Rural round-up

January 10, 2018

Tests confirm cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis on Ashburton farm:

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) confirms that the bacterial cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis is present on a farm in the Ashburton area.

The Ministry’s response incident controller David Yard says milk sampling carried out by the dairy industry just before Christmas revealed a suspected positive result and MPI’s Animal Health Laboratory testing has just confirmed this.

“The affected farm and an associated property have been under controls since Christmas Eve as a precautionary measure. No animals or other risk goods such as used farm equipment have been allowed on or off the property during this time and these controls stand,” Mr Yard says. . . 

Water taxi arrives in North Otago

It’s been a funny old year on Gareth and Sarah Isbister’s farm, Balruddery, near Five Forks.

Swamped by rain, the cattle farmers finished 2017 beside the Kakanui River with new irrigation and options.

The Isbisters are happy to have the extra water on hand after a difficult 12 months for an irrigation rollout in their area.

Their supplier, the farmer-owned North Otago Irrigation Company, was meant to be pumping high-pressure flow to downland farmers like them in late 2016. Joint faults in pipes put paid to that idea, costing shareholders as the contractor fixed its faulty workmanship. . .

Ruawai farmer survives being trampled by stampeding herd:

Dairy farmer Chris Baker says he is “hellishly lucky” to have survived a stampede by his 180 cows that left him trampled, unconscious and with broken bones.

The 61-year old Ruawai man has been a dairy farmer for 40 years, and has never before been in such a life threatening situation.

He does admit to being kicked in the chest and elsewhere a few times by cows, “but that’s just day to day farming.”

Baker said he did nothing different or wrong last Tuesday but the freak occurrence could have left him dead. He now has a cautionary tale for anyone working on their own on a farm, and with animals. . . 

Pastures imperiled by seawater flooding – Jessie Chiang:

Seawater flooding of rural properties in Kaiaua is going to have a serious impact on farmers, Federated Farmers says.

Wild weather and a king tide last week caused widespread flooding in the coastal region on the western side of the Firth of Thames, leaving behind soaked properties filled with debris.

The federation’s Hauraki-Coromandel president Kevin Robinson said saltwater destroys pastures.

He said farmers would now have to wait for rain to wash away the salt before they could replant grass.

“It’s become evident that there are quite a few farmers there who [have been] significantly affected by the tidal inundation – one farmer 100 percent and others to a lesser degree,” said Mr Robinson. . . 

MyFarm sees dairy farm investments waning, eyes growth in horticulture – Tina Morrison:

(BusinessDesk) – MyFarm Investments, New Zealand’s largest rural investment syndicator, is moving its focus away from its dairy farming origins and expects future growth to come from smaller overlooked investments such as fruit.

The rural investment firm was set up in 1990, initially investing in dairy farms which it syndicated to investors. It has since diversified into sheep and beef farms, horticulture and mussel farming and has more than $500 million of rural assets under management. About half its assets are dairy farms, with some 30 percent in sheep and beef farms and 20 percent in other investments, and the company expects its dairy investments to shrink as farms are sold when investments mature while the proportion in other areas grows. . . 

Have banks signalled they’ve had enough of funding the dairy industry? If funding is closed off, the new Govt’s obligations for the industry are likely to be expensive and even more stressful– David Chaston:

Rural borrowers currently owe banks in New Zealand $60.4 bln, according to the Reserve Bank.

With banks over the past decade rushing to support the capital needs of the growing dairy sector, two thirds of this rural debt is held by dairy farmers.

All rural debt represents just 14% of the debt held by banks in New Zealand and pales in comparison to the 56% of all debt banks hold over urban residences ($240 bln). These numbers don’t include another $4.9 bln lent to the rural support sector or the forestry or fishing sectors. . . 

Young Taranaki local wins Poultry Industry Trainee of the Year Award:

Henry Miles is a busy young man who is about to become even busier. Next month, the 21-year-old New Plymouth resident, who is currently Assistant Manager of a Tegel meat chicken farm, will step up to manage a large new free-range farm – which will expand to a total of eight sheds by adding a shed every seven weeks.

It is a role that Henry is well prepared for, having gained a thorough grounding in poultry farming since leaving school in 2014. . . 


Rural round-up

May 31, 2013

Businesses making it big in China honoured at Awards night:

Milk products manufacturer Synlait Milk Ltd, based in Rakaia 50km inland from Christchurch, has won the supreme award at the HSBC NZCTA China Business Awards 2013 – announced at a special event in Auckland tonight.

Synlait is an innovative dairy processing company that makes milk products such as nutraceuticals, infant formulations and a dairy milk-based formula to meet the nutritional needs of breastfeeding women, and colostrum products.

Bright Dairy of China became a significant partner and shareholder in 2010, and construction began on the largest and most sophisticated purpose built infant formula facility in the Southern Hemisphere – in Canterbury.

The Supreme Award was decided from all categories listed below, of which Synlait also won the DLA Phillips Fox – Successful Investment with China, Inward or Outward Award. This award is for an organisation that demonstrates innovative and successful NZ/China cross-border investment – inward or outward. . .

