Rural round-up

November 23, 2014

Meat Trade unrecognisable from 40 years ago – Allan Barber:

It is sometimes tempting to think nothing much has changed with meat exports in recent years when you read all the publicity about the problems in the meat industry. Since the beginning of this century the contrast with the dairy industry has been particularly marked, but suddenly this season the positions have been reversed. Sheep and beef farmers can hold their heads high again and it seems likely this state of affairs may even persist for longer than just this season.

MIE has been waging its campaign for meat industry reform based on the premise the industry is inefficient at procurement, processing and marketing with farmer ownership of the value chain the only solution. There is a degree of truth in the theory of inefficiency in all parts of the chain, but no certainty farmer ownership would cure it.

However that is a topic for another day. The industry’s efficiency has improved by several hundred percent since the Meat Board got out of product acquisition at the end of the 1970s and the processing part of the industry was delicensed in 1981. During the first half of the 1970s the Meat Board controlled all plant licenses and published the lamb and beef schedules. . .

Keen to engage with staff, farmers – Sally Rae:

When Keith Cooper’s surprise resignation as chief executive of Silver Fern Farms was announced last month, his successor’s name was unfamiliar to many. Agribusiness reporter Sally Rae meets Dean Hamilton, the man taking the helm of the billion-dollar business.

Dean Hamilton finds a challenge very appealing.

Having always been very driven and competitive, he acknowledged he enjoyed winning and taking the reins at Silver Fern Farms was an opportunity to ”have a big challenge and to win with that”.

Mr Hamilton joined the company as chief strategy officer in April, following more than 20 years in corporate finance and investment in both New Zealand and Australia. . .

Global commute for Kiwi meat workers – Mathew Dearnaley and Vaimoana Tapaleao:

Commuters stuck in motorway traffic might spare a thought for Anthony Russell’s crew of slaughtermen travelling more than 17,000km to work in Iceland each year.

The nine-member team, mainly from Hawkes Bay, are among about 30 New Zealanders whose skills are highly sought-after at six Icelandic freezing works for a brief sheep and lamb processing season before the long northern winter sets in.

Mr Russell has travelled for eight years from Waipukurau to Iceland’s northwestern coastal town of Blonduos (population – 811), where he runs SAH Products’ single processing chain after hand-picking his workmates for each two-month season. . .

Farmers alerted after tick-carried disease hits West Coast farm:

DairyNZ is alerting all farmers, including graziers, to keep an eye out for signs of a tick-carried disease that causes anaemia in cattle and to actively manage the risks of ticks to their herds.

Theileriosis is a disease caused by a species of Theileria, a blood-borne parasite that only affects cattle and is primarily transmitted by ticks. A new strain of Theileria orientalis called ikeda was first identified in Northland in late 2012. This strain has been associated with anaemia and death in cattle.

The DairyNZ warning comes after the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) confirmed that a case of Theileria had hit a South Island West Coast farm this Spring. MPI has concluded that a local population of infected ticks in Canterbury or the West Coast was responsible for transmitting infection to the 188-cow dairy herd. . .

Speech: DairyNZ Board Dinner – Jo Goodhew:

John [Hon John Luxton, Chair Dairy NZ], Tim [Tim Mackle Chief Executive] and members of the Dairy NZ Board for organizing this event.

I would like to acknowledge my Parliamentary colleagues: Hon Damien O’Connor, Ian McKelvie, Barbara Kuriger, and Fletcher Tabuteau.

There are also a large number of CE’s and leaders from business, government and local government here, including Kingi Smiler, Chairman of Miraka and Laurie Margrain, Chairman for Open Country Dairy, and Martyn Dunne, Director General of the Ministry for Primary Industries.

You asked me to speak on key priorities for me in my role as Food Safety Minister and for the Ministry for Primary Industry.

I will therefore concentrate on environment, water, skills and capability, as well as some comments on Food Safety.

This is a valuable time for discussion. There is an appropriate balance between environmental and social goals, and economic growth. Both of these can be achieved, and it requires collaboration between industry and government.

It is 200 years since the first dairy cows were brought to NZ. Over that time dairying has become deeply embedded in the Kiwi culture.

Our dairy products are now exported to over 140 different countries; it’s the major industry that keeps our economy afloat- contributing over $17 billion this year. . .

 

Keinzley Agvet Wairarapa Sheep and Beef Farm Business of the Year Competition:

The annual Keinzley Agvet Wairarapa Sheep and Beef Farm Business of the Year competition is calling for final entries before it closes on Friday 28 November 2014.

