What farmers wish other New Zealand knew – Esther Taunton:
Remember when Country Calendar was must-see TV? When The Dog Show was on every week and the Young Farmer of the Year competition was screened live?
The times aren’t just a’changin’, they have already a’changed, taking New Zealand’s general knowledge of farming with them.
We’ve fallen out of touch with the people who put food on our tables and clothes on our backs and it’s no surprise the rural-urban divide often feels more like a canyon than a crack to farmers.
Many Kiwis don’t know the simplest things about farming but, thanks to the farmers who’ve taken me from total-townie to slightly-less-townie in my time as a rural reporter, we can change that right now. . .
Petty and small-minded is the only way to describe the continued snubbing of Federated Farmers in regard to the Government’s freshwater reforms.
Outgoing Federated Farmers president Katie Milne has hit out at Wellington-based government officials for their lack of understanding about farming.
Late last week, Environment Minister David Parker and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor – along with ministry officials – unveiled the long-awaited reforms before invited guests at Parliament.
However, the farmer lobby was a notable omission.
How does the Government expect to get farmers onside for its highly contentious water plans, when it refuses to deal or even engage with the farmer representative organisation?
A catalogue of approved animal species for human consumption has been issued by the Peoples Republic of China. It includes venison from farmed malu – the Chinese name for red deer – along with more traditional farm animals and poultry.
Deer Industry NZ (DINZ) chief executive Innes Moffat says the inclusion of our deer is great news for venison producers and marketers, as it will make it clear to officials across China that the sale and consumption of our venison is legal and safe for Chinese consumers.
“Chinese consumers have a growing appreciation for quality animal proteins, making China an increasingly important market for our venison. It was taking about 10 per cent of our exports until the end of 2019,” he says. . .
Kinship & solidarity: Harvest a family affair at Domaine Thomson – Sophie Preece:
Kate Barnett clearly recalls her father pulling up in Wanaka on New Years’ Day, to load his four begrudging daughters into the Chrysler Valiant station wagon.
The first days of January were always dedicated to picking blackcurrants on their farm, north of Dunedin, and Kate was there for every harvest, from age five through to 20.
The planting of Felton Road vineyard was also a family affair, after her dad – Stewart Elms – found the Bannockburn site, kick-starting a wine life that eventually led Kate to Domaine Thomson in Central Otago, where she’s Operations, Marketing and Cellar Door Manager.
This year she was also chief recruiter of locals for harvest, including her 11, 12 and 14-year-old children, in a step back in time she’s cherished. . .
Farmers are lifting their use of animal tracing after changes to strengthen the NAIT* scheme and boost compliance, new data shows.
Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) director of compliance, Gary Orr, says this is particularly encouraging at this time of year when dairy farmers are moving cows between farms around the annual Moving Day.
“From January to March this year, 77% of animals were registered correctly – a 24% increase over the same period in 2019. And 75% of animal movements were recorded on time (within 48 hours of the movement) – a jump of 11% over the same time in 2019. And 98.7% of animals slaughtered were tagged – an increase of 0.3% from the previous year.
In late 2019 the fine for NAIT offences increased to $400 per animal and Mr Orr says that is quite an incentive to do it right. . .
The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has approved a new insecticide, Vayego, for use in New Zealand, subject to conditions.
This insecticide is used to keep codling moths, leaf rollers and other pests away from apples, pears, grapes, and stone fruit crops.
Vayego contains tetraniliprole, an active ingredient that is new to New Zealand and has only recently been approved for use in Australia, South Korea, and Canada. Tests here have found that although tetraniliprole is not rapidly degradable, it also does not build up over time. Allowing this insecticide to be used in New Zealand provides more choice for farmers, which is considered to be a significant benefit. . .
PEAK beef producer group Cattle Council of Australia wants a full scientific assessment of modeling used to calculate the impact of beef on climate change and the alternative global warming potential model.
CCA President Tony Hegarty said with the broader red meat industry committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030, it is important to use the best available science to measure the impact of cattle-produced methane.
“We have a responsibility to make sure we use the best available science in our response to climate change,” Mr Hegarty said. . .