Free trade trumps protectionism, we hope – Allan Barber:
It’s ironical the same week the CPTPP agreement was signed President Trump proudly announced new tariffs on steel and aluminium which threaten to undermine the World Trade Organisation’s function as the global regulator of international trade. The jury is still out on whether Trump can get the tariffs signed off by Congress and he has already created exemptions, at the time of writing for Australia, Canada and Mexico. But it’s an uneasy period, particularly for a country as dependent on trade for its economic survival as New Zealand, because we might well get caught in the crossfire from a trade war.
Meanwhile supporters of free trade can celebrate the signing of the CCTPP which I admit I didn’t rate as a certainty in my tips for 2018 in January. There has been a lot of noise from those against the agreement, either because it doesn’t differ markedly from the original TPP since rejected by Trump or because 22 clauses negotiated by the USA, including Investor State Settlement Disputes provisions, have only been suspended rather than removed altogether. But I suspect the antis would have objected regardless, wanting neither the original nor current agreement to be signed under any circumstances. . .
Beef + Lamb New Zealand urges farmers to comply with NAIT:
Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) is urging all farmers to comply with the National Animal Identification Tracing (NAIT) scheme requirements following the announcement of a programme to track cattle movements as part of the Mycoplasma bovis response.
The Ministry for Primary Industries will stop trucks in the upper South Island to check that farmers moving cattle from the South to the North Island are complying with their legal obligations under the NAIT Act.. . .
Technical advice and pathway tracing reports released following compliance searches:
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has today released reports by a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to its Mycoplasma bovis response and an internal report examining potential entry routes (pathways) to New Zealand for the disease.
The TAG report contains a reference to possible legal breaches in relation to how the disease entered the country. While these have largely been redacted from the report, MPI has been unable to release it until those matters were sufficiently examined by compliance investigators.
Note: Redactions have been made to the TAG and pathways reports consistent with provisions of the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). Where required, the Ministry for Primary Industries has considered the public interest when making decisions on the information being withheld. . .
Environment under the spotlight at Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s Annual Meeting:
The sheep and beef sector is well-placed to turn the challenges into opportunities and reap the rewards, farmers were told at Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s Annual Meeting in Gisborne today.
James Parsons, outgoing Chair at Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) said strong prices and recent trade gains such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will undoubtedly help lift the profitability of sheep and beef farming. . .
First Tauranga kiwifruit for 2018 sailing tomorrow
As chocolate eggs are being dispensed this weekend, New Zealand kiwifruit growers are shipping a much healthier alternative to Chinese consumers.
The Klipper Stream will carry New Zealand’s first load of Zespri Kiwifruit from the Port of Tauranga to China for the year, marking the start of what looks like another record-breaking season. Loading began this morning and the ship is scheduled to pass through the harbour entrance on Good Friday. . . .
Nigel Woodhead to put his ploughing skills to the test in Southland:
One of the country’s most recognisable young farmers will put his ploughing skills to the test in Southland next month.
Nigel Woodhead has been invited to compete at the New Zealand Ploughing Championships in Thornbury on April 14th-15th.
The 30-year-old is a sheep and beef farmer at Milton and was named the FMG Young Farmer of the Year last July. . .
Go for 5G, but bring rural NZ along too:
New Zealand’s ambitions to get on with the roll-out of 5G technology should be applauded but don’t put dealing with woeful rural coverage on the back-burner, Federated Farmers Vice-President Andrew Hoggard says.
Tests of 5G mobile technology were carried out on the streets of downtown Wellington this week and industry players are talking about putting this next generation of digital communications infrastructure in place from 2020. Meanwhile plenty of towns and provincial hinterland limp on without broadband, and patchy or non-existent mobile coverage.
“Primary producers play a dominant role in earning the nation’s living and technology is pervading every aspect of agriculture. With poor or no access to ultra-fast broadband and mobile, faming businesses – and family life – suffers,” Andrew says. . .
2018 Canterbury-North Otago Dairy Industry Awards Winners Announced:
The major winners in the 2018 Canterbury-North Otago Dairy Industry Awards are relatively new to the dairy industry and believe their success is due to their full involvement in their business.
Daniel and Paula McAtamney were announced winners of the region’s Share Farmer of the Year competition at the Canterbury-North Otago Dairy Industry Awards annual awards dinner held at the Addington Raceway and Events Centre last night. The other big winners were Will Green, who was named the 2018 Canterbury-North Otago Dairy Manager of the Year, and Salem Christian, the 2018 Canterbury-North Otago Dairy Trainee of the Year. . .
Second time lucky for 2018 West Coast-Top of the South Dairy Industry Awards winners:
A Hokitika couple have been announced as major winners in the 2018 West Coast-Top of the South Dairy Industry Awards.
Carl Wilmshurst and Anna Boulton were announced winners of the region’s Share Farmer of the Year competition at the West Coast-Top of the South Dairy Industry Awards annual awards dinner held in Nelson last night. The other big winners were Anthony Lamborn, who was named the 2018 West Coast-Top of the South Dairy Manager of the Year, and Sam Goffriller, the 2018 West Coast-Top of the South Dairy Trainee of the Year. . .
Inventors and innovators wanted for the 2018 Fieldays Innovation Awards:
Calling all agricultural inventors and innovators: entries are now open for the 2018 National Agricultural Fieldays Innovation Awards.
The Innovation Awards showcases innovation across several industry areas: dairy and drystock farming, horticulture, information and communication technology, cloud and mobile-based software, animal health and genetics, water and waste management, environment and clean-tech, animal and farm management, farm safety and leading research. . .
Fewer weeds, more wheat:
A herbicide to control problematic weeds in wheat crops and so increase crop yield, has been approved by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).
An application from Bayer New Zealand Limited to import Sakura 850 WG was considered by a decision-making committee convened by the EPA. This product contains pyroxasulfone, an active ingredient not used before in New Zealand. It will be imported ready-packaged for sale, and is intended for use by commercial growers and contractors, not home-gardeners.
“The EPA has concluded that this product offers considerable benefits to wheat growers,” said General Manager of Hazardous Substances and New Organisms, Dr Fiona Thomson-Carter. . .