This supports the expectation this season’s milk payout from Fonterra will be at or nearer the top of the projected range than the bottom.
New Zealand dairy farmers are off to a great start to 2021 as prices leapt 3.9 percent across the board in first the first Global Dairy Trade auction of the year.
During the first global dairy trade event, the average price for commodities rose to more than $US3420 ($NZ4715) per metric tonne.
Whole milk powder, the most important product for New Zealand farmers, lifted 3.1 percent – its highest level in 12 months.
Fonterra chief financial officer Marc Rivers told Morning Report the results showed demand was strong across all regions, particularly across China and Asia. . .
Northland weed control harnesses tiny biocontrol agents – Donna Russell:
Biocontrol agents are increasingly replacing sprays to control Northland’s most challenging weeds.
Entomologist Dr Jenny Dymock, of Doubtless Bay in the Far North, works with the Northland Regional Council to provide biocontrol services throughout Northland.
She helps to distribute biocontrol agents and monitors their distribution and effectiveness.
Northland’s semi-tropical climate provides a warm welcome for weeds and controlling them can be daunting and expensive. . .
Leave Tarras alone, it’s a rare gem – Joe Bennett:
Oh for crying out loud, how hard can it be? Of course we shouldn’t build a bloody great airport at Tarras. There are limitless reasons but the simplest and most obvious is that New Zealand is defined by Tarrasness. And not by having bloody great airports.
Who is the bloody great airport for? It isn’t for the eight citizens of Tarras. It isn’t for you and it isn’t for me. It is for tourists. It’s to get them to the pretty bits quicker. Even though they’re so desperate to see this land that they’re happy to spend thousands of dollars and cross thousands of miles of ocean just to do so, we must needs spend millions of dollars in order to save them the inconvenience of driving a couple of hours down State Highway 1 and then another couple of hours inland. Really? Don’t make me laugh.
To quote the perspicacious author of A Land of Two Halves by Joe Bennett, published the best part of 20 years ago now and sadly out of print but still as fresh as dew and pretty well bang right in every particular, “tourists do not come to this country to see what man has done. They come to see what he has not yet undone.” And he hasn’t yet undone Tarras. Leave it alone. . .
NZ-grown papaya tested as possible dengue treatment – Tracy Neal:
New Zealand-grown papaya is being studied to find out if an extract from its leaves could be an effective treatment for dengue fever
The first extracts from the leaves of the fruit grown at a Northland research orchard are now part of a clinical study at universities in the UK and in Asia.
The project is spearheaded by Queenstown based company Fuller Young International.
Managing director Raymond Young said research and development within New Zealand has been supported by Crown institutes, Plant and Food Research and Auckland based Callaghan Innovation. . .
Applications are now open for young New Zealand chefs to plate up their best beef and lamb dishes in the hope of becoming the very first Beef + Lamb Young Ambassador Chef.
For twenty-five years, Beef + Lamb New Zealand has been shaping the careers of chefs around the country by selecting those who are creating and serving incredible beef and lamb dishes in their restaurants to be Ambassador Chefs. To celebrate this milestone, Beef + Lamb New Zealand are offering a one-off opportunity for a young emerging chef to put their culinary skills to the test and join the 2021 Ambassador Chefs – Tejas Nikam, Paddock to Plate Waikato; Phil Clark, Phil’s Kitchen; Jack Crosti, Mela and Norka Mella Munoz, Mangapapa Hotel.
Beef + Lamb Foodservice Manager, Lisa Moloney says the winning young chef will be someone who is hungry to learn more and take up opportunities to be mentored by some of New Zealand’s top chefs. . .
ABARES: Raw commodities exports are definitely no raw deal for ag – Andrew Marshall:
Contrary to popular belief, converting raw farm commodities into value-added foods, textiles or other manufactured export products does not create much, if any, extra value for Australia’s economy.
In fact, our economy is actually thriving with agriculture’s predominantly “raw deals” on the export front, according to analysis by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural Resource Economics and Sciences.
ABARES calculates Australia’s $48 billion a year agri-food export sector generates about the same value for the economy from raw commodity sales as processed products.
Global markets and supply chains have changed so much in recent decades that the popular mantra about needing to process farm commodities at home to make them more valuable on global markets is not necessarily relevant to a large portion of Australia’s ag export sector. . .
New Zealand’s meat processing and exporting sector faces being forced to limit production and let people go unless the Government recognises the essential role of its skilled migrant workforce.
Around a third of the country’s 250 essential halal processing workers, who help generate more than $3 billion in export earnings every year, will have to leave New Zealand next year due to the Government’s one-year stand-down policy.
Sirma Karapeeva, chief executive of the Meat Industry Association (MIA), said the loss of halal processing people — alongside hundreds of other essential meat workers — could result in reduced production and job losses in the sector, which is New Zealand’s largest manufacturing industry.
“Most of the 42 halal processing plants in New Zealand now operate between 10-12 months per year. A shortage of skilled halal processing people could result in production at many plants being limited to six months in the year, which would mean processing of livestock for farmers is severely disrupted and employees might be let go. . .
Ben and Yvonne Lee weren’t born into farming but have taken it up with vigour.
They run Bluestone Herefords, 30 minutes inland from Timaru, on 600ha of tussock and rolling foothills, ranging from 300-550 metres altitude. The South Canterbury farm will mate about 300 cows this season.
Yvonne, once a police officer, manages the farm day-to-day while Ben, formerly a lawyer, runs an animal health firm in Timaru. As stud owners, their cattle genetics are based squarely on client demand, typified by a growing call for cattle with low nitrogen output. . .
Farmers are back in the frame as the backbone of NZ’s export economy, after the Covid-induced collapse of the foreign exchange earning capacity of the tourist and international education industries. But it is not only the rural industries themselves which are scrutinising bulletins on the prices being earned abroad for commodities. Those data have become a vital item for New Zealanders eager to monitor the recovery of an economy battered by a one-in -100 year event.
This week the ANZ reported its world commodity price index had eased 0.2% in September as lower dairy and meat prices were largely offset by stronger prices for logs and fruit.
In local currency terms the index fell 1.3% as the NZ$ strengthened by 0.6% on a trade weighted index basis during the month.
Hard on the heels of those figures came the results of the latest Fonterra global dairy trade auction where the average price strengthened to $US3143 a tonne and wholemilk powder (which plays a significant role on Fonterra’s payout to suppliers) rose 1.7% to $3041 a tonne. . .
Clinton Young Farmer wins Otago contest – Yvonne O’Hara:
The Otago district skills final for the FMG Young Farmer of the Year competition was contested at Gimmberburn on Saturday.
Organised by the Maniototo Young Farmers Club, the competition attracted 10 entrants who completed 10 modules and later a quiz round.
The winner was George Blyth, of Clinton, with Josh Johanson, of Ida Valley, second, Adam Callaghan, of St Bathans, third and Matt Sullivan, of Oturehua, was fourth.
Club chairman Josh Harrex said the top four would go forward to compete in the regional final in Southland in March. . .
