Rural round-up

Rabbit rise may bring 1080 response – Gerald Piddock:

Environment Canterbury’s annual count shows that rabbit numbers are on the rise in the Mackenzie Basin and Omarama.

The regional council monitors rabbit trends every year and the latest draft analysis showed a noticeable increase of rabbits in the Mackenzie Basin, eastern Mackenzie around Haldon Rd and in Omarama.

ECan’s biosecurity team leader, Brent Glentworth, expected there would be some large 1080 operations this summer, particularly on the eastern side of the Mackenzie, as land owners battle to keep rabbit numbers down. . .

UK biofuels influence NZ wheats:

European, notably UK, breeding programmes, growers at PGW’s agronomy group field day last week heard.

 Europe is normally a regular exporter of wheat, but three massive biofuel plants have created an extra 2mt of demand for wheat, preferably high starch soft milling types that maximise ethanol yield, Limagrain’s UK director of sales and New Zealand coordinator, Alastair Moore (pictured), explained.

“We’re seeing quite a drive to the soft wheat end and a lot of the new varieties recommended [in the UK] were in that category.” . .

Insecticide removal would hit crops hard – Gerald Piddock:

Seed and cereal farmers face a major risk to their productivity and profitability from the removal of organophosphate insecticides from the market.

Current control practices used by farmers, particularly during crop establishment rely heavily on organophosphates which are currently the subject of a review and re-regulation by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).

Organophosphate insecticides are used by farmers to control grass grub, one of the country’s most destructive plant pests. . .

Van der Heyden works till end:

OUTGOING FONTERRA chairman Henry van der Heyden will be using the next five months as a director to help execute the co-op’s strategy refresh.

Van der Heyden is defending his decision to stay on the board after relinquishing the chairmanship to John Wilson. He says the decision has been taken in the interest of the co-op. Some shareholders have questioned the decision.
Van der Heyden says he has always done what is right for Fonterra. . .

Kirkwood takes vote for council – Gerald Piddock:

Oamaru dairy farmer Greg Kirkwood is the new Fonterra Shareholders councillor for ward 32 in Southern Canterbury.

Mr Kirkwood was elected to the council ahead of Geraldine dairy farmer Ad Hendriks.

He takes over from Desiree Reid, who retired from the position by rotation.

Mr Kirkwood said he put his name forward for the Shareholders Council because he wanted to get involved more in the co-operative.

Raw milk health risks under review:

Since the 1950s, New Zealand’s commercial milk supply has been pasteurised – treated with heat to kill bacteria – and most of us have swallowed the official position, that untreated milk is potentially dangerous to drink.

But there’s a growing trend of consumers wanting their food in a natural state, and that includes milk. They say raw milk is not only safe, it’s better for you, and a major study is underway to see if they’re right.

Most of us buy our milk pasteurised and from a dairy or supermarket fridge. But for mums like Angela Jones that’s changing. She’s one of thousands of townies making a regular trek to a trusted farmer to buy raw milk at the farm gate. . .

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6 Responses to Rural round-up

  1. Gravedodger says:

    Re raw milk, daughter in Hawkes Bay buys the product in 2 and 4 liter at a retail outlet in Hastings.

  2. Gravedodger says:

    On the Rabbit question my “science tells me that until indicaters such as mushrooms(fungi), facial eczema and fly strike are apparent the calici virus does not work. With a cooler season and dry conditions that may be the case this year.
    Don’t tell the Nazis at Ecant but we have a few here at the moment and they are too fast for the poodles and extremely so for the Dachy.
    The little buggers don’t hang around while this old goat gets the gunsafe open either.

    Seasons greetings to you Ele and your Farmer.

  3. Cadwallader says:

    One evening in November my wife and I left Fleur’s (Moeraki) after another great meal and counted in excess of 50 rabbits alongside the road before reaching SW1. A vegetable garden would be out of the question in Moeraki…sadly.

  4. homepaddock says:

    We fence our vegetable garden to keep the rabbits out. Unfortunately doesn’t keep weeds out too.

  5. robertguyton says:

    My orchard/garden has never been troubled by rabbits or hares, though they are to be seen on the paddock over the fence. I have always maintained a thick herbal/grassy understorey that the pests won’t venture into, therefore none of my apple trees have had their bark chewed, none of my lettuces have been nibbled and no carrots have been putloined by Peter and his family.
    I visited some very good vegetable gardens at Moeraki.

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