Sheep researcher looks into methane reduction – Nigel Malthus:
How breeding sheep for intestinal parasite resistance or resilience affects their methane emissions is the focus of research currently being completed by a Lincoln University scholarship winner.
Kayleigh Forbes is the inaugural recipient of the John Reeves Memorial scholarship, awarded to a student at Lincoln doing an honours dissertation in sheep genetics.
The $2,000 scholarship has been established by the Reeves family, in honour of John Reeves, a pioneering Romney breeder who spearheaded efforts to breed for facial eczema resistance. He died after an accident on farm, still working at the age of 87, in 2019. His son Alistair runs the family farm, Waimai Romney on the rugged Waikato west coast.
He says Waimai Romney wanted to put something back into young people who were willing to follow genetics and try something different. . .
Profitability underpins succession plan – Kate Taylor:
Running a profitable farming business and diversifying with off-farm investments is a Central Hawke’s Bay family’s key to succession.
Simon and Lou White and their three children – Millie, 8, George, 6, and Oscar, 4 – live near Otane, south of Hastings. Trading under the Ludlow Farms Trust, Simon and Lou lease the 665ha home farm from Waireka Family Trust, set up by Simon’s parents, Neil and Gwen.
“Mum and Dad’s family trust owns the land, and our family trust owns the farming company that leases it and farms it. We all thought leasing was the safest option; we’re safeguarding a valuable family asset at the end of the day.”
Getting the right advice is a big part of a successful ownership transition. . .
Rolling with risk for long-term gain – Tim Fulton:
Leasing for sheep and cattle is money in the bank for Banks Peninsula-bred Edward Harrington, a Cantabrian expanding across the plains.
Four years ago Edward and his wife Jenna took up a lease near Springfield, under the foothills of the Southern Alps. It’s one of three properties they lease, in addition to a down-country block at Leeston and a third on Edward’s beloved peninsula.
Edward is from a Banks Peninsula farming family and Jenna from a rural English town in Cornwall. Edward’s parents sold up the majority of their farming land that adjoined their Takamatua property when interest rates spiralled in the late 1980s. “We had a couple of hundred acres when I was a kid so I liked farming and used to go and watch the old man kill the odd sheep in the weekend or help feed out. After leaving school Edward went shearing for a couple of years, did a bit of casual work and then had eight years as a fulltime stock manager. . .
NZIER report: glysophate’s economic and environmental benefits :
Food and pasture growers as well as the forestry industry rely on glyphosate to prevent deep-rooted weeds from taking over their crops and decimating productivity, according to a report by the NZIER on the benefits of glyphosate to New Zealand.
The world’s most widely-used weed management tool has extensive economic and environmental benefits. It enables farmers and growers to deliver food and fibre efficiently, cost-effectively, and to a higher quality – allowing access to safe and affordable food.
The report estimates that herbicides are worth up to $8.6 billion to NZ agriculture, with an average impact on output of up to 20%.
Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum herbicide that can eliminate nearly all weeds, which many other herbicides cannot. Without it, producers would face substantial weed pressure – as weeds compete with crops for light, water and nutrients. An even greater pressure exists with climate change and the need for farming practices to become more sustainable. . .
New Zealand wine in high demand :
International demand for New Zealand wine shows no sign of slowing, with export value reaching $599 million in the first quarter of the new export year, up 9% on the previous year. The demand for New Zealand wine is also reflected in an increase in price per litre, with the September quarter 2021 average value up 4% from September 2020.
“The ongoing demand for New Zealand wine has proven that the distinctive flavours, quality and sustainability of our wines increasingly resonate with consumers around the world. It is encouraging to see that during these uncertain times, consumers continue to choose a premium product they know that they can trust,” says Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers.
Although the quality of the 2021 vintage was exceptional throughout New Zealand’s wine regions, the overall harvest was much smaller than hoped for, with 370,000 tonnes of grapes harvested during the 2021 vintage – down 19% on last year’s crop. This reduced supply is reflected in the decrease in volume of exports, with YTD September 2021 exports down 3% on the previous year. . .
Farmlands Co-operative to roll into Christmas giving with I Am Hope and local charities :
Farmlands has donated $37,500 to I Am Hope’s Gumboot Friday fund — providing 150 counselling sessions to rural youth in New Zealand.
And it’s just the start.
The announcement is the kick-start of Farmlands 2021 charitable Christmas campaign, uniting some of New Zealand’s biggest rural names with a pledge to support both local and national charities. Farmlands CEO Tanya Houghton is thrilled that Farmlands’ Partners Allflex/ MSD Animal Health Intelligence, Summit Steel & Wire and Z Energy have also jumped on board to support the campaign.
“Our hope is that our whānau of shareholders and customers will join in the Christmas giving as well!” Tanya says.
From 15th November, customers purchasing across the 82 Farmlands stores will have the opportunity to “Tag your Charity” by either donating to a local charity chosen by the store or to I Am Hope’s Gumboot Friday fund. In return, customers will be able to hang an Allflex/ MSD Animal Health Intelligence eartag on the Summit Steel & Wire designed Christmas tree in-store. . .
Leave a Comment » | business, environment, Farming, food, rural, wine | Tagged: Alistair Reeves, Allflex/ MSD Animal Health Intelligence, Edward Harrington, Farmlands, George White, Gumboot Friday, Gwen White, Hopefield Hemp, I Am Hope, Jenna Harrington, John Reeves, Kate Taylor, Kayleigh Forbes, Lincoln University, Lou White, Millie White, Neil White, Nigel Malthus, NZ Winegrowers (NZW), Oscar White, Philip Gregan, Simon White, Summit Steel & Wire, Tanya Houghton, Tim Fulton, Tim Gorton, Waitaki Romney, Z Energy | Permalink
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Farmers struggle after floods – Nigel Malthus:
A Wesport mother and daughter team, who only recently bought a small dairy farm bordering the Buller River, are just one of many still struggling to get back on their feet after the huge flood of mid-July.
Lisa Milligan and her mother Karen took on the 70-hectare property about 5km upstream from the town on June 1. One July 17, almost the entire farm was flooded, with water covering the pastures, running through the milking shed and other buildings and lapping around the house.
Milligan says they knew when they bought the farm that a couple of low areas got water through them when the river flooded, “but not 99% of the farm. It was massive.”
She told Rural News the flood was at levels no one in the district had ever seen. . .
No resolution to labour nightmare – Peter Burke:
Meat Industry Association (MIA) boss Sirma Karapeeva says she struggles to see how much more automation can be introduced into the meat industry to resolve the present labour shortages.
Karapeeva says many people seem to think that automation is the silver bullet that can compensate for labour shortages in the industry caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I struggle to see how that is possible. In the red meat sector, we have already done all that we can do in terms of the lower hanging fruit in automation,” she told Rural News.
“The big pieces of automation are already in place and the next areas of automation that could be developed are really challenging because you are dealing with the natural product – meat.” . .
New RSE season will be tough amid pandemic – researcher – Christine Rovoi:
Many Recognised Seasonal Employers expect they will struggle to survive the 2021-2022 season unless they can refresh and increase their RSE workforce through new recruitment.
More than 300 stakeholders in New Zealand’s RSE scheme gathered in Nelson last month for the 14th annual industry-led conference ‘RSE: The Post-Covid Future’.
A New Zealand-based researcher said compared with the last RSE conference in Port Vila, Vanuatu in 2019, which focused on sustainable growth of the RSE scheme to support expansion of New Zealand’s horticulture industry (including wine), this year’s meeting was a “sobering event”.
Australia National University research fellow Charlotte Bedford said the conference had possibly the largest turnout of RSE employers, contractors, industry representatives and other stakeholders for several years. . .
West Coast farmers say plan to sacrifice their land bad idea – Lois Williams:
A landowner whose family farmed near Franz Josef for decades says it is not the best idea to let the river have its way on the south bank, as the government and councils are now proposing.
The West Coast Regional Council originally pitched a plan for a $24 million upgrade of the stopbanks on both sides of the river, but that has since been scaled back to $12m, the bulk of the work on the north bank of the Waiho River to protect Franz Josef village.
On the south bank, the stopbanks would be kept up only as far as Canavans Knob, and eventually, the river would be left to fan out over its natural flood plain, wiping out the airfield, several farms and a number of houses now protected by the ‘Milton and Others’ stopbank.
Derrick Milton, whose family helped to build and pay for the stopbank 36 years ago, says if the river is allowed to have its way it will shift its bed south to Docherty’s Creek and make it very difficult to rebuild the state highway as planned. . .
Shear inspiration – Nigel Beckford:
Rowland Smith is one of New Zealand’s best known shearers. He’s set world records and won both the NZ Shears and Golden Shears numerous times. Farmstrong asked him how he looks after himself in such a physically demanding occupation.
Shearing’s in the blood for Rowland Smith – his father and brothers were shearers, and shearing had taken him all over the world – Latvia, Finland, USA, Australia, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England.
“Shearing’s a great job because you’re out there doing it every day, you’re not stuck in an office. I’ve travelled the world for years on the back of a handpiece,” he says.
Shearing is unique in that as well as being a job, it’s also a competitive sport. Iconic events like the NZ Shears in Te Kuiti and the Golden Shears in Masterton attract hundreds of competitors and large crowds each year. . .
Farmers look to local products as fertiliser prices skyrocket – Sally Murphy:
Farmers are turning towards New Zealand-made fertiliser as Ravensdown and Ballance Agri Nutrients report soaring price increases.
Ballance general manager of sales Jason Minkhorst said the price of DAP fertiliser had doubled in the last year and while the company absorbed some of the cost, the price farmers paid had gone up by about 55 percent.
“Several things are pushing up the prices, to describe it as Covid is to simple, there’s increased demand for food and particularly for meat and dairy products and a key input to producing food is obviously fertiliser,” Minkhorst said.
“Another driver is that Chinese factories and most fertiliser comes from China, have been told to focus on the domestic market to assure food security for China. And then the last driver is this seasonal purchasing supported by subsidies in countries like India and Brazil that’s also putting pressure on prices at the moment.” . .
Seeking skills to reap bumper crops – Andrew Weidemann:
Another big crop is forecast to be harvested across Australia this year, worth an estimated $15 million for the broadacre grains sector.
But coronavirus is again presenting significant hurdles for the industry to overcome.
There is no point repeating what we already know about the personal inconvenience and business frustrations caused by extended lockdowns in different states.
But for many Grain Producers Australia (GPA) members, a significant and immediate challenge stemming from the global COVID-19 pandemic is securing farm labour. . .
Leave a Comment » | Art, business, environment, Farming, food, rural | Tagged: Andrew Weidemann, Ballance Agri-Nutrients, Charlotte Bedford, Christine Rovoi, DAP, Derrick Millton, Docherty’s Creek, Grain Producers Australia (GPA), Helga Stentzel, Jason Minkhorst, Karen Milligan, Lisa Milligan, Lois Williams, Meat Industry Association (MIA), Nigel Beckford, Nigel Malthus, Peter Burke, Ravensdown, Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme (RSE), Rowland Smith, Sally Murphy, Sirma Karapeeva, West Coast Regional Council | Permalink
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Floods highlight farmers’ vulnerability – Nigel Malthus:
The vulnerability of the roads has become a major concern for Federated Farmers Mid-Canterbury president David Clark over a week into the clean-up following the region’s damaging floods.
Many road closures were still in force several days after the event.
“Delivering grain to the feed mill for us has gone from being a 30km trip to an 80km trip each way,” Clark told Rural News.
“We’ve got the [State Highway 1] Ashburton River bridge severely damaged and the slumping arguably is continuing to get worse,” he adds. . .
Concern over SNA costs – Neal Wallace:
It will cost an estimated $9 million or $3000 per site for the Southland District Council (SDC) to map significant natural areas in its territory as required by the Government’s proposed biodiversity strategy.
The cost to ratepayers of councils having to identify significant natural areas (SNAs) is starting to materialise, but resistance is growing from private landowners concerned at the imposition on their property rights.
Although the National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity is not yet Government policy, the Far North District Council is suspending its SNA identification process after protests from Māori landowners, including a hikoi.
The Far North District Council estimates 42% of the district on land owned by 8000 landowners could have areas of high ecological value. . .
Council pausing SNA identification work – Rebecca Ryan:
The Waitaki District Council is pushing pause on its work to identify significant national areas (SNAs).
Last month, the council sent letters to nearly 2000 landowners about proposed changes to mapping in the district plan review, advising them the new district plan would increase the level of protection for SNAs, “outstanding and significant natural features”, “outstanding natural landscapes” and wahi tupuna (sites and areas of significance to Maori) on their private land. The letters also included maps of the proposed new protective overlays on the properties.
Waitaki landowners hit back at the council, criticising the mapping process and saying the letters did not contain enough information about what the proposed changes meant for them. Many expressed fears about losing productive land and the impacts changes could have on the value of their land.
Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher announced the pause in the council’s SNA work yesterday. He said there was “too much uncertainty” as the national policy statement for indigenous biodiversity (NPSIB) was still being developed. . .
Zero-injuries goal major investment for Alliance -Shawn McAvinue:
Alliance Group Pukeuri plant manager Phil Shuker takes it personally when anyone gets injured at the meat processing plant, about 8km north of Oamaru.
