China consumers to be surveyed on lamb preferences – Sally Rae:
A consumer research programme, to be launched by Alliance Group, will survey Chinese consumers on the taste and quality of New Zealand lamb, in comparison with Chinese and Inner Mongolian lamb.
A Chinese delegation recently visited Alliance Group before the launch of the programme, which is funded by Alliance Group, Beef and Lamb New Zealand and Grand Farm, Alliance Group’s in-market partner. . .
Wool growers’ US visit inspires confidence– Sally Rae:
When Andrew Paterson visited a factory in the United States that turned his fine wool into socks, he came away feeling extremely positive about the future.
Mr Paterson and his wife, Tracy, from Matakanui Station, near Omakau, are among the growers contracted to supply fibre to SmartWool, through the New Zealand Merino Co (NZM).
SmartWool, which has been working in partnership with NZM for 14 years, is an outdoor apparel brand which has direct supply contracts with NZM for ZQ Merino fibre for use in its socks and garments. . .
Jack Russell terriers race for hotly contested title – Lucy Ibbotson:
Regular runs from Alexandra to Clyde – much too fast-paced to be called taking the dog for a walk – paid off for the winner of the hugely popular Jack Russell race during the Upper Clutha A&P Show at the Wanaka Showgrounds on Saturday.
Clad in a neon-bright vest, 4-year-old terrier Kate, of Alexandra, put in an impressive performance to take the hotly contested title, beating about 65 other canine competitors to the finish line.
”She’s a nutcase,” Kate’s owner Hannah Hutton (10) said of her energetic pet, after the race. . .
Drought costs will be billions – Hugh Stringleman:
Drought declarations have extended across the bulk of the North Island as the government begins to count the cost in billions of dollars to farmers and to the economy.
From their trade mission in Latin America Prime Minister John Key and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said the drought was now a wide-scale adverse event with serious economic ramifications.
South Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Rotorua-Taupo and Hawke’s Bay joined Northland under drought declaration last week, with East Cape, Manawatu-Rangitikei, Taranaki and possibly some regions of the South Island expected to follow soon.
The area already declared is wider than in the 2007-08 drought, which was blamed for pushing New Zealand into recession ahead of the Global Financial Crisis.
“So we know it will have an economic impact, it’s just a matter of how much. No one is quite sure,” Guy said. . .
Special ‘Farming in Drought’ Farm Days will be held in Wellington (Sunday 17 March), Rotorua (Sunday 17 March) and Tauranga (Sunday 24 March). Free and open to the public, they are intended to show how farmers and farms cope with drought.
“Given current drought conditions, we feel the public will want to know more about both how we and our farm animals cope,” says Jamie Falloon, Federated Farmers Wairarapa provincial president, whose province is likely to be declared in drought this week.
“Wellington’s Farm Day runs on Sunday 17 March between 10am and 3pm at the Battle Hill Farm Forest Park in Pauatahanui. We are bringing in other types of farm animals so it is a great chance to meet farmers and have a family outing close to Wellington. . .
The Ministry for Primary Industries has added South Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Hawkes Bay to Northland as areas affected by a medium scale adverse event (drought). Given conditions as far afield as the South Island’s West Coast, Federated Farmers expects further declarations in the coming week.
What an adverse event declaration means
• Rural Support Trusts (0800 787 254) are local and will coordinate farm advisory and counselling services. This advice is invaluable in aiding business recovery and helping individual families cope with the stresses caused.
• A declaration allows discretion from Inland Revenue on things like Income Equalisation. This allows Inland Revenue to accept later deposits to the income equalisation scheme than is usual, but this needs to be arranged by your farm’s accountant. . .