Rural round-up

Farmers have spent millions in the Horizons region:

A Federated Farmers survey has revealed the average dairy farmer in the Horizons Region has spent over $110,000 on environmental management in the past five years.

“There are huge numbers being invested in the region, which tells a really positive story about where we are heading environmentally and the buy in that is coming from the farmers,” says James Stewart, Federated Farmers Manawatu-Rangitikei provincial president.

“As people vote tomorrow I genuinely hope they will realise that farmers are doing a lot to farm more sustainably.

“It is very difficult to put a number on environmental spending, but we wanted to try, so we sent a survey out to all 918 dairy farms via the Horizons Regional Council. We were stunned by the response, not just the figures but how many people replied during their busiest time of year, calving season. . .

 

Working group focused on clear advice:

The industry-led working group looking at the issues with swedes affecting dairy cattle in Southland says a key priority will be developing clear and agreed advice for farmers.

The group met for the first time this week, with DairyNZ’s Southland regional leader, Richard Kyte, chairing the meeting. The group includes representatives from Southland veterinary practices, Federated Farmers, Beef+Lamb NZ and PGG Wrightson Seeds. It also has specialist advisors on veterinary pathology and plant science.

“Evidence and science-based information is crucial and will be the focus of this group. Gathering this information is a work in progress and will involve all parties,” says Richard. . .

Dairying business woman takes top role:

Delwyn Knight has taken the role of general manager of Liberty Genetics where she is leading a team that’s making headway in the competitive dairy genetics market.

Although modest about landing the top job, Knight admits that she is one of very few women working in top dairy genetics roles, and she is excited about taking on the position.

“It’s great to be in a position where I can provide value and support to farmers when they are making important farming business decisions,” said Knight.

“I’m really looking forward to working directly with our farming clients, understanding what their needs are and supporting them to get the best results for their herds.” . . .

Robotic sheepdogs unlikely Kiwi farmers say:

At the risk of being out of step with technology, Federated Farmers is dubious robotic sheepdogs will replace the real thing anytime soon.  Reported late last month, European academics believe they have created an algorithm simulating sheepdog behaviour.

“I am not saying it won’t come to pass but it’ll be more like one farmer robot and its droid than dog trials being replaced by droid trials,” says Rick Powdrell, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre spokesperson.

“Anyone who works with dogs and sheep knows there’s more to this than an algorithm.

“For starters, there is a primordial instinctive connection between the two animals.  How you simulate that I have no idea. . .

Landcorp completes  full purchase of Focus Genetics:

Landcorp Farming Ltd. is now sole owner of livestock genetics business, Focus Genetics. The announcement comes after Landcorp successfully acquired the remaining 33% shareholding from
Rissington Breedline.

Hawkes Bay based Focus Genetics is New Zealand’s largest red meat genetics business with 17 breeding partners throughout New Zealand.  Formed in 2011, Focus Genetics has since grown its
market share, serving more than 750 commercial farm operations. 

Last year the company sold over 4,000 rams, 800 bulls and 400 stags to farmers in New Zealand and overseas.
Gavin Foulsham, Focus Genetics CEO, said having one owner provided certainty for the company’s plans to invest more towards achieving greater rates of genetic improvement. 

It also means Focus could explore more sales opportunities offshore. . .

I want to eat a weka – Offsetting Behaviour:

It’s been more than five years since I first posted on Roger Beattie’s felicitous “Eat them to save them” campaign. And I still am not allowed to buy a weka for dinner.

Roger is one of New Zealand’s great enviropreneurs: the National Farming Review called him an Eco Anarchist. He loves the environment and sees the best way of saving it as ensuring that it’s profitable to save it. Weka are endangered, but they’re easily farmed and tasty. Why aren’t we raising them for the restaurant trade and conserving an endangered species in the process? The Department of Conservation says no. They say no incredibly incoherently. But their “No” is what matters. . .

Two gold medals for Goldie Wines:

Goldie Wines on Waiheke Island has won its first gold medals for new owners, University of Auckland and winemaker, Heinrich Storm.

Two Goldie Syrah wines from the 2013 vintage took two of the eight gold medals awarded in the Syrah category at the recent NZ International Wine Show.

The Goldie Syrah 2013 and Goldie Reserve Syrah 2013 were awarded gold in what Heinrich says is a significant achievement for the new operation.

“These medals are the first won since the University took over ownership of the vineyard in 2011 from Goldwater Wines,” he says. “Also for me it is significant, because they are my first as winemaker for Goldie Wines.” .  . .

6 Responses to Rural round-up

  1. Mr E says:

    ““I hope this goes some way to showing those who prefer the negative route, that the sky is falling, that we are truly all in this together working to achieve the same thing. We are going to continue investing in retiring land, fencing and planting waterways and upgrading our systems, all we ask is that in return is that the brow beating ceases whilst we get on with the job” concluded Mr Stewart.”

    Brilliant

  2. “A Federated Farmers survey has revealed the average dairy farmer in the Horizons Region has spent over $110,000 on environmental management in the past five years.”

    https://homepaddock.wordpress.com/2014/09/19/rural-round-up-756/#comments

    So they should.

  3. “The industry-led working group looking at the issues with swedes affecting dairy cattle in Southland…” …”https://homepaddock.wordpress.com/2014/09/19/rural-round-up-756/#comment-289886

    Why were herbicide-resistent brassicas being planted across Southland? Can you not see the FOLLY in mass-planting of HERBICIDE-RESISTANT crops that can cross easily with feared brassica weeds like wild turnip??
    What are you people thinking?????

  4. Willdwan says:

    There are several different herbicide families Robert, you just avoid making your crop resistant to more than one of them. These are the tools of the modern world, but you have an almost superstitious “heap bad medicine” dread of them. A bit silly really.

  5. Herbicide-resistant crops lead to increased herbicide use, Will. Show me the science that shows that Telar is harmless once it enters our waterways/groundwater. We eat fish from our rivers, we drink water from our bores. Show me where it is proven that a significant increase in Telar use will NOT harm the people of Southland.
    Thanks.

  6. JC says:

    Wikdwan,

    I know little about the swede poisoning so I hopped online to get some ideas.

    Three Google pages and just a tiny hint there might be some HT involvement. Apart from mystery there seems to an overwhelming view that the poisoning is the result of the mild winter creating more top growth that can be poisonous in some settings.

    So I had a look at the various websites of companies selling seeds like swedes, kale and turnip that predate the poisonings. There in the PDFs of benefits and risks is a surprising amount of information of how dangerous some of the crops can be under some farming practices; so it looks to me like there needs to be a lot of information gathering to do before any cause is found.. particularly in relation to grazing practice and whether some of the seed company warnings were heeded.

    JC

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