Judges faced tough decisions choosing finalists for the Primary Industries New Zealand Awards, with no shortage of contenders.
The six independent judges deliberated over 40 nominations across the six award categories for the second annual PINZ awards, which are to be held at Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington on November 23.
“More than ever New Zealand needs the primary sector to be innovative and enterprising,” Federated Farmers Chief Executive Terry Copeland says.
“For our farmers, growers, foresters and fishers to continue to be at the top of their game as producers of quality goods exported to the world, we need suppliers and support agencies of the calibre of these finalists who can help us with cutting-edge technology and back-up.”
The finalists are: . .
Piper in the paddock – Toni Williams:
The skirl of the pipes can be heard among the cows in Lagmhor as dairy farmer Joseph Williams plays a warm-up tune to his captive audience.
The cows are unfazed and continue grazing.
Mr Williams learned to play the bagpipes during his primary school years in his homeland of Scotland and, since relocating to New Zealand for work opportunities, has taken up with the Ashburton Pipe Band.
“There is a strong music culture at school,” he said, and the bagpipes were taken up in primary and secondary school, first learning finger movements on a practice chanter (similar to a recorder) before advancing to the bagpipes.
Mr Williams admits he wasn’t as committed to the bagpipes as he should have been through his teenage years and then flatting while at university in Aberdeen, Scotland. . .
No place for gender bias in farming – Milne – Sudesh Kissun:
Former Federated Farmers president Katie Milne says having women in the farmer lobby leadership team is a reminder that NZ ag is about couples working together.
Milne, the first woman president of Feds, stepped down last month after serving her three-year term.
In her final speech at the Feds’ annual meeting, Milne said men and women bring their own perspectives and strengths to farming, neither being more important than the other.
“It’s useful to remind the rest of the country by having men and women – all working farmers – speaking for the organisation that those old newsreels of men out on the land on machinery and women confined to baking scones for the shearers is pre-war history, and even then it was a stereotype rather than the truth,” she said. . .
Right now, we are in a Covid-19 recovery phase and an election year. Farmers feel good about keeping the economy going, but are challenged by climate change, freshwater regulations and afforestation. Some press releases strongly defend pastoral farming against encroaching forests, as if we are fighting over land use. We’re not. What both the farming and forestry sectors are doing is searching for the best way forward, post-covid, in terms of investing and adapting. What neither sector needs are knee-jerk regulations that distract from finding real solutions of mutual benefit. A diverse range of viewpoints is good for innovation, so let’s encourage it. The NZ Farm Forestry Association suggests we should avoid the myths, maintain perspective and share some new ideas.
The long-term perspective is that land use change has and should occur in response to developing markets and scientific guidance. . .
Fonterra’s boss might have been ultra-cautious but out on the country’s dairy farms there was a subdued cheer at the news that the wholemilk powder price had leapt 14% at the latest GDT auction..
The GDT index rose 8.3%, the biggest rise since November 2016, and the fourth successive gain. Fonterra’s CEO Miles Hurrell says it’s “really surprising—no-one saw a number of this magnitude”.
It dispels some of the gloom generated by the Covid-19 pandemic. And it generates the hope that Fonterra pitched its forecast for the season too low, in the broad range from $5.40kg/MS to $US6.90.
Hurrell suggested suppliers should not get “too excited” by the WMP result. Fonterra had put out excess product for immediate shipment, which resulted in “a bit of a flurry in that first event” .. . .
Latest from the Beehive
The government’s economic engineers were hard at work yesterday. One minister was set on establishing a base for film production in Christchurch while – much more critically for the wellbeing of the nation – a cluster of others led by the PM were unveiling their grand design for reshaping the primary sector. If they get it wrong (and we should never be sure politicians will get this sort of thing right), our economy will be dealt a greater mischief than ever was done by a pandemic.
Environment Minister David Parker was busy in the planning business, too, announcing appointments to the newly established Freshwater Planning Process and the Expert Consenting Panels for fast-track consenting.
Wearning his Attorney-General hat he also announced a new Judge of the High Court.
Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway, meanwhile, was announcing immediate short-term changes to visa settings to support temporary migrants already onshore in New Zealand and their employers, while ensuring New Zealanders needing work are prioritised. . .
Accelerating our economic potential: – Primary Land Users’ Group:
The Government plans to increase primary sector export earnings by $44 billion over the next decade with a goal of getting 10,000 more New Zealanders working in the sector over the next four years.
Prime Minister Ardern said the sector, which has proven essential for New Zealand during the Covid-19 pandemic, will be vital to New Zealand’s economic recovery.
The plan sets a target of lifting primary sector export earnings to $10b a year by 2030 which would bring in a cumulative $44b more in earnings in a decade. If successful, the plan would almost double the current value of the primary sector. . .
Ten kiwi dairy farmers who have shown exceptional care for the environment have been recognised with a DairyNZ sustainability and stewardship award.
The award was part of the Ballance Farm Environment Awards.
“The dairy sector has made a commitment under the Dairy Tomorrow strategy to protect and nurture the environment for future generations,” says Dr David Burger, DairyNZ strategy and investment leader – responsible dairy. . .
How will we recover from social isolation? – Stephen Burns:
Our species has been put on notice: the natural world will no longer tolerate the abuse it has taken for centuries and only exaggerated by recent avarice.
A minute organism, unable to be seen except through a microscope has brought the world as we have enjoyed to a grinding halt.
Invisible to a naked eye yet more powerful than any despotic politician, more devastating than the Global Financial Crisis and more destructive than a nuclear war head, COVID-19 has the power to threaten our continued existence. . .
Even better, whole milk powder increased by 14%.
It’s only one auction and just like political polls it’s the trend that counts, so it’s far too soon to be excited about a possible increase in the milk payout.
Drought, coronavirus rattle dairy – Sally Rae:
Westpac has cut its farmgate milk price forecast from $7.40 to $7.20 and ASB has trimmed its forecast by 10c to $7.40, as economists keep watch on the effects of coronavirus and drought.
At this week’s GlobalDairyTrade auction the headline index was down 2.9% and most products fell. Key export product whole milk powder fell 2.6%.
The result was unsurprising given the continuing uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus outbreak, Westpac market strategist Imre Speizer said in a note.
The steps China had taken to contain the outbreak, such as limiting the population’s movement, had kept many factories closed. . .
Dairy heavyweight Fonterra is trucking, free of charge, hundreds of thousands of litres of emergency water supplies daily to the drought-stricken Far North.
The drought relief effort will see tankers carrying 90,000 litres of water a day each to Kaikohe and Kaitaia, and new water deliveries just started to Dargaville and Rawene, a spokesperson said.
Sixty tankers a week have been delivering water to emergency holding tanks in Kaikohe and Kaitaia, while Dargaville will get 10 tankerloads or 300,000 litres every two days and Rawene one tankerful or 30,000 litres daily. . .
A drop of February rain has given water irrigators in Marlborough an extended grace period.
Several rivers in Marlborough were days away from being “shut off” from irrigators on February 6.
