The subheading on this blog is a rural perspective with a blue tint.
It’s often a lot more blue than rural (though the two aren’t mutually exclusive). I’ve decided to help rebalance that with ocassional posts linking to rural news and views, starting with these:
Sticky milk powder – Marcus Wilson at Sciblogs:
. . . One of the most enjoyable talks was given by student Timothy Walmsley, concerning a study on the sticking of milk powder in spray dryers. To convert milk into powder form it is sprayed into a dryer; the milk solids remain and fall to the bottom but the water content is removed; the result is something that is easily packaged and transported. . .
DairyNZ has launched a programme for farmers aimed at improving the milk harvesting efficiency on New Zealand dairy farms.
“Milksmart is concerned not only with milking, but with the whole milk harvesting process, from collecting the cows from the paddock and milking, to clean-up and the return of the cows,” says DairyNZ Developer and project leader, Samantha Palmer.
The programme allows a farmer to complete a comprehensive self-assessment of the milk harvesting operation and then compare their performance against other farmers.
“The smallest change in the dairy shed can stack up to important savings in both time and costs over a whole season,” says Samantha.
More on this can be found at Milksmart.
What’s going on at New Zealand’s specialist land based university? – Tony Chaston queries Lincoln’s priorities and future:
High quality agricultural education is needed to grow the rural economy into the future. In my opinion Lincoln University lost its way over the last 20 years focusing on “buying students” in many areas of education, just to survive, rather than focus on agriculture.
The Rural Recovery Group, set up in after the Canterbury earthquake is finding rural issues are starting to emerge:
Farmers had been downplaying damage, particularly as their counterparts in Southland and the North Island were struggling after recent snowstorms. The Group heard that because of those events, people were holding off on putting claims in. Rural Recovery Group co-ordinator Allan Baird urged them to register damage as soon as possible.
Selwyn District Council Recovery Welfare Manager Diane Chesmar said there had been a small number of Red Cross applications from the Selwyn district and some inquiries about emotional support.
“We understand that in this type of event the bulk of the social needs come three months after the event.”
In the latest forecast from kiwifruit marketer ZESPRI, average fruit and service payments for kiwifruit growers are set to increase by $13.7 million or $0.15 per tray on last season.
ZESPRI’s Director of Corporate and Grower Services, Carol Ward, said: “Market returns this season are up on last year and reflect strong consumer demand for ZESPRI Kiwifruit. However we are still facing challenging market conditions as the global economy emerges from the recession, with Japan and East Asia recovering more quickly than Europe and North America.”
David Campbell is currently Livestock Productivity Manager and Project Leader ‘Special Milks’ for Synlait Farms Limited in Canterbury. . .
Nicola Waugh is another graduate of Massey University. She is currently employed by AgFirst Waikato Ltd as an agricultural consultant. . .
John Brakenridge, Chief Executive of The New Zealand Merino Company Limited (NZM) has scooped the coveted ‘outstanding international business leader’ award at the New Zealand International Business Awards.