With Prime Minister John Key and President Barack Obama showing strong support for a comprehensive Trans Pacific Partnership, New Zealand farmers will support leaving countries behind that are not prepared to eliminate agricultural tariffs.
“The Trans Pacific Partnership was established to eliminate all tariffs and bring a new level of discipline to the use of non-tariff barriers,” says Bruce Wills, the National President of Federated Farmers of New Zealand.
“If we have a country that is not prepared to accept this reality, then they should not be allowed to slow down progress for all. . .
US milk exports affecting NZ farms – Tim Cronshaw:
Fonterra’s milk suppliers are wary of the ability of United States feedlot farmers to step up or slow down milk production faster than they can.
When grain is cheap and commodity prices are high, as was the case in the soon-to-finish 2013-14 season, this can be to the advantage of operators keeping cows in confined feedlots. As they ramp up milking, this has a bearing on world supplies and the prices Kiwi farmers receive.
Logic would say they will ease off as global commodity prices falter, but narrowing down their next move is complicated. . . .
The noblest of farmers – Bruce Wills:
The word nobility, to me at least, describes people who give of themselves without thought of personal advancement or enrichment.
As this will be one of my final columns as the President of Federated Farmers, I am in awe of the people who work incredibly hard for this organisation and farmers in general. To be fair, having a good team makes leadership easy and in our provinces and branches we are blessed with great people. People who meet councillors and officers on plan changes one day, maybe Worksafe NZ the next and then may help to resolve a dispute among neighbours. Being available 24/7, they work with the Rural Support Trusts when either we don’t have the right kind of weather or too much of it.
Throughout it all, they still have their farm to run and their family to care for.
Our people do this because they are not just passionate about farming but they care for its future. They believe, as I do, that farmers and farming are a force for good in our country. While farming defines part of our national identity we are not immune from the odd ratbag. In saying that, farmers are overwhelmingly honest, decent and generous folk who genuinely care. . . .
The event, in Alexandra earlier this month, featured parallel presentations from a string of companies and organisations with products, services, and – in the case of Otago Regional Council – regulations, which are set to change the way we farm.
“I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the turnout,” BLNZ central South Island extension manager Aaron Meikle told Rural News. “Both seminars have been busy all day. I’d suggest there’s been well over a 100 people come through during the day.” . . .
Couple getting in the olive groove – Gerard Hutching:
There are several ways to harvest olives: laboriously beating the trees with sticks, using a hand rake, or using a mechanical rake.
But Helen Meehan, owner of olive grove Olivo in Martinborough, in the Wairarapa, prefers the relatively new method of mechanically shaking the tree until the olives drop into nets.
It’s all about saving time, she explains, even though about 20 per cent of the crop stays on the tree. . . .