Rural round up

December 29, 2013

Wool rice product developed:

A Wellington company which has developed a new upholstery fabric blended from wool and rice straw is expecting to start commercial production next year.

The Formary, a textile design and development company, is proposing to use 70% New Zealand mid-micron wool and 30% rice straw in the fabric, which will be manufactured in China.

The Formary co-founder Bernadette Casey said manufacturing of commercial samples would start in China early next year, with full production by mid-year. . .

Indo Minister steps up rhetoric on live cattle:

The Indonesian agriculture minister Suswano has stepped up his anti-Australia rhetoric, calling for cut backs on the importation of live cattle from Australia due to the ongoing spying rift between the two neighbours.

The Minister has called on the cattle industry to cease imports of cattle from Australia and to give preference to local suppliers. He said the appeal was related to Australia’s snooping on Indonesia.

“Basically it is business-to-business, (and is) the right of businesspeople to chose where they source their meat supplies. However, when the government shows a certain political stance, it would be good if the businesspeople adapt to it,” he said. . .

Donating kidneys to protect the landscape – Erin Hutchinson:

Manawatu farmer Dave Stewart reckons the agricultural landscape needs a lot more kidneys.

Dave uses the term to describe the numerous small native-bush blocks he has planted in the small, incised gullies that criss-cross the family’s property.

Those organs across the flat to occasionally rolling territory intercept nutrients carried in paddock run-off before they enter waterways. Dave calls them nutrient-interceptor beds.

Dave and wife Jan are the fourth generation of Stewarts to farm the 600ha property at Hiwinui, a short distance from Palmerston North. . .

Year in review – April – Rebecca Harper:

Fonterra’s strong balance sheet was used to bring forward the advance payment schedule for its milk supply pool and improve cashflow for drought-affected dairy farmers. The co-op declared a net profit increase of 33% on the first half of 2011-12 to $459 million in the six months to January 31 after an 8% increase in sales volume. The milk payout forecast was lifted 30c to $5.80/kg milksolids.

The Meat Industry Excellence Group (MIE) continued to hold farmer meetings around the country to gauge support for its push for red meat industry consolidation. Meat companies said they were working together on a plan to rationalise the processing industry and the two big co-ops said they were willing to work with MIE. Tradable slaughter rights were suggested as one solution to industry woes as the impetus for change gathered momentum.

MIE elected a national executive with Richard Young as chairman. . .

And from the Nutters Club:

>:) kindest, Boris


Rural round-up

November 15, 2013

 

Indonesia – islands of opportunity for New Zealand agriculture:

Indonesia is emerging as a market which needs large volumes of food and agricultural products to satisfy its fast-growing consumer demand. And New Zealand is well placed to capitalise on this demand and grow trade with Indonesia – a significant neighbour – according to new industry report.

In the report, ‘Indonesia – islands of opportunity’, global agricultural banking specialist Rabobank says the economic transformation underway in Indonesia – which is seeing the country emerge as an economic and political powerhouse in South-East Asia – is leading to rapidly-increasing demand for consumer goods, including food.

And with pressure on its natural resources limiting the country’s ability to boost local food production, Indonesia will continue its reliance on imported agricultural commodities. . .

One voice vital for infant formula industry:

New Zealand’s infant formula industry must speak with one voice if it is to achieve best practice and regain the faith of export markets, Infant Nutrition Council (INC) Chief Executive Jan Carey said in Dunedin today.

Ms Carey was speaking at the Global Food Safety Forum Meeting which was being held in New Zealand for the first time. 

She said achieving best practice in the industry depended on a number of vital ingredients. . .

Maximising the productive value of heifers:

Some heifers are calving at only 82% of their mature weight rather than the target of 90%, recent dairy industry statistics reveal.

With some farmers struggling to keep condition on stock during the drought last year, further support may be required to assist heifers to reach target weights.

SealesWinslow Nutritionist Wendy Morgan says that the strategic use of animal feed can assist heifers to reach their target weight by the time they calve, resulting in the animals being more profitable in the herd, using the nutrients and energy from pasture for production of milk solids, rather than for growth.  . . .

