Too much weather

December 3, 2014

Southern contractors are struggling in wet and cold weather:

The dreadfully wet season being experienced in the southern part of the country is leaving many rural contractors and farmers under huge pressure and stress, claims Rural Contractors NZ.

 RCNZ vice president and Southland-based contractor David Kean says there are reports of contractors not being able to get work done, struggling with their finances and some having to lay staff off.

“Many contractors are really feeling it and the stress is starting to tell on both them and their businesses. Our advice is simple: ask for help and talk to the appropriate agencies before things get out of hand,” he explains.

Meanwhile, there’s the opposite problem in Canterbury – which has had lots of strong, cold Norwest winds and very little rain over the past couple of months – meaning there is very little work to do now after a busy start to the season. 

Mr Kean says if rural contractors are struggling to pay bills and/or staff they should be in contact with both Work and Income NZ and the IRD for assistance and advice.

“It is far better for people to be proactive; admit they have issues to deal with and seek the appropriate help – rather than just bottling it up or letting any problems get out of hand.

“Both IRD and WINZ are there to provide help in these kinds of situations and they have the people and expertise to offer advice and assistance.”

Mr Kean says Rural Contractors NZ is also there to help members and to act as support network for contractors who are feeling under pressure.

“However, we are not experts in financial matters or if people are coming under mental duress,” he adds.

“We are telling people they should be talking with their accountants and financial advisors about their business and with their families and medical professionals if they are under pressure themselves.”

The chair of the Rural Health Alliance Aoteoroa NZ (RHAANZ) Dr Jo Scott-Jones agrees.

“We know rural people tend to delay seeking help until they can no longer work, but it is true that a ‘stitch in time saves nine’”, Dr Scott-Jones says.  “Talking to a GP or practice nurse about stress seems to cause people difficulty. But anyone in this situation should know it is never as hard as you think and the benefits that flow from sharing some of the burden and talking through the way you feel can be enormous.”  

 Mr Kean adds that talking with professionals, as well as family and friends is an important step in getting the proper advice and help – when and where it is needed.

“Farmers also need to be aware of the pressure contractors are under and have to be realistic about getting work done,” he adds. “The last couple of months have been so wet that even if the weather cleared today it is going to take a long time to clear the back log of work and get everyone caught up again.”

Further north it was too wet in winter and now it’s too dry:

Weeks of persistent wind with little rain are putting farmers on edge in eastern areas of the country, from Gisborne to Canterbury.

Federated Farmers Gisborne Wairoa president Sandra Faulkner said soil moisture levels in that region were well down on normal for the time of year. . .

We didn’t really have a summer last year then had a very wet start to winter but we’ve had little significant rain since July and there’s all the signs of a looming drought.

That doesn’t mean we’re having good weather, it’s still cold which is slowing pasture growth and potato crops.

In contrast, a wet winter, less sunlight and cooler temperatures are being blamed for hampering potato crops and creating a shortage of the vegetable.

Potatoes New Zealand said there was more demand than growers could supply and that was having a flow on effect on companies such as potato chip processors.

Chief executive Champak Mehta said none of the previous season’s crops were left in storage and the new season’s potatoes were taking longer to hit the shelves. . .

North Otago is justly famed for its new potatoes but picking started only a week or so ago.

We didn’t plant ours in the garden until after labour weekend and they’re still a good couple of weeks ago from giving us anything to pick.

But I bought a box of Rare Earth  Jersey Bennes at the Oamaru Farmers’ Market on Sunday – they were delicious.


Rural round-up

November 22, 2012

Record Results at Karaka’s 2012 Ready to Run:

The second-highest price ever posted at the NZB Ready to Run Sale underscored two very successful days trade at Karaka, with the two-day Sale concluding with a new record turnover, average and median.

With the second day of selling continuing even stronger than Day 1, after two days 245 of the 407 entries have sold for $17,852,000, over $1.5m and 10% ahead of the previous record turnover of $16,216,500 posted at last year’s Sale (with 354 catalogued and 228 sold).

But with enormous depth to the buying bench, the new record median was a highlight for vendors, at $48,000 it is nearly 7% higher than the previous record of $45,000 set last year. . .

Young Auctioneer title:

The 2012 Heartland Young Auctioneers Competition, held at the Canterbury A&P Show, was won by Glenn Peddie of Peter Walsh & Associates, with Ryan Andrew of PGG Wrightson finishing in second place. Seven auctioneers from the South Island competed in the inaugural competition.

Peddie was brought up on a farm in Wakari and attended the local Hawarden Area School. His first job was as a casual musterer around North Canterbury and Omarama. He started his career in the livestock industry as a livestock clerk in Christchurch, before becoming a stock agent servicing lifestyle farmers in the area. . .

Food fit for royalty:

“We advocate for New Zealanders to have access to food fit for royalty,” says Debbie Swanwick, Spokesperson for Soil & Health, Organic NZ. Her comments follow the departure of HRH Prince Charles and Camilla last week from New Zealand.

Britain’s best known organic farmer, HRH Prince Charles has long been an advocate of the sector. In 1992 he incorporated his ideologies into his business portfolio, founding Duchy originals from Waitrose, which provides natural, high-quality organic and premium products, while helping to protect and sustain the countryside and wildlife. . .

Comvita first-half earning fall 7.4% amid short supply of Manuka honey:

Comvita, which sells products based on the health and medical benefits of honey, posted a 7.4 percent decline in first-half profit , saying a shortage of Manuka honey after an inclement 2012 summer constrained sales growth and margins.

Profit fell to $2.39 million, or 7.95 cents a share, in the six months ended Sept. 30, from $2.58 million, or 8.92 cents a year earlier, the Te Puke-based company said in a statement. Sales climbed to $45.4 million from $41.8 million. . .

Potatoes NZ appoints new chief executive:

New Zealand has appointed Champak Mehta as its new Chief Executive.

Champak will lead the industry body for potato growers, producers and processors, as it embarks on its goal of doubling the size and value of the market by 2020. He brings a deep understanding of how to build value-add propositions, and business development into emerging markets.

Born and bred in Taranaki, Champak has been a physiology lecturer at CIT and a Captain in the Regular Force of the New Zealand Army. He completed his MBA at Otago in 2002 and joined Fonterra in early 2003, holding a variety of strategy, business development and management roles in New Zealand, the United States and Singapore until July 2011. . .

Beekeeping for 3000 years – Raymond Huber:

Hand-made beehives date back 3000 years (to Israel) and early hives were made of clay or straw. Bees and humans helped each other expand into new lands as settlers transported the bees with them for crop pollination. For centuries beekeepers melted the wax comb to get the honey out, forcing the poor bees to rebuild it every time. Then in 1851 pastor Lorenzo Langstroth designed a hive like a filing cabinet that could be used over and over. . .

 

 


%d bloggers like this: