Rural round-up

November 4, 2017

Beef + Lamb pulls plug on the Glammies – Nicole Sharp:

For 10 years, farmers from throughout the country have entered their best of best in the Golden Lamb Awards, better known as the Glammies.

This year, looking to reinvest farmer levies in more crucial areas, Beef + Lamb New Zealand has pulled its funding from the event. Nicole Sharp reports.

After 10 years of celebrating farmers’ best-raised lamb, the Glammies are no more.

Since the event’s inception, Beef + Lamb New Zealand Ltd (BLNZ) has partnered with Beef + Lamb New Zealand Inc to run the event, with BLNZ the predominant funder.

In the past six months, BLNZ has been consulting its farmers and reviewing its strategy and anticipated revenue stream through to 2022. . . 

Wool prices lift but long way to go – Simon Hartley:

The worst appears to be over for wool prices but prices are still very low and the industry is ”still not out of the woods yet”, ASB senior rural economist Nathan Penny says.

Prices for 39 micron wool, for example, had lifted 25% from the record low level set in July this year, he said. Despite the lift, 39 micron prices remained 28% below the 10-year average level, Mr Penny said in the latest ”Farmshed Economics” report.

Meanwhile, mid micron prices had been stable over recent months. Prices bottomed out earlier than coarse types towards the start of the year. . . 

 NZ King Salmon shares hit record on guidance uplift, sales growth -Tina Morrison:

New Zealand King Salmon Investments shares rose to a record after the fish farmer raised its 2018 earnings guidance, saying it expects to lift volumes while maintaining prices and improving production.

The stock climbed 3.5 percent to $2.35 and has soared 78 percent this year. They were sold in the initial public offering in September 2016 at $1.12 apiece. . . 

 – Keith Woodford:

[The article below was intended to be published some weeks back at The Conversation. The Conversation is the online portal, funded by Universities in Australia, New Zealand and the UK, where academics are encouraged to communicate and converse with non-academics. However, this particular article was blocked at the last minute by the Senior Editor(s) at The Conversation, having previously been approved within their editorial system. The Senior Editor(s) felt that the interests of associated commercial parties, who might benefit from dissemination of the article, were too great. A fuller story of that publishing saga will be posted shortly.
The content, formatting and supporting links are shown as originally agreed with The Conversation and reflect the prior input of one of their editors. This article can be freely republished, with or withut this foreword, but retaining the title as posted here, and with acknowledgements as to source [https://keithwoodford.wordpress.com].

Authors: Keith Woodford & Boyd Swinburn
Disclosures: See end of article

Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks its own insulin-producing cells, is on the rise globally.
Early evidence of an association between type 1 diabetes and a protein in cow milk, known as A1 beta-casein, was published in 2003. However, the notion that the statistically strong association could be causal has remained controversial.
As part of a seven-person team, we have reviewed the overall evidence that links A1 beta-casein to type 1 diabetes. Our research brings forward new ways of looking at that evidence. . . 

Sheep dairy better match for clean green image:

New Lincoln research points to sheep dairy better fulfilling the green credentials New Zealand uses to differentiate its produce in the global market than its cow counterparts.

Senior Lecturer in Agribusiness Management Dr Nic Lees co-authored the paper “Competitive advantage through responsible innovation in the New Zealand sheep dairy industry.”

It finds, rather than competing on cost the sheep dairy industry should promote sustainability and environmental benefits, and be innovative…

Website covers new ground for fertiliser spreaders:

A new website has been launched by the New Zealand Groundspread Fertilisers Association (NZGFA). The site – www.nzgfa.co.nz – promotes best practice fertiliser spreading. It was recently unveiled alongside a new logo at the NZGFA 61st annual conference.

The new site provides industry news and advice for groundspreaders as well as information for farmers, growers and other fertiliser users on how to find a local groundspreader accredited to Spreadmark, the industry’s standard. There is also career advice for prospective groundspreaders, and a video that explains training as well as potential salary. . . 

Allied Farmers unsure about the year ahead with weak first-quarter livestock sales – Sophie Boot:

(BusinessDesk) – Allied Farmers’ first-quarter livestock earnings fell, although the rural services firm says it’s too early to say whether it will recover by the end of the current half or the financial year.

Earnings in the three months ended Sept. 30 were below the same period a year earlier “largely due to the impact of the wetter spring weather, which has generally had the impact of reducing livestock sales in this quarter,” the Hawera-based company said in a statement. Allied Farmers had previously predicted “careful growth” in the livestock business, tempered with a flat outlook for the meat processing business as overseas prices remain low. . . 

Harry is a prince among bull calves:

Harry the Hereford-cross, a hungry four-month old bull calf weighing 214kg has beaten his rival hands down in a competition between two DairyNZ research and development farms to raise the heaviest IHC calf.

Harry looked good from the start, arriving early in the season and weighing 50kg at birth. He had the right bloodline to wear the crown. His Dad was a pure bred Hereford and his Mum was a Friesian so he was already set on a winning course, according to Scott Farm Manager Ben Fisher. . . 

“When you cross a beef bull with a Friesian or dairy cow you get what’s known as hybrid vigour,” Ben says. “He’s got very good genes.”


Rural round-up

March 15, 2016

What’s all this crying over spilled milk? New Zealand’s dairy crisis explained – Richard Meadows:

The dairy industry is constantly in the headlines lately – for all the wrong reasons.

Milk prices are going down the gurgler, and farmers are really starting to feel the pain.

Dairy is such a huge part of the economy that townies can’t help but be swept up in this too.

If you haven’t been following the issue closely, here’s an overview of what’s going on. . . 

Dairy industry marshalling its resources:

Dairy industry leaders are marshalling their collective resources to ensure a united approach to supporting farmers in the wake of a record low Farmgate Milk Price.

DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle says the industry’s leaders including dairy company chairs and chief executives and Federated Farmers’ dairy section have met over the past month to discuss the serious situation and considered joint actions and options for support.

The DairyNZ board also meets this week and will discuss further options. “We’ll be talking through and reviewing our plan as an industry,” he says. . . 

NZ calf prices hit record high as demand soars amid supply shortage – Tina Morrison:

(BusinessDesk) – Prices for weaned calves at the start of the new sales season in New Zealand are hitting record highs amid increased demand and lower supply.

