Full credit to the Aussies for another Australia Day lamb promotion with lambassador Sam Kekovich and Lee Lin Chin:
Although it has offended some vegans.
Full credit to the Aussies for another Australia Day lamb promotion with lambassador Sam Kekovich and Lee Lin Chin:
Although it has offended some vegans.
What to do when you have two farms and three sons – Kate Taylor:
After decades of hard work, 64-year-old David Humphries would have been debt-free on his two farms near Waipukurau by the end of next year. But he has three sons – all farmers. So he bought another farm.
It wasn’t a matter of three farms for three sons, but creating a business big enough and diverse enough to allow them all to do what they love and to make a living at it.
At 364 hectares, Glen Moraig was the original family farm with 324ha Awaraupo added later. Now 600ha Te Tui has been added to the business. It is on the same road, but 10km closer to Waipukurau. It is hoped the business will carry 11,000 stock units across the properties once development has been carried out on the new farm. . .
The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) gets caught on American rocks – Keith Woodford:
Last Friday (12 June) was a bad day for proponents of the twelve-country Trans Pacific Partnership. To the surprise of many, the American House of Representatives has thwarted, at least temporarily, President Obama’s request for fast-track authority. Without that authority, other countries will not put forward their bottom line positions.
The irony is that the House has in theory offered Obama exactly the fast-track authority that he needs. However, the differences between the House and Senate versions of legislation are such that in reality he has been defeated.
The importance of fast-track authority is that the American Congress would then only be able to accept or reject the TPP without amendment. Without that agreement, ratification becomes unmanageable. . .
Rural Women New Zealand is partnering with the Sophie Elliott Foundation and the It’s Not Ok campaign to present a series of Safe Relationships seminars.
The purpose of the seminars is to increase awareness and education to stop domestic violence in rural communities. Lesley Elliott MNZM will be the guest speaker and the event will include discussion about what makes a safe relationship.
Lesley established the Sophie Elliott Foundation after the tragic death of her daughter, Sophie by her former boyfriend. Lesley says, “I applaud this initiative by Rural Women New Zealand and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to talk to rural groups. Domestic violence isn’t a problem just in towns and cities, every community and socio-economic group throughout the country is affected. . .
Peter Gordon ONZM has been an ambassador chef for New Zealand lamb in the UK market since 1998. He credits the success of the 17-year partnership to the product itself.
“I fully and wholeheartedly believe in the product. I am not just doing this to earn a fee. I do it because I believe in New Zealand lamb. Without integrity, campaigns fall flat. I can easily demonstrate to the public the genuine enthusiasm I have in cooking it and showing others how to do so.
“As a chef, the quality of the produce I cook with is paramount. The consistency of New Zealand lamb is outstanding and second to none.” . .
The meat industry here is hoping the United States will dump its law requiring compulsory country of origin labelling for meat imports.
The House of Representatives has voted to repeal the law, in response to a World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruling that country of origin requirements for beef, chicken, pork and some other products discriminates against imports.
Canada and Mexico are proposing retaliatory trade penalties against the US after winning their WTO case.
The US Congress also needs to repeal the law for the compulsory labelling to be scrapped. . .
Moocall is expanding its international operations by making their calving sensor available for purchase in New Zealand & Australia. The devices will be on sale via au.moocall.com and also through some local distributers.
Moocall is a calving sensor, worn on a cows tail that measures over 600 data points a sec- ond to determine the onset of calving. The device then sends an SMS text alert to two mobile phones to ensure the cattle breeder can be on location when calving takes place.
Moocall was invented when Irish farmer Niall Austin, lost a calf and a cow due to an unexpected difficult calving. . .
Seeka will harvest all of next season’s crop for its avocado growers using the new efficient blue plastic bins it has been introducing as part of its commitment to innovation, says Chief Executive Michael Franks.
Seeka currently has 6,000 of the bins in service and will be doubling the number this year. The Surestore bins were built by TCI New Zealand, with development and design strongly influenced by Seeka’s operational experience. The Surestore bins are stronger, safer to handle, easier to clean than wood, and are lighter, allowing more fruit to be loaded onto a truck. Importantly, they are also less damaging to the fruit and have helped improve the quality of harvested fruit. . .
SAM Kekovich is about to hit our TV screens again with his annual Australia Day Address to the Nation, his 10th year in a row as “Lambassador”.
In the past he has launched a music video, set out on “dip-lamb-attic” missions to encourage the rest of the world “to be more Australian” and sparked a trans-Tasman furore over his remarks about New Zealand’s former prime minister.
This year he breaks with entertainment convention and is working with both animals and children when he is seen thrusting a lamb chop into the hands of a child or “Generation Lamb” in an irreverent ad which also features a swipe at the remaining original Wiggle and a giant baby crushing a vegan barbecue. . .
A decade down the track Kekovich still takes the campaign with a grain of salt – and maybe a touch of pepper and some tomato sauce.
