Rural round-up

December 1, 2019

Hocken wins Rabobank Emerging Leader award:

Manawatu dairy farmer Mat Hocken is the winner of the Rabobank Emerging Leader Award for 2019.

Hocken is director and owner of family business Grassmere Dairy, a 1000-cow dairy operation on the banks of the Oroua River in the Manawatu.

He becomes the first Kiwi to win the award since its introduction in 2013. The awards ceremony was held in Auckland last night. . . 

New Zealand arable farmers face unfair competition from imported grain – Gerard Hutching:

Arable farmers have appealed to their dairy farmer colleagues to buy their grain rather than importing it from overseas.

Federated Farmers arable spokeswoman Karen Williams complained about the lack of a level playing field over grain sales.

She was commenting on the Feds’ latest banking survey showing 30 per cent of the arable farmers surveyed felt under pressure and they also had the lowest percentage feeling very satisfied or satisfied (60 per cent). . . 

Boomer year for OAD farmers – Peter Burke:

A leading once a day (OAD) farmer says her farm is set to have a record year thanks to a combination of favourable circumstances – especially the weather.

Christine Finnigan who farms near Rongotea, Manawatu says the warm winter has seen good pasture growth into spring and her 220 Kiwi cross cows are in good condition.

She says the original target for this season was 78,000kgMS, but says if conditions stay favourable the record of 82,500kgMS could be reached. . .

Alliance pays out $15.2m:

Alliance Group says it has paid farmer shareholders a further $1.67 million in loyalty payments.

This brings the total bonuses it has distributed for the season to $15.2m.

The latest quarterly payments were made to the co-operative’s ‘platinum’ and ‘gold’ shareholders who supply 100% of their livestock to Alliance. The latest payments cover the July to September period. . . 

Last of Zespri’s 2019 New Zealand kiwifruit crop heading to markets:

The last of New Zealand’s successful 2019 kiwifruit crop has been shipped, with four containers of Zespri Green leaving Tauranga for North Asia, unloading in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Around 70 tonnes of the Bay of Plenty-grown kiwifruit was loaded onto the APL Denver this week which is expected to reach the first port in 15 days.

Blair Hamill, Zespri’s Chief Global Supply Officer, says 147 million trays of kiwifruit were shipped offshore this season to more than 50 countries, with record numbers of consumers creating unprecedented levels of demand.

“Our premium Zespri SunGold and Green Kiwifruit are more popular than ever, and over the course of the season we’ve moved 44 full charter shiploads and 17,160 containers, or more than 500,000 tonnes in total, to our markets,” Mr Hamill says. . . 

Women in Scottish farming ‘downplayed’ and ‘unseen’

A ‘fundamental cultural change’ is needed to ensure that women in the Scottish farming industry are valued more, a new report has revealed.

Women’s contribution to the sector can be ‘undervalued, downplayed, or simply unseen’, it explained.

The findings are included in a Women in Agriculture Taskforce report which was commissioned by the Scottish government. Taskforce co-chair Joyce Campbell said the the report has shone light into the ‘very dark corners of Scottish agriculture.’ . .

 


Rural round-up

April 16, 2013

Genuine NZ infant formula labelling critical issue for New Zealand:

The New Zealand Infant Formula Exporters Association (NZIFEA) is attending the Mother and Baby Expo in Beijing in April to demonstrate measures to protect brand New Zealand from false labelling of product on sale overseas.

The Chairman of the NZIFEA, Michael Barnett, says guaranteeing New Zealand quality is essential, “the Chinese and other international countries need to know the New Zealand labelled infant formula product is genuine and is backed by our quality and regulations. The health consequences and the damage to New Zealand from not having accredited brands and genuine labelling could be severe. The infant formula industry is worth millions and the impact of harmful fake New Zealand dairy product anywhere would be devastating,” said Michael Barnett. . .

