. . . why daylight saving starts so soon?
“Significant rain” has fallen overnight in the Westland District after flooding washed away the Waiho Bridge and slips closed roads.
A state of emergency is continuing after being declared last night after the bridge, south of Franz Josef, was swept away in wild weather. However the Hokitika River has held – a relief for locals.
A 350km stretch of road on SH6 is closed between Hokitika and Makarora, near Wanaka. . .
I have criticised the Provincial Growth Fund and most of the projects to which it has been put.
But rebuilding the bridge and funding other repairs and future flood protection work would be a good use for it.
Being solutions-focused key part of the role – Sally Rae:
A rural career always beckoned for Selina Copland.
Growing up on a sheep, beef and cropping farm in Mid Canterbury, she was always out on the farm with her siblings.
At school, while she was interested in agriculture, the topic was never really pushed as a career which was disappointing, she said.
Originally, Ms Copland hoped to get into rural banking and she completed a BComAg, majoring in rural valuation at Lincoln University. . .
Beef + Lamb New Zealand have selected two Sheep Industry Ambassadors to represent this country at the Australia – New Zealand – United States Sheep Industry Ambassadors programme (formerly known as TriLamb). They are Tom Whitford from Northern Waikato and Cameron Russell from Southland. New Zealand will be hosting the 2019 programme and the Ambassadors will be touring New Zealand in late March. This week we meet Tom Whitford.
Industry needs to raise the bar
Narrowing the gap between this country top operators and those at the other end of the scale is one of the challenges facing this country’s sheep industry.
This is according to B+LNZ’s 2019 Sheep Industry Ambassador Tom Whitford who says while this country has some outstanding sheep farmers, there are still a lot of average producers and lifting their performance can only be better for the industry as a whole. . .
Dry weather cutting dairy production boosting costs – Gavin Evans:
(BusinessDesk) – New Zealand milk production fell from year-earlier levels for the first time in 11 months in February due to dry weather.
The country’s dairy farmers produced 165 million tonnes of milk solids in February, about 0.1 percent less than the same month last year, according to Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand data.
The decline was the first since March last year and trims the production gain for the season that started in August to 4.9 percent. . .
Bill and Sharon Gow reckon they are living the dream. The American ranchers, who were holidaying in New Zealand recently, run a cow-calf ranch in Roseburg, Oregon.
The operation was recently taken over by their son, Colton, although they still remain involved. The couple are first-generation ranchers.
Neither comes from a farming background, although it was Mr Gow’s lifelong dream from when he was a child. . .
Changing economic and social pressures in the rural sector mean farmers need to change the way they act and react to challenges if they want to survive and thrive. Strengthening rural leadership has been identified as a key opportunity to help famers to respond and adapt to their changing environment both on-farm and with in their wider sector. From the findings of my research, self-awareness and self-reflection are two recognised traits that show strongly in farmers who are performing well in leadership positions. The link between self-awareness and leadership is strong (Musselwhite, 2007), but the understanding of this link by farmers is limited.
By understanding their past, their experiences and actions, and connecting that with their personality type and leadership style, farmers will be more empowered and prepared to step into the leadership roles that are required to ensure the agriculture sector remains vibrant and adaptable in the future. When a farmer makes time to learn about and reflect on their past experiences, it creates a lightbulb moment. . .
Food Crime Unit pledges tougher action on food fraud – Felicity Hannah:
Businesses that commit food fraud in order to lower costs or boost supplies could soon face criminal prosecutions.
The National Food Crime Unit’s new chief, Darren Davies, wants to see firms that fraudulently use cheaper substitutes criminally prosecuted.
Food fraud rarely makes the news. The last major one was the 2013 horsemeat scandal. Goods prone to substitution also include olive oil and coffee. . .
Canterbury shepherd a history-maker as Young Farmer of the Year finalist – Emma Dangerfield:
A North Canterbury shepherd has made history by qualifying for the prestigious FMG Young Farmer of the Year grand final.
Georgie Lindsay, 23, won the fiercely-contested Tasman regional final in Culverden on Saturday, beating seven other contestants. It is the first time a woman has made it to the grand final from the Tasman region.
She is also one of only five women in New Zealand to ever qualify for the grand final in the competition’s 51-year history. . .
Showchanges over to years ‘unbelievable’ – Sally Rae:
Few know their way around the main ring at the Wanaka A&P Show like Tussock Lucas. Mr Lucas (74), who will be in his usual position leading the grand parade today, has attended the show for 57 years.
He competed for many years in jumping events and also exhibited sheep and wool at the show while farming at Timburn Station, near Tarras.
Now semi-retired and living in Wanaka, he is chief steward for round-the-ring jumping at the show and also helps out with the FEI showjumping classes.
Agritech has been buzzing since a large Australian event was held last month. In Melbourne, AgriFutures Australia hosted EvokeAG, an event designed to bring together the agritech community. Over 1,100 attendees, including a strong contingent from New Zealand, were treated to a great overview of where the industry is at, what are the big innovations, key challenges, opportunities and who the principal players are in the agritech space.
The programme covered panel discussions on everything, from field robotics and agriculture 4.0, to alternative protein farming and tech investments. From a New Zealand perspective, one key takeaway came from AgritechNZ executive director, Peter Wren-Hilton.
“The exciting thing for New Zealand is our alignment with addressing many of the big global challenges for feeding the world while not destroying the planet.” . .
Allbirds is taking its viral fabric tennis shoes to China – Selina Wang:
Allbirds Inc., the wool shoe startup that’s become a staple of Silicon Valley fashion, is opening its first stores in China, aiming to replicate its viral success in the world’s second-largest economy.
San Francisco-based Allbirds plans to announce this week that it will open a brick-and-mortar store in Shanghai in the coming months. By the end of the year, it plans to have stores in Beijing and Chengdu. It will also be rolling out its goods on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Tmall online shopping website as well as building its presence on Chinese social media services including WeChat and Weibo. . .
Winter brings a year’s worth of water for 9 million Californians – Peter Chawaga:
California may have a reputation for persistent drought and water scarcity, but already this year the state’s freshwater reserves are worth celebrating.
Storms in the beginning of January brought an influx of snow to the Sierra Nevada and heavy rains elsewhere in the state, boosting its water reservoirs exponentially.
Over the first three weeks of January, “47 key reservoirs that state water officials closely monitor added 580 billion gallons of water — as much as roughly 9 million people use in a year,” . .
Proposed water tax a ‘burden’ on low-water regions – Stuart Smith:
The proposed new water tax that was announced as part of a swathe of other new taxes potentially facing Kiwis will disproportionally impact on low-rainfall regions like Marlborough.
There are eight new taxes in Michael Cullen’s proposal: the Capital Gains Tax (CGT), tax on vacant residential land, agriculture tax, water tax, fertiliser tax, environmental footprint tax, natural capital tax and a waste tax.
Much has been said about the CGT but the suggested water tax, too, would impact all Kiwis negatively and in particular our farmers, horticulturalists and wine growers in low-rainfall areas. . .
With many farms run by married couples, the role of women in farming is a critical one, a female dairy farmer says.
Jessie Chan-Dorman, a former dairy woman of the year, said male farmers could see everyday how women contribute to the business, and they respect that.
“I would say the percentage of women in farming is at least 50 per cent. Nearly every farming business has a partnership that has historically not been seen. But they’ve always been there.” . .
Studies smoke out fire behaviour – Richard Rennie:
The risk of summer fires is a constant farmers and foresters learn to live with. But the Port Hills fire in 2017 and the Nelson fire last month have brought a human threat to wildfires many Kiwis thought was confined to Australia and North America. With wildfires now affecting rural and urban people Richard Rennie spoke to Scion rural fire researcher Dr Tara Strand about how we are getting smarter at understanding rural fires.
A TEAM of Scion researchers is part of a 27-year history of research into New Zealand’s rural fires, a quiet brigade of climate experts and fire analysts whose job is to help make rural firefighters’ jobs more effective and safer. . .
