If it’s hotter or cooler we need to store water – Bruce Wills:
Since it’s healthy to push yourself each New Year I like to start with a brand new experience. For me, that was filing a farming music video for Young Country magazine. A video set to music may be a unique way to tell my story to younger farmers but it was fun doing it at a busy time on-farm. Admittedly, I do not think NZ on Air funding will be in the mail.
This year means I am in my final seven months as the President of Federated Farmers and I genuinely hope this column will continue with my successor. That person will be elected in early July, after Federated Farmers provinces and industry groups assemble in Palmerston North for our National Conference.
Looking back, 2011 seems a world away when I undertook my first political interview on TV One’s Q+A. It was with Massey University’s Dr Mike Joy and was hosted by the late Sir Paul Holmes. The subject was water quality and our dairy industry and in the minds of some people that has not changed. The perception of what we do is yet to catch up to the realities of modern farming.
When you’ve got older farmers, the sort that the Topp Twins satirise so well, actively swapping notes on riparian plantings then you know there’s been a shift in culture. . .
Water storage becomes vital in changing climate – James Houghton:
Now most of you will be back from a well-rested break, having indulged yourselves silly and feeling a little guilty perhaps? Well just thought you might like to know, like most farmers, I have been kept busy as farming is a 365-day-a-year job. Thankfully, summer has been kind to us so far and the ever-increasing threat of drought has been kept at bay.
Looking to the year ahead, I am hoping we will see an improvement in people and organisations being accountable for their actions and learning from their mistakes. Last year, we saw some disappointing performances in the biosecurity area and animal welfare. We also seem to be struggling with the ever-increasing reality that we need a reliable source of water to maintain a sustainable primary industry and our economic independence. When corporates make a mistake, they need to do what is right and not solely focus on the dollar.
My hope is that we learn from past experiences and make changes for the better. If we don’t, how are we meant to protect ourselves from risk or make progress and develop ourselves? The climate and water debates paint this picture well, time and time again. . .
‘Milk price outlook, the unforeseen risk of the US’ – Lisa Deeney:
“The huge increase in supplies of natural gas and oil in the US and Canada will probably pose a strong risk to future Irish milk price by enabling US milk producers to be competitive at lower prices than before.”
This is according to Cork-based dairy farmer and businessman Mike Murphy, who has interests in America, New Zealand and Chile, and an organiser of Positive Farmers’ dairy conference taking place in Clonmel, Tipperary today.
“Be aware to this risk. Farmers who borrow heavily based on current milk price may be in for a very rough time. Be a little conservative on milk price forecasts,” he cautioned to the packed attendance of more than 475 people. . .
Fonterra’s decision to recall 8,700 bottles of potentially E.coli-contaminated fresh cream proves only that the cooperative’s “quality assurance system works,” New Zealand dairy farmer representative, Federated Farmers, has claimed. . .
Not all fats are created equal, and work by AgResearch is looking into how this knowledge can help reduce lamb deaths.
In good conditions mortality of twins and triplets is below 10% and 20% respectively, but in poor weather conditions it can be much more. Many of these deaths occur in the first three days of life, often because the lamb is unable to generate enough body heat to keep warm during periods of extreme weather.
Immediately after birth and until they get a feed, lambs have only one main way to regulate and maintain their body temperature: burn ‘brown fat’ to generate heat. . .
Irrigation scheme gets chief -Marta Steeman:
The company developing the $400 million Hurunui irrigation scheme has appointed a permanent chief executive to steer the company through the nitty gritty of design and development.
Hurunui Water Project Limited announced this week Alex Adams would take the helm on March 10.
The appointment follows the company being awarded its most critical consent – permission to take water from the Waitohi River – in August last year.
Hurunui Water Project proposes to develop four water storage dams on the Waitohi River to irrigate just under 60,000 hectares. . .
WCB slams MG’s ‘super co-op’ plan – Jared Lynch:
WARRNAMBOOL Cheese and Butter (WCB) has attacked Murray Goulburn’s takeover bid, saying any further consolidation of Australia’s dairy industry will hurt exports.
Murray Goulburn, Australia’s biggest dairy company, has argued that if it acquired WCB it would create a ”super co-operative”, giving Australia the scale necessary to compete globally.
But in a submission to the Australian Competition Tribunal (ACT), WCB dismissed that claim.
”There is a risk that further consolidation of Australian dairy exporting companies could have a negative effect on Australian dairy exports,” WCB said. . . .
LePage signs bill to label genetically modified food – Steve Mistler:
Gov. Paul LePage has signed a bill that would require food producers to label foods that contain genetically modified ingredients. The law makes Maine the second state in the country to pass such a measure. However, other states must adopt similar legislation before Maine’s labeling provision goes into effect.
The governor promised last year to sign the bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Lance Harvell, R-Farmington. His signature is symbolic because legislative rules don’t allow the law to go into effect until the Legislature adjourns later this year. However, supporters of the bill hailed the law’s eventual passage as a victory for advocates of laws mandating the labeling of genetically modified foods. Such proposals have been introduced in nearly 30 states as part of a national effort to compel Congress to enact a comprehensive labeling law. . .