Rural round-up


Kellogg report puts a human face on small rural business challenges – Kate Taylor:

There are challenges facing people with small rural businesses all over the world.

But in rural New Zealand, it is not always easy to solve them in isolation.

Rural people know how special rural New Zealand is, that’s why we fight so hard to stay out there running businesses alongside our farms or lifestyle blocks or within our homes.

I say we, because I own a small rural business. When I’m not writing for NZ Farmer I’m a freelance writer – communiKate – and I have been self-employed in rural Hawke’s Bay for almost 18 years. . . 

School introduces agribusiness as subject – Sally Rae:

The introduction of agribusiness as a subject at Kavanagh College signals “exciting times” in education, head of commerce Jill Armstrong says.

On Friday, pupils from the Dunedin school visited origin verification company Oritain, animal parasite diagnostics company Techion Group and Duncan and Anne-Marie Wells’ dairy farm on the Taieri.

It was a “fantastic” field trip and followed on from the introduction of agribusiness as a subject at NCEA level 2 this year, Ms Armstrong said.

At Oritain, Sam Lind gave an overview of the company and why it had become so important  for businesses to be protected from fraud. . . 

Top dairy women announced as finalists for Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year award:

A dairy consultant, a district mayor, and a leadership coach are finalists in the 2018 Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year awards.

Hawke’s Bay dairy consultant Rachel Baker, Tararua district mayor Tracey Collis, and Southland dairy leadership coach Loshni Manikam are in the running for the coveted dairy award, which will be announced at an awards ceremony during Dairy Women’s Network’s conference in Rotorua on Thursday 22 March. . . 

Local leaders recognised by Dairy Women’s Network:

Two women with generations of farming experience behind them are finalists in the 2018 Dairy Community Leadership Awards.

They are dairy farmers Kylie Leonard, from Reporoa in the Central Plateau, and Lorraine Stephenson, from Dannevirke in Manawatu.

The Dairy Community Leadership Awards are a Dairy Women’s Network (DWN) initiative recognising the unsung heroes of rural communities. This year’s award will be presented at an awards ceremony during the Network’s conference in Rotorua, 22-23 March.

Sponsored by ASB and Tompkins Wake, the award recognises the voluntary role dairy farming women have in leading their communities and sharing their time and skills beyond the farm gate. . . 

Fears for seed industry after red clover moth found nationwide – Eva Corlett:

A moth that attacks red clover, with “devastating” effects has now been found nationwide.

The red clover casebearer moth was first discovered in Auckland two years ago. It has now been found in pheromone traps at the bottom of the South Island, leading researchers to believe it has actually been in the country for around 10 years.

The larvae eats the red clover’s seed, spurring fears for the seed industry, the seed research manager for the Foundation of Arable Research Richard Chynoweth said. . . 

Sports award finalist acknowledges teamwork – Sally Rae:

Jude McNab isn’t one to seek the limelight.

In fact, the Owaka-based shearing sports administrator much prefers to be “behind the scenes and hidden under the table”. But she acknowledged that being named as a finalist for this year’s Norwood New Zealand Rural Sports Awards — in the contribution to the rural sports industry category — was a “real honour”, despite deflecting attention from herself.

“I don’t do this on my own. It’s a team effort with everything. I’m probably the bossy britches,” she laughed.

The awards were about celebrating traditional sports and the people who kept events running year-in and year-out in towns and settlements across the country. . . 

Rural recycling a no-brainer – Simon Andrew:

Supporting farmers and growers to clear more waste and preserve New Zealand farms for future generations is the mission of the rural recycling programme, Agrecovery.

In tackling the plastic used by our rural communities, the leading product stewardship programme recycles over 300 tonnes per year. “That is enough plastic to cover a rugby field six feet high,” says Agrecovery General Manager, Simon Andrew. . . 

It’s time to tell the world about British farming – and heal our rural-urban divide – Minette Batters:

Farming is changing. In all the talk of technology reshaping society, some might have assumed that farming would have been left untouched by this rapid pace of change. But there has been revolution and evolution in the fields of Britain. An agricultural revolution, with the introduction of new productivity-enhancing technologies, and a food evolution, with a relentless drive for high standards. . .



Rural round-up


Nutrient limits lift paperwork burden:

NEVER MIND the limits, it’s the paperwork that’s the real threat in regional council moves to cut nutrient losses and meet central Government’s National Policy Statement on Freshwater Quality, cropping farmers have been told.