Sales of six-month-old weaner steers and heifers this month at Stortford Lodge in Hastings, an early benchmark ahead of the peak sales period in April, rose between 17 and 29 percent on 2015, which was itself at record levels, according to AgriHQ. Weaner sales generally finish early May.

Farmers who shed stock ahead of summer last year on concern about the impact of a dry El Nino weather pattern were now seeking to restock as rain in many areas through January stimulated pasture growth. Meanwhile, farmers who had previously provided grazing support to the dairy industry are now looking for other sources of income such as fattening weaners as dairy farmers look to rein on costs. . . 

Fonterra and foresight – Robert Hickson:

I can’t help thinking whether Fonterra, and NZ’s dairy industry, would be in a better position now if they’d devoted some (more) resources to strategic foresight. They may have, but it isn’t evident so far.

What is “strategic foresight”, and what, if anything, is it good for?

Strategic foresight, which is being used increasingly now in the private sector rather than simply “futures”, is about linking foresight activities (scanning for trends and weak signals, scenarios, visioning exercises, etc) with strategy formulation and execution.

Strategic foresight needs to ask and answer the “So what?” questions, and identify actions to address anticipated challenges and opportunities. The organisation then deliberatively chooses to undertake them, or not. . . 

Marlborough wine industry needs more workers to sustain rapid growth – Oliver Lewis:

More labour and accommodation is needed to service the Marlborough wine industry, which is predicted to grow by a quarter over the next five years, a new report shows.

The Marlborough Labour Market Survey, released on Monday, was organised by Wine Marlborough, in collaboration with New Zealand Winegrowers, the Marlborough District Council and Seasonal Solutions Co-operative Limited.

The purpose of the report, the first of its kind, is to get a comprehensive picture of the wine industry and its plans moving forward, to be able to plan for future labour requirements. . . 

Applications open for leading farm business management program:

Applications are open for the 2016 Rabobank Executive Development Program, tailored for progressive farmers to develop and enhance their business management skills.

Now in its 18th year, more than 500 New Zealand and Australian farmers have graduated from the intensive two-week program, which covers all aspects of business management including strategic goal setting, negotiation, risk management, leadership and technology.

Announcing the opening of applications, Rabobank general manager Country Banking New Zealand Hayley Moynihan said “interest in the program was perhaps stronger than ever, even taking into account the current downturn in the dairy industry”. . . .

NZ’s most tender and tasty lamb named at the Glammies:

The Gardyne family’s Perendale from Central Otago has been named the most tender and tasty lamb in New Zealand at the Glammies – the Beef + Lamb NZ Golden Lamb Awards – over the weekend.

The competition received a total of 173 entries which were subject to stringent scientific testing at Carne Technologies.

Following this process, the top 20 finalists were then tasted at the Grand Final judging at the Wanaka show. . . 

Manawatu and Rangitikei farmers have a fun day to help keep blues away – Jill Galloway:

Manawatu and Rangitikei farmers kept the blues away by attending a stress-free Rural Family After Five event.

About 200 people attended the evening event at the Te Kawau Memorial Recreation Centre this week at Rongota.

Parents talked and enjoyed a steak and sausage sandwich, while children slid on a water slide in an old fashioned get together with tug-of-war, touch rugby and a bouncy castle.

“When the kids are happy the parents can cope,” said a rural woman. . . 

 EPA Fines Wyoming Man $16 Million for Building a Pond on His Property – S. Noble:

Farmers and ranchers call the EPA’s new water rule the biggest land grab in the history of the world. It is a massive land grab, especially in a country that has been built on the right to own property. The administration is changing all that.

A new oppressive water rule gives the EPA jurisdiction over all public and private streams in the United States that are “intermittent, seasonal and rain-dependent.” It will regulate what are normal daily ranching and farming practices and take control of their land.

According to congressional budget testimony, waters of the United States would give the EPA authority over streams on private property even when the water beds have been dry, in some cases, for hundreds of years. . . 

 


Rural round-up

October 8, 2015

Key sectors welcome TPP – Colin Bettles:

SUGAR may have been served a bitter-sweet outcome in the final Trans-Pacific Partnership but other key Australian commodities like beef, grains, dairy and cotton have tasted some success.

The Cattle Council of Australia (CCA) said the TPP deal – signed overnight by Federal Trade Minister Andrew Robb – would provide significant increased market opportunities for Australian grassfed beef producers, when it comes into force.

Game changer for beef

CCA president Howard Smith said the agreement signifies a game changing opportunity for the Australian beef industry which sees a positive future fort itself, in export markets. . . 

Rolleston wants GM use debate – Richard Rennie:

Councils’ efforts to ban genetically modified crops have Federated Farmers banging up against public opinion in some rural districts.

But federation president Dr William Rolleston argues the move to ban GM crops threatens farmers’ ability to innovate and is a choice they might lose through misinformation and misunderstandings about what the science is really about.

The federation’s case against council bans on GM use got a severe bruising when they lost on appeal to the Environment Court earlier this year. . . 

Milk price expected to hit $3000/t this year – Jemma Brackebush:

Banks and analysts are predicting international dairy prices will continue to rise, and a lift in Fonterra’s forecast payout looks likely.

Prices in the global dairy trade auction rose for the fourth consecutive time on Tuesday night.

The price for the key commodity, whole milk powder, which underpins the price Fonterra pays its farmers, increased by 12.9 percent to $US2,824 a tonne. . . 

Record jail sentence for animal abuser Michael Whitelock:

A dairy worker has been handed what is believed to be New Zealand’s longest-ever prison sentence for animal cruelty, after cows were beaten, had their tails broken and were shot in the kneecaps on a farm he managed.

Michael James Whitelock was sentenced in the Greymouth District Court on Wednesday to four and a half years jail and banned from owning animals for 10 years.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to 12 charges, including ill treatment of animals, unlawful possession of firearms and attempting to pervert the course of justice. . . 

Farmer suicides up – Jemma Brackebush:

Figures from the Ministry of Justice show 27 men in farming communities committed suicide in the past year ended June.

The chief coroner Deborah Marshall released annual provisional suicide statistics on Tuesday, which showed 564 people died by suicide in the past year, up 35 on the previous year and the highest number since records began eight years ago.

Male suicides rose from 385 last year to 428, and female suicides dropped from 144 to 136. . . 

