Farmers feel the love – Neal Wallace:
With the demise of New Zealand’s $41 billion tourism industry because of covid-19 the primary sector will carry an even greater economic burden. Not only will it fund the lion’s share of health, education and social welfare but also service the $200 billion the Government plans to borrow. This week we start the series, Growing Our Recovery, which looks at what obstacles and opportunities the sector faces as it leads NZ out of economic recession.
Renewed trust in the primary sector is being shown by the Government and its officials as they see changing economic fortunes around the globe, sector leaders say.
“We are picking up an awareness amongst Government that the stakes have all of a sudden got very high, not that they weren’t high before, but the stakes now are doubly high and they’re very much aware of that,” DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle said. . .
Farmers aim to feed the need – Colin Williscroft:
An AgriHQ initiative started earlier this year is playing a key role providing options for farmers wanting to buy supplementary stock feed while donated balage and hay continue to be trucked into Hawke’s Bay.
In February AgriHQ saw a growing demand for supplementary feed from farmers relying on various avenues to supply their needs.
To connect buyers with sellers it set up the AgriHQ Feed Noticeboard to let sellers listing what they have got, its cost, their location and contact details.
Commercial leader Steph Holloway says the online noticeboard proved popular popular from the start with it not uncommon for feed to be listed one day then gone the next. . .
Motivated young farmer making rapid gains in sector – Yvonne O’Hara:
Josh Cochrane is passionate about cows and enthusiastic about working in the dairy sector.
At 22, Mr Cochrane has wanted to be a dairy farmer for as long as he can remember.
He is in his first season as a 2IC for contract milkers Ben Franklin and Chelsea Saywell, on Roddy MacInnes’ 140ha property at Ryal Bush, milking 520 cows.
However, next season he moves to a 600-cow property in Oamaru as a contract milker.
He entered this year’s Southland/Otago Dairy Trainee of the Year competition and placed third.
His family were on a dairy farm near Rotorua and moved to Southland in 2007, when he was 10. . .
The versatility of Holstein Friesians is being credited with allowing a young South Canterbury couple to produce zero bobby calves.
Ryan and Billie Moffat milk 460 cows at Waimate. Production on the 145-hectare irrigated property was 262,000 kilograms of milksolids (kgMS) in 2018-19.
The couple bought the farm off Ryan’s parents Mike and Chris Moffat last year, after buying their herd four years’ earlier.
“Our business doesn’t produce any bobby calves,” said Billie. . .
Farm ownership long term goal – Yvonne O’Hara:
Jakeb Lawson has been working in the dairy industry since he was about 13 and likes it so much, he wants to eventually own his own farm.
Mr Lawson (19) is a farm assistant for sharemilker Matt McKenzie, on a 300ha property owned by Eoin and Jayne McKenzie, at Woodlands.
They milk 650 cows and the expected production this year is 360,000 kg of milk solids.
‘‘I got the opportunity to do some work for my brother-in-law when I was about 13 or 14 and I really enjoyed it,’’ Mr Lawson said. . .
Farmers still need up to 40,000 workers to help bring the harvest in this summer despite an ‘overwhelming’ response to hiring campaigns.
Defra launched the initiative ‘Pick for Britain’ last month to bring workers and employers together as the impact of Covid-19 leaves a diminished workforce.
From pickers and packers, to plant husbandry and tractor or forklift drivers, there are a wide range of roles available for furloughed employees. . .