Rural round-up

January 10, 2014

ANZCO opens new food laboratory – Alan Williams:

ANZCO Foods has set up a new innovation centre at Lincoln University to focus on new food developments.

Its research team was already working on new developments, with more in the pipeline, the company’s Food and Solutions business chief executive Rennie Davidson said.

The centre was opened last month by ANZCO chairman Sir Graeme Harrison, who said it was part of an $87 million project to generate more value from beef carcases.

The FoodPlus project is a joint venture between ANZCO and the Government’s Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme. . .

Kiwis set to shine in New York - Alan Williams:

Promotion and sales are the focus for two top New Zealand knitting yarn marketers later this week at the Vogue Knit Live fair in New York.

Marnie Kelly and Bev Forrester will be showing their yarns in front of thousands of knitters from all over the United States and many others from round the world, in the heart of Times Square.

They sell to American and Canadian tourists in NZ and to customers online, and now they want to use the fair to attract retailers who can provide them with a bigger market. . .

Sizzling summer brings boats into play -

SIZZLING, dry conditions in Queensland mean the prospect of feed grain being brought around from South Australia to Brisbane to boat becomes ever more likely.

Once considered fanciful, analysts now suggest the economics of bringing feed grain in from southern areas is now a strong possibility.

Lloyd George, AgScientia, said with the planting window for sorghum in southern Queensland rapidly closing and largely inelastic demand, end-users were casting their net ever further afield to source stocks. . .

ACCC has concerns over Murray Goulburn’s takeover of WCB –  Tim Binsted and Jared Lynch:

The competition regulator has cast doubts over Murray Goulburn’s claim that its acquisition of Warrnambool Cheese & Butter will yield benefits to the public and re-establish Australian dairy’s global competitiveness.

Murray Goulburn is locked in a fierce $500 million-plus takeover battle for control of WCB with Canadian dairy company Saputo.

Murray Goulburn must convince the Australian Competition Tribunal that the public benefits of its acquisition of WCB outweigh anti-competitive concerns or its bid is finished.

In an issues paper made public on Tuesday, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission – which is helping the tribunal – rejected Murray Goulburn’s claim that its takeover of WCB would cause no significant lessening of competition. . . .

Food campaigners target Oxford Farming Conference – Johann Tasker:

Campaigners have called on the Oxford Farming Conference to recognise the contribution of small-scale farmers and food producers.

Members of the Land Workers’ Alliance protested outside the conference venue as delegates arrived at the Oxford Examination Rooms on Tuesday (7 January).

The alliance – members of the international peasant movement La Via Campesina – is a group which campaigs for the rights of small producers and a better food system. . .

 Musterer injured after horse collapses - Murray Robertson:

A CASUAL musterer on a farm at Rere was flown to hospital yesterday morning when the horse he was riding died underneath him as they descended a steep hillside.

Emergency services were alerted at about 11am.

The 69-year-old horseman suffered neck, head and facial injuries in the mishap. He was flown to Waikato Hospital yesterday afternoon after being assessed at Gisborne Hospital’s emergency department. . .

Manning the panic station - Tim Fulton:

It was just on five minutes to six in the half light of the morning when a cry rang out.

My wife’s urgent tone was comparable to the fright of a burglar in the living room: “Tim, Tim…the sheep are in the garden.”

Our sheep – a modest tally of four ewes and five lambs – make a mockery of our attempt at fencing.

The artificial barriers between yard and garden grow ever higher but still the mini flock tests weak links in the wire. . .


Rural round-up

October 24, 2013

Many avoiding discussions on meat industry - Sally Rae:

Wider meat industry discussions over its structure are involving too small a group and there are ”a whole lot of people” not bothering to attend, Alliance Group chief executive Grant Cuff says.

Addressing a shareholders-suppliers meeting in Oamaru this week, Mr Cuff said it seemed an ”awfully big chunk of the industry just doesn’t want to discuss it any further”.

”Those of us that are willing and trying to talk still do, but you can’t do it in isolation,” he said. . .

Critical deadline for Central Plains Water scheme:

For the Central Plains Water Ltd irrigation project to proceed, it needs a minimum shareholder commitment to irrigate 18,000 ha of Stage I of the 60,000ha scheme by October 31.