Banks fork out a total $25.5M over rural interest rate swaps – Fiona Rotherham:

(BusinessDesk) – The Commerce Commission has completed the distribution of $25.5 million to complainants and rural charities after reaching settlements with banks who had marketed interest rate swap products to farmers.

The commission says nearly $20 million in cash has been paid to eligible customers while $1.9 million was offset by the banks against debts some complainants owed to them. A further $2.5 million went to 14 regional Rural Support Trusts and the Dairy Women’s Network and the commission received $1 million to cover a portion of its investigation costs, including legal expenses. The bulk of the money came from the ANZ Bank New Zealand, which paid out $19.3 million in total, $3.2 million from ASB Bank and $3 million from Westpac Banking Corp. . . .

All Geared Up For The Glammies:

Entries are now open for the 2016 Golden Lamb Awards, aka the Glammies, which seeks out the tastiest and tender lamb in New Zealand.

The competition gives farmers the opportunity to enter their lamb into one of the most highly regarded competitions the industry has to offer.

The entries are then assessed by Carne Technologies in Cambridge for tenderness, yield, succulence and colour.

The scientific testing determines which top four entries from five categories will make it through to the final stage of the competition, a taste test, held at the Upper Clutha A&P show in Wanaka on 11 March 2016. . . 

New Zealand Bloodstock to Sponsor New Race in China:

New Zealand Bloodstock and the Inner Mongolia Rider Horse Industry Co. Ltd have partnered together to introduce the New Zealand Bloodstock Cup to be held in Inner Mongolia, China next year.

2015 RTR
The race is open to horses purchased by any Chinese buyer at this year’s New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale in November. To be held in July 2016 at Korchin, Inner Mongolia, the New Zealand Bloodstock Cup is worth RMB500,000 and will be run over 1800m.

NZB’s Co-Managing Director Andrew Seabrook is excited about the formal partnership reached between NZB and Rider Horse Group. . . 

Serious savings from whole-farm soil testing:

Whole-farm soil testing saves Taranaki farmer Hayden Lawrence about $15,000 on fertiliser each year.

Hayden, who farms in equity partnership with his wife Alecia and parents in Taranaki, began whole-farm soil testing seven years ago. To date, he has reaped about $90,000 in savings and has increased pasture production from 14.5 tonnes per hectare to 18.6T/ha on the 97ha property.

The Lawrences milk a maximum of 240 cows on an 85ha milking platform, using their hill country block to graze heifers. They also follow an 18-month cropping rotation, that sees paddocks planted into silage, oats, chicory and then into pasture. . . .

RHĀNZ welcomes Government’s new rural connectivity target:

The Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand welcomes the new rural connectivity target announced by the Government today.

The target means nearly all rural New Zealanders will be able to access broadband speeds of at least 50Mbps by 2025.

RHĀNZ Chairperson, Dr Jo Scott-Jones, says securing reliable and affordable telecommunications services is critical to the health and wellbeing of rural communities and is a top priority for all 40 RHĀNZ members.

“As part of our RBI phase 2 submission to Government earlier this year, we called for more ambitious targets for rural broadband speeds, so it is really pleasing to hear Minister Adams’s announcement today,” he says. . . 

Anglers urged to vote ‘in best interests of our fishing and hunting resources’:

The country’s anglers and game bird hunters are being reminded to make sure they vote in the Fish and Game Council elections.

Fish & Game Communications Manager Don Rood says that because voting closes at 5pm on Friday (9 October), those who are eligible and haven’t voted are advised to do so online, rather put voting papers in the post.

“We urge licenceholders to take the time to vote – to exercise their right to choose the people who can best advance their local region’s hunting and fishing interests. . . 

Free entry for 2016 Games:

The second annual Hilux New Zealand Rural Games takes place in Queenstown next Waitangi weekend (Sat 6th – Sun 7th Feb) and entry won’t cost you a cent.

Two days of ‘sports that built the nation’ and live entertainment on the Recreation Ground plus the Running of the Wools – more than 400 merino sheep herding through downtown Queenstown – will be completely free to watch.

We’ve been able to waive ticket prices thanks to the generous support of our patrons and event partners including major sponsors Toyota, Fonterra, Line 7, Ngai Tahu Farming, Jetstar and Husqvarna which has increased its support from the inaugural Games.

The Running of the Wools is once again supported by our friends at clothing and gift retailer, Global Culture. . . 


Rural round-up

April 4, 2015

MIE report exposes Silver Fern Farms’ sheep processing dilemma: – Kieth Woodford:

Meat industry reform is back in the news in recent weeks with the long awaited release of the Meat Industry Excellence (MIE) report. The MIE perspectives have been well known for some years and so there were no real surprises in what they said. According to MIE, the most important issue is dealing with industry over-capacity through plant rationalisations and company amalgamations.

I will return to MIE’s solutions at another time, but here I want to look at the underpinning analyses provided by international consultancy company GHD, and some key insights therein that could easily be lost. When it comes to finding solutions, losing those insights would be a great pity. For Silver Fern Farms in particular, some of those insights make uncomfortable reading. . .

2015 Golden Lamb Awards (Glammies) Declared a ‘No Contest’:

The 2015 Glammies competition has been declared a ‘No-Contest’ as a result of a mistake made by the testing facility in analysing the data to ascertain the top twenty finalists.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Inc were made aware of this issue by testing facility late Friday afternoon. Yesterday, we found out the full extent of the mistake which impacted the selection of the top twenty finalists.

An error was made with the final spreadsheet when the testing facility calculated the final score and applied the ranking. In error, their IT person used the formula for shear force – where low is good, high is bad – and applied it to yield. . .

Test error dethrones Glammies winner – Kate Taylor and Tim Cronshaw:

A Dannevirke farmer will hand back his Golden Lamb Award after organisers found a testing mistake.

Hamish Buchanan beat 20 finalists last month to win the competition, known as the “Glammies”, to find the most tender and tasty lamb. 

However, organisers have ruled the results in the competition, run by Beef + Lamb New Zealand, were invalid because of a mistake made by the testing facility in analysing the data to narrow the top-20 finalists. . .

Methodical approach a winner:

An analytical approach has won northern Wairarapa farmers Lucy and Robert Thorneycroft the 2015 Keinzley AgVet Wairarapa Farm Business of the Year Award.

