Rural round-up

The coming dairy revolution – Keith Woodford:

The attached article NZH_Agribusiness_July2017_4 was commissioned by The New Zealand Herald and published 20 July 2017 within their annual Agribusiness Supplement.

The Herald is the main Auckland newspaper. Accordingly, the article was written for a largely urban audience.

The urban community which dominates within New Zealand society has diverse and often negative opinions about the dairy industry, but typically this is based on limited knowledge. Many of these urban folk  do recognise that dairy underpins much of the export economiy on which New Zealand depends, but there is an increasing overarching perspective that New Zealand has become too dependant on dairy. . . 

Genetic centre to boost agriculture – Alexa Cook:

A new genetic centre in Waikato hopes to overcome what scientists say is a lack of research in quantitative genetics in New Zealand.

The Massey University AL Rae Centre for Genetics and Breeding is based at AgResearch’s Ruakura Research Centre in Hamilton.

It’s named after one of the founders of modern animal breeding, Professor AL Rae and funded by the Norman FB Barry Foundation. . . 

Personal safety device Anderson’s passion – Sally Rae:

Being rescued in the outdoors is a topic close to Trent Anderson’s heart.

When Mr Anderson was 7, he slipped and fell off a cliff at Karitane. Badly hurt — including sustaining a serious head injury — he was rescued by helicopter pilot Graeme Gale.

His parents did not know if he was going to walk again or “do stuff like a normal kid” and he had to learn again how to do many things.

But Mr Anderson (28) never let it hold him back and, just a few years later, he was surfing at the national championships. It was a major factor as to why he was so determined, he said.

Now his focus is on another passion; Mountain Peak Productions, a company he has established with wife Tonelle to help with safety of those in the outdoors. . . 

Eating quality farmers’ focus – Sally Rae:

Adam and Sam Spiers unashamedly live and breathe the red meat industry.

The father and son are involved with Alpine Pastures, an impressive large-scale finishing operation with properties at Tarras and in Canterbury.

The company’s vision is simple: to be a leading supplier of high quality beef, lamb and venison 12 months of the year.

Both men are excited about the future but they are also keenly aware of the challenges the industry faces, which was reinforced during a visit to the United States earlier this month. Sam tried an Impossible Burger — the high-profile product launched last year by Impossible Foods to supposedly look, cook, smell, sizzle and taste like conventional ground beef, but made entirely from plants. . . 

Suspension bridge destroyed – Shawn McAvinue:

The historic Sutton suspension bridge near Middlemarch has been destroyed by the flood.

Strath Taieri Community Board chairman Barry Williams said the extensive damage to the bridge, which opened in 1875, was “devastating”.

The bridge had been restricted to five-tonne vehicles since mid-2015 because of its state of repair. . .

Increasing lumber exports leads to new technology investment:

Signs are good right now for the country’s wood processing industry. A report from Wood Resources International last week said that although over 50% of the wood harvest in New Zealand is being exported as logs, lumber production had picked up by about ten percent over the last three years.

Shipments from New Zealand into the US market have in fact gone up 37% over just the past four years and during the first five months of 2017. The U.S. has now overtaken Australia as the number one export destination for pine lumber produced in New Zealand. In terms of value, New Zealand is now the second largest overseas lumber supplier into the US, behind Chile, but still ahead of lumber exporters from Europe. . . 

Bunnies sheepish but safe
Richard Horne said his father, Ferg Horne (64), was checking stock on his 16ha sheep and beef farmlet in Riccarton Rd on Saturday morning. . . 

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