One hundred hours work a week to keep farm wheels turning through lockdown – Yashas Srinivasa:
Timaru farmer George Steven is working nearly 100 hours a week to keep his dairy and deer operations running through lockdown.
In the busiest time of the year for the farming community, Steven has experienced a 30 per cent drop in labour since New Zealand closed its borders – a “lot less” than what he would usually get at this time of the year.
Steven and his partner plus a full-time worker and a part-time worker are taking care of two farms in Otipua and Fairview, with the occasional help from businesses and family.
To a certain extent, automation systems have helped him deal with the labour shortage but Steven still puts in long hours on the deer and dairy farms he has owned since 1990 and 2014 respectively. . .
Survivor hails safety feature – Shawn McAvinue:
As WorkSafe is warning farmers about fatalities on-farm spiking in spring, cattle farmer Russell Clearwater talks to Shawn McAvinue about how crush protection on his quad bike saved his life.
Crush protection on quad bikes saves lives and is worth the investment, a Western Southland cattle farmers says.
Tower Peak Station owner Russell Clearwater was riding a quad bike moving cattle on his 1300ha farm near Manapouri in spring two years ago.
When a cow on heat started to become agitated, he reversed the quad to give the animal some room and to get in a safer position. . .
Lessons for us all in farmers’ adaptability – Laura Smith:
The whole country has had more than 10 days in lockdown but the experience is akin to what many farmers go through at this time of year. Otago Daily Times reporter Laura Smith chatted to Southland farmer David Rose about his thoughts on farming during Alert Level 4.
Conversing in a mask and sitting an acceptable 2m away does not put much of a dent in David Rose’s positivity.
The former president of Southland Federated Farmers and life member of the organisation reckons he has a glass-half-full kind of outlook on life.
He might have been wearing a mask, but it was not hard to tell when he was smiling. . .
‘Working from the grassroots up rather than the top down is how I’ll be tackling my new responsibility as National’s spokesperson for Agriculture,” says Barbara Kuriger.
Mrs Kuriger’s change in portfolio sees her Rural Communities role go to Southland MP Joseph Mooney, under a minor reshuffle released by Party Leader Judith Collins on Saturday. She retains Energy and Natural Resources, as well as Food Safety.
The Taranaki-King Country MP, who has been speaking with rural leaders and advocacy groups since the decision was announced, says she and her team are “fizzing and ready to go”.
And she’s not mincing her words. . .
Allied Farmers’ full year net profit has more than doubled boosted by the improved performance of its livestock business and a recovery from the pandemic.
The result also included the first half year contribution from Allied’s recent investment in rural property manager New Zealand Rural Land Management.
“We continued to invest in our digital technologies, recognising that while sale yards play a critical role in the rural value chain, there is ongoing need for innovation to support the changing needs of farmers, and ongoing operational requirements and compliance costs,” the company said. . .
The current supply chain disruption and labour crisis is set to worsen as the peak trading period in the run-up to Christmas nears, Scottish food and farming organisations have warned.
In a new letter sent to the UK and Scottish governments, industry groups have called for more action on tackling the labour crisis ahead of the crucial Christmas season.
The letter was organised by Food & Drink Federation (FDF) Scotland and co-signed by NFU Scotland, Scotland Food and Drink, Scottish Bakers, Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers, Scottish Seafood Alliance and Scottish Wholesale Association.
The letter, which was sent to the UK and Scottish governments on 26 August, said: “Both Brexit and the pandemic have accelerated existing pressures on labour availability. . .