“We entered the competition as a challenge and are delighted with the win. It has been a fantastic competition to be involved in,” she said.

Their high-performing stock, tight control of expenses and concern for the environment were also highlighted by judges.  . .

Just the ticket – Anne Calcinai:

In part two of a series looking at different pathways to farm ownership Anne Calcinai looks at the leasing and contracting routes.

It is tough getting into farming, but not impossible.

Hawke’s Bay couple Jeremy and Gina Sunckell are proof that you don’t need to start out with millions of dollars to have a successful business in the sheep and beef industry. . .

 

Midlands 25 Year Celebrations:

Ashburton business, Midlands Seed Limited has celebrated its 25th Birthday by giving back to the local community and both the Mid Canterbury Cancer Society and the Ashburton Stadium Complex Trust were recipients of a generous donation. The company is celebrating 25 years of success in the International seed trade and rather than spending money in this anniversary year, decided to donate the combined sum of $25000 to two organisations that would benefit the local community.

Midlands Seed Managing Director Chris Green said “On behalf of our staff, grower suppliers and international partners, it is great to be able to make these donations into the same local community which has supported our business since the company’s inception in 1990”. . .


Rural round-up

March 14, 2015

New Zealand’s Tastiest Lamb Found in Manawatu:

The nations’ most tender and tasty lamb has been found in the final of the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Golden Lamb Awards, aka the Glammies, held at the Wanaka A&P Show.
Hamish Buchanan’s Highlander Primera Texel X from Dannevirke has knocked its competitors out of the park with his superior lamb entry claiming the Grand Champion title, the coveted trophy and $2,500 in prize money.

Following scientific testing at Carne Technologies, over 150 entries were whittled down to just 20, which then went on to be tasted in today’s final sponsored by Zoetis. . .

 

Seeka launches new training programme with two young Maori cadets:

Te Puke-headquartered Seeka Kiwfruit Industries (NZX-SEK) has launched a new three-year cadetship programme aimed at developing young people into future kiwifruit industry managers. Two new recruits into the programme are Levi Ryland and Brandon Cross from Gisborne, who have iwi ties to the Ngai Tukairangi Trust, one of the several Maori grower entities that pack with Seeka.

“Maori have a large ownership stake in Seeka and we work closely with our Maori trusts. They have told us they are looking for young Maori to be trained up and to eventually run orchards and we have extended our cadet programme to fulfill that desire” said Michael Franks, Chief Executive of Seeka, New Zealand’s biggest kiwifruit grower and a leading post-harvest company. . .

Speech to National Rural Health Conference – Jonathan Coleman:

It’s great to be here at this year’s New Zealand Rural Health Conference.

I’d like to thank the New Zealand Rural General Practice Network, the Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand and the New Zealand Rural Hospital Network for organising this conference.

It’s great to see rural organisations working collaboratively and taking a multi-faceted approach to improving the lives of New Zealanders in rural communities.

Health overview

I’d like to start with a brief overview of the sector. I believe New Zealand’s health sector is in good shape, but there is no doubt that future challenges remain.

It will never feel like there are enough dollars in health. The Government has made health our number one funding priority. . .

 

Family Station Claims Top Title In 2015 Horizons Ballance Farm Environment Awards:

Broadlands Station, a multi-generational sheep and beef farming operation owned by the Akers family, is the Supreme Winner of the 2015 Horizons Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

The award was presented to William (Willie) Akers, Hugh and Judy Akers, and Willie’s fiancée Laura Oughton at a special Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA) ceremony on March 12.

BFEA judges described the Ashhurst hill-country business as an “excellent example of multi-generational farming for environmental stability and financial success”. . .

 

Public ideas sought on management of blue cod fishery:

The Blue Cod Management Group is encouraging the local community to attend drop-in sessions in Picton and Nelson next week to learn more about the review of the Marlborough Sounds blue cod fishing rules.

“We want to work with the community to find the best outcomes for the Marlborough Sounds blue cod fishery,” says Eric Jorgensen, spokesperson for the Blue Cod Management Group.

“We want to get everyone involved in developing potential options for the fishery before the release of an official consultation document in the middle of this year,” says Mr Jorgensen. . .

 

NZ lamb wool prices jump to 4-year high, aided by Chinese demand, US dollar strength – Tina M0rrison:

(BusinessDesk) – New Zealand lamb wool prices jumped to the highest in more than four years at auction yesterday on increased demand from China for the apparel fibre, and aided by a stronger US dollar.

Lamb wool rose 3.9 percent to an average $6.65 per kilogram from last week’s auction, the highest price since February 2011, according to AgriHQ. The average price for 35-micron wool, a benchmark for crossbred wool used for carpets and accounting for the majority of New Zealand’s production, slipped 1.9 percent $5.25/kg as it retreated after touching a three-month high last week on lower volumes. . .

 


Rural round-up

February 27, 2015

TB testing reductions another step in eradicating the disease:

Farmers and OSPRI continue to make good progress in their fight against bovine tuberculosis (TB) as high risk areas are reduced.

More than 3190 herds across 937,100 hectares will benefit from reductions in both Movement Control Areas (MCA) and cattle and deer bovine tuberculosis (TB) tests from 1 March 2015.

Herds throughout parts of North Canterbury, Otago and Southland will no longer require pre-movement TB testing, but will continue to be tested annually.

Dunsdale dairy farmer Kelvin Brock is moving out of the Hokonui MCA. He said the progress made by OSPRI’s TBfree programme through movement restrictions and possum control has been particularly satisfying. . .

 

Beef and lamb environment plan approved :

Environment Canterbury has approved a farm environment plan template for the beef and lamb industry under the proposed Land & Water Regional Plan.

Acknowledging the quality of the template, Environment Canterbury chief executive Bill Bayfield said Beef + Lamb New Zealand had met all the requirements of Schedule 7 of the proposed plan.

“We hope the farm environment plans that come from this template are valuable both for farmers and for Beef + Lamb,” Bayfield said. . .

Tagged stock have added value – NAIT – Gerard Hutching:

The move towards tagging and registering all cattle and deer will be a significant boon to farmers and the New Zealand economy, says the agency administering the system.

Farmers have a deadline of July 1 this year to ensure all their cattle are tagged and registered. Deer will have to be up-to-date by March 2016.

