Rural round-up

November 24, 2012

Water quality’s complex issues – Gerald Piddock:

Improving the environment while simultaneously growing production are the main challenges for those making decisions around water quality, a leading science advisor says.

These two goals are pulling policies in opposite directions, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s principal science advisor Grant Blackwell says.

There is no silver bullet to solve this dilemma, he says, but he suggests that a values-based approach is essential. . .

Some effluent fines ‘unjustified’ – Gerald Piddock:

Some of the fines imposed on farmers have been unnecessary and unjustified, according to a Clutha dairy farmer.

Stephen Korteweg told the New Zealand Association of Resource Management conference in Dunedin that “the big stick approach” in dealing with water quality breaches was fine. “But when you start beating the patient with the big stick you’ve lost the plot,” he said.

Highlighting the economic benefits of better environmental practice was the best way to change farmer behaviour. . .

Pure Oil wants more rape grown – Gerald Piddock:

Central Canterbury consortium Pure Oil New Zealand is the new owner of the agricultural division of Biodiesel New Zealand.

The consortium is owned by Midlands Seed, Washdyke-based potato and onion exporter Southern Packers, agronomist Roger Lasham and BiodieselNZ agribusiness manager Nick Murney.

The sale included Biodiesel New Zealand’s oil seed rape crop production, the oil extraction facility at Rolleston and the marketing of the resultant products – rape seed oil and rape seed meal. . .

Industry needs wool’s help – Alan Williams:

Hawke’s Bay businessman Craig Hickson knows all about the meat industry and that it can’t save sheep farming on its own.

It’s different this time, significantly different, Wools of New Zealand director Hickson says of the call for sheep farmers to invest in wool industry marketing.

A few days into the roadshow promotion of the share issue, the directors are picking up the vibe from farmers that they fear this one is like the controversial WPC co-op plan of 2010. . .

Broader reach sought by dairy industry:

The dairy industry is looking to broaden its academic reach through a new postgraduate programme at the University of Auckland.

The joint graduate school in dairy research is a collaboration between the university and industry-bodies Dairy New Zealand, AgResearch and the Livestock Improvement Corporation. . .

Dairy farms produce record milk levels in year to September; growth expected to slow from here – David Chaston:

As the new dairy season builds, annual milk production has broken through the 20 million tonnes level for the first time ever.

The latest data for the dairy milk production shows the new 2012-13 season starting off with record volumes.

DCANZ is reporting that September 2012 milk production was 2,436,000 tonnes, a rise of 5% over the 2,319,000 tonnes produced in September 2011. (The rise in September 2011 was +12.5%.) . . .

Essential guide for earthworks in tiger country:

Forest owners and farmers now have access to detailed information about carrying out earthworks on steep hills that are often prone to erosion — the tiger country where New Zealand’s plantation forests are increasingly grown.

To harvest those hills, you need highly skilled roading engineers and operators who can construct low-cost, fit-for-purpose, roads, culverts and landings that meet high environmental standards. They in turn need a source of reliable information about what works and what doesn’t work in difficult terrain and across a wide range of soil types.

 Launching the New Zealand Forest Road Engineering Manual and associated Operators Guide, associate minister for primary industries Nathan Guy complimented the Forest Owners Association for taking the lead. Principal editor Brett Gilmore was praised for putting a huge amount of work into the project. . .


Rural round-up

July 15, 2012

New NZ Infant formula using NZ food safety for Kiwi babies, to market in China:

New Zealand’s strong food safety and consumer demand for quality is the starting point for a new venture – selling New Zealand infant formula, developed for Kiwi babies, into the Chinese market.

In July Carrickmore Infant Formula is being launched in both New Zealand and China. This launch will highlight both New Zealand’s strict food safety laws and clean green reputation.

Carrickmore Nutrition Managing Director, Chris Claridge, said “There are Chinese-owned and a few New Zealand owned milk powder companies selling NZ originated Infant formulas however, the fact we’re selling formula made from fresh New Zealand milk to our children as well as those in the rest of the world, shows the confidence we have in our product.  . .

