Dairying drives region’s growth – Neil Ratley:
The agricultural industry ensured Southland was one of New Zealand’s fastest-growing regions during the global financial crisis, new figures show.
Statistics New Zealand this week released the first official measure of regional economies, analysing 15 regions between 2007 and 2010.
Although the figures are three years old, Venture Southland enterprise services manager Alistair Adam said agriculture and manufacturing remain the two biggest drivers of Southland’s economy.
The conversion to dairy has strengthened the agricultural industry while the global financial crisis impacted on the manufacturing industry, he said.
“In the past 18 months, it has been a difficult time for manufacturing but we are seeing some good growth in the industry in Southland,” Mr Adams said. . .
Feed an issue as cows lose condition – Tony Benny:
Saturated paddocks are making it difficult for Canterbury dairy farmers to feed their stock and cow condition is suffering as a result.
“The amount of feed wasted over the last 10 days to two weeks has just been phenomenal,” said South Canterbury sharemilker Ben Januay. “We’re probably only getting 50 per cent utilisation and we’ve lost two weeks of putting condition on cows so we’re now right behind the eight-ball.”
Januay milks 2200 cows on a farm near Rangitata but the herd is being wintered on a runoff at Waihao Forks, near Waimate. “We’re the same as every farmer I think in the region – flooded paddocks, flooded rivers and mud up to your waist. Every farmer I talk to says they’re just struggling to get into paddocks to feed stock.” . . .
State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie has today announced the appointment of Scott Gallacher as Acting Director-General and Chief Executive of the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).
Mr Gallacher is currently MPI’s Deputy Director-General Resource Management and Programmes. He will take up the position from 29 July 2013 when the current Director-General, Wayne McNee, leaves MPI to take up a role in the private sector.
Mr Gallacher joined the Ministry of Fisheries in January 2009 as Chief Legal Adviser. He moved to become Director Strategy, Planning and Governance in the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in early 2011 before taking up his current role in MPI in late 2011. . .
Roden has been on the executive committee since 2011 and takes over from Southland farmer Matthew Richards who’s chaired the awards for the usual three year term.
“It’s business as usual for the awards this year,” Roden told Rural News. “The focus is the 25th anniversary of the Sharemilker competition.” . . .
Trophy treasured – Sally Rae:
When Outram stock agent and farmer Geoff Edgar won the Doug Lindsay Memorial Trophy in the annual Otago-Southland beef competition, he admitted it gave him ”a bit of a kick”.
Mr Edgar described the late Taieri cattleman as a ”grand old gentleman”. He had learnt a lot from him.
Mr Edgar received the trophy for winning champion on the hoof with a Limousin steer, which was described as having tremendous quality and finish. He also won reserve champion on the hoof with another Limousin steer. . .
The hamster ball. Great for exercising hamsters, bringing stress levels down in humans and, according to Spanish scientists, the future of farming.
The Robotics and Cybernetics Research Group from the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid have devised a robot that can effectively check moisture levels of farm soil.
Watch the robo ball in action below . . .