After 13 years of development, CPWL aims to raise $45 million from shareholders of which $35 million will be used to construct Stage I of the scheme and the remaining to fund the design for Stage II and Stage III and also to contribute to the building of extra capacity in the Stage I headrace to allow for the future stages.

“The deadline is 5pm on October 31 to commit to Stage I Construction Shares and Stage II & III Pre-Construction shares. We need this commitment not only for the viability of the project but also to get on with the tendering process for the scheme construction,” said CEO, Derek Crombie. . .

Even in bad dairy news there is good - Willy Leferink:

Part of my volunteer work at Federated Farmers is handling some tricky stuff from time to time and there’s none trickier when one of our guys let the side down.  I mean of course when a dairy farmer takes the wrong fork in the road and rightly gets nabbed for it.  I’ve heard heaps of stories that farming is like some secret society in that, nudge nudge, wink wink, we look after one another and look the other way.   That view is wrong.

We have a good story to tell given water quality is trending in the right direction according to the Ministry for the Environment.  There are plans to light the after burners on what we do environmentally given positive payout forecasts.  I’ve also read that a group of scientists writing in Nature say pastoral agriculture helps to form clouds.  Given clouds reflect the sun’s energy and trap moisture they help to keep the earth a temperate place to be.  Could our cows, sheep, goats and crops be climate heroes; that’s effectively what one environmental professor at Auckland University wrote in the NZ Herald.

But you cannot shout from the rooftops about what we do well without owning what we don’t do so well.  . .

Radio NZ journalist takes Rongo Award:

Radio New Zealand’s Country Life programme came up trumps at this year’s Agricultural Journalism Awards.

Susan Murray won the TBFree New Zealand Rongo Award for two programmes that featured in Country Life.

That’s the top award for agricultural journalists in the country. . .

Primary Growth Partnership delivering major results:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy is welcoming more success stories from the Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) scheme, with five major projects announcing breakthroughs this month.

“The programme ‘Transforming the Dairy Value Chain’ is helping to develop a patented technology for developing frozen mozzarella cheese in one day rather than the previous two months. Last week Fonterra announced a new $72 million investment into its Clandeboye plant near Timaru to expand production of this cheese.

“It has also helped DairyNZ and Rezare Systems, with support from Beef and Lamb NZ, to develop the ‘Pasture Growth Forecaster’. This is an online tool to predict pasture growth up to 15 days and two months ahead, which will be a great tool for many farmers. . . .

Forrest Wines recognised in Asia for outstanding quality:

The John Forrest Collection Waitaki Valley Pinot Noir 2010 has added another accolade to its name receiving a gold medal at the Decanter Asia Wine Awards.

Co-chaired by Jeannie Cho Lee MW, the first Asian Master of Wine and a Contributing Editor to Decanter, and Steven Spurrier, Chairman of the Decanter World Wine Awards and Decanter’s Consultant Editor, the Decanter Asia Wine Awards aims to recognise quality wines and provide consumers across Asia with a trusted source of recommendations.

The John Forrest Collection range celebrates the best of New Zealand wine from family owned land in key wine producing regions, made from carefully selected grapes and only in the best years. The Waitaki Valley in North Otago is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with for premium Pinot Noir production, offering a unique style. . . .

Amisfield Wine Company Pinot Noir Wins Top Asia Trophy:

Queenstown’s Amisfield Wine Company has beaten stiff competition to take out a top trophy in the largest wine competition in Asia.

The company’s 2010 Pinot Noir has been awarded the New Zealand Regional Pinot Noir Trophy, Best in Show and a prestigious Gold Medal in the Decanter Asia Wine Awards (DAWA) announced today (October 23).

Judging took place in Hong Kong late last month, with over 40 top wine experts from across Asia joining the judging panel.

DAWA is the continent’s largest wine competition in its second year running with over 2,300 entrants from all over the world. . .

Cattermoles Butchery in Kaiapoi has won the Supreme Gold Award in the 100% NZ Ham Competition:

Just in time for Christmas New Zealand’s finest ham has been revealed following the 100% New Zealand Ham Competition. Cattermoles Butchery in Kaiapoi, Canterbury has taken out the supreme award for their sugar cured, leg ham on the bone.