2013 New IPO Opens Dairy Sector to Retail Investor:

New Zealand’s leading dairy farm manager MyFarm today launched an initial public offer (IPO) of shares in the first new dairy farm investment to be immediately quoted on its new securities trading platform, MyFarm Trading.

The IPO of GCF Investments Limited will for the first time give New Zealand retail investors access to both a MyFarm syndicate investment, and a facility to trade that investment, overcoming one of the principal barriers to investment in the dairying sector. . .

Wolf Blass tops off outstanding year:

Wolf Blass tops off an outstanding year being named ‘International Winemaker of the Year’ at the 2013 International Wine and Spirit Competition.

Leading Australian winery, Wolf Blass, has been named International Winemaker of the Year at the 2013 International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) in London overnight.

This is the third time that Wolf Blass has won this highly acclaimed award, the first being 1992 followed by 2002. . .

Remarkable success continues for Gibbston Valley School House Pinot Noir at the 2013 Air New Zealand Wine Awards

Multi award-winning Gibbston Valley Winery is celebrating once again after receiving its fourth consecutive Pure Gold Medal for its premium 2012 School House Pinot Noir at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards.

The results of this year’s awards were issued earlier this week (November 13 2013) by the New Zealand Winegrowers Association marking an unprecedented success for the winery. . .


Rural round-up

April 17, 2012

The Ploughman’s Lunch – Quote Unquote:

Yesterday we attended the 57th New Zealand Ploughing Championships, held nearby. Thirty-seven farmers had come from as far afield (geddit?) as Temuka, Winton, Asburton and Gore to demonstrate their skill in the conventional (i.e. with a modern tractor), reverse, vintage and horse ploughing (shown above) categories. Judging ploughing is a serious business, requiring assessment of the opening split (10 points), crown (20), main bodywork (40), finish (20), ins and outs (10), general appearance (10) and straightness (20. . .

Last week the Farming Show celebrated its 18th birthday – Farming Show Blog:

It seems only like yesterday two young blokes from Gore took a huge punt by purchasing 4ZG, the first, and only Radio New Zealand station sold to private enterprise.

Even our landlord to be, a delightful old farmer by the name of Bert Horrell, thought we were mad. But once we’d convinced him of our conviction to see this through, he gave us his blessing and some advice I’ve never forgotten. You don’t regret the things you do, you regret the things you don’t do.

What started as a five minute rural segment on a fledgling private radio station way back in 1994, has today grown to a one hour programme broadcast nationwide on a national network. . .

NZ sheep milk heads to Indonesia:

The Prime Minister is in Indonesia pushing New Zealand’s trade links there,  which includes the export of sheep milk there.

Indonesia already has plenty of interest in New   Zealand – in buying our  farm land.

An Indonesian billionaire with close links to former President Suharto’s  family has taken a 50 per cent share in a Southland farming operation based in  Brydon, Winton, and Hedge Hope.

It is a seemingly typical Southland dairy farm, but a closer look shows they  are milking sheep – a flock of 15,000.

Southlander Keith Neylon came up with the idea, saying they produce better  milk than cows. . .

AFFCO and meatworkers both holding firm – Allan Barber:

Getting on for two months into the lock out interspersed with strikes, both sides in this struggle are holding firm. There was a brief moment of hope of some degree of resolution at last week’s mediation, but it appears that after some progress in the morning, it all went downhill in the afternoon with some suggestion the union representatives weren’t all in agreement about what they were after.

At present the meat workers who are union members are in the middle of a seven day strike (or five day depending on your definition of a week) until Friday. However AFFCO says more than half its workforce are on individual employment agreements which means it can continue operating at something close to three quarter capacity. . .

Dexters smallest. oldest UK cattle – Sally Rae:

It’s a long way from Turiwhati to Fairlie.   

 But Dexter cattle enthusiasts Richard and Angela Stevens made  the journey from their West Coast home with their two heifers, Silk and Viyella, to the 114th Mackenzie Highland  Show on Easter Monday.   

 The Dexter breed is the smallest and also one of the oldest types of British cattle. It was the feature breed in the beef  cattle section at the show. . .

