Nervous West Coast farmers are hoping meteorologists are right that a rainmaker is close at hand, with no more than 1 millilitre (mls) falling at Westport over the past 23 days.
“This is the driest start to spring in some years,” says Katie Milne, Federated Farmers West Coast Provincial President.
“Apparently a dry spell is 15 consecutive days with less than one millilitre of rainfall and the South Island has been very dry. Heck, even Milford Sound has been dry for going on 22 days.
“Speaking to the guys at MetService, they say it is down to a persistent high, which has been sitting out to the west that’s meandering its way across the country. . .
Turners & Growers enters Chilean JV to grow grapes for first time – Suze Metherell:
(BusinessDesk) – Turners & Growers, the fruit marketer majority owned by Germany’s BayWa, has entered a joint venture with Unifrutti Chile to grow and export Peruvian grapes.
The joint venture with Italian-owned, Chile-based Unifrutti builds on an existing export relationship with T&G, and is the Auckland-based company’s first foray into grape growing. T&G didn’t disclose any financial details surrounding the deal, saying it will begin planting in Peru later this year with first commercial volumes harvested in late 2015.
T&G’s Delica business already exports grapes and has existing operations in South America, though those haven’t extended to grape growing before. The company already had a commercial relationship with Unifrutti, which is ultimately owned by the Italy-based De Nada International Group, according to its website. . .
Entering the Waikato Ballance Farm Environment Awards was a great way for Matamata sharemilkers Phil and Kim Dykzeul to find out how their operation stacked up in terms of environmental sustainability.
The Dykzeuls, who 50:50 sharemilk 200 cows on 83ha owned by Richard and Pauline Kean, were thrilled to win three category awards in the 2014 Waikato Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA), including the LIC Dairy Farm Award.
“We were over the moon to win three awards in our first time in the competition,” says Phil. . .
With the second season of black-grass operations about to begin, continued vigilance this spring and summer will be crucial to stop the noxious weed from establishing in Mid-Canterbury, says the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).
MPI, supported by industry partners, began a black-grass response following spillage of contaminated seed from a truck travelling between Ashburton and Methven in July last year.
“We didn’t find any black-grass last season and are confident that if it were there the operations team would have found it,” says MPI Response Manager Brad Chandler.
“However, we are also very conscious that if there is any chance of black-grass appearing, it is most likely to show its face this season. So everyone involved, including the public, needs to remain particularly vigilant and keep a lookout.” . . .
An increasing volume of valuable export earnings are being generated by the Fiordland Lobster Company (FLC), following its successful pioneering of the live lobster export industry over the past 25 years.
Now exporting about over 800 tonnes of the Kiwi Lobster-branded product (officially known as Jasus edwardsii lobster) each year, the firm’s achievements have been founded on efficient air freight and a well-oiled logistics operation, says FLC group general manager sales and marketing David Prendergast.
“This lobster is considered the sweetest tasting and most succulent variety available and is highly sought after in Asia, where it is the lobster of choice,” he says. . . .
New Zealand Wool Services International Limited’s Marketing Executive, Mr Paul Steel reports that at today’s South Island sale there were market gains of up to 2 percent on the back of recent business concluded mainly with Chinese interests.
A limited Merino offering saw best top making types slightly in buyers favour and poorer styles mixed and irregular.
Mid Micron wools when compared to the last South Island sale on the 28th August generally made small gains. 24.5 and 25 micron were firm, 25.5 to 26.5 and 29 to 30.5 micron were 1 to 2 percent dearer while 27 to 28.5 micron were buyers favour. . . .