Blue Sky posts loss as export prices dive:

Blue Sky Meats, the Invercargill-based meat processor, has posted a full-year loss after export prices plummeted in the second half, squeezing margins for companies who started the season with “unrealistic” opening schedules for lamb.

The net loss was $449,149 in the 12 months ended March 31, from a profit of about $3.69 million a year earlier, the company said in a statement.

Sales rose about 13 per cent to $114.2m while expenses climbed 22 per cent to $114.8m.

“International market prices for almost all items that the company sells reduced at an alarming rate from November to March, against a background of EU financial challenges,” chairman Graham Cooney said. . .

Predicting river flows in ungauged river catchments,from New Zealand to the world– Waiology:

Our knowledge of the water cycle is imperfect – for example we don’t have data for all rivers across the landscape, and yet so often we want river flow information for resource and hazard management purposes. In the absence of direct data, then, we turn to models and seek to make hydrological predictions in these ungauged river basins.

Predictions in Ungauged Basins (PUB) is an IAHS initiative operating throughout the decade of 2003-2012, established with the primary aim of reducing uncertainty in hydrological predictions. It is a ‘grass-roots’ science movement intended to engage the interest of hydrologists around the world, and has grown to encompass an enormous variety of approaches and settings. . .

New Zealand gingerly navigates a global dairy crisis:

This year is shaping up as a bumpy one for the international dairy industry, with the worst U.S. drought since Ronald Reagan was president and thousands of European dairy farmers taking to the streets in protest.

“We seem to be staring down the barrel of a global dairy crisis, which could benefit New Zealand’s dairy farmers,” says Willy Leferink, Federated Farmers dairy chairperson.

“An act of nature in the United States and subsidies elsewhere are putting dairy farmers under the most unimaginable pressure. WeatherWatch’s Philip Duncan says half of the continental United States is now in drought. . .

Peel Forest Estate buys Winderemere Stud:

Peel Forest Estate, based in South Canterbury, has announced today that it has purchased the Pure Warnham and Warnham-Woburn breeding herd along with selected sires, semen, embryos and the Windermere name from the award winning Windermere Red Deer Stud near Hamilton.

Windermere stud has been specialising in breeding for superior velvet genetics for nearly twenty five years providing outstanding sires to the deer industry with a high degree of consistency and reliability. . .

Vidal Estate Winery wins Beef & Lamb Excellence People’s Choice Award:

The people have chosen – Vidal Estate Winery in Hastings has been named winner of the Hawkes Bay People’s Choice Award, recognising its excellence in beef and lamb cuisine.

Over 500 diners in Hawkes Bay have spent the past month scoring their beef or lamb dishes in their favourite Beef & Lamb Excellence Award restaurant in the region, with Vidal Estate Winery taking out top honours. . .

Rural sales ease as winter begins:

Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of NZ (“REINZ”) shows there were 13 more farm sales (+3.3%) for the three months ended June 2012 than for the three months ended June 2011. Overall, there were 406 farm sales in the three months to end of June 2012, compared with 467 farm sales in the three months to May 2012, an decrease of 61 sales (-13.1%). On a seasonally adjusted basis, after accounting for normal seasonal fluctuations, the number of sales fell by 6.8%.

1,413 farms were sold in the year to June 2012, 47.2% more than were sold in the year to June 2011.

The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to June 2012 was $17,565; a 12.8% increase on the $15,568 recorded for three months ended June 2011, and an increase of 3.1% on the $17,031 recorded for the three months to May 2012. . .

NZIF Forester of the Year:

The New Zealand Institute of Forestry Forester of the Year Award for 2012 was presented to Mr Brett Gilmore, a Registered Forester from Napier at the Institute’s annual conference in Christchurch last week.

Announcing the recipient of this prestigious award, President of the Institute, Dr Andrew McEwen, noted that the award recognises leadership, excellence and personal integrity. Consideration is given to the nominee’s contribution to New Zealand’s economic, social and environmental development, the use of innovation and new technologies or the creation of a new product or business of significance to forestry. Further consideration is given to professional and academic achievements, broad community involvement, cultural and other achievements. . .


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