Federated Farmers Forestry Spokesperson Toby Williams is urging the Government to act quickly on the recommendations made in the Ministerial Inquiry into Land Use report.
“The Government needs to take the recommendations in this report very seriously and move quickly to make changes that will protect our community,” Mr Williams says.
“If they don’t, we are just going to see a repeat of the total devastation caused by Cyclone Gabrielle repeated every few years. That’s just not an outcome this community will be willing to accept.”
The recommendations made for Tairawhiti are clear, compelling, and provide a bespoke solution for our region, Mr Williams says. “We have a very short window to make changes, so now isn’t the time to sit on our hands. . .
The Hawke’s Bay and Tairawhiti horticulture industries urgently need more Government direction and support if they are to recover to pre-cyclone levels of growth within the next decade.
‘We applaud the wider investment that the Government is making nationally in the recovery and the future of New Zealand. However, Hawke’s Bay and Tairawhiti fruit and vegetable growers urgently need more Government direction and support and if the industry is to fully recover,’ says HortNZ President, Barry O’Neil.
‘While we are encouraged by statements that the Government wants to work with communities and industries like ours, this needs to happen as soon as possible – by June as the Government has promised – and not be a bureaucratic nightmare. If the recovery doesn’t speed up, we will lose more businesses from our industry – businesses that pump upwards of a billion dollars a year into the Hawke’s Bay and Tairawhiti economies.’
Barry says it is not as if the Government is alone in spending heavily on the recovery. . .
REMINDER: Last year Federated Farmers scientifically polled 1,000 Kiwis & confirmed NZ does not support a levy on agricultural GHG.
How the government responds will provide a signal about whether the country is serious about getting to Net Zero. Kicking trees out of the ETS would set a very poor precedent.
The problem with the ETS isn’t that it encourages carbon sequestration in trees. The ETS is, and should be, focused sharply on reducing the country’s net emissions. That’s what it was built to do, and that’s what the Zero Carbon Act’s Net Zero target requires. Our being out of step with other countries is not always a fault. We do get some things right occasionally. . .
The yield was up 7 percent on average across the six milling/malting and feed cereal crops last season but there were very trying conditions for some North Island growers.
The May AIMI (Arable Industry Marketing Initiative) report describes excellent harvest conditions in most South Island regions, though rain in March in parts of Canterbury and northern Southland doused crops and made harvest/paddock access difficult.
It was much more difficult in the North Island, Federated Farmers Arable Vice-President Grains, Andrew Darling said. After continual rain some spring crops had a harvest window but then February’s cyclone blew in, flooding paddocks, delaying harvest and in some cases large portions of crops were lost.
Some 103,200 tonnes of milling wheat were harvested, up 49 percent compared to last year when contracting issues saw growers pursue other options. . .
Cameron Henderson from Oxford in Canterbury/North Otago was named the 2023 Fonterra Responsible Dairying Award winner during the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards Gala dinner on Saturday night and received the John Wilson Memorial Trophy.
The prestigious award was introduced by the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards and Fonterra to recognise dairy farmers who demonstrate leadership in their approach to sustainability and who are respected by their fellow farmers and their community for their attitude and role in sustainable dairying.
“All finalists were constantly looking to improve and were never done, but Cameron wasn’t afraid to pull back if something didn’t work,’ says head judge Melissa Slattery.
“He was always looking to incrementally make gains in reducing his environmental footprint, including N leaching measurement, dung beetles, compost and planting shelter for his animals.” . . .
NZ is currently the only country in the world to allow full offsetting with forestry in a capped ETS.
The finalists for the 2023 Fieldays Innovation Awards have been announced across three categories, with 49 entrants standing to win a total prize package of cash, services, and products worth more than $60,000 to help launch their new product.
Showcased at the Fieldays Innovation Hub, the Fieldays Innovation Awards are the ultimate launch platform for Primary Innovation and are a globally renowned awards programme judged by a panel of 15 sector experts who represent a wide range of experience from around the NZ innovation eco-system. This year’s awards promise to showcase some of the most innovative ideas and technologies in the agricultural industry.
“We are thrilled to announce the finalists for this year’s Fieldays Innovation Awards,” says Fieldays Programme Manager Steve Chappell. “It’s fantastic to see entries of such a high calibre again in the award’s 55th year. I’m sure visitors will be wowed by the innovation on display in the Fieldays Innovation Hub and on the Fieldays Innovation Trail. The awards have been the launchpad for plenty of unique, global-quality, innovative solutions over the years, and this year will be no different.”
“Fieldays has been an integral part of the Riverwatch journey, supporting us through our development, awarding us the Prototype Award in 2017, and the Growth & Scale Award last year. Our company would not be in the position that it is now without this support from the Southern Hemisphere’s largest agricultural event,” said Abi Croutear-Foy, Chief Growth Officer at RiverWatch. . .
New international studies have reiterated the vital role of animal protein in human diets, the environment and society.
A series of nine research papers under the title The Societal Role of Meat – What the Science Says authored by international scientists and published in Animal Frontiers argues that in addition to the nutritional and environmental benefits, animal agriculture is also key to the challenges around climate change and global food security.
“Our papers … are much more than just important pieces of scientific works to be discussed among industry advocates,” said Dr Rod Polkinghorne, a leading innovator in the Australian red meat industry.
“We want this major new analysis to inform public policy and education around meat production and consumption globally.” . .
Greenpeace is spreading harmful misinformation that there is a link between nitrates in water and colorectal cancer, Federated Farmers Vice President Wayne Langford says.
“This is a new low for Greenpeace, who are using misinformation about a human health issue to prey on people’s fear of cancer and to push an anti-farming agenda.
“Farmers and others in rural communities are drinking this water, so if there is a link then we want to know about it. But we will be taking our advice from health professionals, not environmental activists,” Langford said.
Greenpeace aren’t remotely qualified to be making those claims, and what they are saying is wildly at odds with what credible health professionals and organisations are saying on the issue. . .
The National Party’s election pitch to farmers will likely bring much joy to a primary sector that feels drained by over-regulation, labour shortages, rising interest rates, inflation, and the terrible woes of a series of climatic disasters.
National’s agricultural policy ‘Getting Back to Farming’ announced last week is heavily targeted against the Wellington bureaucracy and their political masters.
“Get Wellington out of farming” is a phrase that will resonate with the whole of the primary sector who have been stunned by the expansion of government departments, such as the Ministry for the Environment.
The primary sector has long been critical of some dumb decisions and policies from Wellington which have been proved to be impractical to implement down on the farm. . .
New Zealand’s arable industry is once again gearing up to acknowledge and celebrate the innovators and leaders who drive progress in the sector.
“There’s a danger that with all the focus on costs and challenges our growers are grappling with, we lose sight of our significant success stories and all the hard mahi that underpins a sector that returns more than $1 billion in farm gate sales,” Federated Farmers arable chair Colin Hurst says.
“The NZ Arable Awards on August 10 at Wigram Air Force Museum in Christchurch is time for some celebration and fun. We’re calling for nominations of deserving people and organisations now.”
New Zealand’s arable sector is notching signification production gains, with 2.3 million tonnes of product sold in 2021 (a 31 percent increase since 2018), and within that seed production of 81,000 tonnes (a 41% increase since 2018). . .
Harvest season is in full swing and Federated Farmers is urging motorists and the operators of agricultural machinery to show each other some care and understanding.
“Not everyone has appreciated the recent sweltering temperatures in some South Island districts but for arable farmers in the middle of harvesting, the golden weather is both a bonus and a race to get crops in before Mother Nature switches moods,” Feds Arable Industry chairperson and Waimate farmer Colin Hurst said.
