Rural contractors say review needed – Sally Rae:
Rural Contractors New Zealand has welcomed a review of transport rules affecting agricultural contractors, describing it as “great news”.
Associate Transport Minister Nathan Guy said the Government was about to begin a review. It wanted to make sure the rules ensured public safety without imposing unnecessary red tape . . .
Arable farming career excites graduate – Sally Rae:
Hannah Priergaard-Petersen reckons she has the perfect first job. Ms Priergaard-Petersen has been employed as a trials officer at the Foundation for Arable Research (Far), following her stint as a Far summer scholar in 2010-11.
Brought up in a farm in northern Southland, she recently completed a bachelor of science degree at the University of Canterbury, majoring in biological sciences . . .
Young stock judge tackles Australia – Sally Rae:
A great learning experience” is how young Otago stock judge Will Gibson describes representing New Zealand at the Royal Adelaide Show in Australia.
Will (18), a pupil at John McGlashan College, competed in the junior merino judging competition earlier this month, against the six Australian state finalists.
He was among a small group of young New Zealanders who participated in stock judging and handling competitions at the show.
New Zealand Young Rural Achiever Cath Lyall, from Raes Junction, also represented New Zealand at the event.
New focus sought for Waituna – Kimberly Crayton-Brown:
Farmers in the Waituna catchment fear they may lose their farms, meaning talk must focus on solutions and not problems, a senior Environment Southland staff member says.
Council chief executive Ciaran Keogh said people needed to be thinking about a response, not a threat. “We have got a problem and we need to get people talking about answers which we are not doing at the moment. People are starting to feel threatened so let’s lift the discussion out of the confrontational things.”
Mr Keogh said at the moment farmers had this great fear they were going to lose their farms . . .
Sheep milking operation continues to expand – Collette Devlin:
Losing his seat at the general election this year could be enough for Deputy Prime Minister Bill English to return to a farming life, with sheep milking one option.
Southland’s leading sheep milking operation Blue River Dairy hosted Mr English last week, including a visit to the milking shed run by Keith Neylon in Antler Downs.
Blue River Diary has another milking operation in Brydone, Invercargill. Both farms milk non-stop for 12 months . . .
Demographics alter consumer demand patterns – Allan Barber:
Demographic changes will present challenges for the red meat sector in spite of apparently unstoppable world population growth. Several speakers at the Red Meat Sector Conference made reference to the possible effects of these changes over the next 40 years, some of which will be positive, like the growth of the Indian and Chinese middle class, and others negative.
The most obvious challenge will be the ageing of the population in first world countries, because older people eat less and require more single portion meat cuts . . .
THE RED Meat Sector Strategy report, issued in May, said what needed to be done. Now Beef + Lamb NZ and the Meat Industry Association have run up another clutch of signal flags.
Others in agriculture are seen to be doing some of the things the RMSS report suggested, so they were invited to tell their stories at a recent conference. Their successes stemmed from growers and consumers being in harmony . . .
Merino meat next on the menu – Owen Hembry:
A new sheep industry initiative aiming to replicate the branding success of high country merino wool with premium priced meat products is heading to high-end restaurant plates.
The New Zealand Merino Company and processor co-operative Silver Fern Farms have formed a joint venture and launched a premium brand called Silere Alpine Merino, which will sell for about 10 to 15 per cent more than normal meat . . .
Choose good tucker and chew slowly – Alan Emmerson:
I was really intrigued with the statistics as to how many of the world’s people were starving and how many were obese. Out of a world population approaching seven billion people, one billion are hungry.
Similarly one billion are overweight with 300 million classed as obese. In the United States with a population of 311 million, 10 million are starving and 105 million are obese. Obesity is a massive problem, not much is heard of it and, worse, New Zealand is the third most obese nation in the world. It is, indeed, a crisis . . .
Seeking farmer contorl of wool – Tony Leggett:
A new company formed to raise capital to invest in the wool sector is already shrouded in controversy.
The New Zealand Wool Investment Company (to be known as WoolCo) is a 50:50 joint venture between the farmer-owned and listed wool innovation firm Wool Equities Limited (WEL) and Christchurch merchant bankers Ocean Partners.
It announced plans last Friday to attempt to raise $40 million capital to buy the 65% stake in Wool Services International (WSI), formerly held by two companies associated with Allan Hubbard but now controlled by a receiver . . .
Reporoa dairy farmer Glen Walter Crafar has been found not guilty by a Rotorua District Court jury of one charge of dirty dairying . . .
Farmers fearful over rustler raids – Greg Stack:
Stolen livestock and gunshots on the wild west coast have Waikato farmers fearing for their safety, with one stopping vehicle access to a popular fishing spot in response.
Livestock rustling, a problem more common in a Western film, has hit Waikato’s west coast as the tail of the recession squeezes the isolated farming community . . .
Divisions over apple marketing – Gerald Piddock:
Waipopo Orchards is taking a wait and see approach following a split in the apple industry over the best way to exploit the newly opened Australian market.
The split came following the results of a recent postal ballot that showed while 73 per cent of growers with 72 per cent of the export crop voted to support adopting a Horticultural Export Authority (HEA) model for the Australian market, just 37 per cent of exporters with 43 per cent of the fruit backed the proposal . . .
Farm sales on the rise – Gerald Piddock:
Farm sales nationally for the year to August topped 1000 for the first time in almost two years, according the Real Estate Institute.
“The underlying trend is rising. We are seeing enquiry emerging for quality properties,” rural spokesman Brian Peacocke said.
The improvement was based on expectations for commodity prices to hold or in some cases firm slightly as the season progressed, he said . . .
Herbal pasture clovers challenge our concept of what a dairy pasture looks like – Pasture to Profit:
The dawning of a new age OR a Storm of Innovation? A group of very innovative pasture based dairyfarmers in the UK are challenging our concept of what a pasture looks like. Farmers are experimenting with Herbal Clover pastures. Lots of different mixes of herbs with white clover to provide the nitrogen. Over the past two weeks I’ve been very lucky to work with 2 French groups (one farmer group from Brittany & an Organic Dairy Advisers group from Normandy) visiting SW England. We were on both conventional & organic pasture based dairy
farms . . .