Rural round-up

25/11/2014

China investment to create 50 new jobs:

Fifty new jobs for Southland and a guaranteed supply chain into China for sheep and beef farmers have been secured in the latest in a series of Chinese investments in the New Zealand primary sector.

Lianhua Trading Group has increased its shareholding in Prime Range Meats in Invercargill to 75 percent from 24.9 percent, with the creation of 50 new jobs at the original Southland abattoir and meat processing plant.

Prime Range Meats’ new director and Lianhua adviser, Rick Braddock, said today that Lianhua is getting a guaranteed supply chain for its retail brand in China. . .

Dairy deal latest in China investment:

Chinese dairy giant Yili’s plan to spend a further $400 million on developments at its South Canterbury processing site has capped a flurry of investment announcements coinciding with the visit of China’s president to New Zealand.

As well as processing milk powder at its new Oceania production site near Waimate, Yili has plans for producing UHT or long life milk, packaging infant formula and processing other nutritional products. Yili has also signed an agreement with Lincoln University.

The memorandum of understanding is wide ranging and includes investigating new dairy farming and processing technology and improving the production and processing of dairy products here and in China. . .

Research priorities needs sorting:

 FUNDING FOR science and extension in the sheep and beef industry needs better coordination and Beef + Lamb NZ should step up, says a long-standing New Zealand Grassland Association member and scientist.

 “One of the roadblocks to more co-ordinated science and extension in the [sector] is the large number of funding bodies,” Jeff Morton told delegates at the association’s annual conference in Alexandra.

“There is a need for identification of industry priorities by all parties and co-ordination of the funding through one agency, probably Beef + Lamb.”

Delivering the keynote Levy Oration* at the conference, Morton said BLNZ with its levy funds is “a major player”, but other funders such as Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment with its Pastoral 21 Programme and MPI with its Primary Growth Partnerships and Sustainable Farming Funds make for “a piecemeal approach.”

Treble Cone Wins New Zealand’s Best Ski Resort Back-to-Back in 2014:

Treble Cone (Wanaka, NZ) has been announced as the winner of New Zealand’s Best Ski Resort for the second consecutive year at the 2nd annual World Ski Awards over the weekend.

‘Hundreds of thousands of travel professionals and skiers across the globe voted for their favourite resorts, chalets, and hotels’ World Ski Awards website.
The World Ski Awards Ceremony was attended by Treble Cone’s Snow Sports School Manager Klaus Mair who received the award on behalf of Treble Cone, and in interviews following accepting the award used the opportunity in front of ski industry peers from around the world to touch on the strengths, offering and accessibility of skiing and snowboarding at Treble Cone and in New Zealand. . .

 

Texel lamb crowned as best in the country

Ashburton farmer Paul Gardner took out the 2014 Mint Lamb Competition at the Canterbury A&P Show on November 12. His Texel lamb was judged as the country’s best lamb from paddock to plate.

Farmers from throughout New Zealand were invited to showcase their quality lamb and compete in the competition that celebrates the quality and variety of lamb available in New Zealand with a focus on increasing consumption of one of the country’s largest export earners.

Lambs were judged on the hook at an Alliance plant for Best Overall Yield. The top four lambs in each class (dual purpose,
dual purpose/cross terminal, composite/crossbred cross terminal and terminal) were selected as semi-finalists and sent to be Tender Tested at Lincoln University. Based on the result of the Tender Test, the top three lambs in each class were selected as finalists. All finalists were Taste Tested at the 2014 Canterbury A&P Show to decide the overall winner of the Mint Lamb Competition. . .

 Beef + Lamb New Zealand Calls for Remits:

Beef + Lamb New Zealand is calling for remits to next year’s annual meeting, being held on Tuesday 10 March in the Southern South Island electorate.

Livestock farmers who want to propose written remits are invited to submit them by 7 January 2015.

Written remits need to be submitted on the official form that can be obtained from Beef + Lamb New Zealand general counsel, Mark Dunlop, by freephoning 0800 233 352. . .

 

Dairy Awards Entries Close in One Week:

The New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year competition is again attracting strong interest with more than 200 entered so far in the popular nationwide contest.

All entries in the 2015 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards – including the dairy trainee, New Zealand Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year and New Zealand Farm Manager of the Year competitions – close at midnight on Sunday, November 30.

Entries are being accepted online at www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz. . .


Rural round-up

03/10/2012

Foreign investment in the spotlight – Kai Tanter:

The biggest headline in Australian dairy news this week has been the possibility of China’s sovereign wealth fund, China Investment Corp, investing in the Van Diemen’s Land Company. The Van Diemen’s Land Company, which operates in the Australian state of Tasmania, is looking for AU$180 million in order to expand its operations. The Tasmanian government and dairy industry have both been courting Chinese investors and seem to have met with some success.

This news follows hot on the heels of recent Chinese investment in Australia’s largest cotton farm, the Queensland Cubbie Station. Meanwhile in New Zealand, the dust has only just settled after the Crafar Farms were finally sold to China’s Shanghai Pengxin. . .

Bruce Wills slams environmental activists who use the law to shut down critics while objecting to Fed Farmers’ appeal of decisions with legal errors and scientific fallacies – Bruce Wills:

According to one of our less sympathetic critics, Federated Farmers is a dinosaur.

It seems we are a legal version of Jurassic Park for having the temerity to question the Environment Court’s reversal of independent hearing’s commissioners on the Horizons One Plan.

That of course is the right of that critic because we thankfully live in a democracy. . .

