Rural round-up

February 25, 2014

Sewer discharge called a disgrace:

A leading Hawke’s Bay wine industry figure says sewerage pouring into Hawke’s Bay’s rivers is a disgrace and potentially damaging to the region’s food and beverage producers.

The group Friends of the Tukituki is threatening legal action if the Central Hawke’s Bay District Council is unable to meet new resource consents for discharging town sewerage into the Waipawa and Tukituki Rivers.

It says the brown smelly discharge currently going into the rivers is unacceptable.

Central Hawke’s Bay District Council says the discharge is within its resource consent, and is confident a new sewage plant will be operating by October which will discharge crystal clear water. . . .

Minister flags Maori land potential:

Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy has highlighted the potential for Maori agribusiness as part of the Government’s goal of doubling primary sector exports by 2025.

The ministry now forecasts the sector will earn $36.5 billion this season – up nearly $5 billion on the last forecast six months ago.

Of the 1.5 million hectares of Maori land, only 300,000 hectares is in full production. . .

East Coast first to host Environment Awards – RivetettingKateTaylor:

The first regional dinner has been held for the 2014 Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

The East Coast awards, covering the geographic area of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and the Gisborne District Council, were announced in Gisborne on Thursday.  It’s the fourth year of the awards but the first time hosted by Gisborne.

Well done to all those who entered…. and (drum roll please) the winners were Rob and Sandra Faulkner and Bruce and Jo Graham from the 600ha property, Wairakaia, which can be found on both sides of SH2 at Muriwai, south of Gisborne. . .

From the Lip – Pulse of rural NZ at field days – Jamie Mackay:

What follows are some random observations from the past fortnight and some pretty cool stuff that’s happened in rural New Zealand:

1. Tis field-day season. A couple of weeks ago it was the Southern Field Days at Waimumu. This week it’s the Northland Field Days at Dargaville and in a couple of weeks it’s off to Feilding for the Central Districts Field Days.  Between that and Horse of the Year in Hastings, the PPP Farming Conference in Queenstown, the inaugural Taranaki Ballance Farm Environment Awards in New Plymouth and the Rolling Stones in Auckland, I think I’ll just set up camp at the airport over the next six weeks.

I shouldn’t complain though, because it’s at these field days you get the real pulse of rural New Zealand and it’s fair pumping out there at the moment.  Even though I’ve been attending the Southern Field Days for 20 years – it was the first gig I did in radio – Waimumu is still a revelation. It’s a “Mini Me” of Mystery Creek, only better.  It’s Dargaville’s turn to impress this week. . . .

 

 

Milksmart events make farmers do the maths :

MilkSmart events, where farmers are shown practical ways to reduce milking times, are doing the rounds again this year.

DairyNZ have made some changes to the topics after farmer feedback.

The topics include stockmanship, milking efficiency, cow flow, milking skills, mastitis management, smart dairy design, people management, smart water use and more.

Events were run in Morrinsville and Tokoroa last week.

Sessions were designed for one of three experience levels – those who are new to dairying, operational managers, and senior decision makers or farm owners. . . .

Fonterra Announces $32 Million Foodservice Expansion in Eltham:

Fonterra today announced a $32 million expansion of its slice-on-slice cheese capacity at its Collingwood Street site in Eltham, Taranaki.

Slice-on-slice cheese is used extensively in quick service restaurants for products such as hamburgers and sandwiches.

Work will start in early 2014 and is expected to be completed in mid-2015. When complete, the expanded plant will deliver both increased capacity and improved processes to meet growth in global demand from Fonterra’s foodservice customers.

Fonterra Director of Foodservice, René Dedoncker, said the investment demonstrated the Co-operative’s drive to grow its business in the high-value foodservice industry. . . .

BEC Feed Solutions Set to Taste New Zealand Market:

BEC Feed Solutions Australia has cemented its commitment to the New Zealand agricultural market with the opening of a New Zealand trading arm, BEC Feed Solutions NZ.

The move was prompted by New Zealand’s rapidly developing animal production market and thriving dairy industry, which has seen a 70% growth in dairy production over the past 20 years[1]. This, coupled with the dairy industry’s growing preference for supplementary feeding over a solely pasture-based system, provides a sound platform for BEC – Australia’s largest independent animal pre-mix manufacturer – to officially enter the New Zealand market. . .


Rural round up

October 23, 2010

The subheading on this blog is a rural perspective with a blue tint.

It’s often a lot more blue than rural (though the two aren’t mutually exclusive). I’ve decided to help rebalance that with ocassional posts linking to rural news and views, starting with these:

Sticky milk powder – Marcus Wilson at Sciblogs:

. . .   One of the most enjoyable talks was given by student Timothy Walmsley, concerning a study on the sticking of milk powder in spray dryers. To convert milk into powder form it is sprayed into a dryer; the milk solids remain and fall to the bottom but the water content is removed; the result is something that is easily packaged and transported. . .

Making Milking faster and easier:

DairyNZ has launched a programme for farmers aimed at improving the milk harvesting efficiency on New Zealand dairy farms.

“Milksmart is concerned not only with milking, but with the whole milk harvesting process, from collecting the cows from the paddock and milking, to clean-up and the return of the cows,” says DairyNZ Developer and project leader, Samantha Palmer.

The programme allows a farmer to complete a comprehensive self-assessment of the milk harvesting operation and then compare their performance against other farmers.

“The smallest change in the dairy shed can stack up to important savings in both time and costs over a whole season,” says Samantha.

More on this can be found at Milksmart.

What’s going on at New Zealand’s specialist land based university? – Tony Chaston queries Lincoln’s priorities and future:

High quality agricultural education is  needed to grow the rural economy into the future. In my opinion Lincoln University lost its way over the last 20 years focusing on “buying students” in many areas of education, just to survive, rather than focus on agriculture.

The Rural Recovery Group, set up in after the Canterbury earthquake is finding rural issues are starting to emerge:

Farmers had been downplaying damage, particularly as their counterparts in Southland and the North Island were struggling after recent snowstorms. The Group heard that because of those events, people were holding off on putting claims in. Rural Recovery Group co-ordinator Allan Baird urged them to register damage as soon as possible.

Selwyn District Council Recovery Welfare Manager Diane Chesmar said there had been a small number of Red Cross applications from the Selwyn district and some inquiries about emotional support.

“We understand that in this type of event the bulk of the social needs come three months after the event.”

Zespri lifts forecast payment to growers:

In the latest forecast from kiwifruit marketer ZESPRI, average fruit and service payments for kiwifruit growers are set to increase by $13.7 million or $0.15 per tray on last season.

ZESPRI’s Director of Corporate and Grower Services, Carol Ward, said: “Market returns this season are up on last year and reflect strong consumer demand for ZESPRI Kiwifruit. However we are still facing challenging market conditions as the global economy emerges from the recession, with Japan and East Asia recovering more quickly than Europe and North America.”

2011Nuffield Scholars to investigate Asian markets:

David Campbell is currently Livestock Productivity Manager and Project Leader ‘Special Milks’ for Synlait Farms Limited in Canterbury. . .

Nicola Waugh is another graduate of Massey University. She is currently employed by AgFirst Waikato Ltd as an agricultural consultant. . .

High accolade for high country leader:

John Brakenridge, Chief Executive of The New Zealand Merino Company Limited (NZM) has scooped the coveted ‘outstanding international business leader’ award at the New Zealand International Business Awards. 


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