Rural round-up

May 12, 2016

Gentle giants deliver the meat – Kate Taylor:

A Pahiatua farmer is pleased his family dairy farm is still in the family because it allows him to enjoy his passion for south devon cattle. Kate Taylor paid him a visit.

Pahiatua south devon breeder Mark Eagle talks enthusiastically about the temperament of his “gentle giants”.

We pride ourselves on breeding cattle with quiet temperaments and a decent strong, meaty carcass,” he says.

Mark and Di Eagle and their Kaimoa South Devon Stud can be found on the 230-hectare Chessfield Farm in the Mangaone Valley about 11 kilometres south east of Pahiatua. Their annual bull sale is on May 23. . .

Farmers think about the future at Federated Farmers Southland meeting – Brittany Pickett:

Primary industries production remains crucial in Southland’s future.

That was the message given to farmers at the Federated Farmers annual meeting on Wednesday at Bill Richardson Transport World.

Speakers and leaders had farmers thinking about what farming in Southland would be like within the next 10 years.

Southland Federated Farmers president Allan Baird said his desire for the future would be to have a healthy environment alongside a growth in production. . . 

Views on animal welfare heard across the country:

Close to 500 people attended six public meetings across the country, to express views on animal welfare.

MPI is currently seeking feedback on 85 proposed animal welfare regulations and took to the road as part of the five week consultation. The proposals set out tougher rules around animal management and would put new fines and infringements in place.

Director of Biosecurity and Animal Welfare Julie Collins has been pleased with the amount of feedback MPI had received to date. . . 

Solar powered pump sells to 20 countries:

A central Hawke’s Bay company has signed a deal to sell its solar powered water pump in 20 countries.

Isaacs Electrical launched its ePump last December, and strong demand nationally and internationally has led to it signing a major distribution partnership with Waikato Milking Systems.

The ePump can pump up to 20 litres of water per minute in daylight hours, and for a distance of up to 120 metres, making it ideal for use in remote locations. . . 

Waikato forum: what dairy can learn from kiwifruit crisis:

Dairy farmers facing the industry’s lowest milk price in years will this month hear lessons learnt by the kiwifruit industry when Psa struck in 2010.

“We are different industries, but we are still people. One looks after animals, one looks after plants – but we are people, we have passion, we have drive, we earn our income and live our lifestyles this way,” says Ian Greaves, kiwifruit industry representative.

The kiwifruit vine disease, Psa, devastated all Gold kiwifruit orchards across the Bay of Plenty but also affected Green, with many growers only now getting their first or second crop since it occurred. . . 

Battle for our birds 2016:

The largest pest control operation in New Zealand’s history will be launched this winter in response to a pest plague which threatens vulnerable native wildlife, Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says.

Battle for our Birds 2016 will receive $20.7 million in new operating funding for 2015/16 from this month’s Budget, helping to fight back against an expected pest population boom caused by a heavy forest seeding, or mast.

“DOC scientists have confirmed the seed fall predicted last year has eventuated,” Ms Barry says. “We must respond if we’re to protect our native birds and animals from the threat – and the funding will enable DOC to achieve this.”

This autumn around a million tonnes of beech seed will drop to the forest floor, providing a bonanza of food for rats and causing their population to boom.

“As rats increase due to the readily-available food source, so will the number of stoats which feed on rats,” Ms Barry says. “Once the seeds germinate and the food source disappears in early spring, the plague of millions of starving rats and tens of thousands of hungry stoats will turn on native wildlife, bringing disaster if we do nothing.” . . 

Welcome to New Trustee from Rural Women NZ:

This months meeting of NZ Landcare Trust’s Board of Trustees will see a new face at the table, as Fiona Gower takes over from Liz Evans as the representative for Rural Women New Zealand.

NZ Landcare Trust CEO Dr Nick Edgar said, “On behalf of Trust staff I’d like to welcome Fiona to the Board of Trustees. Fiona’s extensive knowledge of rural issues and her understanding of community involvement will be a real asset.”

Fiona is looking forward to the new role. “With the growing importance, emphasis and pressure on freshwater in New Zealand, organisations such as NZ Landcare Trust will play an increasingly important role in achieving positive outcomes for our land and water resources, and I am looking forward to being a part of that journey,” Fiona added. . .

