Rural round-up

February 13, 2013

Variation 6 roll out:

Variation 6 is now being rolled out to the lower Waikato and West Coast catchments by the Waikato Regional Council.

It confirms the requirement that all dairy farms taking more than 15 cubic metres of water per day for milk cooling and shed washdown purposes require a resource consent. 

Farmers have until January 1, 2015 to take advantage of the special grandparenting rules made available to them in the variation. 

Farmers who were taking more than 15 cubic metres a day for dairy shed wash down and milk cooling as at October 2008 will generally have the amount taken in 2008 grandparented providing they meet a range of conditions 

These conditions include applying for a consent by January 2015, developing a riparian management plan and excluding stock from waterways. . .

Loyalty key to 50 years as agent – Sally Rae:

When Robin Gamble turned up to work at National Mortgage as a fresh-faced school-leaver, little did he know he would still be in the stock and station industry 50 years later.

But luck and loyalty had proved to be a great combination in half a century with the same company, he said.

There might have been a few mergers over the years, adding a few different coloured ties to his wardrobe, but he still considered that he had worked for the same company, now PGG Wrightson, he said. . .

Workshop on biofarming – Sally Rae:

Joel Salatin, described as an American biological farming guru, is running a two-day workshop in Wanaka at the end of the month.

Mr Salatin hails from Polyface Farm in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, a family-owned, pasture-based, local-market farm which produces beef, pork, poultry, rabbits and forestry products.

It has become internationally known for promoting the importance of buying healthy, locally grown food. Initially, the farm could not support one salary but now it has annual sales of more than $US1 million. . .

Passionate breeders hang in – Sally Rae:

Ram breeders who have stuck with the sheep industry are the ones who are ”pretty passionate about it”, Min Bain believes.

He and his wife, Lisa, with children Lochie (13) and Danielle (10), farm at Waitahuna West, near Lawrence, and breed Romney, Dorset Down and Romdale rams.

He was among nine ram breeders at the Southfuels Farmarama in Lawrence last week, which was an increase on previous years. . .

Farmlands CRT merger one step closer:

The boards of CRT and Farmlands, recommending a merger of their societies, have attracted overwhelming shareholder support to take the process to its next stage.

The CRT shareholder meeting in Christchurch on Tuesday completed the first of two shareholder votes required to approve a merger with those in favour accounting for 85.5% of the vote, exceeding the threshold of 75% of votes necessary to proceed.

CRT chairman Don McFarlane said he was very pleased with the outcome. . .

Stop horsing around with our food:

Wellingtonians who buy their meat direct from the farm have nothing to fear from recent stories of horse meat being found in UK food.

UK’s Aldi and Tesco supermarkets and Burger King have all been in the food spotlight recently with significant traces of horse meat found in beef products they sell.

Greytown farmer Julian Downs of Rannoch Meats believes New Zealanders have plenty of opportunity to know where their food comes from. “Forty years ago we all had access to local producers, and that still exists today. There’s plenty of markets and ways to buy direct.

“It’s different in the UK, where cities are enormous and the countryside is unknown to many people says Julian, but more and more people are wanting to know more about what goes into their food.” . . .


Rural round-up

July 20, 2012

Westland Milk Products Celebrates 75 years:

New Zealand’s second biggest dairy cooperative, Westland Milk Products, this week celebrates 75 years of being an indomitable ‘David’ in the ‘Goliath’ that is New Zealand’s dairy industry.

The Hokitika-based company, which also has an office and plant in Rolleston, will not only be looking to its colourful past this week, but also celebrating its future as a highly successful independent, award-winning dairy co-operative.

Dairy farming has been present on the West Coast for almost 150 years with the Hokitika Dairy Company formed in 1868. Other, often quite localised, dairy co-operatives followed. Westland Cool Storage and Dairy Company Ltd, Kokatahi Co-operative and Waitaha Co-operative formed the nucleus of the Westland Co-operative Dairy Company in 1937. Other Coast dairy companies folded or joined over the ensuing years, the latest being Karamea which joined the Westland Co-operative in 1987. . .

NZ just 11th on global food security index:

New Zealand sits at just 11th on the Global Food Security Index, dragged down by ranking 18th for quality and safety – and 16th for affordability.

However, it is seventh on the third criteria, availability.

The index found that the US, Denmark, Norway and France led the world in food security, thanks to ample supplies, high incomes, low costs for food relative to other expenditure and significant research and development concentrated on food production . .

Farm succession start the crucial conversation – Pasture to Profit:

The OneFarm (www.onefarm.ac.nz) Farm Succession Summit brought 80 NZ & International rural professionals together who all work with farmers on Farm Succession.

 It’s very important that these Farm Family Facilitators, Accountants, Consultants & Solicitors specializing in Farm Succession all work as a team rather than in isolation. 
ANZ Bank data suggests that most farmers believe it is a very important issue to be discussed, planned & implemented yet fewer than 10% have a Farm Succession Plan. . .

CRT reaches new heights:

New Zealand farmer-owned co-operative CRT has posted its best ever annual result, setting new heights in both turnover and operating profits in 2012.

Revenue growth of $200 million, (18%), was achieved to create a new record of $1.292 billion, while operating profit grew 55% to $13.149 million.

Chairman Don McFarlane announced that a record bonus rebate of $9.75 million would be distributed to shareholders. This was the biggest bonus distribution CRT had made in its 49 year history, and was consistent with recent years in representing 75% of the annual operating surplus. . .

Growing Green – Transformation of farming, forestry and fishing:

This not-to-be-missed event will explore whether the primary production sector needs to lift its game to maximize productivity and minimize its footprint.

Register now to secure your place!

One of our international speakers, Paul Gilding, will be introduced by Bruce Donnison, Group General Manager Global Sustainability at Fonterra Co-operative Group.

Paul will address the topic Feeding the world and saving the planet: can we do both? . . .

Potatoes NZ farewell key industry leader:

This week Potatoes New Zealand business manager Ron Gall announced his resignation after 22 years working with the industry representative.

His resignation from Potatoes New Zealand and Horticulture New Zealand will come into effect from 21 December 2012 and concludes one of the most distinguished industry careers undertaken by a horticulture business manager. . .

New Spokesperson for Soil & Health Association – Organic NZ:

The Soil & Health Association – Organic NZ have announced the appointment of Debbie Swanwick as their new spokesperson.

The Association has been in operation for seventy years advocating “Healthy Soil – Healthy Food – Healthy People” to create an organic New Zealand. It is the largest membership organisation supporting organic food and farming in New Zealand. . .

Quad sales continue to grow:

Figures just released by the Motor Industry Association show that quad bike sales for the first half of 2012 were up nearly 20% on the same period last year.

“These numbers confirm continuing strength in the agricultural sector”, said Mr Clive Hellyar, Manager of the Motor Cycle Division of the Motor Industry Association. “This is also evident in the two wheeled off road sector where the reduction in sales compared with 2011 is principally recreational off road bikes while two wheeled farm bikes sales are continuing at much the same level as 2011. Some of the growth in quad sales can also be attributed to an increase in the number of side by side quad vehicles which are used mainly in agriculture.” . . .


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