Rural round-up

03/06/2015

At Mt Mable what you see is what you get– Kate Taylor:

A PASSION for bloodlines and pedigrees is evident when talking with Norsewood angus breeders Kevin and Megan Friel.

Mt Mable Angus Stud was established at Ohura, west of Taumarunui, almost 50 years ago by Kevin’s parents Allen and Maisie Friel, with the majority of foundation stock acquired from the Puketutu Stud.

On-farm sales started in 1986. Kevin and Megan took over in 1997 and moved the stud to the 880ha Pukerimu Station at Norsewood, north of Dannevirke, in 2008. . .

BERL projects calf feeding could give dairy economy a $340m GDP boost:

Economic benefits worth up to $340m in GDP could accrue from an innovative new science-based and internationally peer-reviewed calf nutritional programme if adopted by 10% of the national herd, new research shows.

Economic research firm BERL has analysed the results from a seven-year ongoing longitudinal study conducted by Massey University (the first research of its kind in New Zealand) into the efficacy of the Queen of Calves feed supplement programme, which uses marine and land plant extracts to enhance the nutritional value of the milk fed to calves. . .

Applications Open for Fonterra Farmers to Lock in Guaranteed Milk Price:

Following last week’s announcement of the 2015/16 forecast Farmgate Milk Price, applications are now open for Fonterra farmers to lock in a Guaranteed Milk Price (GMP) for a percentage of their milk.

There are two opportunities in the 2015/16 season to secure a GMP on 60 million kgMS – up to 40 million kgMS is available in June, and up to 20 million kgMS will be available in December. Farmers who are looking for a GMP can now apply to supply some of their estimated milk production across one or more of five prices ($5.25, $5.15, $5.05, $4.95, and $4.85) at and below the 2015/16 forecast Farmgate Milk Price. . .

Southern Dairy Hub Gets Green Light:

The Southern Dairy Hub has the approval needed to proceed from its industry partners, DairyNZ and AgResearch.

Southern Dairy Development Trust Chair Matthew Richards says the Trust presented the results of its fundraising efforts to the Board of Directors of DairyNZ and AgResearch this month, and sought their approval and financial backing.

The Trust received 516 farmer pledges, with funds committed totalling $1.3 million. It had targeted $2 million in farmer pledges towards the proposal but the support from a majority of southern dairy farmers was a key determining factor in both Boards’ decision for the Hub to go ahead. . .

NZX dairy derivatives have record month in May as uncertainty, liquidity drive demand – Tina Morrison:

(BusinessDesk) – NZX had a record trading month for dairy derivatives in May, as increased liquidity and uncertainty around dairy prices stoked demand for options.

The NZX Global Dairy Derivatives market traded 18,225 lots across futures and options in May, beating the previous record of 14,723 in August last year. Some 65 percent of the May trades were in options, compared with just 15 percent in August. . .

Briefing on the New Zealand Dryland Forests Initiative:

The committee commends the work of the New Zealand Dryland Forests Initiative. NZDFI is a research and development project working to develop ground-durable eucalypt species suited to New Zealand’s dryland regions.

On Thursday the committee heard from representatives of NZDFI including its founder Paul Millen, and Chairman, Shaf van Ballekom. The vision of NZDFI is for New Zealand to be home to a multimillion dollar sustainable hardwood industry based on 100,000 hectares of eucalypt forests, by 2050. . .

Mid-Canterbury Rural Business Network focuses on turning obstacles into opportunities:

Rural business professionals in Mid-Canterbury will have an opportunity to develop their businesses and strengthen their networks with the second Mid-Canterbury Business Network event for 2015. Mid-Canterbury will host its second event for the year on 9 June at the Hotel Ashburton, Ashburton.

The Rural Business Network provides an opportunity for rural-based business people to participate in events that will help them grow their businesses through networking and learning from others. RBN aims to connect innovative, motivated people from across the range of primary industry sectors with successful, experienced businessmen and women creating opportunities to share ideas, be inspired and learn by example. . .


Rural round-up

21/05/2015

Extra support for drought affected North Canterbury:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has met with drought-affected farmers in Cheviot, North Canterbury today and says they’re still feeling the impacts of drought.

“North Canterbury – and the Cheviot area in particular – has missed most of the recent rainfall, and continues to face severe drought conditions,” says Mr Guy.

“Because of this, an additional $20,000 is being allocated to the North Canterbury Rural Support Trust. This will help them with more intensive activities, including individual visits and community events. . .

Livestock moved out of Canterbury drought – Hamish Clark:

Farmers have shipped tens of thousands of sheep and cattle out of north Canterbury and hundreds of tonnes of feed in as the drought there deepens.

The worst-hit area is around Cheviot, which is north of Christchurch, and the locals are desperate for rain.

The ewes are sniffing and searching the parched earth for a single blade of green grass, but there is none.