New Zealand’s $2.2 billion arable industry is an important part of our export earnings, economy and employment – not to mention growers of wheat flour for your summer sourdough. During harvest, combine harvesters, large tractors towing implements and other over-size agricultural vehicles often need to use public roads to move between different parts of the farm and between farms.
“They’re bulky and of necessity – and by law – move at lower speeds than other motorists. . .
The call is out for farmers to get involved with the Open Farms 2023 event.
Now in its third year, Open Farms is set for Sunday, March 12, with the day providing a platform for farmers to share their stories with urban Kiwis.
More than 7000 people have visited 82 farms throughout New Zealand in the past two years and Open Farms founder Daniel Eb is confident the initiative will continue to grow.
“There is no lack of interest to get on farm,” Eb said. . .
I spent the morning up at Pukekohe. This is what has happened to this year's onion harvest – the crop was drying on the paddock and the flood swept through the paddocks and deposited the onions on the road, footpath, drain etc…. pic.twitter.com/pmPxDyQaqo
A2 Milk’s access to the United States infant formula market offers a lifeline to the company’s efforts to turn a profit in North America.
The company, along with several other big international competitors, wasrecently granted permission to sell infant formula in the US, to help offset a short supply in the domestic market, following a recall of products produced by Michigan-based Abbott Laboratories.
“We are supportive of the US entry as an earnings diversifier but the earnings benefit may only be minor,” Forsyth Barr said in a market report.
“The market is highly competitive, margins are structurally lower, and the market now offers limited ‘free’ near-term market share capture opportunities with the Abbott production shortage largely over.” . .
The New Zealand apple industry is expecting fruit of good quality and size as it heads into the 2023 export harvest season.
‘At the same time, we are estimating export volumes to be similar to last year’s, at an estimated 20.4 million TCEs-,’ says New Zealand Apples & Pears Incorporated (NZAPI) Chief Executive, Terry Meikle.
‘We are seeing a reduction in the volumes of European Union-bound traditional varieties such as Braeburn – which is expected to be down by 15 percent – as well as Pink Lady and Jazz. Some near market varieties like Fuji, NZ Queen and NZ Rose are also going to be down in volume.
‘However – and this bodes well for the industry’s future – we are seeing continued growth in trademarked varieties such as Rockit, Envy and Dazzle.’ . .
Listen in for all the latest farming news and views – and voice your own thoughts.
That’s what’s on offer from the newly-updated Federated Farmers mobile phone app and website FEDSVoice.
The app enables farmers and growers to tap into audio recordings and podcasts from Federated Farmers, feeds from top country radio shows from around the world such as American Ag Today and the BBC, as well as a wide range of New Zealand farming shows and podcasts.
“What’s more, FEDSVoice enables farmers and growers to record their own thoughts on hot topics of the day, and we can use the best of that audio to share to a wider audience,” Federated Farmers CEO Terry Copeland says. . .
Corteva Agriscience is thrilled to announce they’re teaming up with New Zealand farmer and rugby player Samuel Whitelock. Though better known for his time spent on the rugby field than on an agricultural field, Samuel’s farming background makes him the perfect brand ambassador for Corteva Agriscience.
When Corteva, makers of Tordon™, Korvetto™, and many other great products were looking for a well-known New Zealander and farmer to voice their radio campaign last spring, they weren’t sure they could find the right combo. However, ad agency Harvey Cameron, the company who put Dan Carter in his Jockeys and Richie McCaw in a Versatile Home, suggested the famous farmer. Not only does Samuel have a Lincoln University degree in plant science and an 800-hectare farm in Hawke’s Bay, he also is a lifetime user of the Corteva brand.
After the successful radio campaign with Samuel in 2022, the relationship has developed into a full partnership, with Samuel becoming a Corteva Ambassador in January 2023. In addition to promoting Corteva products and attending events, his Hawke’s Bay farm will become a demo site.
“We are so excited and honoured to have Samuel as an official part of the Corteva team. We’re chuffed to have someone of Samuel’s calibre, a long-time customer, to talk about our product. This partnership has certainly put a cap on the year,” says Glen Surgenor, Corteva NZ Marketing Manager. . .
Farmers had plenty to digest this week: first, the Ministry of Primary Industries assesses exports from the sector will hit a record high $55bn in 2023; second, the government took an important step back on the on-farm sequestration programme; and third, Field Days at Mystery Creek engrossed those who attended (though perhaps not the Prime Minister, given the cool reception).
The MPI data showed Dairy again NZ’s largest export sector with forecast revenue due to top $23.3bn. That underlines how important the dairy sector has become in the NZ economy. Red meat and wool exports are also expected to hit a record at $12.4bn.
Horticultural export revenue is projected to grow 5% to $7.1bn and processed food by 3% to $3.3bn.
Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor doesn’t mind taking the credit for the primary sector’s success, but please, don’t mention soaring costs. . .
The country’s biggest farming show was a lightning rod for strong political views from the agricultural sector
Farmers have been placed right in the centre of the political fracas over the past months with policies like taxes on emissions and environmental regulations earning the ire of the agricultural sector.
It’s left hundreds of thousands of votes up for grabs by whichever party can curry the favour of primary producers, and at this year’s summer Fieldays it was readily apparent.
The mud and rain was replaced with a smaller crowd and the sun beating down on politicians like Jacinda Ardern and Christopher Luxon, each of whom took to the streets of the southern hemisphere’s largest agricultural event to press flesh. . .
Wool is natural, sustainable, biodegradable and versatile but NZ’s coarse wool industry is in more dire trouble than ever – a situation a new three-year strategy hopes to change
It costs your average New Zealand farmer around $3 a kilo to shear your average New Zealand coarse-wool (not merino) sheep. That same average farmer will receive as little as $2 a kilo for that wool – a third of what they would have got five years ago.
That’s seriously flawed economics: a loss of up to $1 a kilo (or $160 a bale) for a product that was once the mainstay of the New Zealand economy. It’s lucky for farmers that sheep produce meat too.
Covid has played a part in the collapse of the wool market in recent times. Port closures and other supply disruptions meant China, our biggest buyer by some way, imported $100 million-worth less wool in 2020 than in 2019, a drop of 40 percent. . .
Fencing industry body Fencing Contractors Association NZ (FCANZ) recently presented the Whatever With Wiggy charitable trust with a $15,000 donation from its members. The funds were raised at an impromptu auction held at the recent FCANZ annual Conference, with Association Partners and some members donating the items to be auctioned.
“We were astounded by the generosity of not only our members for bidding on auction items but also for the support shown for this Charity by Association Partners who continued to donate items throughout the evening.” says Phil Cornelius, President of FCANZ.
Auction items ranged from tools, augers, wire, netting and Y-posts to white water rafting trips and even the shirt from the back of auctioneer Stephen Caunter. “The willingness for people to donate and bid shows just how highly they value the work that Wiggy is doing” said Cornelius. . .
Food and fibre exports are predicted to reach a record $55 billion dollars in the year to next June.
The Ministry for Primary Industries has just released its Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries report which looked at how different parts of the sector are tracking – and it was good news for all.
Dairy export revenue is expected to grow six percent to $23.3 billion driven by strong global prices and a weakening New Zealand dollar.
Red meat and wool exports are forecast to remain steady at $12.4 billion and horticulture is forecast to grow five percent to just over $7 billion thanks to high yields from this year’s grape harvest and rising prices for avocado, onion and wine export prices. . . .
ofi (olam food ingredients) today announced it is commencing a trial of a new animal feed for New Zealand dairy farmers that has the potential to help reduce both methane emissions and input costs on farm.
ofi operates large-scale almond orchards in Australia. The trial will see the almond hulls and shells that are currently a by-product of almond processing repurposed into a nutritious feed source for dairy cows in New Zealand.
