Confusion around new docking rules – Coin Williscroft:
New docking rules that came into force in May are causing concern and confusion among some farmers.
MPI announced the new regulations, which aim to improve sheep welfare by clarifying how tail-docking should be done and who can carry it out, at the end of last year.
A sheep’s tail cannot be docked shorter than the distal end of the caudal fold. This means the tail needs to be long enough to cover the vulva in ewes and a similar length in rams.
Docking too short could result in a fine of $500, or $1500 for a business, and if multiple sheep are involved that could lead to court proceedings. . .
More and more farmers around the country are doing the right things in regard to environmental management. Recent reports by a number of regional councils around NZ show positive results when it comes to managing effluent on farms.
Meanwhile, despite winter grazing practices across the country coming under the microscope, there have been few reports of major breaches of the regulations. This is even more remarkable considering the flooding experienced in some regions.
For years, governments, councils, environmentalists, activists et el have been pushing for the agricultural sector to lift its environmental game. The evidence shows that farmers are responding and responding well!
However, anyone reading, listening or viewing mainstream media in NZ could be forgiven for thinking that the opposite is occurring. Every sector has its slackers, those who are not doing the right things, and farming is no exception. The industry, including farmers themselves, must continue to come down hard on those who let the whole sector down. . .
Farmers living the dream – Sudesh Kissun:
‘ToViewADream Farming’ was started 16 years ago by farmer Dion Kilmister and it’s been living up to its name ever since.
Today, the business comprises of four farming properties finishing 17,000 lambs and 600 cattle a year. The jewel in the crown – a butcher shop in Masterton – opened last year.
The journey has been one of hard work, calculated risks, tragedy and resilience. Dion’s wife, Ali Kilmister, told their story at the recent South Island Dairy Event (SIDE) in Ashburton.
In January 2005, he arrived in the Wairarapa with first wife Maria and two children – Maria’s daughter Aleshia and their son Jayden. All they had were 70 steers that they had had out grazing in the King Country, and a $30,000 overdraft. . .
One of New Zealand’s largest vegetable growers is paying people a bonus for turning up to work.
Gisborne-based LeaderBrand has rolled out a raft of benefits in order to secure a workforce.
“I think our job now is to make it easy for people to come to work,” says LeaderBrand chief executive Richard Burke.
LeaderBrand employs 400 people across New Zealand and another 150 during seasonal peaks. . .
Potato industry shows resilience – Annette Scott:
The New Zealand potato industry remains a growing sector despite enduring a challenging year.
Ahead of the industry’s annual forums, Potatoes NZ (PNZ) chief executive Chris Claridge reports the total value of the industry sits at $1.16 billion, amidst a year of crises and disappointment.
This represents a 58% growth rate since industry targets were set in 2013.
“This result shows the immense value of our processing sector, with 55% of our locally-grown potatoes producing fries and another 12% producing crisps,” Claridge said. . .
Tasmanian farmer finds a “nutty” way of beating power regulations – Andrew Miller:
A northern Tasmanian prime lamb producer has found a novel way around TasNetworks regulations, which restricts power generated on-farm to use in only one piece of plant, home or shed.
TasNetworks insists on a separate meter, for each point on the property using power.
That means electricity for most of the farm has to be purchased from hundreds of kilometres away, rather than using on-property generated power.
Simon Hackett has circumvented the regulations by linking an aircraft hangar, houses and shearing shed on his 70 hectare farm by cable to his 100kw solar system. . .