Failure won’t be farmers’ fault – Arthur Tsitsiras:
Farmers, like any business people, always look to keep costs down and make a profit.
Farming, however, is an industry with a unique set of variables. Droughts can severely affect crop and livestock growth, floods and storms damage crops and infrastructure, unexpected disease outbreaks and wavering demands in certain products can all have wide-ranging impacts completely out of farmers’ hands.
In addition, farmers are now expected to be conscious about their environmental impact. . .
Primary Sector Council’s starry-eyed vision – Nigel Malthus:
Late last year, the Primary Sector Council (PSC) unveiled its vision for the future of New Zealand’s primary industries.
It centres on the Māori concept of Taiao, which emphasises respect for, and harmony with, the natural world.
The council was established by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor in April 2018 on a two-year mission to provide strategic advice on issues and to develop a sector-wide vision for the future. . .
Here comes the sun . . . (flowers) – Sally Brooker:
One of North Otago’s favourite crops is making an impact again.
Sunflowers are maturing in paddocks on Thousand Acre Rd, between Oamaru and Kakanui, attracting photographers and adding a feel-good element to the landscape.
They are grown by the Mitchell and Webster families for their animal feeds company Topflite.
“You never get sick of them,” general manager Greg Webster said of the giant yellow flowers. . .
Robot start-up Radius Robotics seeks to solve world’s soil depletion – Catherine Harris:
Farming by robot is no longer a fantasy, and it also could be a breakthrough for preserving our soil quality, a group of Kiwi entrepreneurs say.
Christchurch’s Radius Robotics is developing a wheel-based robotic system which would direct drill seeds with a minimal footprint, irrigate, weed and collect data.
Reducing the amount of land having to be tilled was one of its key aims, co-founder Henry Bersani said. . .
Farmers encouraged to seek advice on farm succession planning – Sam Kilmister:
A series of workshops is designed to get farmers thinking about life after the farm.
Farm succession is a pressing topics among sheep and beef farmers, with more than 50 per cent of sheep and beef farms expected to change hands over the next decade.
The Red Meat Profit Partnership will hold a series of workshops educating Rangitīkei farmers on business transition and help them to navigate what can often be a difficult process. . .
An internship at Fonterra proved to be just as valuable to Massey University science student Victoria-Jayne Reid as it was to the dairy co-operative with the development of a new testing regime.
The third-year science student spent her summer at the Fonterra Research and Development Centre across the road from Massey’s Manawatu campus helping to validate a new test for fat content in milk products that has proved to be robust and simple.
“The old reference method was highly laborious, it involved hazardous chemicals, manhandling and it took a long time,” Reid says. . .