Rural round-up

November 18, 2012

Major change to farming operation over six decades – Sally Rae:

When Alan Stewart’s parents moved to a farm in the Leithen Valley, near Gore, in 1949, times were tough.

That first year, his father ran 1500 ewes, which lambed 59%, and about 25 cows that “had a few calves as well”.

There was a dirt road and they had no electricity, let alone a washing machine, he recalled.

As a child growing up, Mr Stewart remembered there were no fences and he could ride his horse all over the property and not have to open a gate.

More than 60 years later, things were vastly different on the Stewart family’s extensive farming business. . .

New Zealand Pinot Noir Selected for World’s Finest Wine Glasses:

 A New Zealand Pinot Noir from Misha’s Vineyard in Central Otago has been selected to demonstrate some of the finest crystal glasses crafted for Pinot Noir by 250-year old Austrian glass company Riedel, the world’s leading designer and producer of luxury glassware.

The Riedel Glass Tasting is to be held on Saturday 17th November in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, one of South-East Asia’s newly emerging wine markets, and will be hosted by Riedel’s 10th-generation company President George J Riedel. Tickets for the event which will be held in the city’s leading international 5-star hotel, the Caravelle Hotel, are priced at US$110 a seat and were sold out over a week ago with 120 people scheduled to attend. . .

Strong international buyer bench expected at Karaka’s Ready to Run Sale – Georgina Bond:

Karaka’s sale ring heats up next week for the annual Ready to Run Sale, with a strong international buyer’s bench expected.

The two-day event is now seen as Australasia’s leading auction for two-year-old thoroughbreds.

Organiser New Zealand Bloodstock hopes interest from international buyers on November 20 and 21 will drive sales beyond records set last year, when $16.2 million was returned to breeder’s pockets. . . 

Your Royal Highness, I Have The Drill For You:

A world authority on soil science and the inventor of a revolutionary new no-tillage seed drill has invited HRH Prince Charles to see it in action in the United Kingdom.

Dr John Baker met Prince Charles in Feilding today and discussed the drill which is almost fail safe and already helping to sustainably feed the world.

“I was delighted to meet an international leader who’s knowledgeable about the importance of soil biology in growing the world’s food and whose Duchy of Cornwall supports many charitable causes,” John Baker says. . .

Mussel Programme to Revolutionise Aquaculture:

The Government is supporting a $26 million initiative that seeks to boost aquaculture by domesticating the New Zealand Greenshell Mussel.

SPATnz is a venture led by Sanford which has received a commitment of up to $13 million from the Government’s Primary Growth Partnership Fund for a seven-year project.

Formal contracts have just been signed, following development of a business plan. . .

Young viticulturist wins national horticulture title:

For the fifth time in almost as many years, a viticulturist has been named as Young Horticulturist of the Year.

Braden Crosby, aged 30 and a winemaker and viticulturist for Borthwick Estate in Wairarapa who had taken out the national Markhams Young Viticulturist title this year, won the New Zealand Horticulture Industry Training Organisations competition held over 14 and 15 November in Auckland.

He competed in a series of practical and theoretical tests against six of the best from other horticulture sectors, including fruit growers and landscape gardeners.


Rural round-up

August 27, 2012

Smartphone app for smart farmers:

A new Farmhelp app provides practical farming instructions at the touch of a smartphone button, anywhere on a property, any time.

The idea is to deliver instant, practical, time and money-saving information for daily farming situations when it’s needed most – like way out in the back paddock.

“It’s a pocket prompt, accessed easily by smartphones,” says Richard Brown, Baletwine Ltd owner and Farmhelp product developer, in launching the product this week. . .

NZ records July trade surplus of $15 million as dairy shipments to China drive exports

New Zealand recorded a small trade surplus in July, with shipments of dairy products to China making up for weaker exports to Australia, Indonesia and India.

The surplus was $15 million last month, down from a revised $287 million in the previous month, according to Statistics New Zealand. Exports slipped to $4.03 billion from $4.18 billion, while imports gained to $3.99 billion from $3.89 billion.

The annual deficit was $853 million, or 1.8 percent of exports. Economists had forecast a monthly surplus of $33 million and an annual gap of $820 million, according to a Reuters survey. . .

Basmati rice provides fascinating commodity comparison – Allan Barber:

For some strange reason I recently received a research report from India on the Basmati rice industry. But never having previously thought of the rice industry’s dynamics – financial, production or marketing – I found it fascinating reading. I hope some of my readers will share my excitement.

Basmati occupies a small premium niche within the global rice industry, representing 1.5% of total volume, but 2.1% of value. It can only be sold under the Basmati name (or appellation) if it has been grown in designated parts of India and Pakistan, the Indo-Gangetic area of the Himalayas. India produces 72% and Pakistan 28% of total Basmati production. . .

Ballance Farm Business Writing Award entries open

Ballance is encouraging journalists to showcase their work with a new award aimed at heightening awareness of the complexities of running farm businesses.

The Ballance Agri-Nutrients Farm Business Writing Award was created this year as part of the New Zealand Guild of Agricultural Journalists Awards.

It was developed to encourage journalists to understand more about the business of running farms and to share what they learn. . .

Wairarapa man wins national Young Viticulture competition

For the first time in the competition’s seven year history, a Wairarapa viticulturist has been named the 2012 Markhams Young Viticulturist of the Year.

Braden Crosby (30) from Borthwick Estate in Carterton took the title at the competition, which was held over two days as part of the Romeo Bragato conference. . .

Gibbston Valley Winery Hosts Grand Vertical Tasting:

Some of Central Otago’s oldest and rarest wines are to be collected from the Gibbston Valley Wine library and dusted off for an historic wine tasting.

Legendary wine vignerons Alan Brady and Grant Taylor will join current Gibbston Valley winemaker Christopher Keys on Saturday September 1 to co-host a ‘Gibbston Valley Pinot Noir Grand Vertical Tasting’ at Queenstown Resort College. . .

Grand Jury Européen Rates Lowburn Ferry Amongst Top Pinot Noirs in the World:

The inaugural reserve pinot noir from boutique Central Otago producer Lowburn Ferry has received an outstanding ovation from a panel of international tasters known as the Grand Jury Européen (GJE).

14 GJE tasters recently held a special session in Paris about the styles of various pinots noirs coming from various countries in the world : France, Italy, Switzerland, New Zealand, USA, Argentina, and Germany. Invited producers were asked to provide a wine representing a vintage between 2000 and 2010. . .

And a new (to me) rural blog: Milking on the Moove.


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