“Almond hulls are a proven source of nutrition for dairy cows. As part of our research for the trial we met with Australian dairy farmers successfully using almond hulls as a source of fibre in a pasture-based system. That gives us confidence the model will work well here,” said Paul Johnson, GM Milk Supply for ofi New Zealand.
The feed will be supplemented with Agolin Ruminant (Agolin) which has the potential benefit of reducing methane emissions and increasing the feed conversion rate, which in turn will support milk yields. . .
New Zealand’s largest primary sector bodies and companies have labelled as unacceptable and unworkable the government’s proposal for pricing greenhouse gases.
Their individual submissions have common concerns: the social and economic impact, establishing a greenhouse gas price, sequestration and food security.
The groups are also signatories to the He Waka Eke Noa (HWEN) submission, apart from Federated Farmers which, while broadly supportive, has doubled down on its opposition to the government’s proposals.
The federation details three principles it says the government must adhere to. It requires a scientific target to be set for methane based on no additional warming by 2050; incentives for the adoption of viable and cost-effective mitigation options; and ensuring that policies do not create emission leakages or reduce food production. . . .
Over the coming weeks, government officials will start going through the raft of submissions on their bosses’ proposal to tax farmers on agricultural emissions.
What they will likely find is that very few farmers and primary industry groups are impressed with what has been proposed – judging by the outcry from rural NZ. The question is: Will the Government listen?
Damien O’Connor claims the Government and farmers are not that far apart and that with some tweaking and compromising it can all be fixed amicably. That seems a long bow.
Most farmers are very cynical when they hear this Government talking about consultation – especially when it comes to complex changes written by bureaucrats. The documents are long and complex and no serious attempt has been made by the Government to make the changes remotely understandable for the average farmer, whose livelihood and community faces potential ruin at the hands of the anti-farming lobby. . .
Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) shows 97 fewer farm sales (-35.9%) for the three months ended October 2022 than for the three months ended October 2021. Overall, there were 173 farm sales in the three months ended October 2022, the same number as in September 2022; in the three months ended October 2021 there were 270 farm sales.
1,501 farms were sold in the year to October 2022, 284 fewer than were sold in the year to October 2021, with 7.2% fewer Dairy farms, 20.4% fewer Dairy Support, 16.0% fewer Grazing farms, 13.2% fewer Finishing farms and the same number of Arable farms sold over the same period.
The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to October 2022 was $25,270 compared to $31,360 recorded for three months ended October 2021 (-19.4%). The median price per hectare increased by 9.8% compared to September 2022.
The REINZ All Farm Price Index decreased by 1.7% in the three months to October 2022 compared to the three months to September 2022. Compared to the three months ending October 2021, the REINZ All Farm Price Index decreased by 1.6%. The REINZ All Farm Price Index adjusts for differences in farm size, location, and farming type, unlike the median price per hectare, which does not adjust for these factors. . . .
Farmer confidence in the prospects for milling wheat is on the upswing, with the 11,113 hectares already sown or intending to be sown up 44% on last season.
“That brings milling wheat hectares back very close to the 11,798ha harvested in 2021, before grower confidence was severely dented by changed buying practices by the mills and to a lesser extent poor conditions during last season’s grainfill,” Federated Farmers Arable Vice-Chairperson, Grains, Andrew Darling says.
The just-released October Arable Industry Marketing Initiative (AIMI) report found that both unsold and sold stored milling wheat was down on the same time last year, and that around 53% has been forward sold compared to 36% in October 2021.
“It’s pleasing to see farmer confidence in milling wheat rally, especially given the industry’s ambitions for New Zealand to lift its production of this staple,” Andrew says. . .
Nadia Lim’s farming television show may have finished its first season but that doesn’t mean she’s stopped supporting rural New Zealand.
The celebrity chef has launched a cheeky new room fragrance to fundraise for mental health charity, Rural Support Trust.
However, some consumers may find the scent a little bit daggy, even though it’s for a good cause.
“Eau de Dagg” was created using essential oils made from the wool dags from Lim’s sheep. . . .
Great morning looking at the progress of Fodder beet crops in Otago. This one ticked all the boxes with weed control, seed bed preparation with good growth shown from late October sown. pic.twitter.com/MHShxah5AK
A Massey University lecturer and design expert is focusing attention on the importance of preserving New Zealand’s most historic, colourful and community-oriented woolsheds.
Federated Farmers is helping Dr Annette O’Sullivan raise the $30,000 she needs to complete her book.
Annette says she feels a sense of urgency to getting the book completed, as so many iconic woolsheds are being lost due to changes in land use and sheep farming.
The funding will be used to commission world-class photography of woolsheds from award-winning New Zealand photographer Jane Ussher, who is already well known for her beautiful work capturing New Zealand’s iconic homesteads. . .
Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) say it is distressing to see rural communities suffer due to a lack of access to quality health services.
RWNZ president Gill Naylor says the health and wellbeing of rural communities is at risk of further deterioration if something is not done to resolve the issues facing people who live, work and play in rural New Zealand.
In June this year, a rural health strategy was added to the Pae Ora Healthy Futures legislation which came into effect last month. The strategy had been removed during the select committee phase but was added back into the legislation after Health Minister Andrew Little was convinced to add it by his party’s ‘rural caucus’.
Naylor says the challenges rural families face with access to health services are varied and include a lack of rural midwives, lack of rural nurses and GPs, lack of rural mental health services, delays in emergency services such as ambulances and long distances to travel for services like allied health and cancer treatment. . .
The Climate Change Commission is estimating exotic forestation has surged to a rate well beyond the annual levels it says is required for New Zealand to achieve 380,000ha of exotic plantings by 2035.
The commission’s general manager for emissions budgets, Stephen Walter, told delegates at this year’s Carbon Forestry conference that the latest data indicates 60,000ha of exotic forest will be planted this year. That is more than twice the rate the commission envisaged.
This is also reflected in the Ministry for Primary Industries’ workload for accepting forests into the Emissions Trading Scheme. MPI’s ETS forestry manager, Simon Petrie, said there is an application queue of 130,000ha of forest awaiting scheme approval as of June.
The recent move by the commission to recommend the government limit carbon units is partly due to concern that current ETS emissions prices will drive large-scale afforestation for sequestering carbon, rather than behaviour change to reduce emissions. . .
A grass and hay wintering system is showing promising results in Northern Southland.
AgResearch Invermay soil scientist Ross Monaghan is running a nearly $1 million project to explore whether dairy cows grazing on pasture in winter can reduce nitrogen leaching and mud compared with being on traditional forage crops.
The Soil Armour Project was launched in October 2020.
Experiment sites are live on a dairy farm on the Telford campus near Balclutha and Freedom Acres Dairy Farm at Wendonside. . .
More than 250 growers, suppliers, industry leaders and government officials from around the country will gather at the Rutherford Hotel in Nelson for the 2022 NZ Apples and Pears Inc (NZAPI) Conference.
The Conference will be held on Thursday 25 and Friday 26 August, with the industry AGM being held on Wednesday 24 August at 4pm. An ‘Agritech in the Orchard’ field day will be also be held on Wednesday 24 August, a collaboration between Callaghan Innovation and NZAPI.
