Rural round-up

August 27, 2012

Smartphone app for smart farmers:

A new Farmhelp app provides practical farming instructions at the touch of a smartphone button, anywhere on a property, any time.

The idea is to deliver instant, practical, time and money-saving information for daily farming situations when it’s needed most – like way out in the back paddock.

“It’s a pocket prompt, accessed easily by smartphones,” says Richard Brown, Baletwine Ltd owner and Farmhelp product developer, in launching the product this week. . .

NZ records July trade surplus of $15 million as dairy shipments to China drive exports

New Zealand recorded a small trade surplus in July, with shipments of dairy products to China making up for weaker exports to Australia, Indonesia and India.

The surplus was $15 million last month, down from a revised $287 million in the previous month, according to Statistics New Zealand. Exports slipped to $4.03 billion from $4.18 billion, while imports gained to $3.99 billion from $3.89 billion.

The annual deficit was $853 million, or 1.8 percent of exports. Economists had forecast a monthly surplus of $33 million and an annual gap of $820 million, according to a Reuters survey. . .

Basmati rice provides fascinating commodity comparison – Allan Barber:

For some strange reason I recently received a research report from India on the Basmati rice industry. But never having previously thought of the rice industry’s dynamics – financial, production or marketing – I found it fascinating reading. I hope some of my readers will share my excitement.

Basmati occupies a small premium niche within the global rice industry, representing 1.5% of total volume, but 2.1% of value. It can only be sold under the Basmati name (or appellation) if it has been grown in designated parts of India and Pakistan, the Indo-Gangetic area of the Himalayas. India produces 72% and Pakistan 28% of total Basmati production. . .

Ballance Farm Business Writing Award entries open

Ballance is encouraging journalists to showcase their work with a new award aimed at heightening awareness of the complexities of running farm businesses.

The Ballance Agri-Nutrients Farm Business Writing Award was created this year as part of the New Zealand Guild of Agricultural Journalists Awards.

It was developed to encourage journalists to understand more about the business of running farms and to share what they learn. . .

Wairarapa man wins national Young Viticulture competition

For the first time in the competition’s seven year history, a Wairarapa viticulturist has been named the 2012 Markhams Young Viticulturist of the Year.

Braden Crosby (30) from Borthwick Estate in Carterton took the title at the competition, which was held over two days as part of the Romeo Bragato conference. . .

Gibbston Valley Winery Hosts Grand Vertical Tasting:

Some of Central Otago’s oldest and rarest wines are to be collected from the Gibbston Valley Wine library and dusted off for an historic wine tasting.

Legendary wine vignerons Alan Brady and Grant Taylor will join current Gibbston Valley winemaker Christopher Keys on Saturday September 1 to co-host a ‘Gibbston Valley Pinot Noir Grand Vertical Tasting’ at Queenstown Resort College. . .

Grand Jury Européen Rates Lowburn Ferry Amongst Top Pinot Noirs in the World:

The inaugural reserve pinot noir from boutique Central Otago producer Lowburn Ferry has received an outstanding ovation from a panel of international tasters known as the Grand Jury Européen (GJE).

14 GJE tasters recently held a special session in Paris about the styles of various pinots noirs coming from various countries in the world : France, Italy, Switzerland, New Zealand, USA, Argentina, and Germany. Invited producers were asked to provide a wine representing a vintage between 2000 and 2010. . .

And a new (to me) rural blog: Milking on the Moove.


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