Aug 11, 2017

A people's food policy for England

Stepping away from market imperatives frees our minds and thinking about food and farm production. Agriculture and food systems, the resources needed for producing food and the landscapes where this takes place are a kind of commons or a public good. The more food is viewed as a public good, the less appropri­ate it is that the productive factors needed to produce foods, seeds, land, water etc., are private property and provided by the market. ...Rethinking food as a right, farming as a management system of the planet and the food system as a commons is what I would call a real shift in paradigm (a most overused word!). It doesn’t rule out markets as one of several mechanisms for food distribu­tion, but does it reject market hegemony over our food supplies, and rejects the view that market forces are the best way of allocating food producing resources.

If the allegations are true that billions of litres of water worth millions of dollars were illegally extracted, this would represent one of the largest thefts in Australian history. It would have social and economic consequences for communities along the entire length of the Murray-Darling river system, and for the river itself, after years of trying to restore its health.

Water is big business, big politics and a big player in our environment. Taxpayers have spent $13 billion on water reform in the Murray-Darling Basin in the past decade, hundreds of millions of which have gone directly to state governments. Governments have an obligation to ensure that this money is well spent.

The revelations cast doubt on the states’ willingness to do this, and even on their commitment to the entire Murray-Darling Basin Plan. This commitment needs to be reaffirmed urgently. 


Aug 10, 2017

Chemical spray damage results in record $7m negligence court payout

A farmer has been awarded $7 million in damages for losses caused by a neighbour's negligent spraying.
For grape grower, Tony Caccaviello, it has been a four-year legal fight for compensation, after a mix of toxic chemicals destroyed his vineyard in northern Victoria.
In Spring 2013, Mr Caccaviello noticed his vineyard, near Swan Hill, looked different. The leaves were 'translucent' and covered in yellow spots.
He initially he thought the vineyard had been hit by a bad frost.
The Supreme Court of Victoria later heard a cloud of agricultural chemicals, all deadly to grapevines, had blown across the vineyard from his neighbour, Rodney Hayden's property.
In Mr Caccaviello's case, the chemicals involved; 2,4-D, glyphosate and metsulfuron-methyl, are toxic to grapevines and never used in vineyards.


Aug 8, 2017

Re-coupling the carbon and water cycles by Natural Sequence Farming

This is a scholarly article, to be used only for research purposes.
Cited from International Journal of Water.
Norris, D., and Andrews, P. Re-coupling the carbon and water cycles by Natural Sequence Farming. Int.J.Water, Vol. 5, No. 4. 2010, pp 386-395.
DOWNLOAD LINK:Re-coupling the carbon and water cycles by Natural Sequence Farming

Aug 6, 2017

New 'Soil Alliance' facebook group

To encourage ongoing discussion, we've established a discussion group on facebook HERE. 
You are welcome to join.

More launches for Sustainable Agriculture book

The Resistance Books title on Sustainable Agriculture versus Corporate Greed continues to attract attention. Author Alan Broughton helped launch the book in Moruya on July 29.

The launch went well with 25 people attending, all very interested.

Two more launches are coming up around Adelaide on Thursday (Adelaide) and Saturday (Willuna) this week. Please help promote these where you can.

The Ranges Organic Growers Association have also approached Alan asking him to talk on the book at their next meeting on August 25 in Ferntree Gully.
Here are the details of the Adelaide launches. Thursday August 10th, 5.45 pm, The Joinery, 111 Franklin St Adelaide; Saturday August 12th, 2.00pm, Willunga Environment Centre, 18 High Street Willunga.