The competition celebrates the finest bone-in and boneless hams crafted by New Zealand butchers using only 100% New Zealand pork. The four judges of the ‘Grand Final’ round were unanimous that Cattermoles delivered the most “ham-tastic” experience of aroma, texture, taste and all-important colour.

With nearly twenty years as Cattermoles Butchery owner, Chris Beach is absolutely delighted to step up to the supreme award, after coming away with Silver in 2012. . . .


Rural round-up

July 27, 2013

Owen Poole to step down from Alliance Group after 18 years, Taggart named chairman:

Owen Poole is to step down from Alliance Group, after an association with the Invercargill-based meat company stretching back 18 years, and will be replaced as chairman by fellow board member Murray Taggart.

Taggart was a farmer-elected director of Alliance between 2002 and 2007 and was re-elected to the board in 2010. He farms a 457 hectare sheep and cropping unit under irrigation in Oxford, North Canterbury.

Poole will step down as chairman on Sept. 30, having held the position since being appointed to the board as an independent director in 2008. He was the company’s chief executive between 1995 and 2005. . .

Strong backing for CPW share structure:

Central Plains Water Ltd yesterday received strong backing from farmers attending a Special General Meeting to agree the share structure and construction approvals necessary for first stage construction to proceed.

More than 200 shareholders attended the July 25 meeting, along with Selwyn District Mayor Kelvin Coe and MPI representative, Kevin Steel.

The meeting voted unanimously to proceed with construction of the irrigation scheme, with only one shareholder voting against the proposed share structure. . .

Forestry sector stands to gain major economic boost:

Associate Primary Industries Minister Jo Goodhew has welcomed the announcement of a government and industry research study that could rejuvenate New Zealand’s forestry industry.

The 14-month project will study the feasibility of making biofuel from the waste product of forestry harvesting and processing. Material including sawdust, bark and harvest residue currently has little or no value, but could be a valuable new revenue stream if it can be commercially converted into biofuels.

“This study is potentially the first step in a very exciting new revenue stream for the forestry industry,” says Mrs Goodhew. . .

Forest owners pumped by bioenergy project:

Forest owners are hopeful that a project designed to convert forest waste into liquid biofuels will provide growers and mills with extra income streams.

In what is known as the ‘Stump to Pump’ project, the government has approved $6.75 million in funding to be matched by partners Norske Skog and Z Energy.

The $13.5 million project will be based at Norske Skog’s Tasman mill in Kawerau. The initial 14-month study will examine the feasibility and economics of making biofuel from sawdust, bark and harvest residue which currently has little or no value. If successful, a test plant will then be built in Kawerau. . . .

Bioenergy Association is encouraged by the Government’s support for biofuels:

The announcement by the Government of Primary Growth Partnership funding of $6.75 million) to investigate producing biofuels from forestry residues is encouraging and supports the forestry and wood processing sector strategy that identified that some emerging biofuel technologies can provide attractive additional revenue streams for existing businesses. . . .

Young farmer wins upland farm for 12 months – Isabel Davies:

A 23-year-old farmer has been given the chance to run a 248ha upland farm in Snowdownia after winning a unique scholarship.

Caryl Hughes from Dyffryn Ceiriog, near Llangollen, beat off stiff competition to win the opportunity to farm Llyndy Isaf, on the shores of Llyn Dinas near Beddgelert for 12 months from September.

The farm drew international attention in 2011 when £1m appeal to rescue it was spearheaded by Welsh Hollywood actor Matthew Rhys and supported by Catherine Zeta-Jones. . .


Rural round-up

July 26, 2013

Report confirms drought worst in nearly 70 years:

A comparative study on the 2013 drought released today by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) confirms it was one of the most extreme on record for New Zealand and the worst since 1945-46. The 2013 drought was also one of the most widespread New Zealand has experienced with only the drought of 1972-73 that affected Wairarapa, Tasman, Otago and Southland coming close to its geographical spread.

The report states that the cause of the drought was not El Niño but in fact slow-moving or ‘blocking’ high pressure systems over the Tasman Sea and New Zealand over summer.

Commissioned by MPI and undertaken by NIWA, the study looked at two sets of data records – NIWA’s gridded Virtual Climate Station Network that goes back to 1972, and longer-term station records that go back to the early 1940s. . .

Animal cruelty has no place in the dairy industry:

Federated Farmers, DairyNZ and the New Zealand Veterinary Association, takes a strong stance against animal cruelty on-farms and breaking tails is unacceptable stockmanship.

“As a farmer it saddens me to hear these animal welfare charges because it goes against the very nature of a person working with animals.

“Mr Beaumont broke 40 tails out of the 200 cattle he harmed, goes against the very nature of a person who works with animals. It is indefensible, and he has let the industry down by letting his anger get the better of him,” says Chris Lewis, Waikato Dairy chairperson. . .

Drought takes its toll on Fonterra’s forecast:

Federated Farmers is not surprised Fonterra Cooperative Group has announced a decrease in its 2013 forecast earnings before interest and taxation. This is due to the impact of the drought and pressures in its Australian operations.

“I think farmers will be relieved Fonterra has reconfirmed the forecast cash payout will remain unchanged for the 2012/13 season at $6.12. However, the reality of this announcement is that everything has a flow on effect,” says Andrew Hoggard, Federated Farmers Dairy vice-chairperson.

“All those people who have looked at the increased prices on the Global Dairy Trade (GDT) platform and then decided to buy more Fonterra units on the stock exchange may not have understood how it all works. Increases in GDT prices actually mean tighter margins as the base commodities that Fonterra uses to make its own products also rise in price. . .

Livestock Improvement FY profit falls 3% as bull value gains slow - Tina Morrison:

 Livestock Improvement Corp., a farmer cooperative that sells bull semen and provides a dairy genetics database, posted a 3 percent drop in annual profit because its elite breeding bulls didn’t increase in value as much as the previous year.

Profit fell to $23.7 million in the year ended May 31, from $24.4 million a year earlier, the Hamilton-based company said in a statement. The value of its 866 elite breeding bulls rose $2.7 million compared with a $9.4 million gain on its 870 bulls the year earlier.

LIC, as the company is known, is farmer owned through cooperative control shares and investment shares that trade on the NZAX market. The company, which excludes changes in elite bull valuations when setting returns to shareholders, will pay a record dividend of 54.91 cents per investment share, and 8.4 cents per cooperative control share. . .

Stump to Pump programme receives PGP funding boost:

An innovation programme that will pave the way for generating more value from forestry waste by converting it to liquid biofuels is to receive government funding through the Primary Growth Partnership.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has approved co-funding of $6.75 million for the 14-month ‘Stump to Pump’ PGP programme.

Stump to Pump partners Norske Skog and Z Energy will match funding of $6.75 million, bringing the project’s total funding to $13.5 million.

This relatively short-term PGP programme will study the feasibility, including the cost-effectiveness, of making biofuel from forestry waste. It will determine the commercial viability of establishing a modular test plant to process New Zealand forest waste into sustainable transport fuel. . .

Precision Agriculture Association wins bid to host international conference:

The recently-formed Precision Agriculture Association of New Zealand (PAANZ) will host the International Asian Conference on Precision Agriculture in 2017.

The bid was submitted in South Korea and New Zealand beat three other countries – Malaysia, India and Indonesia – for hosting rights. The conference is one of three large international conferences on precision agriculture (PA) held around the world each year. The 2013 conference was held in South Korea and attracted more than 150 attendees.

PAANZ Chairman Peter Barrowclough said the successful bid to host the conference was an early demonstration of the value of now having a national precision agriculture organisation up and running in New Zealand. “And, with our changing export markets and increasingly strong linkages with South East Asia, this will be an excellent vehicle for New Zealand to improve its global networks,” he said. . .


Rural round-up

March 14, 2013

Push for rural health alliance to tackle farmer depression:

A rural doctors representative wants a new health alliance to make a commitment to tackling rural depression.

The Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand, which was formed last year, will hold its first AGM on Wednesday afternoon in the run up to the annual Rural General Practice Network conference in Rotorua this week. . .