“I’ve always been fighting the good fight for lamb, there is no doubt about that,” said the former Australian Rules footballer on Thursday. . .
In quite pursuit of the perfect lamb – Peter Watson:
Drive past Brent and Bernadette Hodgkinson’s farm in the Tadmor Valley and you would barely give it a second glance.
There is no flash house and garden and the property is far from immaculate.
But behind the modest appearance is a very smart, profitable business.
Not only were the Hodgkinsons finalists in the recent national sheep supplier of the year awards, they grow the meatiest lambs supplied to our largest co-operative, Alliance, by any farmer in the country. And they have been producing high-quality, high-yielding lambs year after year from a property where soil fertility is naturally poor and the climate can range from bitterly cold in winter to drought in summer. . .
Unsung hero recognised – Sally Rae:
Kevin Smith loves farming and he enjoys passing on his knowledge and skills to the younger generation.
Mr Smith, from Middlemarch, was recently named the AgITO Sheep Industry Trainer of the Year at the Beef and Lamb New Zealand sheep industry awards, beating fellow finalists Telford (a division of Lincoln University) and Waipaoa Station Farm Cadet Training Trust.
No-one was more delighted than the woman who nominated him, AgITO’s Rebecca Williamson-Kavanaugh, who was ”extremely excited” and very proud. . .
With the rapid expansion of the primary sector, particularly in dairy farming, an international farm advisor specialising in labour management from the University of California, Professor Gregorio Billikopf, is visiting New Zealand to discuss labour changes and the increasing levels of migrant workers being employed.
In New Zealand for two weeks, Professor Gregorio Billikopf will have a number of speaking engagements, including addressing delegates at the Australasia Pacific Extension Network International Conference being held at Lincoln University from 26 to 28 August 2013, and a speaking engagement in Ashburton on Thursday 29 August.
“Professor Gregorio Billikopf is an internationally recognised expert when it comes to migrant workers in the primary sector,” says Lincoln University’s Associate Professor in Employment Relations, Dr Rupert Tipples. . .
Aqua Anchors are either 14m or 16m long and 75mm or 65mm sections of lie-flat hoses hermetically sealed at both ends and filled with water.
They lie over and around the edges of silage stacks to hold the cover in place and keep the crop from the elements. They replace traditional tyres. A patent is pending. . .
Avocado growers are keen to hear the latest research findings on the use of bumblebees as pollinators, says AVOCO technical manager Colin Partridge, so they can plan to put the findings into practice and improve the consistency of harvests.
The topic will be addressed at the Australia-New Zealand avocado conference in Tauranga next month, and AVOCO, as principal sponsor of the conference and the largest grower group, appreciates the significance of the research.
“If avocado growers could soon be able to call in special reinforcements to pollinate their trees – the not-so-humble bumblebee – it will do a lot to stabilise the industry and could even help overcome the persistent boom/bust nature of the harvests,” says Mr Partridge. . .
The Wairarapa Water Use Project has appointed Michael Bassett-Foss to lead future investigations into what could be one of the largest economic and social development projects in the greater Wellington region.
Still in its early stage, the project aims to develop a multi-purpose water scheme to collect and store water then distribute it in the dry season for a variety of economic and community uses in an environmentally sustainable way.
Previously Mr Bassett-Foss has had regional development, investment and strategic roles in the private and public sectors in New Zealand, South America, Eastern Europe and South East Asia. . .
Prime Minister John Key heads for South Korea on Thursday for an official visit warning that New Zealand’s fifth biggest trading partner will slip down the rankings without a free trade agreement.
War commemorations will be a central feature of the visit, with 30 New Zealand veterans joining Key’s entourage to mark the 60th anniversary of the Korean War armistice.
Key said outside those events, the priority was to make progress on reaching an FTA. . .
Federated Farmers’ New-Season Farm Confidence Survey, undertaken at the start of the 2013/14 season, has shown a major turnaround in farmer confidence. This result is in keeping with other recent farm and business confidence surveys.
“Farmers are showing a lot more optimism in both the wider economy and individual farm prospects,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President.
“You could say farmers are in recovery mode but this bounce back comes off a low base. There is still a large gap in the sentiment of dairy farmers when compared to the other farming sectors.
“Six months ago, farmers were fairly negative about the wider economy and were very pessimistic about their own profitability. This was particularly the case for sheep and beef farmers. In contrast, dairy farmers were feeling more optimistic than they had been at this point last year [July 2012], thanks mainly to better dairy commodity prices and growing conditions. . .
Alliance lamb in Oliver’s Russian eatery – Alan Williams:
Alliance Group lamb from New Zealand will be on the menu at the new Jamie Oliver restaurant due to open in Russian city St Petersburg.
The contract was a good boost to the business Alliance had built with Russian food service companies and restaurants over the past 12 years, marketing general manager Murray Brown said.
It highlighted the growing status of the group’s Pure South brand as a leading red-meat export, he said. . .