 


Rural round-up

September 24, 2015

Groser: TPPA not a gold-plated deal – Patrick Smellie:

New Zealand negotiators expect to conclude a Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) deal with some improved access for dairy exports to the highly protected markets of North America and Japan but it won’t be a “gold-plated deal”, says Trade Minister Tim Groser.

He acknowledged that comments from Prime Minister John Key on Monday, that whatever deal was achieved would be “at least the very best we can do”, had been interpreted as a sign of a poor deal on dairy in the offing.

But Mr Groser told BusinessDesk that New Zealand negotiators weren’t in “capitulation mode”. . . 

No drought-breaker but ‘darn good help‘:

A farmer in the heart of the North Canterbury drought is welcoming the rain currently falling in parts of the region, describing it as a good morale boost for many farmers.

Vince Daly runs a 160 hectare cropping farm in Cheviot. He said the NIWA weather station on his farm showed the soil moisture level on his farm has gone from 32 percent to 37 percent this week so far. Normally it is at 100 percent at this time of year.

Mr Daly said 43 millimetres of rain had fallen but farmers further inland have, so far, not been so lucky. . . 

Aorere Wins NZ RiverPrize:

NZ Landcare Trust’s Aorere River Project won the inaugural Morgan Foundation NZ Riverprize at the International Riversymposium Gala Dinner in Brisbane last night.

Richard Thompson Chair of NZ Landcare Trust’s Board of Trustees said “What a fantastic result for the Trust and the Aorere community. This is an amazing result given the strength of the competition… it really underlines the value of this project and the work carried out by NZ Landcare Trust.”

NZ Landcare Trust CEO Dr Nick Edgar accepted the award on behalf of the Aorere River Initiative. “I think this is a real victory for community-led grassroots river management in New Zealand. Without the Aorere river community, the story really wouldn’t have happened.” . . 

Rural areas feeling agricultural sector slowdown:

Almost a third of businesses in regions see revenues fall

Three quarters of agricultural businesses expect economy to decline

Businesses in New Zealand’s rural areas are already feeling the effects of a significant slowdown for the agricultural sector, according the latest MYOB Business Monitor survey of over 1000 businesses nationwide, which includes over 200 rural SMEs.

Over the last 12 months, just 18 per cent of rurally-based SME operators have seen their revenue rise, compared to the SME average of 31 per cent. Almost a third (32 per cent) have seen revenue decline in the year to August 2015 (25 per cent SME average). . . 

Fonterra director Farrelly replaces Norris on Fund board – Paul McBeth:

(BusinessDesk) – Fonterra Cooperative Group director Ian Farrelly will replace Ralph Norris as one of the dairy exporter’s representatives on the board of the Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund manager.

Farrelly will join the board of the fund’s manager at the close of its annual meeting on Nov.27 when Norris retires, Fonterra said in a statement. Farrelly has been on the board of Fonterra since 2007, having clocked up a 20-year career in banking including 15 years as head of ASB Bank’s rural division. He operates a 400-hectare calf rearing farm in Te Awamutu and has dairy farm interests in Canterbury and Waikato. . .

Lasers: the transformation to come –  Lynley Hargreaves:

Cather Simpson wants every child and parent in New Zealand to know the word photonics – and to consider photonics science or engineering as a career. An Associate Professor at the University of Auckland and Director of the Photon Factory, she’s worked on problems as diverse as robotic surgery and sorting dairy herd sperm by sex. Now as part of the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies, Associate Professor Simpson is working to give school children, and the general public, a glimpse of the future of laser manufacturing.  . . 

Official start of new PGP lamb programme:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has welcomed the official start of a new Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme involving premium quality lamb products.

“The ‘Targeting New Wealth with High Health’ PGP programme aims to reach existing and emerging markets with a new class of premium lamb products with improved health qualities,” says Mr Guy.

“This is a collaboration between Alliance Group, Headwaters New Zealand and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). It will help our producers tap further into the increasing demand for premium and healthy foods, and add value to our exports. . . 

Rabobank Agribusiness Monthly (NZ) – September 2015:

Rabobank’s Agribusiness Monthly provides timely information and analysis on agricultural conditions, commodity price updates and commentary on the latest sectoral trends and developments.

Key highlights
Agribusiness Monthly

Dairy – Global commodity prices have shown signs of recovery in recent weeks, as international buyers look for short-term cover, given that prices appear to have reached a floor.

