Beef + Lamb New Zealand Outlines Priorities Ahead of General Election:
Beef + Lamb New Zealand has outlined what it sees as the policy priorities for the incoming government.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand Chairman, James Parsons says the policy manifesto covers a range of issues that will support a confident and profitable sheep and beef sector.
“The red meat sector is hugely important to the New Zealand economy – worth $8.5 billion a year, so it’s critical that the incoming government is aware of the issues that affect our sheep and beef farmers,” Parsons said.
“Our first priority is securing investment in research and development that will increase farm productivity and continue adding value to our sheepmeat and beef products. . . .
It all depends on China – Keith Woodford:
New Zealand agribusiness, led by dairy, has hit a rough spot. Some will see this as confirmation that dependence on China involves big risks. More important, is the need to recognise that China is also the solution.
Chinese demand for dairy products in particular has grown so rapidly that it was inevitable there would be speed wobbles. With hindsight, we can see that it was the New Zealand drought of autumn 2013, combined with increasing Chinese demand, that led to shortages of milk products in Chinese supermarkets during late 2013. The Chinese importers then over-reacted, and purchased heavily during our summer months. Increased autumn production in the current year has then coincided with Chinese inventories already fully replenished. . .
Water quality rules ‘work in progress’:
The national water industry body says rules on water quality are not set in concrete and will develop further.
New national fresh water standards which, for the first time, set minimum quality requirements for rivers, lakes and aquifers were announced earlier in the year.
Water New Zealand is holding its annual conference in Hamilton from today. Chief executive Murray Gibb said the rules are a work in progress and would be reviewed in 2016.
“There’s been debate as to whether or not it’s sufficiently tight and there’s been a lot of debate over whether or not the corner-stone policy that it imposes a requirement on councils to maintain and improve overall water quality within their regions might lead to declining water quality in some water bodies. . . .
Make a fuss of scheme:
The prime minister was in Ashburton last Thursday. He then visited Timaru to wander up and down the main street, talking to voters.
A slight detour between those two destinations would have taken him to the seven massive ponds that are the Rangitata South Irrigation Scheme, at the very time they were being filled to capacity for the first time.
It would have been a great photo op for the prime minister, and a fitting tribute to the scheme’s backers, to have the PM officially “open” the out-of-river storage project.
Maybe such a function is planned but chances are it’s not. And that’s not a snub to the prime minister, but a reflection more of the personality of the man behind the scheme, Gary Rooney.
He’s a doer, not a talker. He doesn’t go looking for pats on the back.
Where the Herald had plenty of coverage of the Opuha Dam as it was being built in the 1990s, with this project it has been like drawing teeth to get updates.
It’s not that Rooney and his workers were being obstructive, they just did not see the need to speak to the media. They were too busy building the thing.
But if he’s not going to blow his trumpet on the project, we will. . .
Generations of shearing in Brett’s family blood – Sally Rae:
Brett Roberts was destined to a shearer.
Not only does his grandfather, Cliff Waihape, have a shearing contracting business based in Mataura, but four of his uncles, Chad, Chop, Cliff jun and Cody, are also shearers.
”Our family, it’s in our blood,” he said.
Mr Roberts (20) started shearing at a young age, while still at school in Menzies College, Wyndham, with his family members showing him the ropes. . .
Southland swede group underway:
A cross-sector industry-led working group is coming together to co-ordinate research and advice to farmers following an issue with swedes affecting dairy cattle this season.
Across Southland, there has been a number of cases of cows becoming ill, and in some cases dying, while (or shortly after) grazing on swede crops.
A joint working group with representatives from a range of sector groups will be chaired by industry body DairyNZ and meet for the first time on Wednesday September 17. The group includes representatives from Southland veterinary practices, Federated Farmers, Beef+Lamb NZ and PGG Wrightson Seeds. It will also bring in specialist advisors on veterinary pathology and plant science.
DairyNZ has already sent an email survey to more than 2,600 Southland and South Otago farmers seeking information on whether they have been affected by the issue. It has also been advising farmers to be vigilant if their cows are feeding on swede. . .
New appointments at Dairy Women’s Network:
As Dairy Women’s Network grows from strength to strength, so too does its number of professionals grow.
The organisation has most recently acquired an events manager in Kym Gibson of Hamilton and a third regional convenor coordinator in Megan Edmeades of Manawaru (near Te Aroha).
Creating environments and experiences that resonate is a passion for Gibson, and something she is looking forward to fulfilling at the organisation’s 30-plus annual events.
Learning more about the “diverse and dynamic” organisation that is DWN is Gibson’s first challenge in the role, which she started in earlier this month. . . .