Cheviot farmer and local Chris Jefferies says farmers in the area are really struggling. . .

Supreme winners open their gates:

Environmental farm award winners for the Horizons Region opened their gates and shared their secrets with other farmers last week.

William Akers, Laura Oughton, Hugh and Judy Akers from Broadlands Station in Ashhurst were announced as the 2015 Ballance Farm Environment Awards supreme winners in March. As part of winning the award, recipients are asked to host other farmers on farm in order to share ideas and inspire others.

Horizons Regional Council environmental manager for land Grant Cooper was on the judging panel for the final round and says Broadlands is a straightforward, efficiently run station. . .

Ministers request report on dairy competition:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Goldsmith announced today they will request a report on the state of competition in New Zealand’s dairy industry from the Commerce Commission.

The report is required under the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act, which allowed for the merger of our largest dairy co-operatives to form Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited.

The DIRA contains provisions to ensure contestability in New Zealand’s farm gate and factory gate markets. These provisions are intended to expire when there is workable competition in the domestic dairy market. . .

$5m new funding for forestry research partnership:

The Government will invest $5 million over seven years in a research partnership to increase the competitiveness of the forestry sector, Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce announced today.

“Forestry is New Zealand’s third largest export earner – behind dairy and meat, contributing around $5 billion to our exports. This investment aims to strengthen the ties between research organisations and the industry to produce excellent research driven by industry needs,” says Mr Joyce.

The new partnership is led by Future Forests Research, an industry-operated entity, in collaboration with Scion, the University of Canterbury, and the NZ Dryland Forests Initiative. . .

NZ export log prices hit 3-year low; may start picking up as demand improves – Tina Morrison:

(BusinessDesk) – New Zealand export log prices, which fell to a three-year low this month, may start to pick up as demand improves in China, the country’s largest market.

The average wharf gate price for New Zealand A-grade logs fell to $83 a tonne in May, from $94 a tonne in April, marking the lowest price since May 2012, according to AgriHQ’s monthly survey of exporters, forest owners and sawmillers. The AgriHQ Log Price Indicator, which measures average log prices weighted by grade, dropped to 88.40 from 93.29 in April.

The price for New Zealand A-grade logs delivered to China fell to US$99/JAS from US$111/JAS last month, the lowest level since AgriHQ started collecting the data in 2012. . .

Southern Dairy Hub Case to Be Presented:

Trustees of the Southern Dairy Development Trust are very pleased with the support received for the Southern Dairy Hub, with 516 farmers and businesses pledging $1.306 million in support.

“It’s an absolutely fantastic result and a huge endorsement for the Hub project,” Chair Matthew Richards says. “We are grateful and thankful for the support from our community and are confident we will get a good hearing in front of our industry partners, DairyNZ and AgResearch.”

Mr Richards says the official numbers includes postal pledges that arrived following the April 30 pledge deadline and takes the result to 55% of farmers between Dunedin and Bluff as having pledged their financial support. . .

Rural Business Network Launches Free Mentoring Initiative:

Rural Business Network (RBN) in partnership with Business Mentors New Zealand (BMNZ) has launched a new initiative offering mentoring support to rural businesses throughout New Zealand. The project is called ‘Rural Mentor’ and will provide a tool to enhance on-farm profitability and enable access to skills and knowledge that isn’t commonly known to be available.

The new Rural Mentor initiative sees the BMNZ registration fee waived for a limited number of NZYF and Rural Business Network members

Daile Jones, National Rural Business Network Coordinator says `Farmers in the sheep, beef or dairy sector operating their own business or farm managers that want a fresh perspective, will be matched with a business professional who can offer confidential advice, assistance and support that will help overcome business challenges, set new goals and achieve success. There’s no lack of knowledge out there, just a shortage of knowing what information is available.” . . .

Call OSPRI if you’re moving this Gypsy Day:

Don’t put your livelihood at risk when moving or selling stock over the Gypsy Day period; make sure you call OSPRI to update your NAIT and TBfree details and record all animal movements.

“This will help protect New Zealand’s reputation as a producer of high quality, safe food and maintain access to valuable international markets,” said Dr Stu Hutchings, OSPRI Group Manager.

Up to date NAIT data allows farmers to get back to business sooner in the event of a biosecurity incursion or food safety concern and is already being used to contain existing animal diseases like bovine tuberculosis (TB). . .


Rural round-up

07/07/2014

From southern farmer to Featherston Street – Gerard Hutching:

One senses Conor English is not the sentimental sort. And yet he confesses to “just about crying” the day he sold a John Deere 1075 Hydro 4 header.

No coincidence, then, that the outgoing Federated Farmers chief executive has a desk littered with models of Massey Ferguson and JD farm machinery.

