Tap turned on at Hororata irrigation scheme – Annabelle Tukia:
The tap has officially been turned on for one of the country’s largest irrigation projects.
The Central Plains water scheme will irrigate more than 20,000 hectares of Canterbury farmland.
One Hororata farmer says the massive scheme, which runs off the Rakaia River, will enable him and his neighbours to completely transform their operations.
Rodney Booth has waited a long time to turn the irrigators on at his Hororata farm. . .
Dairy and travel still our largest export earners:
New Zealand earned $2.3 billion more from exports than we spent on imports during the year ended June 2015, Statistics New Zealand said today.
In the year to June 2015, total exports of goods and services were $67.5 billion, while total imports were $65.1 billion.
Dairy remains New Zealand’s largest export commodity, earning $12.0 billion in the June 2015 year. However, this was down from $15.8 billion in the June 2014 year. Spending by international visitors to New Zealand (travel exports) increased $2.4 billion, reaching $11.7 billion in the June 2015 year.
“Dairy and travel are New Zealand’s biggest export earners,” international statistics senior manager Jason Attewell said. “A fall in dairy exports to China, combined with the increase in expenditure by overseas visitors to New Zealand, has narrowed the gap between the two.” . .
App helps keep hives humming – Sally Rae:
Brice Horner gets a buzz about educating others about beekeeping.
Now the Dunedin police officer has developed a phone app that helps beekeepers identify whether they have the destructive bacterial disease American foulbrood (AFB) in their hives.
AFB kills bee larvae and infected hives have to be destroyed by burning, as the disease is very difficult to combat. After destroying the bee larvae, spores could survive outside a bee colony for more than 35 years.
It is a serious issue, and beekeepers are legally required to advise the AFB Management Agency within seven days of noticing an outbreak and to destroy the disease by burning within the same period. . .
Kiwi dairy farmers feeling the pinch are right – their payout is the world’s lowest – Fiona Rotherham:
(BusinessDesk) – New Zealand dairy farmers bracing for the lowest payout in a decade probably won’t welcome the latest analysis of global trends in the industry – their counterparts in every other dairy-producing country are being paid more.
An expected uplift in dairy prices in the overnight GlobalDairyTrade auction won’t change the fact Kiwi dairy farmers are the lowliest paid. AgriHQ analysed milk prices from around the world converted to NZ$/kilogram of milk solids to allow valid comparisons, although some dairy farmers incomes in other countries are boosted by subsidies and support schemes.
Fonterra’s forecast farmgate milk price, which is the price setter in the New Zealand dairy industry, is $3.85/kgMS for the current season, the lowest in a decade. That compares to China at the other end of the scale at $11/kgMS, the United States at $8.15/kgMS, Argentina at $7.57/kgMS, and the UK at $6.95/kgMS. Of the countries analysed, Ireland’s payout of $6.10/kgMS was the closest to New Zealand’s. . .
OceanaGold raises 2015 production estimate to reflect Waihi acquisition – Tina Morrison:
(BusinessDesk) – OceanaGold Corp expects 2015 production to increase while costs fall after the gold miner takes control of Waihi Gold Mine later this year.
The acquisition of the Waihi mine from Newmont Mining Corp is awaiting approval from the Overseas Investment Office this month, and once completed, OceanaGold expects to assume the economic benefits and costs associated with Waihi from July 1, the Melbourne-based miner said in a statement. The company increased its 2015 production estimates, and reduced its costs forecast to reflect lower copper and diesel prices and a weaker New Zealand dollar, it said. . .
Sanford quits Pacific tuna business, lines up buyers for vessels – Paul McBeth:
(BusinessDesk) – Sanford, New Zealand’s largest listed fishing group, will quit its underperforming Pacific tuna business and put the unit’s fleet up for sale.
The Auckland-based company sold its San Nanumea vessel and is in talks with a potential buyer of San Nikunau, its other Pacific tuna ship, after reviewing the viability of the business, Sanford said in a statement. On April 9, it entered into a conditional agreement to sell both international purse seiner vessels, according to Sanford’s interim report released in June. . .
Rural Equities posts 27% decline in annual earnings after milk prices slumped – Tina Morrison:
(BusinessDesk) – Rural Equities, the farming group majority-owned by the Cushing family, posted a 27 percent decline in annual earnings as milk prices plummeted.
The Hastings-based company said operating earnings before interest and tax fell to $4.67 million in the year ended June 30, from $6.43 million a year earlier as Fonterra Cooperative Group slashed its milk price payout to $4.40 per kilogram of milk solids from $8.40/kgMS the previous year. While that impacted its seven dairy farms, the company said its Waikato Puketotara sheep and beef property had a record year and it had steady income from leasing 15 of its 25 farms.
“Operating earnings were satisfactory given the substantial reduction in milk price,” said executive chairman David Cushing. “The company’s portfolio, with a mixture of directly operated and leased farms and diversity by property type and geography, helped provide balance.” . .
Government grant for East Coast stream restoration:
An $89,700 grant from the Community Environment Fund for the restoration of the Whangawehi stream on the Mahia Peninsula was announced today by Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith during a visit to the catchment.
“New Zealand has a major challenge to improve the management of our waterways, which has to be achieved stream by stream, river by river and lake by lake. The key to the success of these restoration programmes is getting all parties – landowners, iwi and hapū, district and regional councils as well as the Government – working together. This has been achieved on this project and that is why the Government is providing funding support,” Dr Smith says. . .
Fonterra Farmers Can Now Apply for Co-Operative Support:
Fonterra farmers can now apply for Fonterra Co-operative Support, a loan to help them deal with the current challenging conditions.
Chairman John Wilson said Fonterra is well placed to help its farmers because of the Co-operative’s underlying strength.
“Being able to help our farmers is all about standing together as a Co-operative and using our collective strength to get through these tough times,” said Mr Wilson. “We have had a lot of interest from farmers who appreciate what the Co-operative is trying to do for them to assist them with their farming businesses in a tough financial climate, and we are anticipating a large number of applications.” . . .