Rural round-up

March 8, 2018

Meat companies must be clear about their purpose – Allan Barber:

When I heard KPMG’s global agribusiness head, Ian Proudfoot, on the radio stating the move away from meat to alternative proteins was happening permanently and quickly and meat companies needed to wake up, I wondered whether I had strayed into the Pop Up Globe to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Surely if meat companies need to wake up to alternative protein, this implies their whole business model is broken and farmers should be sitting in front of their horoscopes looking for a magical answer to the inevitable question “what the hell do I do now?”

Proudfoot’s justification for his opinion is US meat processor Tyson Foods’ announcement it has become protein agnostic and intends investing heavily in alternatives to meat. . . 

Awatere Valley farmers make a dent in “scourge of the high country” – Pat Deavoll:

For over half a century hieracium has been the curse of the high country, engulfing native tussock land and destroying the grazing potential of areas such as the Mackenzie Basin, Central Otago and the Canterbury high country.

Most high country runholders would say the weed continues its spread with little sign of abating, but a small enclave in the Awatere Valley, Marlborough thinks otherwise.

“Yes I think it’s on the decline here,” says Jim Ward, manager of Molesworth Station. . . 

Fonterra launches cutting-Edgar technology taking health and safety into 22nd century:

Fonterra and Beca have partnered to develop a breakthrough virtual reality health and safety training technology. The cutting-edge solution lets employees navigate the Co-operative’s manufacturing and distribution sites without the need to set foot on site and will help substantially reduce onboarding times.

The new technology will place Fonterra at the forefront of global health and safety innovation and is part of a business wide commitment to become a world leader in risk mitigation. . . 

M. bovis’ hurts all down the chain – Sally Brooker:

Mycoplasma bovis is affecting people all along the cattle supply chain.
Oamaru-based Whitestone Livestock Ltd principal John Cheesman said the bacterial disease was ”a real bloody issue”.

M. bovis was identified for the first time in New Zealand in late July on farms near Glenavy owned by the Van Leeuwen Dairy Group.

”It’s not really affecting the Waiareka saleyards as much as farmers’ and everybody else’s confidence to buy animals from this district and any other district,” Mr Cheesman said.

Environmental issues No. 1 focus:

Reducing on-farm environmental footprints is the top priority at Lincoln University.

Speaking at the Lincoln University Dairy Farm’s summer focus day, which was held at the Ashley Dene Research and Development Station on February 22, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences dean Prof Grant Edwards said managing environmental concerns was the No1 focus.

”How can we progress our farms to maximise production within environmental limits?” . . . 

New study finds more omega 3s in milk from grass-fed cows – Hope Kirwan:

A new study shows milk from grass-fed cows has more of a nutrient linked to heart health than conventional and organic milks.

Organic Valley collected 1,163 samples over three years of their Grassmilk, a product line of milk from 100 percent grass-fed cows, and had their fatty acid content analyzed. The study compared the omega-3 fatty acid levels in the milk from grass-fed cows to conventional and organic milk. Researchers found that milk from grass-fed cows had 147 percent more omega-3s than conventional milk and 52 percent more than organic milk.

Omega-3 fatty acid has been shown to prevent heart disease and help control chronic conditions like arthritis. . .


Rural round-up

November 18, 2016

Feds Grateful For earthquake response:

The response to the Federated Farmers earthquake assistance line has been fantastic.

Federated Farmers is fielding plenty of offers of help for North Canterbury farmers affected by the earthquakes but the big challenge is reaching those who may be most in need.

The number 0800 FARMING (0800 327 646) was set up for farmers to tell us what they need, and for us to match them up with people making offers of assistance, Federated Farmers Adverse Events spokesperson Katie Milne says.

“In these situations, a lot of people want to offer support but it’s not always clear who needs it, especially in an area like this where power and communications outages make contact so difficult.” . . 

Waiau farmers struggle without water or power – Michael Morrah:

The farmers on the outskirts of the town Waiau are desperate.

An underground water pipe that 100 farms rely on to feed stock is broken. Without it, a critical rural water link is inoperable.

The farmers also face another challenge – four days since the quake, they remain without power.

Contractors are wrestling with broken lines and buckled poles. . . 

Cut-off farmers calling out for help – Alexa Cook:

North Canterbury farmers cut off by Monday’s earthquake are calling out for help and are frustrated that helicopters have been flying over them to Kaikoura and not stopping to check on them, Federated Farmers says.

Federated Farmers spokesperson Katie Milne said they had managed to reach isolated farms by helicopter yesterday, and were greeted by some very relieved farmers.

They were very pleased to see someone, they’d been able to hear the choppers going backwards and forwards and seen the odd news one go through, she said.

“One actually disturbed a bit of stock and upset people. . . 

