Rural round-up

17/12/2014

WMP recovery predicted – Hugh Stringleman:

Fonterra’s third substantial milk price forecast reduction this season will bite dairy farmers in January and sentence them to a bleak winter next year.

Fonterra has inevitably followed the international dairy price slump by revising its milk price forecast downwards by 60c to $4.70/kg milksolids (MS).

The $6 billion turnaround from last season to this one will also hit rural servicing businesses as dairy farmers cut spending to essential inputs. . .

Wear helmets on quad bikes – they’re part of the job:

A farming couple from Canvastown near Blenheim have been fined $20,000 each for offences involving the use of quad bikes on the farm where they have a share-milking partnership.

There were multiple sightings, dating back to 2012, of Phillip Andrew Jones and Maria Anna Carlson riding quads without helmets and in some cases Ms Carlson had small children with her on the quad.

Ms Carlson was witnessed twice riding her quad without a helmet after a prohibition notice had been issued and the second time she had two young children with her on the bike. . .

Generating wealth from dairy – Keith Woodford:

The current dairy downturn is inevitably turning attention to the wisdom of having so many eggs in the same basket. When times look rough, it can be helpful to look back and remind ourselves of the journey we have travelled to get where we are.

The driving forces that have led to the present have had very little to do with industry policy. Rather, the outcomes we are now experiencing are the consequence of thousands of individual farmers and rural investors deciding that dairy was where the profits lay. And to a large extent they got it right.

Taxation policy is the one key area where governments have influenced investor behaviour. The longstanding taxation policy of all governments has been to not tax capital gain. . .

A passion for prestige farming – Sue O’Dowd:

Enthusiastic Wairarapa farmers Matt and Lynley Wyeth are putting the beef and sheep industry in the spotlight.

The couple were keynote speakers at last week’s inaugural Taranaki Big Dine In for Taranaki sheep and beef farmers at Stratford.

The 2014 Greater Wellington Ballance Farm Environment Award winners say they love sheep and beef farming and they’d like to see its success celebrated.

“It’s our turn to shine,” Matt Wyeth said. “We want to thrive, not just survive. . .

5 ways to avoid a bad fencing job – Nadene Hall:

There’s one really easy way to know if a fence is well built: a good fence is one you don’t notice. That’s the golden rule of experienced contractor Simon Fuller, the President of the Fencing Contractors Association of NZ (FCANZ). 

“It blends in, there’s no sudden rises, humps and hollows, it’s a flowing fence, especially on a lifestyle block, unless you’re wanting to make a statement in an entranceway. 

“For me, as a contractor, I notice poor fences before I notice good fences because a good fence is there and it’s not offensive to the eye, where a poorly constructed fence… as a rule, fences that are poorly constructed, you will keep on finding things wrong with them, there will be numerous things wrong with them, not just one.”  . . .

Dairy cattle total rises to 6.7 million:

The number of dairy cattle in New Zealand continued to rise, to reach 6.7 million at the end of June, Statistics New Zealand said today.

“Generally good pastoral conditions since the previous June contributed to the increase,” agriculture manager Neil Kelly said.

In the same one-year period, sheep, beef, and deer numbers fell. The number of sheep declined by 1.2 million, to 29.6 million as at June 2014.

These provisional figures are from the 2014 Agricultural Production Survey, which Statistics NZ conducted in partnership with the Ministry for Primary Industries. . .

Hawke’s Bay economy gets major boost from fruit innovation:

Havelock North Fruit Company has announced new investment and a major facility expansion and to meet global demand for its award winning Rockit apple brand.

Havelock North Fruit Company (HNFC) managing director Phil Alison today announced a new major facility in Havelock North, set to open in March 2015 as well as further investment into growing and globally supplying the miniature apple.

Already over $14 million has been invested in the production and marketing of Rockit, with a further $10m projected in the next three years. . .

CRV Ambreed celebrates 45 years of business:

It’s a momentous year for CRV Ambreed, who this-year celebrates its 45th year in business.

The company, now part of the world’s third largest artificial breeding company, has come a long way in the last 45 years.

It was set up by a small group of farmers in 1969 under the company name American Breeders Service. The founders began operating in a facility on the outskirts of Hamilton in 1970, with a core business of dairy semen production for the New Zealand market.

Managing Director Angus Haslett said the company has had ‘a couple of changes’ since then, the most recent and significant when it was purchased by a large 30,000-farm Dutch cooperative CRV Delta in 2003 to become CRV Ambreed. . .

 

BioGro New Zealand Names New CEO:

BioGro New Zealand is pleased to announce that Donald Nordeng has been appointed the new Chief Executive of BioGro.

He will be taking over the role from Dr Michelle Glogau who stepped down in early September.

Donald is an accomplished director with extensive experience in leading, building and growing companies in the organic certification industry.

Donald is well-recognised in the international organics sector and will bring global networks and perspectives to his new position. . .

 


Rural round-up

18/05/2014

Sheep farming vital, ripe for higher returns:

New Zealand sheep farmers could and should be earning more for their products, a sheep industry advocate has told scientists at AgResearch’s Ruakura campus.

Shifting into a higher earning bracket would result in a more vibrant pastoral sector, Steve Wyn-Harris said.

The Central Hawke’s Bay sheep farmer and columnist was in Hamilton recently as guest speaker at the New Zealand Institute of Agricultural Science’s Waikato branch’s monthly meeting.

He said only 10 per cent of New Zealand sheep farms made a high- earning $650 per hectare farm surplus.

The bulk of the industry had to be shifted into that bracket – “and it can be done”. . .