And although it is about 20 years since he worked fulltime on a farm, he can still wax lyrical over a Massey 188 or a JD 44-40 cropping tractor. Today’s machines, however, are “like 747s” compared to the tractors of yesteryear.

So English knows his way around a farm. Until he arrived in Wellington in the early 1990s, he was in a partnership in Dipton, Southland, near the family farm. . .

Young farmer of the year betters dad’s efforts – Tony Benny:

The winner of the ANZ Young Farmer Contest 2014 grand final David Kidd made history by being the first winner to come from the Northern region in the competition’s 46 year history.

Kidd topped his father Richard’s achievement of coming third in the 1984 final and confessed he’d likely give dad some cheek about their respective finishes.

”Let’s set this as the benchmark for the northern region’s competitor and let’s start a dynasty of northern region chalking up some bolds on the back of that Grand Final programme,” Kidd said after the televised final in Christchurch’s SBS Arena.

With the other six regional finalists Kidd spent Thursday and Friday competing on and off the farm. They had to make a market innovation presentation, sit a written exam, be interviewed, face an HR challenge and give a speech. On-farm competition included hanging gates, cutting up a lamb carcass, welding and splitting firewood. . .

Shearing marathon for cancer – Sally Rae:

Shearing has always been a hobby for Tarras stock manager Cole Wells – but now he had decided to take it one giant step further.

Next year, Mr Wells (28) plans to shear over a 24-hour period – with a break every two hours – to raise money for the Cancer Society, particularly for the research and treatment of prostate cancer.

His goal is to shear between about 750 and 800 crossbred lambs and he has a fundraising target of $24,000, which equates to $1000 an hour. . .

Support needed for dairy hub:

Plans to establish a $26.5 million permanent commercial demonstration dairy farm in Southland need the support of dairy farmers in the region.

”We have one shot to get this right and we need the Southern community behind us, because it is not going to happen without it,” Southern Dairy Development Trust (SDDT) chairman Matthew Richards said.

Mr Richards and project leader Maurice Hardie presented the proposal at an Environment Southland meeting in April. . .

Keen for another crack at TeenAg title – Sally Rae:

Admittedly, there was a little sibling rivalry when the High Country Hillbillies took on the Gumboot Girls – and the rest of New Zealand – in the TeenAg national final.

Holly Malcolm (15) and Ella Sanderson (14), the High Country Hillbillies, and Holly’s sister Georgia (16) and Brittany Caldwell (16), the Gumboot Girls, were representing Aorangi, along with Cody Callaghan and Thomas Yeatman, from Timaru Boys’ High School. . .

Teaching excellence recognised:

Last night, the Prime Minister presented the 2014 Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards at a ceremony in Wellington.

Dr Rainer Hofmann, Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Lincoln University, was one of the 2014 recipients.  The nomination recognised Rainer’s ability to reach out to his students to establish relevance and to stimulate real interest as their motivation for learning.   His teaching practices start with the relationship – to produce engaged and successful students by providing the environment for them to want to learn, and to flourish.  The subtle techniques used by Rainer ensure each student can enjoy, and benefit from, the learning environment whilst being pushed to achieve their potential – almost without them realising it because they are enjoying the experience.   

“Rainer embodies the concept of attachment-based learning.  His engaging attitude makes learning easy and his masterful teaching promotes deep, enquiring and life-long learning,” said University of Otago Senior Lecturer, Dr Kumari Valentine, in support of Rainer’s nomination.  . .


Awards aim to change perception

27/09/2011

The 2012 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards aim to change some urban perceptions of the country’s dairy farmers and the dairy industry.

Awards executive committee chair Matthew Richards says the 2012 awards will culminate with a series of activities in Auckland that leads into the national awards dinner, where the winners of the New Zealand Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year, New Zealand Farm Manager of the Year and New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year competitions will be announced.

“We want Auckland and the rest of the country to witness the bright, talented and well presented individuals that are working hard on this country’s dairy farms to drive the dairy industry forward as the global leader that it is .

“Many of our past winners have gone on to leadership roles within the industry and we expect many of our current winners will be the industry’s future leaders,” Mr Richards, a Southland dairy farmer, says.

The 2011 New Zealand Sharemilker/Equity Farmers of the Year Jason and Lisa Suisted said they initially entered the awards to“stand out from the pack” when applying for sharemilking positions. They have gained considerably more.

“What we did not know at the time was how much we were going to learn both about ourselves and our business. We’ve been able to fine tune some of our farm systems and the awards had also allowed us to work side by side, highlighting the strengths we both bring to the business.”

Mr Suisted says the awards challenged them and forced them to take a brutal and critical look at their business.

“The benefits from this have paid off immensely.”

Like the Young Farmer of the Year and other industry competitions, the Dairy Industry Awards provide wonderful opportunities for participants to look at and improve  their own businesses, learn from other entrants and showcase farming.


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