Beef – Steady demand from the US continues to fuel farmgate prices, with record levels reached this September (NZD 6.10/kg cwt). Prices have edged up 33% from last year, supported by seasonal tightening of supplies.

Sheepmeat – Farmgate prices have continued to improve into September 2015, with supply tightening heading into lambing season. . . 


Rural round-up

November 21, 2014

Canterbury’s Patoa Farms wins South Island Farmer of the Year for 2014:

Patoa Farms Ltd, a large scale free-farmed pig breeding and finishing operation at Hawarden in North Canterbury, has won the Lincoln University Foundation’s South Island Farmer of the Year competition for 2014.

The finals held yesterday evening at Lincoln University saw four very high calibre entrants vie for the top prize of a $20,000 travel grant for business study.

Foundation Chief Judge Nicky Hyslop said Steve and Josie Sterne, with daughter Holly Sterne, edged out stiff competition with their impressive growth, technical excellence, efficiency of production and strategic focus. They demonstrated that it was possible to achieve at the highest levels of farming technology and business management in an outdoor free-roaming stock operation. . .

Federated Farmers leader wants farmers to report rural crimes:

Federated Farmers Meat and Fibre Industry Group Chair Rick Powdrell says farmers aren’t diligent enough in reporting stock thefts from their properties.

“Unfortunately they might think the police aren’t interested or are too hard pressed to investigate,” he told the Meat and Fibre Council meeting in Wellington today.

“Federated Farmers surveyed members and our farmers have told us they don’t bother to report almost two-thirds of stock thefts.” . . .

CEO Successful Fellow:

NZ Landcare Trust CEO Dr. Nick Edgar has been awarded a Churchill Fellowship by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.

Dr Edgar’s Churchill Fellowship will involve examining local food system initiatives in Connecticut and Vermont, USA, that are creating economic and environmental improvement opportunities for farmers, producers and consumers.

In June 2013 Dr Edgar participated in a knowledge exchange workshop between land and water professionals from New Zealand and Vermont that was funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The workshop was focused on managing agricultural non-point source pollution, in particular, comparing the different policy, research and farm-based approaches being implemented between New Zealand and Vermont. Vermont was chosen for a comparison with New Zealand due to similarities in that State’s reliance on both agriculture and tourism to support its economy. A situation closely mirrored in New Zealand. . .

Dairy Awards Secures Future in Industry:

Participating in the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards has turned dreams into reality for the 2014 New Zealand Farm Manager of the Year, Nick Bertram.

“I am pretty happy as we know that we have got job security in the dairy industry. We are 100% going 50:50 sharemilking. Entering the dairy awards has made our dreams become reality,” Mr Bertram says.

Entries are now being accepted online at www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz in the 2015 awards programme, including the New Zealand Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year, New Zealand Farm Manager of the Year and New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year competitions.

All entries close on November 30. . . .

Wealthy Waikato farmers stonewall ‘foreign’ ownership:

Waikato dairying and grazing blocks going on the market for sale are remaining under the ownership of ‘local’ farmers who are far better financially resourced than their counterparts from other New Zealand provinces, according to the latest batch of rural real estate sales data.

Leading agency Bayleys has sold 11 of the 15 diary and grazing farms in the region to have gone under the auctioneer’s hammer over the past two months – with Waikato farmers outbidding hopefuls from Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay, Northland, Southland, and the Bay of Plenty on every occasion.

Bayleys Waikato country manager Mark Dawe said that while ‘out of town’ bidders were active on many of the farms going up for auction, they simply couldn’t foot it financially with the ‘local boys’, in what has been the busiest quarterly sales period since 2007… even with another month of selling days left. . .

Prices surging, but volumes steady in October Rural Property Market:

Summary
Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of NZ (“REINZ”) shows there were three fewer farm sales (-0.9%) for the three months ended October 2014 than for the three months ended October 2013. Overall, there were 346 farm sales in the three months to end of October 2014, compared to 347 farm sales for the three months ended September 2014 (-0.3%) and 349 farm sales for the three months to the end of October 2013. 1,920 farms were sold in the year to October 2014, 17.9% more than were sold in the year to October 2013.

The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to October 2014 was $27,898 compared to $24,590 recorded for three months ended October 2013 (+13.5%). The median price per hectare rose 7.3% compared to September. . .

 

 


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