Word of the day

04/02/2021

Effluxion – the expiration of a limited-time agreement or contract; the action of flowing out;   something that flows out or forth; an effluence; a passing or lapse of time; an expiration.


Yes Sir Humphrey

04/02/2021


Rural round-up

04/02/2021

Pandemic’s silver lining – Anne Boswell:

The recognition of farmers’ contribution to New Zealand’s food production system has been identified as a positive aspect of the covid-19 pandemic experience, according to a new study released by AgResearch.

One farmer experienced “a change in attitude among the public around how they value the security of food production and therefore the role of farmers in providing that food.”

Others noted “NZ agriculture is starting to be seen as an important cog in the mechanism again,” “greater recognition of the true value of agriculture and primary producers,” and “governments and communities recognised the importance to our standards of living that agriculture provides plentiful safe food and fibre.”

The study, conducted by AgResearch scientists, New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) and several science organisations in NZ and Australia, surveyed farmers and others working in the agriculture and food systems in Australasia about the impacts of covid-19 in the period through to June 2020, which included national lockdowns. . . 

Outlook for 2021 ‘bristling with risk’:

Amid significant global turbulence, New Zealand agricultural producers are poised to enjoy a fifth consecutive year of general profitability in 2021, according to a new report by Rabobank.

In the bank’s Agribusiness Outlook 2021 report, Rabobank says while the outlook for the year is “bristling with risk”, and bumps are anticipated throughout the coming months, most agricultural sectors can expect to see average to above-average pricing, manageable cost inflation and production holding up well.

Report co-author, Rabobank senior dairy analyst Emma Higgins says that as 2021 gets underway, the world is still turbulent for New Zealand’s agricultural sector. . . 

Important for UK to convert trade liberalisation narrative to action as it seeks to join CPTPP:

In welcoming the UK’s application to join the CPTPP agreement, the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) is stressing the need for the UK to convert its statements of commitment to leadership in global trade liberalisation to meaningful action.

“The UK’s application to join CPTPP is another great sign of its interest in advancing global trade liberalisation. However, the real test of UK trade leadership comes from how it honours its existing commitments and what it is prepared to put on the table in negotiations” says DCANZ Chairman Malcolm Bailey.

“Despite the UK’s strong statements of ambition, including for a high-quality UK-NZ FTA, we are yet to see it remedy concerns about diminished quota access following Brexit and we have detected hesitancy on its part to bringing real liberalisation to the FTA negotiating table. Avoiding a disconnect between intent and action is important if current and potential trade negotiating partners are to have confidence in the UK’s stated ambitions”. . . 

Zespri secures labs for taste tests – Richard Rennie:

Zespri has confirmed several laboratories have been approved for the next three seasons to conduct the vital taste profile tests for kiwifruit, a major component of grower payments.

Zespri’s chief global supply officer Alastair Hulbert says following an intensive three-month procurement process, a range of service providers have been selected for the tests.

They include AgFirst in Hawke’s Bay and Nelson, Hill Laboratories, Linnaeus, Pinpoint Lab Services and Verified Lab Services.

The replacement companies were necessary due to Zespri’s previous lab service Eurofins Bay of Plenty dropping the test at the start of last season, leaving the industry without the valuable test. . . 

Station site of lotus research trial – Yvonne O’Hara:

When the Garden family at Avenel Station say Lotus pedunculatus or Lotus uliginosus, they are not casting Harry Potter spells.

They are talking about the legume, Maku lotus (Lotus uliginosus)

It is a variety of trefoil that has been trialled on a 500ha block on their high country property since 2014.

Pat Garden and his brother Eion had sown lotus on the property in the 1980s.

Subsequently, Pat and his son Nick took part in the more formal research “Legumes for Hard Hill Country” trial, which was funded through the Sustainable Farming Fund, with input from PGG Wrightson Seeds, Grasslanz Ltd, AgResearch’s Dr David Stevens, and Beef + Lamb New Zealand. . . 

Offal market lifts on pandemic demand – Shan Goodwin:

OVERSEAS demand for lower-value red meat products as the pandemic continues to cut into household incomes has served the Australian offal market well, with prices across the board either firming or stable.

Meat & Livestock Australia’s latest co-product market reports shows halal kidneys recording the strongest growth, up 93 per cent year-on-year, while lungs and hearts lifted 45 and 28pc, respectively. Halal hearts averaged a solid $3.15 a kilogram, up 70c from December.

Liver prices averaged $1.28 a kilogram, 19c up month-on-month.

On the other hand, premium products such as tongue, thickskirt and rumen pillars eased somewhat. . . 


Kellogg Rural Leadership entries open

04/02/2021

Entries have opened for the annual Kellogg Rural Leadership programme.

Applications close on March 8th.

You can apply here.


Yes Sir Humphrey

04/02/2021


Let govt lead by destocking Landcorp

04/02/2021

My farmer has come up with a brilliant idea to kick-start the great destocking that the Climate Change Commission is asking of us.

Landcorp’s 2019 annual report says the company manages 117 farms, 84 of which they own. These farms carry 440,000 sheep 80,000 beef cattle 74,000 dairy cows and 89,000 deer.

The Government could order the company to completely destock all its farms and plant them in natives as their contribution to decarbonising the country. This would send a very clear signal that they are serious about the need for drastic action and are prepared to lead by example.

Landcorp has 336,342 hectares in total under management, 154,386 hectares of which are farmed. Destocking the farms and planting all of the land in natives would have a double benefits – fewer animals and more trees.

They could make sure there were plenty of biking and walking tracks among the trees to provide recreational opportunities for the public with the condition that people had to walk or bike to access them.

Landcorp struggles to make profits on its farms. Even in good years its return on capital is abysmal and its dividends usually make a tiny, if any,  contribution to the public purse.

Turning Landcorp from farming to the custodian of native forests wouldn’t be an inexpensive exercise.

However, the signal we’re being sent is that whatever the cost, we can’t afford not to.

If we’re being told we can’t be sheepish about doing our bit for the planet then the government which owns so much land and stock, should have no beef about showing us how.


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