Dr Stu Hutchings, head of the OSPRI’s National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) scheme, said there were three main benefits of tagging: for biosecurity; food safety/market access; and farm management.

“The dairy sector thinks about biosecurity implications from a disease perspective such as foot and mouth, so for them it almost becomes an insurance policy,” he said. . .

Nation’s Top Lamb Finalists Announced:

The finalists of the 2015 Beef + Lamb New Zealand Golden Lamb Awards, aka the Glammies, have been announced.

Following stringent scientific testing, over 150 entries have been narrowed down to 20 in the search for the nation’s most tender and tasty lamb.

Carne Technologies General Manager, Nicola Simmons says the tests they run look at yield and the attributes which are relevant to the end product.

“We analyse each lamb leg entry using objective measurements for tenderness, colour and succulence as these are ultimately factors which affect the consumer’s eating experience,” says Nicola. . .

 

The evolution of Fonterra – Keith Woodford:

[This is the first of a series of five articles on Fonterra that I have been writing for the Fairfax NZ Sunday Star Times. This one was published on 1 February 2015.]

It is now a little more than 13 years since Fonterra was formed. In that time, all of the foundation directors have moved on. There have also been three Chief Executive officers (CEOs) and at least four Chief Financial Officers. None of the current top level management team that reports to the CEO were there at the start.

Fonterra itself is a very different company to those early days. It started off as a traditional co-operative, in which members owned shares in proportion to their production. These shares were purchased directly from the co-operative at a price which the co-operative determined. If a farmer ceased production, then the shares were sold back to the co-operative at the current buy/sell price as determined by Fonterra. Given that production and ownership were aligned, any apportionment between what was paid for the milk and what was paid as a dividend on invested capital, was of no material consequence. . .

Synlait Farms rebrands as Purata:

Synlait Farms – the former subsidiary business of Synlait Ltd – has rebranded as Purata.

With Latin and Maori origins meaning ‘clear, bright – like a beautiful morning,” Purata’s name reflects the company’s new vision post ownership change, says Purata CEO Juliet Maclean.

Accompanied by the tagline ‘Farming for Tomorrow’, the Purata brand embodies the company’s focus on innovation, sustainability and creativity.

Juliet Maclean says changing the brand name, tagline and colour palate will help Purata reinforce its separate identity since leaving parent company Synlait Ltd. . .

 

Positive forecast for PGG Wrightson – Alan Williams:

PGG Wrightson is forecasting a very solid increase in annual earnings after reporting its strongest interim result in seven years.

The after tax profit for the six months ended December 31 was $19.7 million, up from $13.4m in the same period a year earlier.

Though there were still several months of trading and the risk of lower farmer spending because of drought conditions, managing director Mark Dewdney said the group was now forecasting operating earnings (Ebitda) of between $62m and $68m for the full year to June 30, up from $58.7m last year. . .

A weather eye on the climate – Pete Mailler:

A FEW years ago my oldest daughter came home from school in a state of high agitation. I quizzed her on what was concerning her, to which she replied angrily that I was killing the polar bears.

Apparently she had learned at school that our collective continued use of petrol and diesel was causing global warming and this was threatening the bears. In her young mind this was interpreted as the fuel use on our farm was directly and singularly the cause of the problem.

“My agricultural science training compels me to rely on good science in forming my own opinion”

I was more than a little disgusted that climate activists were able to terrorise my daughter in such a way. However, as much as it pains me to say so, it did cause me to check my own assumptions and attitudes to climate change. . .

"Bales as far as the eye can see :-D<br /><br /><br /> #Baling #RounBales"


Rural round-up

January 28, 2015

Repositioning NZ trade on the world stage:

Founder and Chairman of ANZCO Foods, Sir Graeme Harrison, is showing his unwavering commitment to New Zealand business by personally funding a Professorial Chair in Global Value Chains and Trade at Lincoln University.
The newly created position will contribute to the research and teaching at the specialist land-based university – but it will also come with a far wider reaching remit: to help lead change in the way New Zealand businesses engage globally throughout the value chain.   
 
Described by Lincoln University Vice-Chancellor Dr Andrew West as “an extraordinarily visionary and generous act”, the funded professorial chair will need a unique set of skills. “As well as carrying core academic responsibilities, we see the appointee becoming a leading spokesperson on global trade, particularly around the challenges facing New Zealand’s agricultural exports,” says Dr West. . .

Conviction for the illegal sale of home killed meat applauded:

Federated Farmers is applauding the Ministry for Primary Industries prosecuting a Northland man for selling meat which had not been processed in accordance with the Animal Products Act 1999.

The Chair of Federated Farmers Rural Butchers, Haydn Cleland says the successful prosecution shows the inspection regimes to protect the integrity of New Zealand’s food safety systems are working. . .

Caution not panic in kill plans – Alan Williams:

Farmers are taking a cautious line on stock for processing during an increasingly dry summer, booking them for two to three weeks ahead.

But they were ready to take them out if there was decent rain in the meantime, AFFCO Holdings interim general manager Rowan Ogg said.

In some cases farmers might have lambs booked in with more than one processor, he said. AFFCO had more stock than it could handle. . .

NZ lamb wool price rises to 3-year high on increased demand – Tina Morrison:

(BusinessDesk) – New Zealand lamb wool prices rose to a three-year high last week on increased demand for the fibre from clothing manufacturers in China.

The price for lamb wool jumped 10 cents to $6.10 per kilogram at last week’s North Island auction, matching a price last seen in January 2012, according to AgriHQ. The price for 35-micron clean wool, a benchmark for crossbred wool used for carpets and accounting for the majority of New Zealand’s production, was steady at $4.85/kg compared with the average price in auctions in both islands the previous week. Merino and mid-micron wool didn’t trade in the latest auction. . .

Sporting Stars Set to Choose Nation’s Top Lamb:

Iron Maidens Lisa Carrington, Sophie Pascoe and Sarah Walker are set to judge the ninth annual 2015 Beef + Lamb New Zealand Golden Lamb Awards, aka the Glammies.

The competition, supported by Zoetis, aims to find the most tender and tasty lamb in New Zealand, with categories for both farmers and retailers.

With the sporting superstars on the panel, alongside foodwriter, Lauraine Jacobs and head judge Graham Hawkes, entries will have to be of superior quality to impress this year.

