Rural round-up

Tractors take to Gore streets as farmers protest freshwater rules – Rachael Kelly:

Southland farmers have made their feelings about the Government’s new freshwater rules known by clogging Gore’s main street with tractors.

More than 100 machines and some bulk sowers were driven through the town in protest of new rules for farmers, which the Government introduced in September with the aim of improving freshwater quality.

And as the big machines convoyed down the street, many shoppers stopped to watch, and other drivers tooted their horns in support.

It was the first major protest after Southland Federated Farmers president Geoffrey Young called on farmers to boycott the new rules in August. . . 

 

 

 

Balance needed between regulation and innovation – Warwick Catto:

 In recent years, New Zealand’s farmers have found themselves subject to increasingly strict rules and regulations.

These are mainly in terms of how they operate, enforced as a key part of our nation’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contamination in our waterways. 

A quick review of the environmental policies announced so far by some of our key political parties, ahead of the election on October 17, suggests that further, harsher restrictions are likely. 

There’s no doubt that our agricultural sector has a vitally important part to play in New Zealand’s response to these key environmental challenges, and overwhelmingly, farmers are more than willing to adapt to meet the standards required of them.  . . 

Spotlight on vet shortage :

While the primary sector has been hailed as a saviour of the New Zealand economy during covid restrictions, a critical shortage of veterinarians and its impact on the primary sector just doesn’t seem to be viewed as important or sexy enough to see border restrictions streamlined.

“We’re led to the conclusion that veterinarians are just not viewed as important, or as sexy as other parts of the economy such as film making, which have seen wholesale exemptions created,” New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA) chief executive Kevin Bryant says.

“This is surprising given veterinarians’ essential worker status during lockdown.

“We also understand that exemptions have been granted to build golf courses, build or repair racetracks and for shearers. Surely, veterinarians are at least as important in supporting the economic functioning of the country. . . 

Headwaters sheep ‘definitely superior‘ –

‘‘Being part of The Omega Lamb Project really gives you the best of both worlds,’’ North Otago farmer Ben Douglas says.

Mr Douglas and wife Sarah, and his parents, David and Cindy, farm 6000ha Dome Hills Station, near Danseys Pass.

‘‘My father tried various breeds in the past but we’ve found the Headwaters sheep is definitely superior for our type of farming. We’re very happy with their resilience and their performance. Then you have a whole other side, with the special qualities of the Omega lambs, the omega 3, the good intramuscular fats and the exceptional flavour and texture,’’ he said.

The 100% Headwaters flock was already established at Dome Hills when Mr Douglas returned to the station six years ago, following his university studies and then a banking career in New Zealand and London. . . 

It’s all kosher – Taggart –  David Anderson:

Farmer-owned cooperative Alliance Group says it has already returned $17 million of the $34.3 million it claimed from the Covid-19 wage subsidy.

In a statement to Rural News, Alliance chairman Murray Taggart said the co-op had been “open and upfront” about the wage subsidy.

“We have been in ongoing discussions with the Ministry of Social Development about the application of the subsidy and stated from the outset that we would return any funds not used to pay people. In line with that commitment, we have returned $17 million of the subsidy.”

Taggart said the company’s application for the wage subsidy was supported and endorsed by the New Zealand Meat Workers Union. . .

Soil carbon influences climate, farm productivity– Professor Louis Schipper:

In the first of three articles about soil carbon, Prof Louis Schipper from the University of Waikato explains why soil carbon matters to farmers, what influences it and what we currently know about carbon stocks in New Zealand’s pastoral soils.

Soil carbon is one of the most talked-about subjects in agriculture. 

That’s not surprising because carbon-rich soils support vigorous crop and pasture growth, and may be more resilient to stressors such as drought.

Changes in soil carbon stocks over time might also affect the climate.  . . 

Sheep farmers ask industries to make wool ‘first choice’:

Sheep producers are encouraging industries to make wool their choice of fibre as a campaign gets underway to highlight its natural qualities.

The sheep sector is celebrating the start of Wool Week (5 October – 18) today, and farmers are calling on politicians and green activists to back British wool.

The annual event aims to put a spotlight on wool’s natural performance qualities and ecological benefits.

The sector is keen to highlight the fact that fabrics such as polyester, nylon and acrylic are all forms of plastic and make up about 60% of the material that makes up clothes worldwide. . . 

One Response to Rural round-up

  1. Gravedodger says:

    @ Headwaters Sheep and Omega Lamb.
    Back in the days of mid 1900s Dryland farming in and around Canterbury, Corriedale sheep were king.
    Developed as an inbred halfbred mostly based on Merino cast for age ewes crossed with English Leicester and Lincoln Sires.
    James Little farmed near Oamaru and selectively bred Halfbreds, a quite unstable cross to a genetically stable breed he called Corriedale after a run he had farmed in Australia. Very popular for more developed pastures the Halfbred as a breed was very accessible and affordable as Cast for age Merino ewes tended to pretty average prices at annual disposal ewe fairs. Some less visionary operators on High Country runs tended to keep aging ewes until they died but some more thinking managers saw the inherent problems with not culling for age leaving older ewes that knew where the best grazing was but in facing the harsh later winter weather were far more likely to succumb and perish without that seasons progeny or the Valuable fleece being harvested.

    Anyway farming Corriedales saw a serious conflict with the Meat industry who viewed a Corriedale lamb even when crossed with a Mutton breed, on hooks with a deeper “v” between the hind quarters when grading was undertaken as a last step before freezing and the grader made a decision using around half a dozen options that had a significantly depression of returns to the Lamb producer when anything less than “Prime” was the outcome.
    A perceived ideal carcass, (Remember almost all lamb was sent to the UK in carcass form) was very fat and squat, ostensibly producing an ideal Leg profile for the UK housewife to cook as the weekly “Roast”. Of course when the penny dropped and now every lamb body is cut up and the resulting products go to entirely different national destinations.

    Well those deeper “V” profiled bodies now have very little consequences once the band saw does its work. Back in the sixties and seventies however the deeper “V” lamb bodies “graded as “Omega” and were penalised as to per pound meat price return to the producer.

    So in an unusual rebranding using Omega c2020 where the term omega refers to a fat classification and distribution, has ensued. Does that monumental shift in attitude there mean I may yet buy an “Edsel” Ford at a premium price? Asking for a friend of course.

    Like

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