How much spinach would you need to eat to get the same amount as iron as that in a 120 gram steak?
Hat tip: Beef + Lamb NZ
How much spinach would you need to eat to get the same amount as iron as that in a 120 gram steak?
Hat tip: Beef + Lamb NZ
Agri-companies are under pressure to come up with innovative new products to assist dairy farmers as they struggle to comply with tough new environmental regulations.
For example, if a farmer fails a water quality test, they face stringent conditions such as wash down before and after every milking, as well as increasing fines.
At present, the most popular method of treating water is to run it through an UltraViolet lamp, but this can sometimes cause problems if it is not cleaned regularly. . .
Ballance Agri-Nutrients is calling for applications to its 2015 agricultural and process engineering scholarship programme.
Specialist skills in the areas of engineering, science, precision agriculture and agri-business have been identified, by a Ministry of Primary Industries report, as key areas to support the future of New Zealand’s primary sector. This is a view shared by Ballance.
The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) released a research paper ‘People Powered – building capabilities to keep New Zealand’s primary industries internationally competitive’, on 6 June 2014, in partnership with Beef + Lamb New Zealand and DairyNZ. The report summarises the expected capability needs for each of the primary industries and associated support services. . . .
Pampered pooches in America and pizzle hot pots in China are helping support venison prices to farmers.
While the top priority for the deer industry is building restaurant demand for farm-raised venison, it also caters for customers eager to source every part of the animal except, perhaps, the roar of the stag.
“In the United States, venison and other game meats are now vital ingredients in gourmet pet foods. The inclusion of 10 per cent venison in a chicken-based formula can give it serious cachet, dramatically increasing the price consumers are willing to pay for the product,” says Deer Industry NZ (DINZ) chief executive officer Dan Coup. . . .
Westland Milk Products has reached an agreement with KiwiRail for an additional daily rail service between Christchurch and Hokitika to meet the dairy company’s increasing freight needs.
Westland Chief Executive Rod Quin says the move will have substantial benefits for Westland, road users and the environment.
“During the last few years Westland’s rail freight requirements have increased substantially,” Quin says. “This has been driven by record increases in production by our shareholders, up nearly 22 percent in the 2013/14 season alone, along with an expanding product range and growing sales success in international markets. When our new nutritionals dryer comes into production in August next year, we can expect our demand for additional freight to increase further.” . . .
Mixed fortunes for long term commodity prices
• ASB revises its milk price forecast down to $5.30/kg of milk solids
• Beef prices could hit record high by year’s end.
• Lamb price gains running out of steam
The dairy markets can’t seem to catch a break, according to the latest ASB Farmshed Economics Report.
“With bumper production driving down prices, the recent Russian dairy import ban will further add to the sluggish dairy price woes,” says ASB’s Rural Economist Nathan Penny. . .
Beef + Lamb New Zealand has outlined what it sees as the policy priorities for the incoming government.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand Chairman, James Parsons says the policy manifesto covers a range of issues that will support a confident and profitable sheep and beef sector.
“The red meat sector is hugely important to the New Zealand economy – worth $8.5 billion a year, so it’s critical that the incoming government is aware of the issues that affect our sheep and beef farmers,” Parsons said.
“Our first priority is securing investment in research and development that will increase farm productivity and continue adding value to our sheepmeat and beef products. . . .
It all depends on China – Keith Woodford:
New Zealand agribusiness, led by dairy, has hit a rough spot. Some will see this as confirmation that dependence on China involves big risks. More important, is the need to recognise that China is also the solution.
Chinese demand for dairy products in particular has grown so rapidly that it was inevitable there would be speed wobbles. With hindsight, we can see that it was the New Zealand drought of autumn 2013, combined with increasing Chinese demand, that led to shortages of milk products in Chinese supermarkets during late 2013. The Chinese importers then over-reacted, and purchased heavily during our summer months. Increased autumn production in the current year has then coincided with Chinese inventories already fully replenished. . .
The national water industry body says rules on water quality are not set in concrete and will develop further.
New national fresh water standards which, for the first time, set minimum quality requirements for rivers, lakes and aquifers were announced earlier in the year.
Water New Zealand is holding its annual conference in Hamilton from today. Chief executive Murray Gibb said the rules are a work in progress and would be reviewed in 2016.