Quake-hit Kaikoura farmers forced to dump milk – Conan Young:

Dairy farmers in the Kaikoura district are managing to get all their cows milked despite a power cut, no water and damage to milking sheds.

But some have no option but to dump milk until road access is reopened.

Two sheds in the district are no longer usable. The farmers concerned have been able to send their cows to functioning shed and avoid having to dry their cows off just as the milking season gets under way. . . 

Feds Set Up Fund To Help Earthquake Zone Farms;

Federated Farmers has reopened its Adverse Events Trust Fund to raise funds to support farms affected by the North Canterbury earthquake.

The trust fund will take donations which will be spent on immediate emergency support for farms, including emergency supplies, farm equipment, essential tools and materials.

“It’s a times like this that people are so keen to help, and that’s fantastic, but we have to be aware, the reality is dollars are going to be required to get these farms back up and running,” Federated Farmers adverse events spokesperson Katie Milne says. . . 

Beef farmers describe quake experience:

A woman living on the farm at the centre of Monday’s earthquake was knocked off her feet as she went to see her children during the shaking.

The 7.8 magnitude quake was 15km deep and was centred north-east of the North Canterbury town of Culverden, with the epicentre located on Ben and Renee Dampier-Crossley’s sheep and beef farm.

Mr Dampier-Crossley said the epicentre was in their back paddock.

“On the way to the kids, Renee was knocked off her feet by the force of it, and she ended up crawling down the hallway.” . . 

‘Everybody’s there for everybody else’

Awatere Valley parish nurse Rachael Westenra and her husband Warren were on their farm, near Seddon, when Monday’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck. Not long after, they were on the road checking on elderly people in the community.

When RNZ spoke to her this morning she was about to head out again. She told Marcus Stickley what the past few days have meant for her and the community she’s been part of for 30 years.

That evening we had come home from Christchurch and we were tucked up in bed, as you are at midnight. We just dived out of bed and dived for cover when the earthquake started. It just went on and on and on.

There was no power. You could hear everything crashing around you. And we literally – and I know now it’s not the right thing to do – stood in the doorway together and just held onto the doorway because otherwise we would have been knocked off our feet. It was just a matter of standing there until things calmed a wee bit. . . 

Young farmers to the rescue in quake-hit communities – Alexa Cook:

A New Zealand farming group that has nearly 100,000 members on Facebook has leapt into action after Monday’s earthquake.

NZ Farming was started by 22-year-old Tyler Fifield and is now one of the country’s largest farming communities.

Mr Fifield, who now works as a builder in Blenheim, said he and his friends loaded up building supplies first thing Monday morning and headed out to help repair homes and buildings.

They soon realised that it was much worse than they thought and immediately put out the call to members for help. . . 

China’s infant formula market continues to evolve – Keith Woodford:

Chinese infant formula imports are now worth more than twice the value of whole milk powder (WMP) imports. According to Italian information analysis company CLAL, infant formula imports to China for the first nine months of this year had a landed value of US $2.1 billion, whereas WMP imports were valued at only $US 0.87 billion.  This was despite the WMP volumes being more than double those of infant formula.  On a per kilo basis, the infant formula had a landed value of US $12.63 whereas the WMP was valued at US $2.52.

New Zealand is the dominant supplier of China’s imported WMP, with more than 90% market share. However, New Zealand is only a small player in the infant formula market, with 11% of Chinese imports. . . 

Rabobank New Zealand announces new chairman:

Rabobank has announced the appointment of Sir Henry van der Heyden as chairman of Rabobank New Zealand Limited, succeeding John Palmer who has retired from the board.

The bank has also announced Scales Group managing director Andy Borland has joined the New Zealand board, filling the position left vacant by Mr Palmer’s departure.

The world’s leading specialist food and agribusiness bank, Rabobank is one of New Zealand’s largest rural lenders and a major provider of corporate and business banking services to the country’s food and agribusiness sector. The bank also operates online retail savings and investments business RaboDirect. . . 

Entries rolling in for New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards:

The window of opportunity for dairy trainees, dairy managers and share managers to give their farming career a boost, closes on November 30.

Entries for the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards have been steadily rolling in since entries opened in October, with 276 entries across the three competitions received so far.

General Manager Chris Keeping says if some-one is still considering entering, they should do so soon.  “The sooner a person enters, the longer they have to prepare their farming business for judging,” she explains. . . 

  Peter Yealands Recognised with Lifetime Achievement Award:

The Drinks Business Lifetime Achievement Award looks for an individual who has “excelled throughout their career in furthering environmental, sustainable or ethical practices in the drinks industry to the benefit and education of others. This individual will have dedicated a significant part of their working life to environmental and/or ethical causes. Whether in areas of production, marketing or management this individual will have a dedication to all matters green or ethical and will have sought to introduce a culture of best practice in these areas where ever they have been able to have some influence.”Yealands Wine Group Founder and Principal, Peter Yealands, has been recognised with a Lifetime Achievement Award at The Drinks Business Green Awards 2016 for his continued innovation and commitment to sustainable practices. His company, Yealands Wine Group (Yealands), on the same night received a Renewable Energy Implementation runner-up award for the installation of the largest solar array in New Zealand on their winery roof. . . 