Marlborough District Council hydrologist Val Wadsworth said Rai Valley irrigation had been shut off for a week but the river had “quite a good lift” earlier this week, which meant it had been turned back on.
“In some places there was quite a bit of rain, in the Rai Valley there was 50mm,” Wadsworth said. . .
Balclutha hens rule the roost on Country Calendar – Melenie Parkes:
In Balclutha, there’s a family rearing some of the happiest hens you’re likely to find.
These merry cluckers are ‘pasture free range’, meaning they have the run of the land.
“There’s 1200 acres that we’re roaming around on here and there’s 6300 chooks, so there’s a lot of space,” says Michelle Pringle who, along with husband Tony, sells their eggs under the Agreeable Nature label. . .
Fresh producers must yell loudly – Richard Rennie:
Fresh fruit and produce companies around the world risk having their long-held and proven health claims stolen by the new arrivals on supermarket shelves, plant-based food products.
One of the biggest emerging trends in consumer behaviour in six regions surveyed globally is healthy living, Cathy Burns, chief executive of giant United States trade organisation Produce Marketing Association, told Zespri’s Momentum conference.
“This includes a desire to shed things from the diet that are not good for me and it has become a proxy term for intelligence and social acceptance. . .
Invercargill shearer Nathan Stratford won the Southern Shears open final in Gore at the weekend, his first in the event after 24 years of trying.
The result brought him 70 open final victories as he became the first South Island shearer to win the event since 1994 when Edsel Forde, from Winton, won the final for a fifth time . .
Yesterday’s GlobalDairyTrade was down 2.6%, the fifth drop in the last six auctions but no-one’s suggesting the milk payout will be lower than $6.
Horticulture and wine are getting healthy returns, arable incomes are reasonable, wool is dismal but the outlook for sheep meat and beef is positive.
. . .That was the worst reading since August last year, when the index was at -50.3. Employment intentions slumped (-5.5 vs 0) as firms sought to cut jobs, capacity utilization weakened to its lowest since 2009 (0.4 vs 5.3), and activity outlook (5.0 vs 8.0) and export expectations (1.4 vs 5.3) deteriorated. In addition, profit expectations fell further(-16.3 vs -12.5), while investment intentions turned to negative (-0.3 vs 2.5). . .
The Westpac-McDermott Miller consumer confidence index in New Zealand fell to 103.5 in the second quarter of 2019 from 103.5 in the previous period. Households became increasingly worried about conditions in the global economy over the next five years (-3.5 points to 11.9); and the number of households who think now is a good time to purchase a major item has fallen to a two-year low (-5.5 points to 17.9). . .
Today’s historic cut to the Official Cash Rate down to just one per cent sounds a dramatic warning that the New Zealand economy is slowing and the Government needs to get serious about growth, National’s Finance Spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.
“The Reserve Bank’s cut came with the message, ‘Indicators of growth remained weak or weakened further over the past few months’.
“The only time in the history of the OCR there has been a cut of this magnitude have been after the 9/11 terrorist attack, during the Global Financial Crisis, and after the Christchurch earthquake.
“Of greatest concern is the absence of any clear growth plan from this Government.
“Budget 2019 was devoted almost exclusively to spreading national wealth, with very few policies to grow the economy. The most expensive Budget commitment to transform the economy was a $1 billion subsidy for rail. There was little else.
“Instead of ramping up infrastructure investment, the Government has stopped or postponed a dozen roading projects which were ready to get underway, and replaced them with projects that aren’t ready to go, and won’t be for a lot time yet’.
“We need to move beyond policies that add costs to the business and drive down business confidence.
“National would revive the economy by having a plan for growth which would see confidence bounce back and the economy gain the strength it’s lost under this Government.”
There is no doubt what the government is doing and not doing are a large part of the problem.
In spite of at least reasonable returns for almost all primary products farmers feel under-siege with very real concerns about the costs and restrictions the government will impose on them.
Other businesses have similar worries, not helped by the latest confidence-sapping message sent by the Prime Minister’s ordering Fletchers to not build anything until the Ihumātao dispute is settled.
Then there’s the on-going argument over the letter Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter is refusing to release and the questions that raises over the part she played in delaying Wellington transport plans.
Concerns over this aren’t helped by claims from Wellington City Councilors that the Green Party confidence and supply agreement would have been put in jeopardy if a watered down Let’s Get Wellington Moving wasn’t accepted.
All of this points to government instability and is compounded by Winston Peters’ latest game playing over requiring a referendum on changes to abortion law.
When interest rates were already so low, it is unlikely the larger than expected drop in the OCR will have much impact on the productive economy when there are so many reasons pointing to the need for caution.
And while low interest rates help borrowers they punish savers.
All in all there is little to give anyone confidence anything is going to get better soon and plenty of reasons to doubt the government has the plans and policies to help.
And now the Reserve Bank has dropped the OCR, it raises the question of what happens when, as is likely, economic conditions get worse.
This morning’s GlobalDairyTrade auction had a welcome lift of 6.7% in the price index and an increase in prices for all products except butter milk powder.
The trend for the year is positive which gives some confidence that the payout won’t go below $6.
Dairy prices tumble 5% at latest auction – Gerard Hutching:
Prices plunged at the latest global dairy auction by 5 per cent per cent to reach an average of US$3232, the most dramatic decrease seen in the index this year.
The price for New Zealand’s key export whole milk powder (WMP) was US$2905, a fall of 7.3 per cent. Futures markets had suggested WMP might fall by 1 per cent.
AgriHQ said Fonterra’s latest Global Dairy Update appeared to have given the market the jitters, especially for WMP. . .
Trade dispute causes dairy prices to tumble – Fran O’Leary:
Dairy markets appear to be reacting negatively to President Donald Trump’s decision to place tariffs on Mexican steel and aluminum, and on a number of Chinese products.
“In retaliation, Mexico announced that they will place a tariff on U.S. cheese, and China announced tariffs on some dairy products, corn, soybeans and other products. Mexico is the largest export market for U.S. cheese,” says Bob Cropp, University of Wisconsin Extension dairy economist.
“In 2017, Mexico accounted for 28.3% of U.S. cheese exports. While these tariffs didn’t take effect until July, and the degree of impact on U.S. dairy exports is unknown at this time, dairy product prices have already fallen.” . .
Talented young agri-leaders from Australia and New Zealand are being urged to apply for the 2019 Zanda McDonald Award. Applications for this prestigious award open today, with an impressive prize package worth over $50,000 up for grabs.
Now in its fifth year, the award provides the winner with an all-expenses paid trans-Tasman mentoring trip, $1,000 cash, a place on Rabobank’s Farm Managers Course, and access to the Platinum Primary Producers (PPP) Group – a network of over 150 influential agri-business men and women from across Australasia.
Richard Rains, Chairman of the Zanda McDonald Award, says the award provides a fantastic opportunity for young agricultural leaders to further their career and their personal development. . .
There’s something magical about having a hometown advantage.
