Rural round-up

06/11/2020

Feds: staff shortages are undermining safety, mental wellbeing:

Skilled staff shortages are not only taking a toll on productivity but also farmer mental wellbeing, Federated Farmers Dairy Chair and rural health spokesperson Wayne Langford says.

“Farmers across New Zealand are having to push the limits to get silage/baleage cut, with many crops in the South Island being harvested when it’s wet.

“With variable weather conditions and a lack of skilled contracting staff, farmers are being pushed to make questionable decisions, such as pushing on with mowing because if they don’t they may not see the contractor again for weeks.” . . 

Dairy farming ‘one of the shining stars of Covid’ – ANZ :

Recent banking results show dairy farming might be one of the “shining stars” of the Covid-19 pandemic.

ANZ chief executive Antonia Watson said New Zealand’s farming sector had taken advantage of good prices for their products.

This means they were able to pay down the principal of their loans.

The problems in the dairy industry usually feature large in ANZ Bank’s full year results but they were absent from its latest annual report. . . 

Foreign investors get land purchase approval – Neal Wallace:

Two foreign-owned forestry companies have been given Government approval to buy land in multiple transactions without requiring approval for each purchase from the Overseas Investment Office.

Known as standing consent, Oji Fibre Solutions and Nelson Forests can both buy up to 15,000ha of sensitive land up to a maximum single purchase of 2500ha of land that is exclusively or nearly exclusively in forestry.

The approval also allows the two companies to buy a maximum of 500ha of land per transaction that is not currently in forestry.

The permission is capped at 25 transactions, excludes residential land and expires on 30 September 2023. . . 

Feds on labour issues as DairyNZ shelves GoDairy – Gerald Piddock:

DairyNZ’S shelving of its GoDairy campaign has shown how hard it is to recruit people into the dairy industry, Federated Farmers employment spokesperson Chris Lewis says.

DairyNZ has put the dairy training initiative on hold until March as it reviews the three-week course and looks at ways it could be improved.

Federated Farmers assisted DairyNZ in getting GoDairy up and running while at the same time, launching its own scheme to get more New Zealanders onto farms.

He says those who had successfully gained employment were given starter packs from Federated Farmers and so far, 240 packs had been sent out. . . 

Feds president Andrew Hoggard elected to IDF board:

Federated Farmers President Andrew Hoggard is well used to representing New Zealand’s farmers. On top of that, he’ll now be representing dairy farmers from all corners of the planet on the board of the International Dairy Federation.

The Manawatu dairy farmer gets up at 4.30am to milk his herd but at least once or twice a month it’s going to be midnight or 1am starts as he joins on-line northern hemisphere meetings.

The IDF is the only organisation which represents the entire dairy value chain at global level – from farm gate to retailer fridge. Hundreds of millions of people depend on the dairy sector for their livelihoods as farmers, processors, suppliers or traders and every day billions of people consume protein, calcium and other key nutrients from milk and dairy products. . . 

Avian flu: 13,000 birds to be culled at Cheshire farm :

A total of 13,000 chickens are to be culled after an outbreak of avian influenza (bird flu) was confirmed at a Cheshire farm.

The H5N8 strain of the disease was confirmed at a broiler breeder’s premises near Frodsham on Monday (2 November).

It follows the unrelated discovery of the H5N2 low pathogenic strain of the virus at a small commercial poultry farm in Deal, Kent, where 480 birds have been culled.

Authorities said all 13,000 birds at the Frodsham premises, which produces hatching eggs, will be humanely culled to limit the spread of the disease. . . 


Rural round-up

09/11/2012

Water measuring to allow more efficient measurement:

Environment Minister Amy Adams has welcomed the effective start of new regulations that require for the first time significant water takes to be metered, as part of a wider programme to improve fresh water management.

From tomorrow, all significant water takes (more than 20 litres per second) need to be metered. Smaller water takes down to five litres per second will gradually be covered by the regulations so that by 2016, about 98 per cent of consented water will be measured.

“It is time to get serious about how we use water in this country. It is a replenishable resource but a finite resource at a given time and place,” Ms Adams says. . .

Youth no bar for contractor – Sally Rae:

Geoff Scurr was just 16 when he bought his first bulldozer.

Two years later, the hard-working East Otago teenager bought a contracting business.

He was determined to prove to a few critics, who thought he would never make it work because he was so young, that they were wrong.

Geoff Scurr Contracting Ltd recently celebrated its 25th anniversary with a function at the East Otago Events Centre, attended by several hundred people.

The business now employed six staff, along with casual workers when needed. Forestry work was a major component, along with irrigation dams, installing fibre-optic phone cables, subdivisions, farm work and quarrying. . .

Underlying Strength To Wool Market:

Mr John Dawson, General Manager, New Zealand Wool Services International Limited reports that although the South Island sale saw several categories at slightly lower price levels than last week’s North Island sale, there is still steady demand and a general underlying strength to the market.

Of the 10,362 bales offered this week, which was considerably more than anticipated, 75 percent of the offering sold. The passed-in wools were predominantly lots with inflated grower reserves.

The weighted indicator for the main trading currencies was unchanged compared to the last sale on 1st November. . .

New Zealander to head world dairy organisation:

Dr Jeremy Hill, Director Research Science Technology & Development at Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd, is President-Elect of the International Dairy Federation (IDF); the first New Zealander elected to that role in its 109-year history.

“This is truly a major moment for New Zealand on the world stage,” says Willy Leferink, Federated Farmers Dairy chairperson speaking from the IDF summit in Cape Town.

“Dr Hill will serve a four year term effective from this Friday and is, I believe, the first time a New Zealander has ever headed the world body for the dairy industry. As one of the Kiwis at the IDF we are very, very proud. . . .

88 ENTER DAIRY AWARDS IN FIRST WEEK

Exactly 88 entries have been received in the 2013 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards, since entries opened just one week ago.

Entries in the New Zealand Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year, Farm Manager of the Year and Dairy Trainee of the Year are being accepted online at www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz. They close on December 20.

Mrs Keeping says there have been 24 entries in the sharemilker/equity farmer contest (up from 18 at the same time last year) and 34 entries in the farm manager contest to date. . .


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