Few farms in foreign hands says English – Alan Wood:
Foreign investment in New Zealand farmland, including dairy farms, remains relatively low and has significant safeguards, Finance Minister Bill English says.
Some investment, including that in the Crafar farms in the North Island by the Chinese, has raised the hackles of some Kiwis.
For example, Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa spokesman Murray Horton says he is firmly against ownership of New Zealand land by foreigners, whether they be Chinese, American, Australian or British.
Last month the China-based Shanghai Pengxin Group announced a takeover bid for Synlait Farms, in association with two of Synlait’s founders, John Penno and Juliet Maclean. . .
The ‘handout notes’ that follow were written for a Lincoln University Dairy Farm Focus Day on 10 October 2013. These focus days are held every two months. This one was attended by about 200 farmers and rural professionals. I gave the presentation as Lincoln’s Professor of Farm Management and Agribusiness, standing on a trailer out in the paddock – so basically it was all ad libbed without visual aids. Actually, sometimes it is fun to talk without the distraction of powerpoints!
- The American dairy industry is rapidly transforming to an industrial model based on large scale (>2000 cow) mega farms.
- As of 2013, approximately 40% of American production comes from 800 mega farms.
- Another 30% comes from a further 2500 farms, each with between 500 and 2,000 cows.
- The final 30% comes from more than 50,000 farms with less than 500 cows
- The mega farms have costs of production that are much lower than the smaller farms. . .
Farming robot could bring the cows in – Jill Galloway:
“Like a four-wheel-drive wheelchair on steroids” is how Andrew Manderson describes his Agri-Rover.
He designed the prototype farm robot which was built by a team from AgResearch and Lincoln University, using industrial parts and costing $4000.
It was a robust machine and had a powerful engine, said Dr Manderson.
It would comfortably trundle around a paddock, so long as it didn’t encounter a gradient of more than 20 degrees.
He said it had a top speed of 5kmh, but with a few adjustments it could really motor.
(Click on the link above to see a video of the robot in action)
Winning the battle against boxthorn pest – Ruth Grundy:
Graeme Loh is the first to admit he is more ”exterminator” than ”nurturer”.
He is the Department of Conservation (Doc) ranger who oversees one of the country’s newest reserves, a prominent and ancient limestone outcrop at Gards Rd, between Duntroon and Kurow.
He said his main focus was to eradicate an aggressive exotic invader – boxthorn – which threatened to appropriate this national treasure.
”People don’t realise how bad a weed it is and how difficult it is to remove.” . . .
Farmsafe says quad bike research backs roll bars – Anna Vidot:
Farm safety advocates say the science is in, and now is the time to start encouraging people to use quad bikes with roll bars.
Manufacturers of the vehicles have long argued that crush protection bars cause more injuries than they prevent, and take the focus away from other safety measures like helmets and proper training.
But Farmsafe Australia says there’s mounting evidence that crush protection bars are more likely to save a life than not, if a quad bike rolls. . . .
Kiwi advocate Lesley Baigent was gratified by the response to Saturday’s kiwi aversion training session for dogs at the
Raetea reserve, at the northern foot of the Mangamuka Gorge.
Dogs were literally queuing up to undergo the training, which involves a special collar delivering an electric shock at the appropriate moment to persuade the dogs that kiwi are best left alone. Success rates varied, Lesley said, and there were certainly no expectations of 100 per cent. . . .