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

March 18, 2015

A champion at work and play – Rick Powdrell:

For generations New Zealand has been blessed with numerous elite athletes from the wide variety of codes our sports mad nation participates in.

Through those generations we have seen a number of supreme elite athletes that have been outstanding in their particular sport, an athlete we describe as one out of the box.

Our generation has been privileged to witness ‘one out of the box’- shearer David Fagan. He has set numerous records, winning over 600 open events while been an inspiration to aspiring shearers and the farming community.

His record of 17 national championships, 16 Golden Shears titles, five individual world titles, seven world team titles and 10 world records is legendary and unsurpassed. . .

 The politics of effluent – Chris Lewis:

I have to say that when I entered farming politics, I never expected that a significant chunk of the conversations I would be having would be about the stuff that comes out of the back end of a cow.  The polite term is ‘effluent’ of course, but what is not polite is the significant impacts and costs involved with managing it.

Part of Waikato Federated Farmers role is to hold our regional council to account when warranted, and effluent has been a major bone of contention. However they are there to do a job, as are we, and sometimes it is just as important to celebrate them. Just as farmers feel we are always being criticised in the media, I imagine councils do too and as we well know this can result in an ill informed perspective being held by the public.

In the last six months the Waikato Regional Council have set up an Effluent Working Group that has worked with stakeholders such as councillors, council staff, dairy industry leaders and myself, to help navigate a better model of management going forward. . .

Fonterra confident $755 million price tag for Beingmate stake is good value – Fiona Rotherham:

(BusinessDesk) – Fonterra Cooperative Group said the $755 million price tag for 18.8 percent of Shenzen-listed Beingmate Baby & Child Food represents good value and will deliver long-term value to the world’s largest dairy exporter.

The transaction, valued at 3,464 million RMB ($755 million) is well above the $615 million Fonterra indicated it would cost for up to a 20 percent share last year when the deal was first announced.

But chief financial officer Lukas Paravicini said the $615 million was a net figure, once the proceeds from the sale of Fonterra’s under-utilised Darnum plant in Australia into the joint venture it’s setting up with Beingmate are taken off the purchase price. . .

Third ANZ Young Farmer Contest Grand Finalist Named:

James Hoban is the third Grand Finalist to be named in the 2015 ANZ Young Farmer Contest.

The twenty-nine year old took first place at the Tasman Regional Final in Kirwee on Saturday 14 March after a very close and tense Evening Show.

Mr Hoban went home with a prize pack worth over $10,000 including cash, scholarships and products and services from ANZ, FMG, Lincoln University, Ravensdown, AGMARDT, Silver Fern Farms, Honda, Husqvarna and Vodafone. . . .

Matua Crowned Winemaker of Year And Champion Wine of Show:

Chief Winemaker Nikolai St George added some impressive bling to the Matua awards cabinet on Saturday night at the 2015 New Zealand Royal Easter Show Wine Awards, triumphing over all to take home the Royal Easter Show Trophy for Champion Wine of the Show in addition to the Pullman Hotels Trophy for Champion Syrah for the 2013 Matua Single Vineyard Matheson Syrah. With an additional two gold medals, 10 silver and two bronze, St George then took to the stage again to claim the Royal Agricultural Society Gold Medal for Wine Maker of the Year, which he also won in 2013. . .

 Federated Farmers Exec wins Golden Lamb Award:

Federated Farmers is thrilled one of their own has taken out this year’s Beef & Lamb Golden Lamb Awards.

Rick Powdrell, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre Chairman says “Hamish Buchanan has outdone himself and should be incredibly proud of what he has achieved.”

“The Golden Lamb Awards is a challenging competition in its quest to find the highest yielding, most tender and tasty lamb in New Zealand. For our Tararua Meat & Fibre Chair to take that national title at such a young age is very impressive.” . . .

 

 


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

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. . .

 

 


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)

 


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