But that advantage comes with a twist for two southern men who are competing in the FMG Young Farmer of the Year grand final in Invercargill this week.
Technically, there are two southerners competing in the final, but they represent different regions in the contest.
Logan Wallace, 28, leases his parents farm at Waipahi in south Otago and is the Otago-Southland regional finalist, while Cameron Black, 25, who is based in Christchurch as a rural consultant for New Zealand Agri Brokers is the Aorangi regional finalist. . .
A2 Synlait agree to extend infant formula supply deal – Sophie Boot
(BusinessDesk) – Dairy marketer A2 Milk and milk processor Synlait Milk have agreed to extend their infant formula supply deal and increase the volume of formula Synlait will supply as the two continue to focus on sales in the lucrative Chinese market.
A2 and Synlait first signed a supply agreement in 2012 to support the milk marketing firm’s plans to launch infant formula sales into China, and inked a new deal in August 2016 providing for increased scale if market demand warranted it.
The companies’ arrangements were for a minimum of five years from 2016, with a rolling three-year term from August this year, but have been extended by two years so will last until at least July 2023. Synlait will increase the volume of infant formula products it is A2’s exclusive supplier for and increase its committed production capacity. . .
The Government has said it will act immediately on some recommendations of the Land and Water Forum. This includes prioritising action in the most “at-risk” catchments.
Advice was sought by Environment Minister David Parker and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor on a number of issues on waterways and the primary sector.
“The Government will act on some of the Forum’s recommendations immediately, while the remaining recommendations will be considered in more detail as part of our work programme,” David Parker said. . .
Federated Farmers has a new board member as a result of elections held during last week’s national conference in Wellington.
Karen Williams, who was elected arable chairperson at that industry group’s annual meeting in Timaru in June, was elected to the national board by delegates from Federated Farmers’ 24 provinces. She replaces Guy Wigley, who stepped down after three years as arable leader. . .
On June 30 the doors of the Vidal Estate winery and restaurant in Hastings closed for the last time. It was a historic moment for the winery established by pioneer Anthony Vidal in 1905, but the future of Vidal Estate looks bright with the relocation to a new state-of-the-art winery located in the Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay.
To make great wine, the closer to the vineyards the better, said Hugh Crichton, winemaker at Vidal Estate. “It was an exciting time to move our winemaking base out to the Gimblett Gravels for vintage 2018. While it has been immensely satisfying to ferment and age our wines in the historic cellars in Hastings there’s no denying there were challenges. Being closer to our vineyards and working within a winery designed for quality will without a doubt further push us into the premium market”. . . .
One of New Zealand’s biggest winery-based tourism and hospitality operations – encompassing vineyards, a function centre, restaurant, and high-end accommodation – has been placed on the market for sale.
Mahana Estates just west of Nelson generates income from four revenue streams which operate both independently and conjunction with each other.
The Mahana Estates property portfolio encompasses:
• A 21-hectare vineyard planted in pinot noir, pinot gris, Riesling and chardonnay
• A nine hectare sauvignon blanc vineyard in the nearby region of Hope
• A 2,589 square metre four-level winery capable of crushing 500 tonnes of grapes annually and sustained by its own on-site cellaring facility and bottling plant which operates on a gravity feed system to minimize the need for pumps . .
Aussie grain giant puts mega farm up for sale – Chris Mccullough:
The owner of the 495,000 acre farm is asking $72 to $82 million for what is one of Australia’s largest arable operations
One of Australia’s biggest arable farms extending to 495,000 acres is up for sale at a price tag of $72 to $82 million.
Western Australian grain giant John Nicoletti decided to retire from grain farming at 64 years old. . .
Moves to revive Ruataniwha dam scheme – Anusha Bradley:
A group of Central Hawke’s Bay businessmen are hoping to resurrect the controversial Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme after buying the intellectual property from the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council for $100,000.
The regional council spent $14 million, and four years, trying to get the scheme off the ground before the Supreme Court ruled last year it could not flood a large parcel of conservation land.
Now, a company called Water Holdings CHB has bought the intellectual property and rights to the scheme from the regional council’s investment arm.
Water Holdings CHB director Gavin Streeter said owning the assets, which included consents and modelling data, would allow the community to explore options for reviving the scheme. . .
Farmstrong has developed a new online survey to better understand the pressures facing younger farmers and farm workers, and asking them what works to improve their wellbeing.
The survey is being undertaken in association with NZ Young Farmers, and is open for all under 35 year old farmers and farm workers.
We have developed two surveys, one for women and one for men. Most of the questions in the two surveys are similar, but there are some that are specific to men or women, such as the networks they belong to or the print magazines they read.
The survey is confidential and only takes about 10 minutes to complete. It is open till 16 July 2018. . .
Finalists competing in the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final will arrive in Invercargill today.
It’s the 50th anniversary of the iconic agricultural contest, which was first held in Auckland in 1969.
A sell-out crowd of more than 1,000 people will pack ILT Stadium Southland for Saturday’s quiz and awards night. . .
A fledgling New Zealand agritech company run by a rising Kiwi entrepreneur who has worked for Rocket Lab has raised $8 million, from Silicon Valley venture capital firm Data Collective, which is likely to result in massive changes to the nation’s burgeoning dairy industry.
Waikato company Halter will use the $8 million boost to help farms guide and manage their dairy cows by using IoT and artificial intelligence, sustainably increasing production, saving billions in labour costs and improving environmental compliance and animal welfare. . .
Ten years ago, Global Dairy Trade held it first online auction on the GDT Events platform with the aim of being the most credible and comprehensive provider of prices across core dairy ingredients.
By the end of June this year, GDT Events had facilitated the trade of more than US$22 billion cumulative value of dairy products to buyers from over 80 countries.
Eric Hansen, Director Global Dairy Trade says the GDT Events auctions re-wrote the rules of engagement for buying and selling dairy commodities. . .
Horticulture New Zealand’s Board is asking growers to vote to renew the levy funding that keeps the organisation going, with voting papers going out today.
A levy rate of 14 cents per $100 of sales of the fruits and vegetables covered in The Commodity Levies (Vegetables and Fruit) Order is the principal funding mechanism to support Horticulture New Zealand’s work for commercial fruit and vegetable growers. The levy expires in May 2019 and voting to renew it, or not, needs to be completed by 13 August 2018.
“The purpose of Horticulture New Zealand is: Enabling, promoting and advocating for growers in New Zealand to achieve the industry goal (a $10 billion industry by 2020),” says Board President Julian Raine. . .
‘Agtech’ has been described as the fourth agricultural revolution – a marriage of data, farming and technological innovation that will further transform the industry and help us to achieve so far unrealised levels of productivity (such as the long-sought 20t/ha wheat yield), efficiency and environmental sustainability.
According to Dr Larousse, eight technologies are at the heart of agtech and all have the disruptive power to transform agriculture. Four of them are software, four hardware. One of them is already being practised by Alltech: after its recent purchase of the feed solutions company Keenan, it decided it could provide a more efficient spare parts service by turning to 3D printing, allowing farmers around the world near-instant access to parts from their local dealer. “But it needn’t stop there: we could also ‘print’ food from its constituent ingredients or provide robots with the means to self-repair.” . .
