Rural round-up

September 21, 2015

Welcome boost to rural mental health:

New funding from the Government to help rural communities deal with an acute mental health situation is welcome, says Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa NZ (RHANZ) chairperson Dr Jo Scott-Jones.

But the problems are longstanding and go beyond the pressures of a low dairy payout, he says. 

Increased training measures are part of a one-off $500,000 funding boost for mental health initiatives targeted at rural communities, announced by the ministers of health and primary industries. . . 

Let’s break the silence – Matt Linnegar:

I WOULD not be the first nor last person to be astounded by the recent spate of attacks against women in this country. That men, often husbands and fathers could exact such terrible damage or in some cases kill their partners, wives or daughters is beyond comprehension and sickens me to the core.

The latest sad episode splashed across this week’s media forced me to set aside my cup of tea and say “well what are you doing about it”?

It goes without saying that I do not accept any form of violence against women be they my wife, daughter, mum, sisters or anyone else. I have at times spoken out when I have seen evidence of some form of violence against women taking place and in one incident, had to use physical restraint while intervening. But I am also guilty of swallowing the words that should have been uttered – no, loudly declared – at other times.

So a silent declaration to self this morning – never again.

While such a declaration is a very personal one, broadly speaking we can only have an impact if everyone (or the vast majority of people – in particular men) do the same. While this goes for all Australians, I would like to pay particular attention to rural, regional and remote Australia. In terms of my work at the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, this is where our focus lies. We have a network of over 1000 leaders – men and women – across the country and primarily in rural, regional and remote communities. . . 

Farmers at breaking point after thefts, rustling rise – Phillipa Yalden:

Rising rates of rustling and farm thefts are pushing farmers to breaking point but police urge farmers not to take matters into their own hands. 

Dead cows have been stripped and lambs left orphaned in a spate of rustling and poaching from Waikato farms. 

Farmers are fed up with not only the thefts of stock, but prized equipment in what police say is a seasonal rise in rural crime.  . . 

Cost-cutting to outlast downturn – Glenys Christian:

Almost half of Waikato dairy farmers will keep cutting milk production costs even when returns lift, a field day survey has found.

Improving the cost of production this season was a priority for 60% while 23% were targeting an increase in pasture growth.

Just 8% said they would reduce the cost of supplements while none intended to increase stock sales.

A further 8% voted for other strategies, such as increasing off-farm income by letting their bach. . .

Mackenzie Basin farmers feel tenure review and nutrient rules have shut down land options – Tim Fulton:

Tenure review has given Mackenzie Basin farmers freehold land which they can’t fully develop because of nutrient management rules, says Simon’s Pass farmer Martin Murray.

He and his wife Penny have waited 17 years for permission to irrigate 500ha of Maryburn Station, their property in the middle of the Mackenzie Basin. To get a breakthrough, the owners needed to settle with “all the objectors” including the Mackenzie Guardians group.

Fighting for resource consent to irrigate had been expensive. Maryburn Station had spent $400,000 in legal and regulatory fees over the years, Martin Murray said. . . 

Future agri-leaders finalise UN declaration:

Young agriculture leaders from across the world have created a global call for action to help solve the pressing issues facing agriculture and food security.

In August 100 young thought leaders, aged 18-25, from 33 nations met in Canberra as part of the Youth-Ag Summit, where they discussed the role science and modern agriculture play in feeding a hungry planet.

During the week, the delegates voted on which themes they felt were most important, those with the overall highest priority formed the basis of the Canberra Youth Ag-Declaration. . . 

A Norfolk farmer has put 185 tractors up for sale:

Proud master of all he surveys, Norfolk farmer Paul Rackham takes us to Shed 9. From the outside, Shed 9 looks like just another grain store.

Inside it’s different. Inside, Shed 9, of Camp Farm, Roudham, near Thetford, is a cornucopia of tractor delights.

Filling nearly all its 55,000 square feet, tractors – veteran, vintage and classic – stretch as far as the eye can see.

There is a 1916 Saunderson Universal G, a 1941 Fordson N with row-crop conversion, a 1925 British Wallis (flat bonnet version!) . . .


Rural round-up

June 19, 2013

Exporter confidence is up – innovation and online offset strong dollar:

•59% of exporters confident about next 12 months orders
•Currency number 1 challenge
•Australia and China biggest opportunity and threat
•Online the key to export future

New Zealand exporter confidence is up despite the strong kiwi dollar, as exporters focus on factors they can control and deploy strategies ranging from importing to focusing on the online environment.

The ninth annual DHL Export Barometer survey found that 59% of New Zealand exporters are confident that export orders will increase in the next 12 months. This is an increase from last year where confidence was at an all-time low (51%) in the history of the survey. . .

Chase opportunities primary sector  urged– Gerald Piddock:

New Zealand businesses need to better harvest free-trade opportunities if the aim of doubling overseas trade by 2025 is to be achieved, a National Fieldays seminar has been told.

An obvious place to focus on that increase was the primary sector because more than half of New Zealand’s exports came from the sector, said a panel of experts at an international markets seminar.

The Government’s aim is for New Zealand to lift export earnings from 30 per cent to 40 per cent of GDP by 2025. That would double New Zealand’s total export value from $60 billion to $120b.

It would require sustained above-trend growth in the primary sector to achieve that, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Mark Trainor said. . .

Passing on of family farms to be researched – Tim Cronshaw:

Handing over the family farm can bring out the worst in people, but it’s hoped the results of a new survey will help the process go more smoothly.

Lincoln University is about to survey 2500 farmers about ways they use to pass on farms to family.

This is part of research into succession planning by Dr Kevin Old and Dr Peter Nuthall from the university’s commerce faculty.

Old said most families looked for a fair and equitable way to hand over the family farm for all members including the exiting owners, but this could sometimes go astray. . .

Irrigation projects head Wills’ wishlist –  Tim Cronshaw:

Water will need to play a big part if the Government’s plan to double agriculture’s value to $60 billion by 2025 is to be successful, Federated Farmers president Bruce Wills says.

New Zealand had plenty of water, but in many areas there was not enough water at the right time of the year. To solve this the building of water storage facilities must be encouraged, he said.

“If farmers are going to meet the Government’s growth agenda of doubling agricultural receipts by 2025 from $30b to $60b then water must form an integral part of this success,” said Wills at National Fieldays at Mystery Creek. . .

ANZ chief –  farmers in line for China boom – Lisa Murray:

NZ Banking Group chief executive Mike Smith says China is about to do for Australian farmers what it did for the country’s miners a decade ago.

But he also added his voice to a building chorus of calls for Australia to follow New Zealand’s lead and sign a free trade agreement with China to make the most of the growing demand for agricultural goods.

While everyone is talking about the end of the minerals boom – something he disagrees with – Smith said insufficient attention had been paid to the potential surge in Chinese demand for soft commodities, such as grain and meat. . .

Farming champions meet minister – Jessica Hayes:

MEMBERS of the Farming Champions movement met with Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston last week to discuss the challenges facing the agricultural industry.

Kukerin farmer Mary Nenke, Varley farmer and former CWA president Margaret Sullivan and communications adviser Cate Rocchi, provided the minister with a perspective on the current shape of the agricultural industry.

All three women were heavily involved with the movement through the recent ‘Farmer on Your Plate – Getting Agriculture Back on the Political menu’ held in the Perth CBD earlier this year and the renowned Facebook group ‘Alarming Farming’. . .

 

 


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