Third time judge, Sarah Walker says she is thrilled to be involved in the competition once again. . .

NZ Forests Gain International Visibility:

With the acceptance of the NZ Forest Certification Association (NZFCA) as New Zealand’s PEFC Member, New Zealand forest growers gain visibility in the world’s leading forest certification system. “We are delighted to be accepted into membership of PEFC and to represent PEFC in New Zealand” says Dr Andrew McEwen, chair of NZFCA.

With more than 260 million hectares of certified forests, PEFC (Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification) is the world’s leading forest certification system, promoting Sustainable Forest Management through independent third party certification. PEFC works throughout the entire forest supply chain to promote good practice in the forest and to ensure that timber and non-timber forest products are produced with respect for the highest ecological, social and ethical standards. Thanks to its eco-label, customers and consumers are able to identify products from sustainably managed forests. . .

 

 


Wanaka on show

March 9, 2014

Wanaka has had a very big weekend.

The Motatapu Challenge, a rodeo and the Upper Clutha A & P Show attracted thousands.

The show is the second biggest in the South Island, combining the best of traditional attractions with some newer attractions,one of the most popular of which is the Jack Russell race.

For several years, the show has also hosted the Glammies – the Golden Lamb awards.

I haven’t been able to find the results, but I did get a photo of a couple of the judges:

glammies 14

Prime Minister John Key and Beef + Lamb NZ Iron Maiden Sarah Walker.

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean always has a tent at the show – it was very busy and the mood was very positive.

Representatives of at least one other political party generally turn up in election year but there was no sign of any others this weekend.

Yet more proof their contention of caring about the regions is empty rhetoric.


Why is NZ lamb tastier?

March 12, 2013

An email says:

A friend in London asked me about why Scottish lamb isn’t as good as New Zealand lamb. I thought you might know, or might know someone who knows what the actual difference in it is.

I’ve had lamb at Gleneagles and it was less dense in texture and a different flavour, perhaps more intense lanolin, but I am not sure.

All lamb isn’t equal.

John Key was one of the judges at the Glammies last year and said it was easy to detect  distinct differences in taste and texture between the entries.

A Spanish speciality is baby lamb which has a very different taste and texture from the older lamb we’re accustomed to.

Breeding and feeding both influence taste, even if the meat is prepared and cooked the same way.

I am not sure if climate and soils also have an influence which might explain why New Zealand lamb is tastier  than Scottish lamb and welcome answers to the email question from anyone who knows more.


Rural round-up

March 12, 2013

2013 Glammies victor crowned:

Beating out over 180 entrants, Mangapoike Ltd, represented by Pat Sheriff from Gisborne, has been crowned the 2013 Glammies Grand Champion.

Their Composite lamb, processed at Silver Ferns Farm Takapau, took out the title at the final taste test, after being tasted next to 20 other finalists. 

The final was judged by Iron Maidens, Sarah Walker and Sophie Pascoe, food writer Lauraine Jacobs, Beef + Lamb ambassador chef Darren Wright and head judge and chef, Graham Hawkes. 

Hawkes noted the high level of quality this year, saying it was a step up from last year’s competition. . .

Drought conditions perfect for grape growers:

Grape growers say the hot, dry weather which is wreaking havoc for farmers could produce one of their highest quality yields in years.

Gisborne grower John Clarke who is also New Zealand Winegrowers deputy chair said Gisborne’s growers have been enjoying the highly favourable conditions.

Mr Clarke said the weather means there is no disease pressure and grapes which have been harvested in Gisborne in the last couple of weeks are displaying excellent flavours.

He said the weather conditions around the country have been favourable for wine and growers have their fingers crossed the vintage this year will be fantastic. . .

DOC, Green Taliban, everyone take note. Cows are good for the climate [must watch] – Whaleoil:

Antony Watts at Watts up with That? says

Imagine, shooting 40,000 elephants to prevent the land in Africa from going to desert because scientists thought the land couldn’t sustain them, only to find the effort was for naught and the idea as to why was totally wrong. That alone was a real eye opener. Every once in awhile, an idea comes along that makes you ask, “gee why hasn’t anybody seen this before?”. This one of those times. This video below is something I almost didn’t watch, because my concerns were triggered by a few key words in the beginning. … I want every one of you, no matter what side of the climate debate you live in, to watch this and experience that light bulb moment as I did. The key here is to understand that desertification is one of the real climate changes we are witnessing as opposed to some the predicted ones we often fight over.

I like to add my recommendation that this is a Must See video, no matter what you think about Climate Change currently. . .

Now that is interesting – Gravedodger:

Several blogs are embedding a video featuring a 23 min lecture part, of an hour full length effort on combating desertification by Allan Savory who in the early years of his study advocated culling elephant herds to combat desertification on the vulnerable fringes of the deserts of Africa.
He has now worked out what many graziers have known for years but has remained hidden due to an unpopular perception stance in great debates on denuding of soils contributing to degredation.

Most farmers I have encountered in over 60 years of life are basically environmentalists if only because they understand a poorly maintained machine will eventually fail often with devastating outcomes. Yes there are some tossers in farming, there is at least one in every bus. . .

BOP Dairy Awards Winners Progress:

Winning the 2013 Bay of Plenty Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year title has proved a natural progression for Russell and Nadine Meade.

The couple won the2010 Bay of Plenty Farm Manager of the Year title and set about developing innovative and flexible investment opportunities to achieve farm business ownership.

Now 50% sharemilking 220 cows for Barbara Sullivan at Whakatane, the couple took home cash and prizes in winning the top prize worth $16,600 at the awards dinner held at the Awakeri Events Centre last night. . .

Organic certifier points to producers and consumers for double digit growth:

The latest organic market report launched on Wednesday (6th March) at Parliament confirms double digit growth of organics in New Zealand over the past 3 years and comes as great news for organic certifier BioGro, its certified producers and consumers.

The organic sector has grown 25 per cent in the past three years – from $275 million in 2009 to $350 million in 2012. The export and domestic market for New Zealand organic products has grown on average 8 per cent a year at a time of global recession.

BioGro’s CEO Dr Michelle Glogau says the report, funded by the organic sector umbrella group Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ) is a really positive sign of the increased demand for organics amongst consumers. ‘It supports the trends we are seeing with dramatic growth in certified wine and extension into health & body care products’. . .


