Rural round-up

16/01/2013

Kiwi xenophobia one to watch says think tank – Hannah Lynch:

Growing xenophobia in New Zealand, as it wrestles with Chinese investment, will be one of the Pacific’s top talking points in 2013, according to a Washington think tank.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies advise observers to keep an eye on the ongoing debate about foreign investment in New Zealand, especially from China.

Under the headline “New Zealand’s comfort with Chinese investment”, the centre has chosen the issue as one of six in the Pacific region particularly worth watching. . .

Declining attendance causing concern:

The New Zealand Large Herds Association (NZLHA) executive committee will not be holding an annual conference this year.

The committee decided to cancel the conference because of the continuing decline in attendance over recent years.

“The last three years have seen a decline in numbers of delegates attending. This has had an impact on how we foresee our conference in the future, for not only the farmer but our sponsors,” association chairman Bryan Beeston said. . .

American sheep farmers suffering even more than New Zealand – Allan Barber:

An article headlined ‘Drought, high feed costs hurt sheep ranchers,’ appeared last Friday in the Northern Colorado Business Report. It makes the problems being experienced currently by New Zealand sheep farmers look comparatively pretty small.

This isn’t meant to denigrate the difficulties here, but it puts things in context. One rancher has cut his 2000 head flock by a third and is losing US$80 on every lamb he sells. According to the article, drought, consolidation of the sheep-packing business, increased feed costs and plummeting lamb prices have created hardship among sheep ranchers across Northern Colorado. The situation has deteriorated so much for ranchers that the federal government is investigating whether meat packers have played a role in the market’s collapse. . .

Second year of graduates:

The Agri-Women’s Development Trust (AWDT) is celebrating a second successful year with 14 graduates from its 2012 Escalator agricultural leadership programme.

The 10-month programme aims to create prospective future leaders with the skills and capability to govern and lead agricultural organisations and communities.

Federated Farmers Ruapehu provincial president and 2012 Escalator graduate Lyn Neeson said it gave her more awareness of what she can accomplish for agriculture. . .

Getting more from collaboration:

Federated Farmers is expanding its highly successful Leadership Development Programme for members and others in primary industries.

Many agricultural sector leaders have been through the Federation’s stage one and two Leadership Courses. These give individuals vital skills to work in teams and understand the technical, emotive, cultural and political aspects of issues.

The level one Getting Your Feet Wet and level two Shining Under the Spotlight courses give participants the techniques and methods to analyse and bring together a compelling case to present their desired outcomes. . .

FAR focus on the future of farming – Howard Keene:

The annual Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) Crops Expo at its Chertsey site in Mid Canterbury has grown over the years from humble beginnings to become a major event on the agricultural calendar attracting hundreds of grower and industry people.

This year was the second time the event has been held in its expanded format. It’s now an all-day event with agronomy and machinery companies adding their own trials and demonstrations to those of FAR. . .

2012 a watershed year for pork industry:

New Zealand Pork has today released its 2012 annual report, which labels last year a turning point for the industry. 

“Although the last financial year has not been without challenges, I believe it has also been something of a watershed for our industry,” NZPork chairman Ian Carter said.

In 2012 the New Zealand Pork Industry Board made a net surplus of $505,165, which included a gain in sale of PIB Breeding Limited of $423,223. . .


Rural round-up

12/02/2012

Sheep and beef under threat from too much grass – Allan Barber:

This season’s excessive grass growth throughout the country except for Otago and Southland has generally been a cause for celebration among sheep and beef farmers, happy not to have to worry about drought and ecstatic about livestock prices.

But this may be a two-edged sword, in the first place for those farmers seeking replacement stock for whom the store market is too hot, and secondly for all those with problems controlling their grass, including both those who are reluctant to pay the going rate as well as the ones who have a straight numbers shortage.

It will also be a problem for meat companies chasing lower livestock volumes and being forced to take part in a procurement war – not desirable – or stay out of the market – equally or even more undesirable. . .

Highland breeders encourage others–  Sally Rae:

Grant and Cathy Watts are keen to encourage others to get involved in showing Highland cattle.   