 

Steady As She Goes

Summary

Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of NZ (“REINZ”) shows there were five fewer farm sales (-1.4%) for the three months ended October 2016 than for the three months ended October 2015. Overall, there were 353 farm sales in the three months ended October 2016, compared to 388 farm sales for the three months ended September 2016 (-9.0%), and 358 farm sales for the three months ended October 2015. 1,760 farms were sold in the year to October 2016, 1.7% more than were sold in the year to October 2015, with 26% fewer dairy farms and 6% fewer grazing farms sold over the same period.

The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to October 2016 was $25,974 compared to $27,579 recorded for three months ended October 2015 (-5.8%). The median price per hectare fell 3.2% compared to September. . . 

Has The Market Peaked?:

Summary

Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of NZ (“REINZ”) shows there were 52 more lifestyle property sales (+2.5%) for the three months ended October 2016 than for the three months ended October 2015. Overall, there were 2,175 lifestyle property sales in the three months ended October 2016, compared to 2,230 lifestyle property sales for the three months ended September 2016 (-2.5%), and 2,123 lifestyle property sales for the three months ended October 2015.

9,115 lifestyle properties were sold in the year to October 2016, 17% more than were sold in the year to October 2015. The value of lifestyle properties sold was $6.91 billion for the year to October 2016. . . 


Rural round-up

April 12, 2016

Water brings back ‘marvellous’ times – Sally Rae:

“Lower Waitaki – The Community That Water Saved” was the theme of a recent media tour organised by the Waitaki Irrigators Collective and IrrigationNZ and coinciding with IrrigationNZ’s 2016 conference in Oamaru. Agribusiness reporter Sally Rae hopped on the bus to discover just what irrigation has done for the area and its inhabitants.  

When Jim Dennison’s father bought Drumena in 1919, the Hilderthorpe farm was in a “desolate state”.

Local women pitied his new bride moving to such a property to try to make a living. . .

Harnessing the sunshine for record-breaking crop yields – Pat Deavoll:

Farmers talk about growing feed, but North Otago crop and dairy farmer Chris Dennison says he is “harvesting sunshine.”

His world record-breaking crops of barley and oil seed rape were the combination of heavy soils, a coastal environment, reliable water and sustained sunshine, he said.

“Here at Hilderthorpe (just south of the Waitaki River) we get a cool easterly wind which gives a lull in the growing season for cereal and oil seed rape, so the crops can utilise more sunshine.”

Dennison took over the farm from his father Jim in the early 1980s. Traditionally it was a mixed sheep and beef property but when Dennison arrived home he brought with him an interest in cropping. . . 

Waitaki water key to reliable farming – Sally Rae:

Reuben Allan’s dairy shed has one heck of a view.

It overlooks the vast Waitaki River which provides not only recreational opportunities for his family, but also has allowed them to transition from a “feast or famine” dryland operation to one with reliable irrigation.

Mr Allan grew up on Fairway Farm, which used to be a dryland sheep property, near Ikawai.

Irrigation began on the hills in the mid-1990s and the move was made into intensive beef finishing. . . 

Irrigation provides reliability – Sally Rae:

Matt Ross first arrived in North Otago “more by accident”.

But his decision to return, once he completed his university studies, was deliberate as he had identified the potential opportunities in the district.

Mr Ross and his wife Julie operate Kokoamo Farms, which comprise two dairy farms near Duntroon, milking 1730 cows at peak, and lease a run-off property.

Their farming operation is a showcase: lush green grass, extensive plantings, including a wetland development that is home to more than 100,000 plants, and impressive infrastructure. . . 

Still turning them (tractors) on at 85:

North Otago’s Don Fraser is a man who loves his tractors. His love affair has been so intense he is still driving them at the ripe old age of 85.

Part of the hard-working team at EGL Pastoral for 26 years, and a farmer most of his life, Mr Fraser remembers the old style tractors (crawlers) when he first started out and recalls they were so noisy you needed hearing aids. “There was no silencers then and we didn’t have air con back in the day, but then we didn’t need it when a keen souwester was blowing through.” . . .

Sheep Industry Awards celebrate success:

This country’s sheep industry will celebrate its best and brightest at Beef +Lamb New Zealand’s fifth annual New Zealand Sheep Industry Awards in the Wairarapa in July.

Entries are open for the Awards which recognises this country’s top sheep farmers, breeders, scientists and industry innovators.