Money to protect southern water :

Landowners in Southland’s Waihopai and Waikawa catchments will have better access to funding for fencing and planting following a decision by Environment Southland to relax grant criteria.

The Living Streams fund supports landowners in the two catchments by awarding grants to projects that protect or enhance water quality, such as fencing waterways and riparian planting.

Senior programme leader Amy Kirk said the grant was a significant incentive for landowners wanting to put up fencing to protect waterways.

“Keeping stock from accessing waterways is the easiest first step to improve and protect water quality, which is our top priority,” she said. . .

 

Innovation central to farm’s success – Gerard Hutching:

Matt and Lynley Wyeth’s Spring Valley farm east of Masterton lies in the area called Kaituna, roughly translated as “plentiful eel”, appropriately enough for a property that has recently won a top environment award.

The native crayfish, koura, abound in the streams and wetlands dotting the property, testament to the health of the ecosystem. Sons Alex, 9, and Cameron, 6, know the best places to trap the creatures, both having acquired a taste for the freshwater delicacy.

Lying in the foothills of the Tararua Forest Park, Spring Valley can be difficult country to farm. A spring snowfall just around the key time of lambing is always on the cards, while 1800 millimetres of rain makes working the 1000-hectare property a daunting challenge. This compares with an average of 1200mm in Wellington city. . .

Import need will remain – Hugh Stringleman:

THE gap filled by milk powder imports was 20% of consumption last year and it will remain large for the foreseeable future, Rabobank’s China dairy and beverages specialist Sandy Chen says. 

The need would be 10-20% of demand this year, he predicted.

On a speaking tour around New Zealand, Chen said the gap between China’s domestic dairy production and consumption widened dramatically last year, from 5% to 20%.

NZ filled 90% of the increased import demand for milk powder. . .

Large-scale forest for sale near Taumarunui:

A 3000-hectare forest for sale near Taumarunui is one of the largest forestry blocks to be offered on the open market in recent years.

While forestry estates of this scale are often sold privately, Oio Forest is a first rotation forest for sale by tender.

LJ Hooker rural sales agent Warwick Searle said the size and quality of the forest made the sale significant. . .

Battle for New Zealand’s best bacon and ham begins:

Entries are now open for the 100% New Zealand Bacon & Ham Competition and top butchers are encouraging their peers to enter.

From the tastiest rasher to the most succulent slice of ham, the Competition attracts butchers and retailers nationwide who put their craft to the test on Friday 18 July 2014.

The 100% NZ Bacon & Ham Competition celebrates New Zealand’s finest cured pork products and helps customers identify and appreciate homegrown, sustainable bacon and ham. It supports New Zealand’s pig farmers, who raise pork solely for the local market. . . .


Rural round-up

20/04/2014

High-Performing Sheep Operation Wins Greater Wellington Ballance Farm Environment Awards:

Kaituna sheep and beef farmers Matt and Lynley Wyeth are Supreme winners of the 2014 Greater Wellington Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

Judges said the couple’s 800ha (effective) farming operation, Spring Valley Enterprises, was exceptionally well run.

“This is an extremely high performing business with a defined aim to stay in the top 10 percent of equivalent farming operations.”

At a special Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA) ceremony on April 16, Matt and Lynley also collected the Beef+Lamb New Zealand Livestock Award, the Hill Laboratories Harvest Award, the Massey University Innovation Award and the PGG Wrightson Land and Life Award. . .

Getting ready to kill the evil weevil  – Tim Cronshaw

Scientists are nearing the halfway mark of their target of sucking up one million wasps from Canterbury paddocks and sending them to Southland to combat the clover root weevil.

AgResearch teams armed with modified leaf blowers are sucking up weevils infected with an Irish wasp.

After counting their numbers in a laboratory, they are sent down in groups of about 100 to go to as many as 1000 Southland farmers. The wasp is a natural enemy of the weevil, which has attacked Southland clover in pastures and limited sheep, beef and milk production since arriving in 2010.

A mild winter allowed the weevil to take its small foothold on Southland farms to a widespread infestation. . .

Moths, beetles free farm of stock-threatening weed  – Iain Scott:

Once covered in ragwort, a Manawatu farm is now almost free of the stock-threatening weed thanks to the introduction of moths and beetles.

Kiwitea dairy farmer Wayne Bennett credits the cinnabar moth, flea beetle and plume moth for ridding the farm of the yellow-flowered weed that had spread through the farm two years after he bought it.

Ragwort has the ability to compete with pasture species and contains alkaloids that are toxic to stock. A single plant can produce more than 50,000 seeds. . .

Marijuana growers causing ‘level of fear’:

Many people in rural areas are ”living in fear” of drug growers and dealers taking advantage of isolated conditions, Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) executive officer Noeline Holt says.

RWNZ and Federated Farmers New Zealand asked their members for feedback on the Ministry of Health’s New National Drug Policy, which sets out the Government’s approach for tobacco, alcohol, and illegal and other drugs.

Mrs Holt said the main concerns of the almost 400 people who responded were about legal highs, marijuana plantations and methamphetamine manufacturing.

”Some of the most isolated homes and houses can be easily accessed and [drug manufacturers] can discreetly manufacture to their heart’s content. . .

Grape Harvest beats rain

Nelson wineries are relieved the region’s grape harvest has largely finished ahead of prolonged rain.

Nelson Winegrowers Association chairman Richard Flatman said most people he had talked to had managed to get their grapes in.

He described this year’s harvest as perfect, as it had been early and was big on flavour. “It will be fantastic for Nelson,” he said.

Waimea Estates general manager Ben Bolitho said they had been delighted to have all but finished harvest ahead of 10 days forecast rain. . .

 


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