Global grain prices in free-fall – Keith Woodford:
Last week I wrote how the OECD and FAO secretariats expect many agricultural prices to drop in real terms over the next ten years as supply ramps up across the world. This is particularly the case for staple crops such as wheat, corn and soybeans. However, in the last ten days it has become increasingly apparent that major price decreases are playing out right now in front of us. With the early Northern Hemisphere harvest reports for wheat now coming through, with increasingly positive pre-harvest reports for both corn and soybean, and with existing high global stocks, the prices have all been tumbling.
The first place to look when considering international grain prices is the USA. The USA is by far the most technologically advanced cereal growing country in the world, and has huge global influence. . .
Insights from Canada water trip – Sally Rae:
When Waitaki Irrigators Collective policy manager Elizabeth Soal headed to Canada recently, she wanted to learn more about how water issues were managed, given that nation’s similarities with New Zealand.
There were similar legal systems, similar amounts of water per capita and challenges similar to those in New Zealand, including rising pressure around intensification and urbanisation putting pressure on the resource.
While she did not return with all the answers she was looking for, which she acknowledged was to be expected – ”water issues are complex and hard to solve, nowhere in the world has solved it perfectly” – she described it as an ”incredible experience”. . .
Growsafe looking to rise to the challenge – Yvonne O’Hara:
If relevant regulations and improved training requirements are introduced for agrichemical users as a result of the new Health and Safety at Work Act, it is likely Growsafe will rise to the challenge.
Growsafe provides basic and advanced training in the use of agrichemicals and is run by the New Zealand Agrichemical Trust.
Growsafe chairman Graeme Peters said the Government, as part of the new health and safety requirements, might consider removing the approved handler regime and replacing it with an Australian model that tailored training to suit the need, rather than the present ”one size fits all” regime. . .
Changing guard at ‘Lake Cowal’ – Peter Austin:
WHEN Leppington Pastoral Company took possession of the “Lake Cowal” property adjoining its Billabong Station at Marsden earlier this month, history to some degree repeated itself.
It was precisely 80 years ago that an earlier resident of Billabong Station had crossed the Bland Creek that forms the boundary between the two properties to make a new home on “Lake Cowal”.
That earlier 1934 migrant was Herbert (“Bert”) Dent, who had managed “Billabong” since 1924 for the Ricketson and (later) Sanderson families before taking the plunge and setting up on his own. . . .
Entries are now open for the Rural Women New Zealand Journalism Award 2014, which will be presented at the NZ Guild of Agricultural Journalists annual awards dinner in Wellington on 17 October.
The Rural Women NZ award encourages journalists to report on the achievements of women living and working in rural communities.
It’s a strategy that’s paid off, says Rural Women NZ national president, Wendy McGowan.
“Last year the Rural Women New Zealand Journalism Award was one of the most popular categories.” . . .
Entries are open for the 2014 Air New Zealand Wine Awards.
Now in its 39th year, the Awards are a celebration of excellence in New Zealand winemaking and is widely considered to be the country’s most prestigious wine competition.
“Our industry is known for its commitment to quality, innovation and exceptional wines. The Air New Zealand Wine Awards is a fitting showcase for this,” says New Zealand Winegrowers’ Global Marketing Director, Chris Yorke. . .