“There’s been debate as to whether or not it’s sufficiently tight and there’s been a lot of debate over whether or not the corner-stone policy that it imposes a requirement on councils to maintain and improve overall water quality within their regions might lead to declining water quality in some water bodies. . . .
The prime minister was in Ashburton last Thursday. He then visited Timaru to wander up and down the main street, talking to voters.
A slight detour between those two destinations would have taken him to the seven massive ponds that are the Rangitata South Irrigation Scheme, at the very time they were being filled to capacity for the first time.
It would have been a great photo op for the prime minister, and a fitting tribute to the scheme’s backers, to have the PM officially “open” the out-of-river storage project.
Maybe such a function is planned but chances are it’s not. And that’s not a snub to the prime minister, but a reflection more of the personality of the man behind the scheme, Gary Rooney.
He’s a doer, not a talker. He doesn’t go looking for pats on the back.
Where the Herald had plenty of coverage of the Opuha Dam as it was being built in the 1990s, with this project it has been like drawing teeth to get updates.
It’s not that Rooney and his workers were being obstructive, they just did not see the need to speak to the media. They were too busy building the thing.
But if he’s not going to blow his trumpet on the project, we will. . .
Generations of shearing in Brett’s family blood – Sally Rae:
Brett Roberts was destined to a shearer.
Not only does his grandfather, Cliff Waihape, have a shearing contracting business based in Mataura, but four of his uncles, Chad, Chop, Cliff jun and Cody, are also shearers.
”Our family, it’s in our blood,” he said.
Mr Roberts (20) started shearing at a young age, while still at school in Menzies College, Wyndham, with his family members showing him the ropes. . .
A cross-sector industry-led working group is coming together to co-ordinate research and advice to farmers following an issue with swedes affecting dairy cattle this season.
Across Southland, there has been a number of cases of cows becoming ill, and in some cases dying, while (or shortly after) grazing on swede crops.
A joint working group with representatives from a range of sector groups will be chaired by industry body DairyNZ and meet for the first time on Wednesday September 17. The group includes representatives from Southland veterinary practices, Federated Farmers, Beef+Lamb NZ and PGG Wrightson Seeds. It will also bring in specialist advisors on veterinary pathology and plant science.
DairyNZ has already sent an email survey to more than 2,600 Southland and South Otago farmers seeking information on whether they have been affected by the issue. It has also been advising farmers to be vigilant if their cows are feeding on swede. . .
As Dairy Women’s Network grows from strength to strength, so too does its number of professionals grow.
The organisation has most recently acquired an events manager in Kym Gibson of Hamilton and a third regional convenor coordinator in Megan Edmeades of Manawaru (near Te Aroha).
Creating environments and experiences that resonate is a passion for Gibson, and something she is looking forward to fulfilling at the organisation’s 30-plus annual events.
Learning more about the “diverse and dynamic” organisation that is DWN is Gibson’s first challenge in the role, which she started in earlier this month. . . .
Forestry workers dodge poachers’ bullets – Sonita Chandar:
Forestry workers are dodging bullets from poachers, says a forest manager.
They are being fired at by people hunting wild pigs illegally released in the private forests.
”Our staff shouldn’t have to worry about going to work and being shot, but this is the reality,” said Phil De La Mare, Otago regional manager for forestry plantation company, Ernslaw One.
”These unpermitted hunters forget it is a workplace and go shooting any time, even when there are people out working.
”Their actions are putting our staff and contractors in a risky situation and for us.
”Providing a safe workplace environment has become a challenge.” . .
Putting Rustling back into the history books – Rick Powdrell:
Contrary to talk, the meat and fibre industries are not broken as the fundamentals to take both sectors forward to much greater heights remain. Still, it requires an entire industry shared vision going forward and that’s of course easier said than done.
This undoubtedly involves strong leadership accompanied by a strong grassroots involvement. It hardly entails re-inventing the wheel, but rather more awareness of the areas we need to improve and a path developed to redeem theses issues.
The red meat sector strategy has already identified significant issues, with the Beef + Lamb: Red Meat Profit Partnership focusing on topics behind the farm gate with the aim of lifting on farm performance.
This collaboration of Beef + Lamb NZ, meat companies, banks and government foreshadows a united industry approach. . .
