Growers caught in no-man’s land – Richard Rennie:
Working south of the Bombays has taken on a whole new level of complexity for produce growers caught with land and operations between Waikato and the locked down super city of Auckland.
During the national level four lockdown the greatest problem for growers was the overnight loss of markets and outlets for produce.
But Pukekohe Vegetable Growers Association president Kylie Faulkner said this time it was the logistics of trying to operate blocks of growing land lying in neighbouring Waikato region.
“There is this invisible line which we are dealing with here in Bombay,” she said. . .
Pete Smit is one of a growing number of young business-savvy New Zealanders seizing opportunities in the dairy sector.
The 22-year-old is in his third season as a herd-owning sharemilker on a 68-hectare farm at Ohaupo near Hamilton.
The property is jointly owned by his mother Nienke Hartog and brother Floyd Smit.
Smit’s herd of just over 200 Holstein Friesian cows produced almost 130,000 kilograms of milksolids (kgMS) in the 2019-20 season. . .
Venison hits six-year slump due to Covid-19 – Maja Burry:
The impact of Covid-19 on the restaurant trade is expected to see returns for deer farmers slump to a six-year low this spring. The global pandemic has dented demand for venison, mostly eaten at restaurants.
Venison prices often peak in spring, when the meat is highly sought after by European customers during their autumn and winter game season. With winter drawing to a close here, many of New Zealand’s 1400 deer farmers have been focused on getting their stock ready for processing.
North Canterbury farmer, Sam Zino, said through no fault of farmers, returns this season would suffer as a result of Covid-19.
“I fully understand it hasn’t come from anything industry has done, it’s just good old Covid playing out,” Zino said. . .
Rural vet sees grass staggers cow disease spike – Maja Burry:
Having only recently escaped drought, a mild winter on the Hauraki Plains is now creating a different challenge for farmers; grass staggers.
Prolonged gentle rain, combined with mild temperatures and very few frosts has resulted in rapid pasture growth in recent weeks.
That means many farms have increased their pasture rotation, exposing the cows to younger grasses which were high in potassium and non-protein nitrogen, and low in magnesium. That’s a classic recipe for the condition known as grass staggers. . .
We are seeking views on an application to import or manufacture Soleto, a broad spectrum herbicide for potatoes.
Soleto contains the active ingredient metobromuron, which is approved in Europe but not currently in New Zealand.
The applicant, Belchim Crop Protection, wants to import Soleto for the control of broadleaf weeds in potatoes, using ground-based application methods. . .
Prince Charles has made a “significant” donation to a new charity which aims to tackle mental health in the farming community following the devastating impact of the coronavirus.
In a video message directed at tenants on the Duchy of Cornwall estate, the Prince of Wales admitted he felt “demoralised” to learn how many people working in the food, farming, tourism and hospitality industries had been affected by the pandemic.
“This coronavirus has perhaps reminded us that society works because people do things together for the common good – whether that it key workers keeping us healthy, farmers producing our food, or the supply chain meeting our needs,” he said. . .