Rural round-up

August 3, 2012
Federated Farmers’ top man enjoys exciting ride– Sally Rae:

He was the banker who became a farmer who became the president of rural lobby organisation Federated Farmers.

Now, a year down the track, Bruce Wills says he is very encouraged with the progress made since he was elected in July last year.

Mr Wills spent more than 20 years in the banking industry before the opportunity arose for him to return to the family farm, Trelinnoe, on which he grew up, to farm in partnership with his brother, Scott, eight years ago. . .

Professor excited about new role – Sally Rae:

Professor Claire Massey’s new role as director of agrifood business at Massey University brings together her interest in entrepreneurship and her agricultural background.

And it is a job that she could not be happier about. “I’m so excited about it, I really, really am,” she told the Otago Daily Times recently.

Brought up on a dairy farm at Karaka, near Auckland, she is also the great-granddaughter of former prime minister William Ferguson Massey, and the university’s namesake. . .

Farm database grows:

Two farm industry groups are joining the national farm database FarmsOnLine.

From September Ovis Management Ltd (OML) and Johne’s Management Ltd (JML) will share their farmer contact details with the database.

“This is the information that we already use in our work to manage and control sheep measles and Johne’s Disease in sheep and deer,” says OML/JML joint chairman Geoff Neilson, Dunedin. . .

North Island overtakes South Island as sheep central:

Federated Farmers is welcoming Beef+Lamb NZ’s Economic Service confirming declines in the national sheep flock and beef herd may now be at an end. It also confirms the North Island has become the dominant island for both sheep and beef.

“It shows what a couple of good back to back seasons can do for stock numbers and morale,” observed Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre chairperson. . .

University Honours farmer:

Lincoln University has recognised the efforts of South Canterbury dairy farmer Alvin Reid, who’s given many years service to the university.

Mr Reid farms at Winchester, just north of Temuka, and has been awarded the Lincoln University Medal.

He has interests in five dairy and dry stock properties covering 1300 hectares.


Rural round-up

July 29, 2012

New dairy chairman wants unity – Andrea Fox:

Fonterra chairman-elect John Wilson says ensuring there is the smoothest of board leadership transitions and uniting the farmer-owned co-operative after the rigours of the internal TAF debate are his priorities. 

    The Waikato farmer-elected director will take the reins of New Zealand’s biggest company in December from Sir Henry van der Heyden, who steps down after 10 years in the job. 

    Wilson, 47, will take his seat at the top of the table just after Fonterra is scheduled to have introduced share trading among farmers, or TAF, as it has come to be better known after more than two years of debate. . .

Biofuels and energy production dominate Europe’s landscape – Allan Barber:

After a week in England and a month touring central Europe by road, rail and river, I have gained a superficial impression of the predominant types of agricultural activity in the region. I am talking about Austria, Bavaria, Rhineland and some of the old Communist countries – East Germany, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

While these observations cannot claim to be comprehensive or even accurate in the matter of detail, they will provide a fairly accurate point of contrast with New Zealand’s agricultural landscape.

In particular they indicate a totally different set of political, economic and environmental priorities in Europe. . .

Farming bears – Bruce Wills:

In 12-months you could say we have gone from farming forward to farming bears, such was the sentiment in Federated Farmers new season Farm Confidence survey.

While agriculture will generate $21.7 billion in revenue over 2012, more than half, $11.9 billion, will go on the goods and services farmers consume.

Much of this intermediate consumption is spent locally on everything from number eight wire to builders and injects billions into the provincial economy’s heart.

Being intermediate consumption, it does not include the wage bill for 151,000 primary workers, interest or taxes either. . .

Time to break free of “No 8 wire” mentality – Jon Morgan:

Our pride in our heritage of being useful, practical people who can turn our hands to anything is holding us back, says Claire Massey. 

“That No 8 fencing wire mentality is now at a point where it’s hampering us,” the newly appointed Massey University director of agri-food business says. 

“We say ‘We can do anything’ when we can’t. We’ve got to break free of that. It was useful, but now we need to find the experts.” 

The irony is that it is not only an image we have of ourselves but that others have of us, she says. . .

Ngai Tahu Holdings CEO leaves

Christchurch’s Ngai Tahu Holdings Corporation chief executive Greg Campbell is leaving the job to take up the reins at big fertiliser co-operative Ravensdown. 

    Ravensdown, 100 per cent owned by 30,000 farmer shareholders, announced today the appointment of Campbell as its new chief executive to replace Rodney Green when he retires on December 31, 2012. 

    Campbell has been chief executive at Ngai Tahu for three years. . .

Lincoln farm in drive to be more efficient – Gerald Piddock:

The Lincoln University Dairy farm finished the 2011-12 season well ahead of its production budget. But it will now seek ways to become even more efficient. 

    The farm produced 297,740kg milk solids at 471kg per cow, well ahead of its budget of 281,600. This was achieved with 5 per cent fewer cows. 

    “We ended up with 12.5 per cent more production per hectare than last season and 15 per cent more profit,” farm manager Peter Hancox said at a field day at Lincoln. . .

Quest for lower nitrate leaching – Gerald Piddock:

Work is underway at Lincoln University to determine ways of reducing the environmental footprint of the wintering systems on dairy farms. 

    Lysimeters are being used to simulate the nitrogen levels within trial plots of three different wintering systems. These plots are early and late sown kale crops and a fodderbeet crop planted at the Lincoln University Dairy Farm’s wintering site, Ashley Dene Farm. . .

 


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