Rural round-up

Complete control of supply chain impossible – Allan Barber:

Nuffield Scholar and recently elected Meat and Wool Director, James Parsons, has been promoting the need for an integrated supply chain from farmer to consumer, if farmers are to reap the rewards of their endeavours. His solution for New Zealand to get out of the commodity trap – which means farmers are far removed from the consumer and last in line to receive a share of the returns – is to redesign the supply chain . . .

 In reponse to that he also writes Supply chain debate :

Trudi Baird from Southland has written a very full response to my recent column in Farmers Weekly about the difficulty of controlling the supply chain and I have published her comments in full because I am very impressed by her arguments and the thoroughness of her analysis . . .

New Zealand to host ag-biotech international conference :

The Government is investing $100,000 to bring international agricultural biotechnology experts to New Zealand next year, Minister of Science and Innovation Wayne Mapp announced today.

New Zealand was announced as the host for the 2012 Agricultural Biotechnology International Conference at the closing of the 2011 conference in South Africa.

“This prestigious conference will bring hundreds of international delegates to New Zealand,” said Dr Mapp. “It is a chance to showcase New Zealand and Australian biotech capability.” . . .

North Otago couples’ little piggies got to market – Sally Rae:

North Otago pig farmers Gus and Sue Morton are not only bringing home the bacon – they are selling it direct to the public.   

Mr and Mrs Morton, who market their produce through the Waitaki Bacon and Ham label – focusing on a “farm gate to plate” experience for the consumer, have added a retail shop      to their business.   

A top dogs’ tale – Debbie Gregory:

EFFORTS to make the Whatatutu Sheep Dog Trial Club’s annual dog sale one of the best in the country are paying dividends with the good reputation of the East Coast dogs leading the way.

A top price of $5000 was paid for a three-year-old huntaway bitch offered by Graeme Cook and the top price in the heading dogs was $4600 among 40 dogs offered for sale at the club’s second annual sale during the weekend.

Among the dogs sold were two bought to become celebrities overseas. . .

Farmers urged to clean up act – Gerald Piddock:

Synlait boss John Penno is urging the dairy industry to do more to influence
farmers to improve their environmental record.

The industry’s dairy companies should play a major role in this by ensuring
their farmers produced their milk at a high environmental standard, he told
farmers and environmentalists at the Lower Waitaki River Management Society’s
annual meeting in Glenavy . . .

Good reason for optimism in dairying – Gerald Piddock:

Dairy farmers are going into the new season with a high level of optimism.
This is due to the extremely mild winter and the unchanged opening forecast
payout from Fonterra.

Good autumn growing conditions meant most dairy farms went into the winter
with good pasture covers and cows in good condition.

Covers at the start of calving in August around South Canterbury were high
and some farmers had to bring their cows back earlier from winter grazing to
keep pasture levels under control, Federated Farmers South Canterbury dairy
chairman Ryan O’Sullivan said.

Preparing ewes for triplets now the aim – Gerald Piddock:

Forty years ago a major topic of discussion among sheep farmers in New Zealand was would they be able to manage ewes with twins.

Fast forward to today and a similar debate is occurring over how farmers should be managing triplets, AgResearch scientist Tom Fraser says.

“I think we do have to come to grips with it and I’m not sure what the answer
is,” Mr Fraser told farmers at a Beef+Lamb field day held near Mt Somers.

Grass-fed beef a hit at major Tokyo festival:

Over three quarters of a million Japanese people attended the Super Yosakoi food, music and dance festival in Tokyo recently and many got a taste of New Zealand grass-fed beef. By the end of the festival, 400 kilograms of the beef had been barbecued and eaten.

Introducing Japanese consumers to New Zealand grass-fed beef was the point of Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s (B+LNZ) food stand at the festival and those who tasted the beef loved it, B+LNZ Market Manager Japan, John Hundleby said.

A fistful of whiter than white wool – Jon Morgan:

Alan Johanson stretches down the side of the romney ram his heading dog Ozzie
has baled up for him and clutches a fistful of fleece.

“Feel that,” he offers. “You can squeeze it as hard as you can but you can’t move it. It won’t compress any further. It stays one big thick handful.”

He’s right. A grab of the greasy wool confirms this. It is a solid, unmoving mass . . .

Science still the key to our future – Jon Morgan:

Scientists by nature are cautious. The thoroughness of their methods teaches them that. Even when they arrive at a tried, tested and peer-reviewed result they are reluctant to speak in absolutes.

The word “breakthrough” is anathema to them. They would rather run naked across a Rugby World Cup pitch than use it.

So it was with some surprise that I saw “breakthrough” in the tag line of an email from the Crown science institute, AgResearch . . .

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