Rural round-up

24/10/2013

Many avoiding discussions on meat industry – Sally Rae:

Wider meat industry discussions over its structure are involving too small a group and there are ”a whole lot of people” not bothering to attend, Alliance Group chief executive Grant Cuff says.

Addressing a shareholders-suppliers meeting in Oamaru this week, Mr Cuff said it seemed an ”awfully big chunk of the industry just doesn’t want to discuss it any further”.

”Those of us that are willing and trying to talk still do, but you can’t do it in isolation,” he said. . .

Critical deadline for Central Plains Water scheme:

For the Central Plains Water Ltd irrigation project to proceed, it needs a minimum shareholder commitment to irrigate 18,000 ha of Stage I of the 60,000ha scheme by October 31.

After 13 years of development, CPWL aims to raise $45 million from shareholders of which $35 million will be used to construct Stage I of the scheme and the remaining to fund the design for Stage II and Stage III and also to contribute to the building of extra capacity in the Stage I headrace to allow for the future stages.

“The deadline is 5pm on October 31 to commit to Stage I Construction Shares and Stage II & III Pre-Construction shares. We need this commitment not only for the viability of the project but also to get on with the tendering process for the scheme construction,” said CEO, Derek Crombie. . .

Even in bad dairy news there is good – Willy Leferink:

Part of my volunteer work at Federated Farmers is handling some tricky stuff from time to time and there’s none trickier when one of our guys let the side down.  I mean of course when a dairy farmer takes the wrong fork in the road and rightly gets nabbed for it.  I’ve heard heaps of stories that farming is like some secret society in that, nudge nudge, wink wink, we look after one another and look the other way.   That view is wrong.

We have a good story to tell given water quality is trending in the right direction according to the Ministry for the Environment.  There are plans to light the after burners on what we do environmentally given positive payout forecasts.  I’ve also read that a group of scientists writing in Nature say pastoral agriculture helps to form clouds.  Given clouds reflect the sun’s energy and trap moisture they help to keep the earth a temperate place to be.  Could our cows, sheep, goats and crops be climate heroes; that’s effectively what one environmental professor at Auckland University wrote in the NZ Herald.

But you cannot shout from the rooftops about what we do well without owning what we don’t do so well.  . .

Radio NZ journalist takes Rongo Award:

Radio New Zealand’s Country Life programme came up trumps at this year’s Agricultural Journalism Awards.

Susan Murray won the TBFree New Zealand Rongo Award for two programmes that featured in Country Life.

That’s the top award for agricultural journalists in the country. . .

Primary Growth Partnership delivering major results:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy is welcoming more success stories from the Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) scheme, with five major projects announcing breakthroughs this month.

“The programme ‘Transforming the Dairy Value Chain’ is helping to develop a patented technology for developing frozen mozzarella cheese in one day rather than the previous two months. Last week Fonterra announced a new $72 million investment into its Clandeboye plant near Timaru to expand production of this cheese.

“It has also helped DairyNZ and Rezare Systems, with support from Beef and Lamb NZ, to develop the ‘Pasture Growth Forecaster’. This is an online tool to predict pasture growth up to 15 days and two months ahead, which will be a great tool for many farmers. . . .

Forrest Wines recognised in Asia for outstanding quality:

The John Forrest Collection Waitaki Valley Pinot Noir 2010 has added another accolade to its name receiving a gold medal at the Decanter Asia Wine Awards.

Co-chaired by Jeannie Cho Lee MW, the first Asian Master of Wine and a Contributing Editor to Decanter, and Steven Spurrier, Chairman of the Decanter World Wine Awards and Decanter’s Consultant Editor, the Decanter Asia Wine Awards aims to recognise quality wines and provide consumers across Asia with a trusted source of recommendations.

The John Forrest Collection range celebrates the best of New Zealand wine from family owned land in key wine producing regions, made from carefully selected grapes and only in the best years. The Waitaki Valley in North Otago is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with for premium Pinot Noir production, offering a unique style. . . .

Amisfield Wine Company Pinot Noir Wins Top Asia Trophy:

Queenstown’s Amisfield Wine Company has beaten stiff competition to take out a top trophy in the largest wine competition in Asia.

The company’s 2010 Pinot Noir has been awarded the New Zealand Regional Pinot Noir Trophy, Best in Show and a prestigious Gold Medal in the Decanter Asia Wine Awards (DAWA) announced today (October 23).

