Rural round-up

January 24, 2013

Govt expects money back from irrigation investment – Marie McNicholas:

A promise of $400 million for direct taxpayer-stakes in new regional irrigation schemes comes with a crucial caveat: the Government expects to get its money back.

It has decided to spend the first $80 million setting up a new Crown company to provide bridging finance for irrigation projects to encourage hesitant private investors to take the plunge.

It is the first tranche from the $400 million pool the National-led Government had already earmarked for taking equity stakes in new irrigation infrastructure. . .

Budget boost to irrigation funding welcomed as ‘circuit breaker’:

 “New Zealand is extraordinarily water rich, but we only capture and use about two per cent of annual water runoff, which is absolutely miniscule by international standards,” Water New Zealand Chief Executive, Murray Gibb said in welcoming the decision announced today by outgoing Primary Industries Minister, David Carter. He said Government would earmark $80 million to fund irrigation schemes in the 2013 Budget.

 “Large scale off-farm harvesting, storage and distribution water infrastructure for irrigation comes with a hefty price tag. The funding announced today is likely to be a deal maker, bringing planned schemes to fruition. This has to be good news for the New Zealand economy Murray Gibb says. . .

DairyNZ supports Government irrigation funding decision:

DairyNZ has welcomed the Government’s decision to support regional-scale water infrastructure which will ultimately speed up the delivery of irrigation schemes.

The Government announced today that it will create a company to act as a bridging investor for regional water infrastructure. In addition, $80 million will be set aside in the 2013 budget for water infrastructure projects.

DairyNZ Chairman, John Luxton, says the decision bodes well for the future of dairy farming and its contribution to the economy.

“The dairy industry is committed to sustainable use of water and will be releasing a new Sustainable Dairying Water Accord as well as a wider sustainable farming strategy. But, for continued development of the industry, we need to have confidence that the necessary big regional investments will happen.” . . .

Fonterra Welcomes Irrigation Investment Commitment:

Fonterra Co-operative Group has welcomed today’s announcement by the Primary Industries Minister, David Carter confirming an $80m investment in this year’s Budget for irrigation and water storage infrastructure.

Managing Director Co-operative Affairs, Todd Muller, said the investment announcement, coupled with the establishment of a Crown vehicle to co-invest in water schemes, was an important step towards boosting agricultural productivity and exports.

“Water is fundamental to dairying and agricultural productivity. Enabling a mix of public and private funding will give investors the necessary confidence to push ahead with schemes at the regional level.

“We will see benefits flow through in increased production and export earnings and we will also see the environmental benefits which will come from improved water flows. . .

Put farm safety first this summer:

The first occupational agricultural death in 2013 has the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and Federated Farmers asking farmers to put safety first in 2013 to bring down the farm toll.

“Five people died doing agricultural work last summer,” says Ona de Rooy, the Ministry’s General Manager Health and Safety Operations.

“As summer is a busy time on the farm it is vital to make safety a top priority.”

“Long hours of work in the heat and sun can lead to fatigue, impair judgement and increase the likelihood of an accident taking place,” Ms de Rooy says. . .

Comvita buys Aussie groves to expand olive extract output:

Comvita, which uses produces health products from manuka honey and olive leaves, has bought an 85 hectare organic olive estate with potential to expand its production of olive leaf extracts by 130 percent over the next five years.

The price paid for Organic Olives (Aust) by Comvita’s Australian subsidiary is undisclosed. The estate comprises some 7,000 certified organic olive trees, with room for further plantings, and is in Coominya, on the shores of Lake Wivenhoe in south-eastern Queensland . . .


Rural round up

January 10, 2011

Gorse – Progressive Turmoil wants to put the pest in the shade:

A few hours of hard physical work sometimes provokes new ideas & different perspectives. So it was for me this morning, on the subject of gorse, NZ’s most serious weed. We are trying to clear gorse from some fairly steep hillsides and I was cutting it with a hand-held petrol-powered machine.

We normally think of gorse as a problem to be controlled, cleared from the land. Its a regulatory view of the plant: we want it gone. . .

Sheep breeder passionate about industry – Neal Wallace writes:

Four generations of Robertsons have sold Romney rams under the Merrydowns prefix, and the latest is as enthusiastic about the future of sheep as the first.

Blair Robertson and his wife Sally are now the masters of the Waikoikoi-based stud, which was started in 1937 by Blair’s great grandfather David Robertson and was subsequently run by the legendary D. H. Robertson and then Blair’s father, Graham. . .

Milk co-op delivers says Fonterra chairman – Hugh Stringleman writes in NZ Farmers Weekly:

In 10 years Fonterra has delivered more for New Zealand than first anticipated, according to chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden.

“Our NZIER study released before Christmas shows dairying provides 26% of NZ’s total goods exports,” van der Heyden, one of two remaining foundation directors, said.

“The opportunities looking forward are for a much greater contribution from the growth in dairy consumption in places like China, Indonesia and India.

“These opportunities are much bigger than anyone anticipated 10 or 12 years ago,” he said. . .

Rural recycling gains interest – TV3 reports:

 An agricultural recycling programme has had a sudden surge of interest from farmers across the country.

Interest in the programme is being welcomed by the Government, which aims to reduce New Zealand’s agricultural waste by a third. . .

Govt tightens foreign investment rules – Marie McNicholas in NZ Farmers Weekly:

Finance Minister Bill English says the new test of more than 10 times the average farm size set last month for foreigners wanting to buy land is not a cap and there is still ministerial discretion to approve bigger sales if other tests are met under the overseas investment rules, or conversely, to refuse smaller-scale applications.


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