Farmers fear new water rules could push them under – Phillips Tolley:
New Zealanders value freshwater – so much so that four out of five people say it is their biggest environmental worry. The government’s plans for new rules and regulations to halt declining water quality are in the final stages of development, but some farmers fear that unless there are changes to those proposals, they will have to give up farming. For Insight, Philippa Tolley investigates.
William Beetham’s attachment to the land he farms in the Wairarapa stretches back six generations. His family settled there in the 1850s and is regarded as one of New Zealand’s farming dynasties. At one stage, the original 30-plus room Brancepeth station was the largest in the district. Beetham lives on a nearby farm and runs a beef and sheep business over the two properties. This is hilly land – baked dry and brown in the summer, but cold and wet in the winter. It is sandstone country, with easily eroded hillsides stretching down to a river – the Wainuiora – that runs along the valley. The family has been planting trees for years to keep the land from slipping. . .
The drought currently affecting New Zealand’s North Island is having devastating effects on farmers — and has already dramatically changed the country’s landscape.
New Zealand’s lush greenery has now turned into the driest of browns as the North Island’s thirst for rain continues.
Auckland is about to set a new record for its longest dry spell and forecasters have already warned the upper north is headed for “permanent wilting point”.
The New Zealand Drought Index showed severe meteorological drought is widespread across Northland, Auckland, and northern Waikato. . .
Slow China market challenge for OML – Jacob McSweeny:
Just one month after resuming production following a compliance problem, Oamaru Meats Ltd (OML) is now hindered by ‘‘congestion’’ slowing products getting into China in the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The meat processor shut down on September 13 after its access to the Chinese beef markets was suspended.
Some 160 seasonal workers were laid off temporarily because of the suspension, which came from a mistake involving beef fat packaging . .
Farmers’ cash backs wool co-op – Annette Scott:
Primary Wool Co-operative shareholders have backed their organisation by providing strong support for its future.
A bright future for the organisation and the New Zealand wool industry is a step closer, uplifted by the strong support of shareholders in a recent capital raising, chairwoman Janette Osborne said.
That enabled the co-operative to file an improved balance sheet as it emerges from a year of reflection and consolidation on a positive footing. . .
Bananas go with milk up north – Hugh Stringleman:
Bananas have a lot going for them as a fruitful and remedial crop in northern regions of the country, Tropical Fruit Growers of New Zealand chairman Hugh Rose says.
A plantation owner, consultant and stem seller, Rose says the economics of banana growing compare very favourably with most other land uses.
At 1500 stems a hectare, two bunches of fruit a stem each year, at least 10 hands a bunch and $5 retail a hand in local growers’ markets, the returns are attractive. . .
Whistling up some sales while waiting – Sally Rae:
It was Gerard Middleton’s penchant for chewing through his dog whistles that led to his wife, Carleigh, launching a business.
Mr Middleton, a sheep and beef farmer from The Key, near Te Anau, was going through a whistle a week, while his wife quipped he “should just train his dogs better”.
As the cost of his chewing habit mounted up, the Middletons started buying dog whistles through Boulder Bluff, a company in the United States.
They were thicker and of better quality, she said, and Mr Middleton managed to get about six months out of them. . .
FARM leaders in the Murray Darling Basin have a strong message for the 90 per cent of Australians who reside within 100km of the coast – the drought is far from over.
Those living along the east coast, having been swamped by repeated deluges of rain that have replenished dams, could be forgiven for thinking the worst is over, but on the other side of the ranges authorities warn follow-up rain is critical. . .