Judging took place in Hong Kong late last month, with over 40 top wine experts from across Asia joining the judging panel.

DAWA is the continent’s largest wine competition in its second year running with over 2,300 entrants from all over the world. . .

Cattermoles Butchery in Kaiapoi has won the Supreme Gold Award in the 100% NZ Ham Competition:

Just in time for Christmas New Zealand’s finest ham has been revealed following the 100% New Zealand Ham Competition. Cattermoles Butchery in Kaiapoi, Canterbury has taken out the supreme award for their sugar cured, leg ham on the bone.

The competition celebrates the finest bone-in and boneless hams crafted by New Zealand butchers using only 100% New Zealand pork. The four judges of the ‘Grand Final’ round were unanimous that Cattermoles delivered the most “ham-tastic” experience of aroma, texture, taste and all-important colour.

With nearly twenty years as Cattermoles Butchery owner, Chris Beach is absolutely delighted to step up to the supreme award, after coming away with Silver in 2012. . . .


Rural round-up

24/07/2013

Farming shift surprises – Peter Watson:

A rapid move from sheep and beef farming into dairying in the Tasman District is revealed in the latest agricultural production figures released by Statistics New Zealand.

They show that sheep, beef and deer numbers each fell by more than 20 per cent in the five years to 2012, while dairy cows increased by almost 13 per cent.

Longtime Duke & Cooke rural valuer Dick Bennison said he was surprised by the size of the switch, but not by the trend, which was driven by poor sheep and beef returns compared with healthy milkfat payouts. . .

Water accord could backfire – Gerald Piddock:

A Waikato organic farmer fears parts of the new environmental code for dairy farming could be misinterpreted by farmers.

This could result in the Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord having the opposite effect of its intent, Waikato Organic Agricultural Group facilitator Bill Quinn said.

The accord was released earlier this month and sets out new environmental benchmarks for dairy farmers.
Quinn believed the critical part of the document was the glossary at the back. . . .

Public unaware of farming hardship says survey – Jonathan Riley:

The general public is overwhelmingly supportive of farmers, but is unaware of the “silent crisis” facing agriculture, a survey has revealed.

The survey was carried out by pollster YouGov for Prince Charles’ charity, the Prince’s Countryside Fund.

It showed less than one-quarter (22%) of the British public would describe the farming industry as in dire straits and facing the worst crisis since foot-and-mouth disease. Only 5% correctly estimated that more than 100,000 animals died as a result of the snow and other poor weather this year between January and April. . .

An age-old endeavour – Jill Galloway:

Sue Fielder loves her coloured sheep. She loves the fleeces, spinning, knitting and felting the wool.

She has about 25 ewes, and 14 younger sheep – hoggets. Most are grey, brown or black. There are a few white sheep, but they carry coloured genes. They are romneys and english leicesters.

She and her husband have about 5 hectares at Taonui near Feilding. They have a few dexter cattle, and although Fielder loves them, they will go to make more room for more sheep. . .

Call to protect genuine manuka honey:

A Maori consultancy firm is thinking of ways to protect manuka honey products after research has found properties of the honey can be chemically faked.

Genuine New Zealand manuka honey contains naturally occurring bioactive compounds and can fetch up to $250 a kilogram overseas.

Research by a consortium of universities and Crown Research Institutes, which has yet to be published, discovered those properties can be synthesised by adding chemicals to normal honey, such as regular clover or low grade manuka honey. . .

Ballance drops prices to make farm fertiliser budgets stretch:

With just six weeks until spring Ballance Agri-Nutrients has reduced the price on the majority of fertiliser nutrients.

This current round of price reductions follows the lead Ballance made to drop domestic prices in June, with Ballance Chief Executive Larry Bilodeau saying lower prices will help farmers plan ahead with confidence.  . .

Amisfield Wine Company Breaks into High-End Asian Market:

Amisfield Wine Company is expanding its Asian market presence after securing an exclusive distribution deal with high-end Chinese wine distributor Kerry Wines.

The Central Otago-based specialist wine producer of Pinot Noir and aromatic white wines has this month started selling its range of wines to the Greater China region, including Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

“This is an important step in our strategic goal of becoming a globally recognised brand and making our wines available to the broader international market,” said Amisfield Wine Company’s CEO Craig Erasmus. . .


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