The days of telling staff “to take a concrete pill and harden up” were over, he said.
Nearly 19 injuries were sustained for every 1million hours worked at Alliance sites across New Zealand.
The injury rate had fallen 80% in the past five years, he said. . .
Back up the bus! – Sudesh Kissun:
Work together and stop throwing each other under the bus. That’s the message farmers delivered last week to Beef + Lamb New Zealand (BLNZ) at its first roadshow meeting in Glen Murray, Waikato.
About 35 farmers heard BLNZ chief executive Sam McIvor and director Martin Coup outline work being done by BLNZ on their behalf.
However, former Federated Farmers Auckland president Wendy Clark told the meeting that “there was a lot of throwing under the bus” during the Plan Change 1 consultation process.
Plan Change 1, introduced by Waikato Regional Council, is about reducing the amount of contaminants entering the Waikato and Waipā catchments. . .
Project pitches benefits of working with wool – Stewart Raine:
A new initiative focused on the recruitment, training and retaining of shearers and shed hands is expected to help ease the shortage of shearers across Tasmania.
The Wool Industry Workforce Development Project, funded by Skills Tasmania and coordinated by Primary Employers Tasmania, aims to attract young people into the industry.
It will provide coaching and mentoring throughout their developmental journey, and support farmers and contractors to improve workplaces to remove retention barriers. . .
Leave a Comment » | business, environment, Farming, food, rural | Tagged: Alliance Group, Beef + Lamb NZ (B+LNZ), David Clark, Far North District Council (FNDC), Federated Farmers, Gary Kircher, Martin Coup, national policy statement for indigenous biodiversity (NPSIB), Nigel Malthus, Phil Shuker, Plan Change 1, Rebecca Ryan, Sam McIvor, Significant Natural Areas (SNA), Skills Tasmania, Southland District Council, Stewart Raine, Sudesh Kissun, Waikato Regional Council, Waitaki District Council (WDC), Wendy Clark, William Morrison, Wool Industry Workforce Development Project | Permalink
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Fonterra maintains forecast despite latest GDT fall – Gerald Piddock:
Fonterra has maintained its forecast range of $5.90-6.90/kg milksolids for the current season, keeping its advance rate at the midpoint of $6.40/kg MS.
It released its updated forecast on the eve of the latest Global DairyTrade (GDT) auction, which saw average prices fall 1% to US$2955/tonne.
Fonterra chair John Monaghan said the global market was finely balanced with both demand and supply increasing but it has the potential to change.
“There is good demand in the market at this stage of the season, however, the forecast economic slowdown is likely to increase global unemployment and reduce consumer demand,” he said. . .
Hunters slam DOC’s tahr plan – Neal Wallace:
If the Department of Conservation (DOC) was hoping to diffuse the tahr culling debate by releasing a new control plan, it has failed.
DOC operations director Dr Ben Reddiex has released an updated Tahr Control Operational Plan for the coming year, which will focus control on public conservation land.
“With an open mind we have considered a wide range of submissions from groups and individuals representing the interests of recreational and commercial tahr hunters, as well as conservationists, recreationists and statutory bodies,” he said in a statement.
Acknowledging the new plan will not satisfy everyone, he says it will enable the recreational and commercial hunting of trophy bulls and other tahr, while still moving DOC towards meeting the statutory goals of the 1993 Himalayan Thar Control Plan. . .
Rural Waikato thrives on community spirit :
In this part of the country, more than 200,000 cows are milked, fed and cared for each day by Kiwis, as well as by a growing group of skilled migrants.
Experienced farm hands are in high demand and, as Waikato farmers increasingly realise and appreciate, some of the best workers come from the Philippines.
Johnrey Emperado, second-in-charge at a 270-hectare farm near Tirau, is one of them.
Johnrey and his wife Iris moved to New Zealand in 2009. With their two children, daughter Skye (4) and baby Brian, who was born in January, they live on Moondance Farms, where Johnrey works. . .
New AgResearch boss keen to make NZ ag great again – Nigel Malthus:
AgResearch’s new chief executive is promising solid evidence-based science to make New Zealand’s agriculture sector the best in the world.
Nigel Malthus reports.
Dr Sue Bidrose recently took up the role at AgResearch’s Lincoln head office after a varied career, including policy work for the Ministry of Social Development and 15 years in local government, the last seven as chief executive of the Dunedin City Council.
“We are here to do really good science, to give our agricultural community the best ammunition they’ve got to be the best in the world,” Bidrose told Rural News. . .
From Boeing to baling :
A number of out-of-work airline pilots are considering roles as large machinery operators and tractor drivers.
Former pilot Andy Pender says he won’t be surprised if they find they’re happy working in the country and don’t go back to flying.
Pender is a former captain for Virgin Australia (New Zealand) and now the New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association (NZALPA) medical and welfare director.
He says the association has been working for several months with the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Rural Contractors’ Association to match pilots with rural jobs. . .
UK food exporters’ confidence plummets to record low :
Business confidence among food manufacturers and exporters reached a record low this year due to Covid-19 uncertainty, a new report says.
Data by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) shows that food firms’ confidence plummeted -65.2% in the second quarter of 2020.
The industry has faced a ‘variety of challenges’, from the closure of the hospitality and out-of-home sectors, to rising costs and a fall in exports. . .
Leave a Comment » | business, environment, Farming, food, rural | Tagged: AgResearch, Andy Pender, Covid-19, Department of Conservation (DoC), Dr Ben Reddiex, Dr Sue Bidrose, Eilidh Simmons, Fonterra. Gerald Piddock, Food and Drink Federation (FDF), Himalayan tahr, Iris Emperado, Johnrey Emperado, Michael Prankerd, Nigel Malthus, NZ Air Line Pilots Association (NZALPA) | Permalink
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Build more and be damned! – David Anderson:
Water storage is one of the keys to helping rebuild NZ’s economy in the wake of COVID-19, says Ian Proudfoot, KPMG’s Global Head of Agribusiness.
This was the message he gave to Parliament’s Epidemic Response Committee on the opportunities our food and fibre industries have to lead our national economic recovery.
“We have long been the developed nation with the greatest reliance on growing and selling biological products to the world to pay for our schools, roads and hospitals,” he explained.
“Now, more than ever, the industry recognises it needs to step forward to ensure that our country is able to maintain the living standards we have become accustomed to.” . .
Drought relief ‘too little too late’ Hawke’s Bay farmer – Robin Martin:
A Hawke’s Bay farmer says the government’s latest drought relief package – a $500,000 fund for advisory services – is a “drop in the ocean” and won’t go far to alleviating struggling farmers’ problems.
