Which face do we believe – Peter Burke:
When Covid-19 first arrived in New Zealand, PM Jacinda Ardern made great play of the fact that it would be the primary sector – and that means rural NZ – would be the saviour of the economy.
Agriculture and the supporting processing and supply chain workers and farmers were deemed essential, and to their great credit these people have delivered 100% and more.
But if perchance, or maybe out of morbid curiosity, you tune into Jacinda’s daily sermons from the Beehive, you would struggle to hear the word ‘rural’ mentioned these days.
The vaccine roll-out has been urban driven with percentage rates in Auckland hailed and glorified. It seems to be all about high population numbers, which also means votes, or is that being too cynical? . .
Residents take up arms in Central Otago as rampant rabbits ruin land– Olivia Caldwell:
A plague of rabbits has destroyed thousands of grape vines, chewed through fence posts and rose gardens and left properties in Central Otago potted with holes, costing landowners thousands of dollars.
The trail of destruction has driven some to take up arms – despite never having owned a gun before – and shoot them from their front lawns.
The local authority says the responsibility for dealing with the pests lies with homeowners – a stance which has infuriated some, who say the buck should stop with the council, not them.
In recent months the Otago Regional Council (ORC) has visited more than 300 properties across the rabbit-prone areas of Lake Hayes, Morven Hill, Dalefield, Gibbston Valley and Hawea, and has now emailed hundreds of letters to landowners asking them to come up with their own compliance plan to get rid of rabbits. . .
Bank opts for woollen carpet – Country Life:
The chief executive of Rabobank was so determined its new Hamilton HQ would have wool carpet he arranged for it to be craned in.
Todd Charteris says it was suggested synthetic carpet squares would be more appropriate because rolls of carpet were too big to be carried in the lift.
He wasn’t having a bar of it.
Rabobank specialises in rural banking and is relocating its head office from Wellington to the third and fourth floors of a central Hamilton building. . .
Native dairy farmer – Country Life:
A Waikato farming couple will be hanging up their tennis racquets this year after transforming the farm’s tennis court into a native plant nursery.
Dave Swney and Alice Trevelyan started The Native Dairy Farmer and spent the latest Waikato lockdown potting up 22,000 plants now neatly lined up on the court.
Alice estimates they moved about 16 cubic metres of compost.
“Heaps of shovelling,” says Dave. “Some of us farmers have fatter fingers and probably aren’t as good on some of the more delicate jobs but we can get on the end of a shovel and shove a bit of compost.” . .
Maddison Airey, a 23-year-old first year Bachelor of Viticulture and Wine Science (BVWSci) student from EIT, has won the Hawke’s Bay A&P Society & Craggy Range Young Vintners Scholarship for 2021.
Maddison received her award at the Hawke’s Bay A&P Bayleys Wine Awards dinner last night.
As part of the scholarship, Maddison wins $2,000 funding from the Hawke’s Bay A&P Society and a vintage position at Craggy Range Winery for the harvest season of ’22, and she will also be an associate judge for the Hawke’s Bay A&P Bayleys Wine Awards next year.
Maddison says she is excited about the scholarship and the opportunities it will offer her. . .
The world is facing the prospect of a dramatic shortfall in food production as rising energy prices cascade through global agriculture, the CEO of Norwegian fertilizer giant Yara International says.
“I want to say this loud and clear right now, that we risk a very low crop in the next harvest,” said Svein Tore Holsether, the CEO and president of the Oslo-based company. “I’m afraid we’re going to have a food crisis.”
Speaking to Fortune on the sidelines of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Holsether said that the sharp rise in energy prices this summer and autumn had already resulted in fertilizer prices roughly tripling.
In Europe, the natural-gas benchmark hit an all-time high in September, with the price more than tripling from June to October alone. Yara is a major producer of ammonia, a key ingredient in synthetic fertilizer, which increases crop yields. The process of creating ammonia currently relies on hydropower or natural gas. . .