NZ exports to EU may face stricter pesticide standards – Yvonne O’Hara:
New Zealand’s fruit and vegetable export trade to Europe could be affected by as much as $600 million if a proposed European Union (EU) reduction of some pesticide residue levels on imported food goes ahead, Agcarm chief executive Graeme Peters says.
The European Commission (EC) had been looking at regulating common crop protection products that had endocrine-disrupting properties. The EC believed reducing endocrine-disrupting pesticides would benefit the environment; be good for the health of growers, workers, rural communities and consumers; and boost the economy.
It will release criteria to identify those properties in the next few weeks. . .
The Commerce Commission today released its final report on Fonterra’s base milk price calculation for the 2013/14 dairy season. The base milk price is the price Fonterra pays to farmers for raw milk.
The Commission is required to review Fonterra’s calculation of the base milk price each year as part of the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act’s milk price monitoring regime. The review assesses whether Fonterra’s calculation approach provides incentives for it to operate efficiently and provides for contestability in the market for purchasing farmers’ milk.
The most significant issue in this year’s review has been Fonterra’s decision to pay farmers an adjusted price for the 2013/14 season that is less than the milk price calculated under the company’s Milk Price Manual.
The Commission’s overall findings are that the way Fonterra is calculating and applying its proposed adjustment to the base milk price is not consistent with incentives for it to operate efficiently; however, the approach is consistent with contestability in the market under the Act. . .
Field day to give insight into rural work – Yvonne O’Hara:
Rural Contractors New Zealand (RCNZ) is to hold its second field day on September 17 at Brian Hughes’ yard at Waimatua, near Invercargill, from 10am to 3pm.
RCNZ vice-president and contractor David Kean, of Centre Bush, said the field day, held in association with Work and Income, encouraged people to find out what it was like working in the agricultural contracting sector.
”People can drift in and drift out again throughout the day,” Mr Kean said.
Those attending the field day would have the opportunity to drive large tractors and operate an assortment of machinery under supervision. . .
Farmers’ need for speed – Chris Lewis:
We are ready when you are, and we have been ready for some time. The key investors and the next government need to know farmers and rural households are sick of the inferior connectivity they are receiving. We are in the need for speed and reliable connectivity; it is not only imperative for rural productivity, but for empowering rural households.
The agricultural industry generates 73 percent of New Zealand’s merchandise exports, so you would think that the powers and investors that be, would recognise a gaping hole when they see it. What is not ok is that whilst rural businesses and households are paying for the same services as our urban counterparts, we are not getting the same results.
Market research proves rural New Zealand is being neglected. We are armed with the latest devices, on average 9 connectable devices per business and 5 to 6 of those connected at one time, but have limited infrastructure to use them. Chorus recently went to the rural market through Colmar Brunton to find out exactly what we have been dealing with, and it should come as no surprise that they found we have the same level of needs as urban businesses and households. . .
Viola looks out over the two acres of land she and her husband, Deo, inherited from her father. The fields are thick with bushy, yellow-green vines. The beans are ready to be harvested.
Two and a half years ago, Viola’s fields were nearly bare. Even though she and Deo had land, they could not afford the seed and fertilizer needed to plant on all of it. Harvests were low, with just enough to feed the family. There was no surplus to sell for income.
“Before One Acre Fund, we would just manage to have enough to eat. We couldn’t sell anything we grew,” Viola says. “I would go to purchase fertilizer, but I would not be able to buy enough.” . . .
Rural Contractors New Zealand (RCNZ) is urging its members to ensure they have all the correct transport licences for the coming season.
RCNZ president Steve Levet says with the new season fast approaching it is timely for rural contractors and their staff to check to see they have the correct licence AND a ‘Wheels Endorsements’ if required.
“It is incumbent on rural contractors to ensure both they and their staff have all the correct licences when moving their tractors and machinery around the country,” he adds.
“There are no excuses for not having the correct licenses and/or wheels endorsement. If contractors are not sure they should find out – all the necessary information is under the members section of our website: www.ruralcontractors.org.nz .”
Mr Levet says the different types of licences rural contractors may require include: . . .
New Zealand sheep and beef farmers can look forward to a positive 2014-15 season, according to analysis released by Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s (B+LNZ) Economic Service today.