With New Zealand’s main-shear approaching, Federated Farmers and the NZ Shearing Contractors Association are backing moves to cut the woolshed contamination of wool. If successful, it could boost farmgate returns by a couple of million dollars each year.
“When you are dealing with a $700 million export, cutting wool contamination translates into a big opportunity for fibre farmers,” says Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre spokesperson.
“As a farmer, the easiest way for us to increase our returns is to focus on what we can control. Woolshed contamination is a perfect example of this. . .
Head in a bucket – he does that every morning – Mad Bush Farm:
He’s old, muddy, grumpy and he wasn’t making it any secret he wasn’t going to be sharing his breakfast with Ranger and the other little horses. As for me well the black eye has at last waned to a faded reminder of Muphy’s visit last week to the farm. The cows and naughty little Tempest, are finding out the hard way that an electrified wire is now on the road fence. We’ve had a few fine days, it’s still a bog hole here. My complaints are going unheeded by Mr Winter. He won’t be leaving until the end of August – darn. I’m going back to the mud now to complain some more or mayube I’ll just go and have a coffee instead
Talking of horses I found this beautiful tribute to the Arabian horse done with clips from the Black Stallion and other films. . .
Jousting for poll position – Milk Maid Marian:
Scuffles broke out right across the paddock as the weak winter sun lit the stage for a bovine pugilism festival. The cows were feeling magnificent and, unable to contain their energy, were ready to take on all comers.
The kids and I love watching the cows “do butter-heads” and the cows seem to love it, too. For every pair or trio engaged in warfare, there will be a group of curious onlookers and one scuffle seems to inspire more outbreaks.
Does butter-heads have a serious purpose though? Yes, it does. The herd has a very structured pecking order. Cows come into the dairy in roughly the same order every milking and the smallest and most timid are inevitably last. Mess them up by splitting the herd into seemingly random groups for a large-scale vet procedure like preg testing and you can expect trouble. . .
Lamb price tipped to rise – Tim Cronshaw:
The return of $100 lambs for the 2013-14 season will go some way to lifting the spirits of sheep farmers.
Farmer confidence was hard to find during the worst drought in 70 years in parts of the North Island, spreading to a dry summer in Canterbury, and with an average lamb price of $85.
Meat companies believe $100 could be the average price for lamb for the new season starting in October, with industry good organisation Beef + Lamb New Zealand setting only a slightly more modest $98.50. . .
Lamb slide “will be bigger than expected” – Richard Rennie:
IDA Valley farmer Rob Gardyne believes Beef + Lamb New Zealand analysts risk significantly underestimating how far lamb numbers will fall this year.
His flock of Perendale stud ewes in Central Otago is expected to deliver a 200% lambing rate, alongside 135% from a mixed commercial flock.
However, he estimated the hit to the sheep sector overall this year would be greater than anticipated.
This was due in part to heavier-than-estimated losses of ewes to slaughter in the drought, as well as continuing conversions to dairying. . .
Optimism on meat progress – Tim Cronshaw:
Sheep farming leaders sense that a group of meat companies are coming closer to announcing a decision on whether they can find a way to work together in reforming the red meat industry.
Federated Farmers president Bruce Wills said he felt talks were “imminent”.
He said he would be surprised if farmers did not see some announcement in the next two to three weeks.
“We are going to have more in-depth industry discussions the next few weeks when the meat company proposal comes out. . . .
Pasture growth exceeds expectations – Tony Bennie:
As a few early calves arrived on Canterbury dairy farms this week, there were positive signs for the new season with good pasture covers throughout the region, says DairyNZ regional leader Virginia Serra.
“When we are talking to farmers, they are feeling quite positive and the main thing you consider now is the pasture cover on the milking platform. Is it where it should be for calving? And yes, in most cases it is,” Serra said.
Pasture growth had exceeded expectations in both June and July.
“The Methven area has been quite affected with the snow and they are perhaps just a little bit below target, but they are still quite happy with the amount of feed on the platform.” . . .
Westland Milk Products is the latest to enter the rapidly expanding infant formula maket in China, with the launch of three new products in Shanghai.
The West Coast co-operative is producing infant, follow-on and growing up powders, at a new plant in Hokitika as part of a move to reduce its reliance on bulk dairy commodties.
Westland has also appointed it’s first Chinese based representative, Harry Wang as nutritional development manager for China and is working with Chinese companies to distribute the formula products. . .
Time for an update – Cabbage Tree Farm:
It’s Winter here at CTF, and we’ve had a few frosts, but some lovely fine days too. Fortunately not too cold being at the Northern end of NZ. We don’t get snow here, it’s usually just wet, with a cold southerly wind or else fine and sunny during the day but frosty at night.
I’ve been out pruning our many fruit trees, some of the bigger ones have needed quite a bit of work and that’s very time consuming. I’ve been fairly brutal to them poor things but they did really need to be ‘minimised’ – we don’t want huge fruit trees with inaccessible fruit for one thing! While we may not get such a great crop this next season, I’m hoping the following one will be good. . . .