An open letter written by a “latte-sipping” Aucklander has struck a chord with farmers.
Matt Shirtcliffe was compelled to show his support for the farming community after hearing the news six young farmers had lost their lives recently. . .
Farmers need compensation for stock losses caused by Mycoplasma bovis – MP – Andrew Marshall:
Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker says farmers will need to be compensated for any stock losses accrued as a result of the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak.
He said Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor would need to provide “appropriate” compensation for cows culled to contain the disease.
Walker was in Winton visiting concerned farmers after three farms in the area were confirmed to have been infected, and said “cows are the income for farmers.” . .
Just before Christmas, biosecurity investigators discovered an outbreak of a plant pest called Chilean needle grass on a North Canterbury farm. Steps were immediately taken to destroy the infestation which, if left unchecked, could reduce crop yields and cause animal welfare problems.
Its barbed seeds can work their way through animal hides into flesh and bone, leaving young animals in particular weak and vulnerable.
The discovery was the 17th known infestation of the plant invader and an unwelcome reminder that New Zealand’s primary-based economy is particularly vulnerable to pest incursions. . .
Santa fails to deliver drought-braking rain to lower North Island – Gerard Hutching:
Farmers on the west coast of the North Island have missed out on the Christmas present they most wanted – sufficient rain to break the drought gripping their regions.
In Taranaki alone there are up to 800 farms along the coast which have been harshly affected, the chairman of the Taranaki Rural Support Trust, Mike Green says.
A Ministry of Primary Industries spokeswoman said the medium-scale adverse event for the lower North Island declared by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor last week remained in force, despite the sprinkling of rain in the last few days. . .
These golden bananas could save the lives of many children in Uganda – Jonathan O’Callaghan:
Scientists have developed a new type of banana that could help the many children in Uganda who have a pro-vitamin A deficiency.
The so-called “golden bananas”, named for their appearance, were developed by a team from the Queensland University of Technology in Australia, led by Professor James Dale. The findings have been published in the Plant Biotechnology Journal.
It’s hoped that by 2021, Ugandan farmers will be growing bananas rich in pro-vitamin A. About $10 million was supplied by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the research. . .
Select Harvest’s high hopes as new markets go nuts for almonds – Andrew Marshall:
The market prospects look, literally, very healthy but Australia’s biggest almond business has become more than a little gun-shy about over-anticipating its fortunes in the year ahead.
The nut harvest on about 4900 hectares of orchards in Victoria, South Australia and NSW is less than two months away, but after shock yield setbacks caused by unusually rainy, mild weather last summer and spring, nut grower, processor and marketer, Select Harvests, is not making rash promises. . .