In a significant step forward for the wool sector, industry participants have come together to develop and launch an independent online trading platform.
Modelled on the Global Dairy Trade Events (GDT) platform, the Natural Fibre Exchange (NFX) is scheduled to go live with its first trading event on 22 May 2018.
NFX Ltd shareholders Wools of New Zealand Ltd (WNZ) and Alliance Group have teamed with CRA International (CRA), an acknowledged leader in online trading platforms. CRA, which also designed and manages the GDT platform, has developed and will manage the NFX platform. . .
Short and long-lived gases need separate regulatory baskets – Keith Woodford:
A key issue for New Zealand is how to meet the Paris commitments for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Fundamental to any analysis is the different attributes of long-lived and short-lived gases. In particular, how should methane be accounted for, and how should it be brought into any emission trading scheme?
Back in 2016, current Commissioner of the Environment Simon Upton raised the importance of placing short-lived gases in a different regulatory ‘basket’ from long-lived gases. Remarkably, our rural leaders appear to have failed to pick up on the importance of this issue.
More than any other country in the world, NZ’s gross emissions are influenced by methane-producing ruminant animals. No other developed country has a comparable emission profile, with the arguable exception of Uruguay. . .
New Zealand farmers are in danger of becoming redundant as synthetic meat took consumers away from red meat, says a strategic science expert.
Dr Anna Campbell, managing director of agribusiness consulting company AbacusBio, said synthetic meats would get cheaper and global consumers would choose them because of their light environmental impact and zero animal treatment.
Campbell was a key speaker talking to about 180 farmers and agribusiness people at the AgInnovation conference in Palmerston North on Wednesday.
“At the moment, synthetic meat-makers take some cells, some blood and other things, spin it around, and get mince. It’s mince for hamburger patties that is spat out. It is expensive at the moment, but the companies will scale it up and make it cheap.” . .
Age not wearing this farmer – Peter Burke:
Moyra Bramley was born in 1933, the year Sir Apirana Ngata and Lord Bledisloe inaugurated the Ahuwhenua Trophy to recognise excellence in Maori farming — now Ms Bramley has at least a 50/50 chance of winning that trophy.
Bramley is in the running for her role as chairwoman of the Onuku Maori Lands Trust, one of two finalists in the competition.
Onuku’s entry in the competition is its 72ha Boundary Road dairy unit is near Lake Rotomahana, 30km south of Rotorua. It is one of four farms run by the trust. . .
Looking into using drones differently – Mark Price:
Wanaka beekeeper Daniel Schweizer is investigating a use for drones that is yet to catch on in New Zealand.
He can see potential for “spray drones” that target weeds in difficult-to-get-to places in the high country.
The weeds would include gorse, broom and wilding pines.
“The only options at the moment are a helicopter and a man with a knapsack, and one is $20 an hour and one is $2000 an hour,” he said. . .
New Zealand’s land-based primary industries need to get ready for more, and more serious, crop disease as climate change causes more and longer droughts, according to new research.
In the journal Australasian Plant Pathology, the authors say that climate change is expected to bring more droughts in many parts of New Zealand, and more droughts are “likely to increase the severity of a wide range of diseases affecting the plant-based productive sectors”.
Scientists from the Bio-Protection Research Centre, Scion, Lincoln University, AUT University, Landcare Research, and the University of Auckland analysed the potential impact of climate-change-induced drought on several commercial plants and their diseases. . .
The importance of water storage in helping provide a reliable supply of water for urban communities, and for food and energy production in a changing climate needs to be recognised, says IrrigationNZ.
“We are seeing the effects of poor future planning for the effects of climate change on water infrastructure overseas, with Cape Town expected to soon run out of water. By ratifying the Paris Agreement in 2016, New Zealand confirmed it will plan for and take action to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Developing more water storage to supply towns, rural communities and for food and energy production is important to protect the future wellbeing of Kiwis,” says IrrigationNZ Chief Executive Andrew Curtis. . .
(BusinessDesk) – Dairy product prices rose at the Global Dairy Trade auction, rising for the third straight time, as buyers stocked up in anticipation of easing output.
The GDT price index climbed 5.9 percent from the previous auction three weeks ago. The average price was US$3,553 a tonne. Some 22,197 tonnes of product was sold, down from 23,319 tonnes three weeks ago.
Whole milk powder rallied 7.6 percent to US$3,226 a tonne. . .
Parliament is now seeking public submissions on a bill aimed at deterring livestock rustling (the theft of livestock from farms or property).
Livestock rustling is estimated to cost the farming community over $120 million each year and is a major threat to farming businesses. It also puts the safety of people in isolated, rural areas at risk because rustlers are often armed. . .
(BusinessDesk) – A group of Maori organisations has partnered with Japanese food company Imanaka to develop a milk processing plant to make high-value niche products in Kawerau.
Kawerau Dairy is a collaboration between 11 Maori Bay of Plenty entities, which own two thirds of the venture, and Imanaka’s Cedenco Dairy unit, which owns the remaining third. They expect the first stage of the $32 million project to begin operations early next year.
The dairy venture is following the model of the Miraka milk company in Taupo which was set up by Maori interests with an overseas food group as a cornerstone shareholder, with power supplied from Maori geothermal assets and much of the milk supply sourced from local Maori farms. . .
Eugenie Sage has questions to answer on her reasons for turning down the sale of the Sullivan Mine on the West Coast to Bathurst Coal Limited against the advice of overseas investment officials, National Party Energy and Resources Spokesperson Jonathan Young says.
“Ms Sage needs to give an absolute assurance that her views as Conservation Minister and as a Green Party MP have not coloured her statutory role as Minister for Land Information,” Mr Young says.
“Bathurst is a significant investor on the West Coast and Southland, creating jobs and economic activity in each region. . .
The first airfreighted consignment of fresh New Zealand avocados has arrived safely into China, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) said today.
This follows agreement and signing of a protocol on phytosanitary requirements between New Zealand and China last November, and a technical audit of New Zealand’s regulatory system for exporting avocados by Chinese officials in January.
“Securing export access for our avocados into China has been New Zealand’s top horticulture priority,” says MPI Director-General Martyn Dunne. . .
A former cocktail bartender, an award-winning contract milker and a drone-flying drystock farmer will face off in the Taranaki/Manawatu Regional Final of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year.
Farmers will descend on the nation’s capital for the event on February 24th.
It’s believed to be the first time the regional final has been held in Wellington. . .
Nominations are now open for two farmer-elected Board positions on the Silver Fern Farms Co-operative Board.
Directors Rob Hewett and Fiona Hancox retire by rotation at the Company’s 2017 Annual Meeting.
Rob Hewett and Fiona Hancox have advised they will seek re-election.
Nominations close on Monday 5 March 2018 at 5pm. . ..