A2 signs supply agreement with Synlait Milk:

A2 Corp, the NZAX-listed alternative milk company, has signed a supply agreement with Canterbury processor Synlait Milk as it seeks to launch its infant formula into Asian markets.

The deal will see Synlait Milk source A2 milk from accredited Canterbury suppliers, and manufacture A2 brand nutritional powders for A2 Corp to sell in international markets. With the supply agreement sealed, A2 Corp said it will press on with negotiations to enter into marketing and distribution partnerships. . .

Drive and passion earns upreme title in Otago:

An “enthusiastic and incredibly driven” couple has been named Supreme winners of the 2012 Otago Ballance Farm Environment Awards

Blair and Jane Smith run Newhaven Farms Ltd – a North Otago sheep, beef, forestry and dairy support operation that spans three family-owned properties totalling 1528ha.

Their win was announced at a special Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA) ceremony on April 13. As well as the Supreme award, the Smiths also collected the Ballance Agri-Nutrients Nutrient Management Award, the Massey University Discovery Award, PGG Wrightson Land and Life Award and the Otago Regional Council Sustainable Resource Management Award. . .


Australia repopens live cattle trade to Indonesia

July 7, 2011

Australian Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig  has reopened live cattle trade to Indonesia on condition exporters are responsible for the welfare of stock sent for slaughter. 

Although there have been no inspections of Indonesian abattoirs by Australian officials, Senator Ludwig said export permits would be issued only if exporters complied with a new system that ensured individual cattle were tracked and slaughtered under international standards.

The ban, which was imposed after evidence emerged of Australian cattle being treated brutally in Indonesian abattoirs, has devastated the $320 million a year industry and sparked tension with Australia’s nearest neighbour. Senator Ludwig’s decision means Australian exporters can now apply for export licences to start shipping stranded cattle to Indonesia if they meet strict conditions to track animal movements to ensure their humane treatment.

Cattle producers in the Northern Territory and northern Western Australia have few other options for selling prime stock.

When we were there last year, Indonesia had changed the rules, reducing the weight of cattle which could be imported and that was putting huge pressure on station budgets.

The change was made because Indonesia wanted to increase domestic production to reduce its reliance on imports. The ban has added impetus to that:

The Indonesian government described the scrapping of the ban as ”great news”.

Deputy agriculture minister Bayu Krisnamurthi said Jakarta is now rethinking its reliance on live cattle imports in the wake of the ban.

He said Indonesia’s recent experiences with Australia show that depending on food imports is risky.

The ban cost Australia 10s of millions of dollars. If Indonesia does manage to increase its self-sufficiency it will have a major impact on Australia and northern cattle producers in particular.

 

 


Australia bans live cattle exports to Indonesia

June 8, 2011

When we visited a market in Indonesia my farmer said it made him understand vegetarians.

The sights and smells were a test for even strong stomachs but we didn’t see any evidence of cruelty to animals which has led the Australian government to impose a temporary ban on the live export of cattle to Indonesia.

Live cattle export bodies say they understand why the government is banning exports to Indonesia and have undertaken to ensure the trade is reformed.

In a joint statement released on Wednesday morning, Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) and LiveCorp said under proposed reforms, the industry had committed to a reduction of trade to a core group of facilities in Indonesia independently accredited to meet OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) animal welfare standards.

A stringent supply chain, the rapid introduction of stunning and an ongoing review and monitoring program would ensure Australian cattle were processed only through these facilities, they said.

The ban follows strong reaction to a Four Corners expose of cruelty to animals in Indonesian slaughterhouses which kill the stock.

We visited stations in the Northern Territory and northern Western Australia last year. Almost all their cattle are exported live because there were isn’t the population to sustain local meat production and the nearest export meat works are thousands of kilometres away.

The ban, even if it is temporary, will have a huge impact on the stations which don’t have alternative markets for their cattle.

But now the cruelty has been imposed they cannot keep supplying stock until the slaughterhouses the stock is sold to adopt humane practices.

Larvatus Prodeo has apost discussing this issue and links to other comment on it.


Not always the lucky country

January 14, 2011

Daytime temperatures never got lower than the mid 30s when we were in the Northern Territory and Northern Western Australia in August and we were very aware of the fire danger.

