Rural round-up

December 20, 2018

Arable farming the silent partner to sheep ,beef and dairy – Pat Deavoll:

There is an art and a fair bit of luck to growing arable crops. The water levels, the soils, the temperatures must be optimum. It must rain at the right time, the sun must shine at the right time.

“Then it’s, do I irrigate harder or hold back? Is the crop bulky enough? Will the bees pollinate?” South Canterbury farmer Guy Wigley says of the ordeal of closing in on harvest time.

“There was a harvest of several years ago when five inches of rain (127mm) and then a further three inches of rain decimated my barley crop.” . . 

50,000 cows culledin M bovis eradication bid:

More than 50,000 cows have been culled and 50,000 more may go as New Zealand attempts to become the first country to eradicate the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis.

Faced with a growing number of suspected cases at farms across the country, Kiwi lawmakers this year made a call to attempt what no other country before had managed – a costly, part-government-funded mass eradication.

The condition has serious animal welfare implications – including causing abortions and pneumonia – but poses no risk to humans or to food or milk safety. . .

Timely survey on working conditions in horticultural industry –  Anusha Bradley:

Several hundred people have been surveyed just as slavery charges were being laid against Hastings orchard worker. 

An insight into how big a problem modern-day slavery might be among horticultural workers in Hawke’s Bay could be known by the end of the week.

Workers from five of the region’s biggest growers have just been independently surveyed in a pilot study asking them about their working conditions. . .

PGG Wrightson’s seeds business to make a 1H loss after Uruguay woes – Jenny Ruth:

(BusinessDesk) – PGG Wrightson says its seeds business will make a loss after tax in the six months ended December and that it has had to bail out its joint venture partner in Uruguay.

Wrightson also says its rural services operations have been “trading solidly, although slightly behind last year” due to a later start to spring sales and a delayed recovery following recent heavy rain across much of New Zealand. . . 

Latest study confirms an animal-free food system is not holistically sustainable – Sara Place:

Let’s be clear, a healthy and sustainable food system depends on having both plants and animals. Researchers at USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and Virginia Tech just published a study in the Proceedings of National Academies of Sciences confirming this socially debated fact. The study examined what our world would look like without animal agriculture in the U.S. The bottom line? We’d reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. by 2.6 percent, and 0.36 percent globally[1] — but we’d also upset our balanced food ecosystem and lack essential dietary nutrients to feed all Americans. . . 

Hortinvest launches extensive Lindis River cherry project:

New Zealand horticultural investment company, Hortinvest Limited has released a $15.5 million cherry orchard project at Central Otago to savvy investors seeking a slice of the premium cherry pie.

The 80-hectare Lindis River project near Cromwell is double that of Hortinvest’s first cherry orchard and significantly bigger than most currently planted in the region. It is projected to send between 18-20 tonnes per hectare to market in the lucrative cherry season when it reaches full mature production by 2025/2026. . .

Relief for drought affected farmers – Andrew Miller:

Drought-affected families are receiving a welcome and much-needed financial lift on the eve of Christmas.

The Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul Society and Rotary Australia World Community Service are providing financial support from the Federal Government’s $30 million Drought Community Support Initiative to people across parts of drought-hit Australia. . .


Rural round-up

December 4, 2012

Strong growth and sophistication of the hospitality sector helps Neat Meat transform product offerings with unique pasture-based products, and build exports based on that success –  Andrew Patterson:

Not all meats are created equal, particularly if the Gisborne born Eriksen brothers are involved.

The three siblings Simon, William and Tim along with two other founding shareholders have been slowly redefining the meat category over the past decade with high end product offerings designed to cater to an increasingly sophisticated palate.

Their Neat Meat retail shops along with their Harmony and Angus brands and their Chefs Series range have given customers access to high quality cuts of meat in a variety of forms that were previously only the domain of exporters and high end restaurants. . . .

Dairy export volumes show large increase:

In the September 2012 quarter, seasonally adjusted dairy export volumes rose 32 percent, Statistics New Zealand said today. Milk powder was the largest contributor to this rise.

Dairy products made the largest contribution to a 9.7 percent rise in seasonally adjusted export volumes. Meat export volumes rose 15 percent. Import volumes rose 0.7 percent, led by intermediate and capital goods.

“Dairy export volumes are at record levels, after adjusting for seasonal effects,” prices manager Chris Pike said. “Dairy values remain at high levels, even though export prices have fallen for five consecutive quarters.” . . .

Primary Growth Partnership tops $650M:

Primary Industries Minister David Carter has welcomed the announcement of another successful Primary Growth Partnership bid which lifts the total invested to more than $650 million.

The Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) is to fund half of an $87 million innovation programme proposed by leading meat exporter ANZCO.

“ANZCO’s proposal to generate more value from the beef carcase with its Foodplus programme is bold and innovative. This is exactly what PGP is about – transforming great ideas into tangible R&D programmes focussed on results,” says Mr Carter. . .

Central Otago’s Trophy Triumphs:

2012 will go down as the year Central Otago firmly established its reputation as a producer of fine New Zealand wines, if the recent Trophy count is anything to go by.

Almost every winegrowing district within the Central Otago region has brought home a Trophy in the last six months – from Bendigo, to Alexandra, to Gibbston, to Wanaka, to Bannockburn – confirming every district within the region produces outstanding wines. . .

The Artisan Winegrowers of Central Otago:

In a more that signals the changing and evolving climate of the New Zealand wine industry, six modest growers from Central Otago – the eponymous “Artisans” – have banded together and formed their own group under a unified flag. The Artisan Winegrowers of Central Otago (AWCO) comprise Auburn Wines, Ellero, Georgetown Vineyard, Lindis River, Lowburn Ferry and TOSQ . . .

More than 400 Earlybirds in Dairy Awards

A record 158 entries received last week in the 2013 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards has pushed the number of entrants eligible for the earlybird entry prize draw to 428.

“It was an amazing week,” National convenor Chris Keeping says. “We had a record 158 entries and on the last day for people to enter and be eligible for the earlybird entry prize draw we had 49 entries alone!”

Mrs Keeping says the number is up from 381 at the same time last year. . .

And for your entertainment (hat tip: Whaleoil) click on the video at GEA Farm Technologies  for jiving cows.


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