Mr and Mrs Watts, who have been breeding the hairy beasts since 1999, will be exhibiting at the national South Island Highland cattle show in Oamaru.   

The show is being held in conjunction with the North Otago A and P show on February 25 and exhibitors from Southland to  South Canterbury will be attending with their prize cattle beasts . . .

Life on land change of tune – Sally Rae:

Australian sheep classer Gordon McMaster could have taken a      very different career path – if it had not been for his father.   

While known internationally for his involvement with merino sheep and kelpie dogs, it was music that was his first love and he nearly became a professional musician.   

As a lad, Mr McMaster (75) reached the finals of the      Australian amateur drumming championships and he was offered a position in a band in Sydney.   

But when the young Gordon came home from school and told his      father, he was told, in no uncertain terms, that no son of  his would be a professional musician. . .

A golden year for ENZAFOODS:

New Zealand’s largest apple processing company, ENZAFOODS is celebrating a special year of production, marking 50 golden years in business.

As the New Zealand apple season kicks off, ENZAFOODS will officially open its new $4 million processing line at its Hastings factory, which has been purpose built to produce premium fruit products and will create dozens up to 30 new jobs.

ENZAFOODS is now injecting an estimated $40 million into the economies of Hawke’s Bay and Nelson and providing more profitable contracts to growers for second grade fruit. . .

Rabobank appionts new head of Food & Agri research:

Rabobank has announced the appointment of Luke Chandler to the position of general manager of its Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory division in New Zealand and Australia.

Mr Chandler has returned from a three-year posting in Rabobank’s London office, establishing and heading the bank’s global Agri Commodity Markets Research team, to take on the new appointment.

Mr Chandler will also retain his international role as global head of Agri Commodity Markets Research, responsible for managing the bank’s analysis and outlook for the world’s major agri commodities markets. . .

Conference a huge learning opportunity:

Dairy farmers are invited to participate in the NZ Dairy Business Conference, the 43rd annual event hosted by the New Zealand Large Herds Association and farm nutrition company Altum.

Chairman of the NZ Large Herds Association Bryan Beeston is encouraging dairy farmers to visit the dairy research and development capital of New Zealand where delegates will have a chance to see the nation’s top scientists at work in their world-leading research centres.

“It’s an opportunity to see innovation as it happens, with Fonterra making a rare decision to allow delegates a glimpse behind the scenes at its Palmerston North based research centre,”says Bryan. . .

Maker of women’s farm gear lookign to expand:

A women’s farmwear manufacturer hopes to grow the business both in New Zealand and overseas by expanding her product range.

Zanux founder Zane Miltona studied fashion in London before moving to a New Zealand farm four years ago.

Ms Miltona says she soon realised there was no fashionable farmwear available for women, so she began designing her own overalls and has developed a design that means she’s able to go to the bathroom without having to remove all the garment. . .

NZ capability in fresh produce on show in Germany:

New Zealand has a unique opportunity to showcase its strengths and secure new business at the world’s largest fresh produce trade event being held in Germany this week.

Each year Fruit Logistica, taking place in Berlin from 8 – 10 February, attracts more than 2,400 companies and 50,000 visitors from all parts of the world’s fresh produce value chain.

New Zealand companies exhibiting in 2012 include Plant & Food Research, Enzafruit, Zespri, BBC Technologies, Wyma Solutions, Fresh Appeal and Compac Sorting Equipment, with a range of other individuals and representatives also heading to Berlin. . .

Dairying with resilience: Dairy Women’s Networkconference:

Helping dairying women along their journeys toward developing dairy businesses in the face of challenges is one of the main themes of this year’s Dairy Women’s Network annual conference.

The conference will be held at Rotorua’s Millennium Hotel on 21 and 22 March.

The 2012 conference theme is ‘Dairying with Resilience’ and much of the programme is aimed at inspiring women and giving them the necessary tools to be resilient at home and on the farm.

Kicking off the conference is keynote speaker, Sarah Kennedy, CEO of RD1 – the Network’s new, exclusive sponsor of its Regional Groups. Sarah will talk about her journey into industry leadership and what it takes to achieve positions of influence.


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