That was one of three “slightly controversial” points Roger Williams of the Foundation of Arable Research presented to growers at FAR’s South Canterbury and North Otago trials hub field day.

Compared to dairy farms, cropping systems are hugely complex and data intensive and, as some at the field day confirmed, inputting data into Overseer as required by regional plans can take days. . .

Farm open day opens up the dairy industry:

Lincoln University Dairy Farm (LUDF) opened its gates on Saturday to the Canterbury public to showcase the operations of a commercial dairy farm, with 540 visitors taking the opportunity to learn about the transformation of ‘sunshine into food’. 

Visitors to the farm were able to get a glimpse into the complex world of modern dairy farming: looking at everything from the science behind photosynthesis, soil types; irrigation; fertiliser; grass and cow digestion; breeding; milking;  right through to the collection and transportation of milk and on-processing, finally reaching the many international markets the New Zealand dairy industry serves. 

New Zealand-based end users such as EasiYo and boutique cheese and yoghurt makers provided tasty examples of where the milk ends up, and Fonterra provided Primo and CalciYum milk drinks and Tip Top Fruju’s and Trumpets in return for donations for the Philippine’s Disaster Relief, raising $350. . .

Move over GPD: putting a wellbeing value on outdoor education:

Measuring economic value should mean more than just Gross Domestic Product (GDP). That’s according to Professor of Economics, Paul Dalziel , of Lincoln University’s Agribusiness and Economics Research Unit (AERU) who was speaking at The World Outdoors Summit in Rotorua last week.

Professor Dalziel argued for factoring in the idea of wellbeing to any equation which aims to measure economic value. More specifically, he was speaking with regards to wellbeing and economic value as it relates to outdoor recreation.

Although warning of the necessity for a cautious approach when allocating an economic value to the natural environment, Professor Dalziel did stress that the requirement for considering wellbeing within any such calculation stems from the idea that all economic value has a social dimension attached to it. The very fact that an individual may choose to walk the Milford Track, for instance, comes from a belief that the activity has a ‘wellbeing value’ associated with it. Otherwise the individual would not take up the activity. . .

The gap between consumer perceptions and farming reality – Mike Keogh:

If ever farmers needed reminding of the dangers of the ‘gap’ between consumer perceptions and farming reality, the recent decision by Woolworths to phase out caged eggs from its stores over the next five years has highlighted this risk. The decision, if implemented, will dramatically increase the disease risk faced by egg farmers, and also has the potential to have a much wider impact on biosecurity arrangements throughout the entire agricultural sector.

Woolworths recently announced it would stop selling caged eggs by 2018. It also announced that eggs from caged hens would not be used as ingredients for home-brand products from that date, although how this would be enforced (eggs are a major ingredient in pasta and noodles, a lot of which is imported from overseas) was not spelled out.

The biosecurity implications of this proposal were discussed by leading veterinarian Dr. Peter Scott of Melbourne University at the annual conference of the Australian Egg Corporation, held this week in Perth. He pointed out that the main source of Avian Influenza infection for Australian poultry farms is wild waterbirds. . .

Australian agriculture needs a brand and a brand champion – Mike Keogh:

If the pundits are to be believed, Australian agriculture is on the cusp of a boom that will rival the pound-a-pound wool boom of the 1950s. Rapidly growing Asian consumer demand for food, coupled with Australia’s close proximity to Asia has, in the eyes of plenty of commentators and policy makers, put Australian farmers in the box seat to experience a new era of sustained profitability and expansion.

But over the last five years, contrary to the above projections, Australian agriculture’s export performance in Asian markets has been lagging badly, relative to the performance of our major competitors. Australian agriculture has lost market share in all the big five Asian markets – Japan, Korea, China, Indonesia and India. And while Australian agricultural exports to Asia have been growing at around 8% per annum over the past five years, exporters like New Zealand, the USA, Canada and Brazil have experienced annual growth rates in excess of 20% per annum. . .
For our children – Milkmaid Marian:
Have you seen this?

Yes, it’s by Unilever. Yes, you’re entitled to be cynical and yes, I love it.

The global manufacturer and ice-cream maker has just accredited Australian dairy production as meeting its Sustainable Agriculture Code – a huge accomplishment, which is also a world first. Of course it doesn’t mean Australian dairying is perfect and Dairy Australia has published a Sustainability Framework that will nudge us all to do better.

Here on the farm, our family does a bite-sized project for the environment every year. We have: . .

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