Rural round-up

Quantum leap in water management policies – Matt Harcombe:

The debate centering on water and agriculture is a tangled web of interlinked policies, on-farm actions, science, emotion, perception and economic and cultural factors affecting its use, availability and quality.

Some factors are well understood, others are not. The biggest issue in the public eye is quality. However, access to water and its use, irrigation and storage are also vital.

While the vast majority of farmers are working hard to adapt and evolve alongside changing public expectations of water quality, they are also trying to keep up with the demands of the Government and regional councils, while working out what it means to their farm. . .

Challenge to grow more food from less – Tim Cronshaw:

New Zealand stands to gain from farmers getting better at growing food in developing countries, says Methven farmer Craige Mackenzie.

Mackenzie became the first New Zealander to sit alongside selected farmers at last month’s Global Farmer Roundtable at Des Moines, Iowa, in the United States.

Contrary to the view that it might be in New Zealand’s best interest if developing countries struggled to supply their own food, he found there were advantages to farmers raising production.

Better-performing farmers could feed their families, change their diet and gain an income from selling surplus food to small towns, which could mean they and other people could afford better food, creating export opportunities for developed countries, he said. . .

Land use change focus of conference – Terri Russell:

Almost 400 farmers, scientists and agribusiness professionals will be in Gore this week to discuss land-use change and what it means for farmers.

The annual New Zealand Grassland Association conference is a chance for industry professionals to network and learn more about current farming issues.

The association’s local organising committee chairman, Nelson Hancox, said this year’s theme, Opportunities of Changing Land Use, was driven by a notable shift to dairy throughout the country. . .

Jim’s greens fit for royalty – Jessie Waite:

Feeding royalty is just another day at the office for Kakanui’s Jim O’Gorman.

The local produce grower will be supplying vegetables to Government House ahead of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next week.

Prince Charles, who is a well-known advocate of organic produce, is arriving in New Zealand on Saturday to celebrate his 64th birthday. . .

The high frontier comes to meat and fibre:

Speech by Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers Meat & 2012 Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre council, Wellington

Good morning and welcome to Meat & Fibre 2012.

I would like to thank our wonderful policy advisor, David Burt and the Events Manager, Hannah Williamson, for putting together an excellent programme. To my Vice-chair, Tim Mackinosh and members of the Executive, thank you.

Above all, it is you, members of the Meat & Fibre council who deserve to be recognised by your peers. . .

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