Extremely dry conditions have hit much of the North Island and parts of the South Island in recent months and in some areas, including Central and Southern Hawke’s Bay, the situation remains dire.
Grant Charteris farms deer and beef cattle at Tikokino in Central Hawke’s Bay.
He said today’s relief package was a case of “too little too late”. . .
Telephone diplomacy to fight protectionism – Peter Burke:
Rising protectionism is one of the major concerns of New Zealand exporters in the light of COVID-19.
NZ’s chief trade negotiator, Vangelis Vitalis, told Parliament’s Epidemic Response Committee that as a result of COVID, many countries will resort to protecting their own economies. NZ exporters fear this will make it much harder for them.
Vitalis says exporters are also concerned about the logistics of getting goods to market, but they have praised the work done by MFAT, NZTE and MPI in keeping freight lines open. . .
New farm safety initiative aims to empower women to effect change :
A new farm safety initiative aims to rally rural women to help save injuries and lives on New Zealand farms.
Action group Safer Farms has partnered with Australian woman Alex Thomas to bring the #PlantASeedForSafety Project to New Zealand.
The project profiles women from all parts of rural industries and communities who are making positive and practical improvements to the health, safety and wellbeing of those around them.
With the message “save a life, listen to your wife”, it aims to raise the voices of rural women and boost their confidence in their ability to influence change and to inspire others to make safer, healthier choices. . .
Quinoa growers urged to band together and take on the world – Nigel Malthus:
One of New Zealand’s very few quinoa growers is calling on his colleagues to band together to help market their product.
Andrew Currie, who farms near Methven in inland Canterbury, believes he is one of only three commercial quinoa growers in the country. He’s the only one in the South Island and the only one with a breeding programme of golden, white, red and black quinoa varieties.
He told Rural News if there is any good to come out of the current COVID-19 emergency, it may be renewed support for locally grown produce. Currie says the post-lockdown environment will be very different.
“New Zealand farming will be the strength of our economy. Some people will need to change occupation to more rural orientated jobs.” . .
Ag’s critical role in post-COVID recovery a unique opportunity – Michael Guerin:
Although Australia is weathering the COVID-19 storm better than almost any other nation, there is no doubt that it has dealt us a sickening blow.
And the worst is definitely still to come, as the long-term economic, employment and social effects become apparent.
However, out of the tragedy emerges a unique opportunity for Australian agriculture to lead the country out of the COVID-19 doldrums.
The NFF’s “Don’t panic. Aussie farmers have your back” campaign was highly successful in reassuring the public that our robust industry would ensure the country could feed itself.. .
1 Comment | business, environment, Farming, food, rural, trade | Tagged: #PlantASeedForSafety Project, Adam Thompson, Alex Thomas, Andrew Currie, Bruce Thompson, Covid-19, David Anderson, Epidemic Response Committee, Grant Charteris, Ian Proudfoot, Michael Guerin, National Farmers’ Federation (NFF), Nigel Malthus, Peter Burke, quinoa, Robin Martin, Rural News, Safer Farmers, Vangelis Vitalis | Permalink
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Our greatest opportunity – Penny Clark-Hall:
After 10 or so years of a society dislocating itself, with the farming community being challenged to meet the evolving values of its urban counterparts, we have been given a gift. A chance to reconnect.
We’ve been bemoaning the fact that no one wants to listen to the good stories for years. Who would have thought it would take a global pandemic to give us a window to be able to have that voice again? It seems bad taste to be observing silver linings and opportunities whilst so many are suffering however, an opportunity to connect and support our country can only be a positive for everyone in my books. The primary sector’s social licence and our economy depends on it. . .
Sector wants deal on reforms – Neal Wallace and Colin Williscroft:
Primary sector leaders have been in discussions with the Government to try to reach a consensus on freshwater reforms.
The 11-member Food and Fibre Leaders’ Forum, which represents the primary sector, is adopting a similar approach to last year’s accord on reducing agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and for several months has had regular meetings with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and senior Cabinet ministers.
The Government’s Essential Freshwater reforms have been temporarily stalled by covid-19 with Environment Minister David Parker saying dealing with the crisis necessitates the reconsideration of priorities and timing. . .
Wanna job? We’ve got it – Annette Scott:
Primary industries face a serious staff recruitment pinch of grave concern to AgStaff director Matt Jones.
The impact of covid-19 is alredy starting to bite and with hundreds of vacancies on his books it’s only going to get worse over the next year, Jones said.
Through his employment businesses Jones recruits staff for jobs from farm and agricultural contracting and food processing to seasonal staff and quality assurance experts, many coming from around the globe to work in New Zealand. . .
Are pine trees killing kauri?
A new study suggests that kauri dieback disease may be connected to the lack of protective fungi in plantation pine forest soil.
Published in FEMS Microbiology Ecology, the study, by Bio-Protection Research Centre PhD candidate Alexa Byers and others, looked at the differences in the bacteria and fungi living in the soil of kauri forest and surrounding pine plantations in the Waipoua area. It found soil in the pine forest’s neighbouring kauri forests lacked several species of fungi and bacteria that protect plants, promote growth, and improve their health (for example Trichoderma and Pseudomonas).
“The loss of core microbiota from native soil microbial communities… surrounding remnant kauri fragments could be altering the forest’s ability to respond to pathogen invasion,” Ms Byers wrote. . .
Energy farm to trial zero carbon solutions – Nigel Malthus:
Lincoln University has unveiled plans for what is expected to be a globally-unique Energy Demonstration Farm to help the primary sector meet its future zero-carbon obligations.
The farm is designed to be fossil fuel-free and feature solar and wind power, bio-fuel, and energy storage solutions while showcasing the range of technology available and how it can be applied, as well as providing data for research and innovation.
Project leaders Dr Wim de Koning and Dr Jeff Heyl say the farm would allow the University and their research partners to make mistakes, so farmers won’t have to.
Fury of British farmers as public sector caterers vow to cut meat served ins cools, hospitals, universities and care homes by 20 percent to improve diets and help environment – Jack Wright:
- British farmers are furious at public sector caterers vowing to cut red meat servings in schools, hospitals, and care homes by 20 per cent
- NFU board member Richard Findlay described move as ‘frankly ridiculous’
- He called #20percentless a ‘misguided project’ that is ‘wholly inaccurate’
- The aim is to cut greenhouse gases linked to livestock and boost public health
- Hitting the target would remove nearly 20million lb of meat every year in the UK . . .
