Improved vintage augurs well – Simon Hartley:
A near 35% increase in the countrywide 2016 grape harvest could buoy the wine industry’s exports to the tune of $1.7 billion by the end of next year.
However, the sector also faces some headwinds, including a high cost of production and seemingly constant volatility in foreign exchange rates.
Central Otago appears to be holding its own after an improved 2016 harvest, with quality from the larger harvest already showing positive signs.
Demand for New Zealand wine was continuing to grow in the key markets of the US, UK and Australia, global accountancy firm Crowe Horwath’s viticulture specialist, Alistair King, said. . .
All sheep are not born equal – Steve Wyn-Harris:
Some people reckon all sheep look just the same.
But not me nor all the other people at the Beef + Lamb NZ Sheep Industry Awards in Masterton a couple of weeks ago.
We look at them and think “There is a specific individual who has some qualities its mates lack and I really like the cut of its jib”.
The awards celebrate high-performing sheep farmers and leadership in the sheep industry. . .
North Canterbury dam project targets investment partners – Chris Hutching:
The $180 million Hurunui irrigation scheme is seeking money from investors and construction companies for its planned dam in North Canterbury.
But before Hurunui Water Project can issue a prospectus it must raise about $900,000 in loans from its current shareholders to fund the offer.
If successful in raising the $900,000 it will be eligible for a $3.3m loan from the Government’s Irrigation Accelerator Fund. . .
Curious secondary school students have a better idea if studying in agriculture and horticulture is for them after an experience day at Massey University. Jill Galloway was there to observe them.
An experience day at Massey University is, in essence, about attracting students and getting bums on seats.
Visiting senior high school students in Year 12 and 13, with a sprinkling in Year 11, could be the university’s next studying intake for agriculture and horticulture lecture rooms. . .
Rangeland income reliability lifts with carbon cash – Andrew Marshall:
Understocking does not normally help a livestock producer’s bottom line, but increasing numbers of pastoral landholders are getting paid to reduce their carrying capacity.
Strategic understocking and vegetation management has enabled these producers to tap into a decade-long income stream which even pays up in tough drought years.
They are cashing in on a national carbon farming program paying landholders who sign up to a vegetation management schedule which encourages woodland regrowth to sequester carbon on their land. . .
Life, legacy and living well – Briar Hale:
For someone who doesn’t get out much, George of Motueka sure knows how to live well. He never pops out to the supermarket and hasn’t been to the doctors in living memory, so you could be forgiven for thinking George’s life is somewhat constrained. But au contraire; George finds his wellness by working the land and enjoying the pleasures of home. At 89, George still works a full day on his farm, doing an impressive four-hour stint either side of his midday siesta. Health and vitality, as well as joy in his labours, make his old age a beautiful balance of keeping busy and slowing down. . .
A global software enterprise run from a rural NZ lifestyle block. A look behind the scenes.
At Emsisoft, there is no corner office with a view, no central headquarters that I could wander through unseen. Only a blue and grey logo, existing only online, with an untold story behind it. The lack of office makes Christian Mairoll a hard man to interview, yet, here I am with an appointment, winding up a back road through the heights of a valley, near Nelson, New Zealand. Population 5,321. I cannot see any of them, the road is deserted. Locals call this part of the country the Top of the South, I call it the beginning to nowhere. Not even a cafe at sight. The gravel pit road is cradled by mountains and tall pine trees. Christian Mairoll is the face of a company that – apparently – doesn’t have a company face. Given that Emsisoft was founded in Austria in 2003 and is now run from Christian Mairoll’s eco lifestyle block in rural New Zealand, there are many questions to be asked. If only I can find the house in the raising fog. . .