Canterbury dairy farms under fire – Annabelle Tukia:
Canterbury dairy farmers are under fire after a new report found almost a third of farms in the region weren’t complying with consenting rules.
Environment Canterbury’s regional dairy report identified 68 farms with major issues – a discovery environmental group Fish and Game is calling a disgrace.
Canterbury farmer Vaughan Beazer runs one of the region’s 717 fully compliant dairy farms. He says he prides himself on having a farm that’s clean and green.
“We live on the land, we don’t just bypass it and go look at this pretty little paddock […] We look at and that is our livelihood, that is our environment, it’s our inheritance and what we’ll bequeath to our children… it is everything to us.”
But Environment Canterbury’s latest dairying report proves not every farmer shares Mr Beazer’s view.
It monitored almost 1,000 farms, and more than 70 percent were fully compliant. But one third of them didn’t meet the grade, and 68 farms had major non-compliance issues. . .
Lost in translation – Willy Leferink:
Being a Dutch-Kiwi I have come to accept that things don’t always come out as expected. Some things can get lost in translation between what you say and what people think you said.
I put reports I got of a speech made to a business audience in Auckland by Fonterra CEO, Theo Spierings, into that category. Being a compatriot of mine, I know Theo holds the Kiwi dairy industry in high esteem and not just for our productivity, but for the way we manage environmental matters inside the farm gate.
What has been lost in translation is the conversation relating to Fonterra’s environmental performance as a company and not the whole cooperative. What was reported is that Fonterra isn’t doing anything about the environment when Theo said that Fonterra did not have the environment as an overall part of its strategy. Theo pointed out that our European competitors had upwards of a decade’s march on Fonterra. What was lost in translation is that the European processors were forced to do this because of draconian regulation in order to help their shareholders out. As companies, they have moved to get a lot closer to their consumers and we can learn from that. . . .
Vege growers concerned about co-op – Alan Wood,
Some shareholders in large vegetable distribution co-operative MG Marketing are upset the co-op has started to grow vegetables in competition with them.
The “producer in its own right” role taken on by MG Marketing could financially harm the growers it represents, growers representatives said.
MG Marketing is the trading name of Market Gardeners Ltd, one of New Zealand’s biggest co-operative companies specialising in growing and distributing fresh produce. It has run for more than 90 years and competes against the likes of Turners & Growers.
Max Lilley, former chairman and president of the NZ Vegetable and Produce Growers’ Federation and now retired, said the co-operative was making the wrong decision by apparently buying into some vegetable and produce operations. . .
Federated Farmers has joined with the National Pest Control Agencies to promote farmgate biosecurity with a hygiene guideline and logbook for farm machinery called “Keep it Clean.”
“Machinery movements pose a persistent high risk in pest spread,” says Dr William Rolleston, Federated Farmers Biosecurity spokesperson.
“Soil on a bulldozer in Canterbury was found to contain seeds from at least 73 different species and there are at least 80 pest species known to be typically moved by machinery.
“The pastoral sector is facing the spread of pest plants like Chilean needle grass while trying to contain pest insects, like the Great White Cabbage Butterfly. . .
Federated Farmers has produced a practical all in one electronic document to help dairy farmers to navigate and simplify the process for dairy farmers to hire migrant workers.
“While we would love to hire capable kiwi workers, there is a shortage of kiwis willing to do the work because there is a common misperception that agriculture is a low paid and low skilled career,” says Willy Leferink, Federated Farmers Dairy Chairperson.
“To help farmers fill this gap with capable and available migrant workers, we have put together one simple document so that employers can follow the immigration process without the headache. . .
Hunters of deer, tahr, chamois and wild pigs will now have a say in their recreation with today’s passage by Parliament of the Game Animal Council Act 69 votes to 51.
“The establishment of the Game Animal Council Act is great news for tens of thousands of New Zealanders who hunt. It enables them to join mountaineers, trampers, game bird hunters, and trout and salmon fishers in having a statutory voice into the management of their recreation on public conservation land,” Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith says.
The Game Animal Council Act establishes an independent statutory body to give greater representation to the interests of recreational hunters. Key functions of the council include advising and making recommendations to the Minister on hunting issues, providing information and education to the sector, promoting safety initiatives, conducting game animal research, and undertaking management functions for designated herds of special interest. . . .
Beef + Lamb New Zealand Ltd (B+LNZ) is calling for nominations to fill two farmer-elected director positions on its board.
They are for the Eastern North Island and Southern South Island, where both positions will be vacant due to the current directors not seeking re-election.
B+LNZ Chairman and Eastern North Island Director, Mike Petersen has served on the B+LNZ board since 2004. Southern South Island Director, Leon Black is also standing down, having served on the board since 2008.
Nominations to fill these vacancies need to be made to the B+LNZ Returning Officer, Warwick Lampp by 5pm on Friday 20 December. Farmers can call him on 0508 666 336 to get information on how to make a nomination. . .
A “rock star” of farm consulting who shares his success with his clients has taken one of two top prizes at the inaugural Farmax Consultant of the Year Awards.
John Cannon, of Hastings, won the Farmax Consultant of the Year for the North Island. While AgFirst Hawkes Bay consultant Ben Harker was named Farmax Emerging Consultant of the Year for all of New Zealand.
They each were awarded their titles at the Farmax Consultants’ Conference in Rotorua on November 19. . .