The theme for the 2022 conference is ‘Adapting to New Horizons’. NZAPI CEO Terry Meikle says that two years on from the beginning of the pandemic, we have learned to modify and adapt to a new environment to ensure New Zealand pipfruit can continue to compete on the global stage, demand premiums and remain an industry exemplar.
“NZ is widely regarded as the best apple and pear producer in the world, but to retain that title, we must continue to adapt and innovate. The Conference will explore how we as an industry can meet and succeed in these new environments. . .
The S&K front tank saved the day today. If you’re quick and you can get to the fire when it’s small, you can control it. Not sure how it started. Guessing a spark from a stone and header? pic.twitter.com/uK5w2aPF3i
Materials that can carry CRISPR gene-editing into plant cells could be key in the fight against global hunger.
There were sceptics when Michael Strano and his colleagues published their method for using nanoparticles to alter the biology of living plants (J. P. Giraldo et al. Nature Mater. 13, 400–408; 2014). In a letter to Nature Materials, one prominent plant scientist stated that the findings were wrong. “She wrote to the editor and said, ‘What these authors are proposing is not possible. We think they’re misinterpreting their data’,” Strano recalls.
But the chemical engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in Cambridge, won over his critics, overturning an assumption that the membrane of the chloroplast — an organelle within plant cells that is responsible for photosynthesis — was impervious. “We had real-time video of particles going into this seemingly impenetrable chloroplast,” he says. The method, known as lipid exchange envelope penetration (LEEP), allows scientists to calculate where a nanoparticle will go to inside a cell — such as into the chloroplast or another organelle — or whether it will remain in the cytosol, the fluid that surrounds the organelles. This information can inform the design of nanoparticles that carry gene-editing machinery to targeted areas to rewrite the plant’s genome and imbue it with properties such as pest and disease resistance.
In particular, researchers are exploiting the CRISPR gene-editing system to engineer food crops that offer higher yields, or plants that produce compounds used in medications. The technology, for which Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier shared the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, allows specific stretches of DNA to be targeted for editing, deletion or replacement. . .
Recent warnings of a “doomsday” scenario if foot and mouth disease (FMD) arrived in New Zealand inevitably singled out the agriculture sector. But overseas experience tells us FMD can also result in potentially severe impacts on the tourism sector.
As the 2001 FMD crisis in Britain highlighted, inadequate planning and crisis management can cause a reduction in trade, job losses and damage to a destination’s image.
This matters, because destination image is one of the leading factors influencing tourists’ decisions. Accurate or not, negative images in the media can directly affect demand.
As New Zealand ramps up preparations for a potential outbreak, important lessons from the UK’s experiences must be heeded if the local tourism sector is to avoid its own doomsday scenario. . .
New Zealand’s arable sector appears to be on a roll, with production increasing by 30 percent in the past three years.
Arable production includes wheat, barley and maize for humans and animals to eat and seeds for sowing.
Last year those farmers produced crops worth $1 billion and production and sales from the entire sector, including milling and further production, were worth $2b while more than 7500 people were employed.
The Arable Food Industry Council secretary Thomas Chin said arable producers flew below the radar but were vitally important to New Zealand’s economy, both locally and for exports. . .
A new recruitment campaign called ‘Find Your Fit In Forestry’ aims to draw attention to the varied career opportunities available in the growing forestry industry. A sector-wide initiative, the campaign has just launched and hopes to attract more young people into the industry and fill people shortages being felt throughout the sector.
Designed to demonstrate the huge range of roles and opportunities available in forestry, the mostly digital ‘Find Your Fit In Forestry’ campaign is primarily targeted at school leavers and young people.
Showcasing everything from machine operation, silviculture and harvest management to science-based roles and wood processing, the campaign attempts to match a candidate’s areas of interest with suitable jobs.
A range of videos have been created, featuring real people working in forestry. A digital platform has been created, that prompts people to answer a quick-fire survey about their interests, before suggesting the areas of forestry that might fit them best. . .
It was early 2022 and the world’s most profitable burger chain was finally rolling out a patty made of vegetables in hundreds of its stores. The pea, rice, and potato mixture mimicked the flavor and texture of its beefy brethren. Chains like Burger King and White Castle had done it before, but McDonald’s was the biggest. The McPlant was yet another mass-produced fake-meat burger lionized as a savior to the impending climate disaster—and, of course, an offering that could potentially lure more customers to stores. But the plant patty’s success depended on enough people actually wanting to eat it. Last week, a mere six months after launch, McDonald’s quietly ended its brief and underwhelming experiment.
The company’s first animal-free burger, which uses a fake beef patty from Beyond Meat, was made available in roughly 600 stores this past February to gauge customer demand. McDonald’s confirmed to CNBC last Thursday that the test concluded as planned, but neither the fast food giant nor Beyond Meat have since announced plans for a nationwide rollout—and Beyond Meat share prices fell 6% after the announcement. While the McPlant is apparently thriving in international markets like the U.K. and Austria, American customers were not about it, with some rural stores selling as few as three burgers a day.
So why was the McPlant such a McFlop? When products like Impossible and Beyond’s burgers hit shelves a few years ago, fast food was lauded as their ideal sales vehicle. Big chains could theoretically tap their low prices, ubiquity, and lab-manufactured addictiveness to sell fake meat convincing enough to overpower the American beef obsession. In reality, fast food restaurants were never going to be responsible for changing this country’s consumption habits based on moral, health, or prevent-the-environmental-apocalypse arguments. . .
New Zealand arable farmers are using science and technology to produce good food for the least impact, it’s time this was recognised, Dr Jacqueline Rowarth writes.
Three-quarters of the bread sold in New Zealand is made from grain grown overseas.
This might be a surprise to some people, but, like the 60 per cent of pork products (85 per cent of ham and bacon) consumed in New Zealand but not produced here, overseas countries can sometimes operate more cheaply than we can in New Zealand.
Sometimes that is because of environmental conditions enabling greater yields, and sometimes it is standards in regulations around environment, welfare and employment that make the difference. Sometimes it is everything. Labelling doesn’t always make origin clear. . .
The Defence Force and electricity lines companies have become unintended allies as they both grapple with wetland rules that make it harder for them to access their own infrastructure
Rules brought in two years ago via the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management and National Environmental Standards for Freshwater focused on protecting and restoring natural wetlands.
But groups including property developers, mining and quarrying companies and those with existing infrastructure in and around wetland areas argued they were too prohibitive.
The Ministry for the Environment consulted late last year and recently proposed changes that make concessions to some of the concerns, including creating consenting pathways for mining, quarrying and landfills. . .
Last month, Greg Smith marked his first year as chief executive of carpet company Bremworth. He talks to business editor Sally Rae about his desire to help reinvigorate New Zealand’s strong wool industry.
Growing up, a young Greg Smith never imagined he would end up running a carpet company.
Mind you, he also never contemplated jewellery as a career — “or woolly undies either”.
What he did want to do was the “right thing” and that was reinforced when he neared a key life stage — he turns 50 this year — and he contemplated what his children would say their father did. . .
Scientist, farmer, director, trustee and QSM, Jock Webster is a busy man in our community. In today’s podcast we talk about the many benefits that irrigation has brought to North Otago and the humble sunflower that has helped create a successful business. Jock is a family man and has passed onto his children a legacy that continues to bless the community.
Jock’s son and nephew featured on Country Calendar a few weeks ago, you can watch the episode here.
The trade deal with the EU is a slap in the face for New Zealand farmers, Federated Farmers says.
“That the Europeans’ protectionist mindset on livestock products remains entrenched is sadly not a surprise but the very small quotas agreed are considerably worse than we expected,” Feds President and trade spokesperson Andrew Hoggard said.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern recently stated that she will come home from the EU without a deal if there isn’t a good one on the table. This is what she should have done.
The beef quota for New Zealand is 10,000 tonnes, just 0.1% of the 6.5m tonnes of beef Europeans consume each year. The EU has a cheese market of 9.5 million tonnes. After seven years New Zealand exporters will have access to just 0.14% of this market. . .
A Lake Hawea farmer has hit back at critics accusing his practices of being woke nonsense at Australasia’s first certified carbon zero farm, saying no sector advances “without the trial of new and ideally better ways”.
Last Sunday’s episode of Hyundai Country Calendar profiled Lake Hawea Station, near Wanaka, and owners Kiwi entrepreneurs and 42 Below vodka company founders Geoff and Justine Ross.
It quickly attracted an intense online backlash from those purporting to be from parts of the farming sector, leading to the TVNZ show replying to the criticism on its Facebook page.
With the goal of becoming 10 times climate positive, the couple also introduced alternative techniques to the woolshed to improve animal welfare, including switching music from AC/DC’s Thunderstruck to Vivaldi. . .
Raglan honey business Hunt and Gather Bee Co is creating an international buzz as its Kānuka honey won a silver medal at the London International Honey Awards.
Together with Te Aroha-based company Ora Foods whose Raw Manuka Honey (UMF 25+) won gold, Hunt and Gather Bee Co is the only Waikato brand that was recognised in the awards out of 17 New Zealand winners.
Hunt and Gather Bee Co’s honey has already won some national awards, including the Outstanding Food Producer Awards, but getting international recognition was unexpected for founders Hannah and Rory O’Brien. . . .
When you say cheese your feta had better be Greek.
As part of the free-trade agreement signed between New Zealand and the European Union yesterday, new geographic indications that protect the names of products that originate from specific areas will be introduced, preventing cheeses produced in New Zealand from being branded as “feta”, beloved to Greece, in nine years’ time.
However, the industry has not been as fettered by the deal as had been initially feared.
Whitestone Cheese managing director Simon Berry said it was a relief that only feta would need to be rebranded for now. . .
Pine pollen containing a rare natural source of plant-based testosterone could prove a goldmine for New Zealand’s forestry sector.
Pine Pollen New Zealand Limited, trading under the name Bio Gold, has received $288,500 in Government funding through the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund (SFF Futures) to lay the foundations for a pine pollen industry in New Zealand.
“Pine pollen has been consumed for health and wellbeing in China, South Korea and Japan for more than 3000 years,” says Bio Gold founder Carl Meyer.
“It’s been found to contain a naturally occurring testosterone, and lately there’s been a new wave of interest from the natural health industry in the United States and Canada.” . .
Fonterra today confirms the finalisation of the strategic partnership with New Zealand’s Exchange (NZX) and the European Energy Exchange (EEX) to each take ownership stakes in Global Dairy Trade (GDT) alongside the Co-op.
As announced in February 2022, the partnership was subject to the approval of Boards, clearance from relevant competition law authorities, and finalisation of transaction documentation. With those approvals now received, Fonterra, NZX and EEX each hold an equal one-third (33.33%) shareholding in the global dairy auction platform GDT as of 30 June 2022.
CFO Marc Rivers says the confirmation of the strategic partnership is an important milestone for Fonterra and global dairy participants.
“The move to a broader ownership structure marks the next step in the evolution of GDT – giving it a presence in prominent international dairy producing regions, with greater participation expected at GDT events. . .
A trade agreement with the European Union must include commercially meaningful outcomes for New Zealand’s meat and dairy exporters, National’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson Todd McClay says.
“If real gains for meat and dairy aren’t on the table, the Prime Minister should instruct negotiators to continue talks until a commercially meaningful offer is presented.
“Trade Minister Damien O’Connor has already confirmed New Zealand has agreed to the European Union’s demands for geographic indicators. This means Kiwi businesses will no longer be able to produce many food products and call them by their name, including feta, gouda and parmesan cheeses. The EU has consulted on a list that also includes restricting the names Mozzarella and Latin Kiwifruit (Kiwi Latina) and other agricultural products.
“The EU’s agriculture sector has expressed delight that restrictions would remain in place for New Zealand exporters, with the current offer meaning almost none of our meat or dairy would be competitive in the EU market. . .
A wetter than usual irrigation season has hindered data collection efforts for Cust dairy grazers Gary and Penny Robinson. They had planned to collect data over the season from their subsurface irrigation system and compare this with traditional irrigation methods. However, the couple have still been able to prove the system’s water and power saving benefits on their two-hectare test block.
Gary and Penny are participating in a six-month farming innovation project, which examines how the next generation of farmers are using innovation to improve their farming practices. Waimakariri Landcare Trust (WLT) and Waimakariri Irrigation Limited (WIL) have partnered with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) for the project, with support from MPI’s Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund along with Environment Canterbury, Ballance, and DairyNZ.
A subsurface drip irrigation system consists of a network of valves, driplines, pipes, and emitters that are installed in tape below the surface of the soil. The evenly spaced emitters slowly release water directly to the root zone of plants which differs from traditional irrigation systems that apply water to the surface of the soil. . .
A government-funded plant award-winning company Food Nation is a fast growing award winning supplier helping climate change by producing New Zealand grown food such as buckwheat, beetroot, hemp, mushrooms, chickpeas and quinoa.
In all cases they use mushrooms and chickpeas as a base rather than imported soy or gluten. The food is great for the planet, whether the consumers are flexitarian, vegan or vegetarian.
Their food includes pea and makrut balls; legumes, herbs, spices, cauliflower, turmeric, broccoli, ginger, red pepper and corn magic mince or mushrooms and ancient grained sausages.
The company is owned by Miranda Burdon and Josie Lambert who are co-founders and sisters and run it with a small team in their premises in St Johns, Auckland. . .
New Zealand’s dairy industry, which is proving again it is the backbone of the country’s export industries, has been given fresh encouragement with the big co-op Fonterra signalling a record milk price for the season that has just opened.
It comes as the payout for the just-finished season stands as the highest since the co-op was formed in 2001.
So although farmers have made decisions for this season on the number of cows they are milking, they have the incentive to go hard on production levels, despite the pressure from higher costs and worries over climate changes measures, including projected charges on emissions.
Fonterra’s buoyant forecast contrasts with a recent report by agribusiness banking specialist Rabobank which said that despite global milk production looking set to decrease for the fourth consecutive quarter in Q2 2022, weakening global demand is expected to create a scenario that will see moderate price declines in dairy commodities during the second half of the year. . .
Damien O’Connor scored twice – he issued one statement as Minister of Trade and another as Minister of Agriculture – while rookie Emergency Relief Minister Kieran McNulty broke his duck, announcing flood relief for the West Coast.
Covid-19 Response Minister Ayesha Verrall put more runs on the board, too, with a statement about Government work to combat new and more dangerous variants of COVID-19.
In his trade job, O’Connor declared he was pleased with the quick progress of the United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement Legislation Bill that was introduced to the House yesterday.
It would enable New Zealand to implement its obligations under the FTA and was necessary to bring the FTA into force, he explained. . .
The Chairperson of the Primary Production Committee is now calling for public submissions on the Forests (Legal Harvest Assurance) Amendment Bill.
The bill would amend the Forests Act 1949 to establish a legal harvest system. This system aims to provide assurance that timber supplied and traded has been harvested legally. The legal harvest system would:
· require that log traders, primary processors, importers, and exporters who operate above specified thresholds to be registered
· require harvest information to be supplied to others when trading, and for records of that information to be kept . .