The aim of the competition is to promote innovative sheep and beef farming practice by identifying farmers in the area that demonstrate a well-balanced and positive approach to their business. These attributes will be promoted at a public field day which will be held on the winner’s property in early 2015. During the day the winner shares their management policies and farming objectives and answers questions from other farmers. These field days usually attract around 150 farmers and are a valuable opportunity to network and share ideas and knowledge.

The competition is open to any farmer, (lessee or owner), or farm manager in the region, whose farm income is derived mainly from sheep and cattle. Previous entrants of this competition are eligible and encouraged to re-enter. The prize package is approximately in $30,000 in cash and products. . .

NZ Yarn finalises acquisition Christchurch Yarns

NZ Yarn has today announced the acquisition of Christchurch Yarns has been finalised. The business will trade as NZ Yarn Limited effective immediately.

Elders Primary Wool (EPW) has secured a majority shareholding of approximately 58 per cent in the acquiring business NZ Yarn. The remaining 42 per cent shareholding is held by independent investors and growers. . .

 


Rural round-up

November 10, 2013

Grass-fed meat promises to revive health benefits – Gerald Piddock:

Farming and consuming grass-fed red meat might just save the planet.

This form of farming was completely sustainable, nutritional therapist Nora Gedgaudas told farmers and visitors at the World Angus Forum in Rotorua.

It is also the predominant method of farming livestock in New Zealand.

“Grass-fed meat may just be the most healthy and sustainable food source on Earth,” she said.

Much of the earth’s landmass was unsuitable for agriculture, yet it could support grazing livestock while providing nutritionally dense food, she said. . .

1105kg steer continues tradition– Tim Cronshaw:

A friesian and charolais cross steer tipped the scales at 1105 kilograms to take the heaviest steer title in the Prime Cattle Competition at Canterbury Agricultural Park.

Dunsandel farmer John McDrury added a second title to his collection at the pre-Canterbury A & P Show event this week, after winning in 2010 with a 1250kg steer. His grandson, Jack McDrury, won in 2011 with a 1000kg charolais.

The supreme champion animal was a limousin heifer, which also won the best single heifer title for Jeannette and Ralph Adams from Flaxton, near Rangiora. . .

Bloodthirsty ticks on a quest:

BLOODTHIRSTY ADULT TICKS are on a quest right now and farmers in the North Island in tick-prevalent areas should be checking cattle and talking to their veterinarian, say DairyNZ.

They should be assessing their risk in an effort to limit the spread of a new strain of the blood-borne parasite Theileria, says DairyNZ.

Cases of cattle being affected by the new Ikeda strain of Theileria orientalis, which is carried by ticks and causes anaemia, have been on the increase since late 2012, particularly in the upper half of the North Island. . .

Stock shift sees Molesworth road open earlier  – Tony Benny:

The Molesworth Station road has opened early this year, instead of the usual December 28, thanks to a change in farming practice and continuing efforts to show the historic high country property off.

“Our goal is that over their lifetime, everybody in New Zealand comes and has a look and gets a feel of what they own,” said Molesworth manager Jim Ward.

The public has previously been kept off the 59-kilometre road that links Hanmer with Marlborough’s Awatere Valley until close to New Year, because of fears that they could interfere with farming operations.

This year the road opened two months earlier, at Labour Weekend, thanks to young cattle being sent to finishing blocks in Hanmer rather than being kept on the station. . .

Bush v city: why I won’t be joining the exodus from rural Australia – Gabrielle Chan:

From wide open spaces to a genuine sense of community, country Australia, let me count the ways I love thee.

So the bush is bleeding. No one wants to live here. Just a few of us hardy souls left, it appears.

We were told this month rural Australians are falling in love with the beaches – that coastal strip that rings the country, with all its white sands, clear blue seas, temperate climate, its schools and hospitals, its shopping malls and movie theatres.

Well all I can say is: what a bunch of tossers.

Granted, as a city girl, I could not initially see the attractions that lay beyond the tall dark handsome farmer who lured me westward out of my three-metre-wide Surry Hills terrace and into the great open spaces.

Granted, I did spend a fair bit of time walking through the paddocks carrying a large branch, suffering from some agoraphobic belief that all this space without a single human had to hold some hidden monster that would emerge from the morning fog to attack me.

Ah, but like most affairs, the delights of rural life crept up slowly and now I have fallen in love with the bush. . .

#gigatownoamaru has fallen in love with the goal of being the southern hemisphere’s first gigatown.


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