Grape yield under threat – Joanna Grigg:
Marlborough is experiencing a hydrological drought.
Lack of rain in the mountain catchment has left the Wairau River low, Marlborough District Council hydrologist Val Wadsdworth said.
And summer storage capacity on the plains has been found wanting as a result. January rain of 18mm was soon sucked up by 30C plus temperatures in February. . .
A Waharoa dairy farmer is facing fierce competition in her quest to be named the FMG Young Farmer of the Year.
Sophia Clark will take on seven other contestants in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty regional final in Matamata next month.
It will be the 30-year-old’s fourth attempt at clinching a coveted spot in the national final. . .
(BusinessDesk) – Fonterra director and veteran capital markets executive Scott St John has left the board of the shareholder fund’s manager, the same day the units plunged to a new low.
A notice to the Companies Office last night noted St John ceased being a director of FSF Management Co, the manager of the dual-listed Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund, which gives investors exposure to the cooperative’s earnings stream. He is still a director of Fonterra. . .
January in Marlborough has matched the record for the region’s hottest month since records began in 1932.
The month also smashed the record for days above 30C, with 10 sweltering days compared to the previous record of six in 1990.
But hotter days and cooler nights saw the month tie with January 2018 and February 1998 for the title of ‘hottest ever month’ in Marlborough with the mean temperature of 20.7 degrees Celsius, Plant and Food Research scientist Rob Agnew said. . .
Up to 75 jobs from new North Waikato chicken hatchery – Gerald Piddock:
The opening of a multimillion dollar chicken hatchery in Waikato’s north has bought with it between 50 and 75 jobs and economic benefits to the entire region, say locals and iwi leaders.
Owned by American poultry giant Cobb Vantress, the $70 million hatchery in Rangiriri West, north of Huntly, currently employs 50 staff. That will expand to between 70-75 people once it is fully operational later this year.
For locals Stephen Pearce and Phillip Lorimer, employment at the hatchery was too good of an opportunity for locals to pass up. . .
Using Landcorp farms in a restructured vocational education training system for the primary industry is one option being considered by the Government.
Farming leaders have called on the Government to buy Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre’s Masterton campus from the liquidators to secure future vocational farm training, saying once gone it will be difficult and costly to replace.
“It is crucial that facility in Masterton remains available to agricultural training,” Federated Farmers chief executive Terry Copeland says. . .
Game-changing new research into how plantain crops can reduce nitrogen loss from dairy farms will put upper Manawatu farmers at the forefront of dairy science.
Dairy farmers in the Tararua catchment face reducing nitrogen loss from pastures by an average of 60% to meet the Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Council’s One Plan targets.
To achieve them farmers are adopting a range of on-farm changes and the region’s new plantain research could be a key component. . .
Farmers are out of patience with councils that treat them as cash cows, with a new Federated Farmers survey showing less than 4% believe they get good value for money from their rates.
“It’s local government election year and those chasing our votes can expect some very pointy questions on why average council rates in New Zealand jumped 79.7% between June 2007 and June 2017 when inflation (CPI) for the same period was only 23.1%,” Federated Farmers President Katie Milne says. . .
More than a hundred rowdy sheep pressed up against the gates of the corral as Irene Bennalley drew near. Dogs yipped, rams snorted.
Just after 7:30 a.m., she flung open the pen and the woolly mob charged out in a cloud of dust. Well-trained dogs struggled to keep order as the flock moved across the bone-dry earth searching for stray bits of grass or leaves.
“Back! Back!” the 62-year-old Bennalley shouted at the stragglers separating from the flock — ripe pickings for coyotes or packs of wild dogs. . .
These photos were taken by the Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick from a light plane over southern Queensland near Goondiwindi, on Wednesday.
They show rivers such as the Condamine relatively full, and storages on cotton farms holding thousands of megalitres of water.
Yet three hours away in north-west New South Wales, the Barwon and Darling rivers are a series of muddy pools. . .
