Maori dairy farm set to boost Northland’s economy:
Dairy cows will be led into Northland’s Rangihamama milking sheds for the first time officially this weekend, marking the first tangible example of the Government’s aim to increase regional economic development in Northland.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has been working with the Omapere Rangihamama Trust (ORT) to accelerate the Trust’s transformation of 278 hectares of Māori-owned land, from grazing to high-productivity dairy farming since 2012.
“Omapere Rangihamama Trust is a model for growing rural development by pulling together a vast number of stakeholders into a larger and more commercially effective operation,” says MPI’s Deputy Director-General Ben Dalton. . .
Simple fix touted for deadly quad bike problem – Jill Galloway:
A Wellington farmer who survived a quad bike accident says using a sash window weight on the front of a four-wheeler stops it turning over so easily.
Stuart Woodman said he was going up a steep slope when he hit a hole and his quad bike rolled over and landed on him.
“I was unconscious, and came to after I had got out from under the bike. I don’t know how I survived it. Thick skull, big bones – I don’t know.”
Woodman said he righted the bike on the slope, and it rolled down the hill.
“I picked the soil off it and finished mustering. Then I drove to hospital.” . . .
Farmer develops mussel shell fertiliser – Cathie Bell:
The enormous pile of old mussel shells near Havelock could become a lot smaller because of the landowners’ business venture turning it into fertiliser.
Bill Brownlee stores millions of shells from the Sanford mussel factory on his farm, on the Blenheim side of Havelock. He said the Marlborough District Council had estimated it as 13 metres high.
The pile started 50 years ago when his father took the shells, but had really grown in the past 15 years since mussel production boomed in the Sounds, he said.
He and wife Jane Brownlee bought a crusher from the Cape Campbell lime works and started a new venture, crushing the shells into a fine powder to be spread as fertiliser. . .
BOP Dairy Awards Winners All Career Changes:
Making the move to dairy farming has been hugely successful for the three major winners at the 2014 Bay of Plenty Dairy Industry Awards.
The 2014 Bay of Plenty Sharemilker/Equity Farmers of the Year, Brett and Natasha Grindrod, were both teachers, the Bay of Plenty Farm Managers of the Year, Thomas Blackett and Stacey Lepper, had engineering and technician careers, and Bay of Plenty Dairy Trainee of the Year, Cameron Luxton, was a builder. They all switched careers to dairy farming and were announced winners at the region’s awards dinner at Awakeri Events Centre last night (March 19).
Brett Grindrod says he took the opportunity to work on a dairy farm for a season and never looked back. “After a short time on farm I found I really enjoyed the career change, and did not want to return teaching. I enjoyed the flexibility that farming offered and could see the long term potential for growth. . .
Royal FrieslandCampina lifts stake in Synlait Milk to 9.999 percent buying shares at $3.85 apiece:
(BusinessDesk) – Royal FrieslandCampina has lifted its stake in Synlait Milk to 9.999 percent from 7.5 percent, adding to an investment that has gained 41 percent since its NZX debut last July.
The Netherlands-based cooperative bought about 3.66 million shares at $3.85 each yesterday, according to a statement to the NZX. The shares last traded at $3.87, having sold in Synlait’s initial public offering last year at $2.20 apiece.
The purchase puts the Dutch company, where the current Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings was a senior executive until 2009, ahead of Japan’s Mitsui & Co, with an 8.4 percent holding, as the second-biggest shareholder in the Canterbury-based dairy processor. China’s Bright Dairy Food owns 39 percent, having been diluted during last year’s IPO. . .
Posted skulls pose biosecurity threat:
A box of South African animal skulls crawling with maggots never made it through the post, thanks to the work of vigilant Auckland biosecurity staff.
A Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) dog team recently detected the unusual biosecurity threat at the International Mail Centre near Auckland airport.
Once opened, the box revealed a number of wild animal skulls, thought to include zebra and wildebeest.
“There was clearly some flesh on the bones, as you could see maggots writhing beneath and on top of the cellophane wrapping,” says Aynsley Richards, MPI Auckland Team Leader, Border Clearance Services. . .
Gisborne figure elected to lead role in Eastern Fish & Game:
The Eastern Fish and Game Council has elected well known Gisborne identity Murray Ferris as its new chairman.
The Eastern Council represents over 30,000 anglers and 3000 game bird hunting licence holders.
As one of 12 Fish and Game councils, it is responsible for managing sports fish and game birds over a large central North Island area which runs from Wairoa, west to Mt Ruapehu, and then north to Waihi.
The Eastern Fish & Game Region has trout fisheries of national significance, including the heavily-used Rotorua Lakes, and popular Lake Waikaremoana and the Ruakituri River within its eastern boundaries. . .