Wanaka fire will take days to put out – Sam Nugent:
Wanaka residents woke to see the fire on Roys Peak had reignited on two separate fronts overnight.
Since first light eight helicopters with monsoon buckets have been attacking the fire.
Fire crews from Wanaka, Hawea, Luggate, Dunstan and Arrowtown have been working overnight to protect homes on the outskirts of Wanaka from a blaze which authorities say could take at least two days to put out.
Around 3am, after the fire flared up again late yesterday evening, crews and police were preparing to evacuate about 30 homes as well as the occupants of the Wanaka Kiwi Holiday Park as a precaution due to a wind shift.
However, conditions had changed again and as at 4.30am the fire was not currently burning towards houses. . .
Fed Farmers urge govt to reconsider irrigation loans – Conan Young:
The new government is being urged not to follow through on its promise to cancel any new loans to irrigation schemes.
Its predecessor pledged $400 million from the sale of state assets towards helping schemes get off the ground as a way to boost economic growth, but all of that was about to end.
Picking up on discontent among voters over declining water quality, Labour campaigned on a water levy on farmers using irrigation and promised to wind up Crown Irrigation Investments, the company that was formed to provide bridging finance to irrigation schemes. . .
(BusinessDesk) – Fonterra Cooperative Group expects to collect 3 percent less milk from its New Zealand suppliers this season than it did in the prior season as dry weather stunts grass growth and lowers milk production.
Auckland-based Fonterra revised its forecast for its New Zealand milk collection for the current 2017/18 season to 1,480 million kilograms of milk solids, down 3 percent from the 1,525 million kgMS it collected in the 2016/17 season, it said. In December it had forecast milk collection would be in line with the previous season. . .
A mixed result in the commodity bag overnight; but generally a positive auction for New Zealand farmers with the average price index at the GDT auction for up 2.2%. Importantly, the WMP index was up 4.2% taking it to its highest level since October 2017. A total 25,400t of product was sold.
As many of you would be aware, Fonterra has revised its milk intake for the 2017/18 season twice in the past few weeks. Right now Fonterra are predicting milk intake of 1,480 million kgMS – which is down 4% on the 2016/2017 season. The risk of drought flagged in the latest GDQ has clearly come into play. . .
The hidden powers of a sheep – Judith D. Schwartz:
While the fashion industry continues to produce more and more clothes made from synthetics, we’ve ignored the wonders of wool. Not only is wool unusually cozy and durable, but its creators (the sheep) can also help regenerate the world’s drying, fire-prone landscapes. The good news: a wool revival seems to be underway.
In the early nineteenth century, 70 percent of the forests in my home state of Vermont were cleared, primarily for sheep farming. Vermont’s “merino mania” had begun just a few years earlier, in 1809, when William Jarvis, U.S. Consul to Portugal under Thomas Jefferson, took advantage of Spain’s turmoil under Napoleon’s invasion to import 200 of Spain’s prized Royal Escorial flock. It turned out that our rocky soil and hilly terrain suited sheep farming just fine; Jarvis soon smuggled in more and more Spanish sheep, and, for a time, Vermont became the center of the American wool trade.
At its peak, in 1840, the industry supported more than 100,000 sheep in the town of Bennington, where I live. Our own property was reportedly once a sheep farm. We still have sections of stone wall that marked the pasture boundary. Today there’s barely a handful of small sheep farms left in the county. So, too, with the wool industry at large. Across the country, wool mills—once an American mainstay—have all but disappeared. . .
Dairies are awash in organic milk as consumers flock to alternatives – Heather Haddon & Benjamin Parkin:
Organic milk sales have cooled as the very shoppers who drove demand for the specialty product not long ago move on to newer alternatives, leaving dairy sellers and producers grappling with oversupply.
A yearslong surge in demand prompted food companies and dairy farmers to invest in organic production, which requires eschewing pesticides and antibiotics and allowing cows to graze freely. Now organic milk supplies have ballooned just as demand has stalled. Many shoppers have moved on to substitutes such as almond “milk” . . .
Depression and anxiety a sickness not a weakness – Marc Gascoigne:
I don’t know anyone in my circle of friends and family who has been killed in a car accident. Or on a quad bike, or by drowning, or in a work accident, or any other sudden accidental death.
Except for suicide. In the last few years I have lost three close friends or family to suicide, the latest being my nephew on January 10.
Almost everyone I have talked to since then has said the same thing to me. . .
Milking marvels: sheep one side of the shed, cows the other – Kate Taylor:
Belief in how they do things and the values their family hold are the prime drivers behind Sentry Hill Organics. Kate Taylor visited Tom and PJ White to find out more about how they do things their way.
There’s a lot of laughter at the White family home in Ashley Clinton – much of it aimed at themselves.
“We just do things differently,” Phillippa White says, who is known locally as PJ.
“Yep, we’re definitely not followers,” adds her husband Tom.
“We’re not leaders either though,” interrupts PJ, with a shake of her head. . .
Final plea for water intake – Annette Scott:
The final plea is out to farmers and investors to ensure a South Canterbury irrigation project can proceed.
Without the minimum uptake the proposers of the $110 million Hunter Downs irrigation scheme have indicated they would be forced to pull the plug.
The project, which had been 12 years in the making, was 10% short of the minimum uptake needed to proceed.
“We are making a final appeal to farmers and other key stakeholders to invest in this project,” Hunter Downs Water chairman Andrew Fraser said. . .
Dairy auction prices expected to lift on looming threat of drought – Tina Morrison:
(Business Desk) Prices on the GlobalDairyTrade auction may lift next week, snapping four consecutive declines, as the increased threat of drought in New Zealand weighs on expectations for Fonterra Cooperative Group’s milk production.
The NZX whole milk powder futures contracts for December last traded at US$2,840 a tonne, 3.7 per cent ahead of the equivalent contract at the last GlobalDairyTrade auction on November 21, signalling traders expect the price to rise at the next GDT auction overnight on December 5.
Longer-dated whole milk powder futures contracts are also signalling an increase, as are futures contracts for skim milk powder, while futures for butter and anhydrous milk fat point to declines. . .
Auckland’s future: vertical farming? – Adriana Weber:
Farming in high-rise buildings, warehouses or shipping containers could benefit a rapidly expanding Auckland, an expert in sustainability says.
Some farmers and industry groups, including Horticulture New Zealand, are worried productive land is increasingly being swallowed up by growing towns and cities.
The problem is especially evident in Auckland, the country’s fastest growing region, and in its southern vegetable growing towns like Pukekohe.
New York-based sustainability strategist Henry Gordon-Smith said Auckland should look into merging city and farm. . .
Business development programmes for women involved in sheep and beef farming are expanding to new locations next year.
The Agri-Women’s Development Trust runs the programmes with funding from the Red Meat Profit Partnership with the aim of lifting the sector’s performance and profitability.
Oamaru and Fairlie will be the first of 32 rural centres to host the programmes in early February.