Groundspread NZ (NZGFA) was established in 1956 to promote and protect the interests of both individuals and companies involved in the groundspread fertiliser industry. The Association is made up of 110 voluntary members from throughout New Zealand, with each member committed to promoting best practice fertiliser placement. Precision placement of fertiliser requires skilled operators, sound spreading equipment and appropriate fertilisers.
Groundspreaders are typically the first step in ensuring on-farm productivity, by spreading nutrients accurately and evenly, using the latest technology, finely calibrated vehicles, and highly trained operators, groundspreaders help farmers and growers get the best out of their nutrient spend. The skill involved in groundspreading means that food production in New Zealand gets the best start possible.
The new name and website better share the story of how the Association’s members contribute to on-farm performance. The new name and website are initiatives driven by the Association’s new and ambitious strategic plan, committed to ensuring best practice in the groundspread industry. Farmers and growers can now visit www.groundspreadnz.com to find a spreader in their area, learn more about how the Association supports members to operate at the high level that they do, and learn more about the Spreadmark scheme.
Spreadmark, established by Groundspread NZ (NZGFA) in 1994, was born from a commitment by the Association’s members to improve spreader performance and outcomes for their clients and the environment. Proper placement of fertiliser is of considerable agronomic benefit to farmers and growers and helps protect the environment from the undesirable side effects of poor fertiliser spreading practices. . .
Hopefully the rainbow keeps it promise and there is a pot of gold at the end of this year's dairy season. pic.twitter.com/xXR13SIHGa
Greenfern Industries Limited (GFI:NZX) is pleased to announce it has attained its globally-recognised GACP (Good Agriculture and Collection Practice) certification for its cultivation facility based in Normanby, Taranaki.
“This is a milestone that the team has been working towards for some time since commencing cultivation and research and development in our pilot stage one facility,” said Greenfern’s managing director Dan Casey.
GACP guidelines were developed to create a single supranational framework to ensure appropriate and consistent quality in the cultivation and production of medicinal plant and herbal substances. They were developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2003 with the aim of improving the quality of medicinal plants being used in herbal medicines in the commercial market.
Greenfern’s certification was undertaken by Control Union Medicinal Cannabis Standards (CUMCS). Control Union Israel was one of the partners which formulated the Israeli Cannabis Standard, which is a global standard. Since then, they have been involved with the development of the Medical Cannabis Standard GAP. . .
Sri Lanka is in the grip of its worst economic crisis in decades, facing depleted petrol reserves, food shortages and a chronic lack of medical supplies.
More than a month of mainly peaceful protests against the government’s handling of the economy turned deadly last week when supporters of the former prime minister stormed an anti-government protest site in the commercial capital Colombo.
For New Zealanders, the troubles being experienced by Sri Lanka’s 22 million people might trigger humanitarian concerns but – at first blush – have little to teach us about good policy.
Kiwis therefore may shrug off Sri Lanka’s plight as the consequence of incompetence by the governing Rajapaksa brothers, one of whom has resigned as prime minister, the other whose job as president is under threat. . .
A group of angry East Coast farmers descended on Napier today to protest against carbon forestry, which they say is destroying their towns.
They left placards plastered on the steps of local MP Stuart Nash’s office, who is also the forestry minister.
Sophie Stoddart is a 14-year-old from Pōrangahau, at the southern end of Hawke’s Bay.
With the enemy – a pine needle in hand – she spoke passionately, saying carbon forestry could easily ruin her small town. . .
A warm wind after it’s bucketed down. These girls aren’t overly happy with the crappy old grass offerings but hey they have silage and @Crystalyx_nz on tap. Holding condition well at the beginning of winter 🤞🤞for the rest. pic.twitter.com/StXnnm2V3m
New Zealand Apples and Pears (NZAPI), the industry organisation representing the country’s pipfruit growers, today released a crop re-forecast that predicts a decrease of 12% on the organisation’s pre-season estimate.
In January this year, the 2022 apple and pear crop was predicted to reach the equivalent of 23.2 million export boxes (Tray Carton Equivalents, or TCEs, as they’re known in the industry), destined for customers in more than 80 countries. That forecast has now been adjusted to be approximately 20.3 million boxes, representing an estimated reduction in export earnings of $105 million.
NZAPI CEO Terry Meikle says a perfect storm of adverse weather events in key growing regions and major labour shortages during the heart of the harvest combined to result in growers not being able maximise their crops.
“While our crop may be down by around 12% on initial estimates, it is a testament to the resilience and capability of our grower community that we are still likely to make the most from such an incredibly challenging harvest. . .
Sarah Dobson, a 25-year-old environment and sustainability technician at A.S. Wilcox, has won the 2022 Pukekohe Young Grower competition.
The competition tested the four contestant’s vegetable and fruit growing knowledge as well as the skills needed to be a successful grower. Contestants completed modules in marketing, compliance, pests and disease identification, safe tractor driving, health and safety, soil and fertilisers, irrigation and quality control.
‘I was so rapt when they called my name to say that I had won, I couldn’t believe it,’ says Sarah. ‘I wasn’t expecting to win as it was such a tight competition; all the other competitors were really strong.’
‘I really want to say a huge thanks to the team at A.S. Wilcox. I was quite nervous before the competition, but I did lots of preparation with help from my colleagues. Everyone there has been so supportive in helping me prepare. . .
An international team of researchers, including from The University of Western Australia’s Institute of Agriculture, have determined that ammoniated straw incorporation (ASI) treatment significantly improves wheat crop production and soil fertility.
ASI is a process by which ammonia is added to stubbles/straw, which degrades the lignin and enhances nutrients for it to be more easily broken down by soil microbes.
The research, published in the journal Field Crops Research and led by Northwest A&F University in China, investigated the responses of soil properties, wheat yield and yield stability of wheat to ammoniated and conventional straw incorporation in the China’s Loess Plateau.
The three treatments applied in the study were straw (the control), conventional straw incorporation (CSI), and ASI. . .
The Overseas Investment Office has approved the sale of another six farms for conversion to forestry under the special forestry test.
Introduced in 2018 to encourage more tree planting – farming groups have raised alarm at the rate of farms being sold through the special forestry test.
The government is currently reviewing the test but sales are continuing.
Sales information just released by The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) includes Gisborne’s Maunga-O-Rangi Station which went on the market last year after being owned by the same family for 30 years. . .
When it comes to a pedigree in dog trials, Kelly Tweed has it covered.
In 2019, her sister, Steph Tweed, made history as the first woman to win a New Zealand dog trial championship with Grit in the straight hunt, while their father, Roger, a Waitahuna farmer, is a successful triallist too.
Kelly (26) might have have been a slight latecomer to the sport but is showing she has inherited the family genes, qualifying for this week’s South Island championships.
While Steph had to dash off to run one of her four dogs on another course, Roger was there to watch Kelly have her first run in the straight hunt on the first day of competition at Earnscleugh Station. Mr Tweed has five dogs qualified for the competition. . .
Wool might tick all the boxes as a natural, sustainable and environmentally friendly fibre, but New Zealand’s strong wool growers are still not reaping the reward for producing the best strong wool in the world.
Business and rural editor Sally Rae talks to those behind two diverse projects to add value to the wool clip.
Brent Gregory has a theory: people who need wool do not know the fibre exists and those folk never meet up with those selling wool, leading to a major disconnect for the wool industry.
Mr Gregory and Suzanne Wilson, of Christchurch, are directors of the Merino Softwear Company, an innovation company looking to create high-value products from wool. . .
