Concern about rate of forestry conversions – Sally Rae:
Beef + Lamb New Zealand says the rate of whole-farm sales and conversions to carbon farming in the country is “out of control”.
The Government’s announcement last week that exotic trees would no longer be removed from the permanent category of the emissions trading scheme (ETS) was a step back from addressing the “deeply concerning” sale of sheep and beef farms, chief executive Sam McIvor said .
Overseas Investment Office decisions for June show consent has been given under the special forestry one-off purchase for the acquisition of nearly 2300ha of land, running sheep and beef, for conversion to forestry.
Approval was also granted for the sale of a dairy farm for forestry conversion and an existing forestry block. . .
Growers in New Zealand Inc’s sweetheart kiwifruit industry are in for some unusually downbeat news next week as rising costs and fruit quality issues combine to drive down forecast returns.
Zespri chief executive Dan Mathieson has sounded the warning in an update to the global marketer’s 2800 New Zealand growers, saying the next orchard gate returns forecast on August 23 will reflect that fruit quality this season remains a significant issue as previously flagged.
Zespri, which has a statutory near-monopoly on kiwifruit exporting with record net global sales nudging $3.6 billion last year, is a little over halfway through its sales season.
Ongoing rain and cold weather in New Zealand and unseasonably high summer temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere had led to a crowded fruit market, Mathieson said.
“Fruit quality remains an ongoing and significant issue this season….We are not alone in facing this challenge, with quality issues evident across other global fruit categories this season, and our competitors and colleagues have also battled labour shortages, supply chain congestion and inflationary pressures, all of which impact grower returns. . .
While chief executive of Align Farms Rhys Roberts has reservations about the Government’s new regenerative agriculture project, he welcomes another voice on the subject.
Ngāi Tahu and the Government are undertaking a seven-year research programme to validate the science of regenerative farming.
The trial will compare a conventional and regenerative farm side-by-side to assess the environmental impacts of their practices.
Roberts, who is also the 2022 Zanda McDonald Award winner, has been running a similar trial at Align Farms for years. . .
New Zealand’s avocado industry needs to brace itself for a period of lower prices and volatility ahead as its key Australian market is swamped with the fashionable fruit, and returns from its emerging Asian market lag behind.
Increased Australian production resulted in an “avalanche” of avocados last year which saw retail prices for the green creamy fruit fall to a record low A$1 and prices this year are 47% below the five-year average, according to Rabobank associate analyst Pia Piggott.
“It’s simple supply and demand – as the supply goes up, the price goes down,” she says.
Strong demand for the heavily promoted “superfood” which features in dishes such as smashed avocado, has prompted Australian farmers to plant more than 1000 hectares a year and after six years those trees are now coming to maturity, which is expected to see Australia’s production expand by more than 40% over the next four years. . .
Course tailored for workers – John Lewis :
The rhythms of the seasons have been taken into account in a new Otago Polytechnic education pathway aimed at refining wine-growing and fruit production skills in Central Otago.
It means those already working in the horticulture and viticulture fields can concentrate their energy where it is needed during peak production times of the year while studying for a New Zealand diploma in horticulture production (level 5).
Delivered online and run at night, it enables students to continue to develop their skills in two focus areas: orchard fruit production (stone fruit, pip fruit and berries); and vineyard wine growing.
When they graduate, students will be able to manage horticultural or viticultural operations to ensure fruit or wine grape quality requirements are met. . .
Camperdown Dairy, a historic Victorian brand, will stop producing fresh milk as rising costs push its owner to turn to better margins on milk powder products.
The ASX-listed Australian Dairy Nutritionals, based in the southwestern Victorian town of Camperdown, on Tuesday said it would cancel its fresh dairy produce due to rapidly rising costs that had eroded margins. Woolworths supermarkets stock Camperdown milk in their stores.
Australian Dairy Nutritionals said the move would mitigate staffing shortages and allow it to focus production on higher-margin products such as infant formula and nutritional supplements, but three staff might lose their jobs.
It said margins on fresh milk products had made it uncompetitive to continue, with nearly all suppliers increasing prices by more than 10 per cent and logistics costs nearly doubling. . . .