Federated Farmers believes new requirements announced today for overseas investors buying New Zealand farmland for forestry are encouraging but are only step one of a suite of changes required.
“For years Feds and other organisations have been calling for a reversal of rules that exempt overseas buyers intending to convert our farmland into forestry from the ‘proof of benefit to New Zealand’ requirements that apply when buyers intend continuing farm production land use,” Federated Farmers Meat & Wool Chairperson William Beetham says.
“That chorus has grown ever louder as tens of thousands of hectares of productive farmland are blanketed in pine trees, in large part because of the chase for carbon credit revenue.
“We’re glad the government is listening and taking action. But more must be done,” William says. . .
Dairy giant Fonterra has lifted its 2021/22 forecast farmgate milk price range to $9.30 – $9.90kg/MS, up from its previous forecast of $8.90 – $9.50.
This increases the midpoint of the range, at which farmers are paid, by 40c to $9.60 – easily the highest on record.
At that level, Fonterra estimates that the milk price payout will contribute $14bn this season to the NZ economy.
Truly exciting times for the dairy industry and rural regions. They have become even more important, as a key prop to the economy through the Covid pandemic, because of the loss of earnings from the international tourism and hospitality industries. . .
Free trade area could help post Covid recovery – Sudesh Kissun:
Moves to bring all free trade deals in Asia Pacific into one ‘free trade area’ could help countries like New Zealand bounce back from Covid, according to trade expert Stephen Jacobi.
He says, if achieved, it would mean trade rules around the region would be harmonised.
“NZ’s agriculture and horticulture exporters would face fewer barriers and be able to do business more easily and cheaply,” he told Rural News. “It would be just the thing to help us bounce back from Covid.”
The Free Trade Area of Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) was discussed at the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) meeting in Singapore two weeks ago. . . .
Women landing rural laboring jobs and loving it – Karen Coltman:
Campaigns to attract female butchers, fruit harvesters, farm machine operators, shearers and dairy farmers are in full swing across the country as employers face a labour shortage.
DairyNZ has launched a recruitment campaign fronted by Eastern Bay of Plenty dairy farmer Shannon Munro.
Munro says that as a young, Māori woman, she was proud to be presenting a different face to dairy farming and to be associated with the campaign.
DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle says the sector is between 4000 to 6000 workers short for the coming dairy season. . .
Farming technology company Halter, which sells high-tech collars to manage and monitor dairy herds remotely, is using a $32 million of new investment funding to expand into Canterbury.
Halter is a solar-powered GPS enabled smart collar, which guides cows around a farm using sound and vibrations, allowing farmers to automate herd movements and create virtual fences. The technology can also tell a farmer when a cow is hurt or on heat.
The compamy has has been operating commercially in Waikato since early last year, working with farmers to make improvements to its halters, and since raising new capital in April has been working towards its Canterbury launch.
Chief executive Craig Piggott said word of mouth had driven significant demand in the region ahead of the November launch. . . .
The announcement of a big push to upgrade capacity on congested rural broadband networks gets a big thumbs up from Federated Farmers.
“Every year Feds surveys members on broadband and cellphone coverage in rural areas, to gather data on the worst blackspots and inform our advocacy to government,” Federated Farmers NZ President and telecommunications spokesperson Andrew Hoggard says.
“The frustration of farming families whose businesses, distance education and everyday activities are hampered by poor or sometimes non-existent services comes through loud and clear.
“So news that upgrades to existing cell towers and construction of new towers should see 47,000 rural households and businesses experience faster internet speeds and better reception by the end of 2024 will come as a relief.” . .
For the third consecutive time, a viticulturist has won the Young Horticulturist ((Kaiahuone rangatahi o te tau) competition.
Blenheim’s Rhys Hall,28, who works in Waihopai Valley as assistant vineyard manager for Indevin, took out the top title after intense competition that ended on Wednesday. Rhys has worked at this company – a leading producer of high-quality NZ wine – for five years, starting as a vineyard worker, then viticulture technician before promoting to his current job two years’ ago. He has a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in plant science from Massey University.
In winning the grand award, Rhys follows in the footsteps of Simon Gourley, and before that, Annabel Bulk. Both those viticulturists were based in Central Otago when announced as competition winners. . .