Rural round-up

February 3, 2015

Tips to help farmers get through – Sally Rae:

Otago Rural Support Trust co ordinator David Mellish offers some advice to farmers facing the dual challenges of a low dairy payout and a very dry season.

The Otago economy relies heavily on a strong and thriving agribusiness sector.

The agricultural sector faces two potentially significant challenges at present _ the low dairy payout and the very dry season. . .

Westmere Lavender business a personal purple patch – Sally Rae:

Sam Laugesen admits to being an avid animal collector.

Joining the 1400 cows on the Kurow dairy farm on which she lives with partner Luke Campbell and daughters Daisy (4) and Sylvie (3) is her very own farmyard, open to the public, alongside her new small business, Westmere Lavender.

It is home to a variety of chooks, miniature and full sized horses, a sheep, kunekune pigs and Highland cattle, with delightful monikers, such as Handbag the steer.

”I call this my farmlet. All this is mine, the [dairy] cows don’t come here,” she said, as she indicated the paddocks around her lavender patch. . .

Dry will restrict GDP growth – Sally  Rae:

The dry conditions plaguing farmers seem set to take a toll of the economy, with expectations they will take a ”significant chunk” out of total GDP growth over the first half of the year.

Although Westpac economists did not expect it to result in a recession (two quarters of negative growth), given the positive momentum in the rest of the economy, they expected GDP growth to be ”very low” over the coming two quarters.

Dry conditions were most intense on the east coast of both islands but were becoming more widespread. . .

Encouraging signs as Yili MOU takes first steps:

Lincoln University hosted senior management from both Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group and its subsidiary Oceania Dairy last week in discussions aimed at building on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between Lincoln University and Yili in 2014.

The group was headed by Dr Xiaopeng Huang, deputy director of Yili‘s Innovation Centre, and Mr Shane Lodge, Quality and Compliance Manager of Oceania Dairy.

A range of topics were discussed during the visit, with a particular emphasis on value chains. The visit also included presentations and demonstrations on Lincoln University’s ‘paddock to plate’ research. . .


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