What farmers are hoping for in 2022 – Mazz Scannell:
If New Zealand beef and lamb farmers were asked what they hoped for in 2022, the answers would be quick: two inches of rain, a slowing of rising land prices, reliable supply chain, consistent kill cycle, good product prices, the ability to manage political change and good staff.
There are more than 44,000 people employed in New Zealand’s meat and wool sector, and the scarcity of seasonal and specialist workers is an ongoing challenge. The one thing farmers can do is to keep the staff they have and grow the next generation of farmers.
Wairarapa farmer Derek Daniell says teamwork is what farming is all about. He knows of farms that have had the same staff for 30 or 40 years, even if the ownership has changed.
“It is about working together as a team and enjoying each other,” he said. “When word gets out someone is leaving, they are usually shoulder-tapped by someone else who wants to take their place.” . .
Reward for improving land – Annette Scott:
Informing policymakers can be challenging, but Professor Richard McDowell has a special interest in presenting understandable science and has been recognised for his outstanding contribution to environmental policy. He talked with Annette Scott.
Richard McDowell has been awarded the Hutton Medal by Royal Society Te Apārangi for his outstanding contributions to the knowledge of contaminant losses from land to water and informing environmental policy.
The Hutton Medal is awarded for significantly advancing understanding in the animal, earth or plant sciences.
A land and water scientist, McDowell works between AgResearch and Lincoln University making a major contribution to the scientific understanding of contaminant losses from land to water. . .
Strong financial management, grazing management and people management skills will help dairy farmers buffer rising input costs and produce milk more efficiently.
That’s the message from DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle who says despite a high milk price, high-cost pressures are expected to continue for at least the next couple of years.
Statistics New Zealand released its latest farm expense price index last month which showed large inflation costs for farmers over the past two years.
Four key farming costs have experienced inflation of more than 10 per cent between 2019 and 2021, including fertiliser with a 15.9 per cent increase; cultivation, harvesting and animal feed with an 18.9 per cent increase; electricity with a 21 per cent increase; and stock grazing costs which are 36.9 per cent higher this year than they were in 2019. . .
Dog training from the best – Hugh Stringleman:
Two of the best dog trialists in the country have been sharing their skills with a new generation, giving back to the community that has been the base of their own success. Hugh Stringleman went along to their training day.
The art of sheep dog training, for on-farm working and for competition, was taught in early December at the Maungakaramea farm of Murray and Kathy Child.
It was the Northland training day of the nationwide Purina Pro Plan training series, hosted on this occasion by the Maungakaramea Sheep Dog Trial Club.
Murray does up to 12 of these training days around the North Island every year in his role as a Purina Pro Plan ambassador. . .
The South Island Cheese Festival – owned by Cranky Goat Ltd will be returning for its second ever time next month and will be located at the beautiful location of Clos Henri Vineyard kicking off from 10am on Saturday 5th February.
Cheese companies from all over New Zealand will be coming together to celebrate cheese! Giving visitors the perfect opportunity to explore the large variety of flavours, textures and milk types. There will be an abundance of cheeses on offer alongside a large selection of produce that compliments cheeses, giving visitors an instant high quality picnic to enjoy on the stunning lawn at Clos Henri Vineyard.
The South Island Cheese Festival is proud to be hosting incredible companies such as Meyer Cheese, Barrys Bay Cheese, A Lady Butcher, Proper Crisps – Crackerbread, Peckham’s Cider, Easy Cheesy Food Truck and many more! . .
Teleri Fielden is suddenly very despairing. After skirting around the topic for the best part of an hour at her farm in Snowdonia, we’re discussing rewilding and the idea of restoring land to a more natural state and creating more nature-friendly farming practices.
Wales has become one of the focal points of the debate playing out all over the world about how farms and rewilding can work together. Supporters of rewilding say the two can co-exist, but that farming has to change given it is the biggest contributor to nature loss in the country. . .
Around 1 in 6 species in the country are currently at risk of extinction and birds like turtle doves and corn buntings have already gone from Wales’ skies.
With close to 90% of land in Wales used for agriculture, there is currently little space for wildlife to exist free from the influence of farming. Rewilding, which can involve encouraging and supporting wildlife on-farm through replanting hedgerows as well as giving over unproductive land to nature, could help reverse the biodiversity decline. . .