An exciting future – Mike Petersen:
Special agricultural trade envoy Mike Petersen says New Zealand leads the field in many areas but cannot rest on its laurels.
These are exciting but also challenging times for New Zealand agri-food and fibre.
At a time when demand and prices for NZ food are at near-record highs the mood among farmers is subdued with new environmental policies being developed and fears about the impact from the brinksmanship being played out in the complex world of international trade. . .
Chinese ban on Oamaru Meats lifted – Jacob McSweeny:
A suspension to the China market has been lifted on Oamaru Meats Ltd (OML) and the company has begun trying to re-recruit seasonal workers and suppliers.
The meat processor shut down on September 13 after its access to the Chinese beef markets was suspended. Some 160 seasonal workers were laid off temporarily.
Yesterday, OML director Richard Thorp said the suspension came after some beef fat packaging was not up to standard. . .
AgriSea boss takes women’s award – Annette Scott:
Seaweed products pioneer AgriSea is the 2019 supreme winner of the NZI Rural Women New Zealand Business Awards.
Celebrating and showcasing entrepreneurship and innovation by rural women the annual awards take in seven categories with the supreme winner judged from the category winners.
While excited about the win AgriSea business manager Clare Bradley said it was unexpected given the high calibre of every woman in the finals.
“We are often caught up in keeping our heads down, working hard to achieve our goals in our businesses, communities and families.
“The awards are an opportunity for both me personally and our whanau at AgriSea to take a breather and celebrate where we’ve come from. . .
Five farmers featured in Inside Dairy in 2019 tell us about their year, where they’re heading in 2020 and what they’d like others to know about dairy farmers and the dairying sector.
Mark and Vicki Meyer – Tangiteroria, Northland
Most proud of in 2019?
“On the farming front, we’re proud of how we managed to turn around our end of 2018/19 season. We’d ended up slightly down in production, due to minimal rain in autumn and a lack of grass growth.
“We’d been staring down the barrel of going into winter with skinny cows and not enough pasture for feed. We bit the bullet and made the hard decision to dry off the cows earlier than normal, which enabled us to get cows off grazing earlier and build cover here on the farm. This worked well, as we had awesome winter growth. . .
Condemning agriculture and tarring all farmers with the same brush does nothing to further environmentalists’ cause, argues Adam Currie.
Are there simply too many cows in our country? Or are urbanites just aggressively exacerbating the farming crisis from their sterile offices?
The inconvenient truth is that both are true.
We urgently need to change our approach to land use and kai production – or our environment will experience irrevocable collapse. But this urgency needs to be communicated in a new way, because the current paradigm not only unhelpfully condemns all farmers as ‘bad’; the pressure it puts on farmers also only serves to stir up hatred and division. If nothing else, framing the debate in such an antagonistic way puts a damper on political support for any environmental measure deemed to be ‘anti-farming’. . .
A new breed of apple that took two decades to develop and supposedly lasts for up to a year in the fridge is going on sale in the US.
The apple – Cosmic Crisp – is a cross-breed of the Honeycrisp and Enterprise and was first cultivated by Washington State University in 1997.
The launch of the “firm, crisp, and juicy apple” cost $10m ($NZ15.6m).
Farmers in the state of Washington are exclusively allowed to grow the fruit for the next decade. . .
The New Zealand livestock industry has begun a “global first” genetic program that would help to tackle climate change by breeding low methane-emitting sheep.
There are about six sheep for each person in New Zealand, and the livestock industry accounts for about one-third of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions.
The livestock industry’s peak body, Beef and Lamb New Zealand, already uses a measure called “breeding value” to help breeders select rams with characteristics they want to bolster within their flocks. Within two years breeders will be able to select rams whose traits include lower methane emissions.
“Farmers are more interested than I anticipated,” said a stud breeder, Russell Proffit. His family has been producing rams for more than 40 years. . .