Rural stakeholders meet over Mackenzie fires – Annette Scott:
Federated Farmers and the Forest and Rural Fire Stakeholders Forum are calling for urgent action following two major fires in South Canterbury’s Mackenzie district.
The embers had barely cooled on the most recent, the Ohau fire, before the debate turned to causes and Feds and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage crossed swords on what degree fire fuel loads on Department of Conservation (DOC) land were a factor.
“We definitely need some answers sooner rather than later,” Feds high country chair Rob Stokes said.
At a rural stakeholders meeting, including farming and DOC representatives, Stokes said it was a matter of absolute urgency to start planning now before the next fire. . .
Ag Uni staff facing job cuts – Colin Williscroft:
Staff cuts at Lincoln University and Massey University’s College of Sciences have raised concerns about the impact they could have on future teaching and research of agricultural and horticultural science.
Earlier this month, Massey science staff received a discussion document that says the college’s expenses urgently need to be cut, with most of its curriculum affected by unsustainably low enrolments as a result of New Zealand’s border closure to overseas students.
The document set out two options to address the situation, with both requiring changes to the curriculum, along with a reduction in staff numbers of around a third – which equates to about 100 jobs. . . .
Shareholders Council review – final report out– Sudesh Kissun:
Fonterra Shareholders Council chairman James Barron says the council supports the recommendations of a review into its role and functions.
A steering group delivered its final report to the council today.
Barron says the council is committed to actioning the recommendations.
He says councillors will be meeting farmers in their respective wards next month “to get a greater understanding of their views and expectations”. . .
Three New Zealand farms are now using electronic cow collars that use sound and vibration to guide and contain individual cows without the need for fences.
The collars are designed by the Kiwi agri-tech company Halter.
Basil the Friesian cow munches calmly in the paddock.
As she moves there’s a quiet beep emanating from a collar around her neck. . .
A Gisborne sheep that evaded capture for five years has finally been shorn, producing a record-breaking fleece.
Gizzy Shrek was shorn at the Poverty Bay A & P show this morning, producing a 13kg fleece, said its owner Rob Faulkner.
“It’s a hell of a lot of wool to carry around.”
It broke the record for the world’s longest fleece, measuring in at 58 centimetres. . .
Women’s work in agriculture set to take leading role – Andrew Marshall:
Women working in agriculture are increasingly likely to be better educated than their male peers and are on course to make up about half of the industry’s managers in 10 years.
More women than men are now studying and graduating from tertiary degrees in agriculture and environment-related courses according to research by the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group.
The analysis, which covers the entire agribusiness service and production sector, noted a 23 per cent jump in the number of women who completed post school education qualifications in ag-related subjects between 2011 and 2016. . .