Reducing the excise tax on fuel shows what happens when politics meets climate change policy – politics wins.
That’s a very good illustration of what’s wrong with so much of the response to climate change – it’s focused far too much on taxing more and trying to force us to do or have less.
That’s not attractive to the wealthy, it is unaffordable for the poor.
The economic and social costs of too much climate change policy are too high with little, if any environmental benefit.
There is a better way – bright ideas based on the research and science. That’s what’s solved so many other problems.
Let's keep the lights on this #EarthHour, for the hundreds of millions without any access to electricity. We should focus on real energy and climate solutions instead of empty, feel-good gestures.https://t.co/F6PikmP5Nu
If ever there was doubt NZ had gone up a blind climate alley by moving towards large plantings of pine trees, the latest international scientists’ report has firmly laid that to rest, writes Dame Anne Salmond.
It is now beyond doubt that New Zealand’s primary strategy for tackling climate change – offsetting through the Emissions Trading Scheme, with the financial incentives it gives to the large-scale planting of monocultures of exotic pine trees – runs in the opposite direction to international scientific advice.
In the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (AR6) report, for instance, released yesterday, the practice of “planting large scale non-native monocultures, which would lead to loss of biodiversity and poor climate change resilience” was placed among the ‘Worst Practices and Negative Adaptation Trade-offs’ for temperate forests.
By way of contrast, to “maintain or restore natural species and structural diversity, leading to more diverse and resilient systems” was placed among the ‘Best Practices and Adaptation Benefits’, with very high impacts. . .
Dairy prices have hit a new peak at Fonterra’s Global Dairy Trade auction. The GDT index shot up 5.1% to an average price of US$5,065 (NZ$7,509). Whole milk powder rose 5.7% to US$4,757 a tonne while cheddar rocketed up 10.9% to $6,394.
Butter prices gained 5.9% to an average US$7086/tonne, anhydrous milk fat 2.1% to US$7048/tonne and butter milk powder firmed 5.8% to US$4217/tonne. Skim milk powder was up 4.7% to US$4481/ tonne.
“This train isn’t slowing down,” said NZX dairy insights manager Stuart Davison.
Other business-sector commentators see the boom in the dairy sector injecting new strength into the economy at a time when it is badly needed, with other sectors like international tourism and hospitality hard hit by the Covid pandemic.
Bidding at the auction was fierce, driven by the tight supply position, as well as Russia’s war on Ukraine. . .
Federated Farmers is pleased to see more international dairy farm workers will be able to cross the border for the 2022 dairy season.
“Farms are short thousands of staff and with continued low domestic unemployment, workers from overseas are the only option to plug the gaps in many parts of New Zealand,” Federated Farmers National Board member and immigration spokesperson Chris Lewis says.
“Many dairy farms are desperate to get teams back up to strength prior to calving and today’s announcement will provide a measure of relief.”
The industry, farmers and the government have done all they can to attract and retain Kiwi workers in the industry, but the need for international labour remains. . .
A sheep in suburban Christchurch is doing its bit to show just how smart a sheep can be.
Lucky, who is six years old, and originally from a farm in Burke’s Pass in South Canterbury, knows a few tricks.
In fact, he knows so many tricks that his owner Caroline Thomson needs a list to keep track of them all.
“He does sit, bow, turn, back, shake, stay, jump, pose, pose is his favourite, through, so that’s when he’ll go under something, wait, go to bed. Now go-to-bed he learnt by getting feijoas, feijoa is his most favourite food. If you give him a feijoa it’s instant,” Thomson said. . .
Royal Gala harvest nearly finished. Plenty of varieties still to go. Aiming to finish picking 1st of May. Shortage of pickers increases the pressure on all staff. G8 quality this year despite the wet weather in February just hope we can get it all picked @DamienOConnorMP pic.twitter.com/1fbBuXIVZQ
New farming practices could help the country achieve one of its COP26 promises.
On his ranch in the state of Mato Grosso, deep in Brazil’s agricultural belt, Raul Almeida Moraes Neto has spent the past six years breaking new ground in cattle farming. In the name of sustainable husbandry, the trained agronomist has been undertaking a series of measures to lessen his environmental impact. A small portion of his property near the municipality of Torixoréu has been dedicated to “intensification”, with 15 animals per hectare, instead of fewer than one. Slaughter takes place at 18 months, rather than at 30. Breeding happens at a younger age, too. “It takes less time to produce the same amount of meat, but it emits less methane,” explains the 52-year-old, who has been in the business since 2000.
In the name of sustainable husbandry, the trained agronomist has been undertaking a series of measures to lessen his environmental impact. . .
From singing and shepherding to photography and physiotherapy, Hawea woman Anna Munro has a diverse lifestyle. She talks to rural editor Sally Rae about her career and her desire to help tell the farming story.
Anna Munro used to think she would love to end up owning a farm.
Now she’s not so sure. After all, the Hawea woman has the best of both worlds, dividing her time between working on Ardgour Station, near Tarras, and as a physiotherapist in Wanaka.
It might seem an unusual combination but, for outdoors-loving Mrs Munro, it suits her down to the proverbial tee. . .
Concerns the boom in carbon farming will dictate the future of New Zealand’s sheep, beef and production forestry, and questions over who has oversight over what one academic is calling “the biggest change in land use in New Zealand’s modern history”. Kathryn speaks with Professor of Farm Management and Agribusiness at Lincoln University Keith Woodford, who says the implications are massive. Also Forest Owners Association chief executive Phil Taylor, also managing director of the American owned forestry management company Port Blakely. . .
The Topflite sunflowers have become something of an icon in Oamaru. Lots of visitors arrive in town asking where to find them and we’ve played host to many a photographer and film crew over the years — even moving one group on after they’d set up their tripods in the centre of the road…
Seeing as we’re gearing up to sow the next crop pretty soon, here’s some background on our little yellow heroes.
We originally grew sunflowers for oil in the 1960s but then moved to growing them for the bird clubs in 1974. People told us we were too far south for sunflowers to grow well but clearly we’ve proved them wrong! Our farms are in a dry area of North Otago and we get reasonably long and hot summers. It turns out that sunflowers grow well here.
October is when we sow the seeds. It’s pretty slow growing until December when the weather heats up. We usually get the first flower by New Year’s Day and by late January the flowers are at their most intense yellow. That’s the time of year to schedule your sunflower selfie! . .
MarketResearch.biz delivers in-depth insights on the global agricultural robots market in its upcoming report titled, “Global Agricultural Robots Market Trends, Applications, Analysis, Growth, and Forecast: 2018 to 2027”.
This report is based on synthesis, analysis, and interpretation of information gathered regarding the target market from various sources. Our analysts have analyzed the information and data and gained insights using a mix of primary and secondary research efforts with the primary objective to provide a holistic view of the market. In addition, an in-house study has been made of the global economic conditions and other economic indicators and factors to assess their respective impact on the market historically, as well as the current impact in order to make informed forecasts about the scenarios in future.
An agricultural robot is an equipment used in farming to improve productivity and reduce reliance on manual labor. These robots help automate tasks carried out by the farmers such as harvesting, weed control, seeding, sorting, and packing, thus allowing farmers to focus more on enhancing overall production yield. . .
Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) shows there were -51 less farm sales (-14.3%) for the three months ended August 2021 than for the three months ended August 2020. Overall, there were 306 farm sales in the three months ended August 2021, compared to 364 farm sales for the three months ended July 2021 (-15.9%), and 357 farm sales for the three months ended August 2020.