Tarras Water Project one step closer:

The developers of the Tarras water project have come a step closer to giving the scheme the ‘green light’ following a hugely supportive shareholders’ meeting.

The six resolutions that will enable Tarras Water Limited to issue its upcoming prospectus were voted on and overwhelmingly approved by 95% of shareholders and proxies attending the Special General Meeting on Friday evening at the Tarras Community Hall.

The company now intends to issue a prospectus within the next week.

Tarras Water Ltd chairman Peter Jolly said it was “an absolute thrill” to have such a strong endorsement from shareholders, who were now looking forward to a positive future for their community. . .

Cut in costs more time – Jill Galloway:

Once-a-day-milking is a viable option that more dairy farmers should consider, says a Massey University emeritus professor.

Colin Holmes says it cuts milking costs and allows more farm and family time.

“The majority [of farmers] won’t do it. They feel that performance will suffer and, as a result, profitability.”

He says some farmers have a lot of debt and even a small loss of milk production might make it unmanageable.

Holmes was a guest speaker at a once-a-day milking seminar at Christine Finnigan’s Glen Oroua farm. . .

Beekeeper expects overseas disorder to come to NZ:

Beekeepers are being asked to watch out for any unusual bee activity or pest outbreaks in New Zealand, amid concerns over a disorder that is devastating bee populations in the northern hemisphere.

Plant and Food Research says the symptoms of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) are similar to those suffered during one of the current threats to New Zealand bee populations, the varroa mite. . .

Fonterra Looks To Strengthen Its Organics Business

Fonterra is renewing contracts for some of its organic dairy farmers in the middle and lower North Island, following a turnaround in its niche organics business.

Managing Director Fonterra Nutrition, Sarah Kennedy, said the Co-operative has worked hard over the past 18 months to return its organics business to profitability.

“18 months ago we were losing money so we restructured the business to focus on markets in Asia, while also reducing our costs to ensure ongoing profitability.

“We reduced transport costs by concentrating organic milk supply in the central and lower North Island. . .

QTech technology helps irrigators comply with tightening water regulations:

 Telemetry and water management specialist, QTech Data Systems, has created and launched a sophisticated Aqua Flow Management System (AFM) that enables water consent holders to remotely monitor, better manage and report their water usage data directly to their regional council.

Under New Zealand’s National Regulations of Water Use Measurement and Reporting, all 20,000 water consent holders in New Zealand must install both a water measuring and data reporting system*. And by law the onus is on every one of them to provide their water usage data to their regional council in the required format. If they fail to comply with these measures councils will either charge to collect the data in person, or present the consent holder with an abatement order. . . 

Contaminated input suspended by organic certifier:

 

Citrox BioAlexin was suspended as an approved input for organic production by organic certifier BioGro three weeks ago when some batches were found to be contaminated with low levels of didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride (DDAC). While some countries allow DDAC below minimum residue levels, and it is not considered a risk to human health, BioGro’s organic standards do not allow it.

A small number of organic kiwifruit growers had been using Citrox BioAlexin as an elicitor to help vines cope with the bacterial disease Psa-V. . .

 

NZFarmer launch creates integrated home for farming news:

Following the integration of Rural Press into Fairfax Media New Zealand, digital rural content has been rebranded NZFarmer, with the launch today of a powerful digital farming destination www.nzfarmer.co.nz (housed within Stuff.co.nz) and the new look farming sections in all regional Fairfax newspapers.

This digital home complements the already extensive rural publishing of Fairfax Media in New Zealand, which reaches 88.8% of the farming community via specialist publications and farming sections within our daily newspapers. The team of 20 rural editorial specialists will work together to create content for all publications, under the direction of Tim Cronshaw, Head of Rural Content.

The new structure offers advertisers a highly integrated solution for multimedia campaigns targeting Fairfax Media’s farming audience. Advertisers will also be able to target specific farming sectors thanks to dedicated coverage of key farming sectors and issues. . .


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