South Island’s two-year drought ends:
After two years, regions along the South Island’s east coast are no longer considered to be in a state of drought.
In 2015, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy classified the drought as “a medium-scale adverse event” affecting Marlborough, Canterbury and parts of Otago.
The following two years made the drought the longest recorded in this country – but the official period has not been extended since 31 December. . .
Putting New Zealand’s farming woes in perspective – Pat Deavoll:
Over the last 10 years, I have been a few times to an area of northern Afghanistan called the Wakhan Corridor.
I am reminded of the dichotomy between the farmers of this area and the farmers in New Zealand whenever a weak GlobalDairyTrade auction result is announced, or the poor state of the meat industry is bandied around the media, or a wool auction fails to meet expectations.
The Wakhan Corridor is split east-west by the Panj River. On the northern side is Tajikistan and nomads herd sheep and cattle, and above 4500 metres, yaks.
Bio-diesel drives milk flow – Richard Rennie:
Fuel is starting to flow from New Zealand’s first commercial bio-diesel plant with Fonterra in line to be one of the first large-scale fleet operators to power its tankers with the Z Energy blend.
Z Energy’s $26 million bio-diesel plant in Wiri, South Auckland began processing tallow based bio-diesel before Christmas, with the first commercial product due to be at the commercial pump by February.
The plant’s commissioning marked a milestone in the country’s chequered history of domestic bio-fuels production. . .
New weapon in rabbit war – Neal Wallace:
A NEW strain of rabbit-killing RHD virus could be released this winter.
Increasing immunity among rabbits means the existing RHDV1, or Czech strain, has become less effective and advocates say the RHDV1 K5, also known as the Korean strain, would overcome protective antibodies and improve kill rates by up to 40%. Federated Farmers South Canterbury high country section representative Andrew Simpson said the original RHD strain was still working to a point but growing immunity had allowed populations in some areas to recover, meaning a new, virulent strain was needed.
Rabbits less than three months of age exposed to the Czech strain became immune, which resulted in the population returning to plague proportions in some parts of the South Island. . .
Consumers drive move back to dairy:
The new year is marked by resolutions, often about healthier lifestyles. A new series backed by Fonterra looks at the nutritional and lifestyle benefits of dairy – and at some of the old views now being slowly discarded.
The Wall Street Journal headline ran over two lines: Grass-Fed Milk Is Taking Off With Health-Conscious Shoppers. It was a sign of things to come.
That was in 2014 – a story about how shoppers were prepared to pay more for grass-fed milk (many cows in the US eat feed derived from corn) because it was considered healthier.
Now, an article on the Gallagher Group’s website relates how US dairy retail supplier Organic Valley (the one highlighted in the WSJ two years ago) is enjoying an 82 per cent dollar growth in their grass-fed yoghurt, more than three times that of non-grass-fed yoghurts. Their Grassmilk brand is the top-selling grass-fed dairy brand in the US, experiencing double-digit growth since its launch in 2012. . .
WTO decision important for NZ beef and horticulture into Indonesia
Trade Minister Todd McClay today welcomed the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) decision upholding New Zealand’s challenge to 18 agricultural non-tariff barriers imposed by Indonesia.
New Zealand and the United States jointly brought the case against Indonesia in 2013 over a range of barriers imposed on agricultural imports since 2011. These included import prohibitions, use and sale restrictions, restrictive licence terms and a domestic purchase requirement.
The barriers are estimated to have cumulatively cost the New Zealand beef sector alone between half a billion and a billion dollars. As recently as 2010, Indonesia was New Zealand’s second-largest beef export market by volume, worth $180 million a year. . .
Quality Pedigrees Abound at Karaka 2017;
Full-brother to G1 winner Lucia Valentina (NZ) (Savabeel) to be offered at Karaka 2017.
New Zealand Bloodstock’s 2017 National Yearling Sales Series at Karaka has impressive depth with a large quantity of siblings and progeny of Group 1 winners.
For the second consecutive year, the National Yearling Sales Series will present a full-sibling to the winner of one of Australia’s richest and most prestigious races. . .
Farming it’s an addiction.