Rural round-up

September 5, 2011

Pipfruit NZ CEO says industry needs to accept govt’s position on currency ‘is what it is’ and focus is on areas it can change – Alex Tarrant:

Exporters need to focus their attentions on areas they can change, and accept the government will not shift in its position on exchange rate management, the head of an industry group says.

Pipfruit New Zealand CEO Peter Beaven, who represents apple and pear growers nation-wide exporting half a million billion dollars worth of product a year, also said he would like to see the industry use more of an overarching national branding strategy to help sell New Zealand pipfruit, similar to the approach taken by the wine industry . . .

Universities to collaborate on precision research:

Massey and Lincoln Universities have agreed to work together on precision agriculture research and education.

Precision agriculture is based around creating practical land management solutions, through the use of tools such as sensors which capture the rate of pasture growth and measure soil moisture . . .

 Award-Winning Hawke’s Bay Dairy Farmers Stand Up For Their Industry:

Patoka dairy farmers Nick and Nicky Dawson saw entering the 2011 East Coast Ballance Farm Environment Awards as a good way to gain knowledge and “break down a few barriers”.

The Dawsons, who farm 480 cows in an equity partnership on 186ha of rolling contour northwest of Napier, were encouraged to enter the inaugural East Coast awards by a representative from the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.

They were proud to win the LIC Dairy Farm Award.

Suisteds Enjoy Spin-Offs From Dairy Awards Success:

Success at the 2011 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards has broadened Jason and Lisa Suisted’s perspective of the country’s dairy industry and propelled their sharemilking business forward.

The Waikato couple won the New Zealand Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year title at the national awards dinner in May and has since embraced the opportunities they have received to be exposed to other facets of the industry, and the people involved.

Lisa Suisted says winning the title on their third time entering was a dream. “Once you get involved in the dairy awards and start the process, it’s addictive. You can see your systems becoming more refined, your business improving and the financials flowing from that.” . . .

New dairy scholarship encourages student travel and adventure:

DairyNZ today announced the launch of its new Gap Year Scholarship programme in partnership with Communicating for Agriculture Education Programme (CAEP) New Zealand. The scholarships will provide support for school leavers looking for experience overseas prior to beginning their tertiary studies. They consist of funding ($5750 including GST) as well as expert assistance with overseas placement and travel arrangements.

Up to three Gap Year Scholarships will be available to New Zealand school leavers from 2012 and applications for the first round close on November 15 this year . . .

Christchurch woman receives deserved Land Girl medal after 70 years – Nicky Wagner:

It’s always humbling to present awards and medals to thoroughly deserving recipients. And Molly Anderson is no exception.

After seventy years, Molly has been honoured for her services to the New Zealand Women’s Land Service as a land girl on a dairy farm at Halswell. Molly’s duties on the Van Asch town supply farm, were milking, feeding out and looking after some of the calves. She also worked on the Browns’ farm in the area . . .

Could a small New Zealand company solve the world’s carbon crisis?

According to an article in Australia’s foremost business newspaper, The Australian Financial Review, the world will need to produce twice as much food by 2050 as it does now, using the same amount of land and water (or probably less). It’s a disturbing proposition, but a large part of the solution could be found in a small, unassuming factory west of Auckland.

To meet growing demand for food, most of today’s farming and agricultural practices lean towards clearing and irrigating more land and increasing use of fertilizers. These methods are unsustainable, and if they continue the world will experience major food shortage in the coming years. All is not gloom and doom, however. The Australian Financial Review article suggests that the single key to meeting our increased demand for food lies in better soil management. Well-managed soils produce better harvests even during poor seasons, and can recover more quickly from drought or flood. . .

The last extract is a media release from EcoCover about which you can read more here.


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