Leave a Comment » | business, environment, Farming, food, rural | Tagged: Agstaff, Alexa Byers, Annette Scott, Bio-Protection Research Centre, Colin Williscroft, David Parker, Dr Jeff Heyl, Dr Wim de Koning, Energy Demonstration Farm, Food and Fibre Leaders’ Forum, Grant McCallum, Jack Wright, kauri dieback, Lincoln University, Matt Jones, Meredith Ellis, Neal Wallace, Nigel Malthus, Penny Clark-Hall | Permalink
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COVID-19: Farming keeps the economy ticking – Nigel Malthus:
An analysis by two Christchurch economists has underlined the value of the farming sector to the country during the Level 4 COVID-19 lockdown.
David Dyason and Peter Fieger have produced an analysis of who is likely still to be working and who may not be, based on the Government’s definition of essential business (although the definition is changing as exemptions develop).
They say based on 2019 figures, approximately 123,800 people in Canterbury are employed in essential services, which represents 40.6% of all employment within the region.
This is almost identical to the national economy at 40.4%. . .
COVID-19: Misery on UK farms – Peter Burke:
Wake up, New Zealand: that’s the message from a New Zealander trying to manage a large dairy farm in the UK amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
A friend of the man who wishes to remain anonymous called Dairy News in a bid to make farmers in NZ aware of the situation in the UK which he describes as horrific.
The person whom we will call ‘Brian’ manages a large intensive dairy farm and has a staff of twelve says he’s not sure that farmers in NZ realise the problems they are about to face. . .
Moving day guide is coming – Gerald Piddock:
Guidelines for sharemilkers and farm owners for the dairy sector’s Moving Day are being written.
Federated Farmers sharemilkers chairman Richard McIntyre is fielding numerous calls from sharemilkers asking him how Moving Day will work.
While much of the Government’s focus is on immediate issues, Moving Day is on its radar.
“We are going to be discussing it more and more over the coming weeks as it becomes clearer and clearer of what it might look like.” . .
Stock feed sells out in drought-hit Wairarapa – Marcus Anselm:
Demand for stock baleage has been high in Masterton as the Covid-19 virus compounds a tough summer for Wairarapa’s farmers.
Masterton District Council (MDC) workers are ploughing on through during the lockdown response to the worldwide pandemic.
Staff at the Homebush sewage treatment plant have been working on through the crisis, with enhanced health and safety measures, to meet demand.
Treated wastewater is used to water nearby land, with plants cropped and sold on as stock baleage. . .
Fonterra seeing demand spike for some products – Guyon Espiner:
A bright spot is emerging in the economic gloom with New Zealand’s largest company Fonterra saying it is in good financial heart and expects to remain so during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Chief executive Miles Hurrell told RNZ that the global dairy giant, owned by its 10,000 farmers, was expecting the milk price to hold in the current range of $7-7.60 per kilogram of milk solids.
Fonterra was not expecting job losses or significant drops in revenue and was even seeing demand spike for a number of its products.
“Effectively what you’re seeing here in New Zealand play out with stockpiling of products in supermarkets – we’ve seen that play out across a number of our markets around the globe.” . .
Award-winning cheesemaker shares recipe for success:
The reputation of Whangārei’s Grinning Gecko Cheese Company continues to soar after picking up a massive 11 medals at this year’s New Zealand Cheese Competition. This adds to its highly impressive track record of international and national awards won every year during its seven years in business.
So, what is the secret of its success? “Mahi whānau and aroha sums it up pretty well,” revealed owner Catherine McNamara. A winning recipe, but one that will no doubt be tested by the effects of the nationwide lockdown.
In an industry that has traditionally been led by European countries, with heavily guarded hand-made processes and recipes passed down through generations, this small New Zealand business continues to prove it is formidable competition. The latest national awards come swiftly after Grinning Gecko’s now eight-medal-winning Camembert won a gold award at the International Cheese Awards last year. . .
Leave a Comment » | business, environment, Farming, food, rural | Tagged: Catherine McNamara, coronavirus Covid-19, David Dyason, drought, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, Gerald Piddock, Grinning Gecko, Guyon Espiner, International Cheese Awards, Masterton District Council (MDC), Miles Hurrell, Nigel Malthus, Peter Fieger, Richard McIntyre | Permalink
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Farmers want essential services clarity :
Federated Farmers president Katie Milne is urgently seeking clarity from the Government about what primary sector activities will qualify as essential after the Government effectively put the country into lockdown for four weeks to stop the spread of covid-19.
Milne said she has made it clear in conversations with the Government the definition of essential business has to be as wide-ranging as possible so farmers can keep functioning.
“They are part of the food chain and we need them.
“The people who do service farming, they have an as equally critical role as us who are growing the food. . .
Otago farmers nervous about labour from border restrictions :
Uncertainty over travel for the international workforce is compounding what has been a difficult season for orchardists in Central Otago.
Border restrictions and reduced airline capacity in response to Covid-19 are creating anxiety in the industry.
Summerfruit New Zealand chairman and chief executive of 45 South – New Zealand’s largest cherry exporter – Tim Jones said traditionally two-thirds of his workforce came from overseas, half on Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) visas and half backpackers.
“As a grower, I sit here nervous about labour and we know we use as many Kiwis as we can but to supplement that we employ RSE labour and we employ a lot of backpackers and our obvious concerns are they may not be around in the sort of numbers we’ve had recently. . .
A DIRA decision – Elbow Deep:
As the world is faced with torrents of horrific news as the pandemic sweeps the globe, it feels like there is little to be positive about. But over recent weeks there have been two small gems for New Zealand dairy farmers.
The first piece of good news was Fonterra’s half year financial results, which are a remarkable turnaround from the Co-op’s first ever loss posted last year. The loss wasn’t insignificant or so small it could be dismissed as a rounding error, the Co-op lost over half a billion dollars which only makes the recent turnaround even more impressive.
At a time of mass uncertainty when many people don’t know if they’ll still have a job in a few months, it is somewhat relieving that these results will see Fonterra inject more than $11 billion into the New Zealand economy through milk payments to their farmers. Those farmers will in turn spend over half of that in their local communities, communities which need money now more than ever before. It’s not just Fonterra farmers who will benefit from the Co-op’s strong performance; independent processors around the country will be benchmarking themselves off the Co-op’s strong performance. . .
Rural sector crying out to recruit more staff – Jacob McSweeny:
While thousands of people around the country are facing joblessness a recruiting company is calling out for workers in the primary sector, saying there were 40 jobs in South Canterbury available now.
Agstaff, Canstaff and New Zealand Dairy Careers managing director Matt Jones said the need for workers had increased as a result of implications from the Covid-19 outbreak.
“The work does not stop — it’s ramped up as some of our clients in the primary production sector increase production to meet New Zealand’s needs.
“The cows still need milked and the crops must be picked,” Mr Jones said.
He said he had a client in South Canterbury who needed 40 people to start immediately. . .
