From backwater to water ‘battleground’ – Sally Rae:
Farming in the Omarama area these days is very much like farming in the proverbial fish-bowl.
The spotlight is on both the Upper Waitaki and neighbouring Mackenzie district with changing land-use, water quality and environmental issues to the fore.
Twenty years ago, Omarama barely registered on the map; rather it was ”somewhere to drive through at high speed” to get to Wanaka or Queenstown, sheep and beef farmer Richard Subtil, from Omarama Station, said.
Bellamy’s organic infant formula derails in China – Keith Woodford:
For the last two years, Bellamy’s organic infant formula out of Australia has been one of the two rising stars of the Chinese infant formula market. The other has been ‘a2 Platinum’ produced here in New Zealand by Synlait for The a2 Milk Company (ATM).
In recent weeks, the Bellamy’s business has run badly off the tracks. This has sent jitters more widely through the infant formula industry.
First, there was a cautious market guidance release by Bellamy’s on 2 December, and the Bellamy’s share price immediately crashed 40%. Then on 12 December, Bellamy’s asked that its shares be suspended from trade for 48 hours while they assessed their position. This suspension has subsequently been renewed twice and currently runs through to 13 January 2017 while further assessment occurs. . .
Farming does not get the public attention is deserves these days, until this time of year when any road journey out of the cities reveals what a wealth of beauty and prosperity the countryside contains. Many farms somehow managed to look prosperous to the urban eye even when the main industry of most – dairying – was in the doldrums. But at least this summer, city holidaymakers on the roads can look at those verdant pastures and know that this, at last, is a happy new year for rural New Zealand too.
After two years of depressed dairy prices, the market began to turn in the middle of last year and for the past few months the price of milk powder has been back above break-even levels for most producers. Furthermore, there is every reason to believe the slump is over. The over-supply that caused it, largely from Europe, has been reduced or consumed and this season’s supply better matches demand.
Over Christmas lunch an earnest young niece asked, what did I have against vegans. I replied, nothing.
A couple of people I know profess to be vegans, migrating there from simple vegetarianism. They have to go to great lengths to ensure they have a balanced diet and I worry for their children, but otherwise they’re perfectly likable.
It’s the militant vegans I can’t stand, I told her. They’re the ones who have made veganism into a nefarious political movement, with the closure of all animal farms as their primary goal. . .
A Whanganui farmer has lost 1400 lambs to rustlers in what might be the largest stock heist in the country.
Police say they received a complaint about the theft from an owner of a property near Fordell.
More than 1400 lambs, worth about $120,000, reportedly went missing between October 25 and November 7, this year.
“That could be one of the biggest thefts involving sheep in the country,” Harry Matthews, president of Whanganui Federated Farmers, said. . .
A Kiwi company has secured a deal it hopes will unlock a lucrative $2.9 billion Asian healthcare market.
Texus Fibre uses natural wool to develop ‘functional materials’ – meaning they do something clever scientifically.
On Thursday it announced an investment and distribution deal with Auckland firm Healthy Breath Limited (HBL) for Texus’ wool-based air filter to be used in face masks marketed to city-dwellers in Asia. . .