They comprise ”Understanding Your Farm Business”, which has had 780 graduates since it began in 2014, and ”Wahine Maia Wahine Whenua” for women who are trustees, managers or partners in Maori sheep and beef farming businesses. . .
Cool winter boosts currants – Alexia Johnston:
A cold, wet winter is paying off for at least one South Canterbury berry grower.
ViBERi owner manager Tony Howey said the chill of last winter had provided a welcome boost to his crops of blackcurrants and redcurrants.
Moisture in the cooler months had also helped, he said.
”It was really good for the berries … and for some cereal crops as well.”
Cool temperatures in October, with some mornings near-freezing, were almost too cold, but the crops survived well. . .
Feilding rural investment company, MyFarm is chasing $13 million for the lease and development of four apple orchards in Hawke’s Bay.
The investment group will grow the niche export apple brand Rockit, which is a mini-apple under licence by Rockit Global.
One of the Rockit Global’s challenges has been growing enough apples to meet global demand despite production lifting 40 per cent on last year. . .
Lower Fonterra milk price seems likely – Hugh Stringleman:
Fonterra might reduce its farmgate milk price forecast by 25c to 50c/kg as early as this week after the fourth consecutive fall in world dairy prices on the fortnightly Global Dairy Trade auction platform.
Global prices fell 10% over the past two months since Fonterra reaffirmed its $6.75/kg forecast at the time of its annual results presentation.
After the latest 3.4% GDT index fall market analysts have found some unanimity with forecasts of $6.25-$6.50, along with predictions Fonterra would have to downgrade sooner rather than later. . .
Waikato dairy farmer Jim van der Poel has been elected the new chairman of industry good body, DairyNZ. He replaces Michael Spaans, who passed away earlier this week.
Jim says Michael was a skilled, dedicated and passionate chair for DairyNZ and he plans to continue the vision established for DairyNZ and dairy farmers.
“While I step into this position under sad circumstances, as a board we will continue Michael’s good work – his influence will continue as we develop plans for the future of our industry.” . .
Story of Hakataramea farrmer and his sausage dog subject of new children’s book – Jody O’Callaghan:
The instant bond between a South Canterbury farmer and his vertically-challenged sausage dog is the stuff legends are made of.
An unlikely friendship formed the day miniature dachshund Poppy was handed to Hakataramea farmer James Hayman. It has become the subject of children’s book Bob n Pops, their nicknames.
Author Harriet Bremner, Hayman’s partner, has released the book nine months after the 27-year-old was killed in a farm accident in January. . .
Irish love their farmers why don’t kiwis? – Peter Burke:
During the election campaign NZ farmers – and the rural community in general – came under attack from politicians and the public, and felt they were being demonised.
This is in sharp contrast to what’s happening 20,000km away in Ireland, where the people are proud of what their farmers do. Peter Burke reports.
In Ireland the public are proud of what their farmers are doing, says Padraig Brennan, director of markets for Origin Green. . .
Run by Bord Bia (the Irish Food Board), Origin Green is a highly successful quality assurance programme that most of Ireland’s dairy farmers have signed up to; o have the nation’s major food and drink manufacturers, some beef farmers and even major retail outlets such as McDonalds restaurant chain. . .
Poo is powering a Southland dairy shed – Sonita Chandar:
Poos and wees are heating and lighting up a cowshed in Southland.
In what could only be described as an environmental game-changer, Glenarlea Farm, one of Fortuna Group’s farms in Southland, is converting effluent methane into electricity.
Dairy Green agricultural and engineering consultant John Scandrett says the new system has been 13 years in the making and is now generating enough electricity to power the cowshed and heat the shed hot water. . .
Investing in cutting edge science paid off for the Pastoral 21 (P21) research team from DairyNZ and AgResearch at the 2017 Kudos Science Excellence Awards.
The P21 team won the Agricultural Science Award for the research, being applied on commercial farms across the country, that has helped increase productivity while lowering the environmental footprint through the reduction of nutrient losses.
The research has led to 30-40 percent reductions in nitrate losses on farm.
Small changes have led to big environmental gains, says DairyNZ principle scientist Dr David Chapman. . .
Polish Dairy to join Fonterra’s Global Dairy Trade platform from Nov 21 – Rebecca Howard:
(BusinessDesk) – Polish Dairy, the fifth largest producer of milk in the European Union, will join Fonterra Cooperative Group’s Global Dairy Trade platform from Nov 21, initially offering skim milk powder, whole milk powder, butter and lactose on the platform.
“Central Europe has become an increasingly important dairy region. The addition of a seller from Poland is evidence of the emerging strength of that nation’s dairy sector, and will be welcomed by our network of over 500 registered GDT Events buyers,” said Eric Hansen, director of Global Dairy Trade in a press release. The platform, which has moved more than US$20 billion in dairy products since it launched in 2008, is looking to broaden its offering to meet customer needs. . .
A strong New Zealand dollar and declining US imported beef prices have seen New Zealand beef prices drop marginally lower over the past quarter. And further downward pressure on beef prices is expected as the year progresses, with increased Japanese tariffs on frozen beef imports creating additional headwinds for Kiwi exporters, according to Rabobank’s latest Beef Quarterly report. . .
Synlait has received registration which will allow exports of The a2 Milk Company Limited’s China label infant formula to China to continue.
All manufacturers of infant formula are required to register brands and recipes with the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) in order to import products into China, through traditional import channels, from 1 January 2018. . .
(BusinessDesk) – Fonterra Cooperative Group’s GlobalDairyTrade platform, which has moved more than US$20 billion in dairy products since it launched in 2008, is looking to broaden its offering to meet customer needs.
“We are continually innovating and always looking for these expansion ideas,” Eric Hansen, director of GlobalDairyTrade, told BusinessDesk. . .
Sustainability and scientific innovation is high on the agenda of Waikato dairy farmer Grant Coombes.
As a candidate for the DairyNZ Board of Directors, Coombes says it’s time for farmers to embrace new technology and innovation as a way forward, to tackle issues such as environmental sustainability. . .
There is a game-changing tool on the way in the war against kauri dieback disease which is having a devastating effect on New Zealand’s native forests.
Thanks to the 2016 WWF-New Zealand Conservation Innovation Awards, sustainable land management group Groundtruth is developing a Stop Kauri Dieback app that will support community engagement and management of kauri dieback. The fungus-like disease with no known cure is killing kauri forests in Northland, and kauri could become extinct in some locations without urgent action. . .
Global interest in the story behind healthy, fresh food has inspired Horticulture New Zealand to start an Instagram page where people can better get to know the fruit and vegetable growers of New Zealand, Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman says.
Growers of New Zealand (@growersofnz) went live yesterday and already has sparked interest from New Zealand and around the world. Each week a grower will be profiled at work, and the seasonal crop they have been working with will be highlighted in a recipe. . .
Tainui Group Holding’s annual Hangawera Station Hereford sale is set to go with over 180 pure-bred, vaccinated and tested bulls being auctioned on Monday 2nd October.
TGH’s Primary Industries Manager Mark Jackways says they expect a solid auction turnout, much like previous years, given strong market demand for quality bulls, as dairy herds re-stock after a tight couple of years. . .
