Rural round-up

24/04/2013

Drought breaking rain sparks race to prepare for winter:

Farmers are rejoicing that the drought breaking rain finally arrived, but hope winter can hold off for a few more weeks to maximise pasture growth and better insure their feed supplies until spring.

“We have heard from nearly all our provincial presidents that the rain has broken the drought in their areas and that grass is growing again,” Federated Farmers adverse events spokesperson Katie Milne says.

“Some areas had a bit too much rain, while others are still a bit dry, but overall the rain brought by last weekend’s subtropical trough was exactly what was needed, with grass growth returning to many areas. . .

Drought status likely to remain until September:

Recent rainfall has been welcomed by farmers but the problems created by the dry summer will be felt for some time, says Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy.

“The dry conditions may have ended in many parts of the country but there are still major challenges ahead. It will take time to build up enough grass cover to provide feed for winter.

“There’s no doubt the rain over the last week has been a real boost, especially for those in areas that have missed out before like the central North Island. . .

Prime Minister Attends Blessing for New Fonterra Plant:

Construction of Fonterra’s new $126 million UHT milk processing plant in Waitoa today took another step forward with the site’s blessing attended by Prime Minister John Key.

Fonterra’s Chief Executive Theo Spierings said the plant, which will be running from April 2014, will enable Fonterra to increase UHT production by 100 per cent over the next few years.

“The five new UHT lines will produce a range of products including UHT white milk and UHT cream for the foodservice sector, which is a part of our business that generates more than $1 billion in sales a year and this plant will allow us to meet the growing demand in Asia for these products,” said Mr Spierings. . .

New A2 formula ready for China – Christopher Adams:

NZX-listed alternative milk company A2 Corporation says the first consignment of its new infant formula brand will be shipped to the lucrative Chinese market next month, followed by distribution in New Zealand and Australian supermarkets soon after.

The company has appointed the China State Farms Holding Company Shanghai, a subsidiary of state-owned China National Agriculture Development Group Corp, as the exclusive Chinese distributor of its Platinum formula brand.

The formula will initially be sold in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Tianjin and Chongqing before sales are progressively expanded to other major cities in mainland China, as well as Hong Kong and Macau, A2 says. . .

Outdoor workers shun sun protection– Tamara McLean:

The sun protection slogan Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap is being dangerously ignored by two thirds of Kiwis working in the great outdoors, with farmers and builders among the worst culprits.

A University of Otago study of more than 1000 workers across nine outdoor occupations has revealed that sun smart messages are not getting through to those who spend their lives working outside.

Just one in three outdoor workers wear sunblock or a suitably protective hat while at work, despite being more at risk of sun damage than other people. . .

Last of founding vineyard empire goes on the market for sale:

A large landholding of what was once the family-owned and operated Nobilo wine empire west of Auckland has been placed on the market for sale.
The 7.49 hectare property bordering the township of Kumeu was once planted in white and red grapes, and was part of the huge landholding created by New Zealand wine legend Nikola ‘Nick’ Nobilo.

Nick Nobilo was born in Croatia and emigrated to New Zealand with his family in 1937 to settle in Kumeu. Nobilo came from a winemaking family which had been producing vintages for some 300 years. . .

Locally bred Habibi sold after winning 6th consecutive race:

New Zealand Derby winner Habibi has been sold to a United States buyer.

A winner of six of her nine races, Habibi was sold to Pennsylvania buyer George Strawbridge after finishing fourth in unsuitably heavy conditions in the Australian Oaks at Randwick last Saturday.

Her owner-breeders Peter and Heather Crofskey will keep a minority share in the filly for the rest of her racing career. . .

Gibbston Valley mountain bike resort soft opening:

Queenstown’s new Rabbit Ridge Bike Resort will have a ‘soft’ opening on April 27 with riding available on some of the newly constructed trails. Rider numbers are limited to invitation only to reduce traffic and enable trails to bed in.

Invited local bikers, bike shop owners and front line staff will get to try out the new trails for the first time this weekend (April 27/28) at the new bike ‘playground’ on 400 hectares of land adjacent to Queenstown’s award-winning Gibbston Valley Winery.

Locals eagerly anticipating the opening of the new resort will then be able to ride the trails on Free Locals Days scheduled for the first Saturday of every month, starting May 4. . .


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