Rural round-up

December 26, 2017

‘Drag ‘n drop’ grazing now a reality – Nigel Malthus:

The idea of virtual fencing has been around for 20 years, but AgResearch believes its time has come and will soon start testing an Australian product.
Farm systems scientist Warren King, of AgResearch Ruakura, says it has been watching the technology for years and now believes the eShepherd product from Melbourne company Agersens is “the real deal”.

New Zealand’s Gallagher Group is a lead investor in Agersens, with marketing manager Mark Harris on the board. . .

Recent heat boost for lavender crops:

A South Canterbury lavender grower is experiencing an early start to the season.

Rob Martin, of Limestone Valley Estate, near Cave, said his crop of Pacific blue lavender was two weeks early this year, and his other varieties were following close behind.

He put the ”very early” start down to the year’s weather patterns, which were ”excellent” for lavender.

”[There was a] sudden heavy wet winter and spring and that immediately changed to hot weather,” he said. . .

Mozzarella plant on track for May start – Alexia Johnston:

Clandeboye’s $240million mozzarella plant is on target for commissioning in May.

AThe project, which is the third mozzarella plant for Fonterra’s Clandeboye site, is three-quarters complete and has already created 75 new jobs.

A further 25 employees will join the team in February.

Clandeboye operations manager Steve McKnight was among those watching progress.

”There’s a real buzz in the air on site as we have more people on site and the plant takes shape,” he said. . .

Decades of service:

The 2017 NZ Winegrower Personality of the Year goes to the NZSVO and its departing Executive Officer, Nick Sage and the recently announced life member, Rengasamy Balasubramaniam – better known as Bala.

There seems to be a common thread when you look at the retiring committee members of the NZSVO. All seem to have landed the job after being lured to an AGM by the offer of free wine. . .

I can’t wait for when we don’t have any possums – Andrew Austin:

The rabbits populating my neighbourhood seem to have begun breeding like, well, rabbits.

They are all around – on the roads, in the gardens, in the paddocks. They are a menace. As I am not a gun owner, I simply have to live with them.

The dogs give them (literally) a run for their money, so at least they don’t come too close to the house.

But even worse than rabbits are the possums. I drive along a one kilometre-long shared rural driveway to get to my house and every night I see at least one possum waddling along the road. Workmates and others tell me that I should aim for them and run them over. I have tried, but always seem to pull out at the last moment. . .

Gove tells Brits to be more patriotic about cheese buying habits

Brits who are worried about the price of their foreign produce going up after Brexit should be more patriotic about their choices, according to Michael Gove.

Mr Gove, who attended the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA) on Wednesday (20 December), has criticised claims that the price of cheddar cheese will go up by 40 percent if Britain leaves the EU without a trade deal.

The Defra Secretary said Brits should instead focus their priority on British cheddar. He said that, in a WTO scenario, if cheese prices rise steeply then the British public should buy more British cheese. . .


Rural round-up

May 7, 2015

Bull-selling season prime for entertaining start – Kate Taylor:

Two counter-balancing influences are expected to have an impact on this year’s bull-selling season, says PGG Wrightson New Zealand livestock genetics manager Bruce Orr.

The season begins on May 12 with almost 100 bulls offered for auction at Te Pari Beef Expo in Feilding.

The bulls come from six different breeds, with 45 anguses, 28 herefords, 11 simmentals, six shorthorns, five gelbviehs and three south devons.

The bull sales are a gauge for how the season might progress.

Orr said the lead-in to this year’s sales had two distinct parts. . .

Genetics the answer for high quality pasture-fed beef – Pat Deavoll:

South Canterbury angus breeders Gerald and Sue Hargreaves are convinced New Zealand is missing the boat when it comes to producing high quality pasture-fed beef of an international standard.

The world wants grass-fed beef, Gerald Hargreaves says, but ours isn’t consistent or marbled enough to make the grade. He says the only way forward is with genetics and facts.

He “saw the light”, turning to genetics in 1994. He had worked for an angus breeder in Scotland in the mid 60s before moving back to New Zealand to take over the family farm – Kakahu Farm near Geraldine – and the accompanying angus stud, which his father had started in 1954. Originally almost all the bulls were sold to Molesworth Station, but in 1974 Gerald linked up with another local Angus breeder, George Hill, for his first sale. . .

2015 Sheep Industry Awards Finalists:

Finalists in the 2015 Beef + Lamb New Zealand Sheep Industry Awards have been announced today.

The awards are now in their fourth year and Beef + Lamb New Zealand chief executive, Dr Scott Champion said they were a great way of recognising and celebrating excellence in the industry.

“It’s right that we acknowledge the top performers and showcase our industry, which is a significant contributor to the New Zealand economy.”

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Farmer Council national chair, Martin Coup, who also chairs the awards judging panel, said the New Zealand sheep industry could take heart from the high quality and quantity of this year’s nominations. . .

 Sweet smell of success at Kiwi lavender farm – Nadene Hall:

Corry Zeestraten had spent so many years talking about one day running her own herb-based business, when her son sent her an email about a lavender farm for sale back in 2008, he wrote  “Mum, this is something for you as a joke!”.

But Corry and her husband Jan took one look at the advertisement for a 3.4ha block including show garden and commercial lavender crop a few kilometres inland from Kaikoura on the South Island’s east coast, and decided to take a look.

“I’d lived in Lincoln, close to Christchurch, for 40 years and we’d run a market garden,” says Corry. “I’d always had a really big herb garden and I’d always been keen on doing something with herbs. My son sent me a website link about this farm as a joke, but we went for a look straight away.” . .

Weak dairy prices prompt analysts to pull back Fonterra forecast payout for next season – Tina Morrison:

 (BusinessDesk) – Weak global dairy prices have prompted analysts to pull back their expectations for Fonterra Cooperative Group’s payout to farmers for next season.

Average prices dropped 3.5 percent in the GlobalDairyTrade auction overnight. New Zealand’s key product, whole milk powder, slipped an average 1.8 percent, extending its cumulative decline over the past five auctions to 27 percent.

Auckland-based Fonterra, the world’s largest dairy exporter, last week cut its forecast payout for the current 2014/15 season to $4.50 per kilogram of milk solids, from a previous forecast of $4.70/kgMS and last year’s record $8.40/kgMS, citing an oversupply in international markets and volatile commodity prices. . .

Pacific Seeds appoints Canterbury Seed Company for New Zealand distribution:

Pacific Seeds, part of the Australian owned Advanta Seeds Group has awarded Canterbury Seed Company (Canterbury Seed) its New Zealand distribution rights effective 1 June, 2015.

Subsequent to an internal restructure aimed at better servicing the New Zealand market and its farmers, Pacific Seeds wanted to partner with a distributor who was strong in local market knowledge and logistics.

Operating in New Zealand for over the past 23 years via selected agents and direct to clients, Pacific Seeds chose Ashburton based Canterbury Seed after many years of successful co-operative business dealings in other parts of the seed industry. “We know Canterbury Seed well – they are leading edge in the local New Zealand seed business, are passionate about quality and are customer centric in their approach,” said Pacific Seed Managing Director, Nick Gardner. “We are positive the Pacific Seeds range of products will be well represented and accessible across all North and South Island farming regions,” he said. . .

 


Rural round-up

September 8, 2014

Ballance Farm Environment Awards Show Farmers Care:

Bay of Plenty dairy farmer Trevor Hamilton entered the Ballance Farm Environment Awards because he had a point to prove.

Trevor and his wife Harriet run a large-scale family business that spans ten farms – five in Canterbury, four in Bay of Plenty and one in Hawke’s Bay. The operation is on track to produce three million kilograms of Milksolids this season, with four million targeted for 2015/16.

Starting from scratch as a sharemilker in 1980, Trevor says his aim is to create an intergenerational dairy farming business. But he is acutely aware that the scale of the operation opens it up to claims that its growth has come at the expense of the environment.

Entering the Ballance Farm Environment Awards gave him the opportunity to prove this wasn’t the case. . . .

NZ possum hits fashion catwalk –  Sally Rae:

With apologies to Dame Edna, it’s Goodbye Possums.

New Zealand’s possum fur industry is estimated to be worth $130 million annually to the country’s economy.

Perino, a blend of possum fur and cashmere or merino yarn, recently featured on the catwalk in garments from the latest collections from Zambesi and The Noble Savage. . .

Lavender: The sweet smell of success – Sally Rae:

Two novice lavender growers from Central Otago nearly stole the show at this year’s New Zealand Lavender Growers Association awards.

In the oil competition, Joth Hankinson and Tony Culshaw, from Central Otago Produce, won two of the three trophies on offer – the Eoin Johnson Memorial Trophy for best lavandin oil, and the Ken Wilson Memorial Trophy, for best grosso.

Two particular types of lavender were grown commercially for oil – angustifolia or English lavender, and intermedia lavender – also called lavandin – a hybrid cross between an angustifolia and a latafolia, which grows in the wild at higher altitudes in the Mediterranean. . .

Drone big success on and off the farm – Rob Tipa:

A Southland family pioneering the use of drones on New Zealand farms believes there is a massive gap between the science, research and technology available today and its application on farms.

Neil Gardyne and his 14-yearold son Mark made television and news headlines internationally last year when they started flying drones over their 466ha hillcountry farms in the Otama Valley in Eastern Southland.

Instead of climbing on a quad bike twice a day to check on hogget lambing, the Gardynes programmed a drone to cover the same ground from the air. What took them two hours on a bike opening and closing 120 farm gates, took 20 minutes flight time for the drone. . .

No growth benefits shown with docking – Sally Brooker:

Docking lambs’ tails has no long-term beneficial or detrimental effect on lamb growth rates from docking to slaughter, a new study has found.

Alliance Group Ltd, one of New Zealand’s largest meat processing companies, Beef and Lamb New Zealand and the Ministry for Primary Industries Sustainable Farming Fund commissioned the research after farmers wondered if leaving tails intact improved lamb growth rates from docking to slaughter and British retailers had started asking about tail length.

AbacusBio consultant Jo Kerslake presented the results at a Beef and Lamb field day in South Canterbury last week. . . .

 Rustling must be stopped – but how?  – Jon Morgan:

    I suppose running sheep in a park in central Auckland is asking for trouble. The temptation of a week’s meals there for the taking is too much to expect the big city’s criminal element to ignore.

In the latest of a string of incidents, rustlers using dogs and traps targeted the 600-ewe flock in Cornwall Park.

Members of the public disturbed three men and three large dogs capturing new-born lambs. And last month rustlers stole at least six sheep – including two pregnant ewes and a large ram – from the park’s farm.

A heavily pregnant ewe was caught in a leg-hold trap but spotted by a member of the public before it could be taken.

Another ewe that was due to give birth to triplets disappeared two days earlier and three more ewes and a 110kg ram were taken a few months earlier. . .


%d bloggers like this: