Rural round-up

01/10/2019

The climate change blame-game:

In spite of the abuse heaped on farmers by urbanites, the causes of climate change are a town and country problem.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern undersold New Zealand when she told the United Nations’ Climate Action Summit in New York that we were “determined to show that we can be the most sustainable food producers in the world”.

By most key measures, and even counting food miles for our exports, we already are. But that message needs amplifying.

Never mind the world stage – farmers need defending at home against the current fashion for demonising them as the prime culprits for greenhouse-gas emissions and water pollution. . . 

Farmers’ inner-city BBQs aim to boost urban connections, mental health – Maja Burry:

A farming group is hosting barbecues in cities around the country to try to strengthen the relationship between rural and city people.

Ag Proud, a group formed by Southland farmers, aims to promote positive farm practices and raise awareness around mental health in the farming-sector.

Dairy farmer and Ag Proud co-founder, Jon Pemberton, said a recent winter grazing campaign by environmentalists in his region and some of the stress that had created among farmers sparked the group’s formation. . . 

Celebrity chef Al Brown pledges support for NZ farmers, takes swipe at ‘urban keyboard warriors’ – Angie Skerrett:

Celebrity chef Al Brown has taken a swipe at “urban keyboard warriors” he claims criticise farmers unnecessarily.

Brown posted a message on his Facebook page pledging his support for New Zealand farmers and calling on city-dwellers to stop bagging them.

“I just want to say thank you to our farmers of New Zealand,” the Depot owner wrote.  . .

‘M. bovis’ costs $203m to date – Brent Melville:

The costs of Mycoplasma bovis to the agricultural sector continue to stack up.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) says the eradication programme has cost more than $203million to date – excluding compensation to farmers.

In that respect MPI has received a total of 1450 claims with a value of $109.9million and has so far completed 1100 of those, cutting cheques to farmers valued at about $96.5million.

According to the latest figures from MPI more than 116,526 cattle and cows have been culled in just over two years since the M. bovis eradication programme was launched.

That’s getting close to initial estimates that around 126,000 animals would be culled during the course of a multi-year surveillance and eradication strategy, or around 1% of New Zealand’s cattle population. . . 

New dehorning rules are here :

New rules will require pain relief when dehorning and disbudding cattle.

From tomorrow, new rules require people working with cattle to use local anaesthetic when dehorning and disbudding.

Veterinarian and director animal health and welfare Dr Chris Rodwell says removing horns or horn buds is necessary on the farm to keep animals safe from each other, as well as for human safety.

“These regulations highlight that removal is painful and those carrying it out need to reduce the pain experienced. . . 

Wool price rebounds after dip :

After an extremely turbulent few weeks, fine-mid wool growers are breathing a sigh of relief that prices are on the mend.

The US-China trade war has been affecting demand, with factories in China feeling reluctant to buy wool to make garments they might struggle to sell.

PGG Wrightson South Island sales manager for wool Dave Burridge said at its peak three weeks ago mid-fine wool prices in New Zealand were down 50 percent compared to the same time last year, but they had now made a notable recovery, sitting about 25 percent back on 2018 levels. . .

 


Rural round-up

04/09/2018

Irrigators asked to reduce water use to restore Opuha Dam:

Irrigators taking water from the Opihi River are being asked to help restore dam levels by reducing water consumption.

A lack of rain over the winter has prompted concern about levels at the Opuha Dam in South Canterbury.

Canterbury Regional Council is requiring the company operating the dam to maintain a minimum flow in the river of 5.2 cubic metres per second when the lake is above 375-metres.

It is now at about 390-metres. . . 

All eyes on the US market for NZ beef producers:

While global beef prices have held up well in the first six months of 2018, a range of developments in the US market have the potential to affect global beef trade and impact New Zealand producers in the second half of the year, according to a recently-released industry report.

In its Beef Quarterly Q3 2018 – All Eyes on the US Protein Complex, agribusiness banking specialist Rabobank says activities in the US market have been the focus of attention in global protein trade in 2018 and were likely to remain so for the rest of the year. . .

One month until new animal welfare regulations:

New regulations to strengthen our animal welfare system will come into effect on 1 October 2018.

Ministry for Primary Industries Director for Animal Health and Welfare, Dr Chris Rodwell, says the 45 new regulations cover a range of species and activities from stock transport and farm husbandry procedures to companion and working animals like dogs and horses.

“With under a month to go until these new regulations come into effect, we want to encourage people, who are responsible for any type of animal, to check they are up to date in how they are looking after them,” says Dr Rodwell. . .

A little piece of Clandeboye in half a billion pizzas :

Some already call it the Riviera of the South and now Timaru could also be the pizza capital of New Zealand, as the region becomes the Southern Hemisphere’s largest producer of natural mozzarella cheese.

Fonterra’s Clandeboye site fired up its third new mozzarella line today, meaning it now produces enough of the revolutionary cheese to top more than half a billion pizzas a year.

The cheese, which is made from one of the Co-operative’s secret recipes, is made in hours rather than in months – the time traditional mozzarella takes. It’s destined for pizzas all over the world. Fonterra cheese already tops around 50% of the pizzas in China – one of the fastest growing pizza markets in the world. . .

Livestock grazing ‘vital’ to preserve uplands:

A DECADE-LONG study involving researchers from Yorkshire has claimed that grazing sheep and cattle are vital to maintaining the biodiversity of Britain’s moorlands.

Abandoning grazing on upland environments, which include the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors, would be “incredibly damaging”, researchers found, as it would disrupt important plant and bird communities that rely on each other to survive.

The first long-term study of its kind, which was carried out by ecologists at the Universities of Hull, Aberdeen and the James Hutton Institute, looked at the consequences of different grazing scenarios on multiple plant and animal groups, which consume each other in an upland “food web”. . .

Missouri becomes first state in US to regulate use of the word ‘meat’ – Zlati Meyer:

On Tuesday, Missouri becomes the first state in the country to have a law on the books that prohibits food makers to use the word “meat” to refer to anything other than animal flesh.

This takes aim at manufacturers of what has been dubbed fake or non-traditional meat.

Clean meat — also known as lab-grown meat — is made of cultured animal tissue cells, while plant-based meat is generally from ingredients such as soy, tempeh and seitan. . . 

Demand  brewing for former large-scale hop production operation:

A major agricultural operation which has previously produced one of New Zealand’s most exported high value yet little-known crops has been placed on the market for sale.

The 55.8-hectare site in the Motueka district of Riwaka was established as a hop growing plantation in the 1960s, before the operation was bought out by fruit and vegetable producer/marketer ENZAFruit New Zealand International Limited in the early 2000s and converted into an apple orchard. . .


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