Rural round-up

We’re all winner from trade deal - Bruce Wills:

I have two big wishes for 2013 – agreeing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and an end to the “farmer versus environmentalist” bickering.

If we can get environmentalists working with us on solutions, a better environment will reap a pot of gold at the end of an economic rainbow called the TPP. Money makes all things possible, something you only discover when you don’t have it.

The TPP is a US$21 trillion (NZ$24.9t) club and Europe would need another Germany just to match it.

I know some have suspicions and want everything done in the open but trade negotiations are like any negotiation. Whether it is for wages or a used car, there are things that must be kept within four walls. I doubt those of a conspiratorial disposition would want their personal details posted on the internet. I also know that any TPP deal will need legislation and if that does not provide scrutiny, what would? . . .

Sheep farmers urged to aim for Chinese market:

New Zealand sheep farmers are being encouraged to think like the tourism industry, and aim for the niche, top end Chinese market.

Lamb prices have fallen hard over the past year, with recession in Europe constraining household spending – which means luxuries like lamb have been off the menu.

Westpac economist Nathan Penny points out we’ve done quite well in the past with targeting wealthy consumers in the UK, Japan and Europe.

He says those consumers are emerging in China, but have yet to really experience New Zealand lamb. . .

Caution urged in taking up a dairy job – Ali Tocker:

Dairy farmers and farm workers are being urged not to rush into employment agreements in the new year as the workload starts to pick up.

Waikato dairy recruitment specialist John Fegan said people on both sides of the coin should take time to make sure the working relationship would be a good fit.

“The recruitment market tends to get really busy from late January. That makes both employers and employees nervous because everyone likes to have things arranged early. That results in people picking work or workers they shouldn’t.

“We’re advising people to relax and not just grab the first person or the first job. Put the time in, make sure you’ve got the right person if you’re the employer, and that you’ve got the right job for you if you’re the employee. . .

Lack of dairy award entries prompts thoughts of merger – Diane Bishop:

The future of the Otago Dairy Industry Awards hangs in the balance.

Chairman Matthew Richards said only 20 entries had been received for this year’s competition, which could mean the region is merged with Southland in the future.

That was despite a record 566 entries being received in the nationwide competition.

In Otago there were four entries in the sharemilker/equity farmer contest, four in the farm manager contest and 12 in the dairy trainee contest, down from 28 last year. . .

Thousands of farmers owed up to $5,800 of duty refund on off-road farm petrol:

Thousands of farmers and contractors are owed money on fuel used by off-road farm vehicles – and should make a claim before they miss out.

An average dairy farmer who spends $5,000 per annum on off-road petrol will get an excise duty refund of $2,900 per annum.

Almost any commercial off-road fuel usage includes an on-road tax (or duty) of up to $0.58 cents/litre that can be refunded back to the farmer. . .

Zabeel Still Starring at Karaka:

With 44 yearlings by this Champion Sire, and a further 79 yearlings from his mares set to be featured at Karaka 2013, Zabeel is continuing his reign as one of the leading sires in Australasian history through the deeds of his racetrack progeny and his daughters at stud.

A sire that has set many records in the sales ring, Zabeel – at the ripe age of 26 – is still producing Derby winners and Melbourne Cup runners, but increasingly his legacy is being carried through his daughters who are proving potent producers of Group 1 racehorses.

Zabeel’s damsire record makes for impressive reading: . . .

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