Farmers on board with environmental fairness but want time and fairness – Liz McDonald and Henry Cooke:
Canterbury farmers want politicians to stop painting them as climate change villains, listen to their needs and allow them more time to boost environmental standards.
The Labour, National, Act and Green parties have all released agriculture policies in the past few days as they vie for the government benches in October.
National’s agriculture policy, released on Thursday, promises to “review or repeal” the Labour Government’s nine freshwater regulations introduced this year, and remove the possibility of agriculture entering the Emissions Trading Scheme in 2022.
It also promised to allow skilled and seasonal workers to enter New Zealand with a fast-tracked primary sector visa. . .
Legalising of recreational cannabis could increase health and safety risks for the primary sector, say wary employers.
The sector already has one of the highest workplace accident and death rates in the country, and leaders say it could be another risk if the referendum gets support on 17 October.
Chris Lewis from Federated Farmers said while the organisation doesn’t have a stance on the referendum it does have concerns about the health and safety implications if the bill is passed into law.
He said farming already has a high accident rate around livestock and machinery, and workers need to be aware of what is around them without being impaired. . .
Artificial breeding technicians (AB techs) across the country have begun rolling up their sleeves in order to get millions of dairy cows pregnant over the next six months. Their role is critical in producing the next generation of animals and ensuring New Zealand’s hugely valuable milk supply continues.
Last year LIC, which employs around 900 AB techs between September and March, oversaw the insemination of over four million cows. While undertaking this work, the cooperative is also seeking new recruits to train ahead of next season.
Once trained many return year-after-year including the McCarthy family. Paul McCarthy first trained with LIC in 1978 as a 20-year-old. After nearly 40 years he has inseminated thousands of cows while running a 134ha dairy farm in Galatea in the eastern Bay of Plenty with his wife Johanna. . .
Bees are an essential component of a strong agricultural sector. They support New Zealand’s $6 billion horticultural industry by pollinating food crops as well as producing a multitude of honey-based products.
Despite recent reports of declining bee numbers due to pesticide use, figures released by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) show that beehive numbers have increased three-fold since 2005. According to its apiculture monitoring programme, hive numbers reached over 918,000 in 2019, up from below 300,000 fourteen years ago. The numbers have consistently been on an upward trend since then, with the latest figures showing a four percent increase on the previous year.
Independent scientific research included in the report concluded that the destructive varroa mite is the main cause of bee losses. . .
Southland meat processor Blue Sky Pastures is looking to new pastures by expanding its business, launching its namesake Blue Sky Butchery.
Bringing southern lamb to the digital fingertips of all New Zealanders, Blue Sky Butchery is a completely online store where users will be able to purchase the finest and freshest cuts of Southland lamb, delivered overnight nation-wide.
Many cuts of this New Zealand-favourite will be available, including Frenched racks, striploin, leg, shoulder, loin chops and mince. . .
Crops will be ploughed under if workers can’t be found – Andrew Miller:
A Bacchus Marsh vegetable grower says her farm will have to plough crops back into the ground, if sufficient workers can’t be found as harvest ramps up.
Rae McFarlane, Boratto Farms, Bacchus Marsh said the business produced fancy lettuce, rocket, parsley and baby spinach.
She said the coronavirus lockdown had hit the restaurant trade hard. . .