Rural round-up

December 8, 2012

Fifty Four Farmers Complete 2012 Environmental Leadership Programme:

Another group of farming leaders is ready to spread the sustainability message, following the successful conclusion of the 2012 Building Dairy Environment Leaders Forum in Southland.

An initiative of the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust and DairyNZ, the annual forum enhances leadership qualities by giving top dairy farmers access to leading environmental and business leaders.

The 2012 event was held in Invercargill from November 27 to 29.

Forum chairman and Putaruru dairy farmer Martin Bennett said the 54 farmers participating shared their thoughts on how the dairy industry shapes its response to sustainability challenges. . .

WRONZ leader proud of legacy :

Injecting funds into research, without eroding the capital remaining after the winding up of the Wool Board, is something retiring Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand chairman David Douglas is proud of.

The North Otago farmer, who is stepping down after eight years as a director and five years as chairman of WRONZ, is one of three farmer representatives on the industry body that oversees post-farm gate wool research.

Capital had been built up from $28 million to $32 million and all research funding commitments had been met, Mr Douglas said.

A key achievement during his term had been the formation of the Wool Consortium in 2010. . .

Collaborative approach vital – Sally Rae:

Farmers intuitively know which are their best and poorest-performing paddocks.

The Pasture Renewal Charitable Trust is encouraging them to do something about the difference, citing the potential to significantly increase farm-gate returns, improve animal health and allow greater flexibility in farming systems.

The trust, an independent entity working to increase the rate of pasture renewal in New Zealand, comprises 14 agribusiness companies who sponsor key activities. . .

Meat industry’s high debt levels must concern banks – Allan Barber:

The levels of debt carried by at least some of the major meat companies must be causing concern to the bank syndicates that are providing external working capital to fund their operations. In total the big three have bank debts of a minimum of nearly $750 million.

 Silver Fern Farms is operating on a three month extension to its bank facility which expired at the end of September, but reported current (expiring within 12 months) loans of $316.7 million at the end of its 2012 financial year. In its last published annual accounts to September 2011, ANZCO had current and non-current loans of $220 million which must surely have increased in the very challenging 2012 year. Lastly at the end of September Alliance had $331.8 million of assets and non-current loans of $196.1 million which are clearly not causing any immediate concern. . .

Glamming Up For The Competition

The competition is heating up for the 2013 Beef + Lamb New Zealand Golden Lamb Awards, aka the Glammies.

More than 100 entries from across the country will be competing next year for the Grand Champion title.

The competition, sponsored by Pfizer Animal Genetics, which aims to find New Zealand’s most tender and tasty lamb is entering its seventh year and sees farmers from across the country vying for the Grand Champion title. . .

And from the Peterson Farm Brothers who brought the world We’re Farming and We Grow it: (Hat tip: PM of NZ)

 


Rural round-up

November 27, 2012

Hardy annual a cut above the rest – Peter Watson:

Tim McKergow isn’t getting much sleep at present.

He’s in the middle of the paeony harvest, a six-week sprint to pick and pack the prized flowers for export to the United States and Asia.

It means long days for his seven staff and even longer days for him deciding which flowers to send where for the best return and filling in an “awful lot of paperwork” to get them there.

The top out-of-season blooms sell for $US30 ($NZ36.37) a stem in upmarket Manhattan florists in New York, although by the time everyone else takes their cut he will only get about $2. . .

Rustlers caught in the act by Bay of Plenty farmer:

Federated Farmers is warning rustlers and poachers that eyes in the rural community are wide open for suspicious activity. Something rammed home to poachers after they were caught in the Bay of Plenty.

“Perhaps the big lesson I learned, is not to leave your mobile phone on the kitchen table,” says Rick Powdrell, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre chairperson.

“As the matter is before the courts I cannot go into the precise details. That said, I was working late on the farm and spotted someone jumping the fence. You can say that got my attention. . .

Grasshopper Rock Central Otago Pinot Noir takes top spot at Air New Zealand Wine Awards:

A Central Otago Pinot Noir has won top honours at this year’s Air New Zealand Wine Awards.

The Grasshopper Rock Central Otago Earnscleugh Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010 was awarded the Air New Zealand Champion Wine of the Show Trophy at a gala dinner in Wellington on Saturday.

This marks the first ever win at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards for the Central Otago wine producer with judges describing the winning wine as “complex, round and rich”. The wine also won the JF Hillebrand New Zealand Ltd Champion Pinot Noir Trophy. Grasshopper Rock’s vineyard is situated in the southern-most latitude of the winegrowing areas in Central Otago. The five shareholding families of Grasshopper Rock originally met through a common interest in agriculture, with four members involved in rural banking. . .

Southland Hosts Environmental Leadership Forum for Dairy Farmers:

Taking a common sense approach to sustainable dairying is the theme of a sustainability forum for award-winning dairy farmers being held in Invercargill next week.

Forum chair, past-participant and Putaruru dairy farmer Martin Bennett says 54 participants at the Building Environmental Leaders Network Forum will be asked to share their thoughts on how the dairy industry shapes its response to sustainability challenges. . .

Biotech firm gets $2m boost – Hamish Rutherford:

Wellington angel investor Movac is pumping $2 million into Kahne, a biotechnology company trialling wireless devices placed inside dairy cows to provide farmers with health and fertility data.

Founded by Gisborne farmer Michael Eivers in 2002, Kahne was run on a shoestring before hiring former American investment banker Susanne Clay as its first fulltime chief executive last year.

Kahne has about 500 of its wireless rumen and vaginal sensors implanted in dairy cows and is conducting field trials, with the technology expected to launch commercially in about six months. . .

Villa Maria Estate captures big prize at NZI National Sustainable Business Network awards:

Auckland’s Villa Maria Estate has been named Sustainable Business of the Year at the NZI National Sustainable Business Network Awards announced last night (22 November).

The awards, which are now in their ninth year, are the pre-eminent sustainability awards in New Zealand. They recognise leaders in social innovation and businesses that are championing sustainability and new sustainable market solutions. The awards celebrate savvy organisations that are reshaping their business models for a more sustainable New Zealand. . .

And from Smile Project:


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