Rural round-up

May 5, 2012

Salmon farm expansion plans:

Nelson leaders predict major growth for region

Nelson businesses, the Seafood processing union and the city’s mayor are firmly behind NZ King Salmon’s expansion plans saying they will result in increased downstream employment at a time when young people are leaving in droves.

Business owners also say the company is a responsible producer of high quality products wanted by the world and it is “not going to bastardise their own environment”.

City Mayor Aldo Miccio says Nelson backs winners and aquaculture is a new and exciting industry the region needs and wants. . .

More university science funding positve for rural sector:

The Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Science says the Government’s new focus on science and technology at the tertiary level is long overdue.

The Government is asking universities and polytechnics to increase their enrolments in science, technology, engineering and maths.

It is to increase funding for those subjects in the Budget this month. . .

Good news for high country with Pastoral Lease ammendment:

After a prolonged battle, including the Minaret case in the Land Valuation Court, New Zealand’s High Country farmers welcome the passing of Crown Pastoral Land (Rent for Pastoral Leases) Amendment Act in Parliament, clarifying that pastoral lease farm rents are to be based on pastoral rather than landscape values.

“Federated Farmers asked the government to make the Pastoral Land Act workable and to give certainty around how rents would be calculated. We are grateful they listened,”Federated Farmers High Country chairperson, Graham Reed says.

“This is not a hand out; it simply means rents are set to reflect High Country farming businesses’ real earning capacity. This amendment allows us to live and work without the spectre of unfair rises simply because of our farms’ locations. That was certainly the intention behind the use of the word “pastoral” in the Crown Pastoral Land Act 1998, describing the restricted land use on which valuations should be based. . .

License to operate: A regulatory barrier or market opportunity?

The AGMARDT Agribusiness Breakfast provides an annual forum to discuss issues of national interest to the rural community. This year’s theme is‘License to Operate: a regulatory barrier or market opportunity?’ and includes presentations by Dr Andrew West, Bryce Johnson, Willy Leferink and Graham Stuart.

The AGMARDT Agribusiness Breakfast will be held on Friday the 25th of May on Level 4 of the Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, commencing at 7.30am sharp and will be hosted by AGMARDT’s Chairman Jeff Grant.

“In setting the theme for this year’s AGMARDT Agribusiness Breakfast, we wanted to raise awareness within the farming community of an issue that is going attract increasing attention in the years ahead,”said Mr Grant. . .

Dairy Awards final sells-out:

Nearly 700 people will attend the 2012 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards annual awards dinner, where the winners of the New Zealand Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year, New Zealand Farm Manager of the Year and New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year competitions will be announced.

National convenor Chris Keeping says final judging is underway for the 36 finalists representing 12 regions across the country. The finalists converge on Auckland next week for a series of activities and to participate in the final judging component, an interview.

“It’s a really exciting time for the finalists, especially once the pressure of final judging is off. They really enjoy the opportunity to meet each other and spend time together while doing activities out of their comfort zone. It’ll be a time they cherish for years to come.” . . .


Twigs and Tweets twitty idea

August 1, 2010

Federated Farmers didn’t go so far as to call Forest and Bird’s suggestion that the government created a dryland bird park in the Mackenzie basin twitty, they had a much better idea.

Feds has invited F&B to go onto the open market and buy land for the park itself

I’m taken aback by how misinformed Forest & Bird seem to be about High Country farming, conservation and tenure,” says Graham Reed, Federated Farmers High Country chairperson.

“By 2008, High Country farmers had voluntarily protected over 13,000 hectares in 42 QEII National Trust covenants around Central Otago, Waitaki, Queenstown-Lakes and the Mackenzie.

“I’m reliably told that Black Stilts are actually thriving with irrigation. Even if we put together all the irrigation we have or is planned, this comprises less than five percent of the Mackenzie.

“The landscape is already modified after 150 years of grazing. Without livestock, Forest & Bird won’t end up with a drylands park, but a park for rabbits, hieracium and wilding conifers.

“Yet I doubt many farmers would have an issue with Forest & Bird if it raised money from its supporters to buy High Country farms on the open market. Except Forest & Bird’s advocacy people expect the taxpayer and the State to do its bidding for it.

As many a farmer has discovered, buying the land is only the start of the expense and at least they have income to offset the expenditure.

We already have about half the South Island in conservation land and can’t afford to look after that properly. Even if the economy was in much better shape it would be reckless to add the expense of buying and maintaining yet more conservation land to the national accounts.

Instead of looking to the state, Forest and Bird should look to their own resources and work with landowners to protect habitats for birds.


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