B+LNZ Economic Service executive director, Rob Davison says the season’s favourable climatic conditions so far, expected higher product prices and a more export-friendly exchange rate collectively translate to improved returns for the country’s sheep and beef farmers.
New Season Outlook 2014-15 predicts the average sheep and beef farm profit before tax will increase 8.0 per cent on last season, to $110,800.
Mr Davison says a 6.3 per cent lift in sheep revenue is largely responsible for the increase, while total farm expenditure should only rise by an average of 2.3 per cent. . .
Unravelling the schedule gap between North and South Islands – Allan Barber:
Every year when livestock numbers pass their peak in the North Island, there is a constant stream of trucks carting stock across the Cook Strait to plants for slaughter. There are two obvious reasons for this – either there isn’t enough South Island capacity at the time or the cost of procurement plus transport is less than the price in the North Island.
These two explanations are two sides of the same coin, because there is no need for South Island processors to pay more than they have to when their plants are full. This is even more evident from the species with the largest price gap which is cull cows, possibly wider than it has ever been. However there is absolutely no point in paying dairy farmers over the odds for what is a fully depreciated asset they have to get rid of. . . .
The New Zealand Rock Lobster Industry Council has today praised the National Party pledge to spend $100 million over 10 years to buy and retire farmland next to waterways to provide a buffer and improve water quality.
The pledge was made by Prime Minister John Key in Southland this morning.
Rock Lobster Executive Officer Daryl Sykes says the National Party pledge represents an appropriate recognition of the quality and integrity of private property rights and invokes market mechanisms to resolve concerns about the natural environment. . .
The Independent Inquiry Committee which reviewed the circumstances giving rise to the precautionary recall of whey protein concentrate (WPC80) last year has welcomed Fonterra’s progress on implementing recommended improvements.
The Committee completed a nine-month checkpoint on Fonterra’s progress which itself was one of the Committee’s recommendations.
Committee Chair Sir Ralph Norris said the Co-operative’s leadership had taken responsible measures to distil the Inquiry’s recommendations into a significant programme of work. . . .
Seeka offers kiwifruit growers share incentive in exchange for trays – Suze Metherell:
(BusinessDesk) – Seeka Kiwifruit Industries, the fruit grower and coolstore and packhouse operator, is looking to secure kiwifruit supply over the next three years by offering growers shares in return for exclusive supply from their orchards.
Under the growers incentive scheme eligible growers will be issued new shares annually in proportion to the number of trays provided, at a rate of 10 cents worth of shares to every tray, until 2016, the Te Puke-based company said in statement. Seeka shares were unchanged near a five-year high at $3.29 on the NZX and have gained 57 percent this year.
Local kiwifruit growers have been struggling with the outbreak of Pseudomonas syringae PV actinidiae in 2010, which infected about 40 percent of the nation’s orchards, with gold fruit varieties hardest hit. Seeka expects the gold market to double in 2015 once re-grafted SunGold orchards reach commercial volume. . . .
(BusinessDesk) – Rural Equities, the farming group controlled by the Cushing family, doubled annual profit and lifted its dividend 17 percent on the back of record dairy production and prices.
Profit rose to $24 million in the 12 months ended June 30, up from $10.9 million a year earlier, the Hastings-based company said in a statement. Operating earnings before interest and tax doubled to $6.43 million from $3.33 million, as its six dairy farms produced a record 1.67 million kilograms of milk solids and the price of dairy products soared.
Production at its three Waikato farms benefited from rising beef, lamb and wool prices, and “contributed materially to increased earnings,” the company said. . . .
AUSTRALIAN DAIRY Farmers (ADF) have launched a selfie campaign to push for a China free trade agreement which they say will put them on an equal footing with New Zealand farmers.
It says the campaign had reached 1.6 million Twitter users by today, September 2. ADF is urging all Australians to get behind its #FTA4dairy ‘selfie’ campaign to help secure a China-Australia free trade agreement (FTA) which could see $30 million in tariff savings per year placed back into the pockets of Australians.
Showing your support is as simple as uploading a #FTA4dairy selfie holding up a postive message, and posting it online incorporating the #FTA4dairy and #FTA4farmers hashtags, the group says. . .