Tatau tops milk payout stakes again:

The country’s smallest dairy co-operative, Tatua, has topped the milk payout stakes again.

The Waikato-based co-op has confirmed its 109 farmer suppliers will be getting a total payout for the past season of $7.50 cents a kilo of milk solids.

That’s 60 cents below the previous season’s record of $8.10 a kilo, but well above Fonterra’s $6.40 total payout for the past season. .

Farm Shop slams supermarkets for ‘overpriced and poorly sourced’ produce – Gemma Mackenzie:

Supermarkets have come under fire for being “too expensive and not providing consumers with enough good quality produce from their region” by the boss of the UK’s oldest farm shop.

Simon Hirst, partner in the family-run Hinchliffe’s Farm Shop in Netherton, West Yorkshire (established in 1974), said consumers were “missing out” by being forced to buy from supermarkets.

“The supermarkets have had a stranglehold on our food chain for so long we’ve been given little choice but to trawl the multiples’ aisles for food that is poor quality, poorly sourced and, particularly in the case of the meat products, over-priced,” said Mr Hirst, the fourth generation manager of the Yorkshire farm, which is famed for its top-quality beef, chicken and on-site butchers shop.

“The supermarkets would have us believe they are cheaper than the farm shops and farmers’ markets but, in many cases, this simply isn’t true.” . . .

How meat farmers can lift returns – Jon Morgan:

Craig Hickson tells a story to illustrate how meat processors can short-change farmers more than $20 on each lamb they send to the works. 

“I woke up the other morning with three women in my bed with an average age of 22.” 

He has the measured, deadpan delivery of a veteran comedian. 

“You’ll be thinking, ‘That’s unlikely, he’s lying – or skiting’.” 

He pauses to let the laughter die down. “One of them was my wife and the others were my granddaughters aged 2 and 4. 

“Your first thought was that they were all aged 22.” 

He pauses again. “And that’s the dangers of averaging.” 

The industry in which he has a strategic stake, with four meat plants in the North Island and now another in Wales, is guilty of this, he says. 

    He is talking to a Beef + Lamb New Zealand Farming For Profit field day. The 30 farmers have just watched one of his butchers cut up a lamb carcass, been shown each cut and told its destination.

Lucerne Based Dairy Farm – More Feed, Less Irrigation, Less Nitrate Leaching – Milking on the Moove:

Richard Campion is a lecturer at Lincoln University; he presented a paper to the 18th International Farm Management Congress held in Methven last year. His paper was titled Utilising Lucerne Potential For Dairy Farming”.
 
In his paper he modelled the Lincoln University Dairy Farm using 90% lucerne and 10% winter crop. His report states that the ryegrass and white clover pastures at the Lincoln University dairy farm produce on average 17,000kg DM/ha/yr. Irrigated lucerne stands have been shown to produce 24,000kg DM/ha/yr. But the interesting point is that Lucerne has far greater water efficiency than ryegrass. For this reason irrigated lucerne can grow 25% more dry matter than pasture and it can do it with only 1/3 of the water that ryegrass needs. So if a dairy farmer changed their irrigated pasture system to a lucerne based system, they would reduce the water required for irrigation by approximately 65%. This is a massive potential saving . . .

New Zealand’s ATV Safety Programme Working

Just one recorded on-farm work related fatality to date this year clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of the Government’s approach to the safe use of ATVs (quad bikes).

The Motor Industry Association whose membership includes the major importers and distributors of off road farm bikes, including ATVs, refute the  statement by Dr Lower that the industry was adopting tobacco type tactics to block mandating of the fitment of rollover protection (ROPS) for ATVs.

“ATVs are the modern day horse and we estimate there are between 70,000 and 80,000 in use on farms here in New Zealand,” said Perry Kerr, Chief Executive Officer of the Motor Industry Association. “Naturally we are concerned by any accident and especially a fatality involving these vehicles.” . . .

New Zealand Dairy Farms Have So Few Trees. Why? – Pasure to Profit:

I want to encourage more trees on dairy farms, including perhaps Cider Apple trees.

Mixed Tree Species on farms can add to the environmental biodiversity. Imaginative shelter belts create a better work place. Trees add to the aesthetics of the farm. Effective tree shelter belts are good for animal welfare and may increase pasture growth. Could Cider Apple Trees also create another income for dairy farmers?    . . .

New Tool for Farmers to Manage Effluent Application:

Farmhelp is a recently developed mobile farming app with powerful calculators to assist farmers in determining the effluent loading they apply to the land.

There is mounting pressure internationally for farmers to effectively manage the application of farm effluent. . .

Brassica crops benefit from early planning:

Brassica crops provide high-quality forage for stock, but balancing production goals with input costs is vital to ensure planting a paddock of kale or turnip is a cost effective alternative to pasture.

New Zealand farmers grow about 300,000 hectares of brassicas a year, often as a break crop when pasture quality or performance starts to decline.

Ballance Agri-Nutrients Lower North Island Technical Extension Officer Jeff Morton says that to achieve the best result with a brassica crop, nutrient deficiencies need to be resolved well ahead of sowing. . .

 Free workshops to help landowners better manage forests

Northland plantation forestry owners and contractors keen to better manage their earthworks and harvesting are being urged to attend one of five free local authority workshops being offered around the region next week.

The workshops in Kaitaia, Kaikohe, Whangarei, Dargaville and Maungaturoto are being run by the Northland Regional Council and are based on the recently released ‘Forestry Earthworks & Harvesting Guidelines for Northland’. . .


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