Alliance Group beefing up facilities to meet demand for blood products – Rebecca Howard:
(BusinessDesk) – Alliance Group will invest $1.7 million in two plants in order to meet growing demand for New Zealand-sourced blood products.
In Pukeuri in Oamaru it will build a new facility created to help boost the recovery of blood-based products for sale to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries, the cooperative said in a statement. The meat processor will also improve the recovery of offal and upgrade the pet food area, it said. . .
Kelso farmers raising bobby calves for beef – Nicole Sharp:
Kelso dairy farmers Ken and Bruce Eade have been rearing their bobby calves for the beef industry for the past three years.
The father-and-son duo farm 270ha with their wives, Nancy and Tanya, in West Otago and after they bought their heifer block, down from the main farm, they decided it made economic sense to hang on to the bobby calves, they said.
”We thought we might as well run some bull-beef there too,” Bruce said. . .
A change to the constitution of Crown Irrigation Investments Limited (CIIL) will allow it to fund water storage projects with direct environmental and economic benefits, rather than on the basis of purely economic grounds, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has announced today.
“This is an important change to CIIL’s mandate which recognises and reinforces how important water storage and distribution projects are to the environment,” says Mr Guy.
“The current rules limit CIIL’s purpose to considering the long-term economic benefits from projects that it invests in, but it makes sense to broaden the scope given the wider benefits of these projects. It will now be able to provide concessionary loans to local authorities for projects that directly lead to environmental benefits.”
The change was originally requested by CIIL and has now been formally approved by Cabinet. . .
“The change to the constitution of Crown Irrigation Investments Limited (CIIL) to allow it to fund water storage projects that directly lead to environmental benefits is a very positive step and should be extended to recognise resilience and social benefits as well,” says Infrastructure New Zealand’s Chief Executive Stephen Selwood.
“To date, existing rules guiding the government’s irrigation investment arm have placed a too narrow focus on direct economic benefits.
“This has resulted in disproportionate emphasis on maximising land use productivity and insufficient recognition of wider economic, social and environmental benefits. . .
A nationwide programme to recycle agricultural plastics and dispose of agrichemicals has had its status as a ‘product stewardship scheme’ extended by the Government, Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson announced today
Mr Simpson met with representatives of Agrecovery to formally reaccredit them for another seven years as a product stewardship scheme under the Waste Minimisation Act.
Agrecovery collects unwanted chemical drums and containers from agricultural brand owners throughout New Zealand. The scheme is widely supported by farmers, growers, local government and agrichemical and dairy hygiene companies. . .
A young New Zealander Alfred Duval has been launched onto the world stage. Celebrated for his outstanding achievements as an emerging leader in sustainable forestry.
Duval was awarded the inaugural Prince of Wales Award for Sustainable Forestry in Rotorua on Tuesday 5th September at the NZ Institute of Forestry’s annual awards ceremony.
The new prize was set up earlier this year, to reward and encourage a young New Zealand forestry professional working in the vital area of sustainable forest management. Similar initiatives have been established in Australia and Canada. . .
Fonterra’s GlobalDairyTrade investigates European tie-up – Paul McBeth:
(BusinessDesk) – Fonterra Cooperative Group’s online auction platform GlobalDairyTrade is looking at a tie-up with the European Energy Exchange to extend the dairy offering available in the region.
The two operators have signed a letter of intent to investigate whether they should set up a joint venture establishing and operating an auction mechanism for dairy products originating in Europe, they said in a statement. The companies will talk to buyers and sellers about joint price discovery through an auction designed for Europe. . .
The Berry family’s journey from farming to specialty cheese began in 1987.
Such a leap was triggered by a huge upheaval in our rural communities. In 1984 all farming subsidies were removed, product prices halved and interest rates ballooned to 23-24%.
When Rob Muldoon was voted out Roger Douglas and Labour inherited a broken economy. ‘Rogernomics’ and the ‘free economy’ were born, which crippled our rural communities resulting in many farmers leaving the land and numerous farmer suicides.
In our case, North Otago had the added challenge of crippling droughts. We had a pretty large farming operation, which included a high country run and two down land properties. I decided the former could stay as it was, while the down country farms would be used for cropping and stock trading. . .
A very good move – Pam Tipa:
Any initiative that helps train health professionals ready and willing to work in rural communities is good, says Michelle Thompson, chief executive of Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHAANZ).
The Government announced last week a plan to establish a school of rural medicine within the next three years to train doctors for rural and regional areas.
Two proposals are now before the Government: one from the University of Waikato and the Waikato DHB, the other a joint proposal by the Otago and Auckland medical schools. . .
As the traveller turns off State Highway 2 at Oringi, south of Dannevirke, the cellphone coverage hovers around three or four bars. Further down the road they start to disappear and have gone completely 10 minutes later when the Manawatu River bridge is crossed and the road winds towards Kumeroa.
This isn’t unusual for thousands of rural roads around the country. Farmers all over New Zealand put up with landlines reminiscent of the 1980s and satellite broadband costing a small fortune. . .
Becoming Kiwi: A Filipino with a passion for farming – Deena Coster:
For Joseph Domingo, Taranaki has given him the chance to live his dream.
Born and raised in the Philippines, Domingo made the difficult decision to leave his homeland shortly after he completed his tertiary education in animal science.
It was a choice driven by economics and a desire for seek out new opportunities.
Domingo said competition for jobs in the Philippines is fierce and a university education doesn’t guarantee work in a country with a population of 103 million people. Only about 60 per cent of tertiary educated people get work there, he said.
“The best opportunity for me and my family was to move overseas.” . .
‘Justifiable milk price increase must be passed back to farmers’ – Sylvester Phelan:
Yesterday’s GDT (Global Dairy Trade) auction has again demonstrated the continuing strength of butterfat prices, with the butter price up 3.8% and AMF (Anhydrous Milk Fat) up 3.6%, according to the IFA’s (Irish Farmers’ Association’s) National Dairy Committee Chairman, Sean O’Leary.
Taken together with continued strong European market return trends, it is clear that a price increase on August milk of at least 1c/L is fully justified, the chairman stated. . .
Just to be a finalist was an absolute thrill for Gary and Adrienne Dalton and the Te Whangai Trust in this year’s Auckland Ballance Farm Environment Awards.
Winning the region’s Hill Laboratories Harvest Award made it even sweeter, Gary says. . .
Why my husband is head of the family – Louise Giltrap:
After being called sexist, Louise Giltrap feels the need to explain what she really feels about her husband’s place in the family.
My last column about how women cope with stress struck a chord with a lot of people. Rural women out on the farm everyday especially identified with it.
Men read it and said it was like having a penny drop for them. Their wives had been telling them, but all of a sudden it made sense.
The bit some people got up in my grille about was what I said to the men out there, “You are the heads of our families.”
That’s just my opinion. Even though I’m headstrong and opinionated and have my roles within our agribusiness, Geoff is the head of our family. . .