On Sunday 31st August, tweed clad ladies and gents from all over Scotland gathered outside the luxury Blythswood Square Hotel for the annual Harris Tweed ride, this year in partnership with the Campaign for Wool.
The Harris Tweed ride has continued to become increasingly popular with this year’s ride being no exception. Over 120 cyclists and wool lovers took part in the ride covering Glasgow Green and Kelvingrove Park taking in some of Glasgow’s most iconic sites as well as guiding riders past some of Glasgow’s top dining establishments. . .
Not celebrating yet - Andrea Fox:
Bay of Plenty farmer David Jensen’s commitment of nearly a third of his milk production this season to Fonterra’s June guaranteed milk price (GMP) of $7 a kilogram of milksolids (MS) looks set to boost his coffers by at least $80,000 but he’s not crowing.
He knows that would be foolhardy, given the roller-coaster ride of the milk price this year and the long stretch of the season ahead.
This is Jensen’s second round on Fonterra’s new fixed milk price programme. In last year’s pilot scheme his business posted a $45,000 opportunity cost after he committed milk at $7/kg MS in what is set to be a record $8-plus payout season. . .
Pipfruit sector’s future ‘very bright’ – Pam Jones:
Good returns are expected in the pipfruit industry this year following a record season last year, Pipfruit New Zealand chief executive officer Alan Pollard says.
Mr Pollard was one of the keynote speakers at the two-day Pipfruit New Zealand conference in Queenstown last week, and visited three Central Otago orchards and one winery with delegates during a field day after the conference.
The conference built on the Pipfruit New Zealand strategic plan, which was released at last year’s conference and outlined how to achieve a goal of developing the pipfruit industry into a $1 billion export industry by 2022, Mr Pollard said. . .
Southland and Otago did well in the third annual Beef and Lamb New Zealand Sheep Industry Awards in Napier last week.
AbacusBio managing director Neville Jopson, of Dunedin, received the Focus Genetics sheep industry science award in recognition of his work in the industry, while Mount Linton Station, in Southland, won the Alliance Group terminal sire award for lamb growth and meat yield and the SIL-ACE award for terminal sire for lamb growth.
Andy Ramsden, of Wanaka, was awarded the Allflex sheep industry innovation award for his input to increasing the productivity of New Zealand sheep during the past 20 years, and Riverton’s Blackdale Coopworth stud won the Telford dual purpose award for reproduction, lamb growth plus adult size and wool production. . .
Robots are not only taking their place in milking sheds or on vineyards and orchards – aerial drones are increasingly being used to extend the reach and view of human farmers.
Linda Bulk of the Aeronavics company, said farmers were surprised at how easy they were to use.
“It’s so practical,” she said. “There’s that eye in the sky, what you see from above is so much more informative than when you’re on eye level to start with and it gets into those hard to reach areas that are often a hazard for quad bikes. . . .
Dry conditions in the northern North Island and continued land use change in the South Island saw New Zealand’s sheep numbers decrease 3.2 per cent over the 2013-14 season, while beef cattle numbers increased 1.6 per cent.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s (B+LNZ) Economic Service carries out a stock number survey annually. Its latest survey shows sheep numbers dropped to 29.8 million in the year to 30 June 2014.
B+LNZ Economic Service Chief Economist Andrew Burtt says strong mutton prices, driven by rising demand from North Asia, encouraged a high level of cull ewe processing for the second year in a row.
Breeding ewe numbers, at 19.96 million, were slightly down (-1.4%) on the previous June. The largest contributor to the overall decline was the South Island, reflecting the continued land use trend towards dairy and dairy support activities.
The second stage of a $120 million redevelopment and expansion project at one of New Zealand’s largest agricultural enterprises will be opened this week.
The $12 million investment into the extension of Meadow Mushrooms’ Christchurch farm will add a further 60 jobs and increase production by 37,000 kilograms of fresh white mushrooms a week.
This project follows the $45 million expansion undertaken by the company on site in 2011 and is the second of three stages to completely reconfigure the company’s infrastructure in New Zealand. A new office administration and headquarters construction project will commence before the end of the year and will be followed by an expansion of the compost facilities and growing shed conversions.
“This development demonstrates Meadow Mushrooms’ confidence in the future market and our commitment to the industry,” said John Barnes, CEO of Meadow Mushrooms. . . .