A good show

March 11, 2013

The Upper Clutha A&P Society boasts the most picturesque location for its annual show.

It’s held only a few metres from the shore of Lake Wanaka and the grounds provide views across the water to the mountains.

This isn’t its only claim to fame, the two-day event is also the second biggest show in the South Island and each year it gets bigger.

When we first went to the show trade displays, sideshows and other exhibits were contained in the show grounds. Now each year it stretches further across neighbouring Brownston Park.

The location isn’t the only reason for the show’s popularity. Another is that it has stayed true to its rural roots with stock judging, equestrian events and home industry competitons. But it has also broadened its appeal with new events including the annual highlight the Jack Russell race.

The Glammies are held at the show and this year Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s marquee was also the venue for a tri-nations competition between Australian, British and New Zealand butchers.

butchers

 

I haven’t  been able to find the results for either of those competitions but will post them when I do.

The hot, dry weather which is now causing concern for most of the country was a major topic of conversation and last year’s elation over good prices of lamb were a distant memory as the perennial debate about the meat industry continued.

New Zealand’s red-meat sector is at a ”critical junction” and farmers have given the message they want action to turn around the precarious situation, Beef and Lamb New Zealand chairman Mike Petersen says.

Speaking at the organisation’s annual meeting, held at the Upper Clutha A&P Show in Wanaka yesterday, Mr Petersen said volatile returns were a real threat to the industry’s future and farmers were questioning whether the industry had a future. . .

The weather which isn’t good for farming, was wonderful for wandering, looking and talking.

In spite of adverse climatic and market conditions,  the mood was relaxed and happy, because as a North Island visitor observed, it was a really good show.


Rural round-up

February 21, 2013

Fish war on canals :

”Greedy” salmon anglers threatening to turn a salmon bonanza in the Waitaki hydro canals into a free-for-all are being accused of ignoring catch limits and using illegal methods to catch easy prey.

Following the release of 36,000 salmon smolt from the Mt Cook Alpine Salmon hatchery at Ohau 18 months ago, anglers have reported being able to hook a fish on every cast at some spots on the Tekapo and Ohau canals.

However, Central South Island Fish and Game field officer Graeme Hughes said the easy fishing had resulted in more people fishing illegally and ignoring the two-salmon quota. .  .

Tarras scheme reprieve – Rebecca Fox:

Potential irrigator Tarras Water Ltd has had a reprieve, but it has come with a stern warning from the Otago Regional Council.

The council voted 7-3 to overturn its own hearing panel’s recommendation not to amend the long-term plan to allow for investment in the irrigation scheme at a meeting in Dunedin yesterday. Instead, the ORC is proposing the amendment go ahead.

As the decision gives the council the option to invest in the scheme, a meeting will be held, possibly as early as next month, when councillors will make the decision whether to invest – with conditions attached – or not. . .

Cautious steps in goat milk expansion:

An Australasian goat milk company, CapriLac, is looking to expand “in a cautious way” in the Waikato.

Co-owner Rupert Soar said the family-owned company was advertising for goat farmers who were interested in selling their goat milk or leasing their operations to the company.

The company had received “quite a bit of interest”, and was following up leads, Soar said.

Farmers did not need to buy shares to get involved, as the company was not a co-operative. . .

Mining rights unlikely to affect farm sales – Terri Russell:

Solid Energy’s decision to sell farmland and keep mineral rights for mining would not turn away potential buyers, a Southland rural agent says.

About 1000 hectares of farmland near Mataura have been put on the market, and the mining giant plans to retain rights to lignite resources under the surface for about 30 years.

Last year, the company reviewed its land holdings after a drop in coal prices and a $40m loss for the year ending June 2012.

Southern Wide Real Estate director Philip Ryan said potential buyers would not be put-off if it were reserved for mining because about half of Southland had mineral rights. . .

A finalist but best still home – Gerald Piddock:

Doug and Jeannie Brown have made the final of the 2013 Glammies.

The North Otago farmers made the cut in the best of breed – traditional for one of his romney lambs grown on his farm at Maheno.

It was the third time they had entered the Golden Lamb Awards and the first time they have made the finals. This year four sheep were entered into the competition.

Their entry was one of 20 finalists which made the cut out of 180 entries from around the country. . . .

 

 

 

 

 


Top man picks top lamb

March 13, 2012

Prime Minister John Key helped 2011 Supercross World Cup Champion Sarah Walker, 2012 Beef + Lamb New Zealand Ambassador Chef Ben Batterbury and Chief Judge & Invercargill chef Graham Hawkes pick the country’s top lamb.

The arduous job of judging the best of the 20 best barbequed lamb samples in Beef + Lamb’s annual Glammies  (Golden Lamb Awards) took place at the Upper Clutha A&P Show on Friday.

John Key & Graham Hawkes

Watching the competition unfold, Minister of Primary Industries, Hon David Carter says that this competition shows the high quality of our New Zealand lamb.

“In my own experience, judging the Glammies has to be one of the toughest tasks around.  Luckily it’s also one of the tastiest!  The high standard achieved here today proves once again the supreme quality of lamb produced by our farmers.  It’s also great to see that this year’s competition attracted a record number of entries.”

Lamb fans - PM John Key and David Carter

 

Don Morrison of Gore with their Growbulk lamb was named 2012 Beef + Lamb New Zealand Golden Lamb Awards Grand Champion, taking home a cheque for $2000, the Glammies Grand Champion Trophy and a magnum of Mt Difficulty Pinot Noir. The winners of each class received $500 and a bottle of Mt Difficulty Pinot Noir, and each finalist won a plaque showing their placing.

Countdown South Island was awarded the Champion Meat Retailer trophy and Alliance Mataura was named the winning processor.

The 2012 Golden Lamb Awards (aka Glammies), sponsored by Pfizer Animal Genetics, attracted a record 150 entries which all underwent testing at Carne Technologies. Factors such as tenderness, colour and succulence were tested to determine the top twenty finalists tasted in Wanaka.

