Rural round-up

30/09/2015

Deer, sheep and cattle spread the risk in uncertain times – Kate Taylor:

Diversification is one of the keys to success for Central Hawke’s Bay sheep, beef and deer farmer Matt von Dadelszen on Mangapurakau Station.

Combining breeding deer, velvet stags, bull beef, breeding ewes and finishing lambs gives the von Dadelszens a mix of stock classes on the property at any time of the year… and a buffer when prices drop in one sector.

“The way we’re set up it’s easier to react,” he says. “Changes can be made quickly for different markets. Every year is a good solid year thanks to the diversity of the farm. We’re not at the mercy of one market.”

Matt and Paula von Dadelszen farm in partnership with Matt’s parents Ponty and Jane on the 1000-hectare property in the Flemington farming district, south of Waipukurau. They are on the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s southern boundary with Horizons Regional Council with two-thirds of the farm in Hawke’s Bay. It is a summer-safe farm with an altitude of 370 metres above sea level up to 620m and an annual rainfall of about 1250mm. . . .

Cold winds bring death to East Coast farms – Kate Taylor:

Hawke’s Bay farmers still in the middle of lambing are counting the costs of this week’s rain deluge.

More than 400mm of cold rain fell at Trelinnoe, the Te Pohue property farmed by former Federated Farmers president Bruce Wills and his brother Scott. They started lambing the day before the rain began.

“There is hardly a lamb surviving,” Bruce Wills said. “It’s not good … finding it hard to find a live lamb anywhere. It’s frustrating and annoying to do all the work all year and then, flipping heck, Mother Nature comes and does her thing.

“A week ago we were talking drought. On our country once we get 350mm, even with all of our 15,000 trees and all our good work, Mother Nature takes over.” . . 

Farmers ‘would really struggle’ without Filipinos:

A North Canterbury dairy farmer who helps support migrants when they move to the area says she’s not surprised to hear Filipino workers falsified documents to secure visas.

Hundreds of Filipino workers on dairy farms are under scrutiny after authorities in the Philippines revealed dozens have arrived on visas based on false documents.

They are also looking into claims some of the men paid as much as $1,500 to a recruiter who falsified work experience and qualifications in a bid to get them a better job.

Sharron Davie-Martin is based at Culverden, North Canterbury and said there’s about 70 Filipinos working on local dairy farms and without them, farmers would really struggle. . . 

Concerns about water quality computer-modelling:

Waikato Federated Farmers is warning that there would be a massive impact on the local economy if computer-modelling to improve water quality in the region was followed through.

The modelling has been produced to look at the impacts of implementing changes, such as land-use and in particular moving away from dairying.

It is estimated it would cost anywhere between $1 and nearly $8 billion over a 25-year period to clean up the Waikato and Waipa rivers and their tributaries.

It is based on scenarios ranging from making the rivers suitable for swimming, fishing and healthy biodiversity, to no further water quality decline, but with some improvements, or just holding-the-line with no further degradation. . . 

$10k Rates Club Raising the Bar

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the formation of Federated Farmers $10k Rates Club – an informal grouping of members who share the unwelcome bond of payment more than $10,000 a year in general rates.

“The club has been a way for us to capture stories, gauge the trends in general rates and add another string to our lobbying bow,” says Senior Policy Advisor Nigel Billings, who helped found the club back in 2005.

The club remains strong but times have changed – and, as Nigel admits, it might be time for a rebrand.

“Unfortunately, $10,000 rates notices are not as rare as they used to be for those in our rural communities. We’re thinking we might need to change the name to the $15k Rates Club. It may even need to be $20k.” . . .

Rural theft is gut wrenching – Chris Irons:

Rural crime is getting out of hand and something has to happen or we may need armed defender callouts to rural communities. The recent spate of thefts in the Waikato has been sickening especially for sharemilkers who are doing it tough trying to stay afloat with the downturn in dairy prices.

Huntly farmer Philip Thomas had his four- wheeler stolen in broad daylight and then suffered the indignation of watching the thieves ride off brazenly out his farm.

As most farmers know quad bikes are key part of the daily running of our business, it’s not a toy, more a necessity. The Huntly farmer had all his aids and ropes stored on his bike which he needed for calving. . . 

NZ Dairy Awards Develops Future Leaders:

The New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards is proving to be a breeding ground for future industry leaders.

Six of the 10 candidates currently seeking election to the Board of Directors of DairyNZ cite their participation in the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards on their curriculum vitae.

Two candidates, Ben Allomes, a Director seeking re-election, and Elaine Cook are former New Zealand Sharemilkers of the Year while another candidate Greg Maughan is a former longstanding chair of the Awards executive organising committee and former regional winner in the Sharemilker of the Year competition.

Another former regional Sharemilker of the Year winner is seeking election, Murray Jamieson, while Steve Hines is a past entrant and judge. Grant Wills has judged entrants in the awards. . . .

Treble Cone’s busiest ever snow season:

Treble Cone Ski Area (Wanaka, New Zealand) celebrated the Closing Day of a successful snow season that achieved a number of key milestones last Sunday.

This winter Treble Cone received it’s highest ever visitation since forming as a company in 1968 and installing the first rope tow in 1969, with a record number of skier visits in 2015.

The momentum and vibe at Treble Cone has been building over recent years, with stability in pricing coupled with tweaks and improvements across the guest experience.

Anticipation prior to this season was fantastic, with record online interaction and engagement, and increases in early bird season pass and pre-season lift pass sales.

Leading into winter 2015 Treble Cone introduced additional groomed intermediate trails in the Saddle Basin through summer earthworks and snow fencing which proved very popular. . . 