Post-quake study reveals hort potential – Nigel Malthus:
Large areas of North Canterbury and South Marlborough – affected by the 2016 Kaikoura Earthquakes – offer wide potential for horticulture.
A Plant and Food Research investigation has found that several crops – in particular, apples, grapes, hazelnuts and walnuts – could be grown in pockets throughout the region.
It identified 41,515 ha of land – or about 9% of the total 466,000ha – that would potentially be suitable. . .
Vets offer Covid-19 advice:
The New Zealand Veterinary Association has some advice for animal owners amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The association representing New Zealand veterinarians says COVID-19 should not reduce the care owners give to their animals’ health and welfare.
“We appreciate there are many issues that people are dealing with in relation to COVID-19, particularly those self-isolating or with family members taking this precautionary measure,” says New Zealand Veterinary Association chief veterinary officer, Dr Helen Beattie. . .
Why cradle-to-cradle needs to be included in fashion’s sustainability rating tools :
A review of a leading environmental impact tool for apparel finds that unless improvements are made, weaknesses in the underlying science could lead to misleading results, with potentially far-reaching consequences for the environment.
What do textile lifecycle assessment tools do?
Textile lifecycle assessment (LCA) tools aim to understand, quantify and communicate the environmental credentials of textiles with the intent of minimising environmental impact.
The Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s Material Sustainability Index (MSI) is increasingly being adopted by industry but this LCA method currently fails to account for the complexity of the textile industry.
“Several significant environmental impacts and processes are excluded from the MSI and PM, including recyclability, biodegradability, renewability of resource used, microfibres, abiotic resource depletion (minerals) and abiotic bioaccumulation,” said Dr Steve Wiedemann of Integrity AG & Environment. . .
Leave a Comment » | employment, environment, Farming, food, horticulture, rural | Tagged: 45 South, Agstaff, Canstaff, coronavirus Covid-19, Dairy Industry Restructuring Act (DIRA), Dr Helen Beattie, Dr Steve Wiedemann, Elbow Deep, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, Integrity AG & Environment, Jacob McSweeny, James Rebanks, Katie Milne, lifecycle assessment (LCA), Material Sustainability Index (MSI), Matt Jones, Nigel Malthus, NZ Dairy Careers, NZ Merino Company (NZM), NZ Veterinary Association (NZVA), Summerfruit NZ, Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Tim Jones | Permalink
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Be a good boss and we’re unstoppable – Sudesh Kissun:
A dairy sector made up of good bosses would make us unstoppable, says Federated Farmers Dairy chairman Chris Lewis.
Good bosses would attract workers to dairy farms. “Therefore, the recruitment process would be more competitive and the calibre of those you employed would increase,” he says.
“Your staff would solve more problems, find more opportunities therefore you and your farm business would be more successful.” . .
Where the big dry really hurts :
It was shaping up to be Bill Cashmore’s best year on the farm with record prices for beef and lamb, but the worst drought he’s ever known has put paid to that.
The deputy mayor of Auckland and his son Robert who runs the 1220-hectare sheep and beef farm in Clevedon, about an hour south east of Auckland’s CBD, will have to make some drastic decisions if no rain comes in the next couple of weeks.
It’s so dry old native trees growing next to a stream are dying and the brown summer grass has turned grey. Cashmore describes it as ‘fried”. . .
The Golden Shears: Woolly sheep bring sheer excitement to competitors :
The country’s best shearers are gearing up for a busy day of finals today at The Golden Shears in Masterton.
Destiny Paikea, of Ngāti Whātua descent, has qualified for the Junior Shearing Final.
Paikea comes from a long line of shearers and grew up in the West Otago as a wool handler.
She eventually began competing in shearing competitions two years ago. . .
Average Canterbury farmer ‘just treading water’ – Nigel Malthus:
Half of Canterbury dairy farms aren’t operating profitably, says Ashburton farm consultant Jeremy Savage.
“The average Canterbury dairy farmer at the moment is just treading water: that would be the polite way of putting it,” he said.
“And that’s the average. If the average is just treading water there’s a number of dairy farmers . .
Sector comes together to support drought-hit farmers:
Northland Inc’s Extension 350 has combined with DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb NZ to provide a reference point for farmers battling to respond to the effects of the worst drought in years.
This is being done by bringing together a number of Northland farmers who will share their responses to the situation via the Northland Inc website, with weekly updates on their current focus and actions.
“This sector-wide collaboration creates an overview to help farmers prioritise their actions, focus on their farms and manage their wellbeing through this extremely stressful period,” said Luke Beehre, Project Lead of Extension 350 (E350), the award-winning farmer-led and farmer-focused programme. . .
Fonterra chairman confirms retirement in October:
Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited (FCG) Chairman John Monaghan has confirmed that he will retire as a Director of the Co-operative when his current 3-year term ends at its Annual Meeting this November.
In a note to the Co-operative’s farmer-owners and unitholders, Mr Monaghan explained that his decision was the next step in the Fonterra Board’s development and succession planning.
“After 11 years as a Director, and having seen through the introduction of our new strategy, operating model, and with our debt reduction efforts well progressed, the timing is right for me and for the Co-op. . .
Pāmu welcomes major US investment in ag sector technology:
The investment by major United States company Merck and Co in FarmIQ, is an endorsement of the technology that Pāmu has been championing since the inception of the agri-tech company, Pāmu Chief Executive Steven Carden says.
“This latest investment from a global player in animal health and welfare confirms the vision we had when FarmIQ was started, which was to enable greater productivity by joining up the whole agriculture data ecosystem,” Mr Carden said.
Pāmu holds a 30% shareholding in FarmIQ and is one of its original shareholders and biggest customers. The company has actively championed changes such as the Health and Safety module widely used by FarmIQ customers. . .
Key kiwifruit operator’s packing and coolstore property for sale while industry booms:
A medium-sized Takanini packhouse and coolstore used exclusively for post-harvest in the $2.9 billion New Zealand kiwifruit industry is on the market for sale and leaseback.
The 7,223 square metre Auckland Pack & Cool (Apac) facility on 1.1 hectares at 149 Phillip Road, Takanini packs and coolstores kiwifruit for export and distribution by the country’s single desk seller Zespri International.
It is one of the kiwifruit industry’s key post-harvest operators, with the resources to pack about 3.5 million trays each season, and a combined on-site and satellite cool storage capacity for 1.75 million trays. . .