The full results were:

Class 1 – Dual Purpose

  • 1st: Don Morrison, Gore (Growbulk) processed at Alliance Mataura
  • 2nd: Pete Swinburn & Bruce Isles, Waipukurau (Composite/Perendale) processed at Silver Fern Farms Takapau
  • 3rd: Patrick Sherriff, Gisborne (Perendale/Coopworth) processed at Silver Fern Farms Takapau
  • 4th: Roger & Allison Thomas, Tuatapere (Perendale Texel X/Perendale) processed at Silver Fern Farms Finegand

Class 2 – Dual Purpose X Terminal

  • 1st: James Crutchley, Palmerston (Texel Romney X/South Dorset Down) processed at Blue Sky Meats
  • 2nd: Hamish Pavey, Christchurch (Romney/Suffolk Texel) processed at Silver Fern Farms Fairton
  • 3rd: Robert & Rosemary Gardyne, Winton (Perendale Texel X) processed at Alliance Mataura
  • 4th: Colin Lockhart, Lawrence (Romney/Texel Suffolk) processed at Alliance Mataura

Class 3 – Composite/Crossbreed X Terminal

  • 1st: Sarah Rodie, Amberley (Texel X/Texel) processed at Harris Meats
  • 2nd: Graeme Dodd, Tuatapere (Texel Romney X/Texel) processed at Alliance Mataura
  • 3rd: Murray & Jan Wards, Gore (Textra/Textra Suffolk) processed at Alliance Mataura
  • 4th: Wendy & Leon Black, Riverton (Textra/Texel) processed at Alliance Mataura

Class 4 – Open

  • 1st: William Oliver, Te Kuiti (Perendale Romney X/Landlord Romney) processed at Silver Fern Farms Waitotara
  • 2nd: Graham Clarke, Gore (Romney/Romney) processed at Silver Fern Farms Finegand
  • 3rd: Brian Thomson, Mosgiel (Perendale/South Suffolk Texel) processed at Silver Fern Farms Finegand
  • 4th: Matt Wyeth, Masterton (Highlander/Primera) processed at Silver Fern Farms Takapau

Class 5 – Retail

  • 1st: Progressive Enterprises Ltd (Countdown South Island)
  • 2nd: Harris Meats, Cheviot (Murray Downs)
  • 3rd: Progressive Enterprises Ltd (Countdown South Island)
  • 4th: Harris Meats, Cheviot (Murray Downs)

 


Meating and greeting

March 11, 2012

Prime Minister John Key was at the 75th Upper Clutha A&P Show on Friday, meeting and greeting.

Or should that be meating?

He was one of the judges of the Glammies, Beef+Lamb NZ’s Golden Lamb Awards.

That resulted in him getting somewhat more than the daily requirement of iron:

“It’s hard to eat for your country but someone’s got to do it,” Mr Key said, as he primed his knife and fork to help BMX world champion Sarah Walker and chefs Graham Hawkes and Ben Batterbury judge the Glammies awards.

After the judging he and Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean joined some locals at our place for lunch.

He greeted me by saying he’d just eaten more than his own weight of lamb. Fortunately we were serving beef and chorizo* as well as lamb, cooked on our parilla.

When we first went to Argentina we fell in love with their parillas, the wood-fired barbeques on which they cooked delicious meat, pizzas and vegetables.

It’s taken 15 years, but we’ve finally got one ** – just in time for Friday’s lunch:

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean & John Key

The meat was accompanied by green salad and tomatoes with basil. The second course was fresh strawberries and raspberries, meringues and Skinny Chocolate Brownie ***

* chorizo from Zamora

** Strictly speaking it’s a braai, the South African version of a South American parilla. We bought it from Kiwibraai, the company which imports them. Regardless of what you call it and where it comes from, the food cooked on it (so far) is delicious”.

*** Skinny Chocolate Raspberry Brownie

1 cup mashed raspberries

1/3 cup cocoa

3/4 cup self raising flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup sugar

chopped white or dark chocolate (optional).

Line a 20cm tin with baking paper.

Put raspberries in a bowl, add sifted cocoa, flour and baking soda then sugar (and chopped chocolate if using it).

Stir until just mixed – don’t over-stir or it will go tough. If it looks too dry add a wee bit more mashed raspberries.

Cook at 175 degrees for about 25 minutes – or until skewer comes out almost clean.

Remove from oven, cool in pan for 10 minutes then turn onto cooling rack.

When completely cool put on serving dish, decorate with fresh berries and/or grated chocolate or dust with icing sugar.

Could use other mashed or stewed fruit but raspberries are particularly good because you can taste them through the chocolate.

Adapted from Healthy Food Guide’s Chocolate Brownie. It uses apple puree instead of raspberries and adds walnuts.


Glammies have the yum factor

March 15, 2009

 

We left the Wanaka Show before the winner of the Glammies was announced and I haven’t managed to find anyone who can give me the details.

In the meantime I can report that all the samples the crowd were given to taste were delicious and bring you some photos of proceedings:

It’s a tough job but Agriculture Minister David Carter, Blanket Bay Chef  Mark Sycamore and farmer and former All Black Richard Loe were coping quite well with the delicious aroma coming from the barbeque while they waited to judge the Glammies.

glammies-0031

David, a farmer, shows he doesn’t just know how to raise good lambs, he can cook them too:

glammies-004

But he’s not about to swap day jobs with chef Graham Hawke:

glammies-006

Graham explained the cooking process to onlookers and gave his tip for succulent lamb – rest it for as long as you cook it. I’ve followed that advice since hearing him give it at the inaugural Glammies a couple of years ago and it really does make a difference to the tenderness.

The lamb entered in the Glammies was cooked for 10 minutes and not given to the judges for tasting until it had been rested for 10 minutes.

P.S.

Graham is a chef at Flannagans Seafood Resaturant in Invercargill but the delicious lamb he served yesterday and  this recipe show he can cook produce from the turf as well as the surf.

UPDATE: Kelvin King has left the full results in a comment below.


Show time

March 13, 2009

Upper Clutha A&P Society’s two day show opens this morning.

It’s the South Island’s second biggest show (Canterbury is the biggest) and the showgrounds are just a few metres from Lake Wanaka so it must be a contender for the one in the most picturesque location.

The show has the usual stock competitions, horse events and trade displays which enable you to buy just about anything for the farm, house and garden.

Another feature is the Glammies – the Golden Lamb awards. Judges this year include rowing stars Georgina and Caroline Evers-Swindell and Agriculture Minister David Carter.


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