Rural round-up

05/04/2013

Senior Aussie PGG Wrigthson exec to head Landcorp:

 (BusinessDesk) – PGG Wrightson’s Steve Carden, who heads up its Australian seeds unit, will leave the country’s biggest rural supplies firm to take up the reins at New Zealand government-owned Landcorp Farming in July.

The Wrightson general manager will take up the chief executive role being left vacant by long-standing Landcorp boss Chris Kelly, the company said in a statement.

Carden has been with Wrightson since 2008, and responsible for the Australian seeds business since 2010, overseeing the acquisition and integration of a number of businesses while confronting some challenging climatic and market conditions. . .

Collaborative water management delivers water solutions in North Canterbury – David Eder and Ian Whitehouse:

In July 2013 the Hurunui-Waiau Zone Committee will notch up three years of work. It was set up as part of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy – a collaborative process for finding local solutions to water issues within an environmentally sustainable framework.

In July 2010 the committee’s daunting task was to sort out water storage in the Hurunui catchment and set water quality limits.

We held dozens of committee meetings, public meetings involving more than 300 people, and received written feedback from more than 120 people before finalising our zone implementation programme of recommendations.

Working collaboratively empowered us to reach consensus decisions on local water issues that are acceptable to a wide range of people. The ZIP now guides local government work programmes and policy to achieve the agreed goals of the Strategy. . .

 

TAF scheme could benefit independent processors:

Massey University’s professor of agribusiness thinks Fonterra’s Trading Among Farmers (TAF) system will play into the hands of independent dairy processors, including Chinese companies, setting up new milk powder plants in New Zealand.

Two Chinese companies have been cleared by the Overseas Investment Office to establish plants in South Canterbury and northern Waikato processing milk for infant formulas.

Hamish Gow does not think they will have a problem finding a supply of milk from local farmers. . .

South Canterbury farmer welcomes Chinese investment:

A dairy farmer who sold part of his land for a new Chinese owned milk powder factory to be built in South Canterbury says it will be a huge economic boost for the region.

Aad van Leeuwen had a 12.5% shareholding in the Oceania Dairy company – which has just been bought out by the Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group, after it got Overseas Investment Office approval. . .

Westland Milk Products’ new nutritional plant enters commercial production:

Westland Milk Products, New Zealand’s second largest dairy cooperative, has made a bold strategic step into the international high-value paediatric nutrition market with the commissioning of a state-of-the-art nutritionals plant at Hokitika.

The new multi-million dollar plant commenced commercial production in February and already has committed customers, taking Westland from being a well-respected dairy ingredient supplier to an exciting new entrant in the infant nutrition sector. . .

Happy, Profitable, Sustainable Dairy Business Wins Top Prize in Waikato Ballance Farm Environment Awards:

Walton farmers Grant Wills and Karen Preston have scooped a string of awards in the 2013 Waikato Ballance Farm Environment Awards, including the highly coveted Supreme title.

Judges said decision making on the couple’s 244ha (215ha effective) dairy farm ‘Tremeer’ focuses on profitability while caring for the people, the cows and the environment.

Grant and Karen were announced winners of the Supreme Award at a Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA) ceremony on April 3. They also collected the Ballance Agri-Nutrients – Nutrient Management Award, the LIC Dairy Farm Award, the Hill Laboratories Harvest Award, the Massey University Discovery Award and the Meridian Energy Excellence Award. . .

Adding a hole lot of value to a piece of pine – Peter Kerr:

We all know that we’d prefer to export more than just a log of pine to overseas markets.

At the same time, the NZ Inc desire to add value to our raw commodities such as trees is almost tiresome through over-use.

So, it is a pleasure to be able to highlight a company and person doing something different and in their case, making a better pine pole. 

Now TTT Products (and no, I’d never heard of them either until going through a recent exercise to maximise the return from a 20 year old four hectare block of pines that I’m involved with) isn’t a small firm. Its North Island headquarters at Tuakau covers 20ha, specialising in creating pine poles of many different sorts.

Search begins for the 2013 Young Horticulturist of the Year:

The future of New Zealand’s horticulture industry could easily be in the hands of the finalists in the 2013 Young Horticulturist of the Year. Professor Jacqueline Rowarth says that the life skills that the contestants learn through the competition sets them on the path to future leadership.

This statement launches the search for the 2013 Young Horticulturist of the Year, and for up to 7 finalists to line up in the grand final in November.

Finalists (30 years and under) compete for a prize pool of over $40,000 that includes a $7,500 travel and accommodation package, and a $5,500 Massey University study scholarship and travel. While the prizes are tempting, it is the development opportunities that are the real reward for finalists in the Young Horticulturist of the Year competition. . .

Green Meadows Beef Continues To Grow Demand. Export- Quality, 100% Grass-Fed Beef Now Available In Wellington & New Plymouth:

Green Meadows Beef, 100% grass-fed, free-range, export–quality Angus beef from South Taranaki, has responded to increased demand for their beef by making it available in two North Island food stores. Moore Wilson in Wellington and Fresha in New Plymouth are now both stocking a wide variety of Green Meadows Beef, from Scotch Fillet and Rump Steaks to Premium Beef Mince.

Moore Wilson will publicly launch Green Meadows Beef at an in-store tasting event on Sunday, 7 April from 10:00am to 2:00pm. Wellington chef, Liam Brash, who has worked at The Savoy in London, will be cooking up a variety of gourmet bite-sized beef treats for the public to try. Green Meadows Beef Directors, Michael and Nick Carey, will be on hand to answer questions about the different cuts of beef and the Green Meadows Beef way of farming. . .


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