime, independent position to help farmers consider and address future trends,” Dennis says.

“Like many business people, farmers tend to make strategic decisions based on ‘micro trends’, and are influenced by groups with particular agendas. This can obscure more fundamental global trends that may ultimately have a greater effect on their land-use and livelihoods.

“Their strategic decision-making needs to focus on how water allows them to capitalise on macro changes in the world more generally, not simply on producing more of the status quo.”

Dennis says the need to challenge and support farmers’ strategic planning for land-use also reflects how much the New Zealand economy depends on topsoil.

“In essence, our national wellbeing depends on us applying our ‘top two inches’ to our top few inches of topsoil. If we don't then we’re in considerable trouble as a country.”



He says probably the best example of doing this successfully internationally can be found in the Netherlands.

“On average the amount of water required globally to grow a kilogram of tomatoes is 255 litres; in the Netherlands they’re now achieving this with just 11 litres thanks to advances in precision agriculture.”

Dennis says Agri Innovation is a chance to combine foresight and strategy to understand the opportunities for innovation.

“We need to ensure agriculture doesn’t go further and further down a particular path in pursuit of the answers without challenging core assumptions and historical precedents.”

Agri Innovation is on Wednesday 2 May 2018 from 1pm to 5pm at the Ashburton Trust Event Centre.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Reference Group Proposal: Motorists, MTI Support Ban On Less Safe Car Imports

A proposal to ban some used car models from being imported into New Zealand is being welcomed by the Motor Industry Association, which says Japan's scraps are being sent here for waste disposal. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses Investigation: ANZ Boss Departs Under Cloud

Last month the bank said chief executive David Hisco was taking extended leave for health reasons. However, today it has said in addition to the health issues, the board was concerned about certain transactions after reviewing Mr Hisco's personal expenses. More>>

ALSO:

Wider Net Ban, Other Threats: Plan To Expand Protection For Maui And Hector’s Dolphins

The Government is taking action to expand and strengthen the protection for Māui and Hector’s dolphins with an updated plan to deal with threats to these native marine mammals. More>>

ALSO:

Fish & Game Support: Canterbury Officer Of Health Warns On Nitrates In Water

"Nitrate testing of 114 drinking water samples from across the Canterbury plains showed that more than half of them were above the level considered safe in the world's largest ever study on the impacts of nitrates in drinking water." More>>

ALSO: