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Archive for the ‘agriculture’ Category

Kangaroo burgers can save the planet: switch from beef cuts GHGs by 12mt, says UNSW report

Posted by waterweek on 17 October 2007

A report by the director of the sustainability centre at the University of NSW, Mark Diesendorf, said a 30 per cent reduction in Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 was achievable but would need both energy efficiency and renewable energy measures, as well as a change of diet, wrote Mathew Murphy in The Age (11/10/2007, p.B1).

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Posted in agriculture, Emissions, Water Week Vol 0415 | Leave a Comment »

“Rednecks” to go green and hold hands-out for carbon credits for land action or non-action: NSW Farmers Association plan

Posted by waterweek on 17 October 2007

The NSW Farmers Association’s annual conference called for research to quantify agriculture’s ability to sequester carbon, and for a wide range of policies to address climate change, including more flexible environmental and natural resource legislation, reported The Land (26/7/2007, p.14).

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Posted in agriculture, nsw, Water Week Vol 0415 | Leave a Comment »

Queensland faces razorback boar surge; many being trapped in state’s far north; hundreds of feral pigs descend from the hills in the dry season

Posted by waterweek on 12 October 2007

According to Peter Michael in The Courier Mail (11/10/2007, p.15), a number of razorbacks were being trapped in Queensland’s far north. Boar invasion: Residents are increasingly complaining of face-to-face encounters with wild boars as the urban sprawl of fast-growing Cairns and Mission Beach sees more housing lots backing on to World Heritage rainforest. Homeowners have reportedly been charged and pet dogs attacked as hundreds of feral pigs —some 2m long and weighing 150kg — descend from the hills in the dry season to forage for food.

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Posted in agriculture, Fauna, Water Week Vol 0415 | Leave a Comment »

Victoria growing opposition to recent $1 billion plan for irrigation upgrades in the state’s Goulburn Murray region, including a pipeline to Melbourne

Posted by waterweek on 11 October 2007

As the state government attempts to conclude six months of negotiations with the federal government, there is growing opposition to its recently announced $1 billion plan for irrigation upgrades in the state’s Goulburn Murray region, including a pipeline to Melbourne reported The Australian Financial Review (13/7/2007, p. 19). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in agriculture, australia, Energy, Murray Darling Basin, Policy, water, Water Week Vol 0414 | Leave a Comment »

Tax-incentive legislation will assist major corporations, take rural land out of agricultural production, says Greens Party MP

Posted by waterweek on 11 October 2007

Christine Milne MP (Greens Party Senator) speaking against proposed tax incentive legislation, stated that the legislation would result in water and land being removed from agricultural production. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in agriculture, australia, Emissions, Energy, NT, Regulation, water, Water Week Vol 0414 | Leave a Comment »

Eco-Carbons to convert cereal-grain ‘seconds’, husks, fruit stones, nut shells, even straw, into renewable energy

Posted by waterweek on 11 October 2007

A pilot factory based in Gunnedah, NSW, and perhaps a second unit in Toowoomba, Queensland, could spearhead the emergence of an industrial process able to turn farm wastes into charcoal beads, providing a new source of renewable energy, wrote Graham Fuller in Queensland Country Life (4/10/2007, p.23). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in agriculture, australia, Emissions, Energy, nsw, qld, water, Water Week Vol 0414 | Leave a Comment »

Health, water and drought the election issues for farmers; only 5.1pc view climate change as important election factor, Qld poll shows

Posted by waterweek on 11 October 2007

A special farmer-only poll revealed they believed Kevin Rudd would be the next Prime Minister of Australia, even though most said they would vote for the Coalition, wrote Lucy Skuthorp in Queensland Country Life (4/10/2007, p.11). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in agriculture, australia, Emissions, Energy, Policy, qld, water, Water Week Vol 0414 | Leave a Comment »

Greens MP Milne criticises Tax Laws Amendment (2007 Measures No. 6) Bill 2007: insufficiently considered; threat to farming, biodiversity; advantageous to emitters

Posted by waterweek on 11 October 2007

Christine Milne MP (Greens Party, Senator) stated she was appalled that the Selection of Bills Committee had decided not to refer the Tax Laws Amendment (2007 Measures No. 6) Bill 2007 to the Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport for appropriate consideration. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in agriculture, australia, Emissions, Energy, Plantation forestry, Regulation, water, Water Week Vol 0414 | Leave a Comment »

Physical commodities such as coffee and sugar and cotton best place to be over the next five years as food prices spike under climate contraints

Posted by waterweek on 10 October 2007

According to Gabriella Hold in The Australian Financial Review, (10/10/2007, p. 31) Clime Asset Management managing director Roger Montgomery says real commodities should outperform not only over the next year but for the longer term as growing populations boost demand for foodstuffs. “Physical commodities such as coffee and sugar and cotton will be the best place to be, probably over the next five years,” he said.

$US and $A one year ratio:1001.png

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Nomura Australia equities strategist Eric Betts is similarly bullish on commodities, saying they could well outperform other asset classes, as the impact of Australia’s drought increases food prices. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in agriculture, Drought, Economics, Water Week Vol 0414 | Leave a Comment »

Australian grain buyer goes bust in wheat price spike: Chicago December 07 wheat futures US922c/bu

Posted by waterweek on 10 October 2007

The drought has already forced one grain buyer, Barry Smith Grains, based in Moree, NSW, into administration and there are constant rumours of others, big and small, who are not comfortable with their position, reported Queensland Country Life, (10/10/2007, p.5).

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Posted in agriculture, Water Week Vol 0414 | Leave a Comment »

Wine Industry Drought Taskforce: threat of low wine output following reduced water allocations may see Australian wine industry move from net exports to imports of wine for cask products

Posted by waterweek on 10 October 2007

Australia’s $3 billion wine export industry was set to suffer as grape supplies swung back from a glut to a shortage next year, reported Merdith Booth, in The Advertiser, (26/09/2007, p.22), quoting a Wine Industry Drought Taskforce.

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Posted in agriculture, Water Week Vol 0414 | Leave a Comment »

October emergency: dry, hot Murray Darling: no irrigation water, maybe no town or stock water, either – crisis conditions extend, levels lower than 1957

Posted by waterweek on 9 October 2007

MBD

Storages lowest since 1957: At September 30, the total volume of water stored in River Murray System storages was 2130 GL (23 per cent ), which is the lowest for this time of year since 1957, before the construction of Dartmouth Reservoir and Menindee Lakes storage, and the expansion of Hume Dam. At this time last year storage totalled 3350 GL. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in ACT, agriculture, Allocations, australia, Drought, Emergency, Murray Darling Basin, nsw, Policy, Rainfall, River Murray, SA, Salinity, Water Week Vol 0414 | Leave a Comment »

Recycled water better than mains water to irrigate grapevines; no difference in yield between the two, fewer pathogens in soil

Posted by waterweek on 9 October 2007

Recycled water was more beneficial than mains water to irrigate grapevines, local research has found, wrote regional reporter Cara Jenkin in The Advertiser (6/10/2007, p.58).

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Posted in agriculture, Water Week Vol 0414 | Leave a Comment »

Richest 1pc of US farmers get 72pc of govt subsidies; cotton costs $US156,000 per farmer; global fishing subsidies hurt poor nations, ruin ecology

Posted by waterweek on 5 October 2007

In the US, the richest 1 per cent of farmers got 72 per cent of the government payouts, and US cotton subsidies cost nearly $US4 billion, or $US156,000 a farmer, wrote Mike Moore in The Australian Financial Review (4/10/2007, p.63). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in agriculture, australia, Emissions, Energy, Policy, water, Water Week Vol 0414 | Leave a Comment »

Over 300 NSW, Victoria, NSW towns face water restriction and water-carting under Ministers Armageddon dust-bowl plan

Posted by waterweek on 4 October 2007

The Murray-Darling Basin Dry Inflow Contingency Planning Report to First Ministers ;lists Town-by-town contingency planning as “A detailed list of towns potentially moving onto no outdoor use restrictions from 1 July 2007. All states confirm that town-by-town contingency planning frameworks are now in place and are evolving as new issues and situations arise. Public information on affected towns is being made available via State Government web sites”. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in agriculture, Drought, Emergency, Murray Darling Basin, Policy, River Murray, Town Water, Victoria, Water Security, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

With the drought continuing and grave scenario for agriculture looming, time ripe to develop Northern Australia as future food bowl, need to develop Ord 2 as starting point, says WA Lib Senator

Posted by waterweek on 3 October 2007

With an early break of a possible La Nina, or drought-breaking event, not occurring, it meant that there would continue to be a drought across most of Australia, said Alan Eggleston, Senator for Western Australia, member of the Government’s Backbench Policy Committee on Health and Ageing, Liberal Party of Australia, in the Commonwealth Senate on 18 September 2007, adding that it was time to unlock the potential of Northern Australia to become the food bowl of the nation, which in turn required solutions appropriate to the local conditions and an understanding that what may have worked in the south may well not be suitable for the north.

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Posted in agriculture, wa, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

Northern Australia – the future food bowl: work on to identify eight to 12 small-scale sustainable precincts to potentially open up to 10,000 to 20,000 hectares across the north outside the Ord

Posted by waterweek on 3 October 2007

With the non-occurrence of La Nina and the related worsening drought situation across most of Australia, it was high time to focus on the possibilities of Northern Australia and the region west of Ord river with relatively abundant water and the added benefits the north presented in reducing greenhouse gases, as the potential food bowl of the nation said Senator Alan Eggleston, Senator for Western Australia, member of the Government’s Backbench Policy Committee on Health and Ageing, Liberal Party of Australia, in the Commonwealth Senate on 18 September 2007, quoting Mark Lewis of the Western Australia Department of Agriculture, who is the manager of NRM and industry development for rangelands.

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Posted in agriculture, Drought, wa, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

Model planes go mainstream: add a video camera and find powerline breaks, survey wildlife, manage crops

Posted by waterweek on 3 October 2007

Unmanned aircraft developed for military uses were being considered for civilian government applications, including pinpointing remote area powerline breaks, surveying fish and wildlife, monitoring stock movements, managing crops and fighting bushfires, wrote Christopher Jay in The Australian Financial Review (28/9/2007, p.71).

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Posted in agriculture, New ideas, qld, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

World’s wheat price at A$480/tonne, up 25 percent on the dizzying highs of the last month, “unchartered territory” in period of “agflation” say analysts as Aussie output draws global attention

Posted by waterweek on 3 October 2007

According to Brad Coopper in, Queensland Country Life, (27/09/2007, p.3), the world wheat price continued its sharp trajectory north last week, straining to break A$480 a tonne, up 25 percent on the dizzying highs of the last month that sent the domestic grain trade spinning.

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Posted in agriculture, australia, Price, qld | Leave a Comment »

New lobby group emerges at Brisbane conference: ethanol needs to get much cheaper than petrol, says Biofuels Association of Australia

Posted by waterweek on 3 October 2007

A new lobby group emerged at the Australian Ethanol and Biodiesel Conference in Brisbane, wrote Graham Fuller in Queensland Country Life (27/9/2007, p.13).

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Posted in agriculture, biofuel, renewables, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

A doomsday vault, or Noah’s Ark of the plant kingdom: Norway deep-freeze protects crop seeds against future disaster

Posted by waterweek on 3 October 2007

In a cavern under a remote Arctic mountain, Norway would soon begin squirrelling away the world’s crop seeds in case of a man-made or natural disaster, wrote John Acher in The Advertiser (28/9/2007, p.19).

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Posted in agriculture, Arctic, New ideas, Storage, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

Sunwater changes rules: Paradise Dam, Queensland Bundaberg water users may top up with temporary transfer from Kolan

Posted by waterweek on 28 September 2007

SunWater was now able to allow the Temporary Transfer of water from the Kolan Subscheme to the Burnett Subscheme subject to any operational constraints of the channel system. SunWater was advised by the Department of Natural Resources and Water, that Stage One of the Critical Water Supply Arrangements (CWSA) for the Bundaberg WSS were updated. SunWater Corporate Strategy Manager Tom Vanderbyl said under the updated arrangements, new Burnett Water High Priority and Medium Priority water allocations committed up to and including June 30, 2007 were to be included in the water sharing rules. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in agriculture, Allocations, australia, Dams, qld, Regulation, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

Murrumbidgee towns may now ease water restrictions from Level 4 to Level 3a but emergency conditions remain:Water Sharing Plan still disabled

Posted by waterweek on 28 September 2007

The NSW Department of Water and Energy, September 2007 Murrumbidgee High and General Security licences will be allowed to carryover up to 15 per cent of entitlement, as was permitted last water year. Carryover for High Security will be permitted until the Water Sharing Plan was reinstated. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in agriculture, Allocations, Drought, Emergency, Irrigation, mdb, Murray Darling Basin, nsw, Policy, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

Flow to South Australia slow: September 2007, Lowest flows since 1968, downstream of Euston Weir, and no flow at all from from Kiewa and Ovens

Posted by waterweek on 28 September 2007

The pattern of flows to South Australia over the remainder of the season will be critical in managing river salinity in SA and for meeting increasing diversion requirements and losses said David Dreverman General Manager in the River Murray Report For The Week Ending Wednesday, 19 September 2007. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in agriculture, Allocations, australia, Drought, Emergency, mdb, Murray Darling Basin, nsw, River Murray, SA, South Australia, Victoria, Water Security, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

Emergency conditions: NSW withholds river-flow to southern states; had it not, it “would not have had any water for any purpose at the start of the season”

Posted by waterweek on 28 September 2007

River levels
The NSW Department of Water and Energy said things were bad, very bad and only “critical water” was available; and there was the risk that event that supplied could fall so low essential services could not be provided. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in agriculture, Allocations, australia, Drought, Emergency, Murray Darling Basin, Policy, River Murray, Town Water, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

Murray Valley Water Report: September 2007- historical low, catastrophic dry feared for 2008/2009

Posted by waterweek on 28 September 2007

Water availability to users in the Murray Valley continues to deteriorate – it has now reached an historical low, said The NSW Department of Water and Energy, September 2007. There was “Virtually no chance of a NSW Murray Valley allocation increase in September without immediate heavy rain…There was little rain across the Murray Valley in the past month and water supply continued to worsen. Without further inflows in the coming months there may not be any additional water available for use this year”. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in agriculture, Allocations, australia, Drought, Emergency, Murray Darling Basin, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

New policy-plan: NSW towns to purchase water on the open market in deal to go level 4 to level 3a, others must plan to truck water, open channels banned

Posted by waterweek on 28 September 2007

The NSW Department of Water and Energy, said sufficient water will be provided to all towns to meet demands under Level 4 restrictions. Level 4 restrictions would continue until allocations of at least 20 per cent for high security licences were announced.MBDC flows

New idea: An option was currently being considered that would allow towns to purchase water on the open market if they wish to ease the level of restrictions from level 4 to level 3a. This would be on the basis that towns acquire 20 per cent of the volume to meet level 4 restrictions for that month. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in agriculture, Allocations, australia, Drought, Emergency, Evaporation, Irrigation, Murray Darling Basin, New ideas, nsw, Policy, Regulation, Town Water, Trade, Water Markets, Water Trade | Leave a Comment »

Queensland offers Darling-tributary, Condamine River irrigators 163 megalitres allocation from Sandy Creek, to Cecil Plains, when river is a dust-pile

Posted by waterweek on 28 September 2007

According to Brad Pfeffer, in a report to Queensland Country Life, 27/9/2007, p. 9, “last week, the Department of Natural Resources and Water (NRW) posted letters to irrigators on the Condamine River in southern Queensland, calling for interest in 163 megalitres of medium-priority allocation. This was on a river where irrigators across this stretch of the river had no allocations from Leslie Dam for six years. The last dribbles of water sold at $2000/ML; and if allocations sold at that value the income at 163 x $2000/ML, would go to government. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in agriculture, Allocations, Drought, Murray Darling Basin, Policy, Price, qld | Leave a Comment »

South Australian farmers begin walking off their land amid warnings of national disaster that will force 20 per cent to leave within a year

Posted by waterweek on 28 September 2007

According to rural editor Nigel Austin, farmers ravaged by drought have begun walk­ing off their land amid warnings it is the start of a national disaster that will force up to 20 per cent to leave in the next year, reported The Advertiser (15/9/2007, p. 1).

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Posted in agriculture, Drought, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

Fertiliser application computer model for radiata pine forests increases both the yield and profitability of wood production

Posted by waterweek on 26 September 2007

The findings from a major study into applying fertiliser to radiata pine forests have been used to create a computer model that helps forest managers increase both the yield and profitability of wood production, according to Dr Barrie May.

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Posted in agriculture, Water Week Vol 0412 | Leave a Comment »