Leave a Comment » | business, environment, Farming, food, rural | Tagged: Auckland Pack & Cool (Apac), Beef + Lamb NZ (B+LNZ), Bill Cashmore, Chris Lewis, DairyNZ, Dalesbrad Holsteins, Destiny Paikea, Extension 350 (E350), Farm IQ, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, Golden Shears, Jeremy Savage, John Monaghan, Luke Beehre, Merck and Co, Ngāti Whātua, Nigel Malthus, Northland Inc, Pāmu (Landcorp Farming Limited), William Morrison | Permalink
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Virus bites into jobs – Neal Wallace:
More than 1000 logging contractors, a number industry leaders say could double, have been laid off in recent weeks as the economic impact of China’s battle to contain coronavirus begins to bite.
Meat companies and market analysts report increased activity at ports and distribution of perishable products such as food as business in parts of China returns to normal.
But disrupted shipping schedules are creating a fresh set of challenges for exporters. . .
Lim: real food is here to stay – Gerald Piddock:
Eating fads come and go but real food will never go out of fashion, chef Nadia Lim says.
Natural food, whether grown from the ground or captured from the sea or sky, will always have a place on the food plate, Lim told the DairyNZ Farmers Forum in Waikato.
The dietitian, author, Masterchef winner and My Food Bag founder said the trend to veganism and plant-based alternative meat and dairy will be temporary once consumers understood what is in these products. . .
Importance of healthy plants celebrated in Year of Plant Health:
Healthy plants’ contribution to New Zealand’s wellbeing and economic sustainability has been highlighted at the launch of the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH) at Parliament tonight.
“Healthy plants are the backbone of New Zealand’s wellbeing and make a significant contribution to our economy,” says Horticulture New Zealand (HortNZ) Chief Executive, Mike Chapman.
“Horticulture, including viticulture, contributed approximately $9 billion to the New Zealand economy in 2019. . .
North Canterbury farming keep an eye on the dry:
The Hurunui Adverse Events Committee has been monitoring how farmers are going in the current dry weather, and to remind their communities of the wealth of experience and information available.
Famers in North Canterbury have plenty of drought experience and can take credit for being in reasonable shape as February brings weeks of hot, dry weather and high evapotranspiration.
“If we learned one thing in the 2014-2017 droughts, it was that you need to make decisions early on what you can control,” says Winton Dalley, Chair of the Hurunui Adverse Events Committee. “Its good practice to have plans and deadlines in place to destock, send stock out to graze, and buy in supplements while they are available at an affordable price. . .
Cows can help reverse global warming – Nigel Malthus:
Cows and pasture are not the villains in climate change, but could instead be our saviours, says Hawke’s Bay farmer, soil scientist and consultant Phyllis Tichinin.
An executive member of the Organic Dairy and Pastoral Group (ODPG) and on the organising committee of the group’s upcoming national conference, Tichinin says with regenerative farming methods, the grazing sector alone could make New Zealand carbon-negative.
“Cows are not bad. They’re actually a very important part of reversing global warming and CO2 levels quickly and productively.” . .
New milk vat monitoring systems for Fonterra farmers:
Fonterra is beginning to install new milk vat monitoring systems over the next couple of years.
The aim is to support their farmers’ production of high-quality milk and make the co-op’s milk collection more efficient.
Richard Allen, group director of Farm Source, says the new milk vat monitoring systems are part of Fonterra’s commitment to help make farming easier. . .
Leave a Comment » | business, conservation, environment, Farming, food, rural | Tagged: coronavirus, Dr Tim Mackle, Fonterra, Gerald Piddock, Hurunui Adverse Events Committee, International Year of Plant Health (IYPH), Mike Chapman, Nadia Lim, Neal Wallace, Nigel Malthus, Organic Dairy and Pastoral Group, Phyllis Tichinin, Richard Allen, Sheryl Haitana, Wild Lakeland, Winston Dalley | Permalink
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‘Game could soon be over for some farmers ‘ – Nigel Malthus:
Proposed new environmental rules for the Waimakariri District will drive some farmers off their land, say farmers and their support groups.
The district is facing new rules under the proposed Plan Change 7 to the Canterbury Land & Water Regional Plan (CLWRP), which calls for staged cuts to Nitrogen losses over coming decades – up to 90% reductions in some specified zones.
One dairy farmer in the most-affected “purple zone” near Oxford said he had a consultant run the figures for his farm and it showed that at 30% reduction he might as well “give the keys to the bank” and walk away. . .
Headlines don’t match the research – Dr Jacqueline Rowarth:
Diet-shaming appears to be the new trend and virtue-signaling by ‘celebrities’ is rife.
They’re doing it for their children. Only the cynical would wonder whether their on-line profile needed a boost.
The claim is that animal protein damages the environment more than plant protein, so we should be eating the latter rather than the former. Whether this is true or not very much depends upon which production systems are being compared and the basis for the calculations.
The latest report hitting the headlines is from the University of Otago. It attempts to make dietary recommendations for the New Zealand context, but states overtly that UK data were used. Further, the base for the dietary calculations was 2,130 kilocalories. It wasn’t protein to provide essential amino acids. . .
Dairy and diamonds are forever – Amos Palfeyrman:
One day in the mid to late 2000s I stumbled upon a National Geographic article describing Lab Grown Diamonds and how they would lead to the inevitable demise of the diamond mining industry.
I couldn’t help but agree with the author.
Why scour the Earth for shiny objects when science now offers an alternative, diamonds grown in labs. These gems weren’t synthetic substitutes. They were optically, chemically and physically identical to their Earth-mined counterparts.
Though I was a long way from facing the choice between lab grown and mined diamond I’d decided that when the time came I’d be proposing to my future wife with a broker’s receipt for shares or perhaps a digger. Both seemed of much more use than a shiny rock. . .
Synlait pegs back growth – Hugh Stringleman:
Synlait has downgraded its earnings guidance for the current financial year by about 15%, saying it would now fall within a range of $70 million to $85m.
The previous guidance was for a 10% increase on last year’s $82m, chief executive Leon Clement said.
He blamed reduced sales expectations in the key China infant base powder market, much more volatile lactoferrin prices, and slower growth in consumer-packaged infant formula sales. . .
Feds delighted to be part of successful eradication effort:
A Wairarapa community-wide effort, backed by government, has achieved what is thought to be a biosecurity world first.
The complete eradication of the pea weevil from the Wairarapa required a four-year ban on the growing of peas, not just for commercial growers, but for all gardeners.
Federated Farmers has been involved in helping growers work through the processes around the biosecurity response and eradication since the beginning of the response, back in 2016.
“The pea industry is worth $130 million to New Zealand. Wairarapa growers and farmers were initially aghast at talk of a ban on growing, for years,” Federated Farmers arable chair, and Wairarapa grower, Karen Williams says. . .
After 139 years, Masterton A&P Show may end – Piers Fuller:
Sweeping changes and nominal entrance fees may not be enough to keep Masterton’s 139-year-old A&P Show from coming to an end.