Urgent decisions due for Sharemilkers and Sharemilker Employers:

Federated Farmers is warning Sharemilkers and Sharemilker employers that with drought now widespread, they need to urgently sit down and jointly plan the close of the 2012/13 season.

“Forget about how you handled the last drought because this one is significantly different,” says Tony Wilding, Federated Farmers Sharemilker Employers’ Section Vice-Chairperson.

“These are not normal drought conditions as there is little feed in the whole of the North Island to fall back upon. There are very few places where farmers can send stock to which has enough grass even in the South Island.

“Federated Farmers urges all sharemilkers and those who engage sharemilkers to sit down and plan for the close of the season. Both sides of the business relationship need to figure out how they can best manage today’s situation to prevent further damage or compromise next season’s production. . .

Sheep and beef farmers support PGP collaboration programe:

New Zealand sheep and beef farmers have agreed to co-fund the ‘Collaboration for Sustainable Growth Red Meat Primary Growth Partnership’, following a farmer vote held at the Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) Annual Meeting in Wanaka last week.

Electionz.com, which managed the vote on behalf of B+LNZ, has advised that the resolution was passed with 77% support from 2746 participating votes. The weighted voting percentage represents 21.3% of the potential total weighted vote based on sheep (31.2m head), beef (3.74 m head), and dairy (6.46 m head) livestock numbers at 30 June 2012.

B+LNZ Chairman, Mike Petersen said that following the funding commitment from the Government and industry partners, the positive farmer vote paves the way for the programme to proceed. . .

Meat sector takes huge step forward in supporting PGP

The strong farmer support for Beef+Lamb New Zealand’s co-funding of the Collaboration for Sustainable Growth Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme shows the entire red meat industry is on track toward a brighter future, says Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre Chairperson.

“This PGP will provide a huge amount of investment in ways farmers can directly increase their productivity and returns through their own efforts, so it is very heartening that Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s co-funding resolution was supported,” Mrs Maxwell says.

“Federated Farmers saw the potential in this partnership and more than three quarters of the sheep and beef farmers who voted agreed.

“While the red meat sector is having a tough season with drought now adding to the stress of lower prices, I am confident this scheme could mean we do not face such dire seasons in the future. . .

Drought bites – RivettingKateTaylor:

It’s getting worse.

I have been holding off writing about the drought, but now I want to tempt the rain. It’s like watering the garden and then it rains. Only this time it’s not. And it’s not. And it’s not.

We are so lucky we are only on a lifestyle block. The pet sheep and calfie are not impressed by the dry, but they will survive, as will we with off-”farm” income. . .

Minister meets Brazilian counterpart – opportunities in the ‘giant of Latin America‘:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy was impressed by the size and scale of Brazilian agriculture when he met with Brazilian Agriculture Minister Mendes Ribeiro Filho in Brasilia today, at the end of a nine-day trade mission to Latin America led by Prime Minister John Key.

“In meeting with my counterpart I outlined the expertise, innovation, and efficiency which characterises New Zealand’s agricultural sector,” says Mr Guy.

“With New Zealand’s world-leading expertise, and Brazil’s land and location, there are plenty of opportunities for our countries to collaborate and work more closely together.

“During the meeting I stressed that New Zealand and Brazil should try to work in partnership as agricultural exporters to reduce trade barriers and ease trade restrictions.” . . .

Fonterra launches Mainland cheese in Malaysia:

Fonterra Brands Malaysia’s launch of Mainland Cheese in Malaysia signals the strengthening trade links between New Zealand and South-East Asia, Minister for Economic Development Steven Joyce says.

Minister Joyce today launched the Mainland Cheese brand at a New Zealand Gala event in Kuala Lumpur.

“Over the last five years, Fonterra Brands Malaysia’s business in South East Asia has doubled, which shows the increasing demand for New Zealand dairy products, and the growing opportunities for New Zealand export companies in the region,” Mr Joyce says.

The launch coincides with New Zealand Week in Malaysia, a series of business and education events to lift the profile of New Zealand as an education destination, and to promote business and investment opportunities. . .