People can put their name forward, or be nominated for the Award categories; Science Trainer of the Year, Innovation, Significant Contribution to the New Zealand Sheep Industry and the Emerging Talent Award. . . 

Focus on forages is key to sustainable farm profits:

Pastoral farming is a huge earner for New Zealand worth over $23 billion in export revenues last year. Forages – the grasses and other plants grazed by farm animals – are a critical part of pastoral farming systems. Industry participants consider there is significant scope to lift the contribution forages make to the underlying productivity and profitability of the pastoral sectors and to achieve these outcomes in an environmentally sustainable manner.

This is why an initiative to improve the sustainability and profitability of New Zealand’s forage grazing systems has the buy-in of everyone representing the pastoral sector. . . 

Bostock New Zealand experiencing highest quality apples for several years:

New Zealand’s largest organic apple grower is harvesting some of the best quality fruit it’s experienced for years – thanks to near perfect growing and harvesting conditions.

Bostock New Zealand Director, David Brasell says the weather has been outstanding for the harvest and the fruit has sized well.

“The quality of our apples this season is very, very good. The colour is great, the fruit is clean and the size is excellent. . . .

Time to guard against costly nutritional deficits:

A small investment in autumn feed testing can be good insurance against mineral deficiencies in dairy and beef cows that can lead to low growth rates and poor milk yields.

Winter feeds like fodder beet, low pasture phosphorus levels in some regions, and lower seasonal availability for copper can lead to deficiencies of both of these key minerals during late pregnancy, early lactation and calf growth.

Consultant nutritionist to SealesWinslow, Paul Sharp, says for around $100 a comprehensive pasture mineral test will provide the right information to farmers. . . 

Yealands Launches NZ’s First Vineyard Tour Guide App:

The first kiwi wine app that allows the user to take a self-guided vineyard tour – and take in Yealands’ famous White Road hot-spots.

One of the only vineyards to actually let visitors drive through its vineyard, wine innovators, Yealands Wine Group have released a mobile application that allows visitors to its Seaview Vineyard in the Awatere Valley, Marlborough the unique opportunity of taking their own self-guided vineyard tour. . .


Rural round-up

April 17, 2015

Southern Dairy Hub Great Farmer Investment:

The Southern Dairy Hub is an excellent investment for southern dairy farmers, as every dollar invested automatically delivers a $6 return.

That’s the view of Hedgehope dairy farmer Nigel Johnston, who has pledged his support for the Hub proposal and considers it a good investment for his farm business for a number of reasons.

“We need some decent science around what’s happening specifically in Southland and especially around nutrient management. A collective approach to that – like what’s being proposed with the Hub – is critical.” . .

 

Drystock farm ownership, what’s the path? – Kiwifarmer:

Drystock farm ownership, what is the path?

I have a collection of ideas on this and it’s a great discussion to be having.

With drystock farms increasing in value faster than individuals can save and are also realistically out of reach of the saving only model. How becomes a very good question!?

In recent times I’ve read suggestions about share farming and share cropping.

The sticking point for me with these arrangements is the risk and return. There has to be enough return or fat in the agreement that both party’s feel they get their fair share and in the case of the farm owner, they need a fair return on their capital. Which they may or may not currently be getting. . . 

New Zealanders Treat Soil like Dirt:

An international soil scientist claims that, too often, New Zealanders treat “soil like dirt” when it should be revered because “our lives depend on it.”

Dr John Baker says human life exists because of soil yet all that most people do is walk on it, dirty their shoes or dig it up and put buildings and roads on it.

“Soil is a living entity. It provides us with up to 90 percent of our food. There are more living organisms in a cupful of healthy soil than people on the planet,” he says.

Dr Baker says alarming figures provided by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the UK Farmers Weekly suggest that the quality of soil is rapidly diminishing. . .

New Zealand vintners pioneer low-alcohol techniques

(Reuters) — New Zealand’s cooler climate is giving its wine makers an edge as they seek to exploit growing global demand for lighter, premium wines.


Rising temperatures are pushing up the alcohol content of wines from rivals such as Australia and the United States.


The 2015 vintage of the country’s flagship Sauvignon Blanc will be the first produced under a government-backed initiative to research and produce wines that dispel the image of low-alcohol, low-calorie wines as overly sweet, inferior tastes.
 . .

Marlborough vineyard with growth opportunities goes up for sale:

A respected Marlborough vineyard producing award-winning sauvignon blanc grapes has been placed on the market for sale.

Located in the Awatere Valley, the vineyard is owned by the Van Asch family who are well-known for farming in the region for 150 years.

After spending more than a decade creating the vineyard from bare land and building up the business, the owners have decided the time is right to move on. The freehold property has been placed on the market with Bayleys by negotiation, with a closing date for offers of April 22. . .

 

Hat tip: Utopia


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