Rural round-up

Farmers not sidestepping health and safety reform – Katie Milne:

The Health and Safety Reform Bill has grabbed many recent headlines because of what is deemed a high risk industry – and what is not.

Because most farming industries fall on the low-risk side, many people seem to have rushed to a judgement that farmers are excluded from these reforms.

This is simply not the case.

The reforms are designed to improve the safety of every industry and every workplace. Farms included.

What’s more, the bill passed by Parliament last week is welcomed by Federated Farmers for the very reason it will further help our members to address the high level of workplace incidents and fatalities on our farms. . . 

Survey shows banks have stepped up to the plate during dairy downturn:

Banks are providing much needed support to New Zealand’s dairy industry during this period of desperately low prices, a survey from Federated Farmers has revealed. 

Only 6.6% of dairy farmers say they have come under undue pressure from banks over their mortgage. Just 5.7% are dissatisfied with banks over their mortgages and as little as 3.1% are unhappy about the quality of communication from banks over the past three months. 

Across all farming industries the level of dissatisfaction over mortgages is even less (5.2%), with 5.5% saying they have come under undue pressure in this area and 3.5% unhappy with how banks are communicating with them.

The survey was conducted the week following Fonterra’s announcement on 7 August of a forecast payout to farmers of $3.85 per kilogram of milk solids, and Federated Farmers President Dr William Rolleston says the organisation took the step because it was vital the industry knew exactly what level of support it was receiving.  . . 

Canola grower all in favour of friendly rivalry – Sally Rae:

Competition is hotting up globally in the world of canola and even Guinness World Records is finally excited.

A few years ago, North Otago arable farmer Chris Dennison approached Guinness World Records (GWR) and suggested a new category for the crop, as a lot of canola was grown in the world and there was interest in achieving high yields. . . 

What other EU governments are doing to help their farmers – Amy Forde:

Fed-up Irish dairy, grain and pig farmers took to the streets of Dublin recently to protest about the low prices they are receiving for their produce and low farm incomes.

It is an EU-wide problem and next week there will be an extraordinary meeting of EU agriculture ministers in Brussels.

The ministers will debate the state of play in EU markets as weak prices in a number of sectors is leading to increased farmer unrest across the continent. . . 

Orchard’s Innovation Recognised in Greater Wellington Ballance Farm Environment Awards:

Entering the Greater Wellington Ballance Farm Environment Awards for the second time proved well worthwhile for pipfruit operation JR’s Orchard Ltd.

Owners JR Van Vliet and Jamiee Burns first entered in 2009 and were thrilled to win the Innovation award for the clever way they installed crop protection netting on the 117ha orchard (92ha planted) on the eastern edge of Greytown.

“We found the awards to be a wonderful experience,” says Jamiee.

“We learnt so much, and it made us re-evaluate some of the processes we were using in the operation.” . . .

Klein's Agri Services's photo.

Butchery sizzles competition to take out bacon award:

Butcheries in Christchurch and Auckland have taken out the country’s top awards for bacon and ham.

The 100% NZ Bacon & Ham Competition celebrates turning New Zealand grown pork into bacon and ham products.

Cashmere Cuisine in Christchurch won bacon of the year and Westmere Butchery in Auckland won ham of the year. . . 

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