Rural round-up

February 28, 2013

Fonterra Announces Plan To Support And Grow Milk Supply:

Fonterra announced today a five-point plan to give farmer shareholders more flexibility in managing their farm businesses in order to support and grow milk production to support the Co-operative’s growth strategy.

The plan includes:
1. A bonus issue of one additional share or unit for every 40 held on 12 April 2013.
2. A further Supply Offer enabling Fonterra shareholders to sell the economic rights of some of their shares into the Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund[1].
3. A Dividend Reinvestment plan enabling shareholders and unit holders to elect to receive dividends in the form of shares or units.
4. Flexible contracts to give new and growing farmers more time and options to fully back their milk production with Fonterra shares.
5. New opportunities for winter milk supply contracts in the upper North Island to fuel Fonterra’s new UHT plant at Waitoa. . .

Fonterra To Develop UHT Plant At Waitoa:

Fonterra today announced it will be investing more than $100 million in a new UHT milk processing plant at its Waitoa site in the Waikato.

Fonterra Chief Executive Officer Theo Spierings said the new plant would enable the co-operative to meet growing demand for UHT products in Asia.

“The new plant will enable us to increase our UHT production by 100 per cent over the next few years. The plant will include five new UHT lines that will produce a range of products including UHT white milk and UHT cream for the foodservice sector. . .

Federated Farmers awaits Commerce Commission examination of swaps:

Federated Farmers has asked the Commerce Commission to look into the selling of debt finance instruments known as ‘swaps’. This formal request was made last November.

“It is fair to say we have received a number of inquiries from members and even non-members regarding swaps,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President.

“As most of these instruments were sold to farmers between 2007 and 2009, the impact of the global financial crisis upon interest rates saw concerns really only arise after 2009. . .

Drought makes high New Zealand dollar unjustifiable:

With widespread dry conditions and the first adverse event declaration in Northland related to drought, Federated Farmers believes there is no justification for the high New Zealand dollar.

“It seems dairy production is not just falling but in some key areas is starting to crash,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President.

“DairyNZ confirms Northland’s February milk production is some 20 percent down year to date while in the Waikato, it is about 15 percent down. Speaking to Kevin Robinson, the vice-chair of Federated Farmers Dairy, milk production at his farm is down 15-20 percent and is falling daily. . .

PGG Wrightson lifts 1H profit by 55% onr etail, ag services, pays 2.2 cent dividend:

PGG Wrightson, the rural services company controlled by Singapore-based Agria, listed first-half profit by 55 percent on earning s growth from retail and Ag services, allowing it to declare a 2.2 cents a share interim dividend.

Profit rose to $4.8 million in the six months ended Dec. 31, from $3.1 million a year earlier, the company said in a statement. Revenue from continuing operations fell to $589 million from $694 million.

Wrightson sold its finance unit to Heartland New Zealand in August 2011 and booked a loss of $3.37 million in the first half of the 2012 that wasn’t repeated in the latest period. Revenue from discontinued operations fell to $1.5 million in the latest half from $13.6 million a year earlier. . .

A2 1H profit dented by UK JV, affirms FY earnings target of $11.2M –  Paul McBeth:

Feb. 27 (BusinessDesk) – A2 Corp, which markets milk products with a protein variant claimed to have health benefits, reported an 82 percent slide in first-half profit as the cost of setting up its UK joint venture eroded the bottom line. The shares gained 3.9 percent as it affirmed its annual earnings forecast.

Net profit dropped to $243,000, or 0.09 cents per share, in the six months ended Dec. 31 from $3.4 million, or 0.53 cents, a year earlier, the Sydney-based company said in a statement. That came from a $1.5 million loss on establishing its UK joint venture with Robert Wiseman Dairies, which only started selling product in October last year. . .

Primary Wool Cooperative announces dividend payment:

Primary Wool Cooperative announces that on February 19, 2013, the Directors approved the payment of a 10% dividend to members. This comes on top of the annual 3 cents per kilogram rebate and last year’s 5% dividend, meaning that over the past 3 years, rebates and dividends have totalled an impressive $1.1M. These rebates and dividends, along with significant funding of industry-good activities such as the Campaign for Wool, demonstrate some of the ways Primary Wool Cooperative is delivering real benefit to the industry.