Genetic expert loves being back on the farm – Sally Rae:
Farming is in Jo Scott’s genes. She is the fifth-generation member of the Scott family to be involved in farming and is combining that with her day job, specialising in animal genetics.
Ms Scott (27) is technical services manager for the New Zealand arm of global animal health company Zoetis.
Although she works out of the Dunedin office, she lives in North Otago, where both sides of her family have farmed for many years.
After leaving Waitaki Girls’ High School, Ms Scott headed to Massey University to earn a science degree, with a double major in agriculture and animal science. . .
NZ Yarn Ltd, a world-leading producer of New Zealand wool yarns for the global soft flooring market, is pleased to announce a major new strategic shareholder and business partner: Hemp New Zealand Ltd.
Under the agreement, Hemp New Zealand has acquired a 15% interest in NZ Yarn, with the objective of installing a hemp fibre processing facility within the NZ Yarn factory in Burnside, Christchurch.
The new partnership will be a catalyst for market-leading innovations in hemp fibre processing, as well as the development of new consumer products made from hemp yarn, wool & hemp yarn blends and non-woven wool and hemp products. . .
Labour shortage likely for BOP kiwifruit industry in 2019 – Kiwifruit Industry launches attraction campaign for pickers and packers
New Labour Coordinator role for BOP kiwifruit industry formed with support from the Provincial Growth Fund, the Ministry of Social Development and New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers
In 2018 the Bay of Plenty kiwifruit industry experienced a severe labour shortage at harvest with 1,200 vacancies unable to be filled. The kiwifruit industry considers that another labour shortage for the Bay of Plenty is likely in 2019. To mitigate the potential shortage, New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Inc. (NZKGI) is employing a labour coordinator and have launched an attraction campaign to increase seasonal labour numbers. . .
Synlait is delighted to have signed up its first Waikato dairy farmers who will supply Synlait Pokeno for the 2019/2020 season.
“Our milk procurement team has received a very warm welcome and a positive response from Waikato dairy farmers and rural professionals. We’re thrilled to have signed up our first group of milk suppliers,” says Leon Clement, CEO.
“Synlait’s Lead With Pride™ programme has been well received by farmers who want to be rewarded for the work they do in terms of environment, animal health and welfare, milk quality and social responsibility” he says. . .
Spreadmark, New Zealand’s only fertiliser spreading certification scheme, has gained international recognition from the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand, JAS-ANZ.
JAS-ANZ recognition means that farmers and growers who use Spreadmark trained and registered fertiliser spreaders can now be absolutely assured that all aspects of the programme are robust and reliable. It provides extra reassurance to regional councils and other organisations who require contractors to be Spreadmark certified. It also adds value to the quality assurance programmes (which specify that fertiliser must be spread by a Spreadmark certified spreader), offered to farmers and growers by food processing companies, in return for higher prices for their products. . .
The New Zealand Specialist Cheesemakers Association (NZSCA) is calling for entries for the revitalised NZ Champions of Cheese Awards which will be judged in February 2019.
The Specialist Cheesemakers Association has been running the awards since 2003 and will judge the 16th annual NZ Champions of Cheese Awards at the AUT School of Hospitality and Tourism on Sunday 24 February 2019. Cheesemakers vying for one of the 23 cheese trophies must complete their online entries by Friday 8 February 2019. . .
Air New Zealand is helping Kiwi exporters to serve up Christmas dinner to people around the world this holiday season.
The airline will work with meat processors and exporters from around the country to move more than 700 tonnes of lamb to the United Kingdom in the lead up to Christmas. More than 1000 tonnes of Central Otago cherries will also be sent to Asia and the United States over the summer season – that’s more than 65 million individual cherries! . .
The sweet taste of honey has made it a treat for over 8000 years – but now there’s more.
Growing awareness of its health benefits and the appeal of its natural origins has meant South Island honey producers are riding a wave of unprecedented overseas demand.
Taylor Pass Honey, one of the south’s largest producers, has doubled production over the past two years and the remote wilderness areas they source their honey from has been a compelling selling point for overseas markets, marketing manager Jo Bray says. . .