What the ‘F’ is going on? – Mark Daniel:
Rabobank’s Emma Higgins recently outlined some of the current headaches facing the agriculture sector.
At the Tractor and Machinery Association (TAMA) Conference, held in Christchurch, she focused on a number of ‘F’ words – freight, fuel, fertiliser, feed, folk and farmer spending.
Higgins looked at the state of the global shipping industry and what had happened pre- and post-Covid, covering a period from early 2018 to June 2022. She explained that during the pre-Covid era, freight rates had remained largely static with most companies making little or no margin. However, since early 2020, rates had skyrocketed, alliances and consolidations had become the norm and major players were reporting margins approaching 40% or more.
Higgins warned those needing to ship goods in or out of the country not to expect freight costs to return to pre-Covid levels, even though there had been a recent softening of rates. She also noted there is an ongoing problem with scheduling reliability – boats arriving on time. Pre-Covid this was typically at 85%, but more lately was sitting at 35%. . .
Many flow-on effects if scroll plains classified as wetlands – Shawn McAvinue:
A Maniototo Basin farmer fears proposed new freshwater rules will remove an important tool used to protect a unique scroll plain.
Puketoi Station owner Emma Crutchley said her nearly 3000ha sheep, beef and arable farm was often dry.
About 350mm of rain fell each year on the farm, which is about a 20-minute drive southwest of Ranfurly.
When it tips down, the overflow of the meandering Taieri River transforms a low-lying area of her farm to a “large, slow-moving lake”. . .
Winter crop consent logjam ‘could reach 10,000’ – Neal Wallace:
Delays in finalising freshwater farm plans threaten bureaucratic snarl-up.
An estimated 10,000 farmers may require resource consent to intensively winter stock on crops next year.
A meeting this week between farming groups and the Ministry for the Environment (MFE) will confirm if a compromise can be found to the consenting requirement, which many fear will overwhelm regional council staff.
It has been estimated that 2000 farmers in Southland and 1000 in Waikato will require resource consent, and farming leaders calculate that nationally, potentially a further 7000 may also need consent. . .
Ex-Feds dairy boss makes it 3-way battle for DairyNZ board seats – Sudesh Kissun:
Former Federated Farmers leader Chris Lewis is one of three candidates confirmed for DairyNZ director elections.
The Waikato farmer will take on sitting directors Tracy Brown, Waikato and Elaine Cook, Bay of Plenty, both retiring by rotation and seeking re-election.
Voting starts September 19 and ends on October 17. Results will be announced at DairyNZ’s annual meeting in Invercargill the next day.
Lewis, who milks 970 cows at Pukeatua, believes he will bring a farmer’s perspective to the board. . .
Vets hold the line against M bovis – Mary van Andel :
Local vets are putting the country on track to be the world’s first to eradicate the disease.
Much of the work veterinarians do is behind the scenes but underpins aspects of our economy, environment and way of life. Across New Zealand, veterinarians provide valuable technical expertise and are recognised as trusted advisers on a range of issues, including animal health and welfare, and disease surveillance and investigation. They play a key role in our biosecurity system.
A debt of gratitude is owed to the private veterinarian who first identified Mycoplasma bovis in NZ in 2017. Since those early and often difficult days, private veterinarians have made a significant contribution in identifying the index case and reporting cases of suspected disease, as well as undertaking on-farm testing and supporting their clients affected by the eradication programme.
If it had been left unchecked, M bovis could have cost the industry $1.2 billion over the first 10 years, with ongoing productivity losses across the farming sector and animal welfare concerns. As we near the halfway mark of our estimated 10-year eradication programme, we are aiming to move from controlling the last known pockets of the disease, to provisional absence. We are on track to become the first country to eradicate M bovis.
An important part of my role at the Ministry for Primary Industries is to identify ways to build relationships that bind our animal health community together to enable successful biosecurity partnerships. MPI is NZ’s largest employer of veterinarians, with 300 working in five of the nine business units, across all regions, including overseas postings. . .
Ploughwoman qualifies for national champs – Shawn McAvinue:
Southland ploughwoman Tryphena Carter is going to the National Ploughing Championships next year.
The Waimea Ploughing Club member qualified for the nationals on the first day of the Middlemarch, Taieri and Tokomairiro ploughing matches in Strath Taieri.
“That’s really exciting,” Carter said.
She got podium finishes in the conventional class on all three days — the Tokomairiro match in Sutton on August 26 and the Taieri and Middlemarch matches in Middlemarch on August 27 and 28 respectively. . .