We were also conscious of humidity but the locals told us this was nothing, it was still the Dry and we wouldn’t know humidity until we’d been there in the Wet.

It was difficult for us to understand what somewhere so dry could be like in the wet. An average rainfall of 800mm ( a little more than 30 inches) is less than half as much again as North Otago’s, but it’s a lot when most of it falls from late November until March.

The stations we visited were geared for both the Wet and the Dry. Calving was timed to coincide with peak feed and allow most stock to be fattened and sold before the rains came. Most workers went away for summer with only a skeleton staff were kept on to look after stock which remained.

It seemed to be a very tough life to us and not just because of the climate. Katherine and Kununurra are thousands of kilometres away from reasonable population centres which could provide domestic markets so cattle was shipped live to Indonesia and exactly what they could sell was subject to changing whims of the government there. It had recently decided it wanted to be self-sufficient in beef in a few years and dropped the live weight of cattle it would accept. That was forcing the stations to rework their budgets and would have a significant negative effect on the bottom line.

But the people we spoke to loved it. They might go over to Queensland for a holiday during the wet but they were always happy to get back home.

They’ll be on holiday now, I hope it’s not in the area which has been flooded.

We often look in wonder, sometimes even envy, at our neighbours across the ditch but it’s not always the lucky country.

Australia was generous in its support for us after the Canterbury earthquake and during the Pike River mine disaster, now it’s our turn to help them.

Most of our banks are accepting donations. Red Cross is sending a team across to help and you can make an online donation here.


December 27 in history

December 27, 2009

On December 27:

537  The Hagia Sophia was completed.

Hagia Sophia

1571 Johannes Kepler, German astronomer, was born.

1773  George Cayley, English scientist, inventor, and politician, was born.

1822 Louis Pasteur, French scientist, was born.

1831 Charles Darwin embarked on his journey aboard the HMS Beagle.

Charles Darwin
Three quarter length studio photo showing Darwin's characteristic large forehead and bushy eyebrows with deep set eyes, pug nose and mouth set in a determined look. He is bald on top, with dark hair and long side whiskers but no beard or moustache. His jacket is dark, with very wide lapels, and his trousers are a light check pattern. His shirt has an upright wing collar, and his cravat is tucked into his waistcoat which is a light fine checked=

 1836 The worst ever avalanche in England occured at Lewes, Sussex, killing 8 people.

1845  Ether anesthetic was used for childbirth for the first time by Dr. Crawford Williamson Long in Jefferson, Georgia.


 

1901 Marlene Dietrich, German actress and singer, was born.

1915 William Masters, American gynecologist, was born.

1918 The Great Poland Uprising against the Germans began.

 Soldiers of the Greater Polish Army

1922  Japanese aircraft carrier Hōshō became the first purpose built aircraft carrier to be commissioned in the world.

Japanese aircraft carrier Hōshō

1932  Radio City Music Hall opened in New York City.

Radio City Music Hall Factbook.jpgFront facade of the Radio City Music Hall

1941 Michael Pinder, British musician (Moody Blues), was born.

1943 Joan Manuel Serrat, Spanish musician, was born.

1945  The World Bank was created with the signing of an agreement by 28 nations.

1948 Gérard Depardieu, French actor, was born.

1949 Indonesian National Revolution: The Netherlands officially recognised Indonesian independence.

1968 Apollo Program: Apollo 8 splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, ending the first orbital manned mission to the Moon.

1951 Ernesto Zedillo, President of Mexico, was born.

1955 Brad Murphey, Australian racing driver, was born.

1978 Spain became a democracy after 40 years of dictatorship.

1979  Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan.

1987 Rewi Alley, friend of China, died of heart failure and cerebral thrombosis at his Beijing residence.

 2001  The People’s Republic of China was granted permanent normal trade relations with the United States.

2004 Radiation from an explosion on the magnetar SGR 1806-20 reached Earth – the brightest extrasolar event known to have been witnessed on the planet.

SGR 1806-20 108685main SRB1806 20rev2.jpg This is where SGR 1806-20 would appear in the sky if it were visible to human eyes.

  • 2007 – Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated by a suicide bomber.
  • Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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