Move to create new integrated fibre industry body:

Moves are afoot to form an integrated fibre industry body that would knit together wool and other fibre producers, with processors, textile manufacturers and exporters.

The Fibrenz initiative comes from Textiles New Zealand which has been holding discussions with representatives from other fibre groups, encompassing natural products as well as synthetics.

It’s taking that further on Friday with a meeting in Wellington, where it’s looking for a commitment to establish Fibrenz as the administrator and communicator for the New Zealand fibre sector. . .

Southland-style rules come to Marlborough:

Federated Farmers is concerned Marlborough District Council has notified two plan changes, which will require resource consent to establish new dairy farms in the district.

“While existing dairy farms or those expanding without need for the addition of a milking shed aren’t affected, future dairy conversions will be,” says Gary Barnett, Federated Farmers Marlborough provincial president.

“Most of Marlborough is too hilly for dairying or is in vineyards. There is no issue with dairy conversions in Marlborough or anywhere else in the top of the South Island. . .

Meat shipments now moving into China:

Containers of New Zealand meat are now moving off the wharves and into the Chinese market, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has confirmed today.

“I’ve spoken to meat companies this morning who have confirmed that the first shipments have been collected from the wharf. It’s positive news that the backlog has now begun clearing.

“AQSIQ are now progressively working their way through the remaining reissued certificates as a priority.

“Ports are being authorised to release these further consignments, so it is now up to importers and agents to begin collecting their shipments. . .

Westland Milk follows Fonterra in raising payout forecast on upbeat outlook:

Westland Milk Products, the Hokitika-based dairy cooperative, has raised its payout forecast for the 2014 season on expectations prices will be underpinned by strong demand and a global shortage of milk.

Westland forecast a 2014 payment to farmers of $6.60 to $7 per kilogram of milk solids, up between 60 cents and 70 cents from what it expects to pay this season of $6 to $6.30 per kgMS.

“The market is showing signs of supply constraints and higher than average prices are expected throughout next season,” chief executive Rod Quin said in a statement. “With the market particularly volatile as a result of the drought, we expect prices to be higher at the start of the season and remain relatively high throughout.” . .

Whatever Fonterra Can Do, Westland Can Do Too

Federated Farmers West Coast is delighted that Westland Milk Products is going toe-to-toe with its larger cooperative sibling, Fonterra, with a bullish forecast for the 2013/14 season.

“The news from Westland is just what the doctor, or should I say, accountant ordered,” says Richard Reynolds, Federated Farmers West Coast Dairy chairperson.

“First up we’ve got reconfirmation of this (2012/13) season’s payout before retentions of between $6 and $6.30 per kilogram of milksolids (kg/MS). 

“Yet Coasters are also saying whatever Fonterra can do, Westland can do too.  You don’t need to be in Auckland to be an innovative international exporter of quality dairy products. . .

Federated Farmers’ Hauraki-Coromandel’s ‘Man-U’ Renewal:

Federated Farmers Hauraki-Coromandel is full of praise for John Sanford, who has retired as provincial president after serving the province’s farmers since 2000.  His successor, Kevin Robinson, is also the vice“chair of Federated Farmers Dairy Industry Group.

“John is a farming legend in these parts having been on Federated Farmers’ National Council for some 21-years, says Kevin Robinson, Federated Farmers Hauraki-Coromandel provincial president.

“John has helped us navigate storms and drought. His institutional knowledge is second to none, especially on issues from council policy to biodiversity. In 13-years as provincial president, John has seen many things come and go but at least I can still call him up. . .

Landmark winery and hospitality business in receivership sale:

A pioneering winery and hospitality venue which went on to become one of New Zealand’s most award-winning wine and food businesses is on the market for sale by receivers.

Ascension Wine Estate at Matakana just north of Auckland was established in 1996 by husband and wife team Darryl and Bridget Soljan. Ascension was one of the earlier wineries planted in the valley – gateway to the upmarket coastal seaside resorts of Omaha and Leigh – and went onto become the biggest hospitality operator in the region. . .


New section chairs for Feds

June 30, 2011

When I saw the headline Dairy and Meat and Fibre groups gain new chair people I thought Federated Farmers was being a bit PC, but  people was correct in this case as one of the new chairs is a man and the other’s a woman.

Mt Hutt farmer Jeanette Maxwell was elected as Federated Farmers Meat and Fibre chair,  the first woman to hold this position. She replaces Bruce Wills who also stepped down. Willy Leferink is the new chairy for the dairy section, replacing Lachlan McKenzie who has stepped down.

The Dairy Vice-chairs are Robin Barkla and Andrew Hoggard. Michelle Riley and Kevin Robinson also elected to the executive.

Ciaran Tully continues as Sharemilkers section Chairperson.

Meat and Fibre section’s new vice-chair is Dugald McLean. Tim Mackintosh was re-elected to the executive with new members Will Foley and Lyn Neeson.


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