This is more good news for Primary Wool Cooperative, with the Just ShornTM brand being successfully rolled out into over 480 carpet retailers across North America and Canada on February the 18th 2013. . .

Farmers say ‘yes’ to rural stores merger:

Farmer Shareholders in the rural supply co-ops Farmlands and CRT have agreed to merge the two Societies with a majority of Farmlands and CRT Shareholders voting in favour of merger in today’s second special vote.

It means an immediate bonus for Shareholders in both co-ops. A bonus share issue of $32 million shares is being made to shareholders to distribute the retained earnings and unallocated reserves of the two co-operatives prior to merging.

And the two companies will distribute more than $8 million in an interim bonus rebate to Shareholders. This relates to their trading with the two co-operatives over the period 1 July– 31 December 2012. The rebate will be paid in a 60/40 share/cash split. . .

MPI Tech Transfer Survey Supports Red Meat PGP:

The findings of a Ministry for Primary Industries survey of technology transfer to farmers is more evidence of why farmers should want the red meat primary growth partnership programme to go ahead, says Beef + Lamb New Zealand chairman Mike Petersen.

The MPI survey says technology transfer has enabled farmers and growers to become world leaders in primary production during three decades of significant structural change. But the sector could now do with a boost because there are too few professionals and they need to be better linked to provide a more integrated approach to sharing new knowledge and information.

“This initiative runs right through our PGP programme that is bringing together the major meat companies, two banks and an accounting firm in an unprecedented collaboration. . .


Rural round-up

February 25, 2013

Joyce hints at more partnerships – Tim Fulton:

Science and Economic Development Steven Joyce has hinted at more partnerships between Lincoln and the private sector, calling his unspecified plan a crucial part of the tech-transfer story.

Joyce was at the university’s dairy research farm launching the second stage of the Pastoral 21 programme, highlighting the importance of places like Lincoln for information-sharing.

There had been a lot of talk over the years about the Lincoln campus developing and becoming a true agri-technology hub, he said.

Now, despite the cost of repairing earthquake damage, the university had a unique opportunity to take that role. . .

To feed the world we need to fix the politics not the environment – Milking on the Moove:

They say there will be 9 Billion people in 2050. The popular question is “how can we feed that number of people?”

There is literally not a day go by where I’m not confronted with some sort of report, program or video about the challenge of feeding the world.

The common theme is we need to increase agricultural productivity to meet this massive demand. The view that we have limited resources that will make food production more expensive or difficult in the future is widely popular.

Some people who belong to the environmental movements, like to use the growing demand to push their causes, one such cause is to promote the vegan lifestyle as less cattle will reduce CO2 emissions. 

Businesses also jump on the band wagon, because it allows them to get subsidies that keep their business profitable when it otherwise would not be, solar panel manufacturers spring to mind. . .

Eco-n suspension blow for Ravensdown – Tim Fulton:

Ravensdown is usually on full show at Lincoln farming events but last Thursday it was fronting up in a different way, explaining its position after suspending sales of its nitrogen inhibitor. Tim Fulton reports. 

ECO-N was introduced to the market on Lincoln University’s dairy research farm in February 2004, Ravensdown’s Richard Christie reminded farmers at the same spot on Thursday. . .

Irrigation company establishment board announced:

Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy has announced that experienced director Alison Paterson will oversee the establishment of a new Crown company to invest in irrigation.

The new company, which is to be established by 1 July, will act as a bridging investor for regional water infrastructure development, with $80 million to be set aside in Budget 2013.

“I’m pleased to have people of high quality and balance to work on what is a critical area of New Zealand’s growth,” says Mr Guy.

“Well-designed storage and irrigation infrastructure has the potential to deliver a major boost to our primary industries and support new jobs, which will have a flow-on effect for all New Zealanders. If current proposals are advanced there could be another 420,000 hectares of irrigated land available over time. . . .

Surprise at lack of interest in carbon credit trading:

Associate Professor Euan Mason of Canterbury University is surprised more hill country farmers are not showing an interest in carbon credit trading as they stand to boost their incomes while at the same time helping the environment.

Professor Mason said he is perplexed that some farmers have a negative attitude towards carbon trading and the climate change issue. . .


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