1,680 farms were sold in the year to August 2021, 37.3% more than were sold in the year to August 2020, with 153.8% more Dairy farms, 1% more Dairy Support, 24.4% more Grazing farms, 50.8% more Finishing farms and 46.4% less Arable farms sold over the same period.
The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to August 2021 was $27,250 compared to $25,460 recorded for three months ended August 2020 (+7%). The median price per hectare increased0.3% compared to July 2021. . .
Next Sunday Jacinda Ardern is scheduled to make another of those nauseating apologies for the past, this time for the “dawn raids” against suspected overstayers from the Pacific Islands that happened a few yearsbefore she was born.
It’s not just the assumed moral superiority of the present that always gets up my nose, it’s also the injustice to people now dead and unable to speak for themselves. It makes me wonder what apologies the future might make for things governments are doing now.
One potentially regrettable project is particularly ironic. The Prime Minister who will apologise for the dawn raids next weekend is presiding over an immigration “reset” that could do far more lasting damage to the Pacific Islands than the clumsy policing their New Zealand expats suffered in the 1970s.
It surprises me that a Labour Government takes a dim view of seasonal work that enables Pacific Islanders to come here and earn some good money picking fruit for a few months. In a recent TVNZ item on our travel bubble with the Cook Islands we heard people there lamenting the loss of their younger people migrating permanently to New Zealand. . .
Plant Research (NZ) Ltd is a New Zealand based R&D company specialising in the development of new grain legume varieties.
This summer, the company enters the final stages of development and multiplication of chickpea and soy varieties developed specifically for New Zealand’s maritime environment.
Managing Director and Principal Plant Breeder Adrian Russell says his team have worked through a large number of potential genetics from both programmes to identify varieties that are adapted to our unique environment and have functional traits for product development in the plant protein space. . .
Inspired by the Howl of a Protest last week and concerned with government regulations on the rural sector, East Coast farmer and bush poet Graeme Williams has put pen to paper in a plea to Jacinda Ardern to look out for farmers. He shared his poem, The Golden Goose, with The Country today.
The Golden Goose, by Graeme Williams
Dear Aunty Jacinda, A moment if I may, A response I think is needed, To the protest the other day.
Farmers are generally too busy, To rally and cause a stink, But their overwhelming response, Must have made you stop and think. . .
‘The Climate Commission’s recommendation to reduce livestock numbers by 15% by 2030 is not sensible, practical or justified,’ Robin Grieve, chairman of FARM (Facts About Ruminant Methane) said today.
Reducing livestock numbers will invariably cost New Zealand export income and mean that less food is grown. With an increasing global population that needs feeding this policy is not only anti human and selfish, it will also cause more global emissions as other countries with less efficient farming systems will have to produce the food New Zealand does not. Such a recommendation by the Commission is as silly as New Zealand reducing emissions by cutting Air New Zealand flights and letting Qantas take up the slack.
Reducing livestock might reduce carbon emissions but the bulk of these carbon emissions are sourced from methane and are not causing the warming the system attributes to them. . .
This month, kiwifruit growers go to the Supreme Court seeking compensation over officials’ inadvertent release of the virulent vine disease PSA. And the case has far wider implications.
In June 2009, MAF (the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, now part of MPI) granted an import licence for some Chinese kiwifruit pollen, which turned out to be contaminated with the kiwifruit vine killing bacteria pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae, or PSA.
The impact was devastating. Pollen infected a farm inTe Puke, then more farms, and as the disease took hold across the North Island, entire orchards had to be destroyed and several hundred farmers lost hundreds of millions of dollars. . .
Anna Randall and Daniel Eisenhut believe there’s something magical about mushrooms, and something equally magical about Oamaru. They speak to Ashley Smyth about their recent move and watching their fledgling business, Waitaki Mushrooms, take off.
For some, last year’s Level 4 lockdown offered time to reflect on priorities and seize opportunities.
Former Aucklanders Anna Randall and Daniel Eisenhut are two of those people.
The couple had previously considered moving south, but were nervous about leaving the bright lights and busyness of city life. . .
THEY are the people who make ag tick — the movers and shakers of Australian agriculture.
From the absolute peak of world trade power, down to those who keep our farms going day-to-day.
This inaugural list of Australian ag’s top 20 power players reveals an industry that has a strong backbone, yet is at the mercy of global politics and a fragile labour system, laid bare by the Covid crisis.
The power players were chosen by The Weekly Times for their influence on agriculture, for how their actions affect the entire industry, and for their ability to make big decisions. . .
New Zealand’s primary sector has added steel to the country’s economy in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recently released report.
Economic and research firm NZIER latest Insight report – released last week – says the livestock, forestry and horticulture sector have performed well over the lockdown period and as the Covid-19 crisis has continued overseas.
“Our land-based industries have proven themselves to be exceptionally resilient, particularly when it comes to trade” says Chris Nixon, NZIER principal economist and lead author of the report.
When COVID-19 ground his eight-year career as a pilot for Air New Zealand to a sudden halt, Henry Lambert decided to turn it into an opportunity for a complete change – to farming.
His story has been featured as a positive example of COVID career pivots on the six o’clock news, but the father-of-two is no stranger to dairy. He grew up around his grandfather’s and uncles’ dairy farms and while he was flying planes, a career on the land had always been in the back of his mind. So, when the pandemic started to hit the aviation industry, it seemed like the perfect time to change gears.
The dairy industry’s crying out for skilled workers, so Henry hoped by creating a CV and posting it on the Farm Source website, he’d get to give farming a crack.
“I always thought I’d like to have a go one day, so when I was presented with this unique opportunity, it seemed like a good fit.”. . .
Several organisations with an interest in the future of our agricultural sector have come out with strategies or visions for what needs to be done to find New Zealand’s place in the sun. One such report produced by the Primary Sector Council has been sponsored, one could say hijacked, by the government, and converted by MPI into a set of financial and environmental targets. Another is the result of independent research and consultation. Ideally either the government will engage with the primary sector to agree the best policy settings the industry believes necessary to meet these ambitious targets, rather than insisting on following the plan it commissioned to meet its own priorities.
The coronavirus pandemic and the upcoming Election have to some extent provided a distraction from the pace of environmental change, but nobody should be under any illusion – this will undoubtedly accelerate when a new government is in power which at the moment looks like a Labour/Greens coalition without the NZ First handbrake being needed to govern. There is a small window for the primary sector to argue for its preferred future direction. . .
Using New Zealand strong wool to produce biodegradable disposal nappies for a multi-billion dollar global market is gaining traction as a new avenue for farmers desperate to find new places to sell their product, with multinational companies showing interest in NZ technology.
As part of the recent launch of the strong wool sector’s plan for the future Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said Wellington-based company Woolchemy will get $80,000 from the Ministry for Primary Industry’s Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures Fund.
Woolchemy co-founder and chief executive Derelee Potroz-Smith says the money will pay for a commercial trial of technology that enables wool to replace petroleum-derived textiles in consumer hygiene products, adding significant value to the raw material produced by NZ strong wool farmers. . .
Six ‘star’ crops – soy, hemp, chickpeas, oats, buckwheat and quinoa – could represent new opportunities for New Zealand farmers.
According to the Specialty Grains & Pulses Report produced by an Our Land and Water National Science Challenge research programme, Next Generation Systems, locally grown grains and pulses like soy, chickpeas and quinoa are being explored by local researchers and growers. In the report, researchers looked at the opportunities presented by new and different plant crops in the grain and pulses families. From a long list of 22 possible grains and pulses, the research team narrowed their focus down to six ‘star’ crops they think have the most potential for New Zealand farmers. These are soy, hemp, chickpeas, oats, buckwheat and quinoa.