A disappointing turnout to this year’s event at Solway Showgrounds on Saturday have organisers questioning the feasibility of running the annual show.
“It’s obvious the way things are heading that we simply can’t afford to carry on,” Masterton A&P Association president Peter McWilliam said. The organisation was in good health, but the agricultural showcase was unsustainable. . .
Leave a Comment » | business, environment, Farming, food, rural | Tagged: Amos Palfreyman, Canterbury Land & Water Regional Plan (CLWRP), Dr Jacqueline Rowarth, Federated Farmers, Hugh Stringleman, Karen Williams, Leon Clement, Masterton A&P Show, Nigel Malthus, pea weevil, Peter McWilliam, Piers Fuller, Plan Change 7, Synlait Milk, Terri Donaldson, Tim Coyle | Permalink
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Equity losses dog dairy farming – Hugh Stringleman:
Dairy analysts agree with the key factors of a Rabobank prediction of falling dairy land values over the next five years.
Rabobank dairy analyst Emma Higgins said land values have been in neutral for the past decade and are likely to drift downwards over the next five years.
In her report, Afloat but Drifting Backwards, she predicts an average $6.25/kg MS farmgate milk price, which will be barely break-even with low investor confidence, high farm debt, tighter Reserve Bank regulations, foreign capital restrictions and the costs of environmental compliance also factors. . .
Goodbye Britain again :
Those of us who have been around for quite a few years will remember the unhappy and heady days when Britain joined the then EEC on the January 1, 1973.
Up until then, NZ had enjoyed unlimited access to Britain for its agricultural products and at one stage there was even a law passed that said they had to be given priority for our exports.
When Britain joined the EEC, many NZer’s felt hurt and disappointed that the so called ‘mother country’ had deserted us and that we now had to find new markets for our agricultural exports. . .
Busy field days tenure comes to an end – Sally Rae:
Ask Sharon Paterson to recall the most memorable moments during her tenure as event manager-secretary of the Southern Field Days, and an unlikely response is forthcoming.
It was the day she and then organising committee chairman Logan Evans were chatting to Prime Minister John Key and deputy Prime Minister Bill English when they were “photo-bombed” by Road Safety Southland mascot Harry the Hippo.
“That was so hilarious,” Mrs Paterson recalled.
Thousands of people will converge on the small, rural settlement of Waimumu this week for the event, which is held every second year — this year from Wednesday to Friday. . . .
Are you up for the challenge? – Nigel Malthus:
A new event for the 2020 Southern Field Days will be an ‘Amazing Race’-style challenge.
The event is aimed at exciting and informing young people about employment opportunities across the agricultural sector.
Pitched at school pupils, school leavers and career changers, the “Food & Fibre Discovery Challenge” will have participants following clues and answering questions as they navigate around the grounds between participating exhibitors. . .
Fiftieth year for New Zealand innovation – Richard Davison:
Fifty years ago, the spirit of “fair go” led to a new branch of rural competition in Balclutha, that has since spread worldwide.
The Otago Shearing and Woolhandling Championships take place in the South Otago town once more tomorrow, but it is only thanks to the self-described stubbornness of former Clinton farmer Don Moffat that the woolhandlers will be celebrating 50 years of competition this time round.
Otago Shears chairman in 1969-70, Mr Moffat believed the efforts and skill of the South’s woolhandlers were such that they deserved their own branch of competition. . .
Share-farming and leasing properties enabled a Riverina couple to reduce risk – Olivia Calver:
Entering farming is becoming more and more restrictive as land prices surge, but Kendra and Brent Kerrisk, Ganmain found share-farming and leasing properties enabled them to get a foothold in the industry.
The Kerrisk’s, both from rural backgrounds in New Zealand, came out to Australia 14 years ago with the goal to buy a house with some acreage. . .
Leave a Comment » | business, environment, Farming, food, rural | Tagged: Bill English, Brent Kerrisk, Don Moffat, Emma Higgins, Gert van den Bosch, Harry the Hippo, Hugh Stringleman, Jane Hutchings, John Key, Kendra Kerrisk, Nigel Malthus, Olivia Calver, Otago Shearing and Woolhandling Championships, Richard Davison, Sally Rae, Sharon Paterson, Southern Field Days | Permalink
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Failure won’t be farmers’ fault – Arthur Tsitsiras:
Farmers, like any business people, always look to keep costs down and make a profit.
Farming, however, is an industry with a unique set of variables. Droughts can severely affect crop and livestock growth, floods and storms damage crops and infrastructure, unexpected disease outbreaks and wavering demands in certain products can all have wide-ranging impacts completely out of farmers’ hands.
In addition, farmers are now expected to be conscious about their environmental impact. . .
Primary Sector Council’s starry-eyed vision – Nigel Malthus:
Late last year, the Primary Sector Council (PSC) unveiled its vision for the future of New Zealand’s primary industries.
It centres on the Māori concept of Taiao, which emphasises respect for, and harmony with, the natural world.
The council was established by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor in April 2018 on a two-year mission to provide strategic advice on issues and to develop a sector-wide vision for the future. . .
Here comes the sun . . . (flowers) – Sally Brooker:
One of North Otago’s favourite crops is making an impact again.
Sunflowers are maturing in paddocks on Thousand Acre Rd, between Oamaru and Kakanui, attracting photographers and adding a feel-good element to the landscape.
They are grown by the Mitchell and Webster families for their animal feeds company Topflite.
“You never get sick of them,” general manager Greg Webster said of the giant yellow flowers. . .
Robot start-up Radius Robotics seeks to solve world’s soil depletion – Catherine Harris:
Farming by robot is no longer a fantasy, and it also could be a breakthrough for preserving our soil quality, a group of Kiwi entrepreneurs say.
Christchurch’s Radius Robotics is developing a wheel-based robotic system which would direct drill seeds with a minimal footprint, irrigate, weed and collect data.
Reducing the amount of land having to be tilled was one of its key aims, co-founder Henry Bersani said. . .
Farmers encouraged to seek advice on farm succession planning – Sam Kilmister:
A series of workshops is designed to get farmers thinking about life after the farm.
Farm succession is a pressing topics among sheep and beef farmers, with more than 50 per cent of sheep and beef farms expected to change hands over the next decade.
The Red Meat Profit Partnership will hold a series of workshops educating Rangitīkei farmers on business transition and help them to navigate what can often be a difficult process. . .
Fonterra leaves impression:
An internship at Fonterra proved to be just as valuable to Massey University science student Victoria-Jayne Reid as it was to the dairy co-operative with the development of a new testing regime.
The third-year science student spent her summer at the Fonterra Research and Development Centre across the road from Massey’s Manawatu campus helping to validate a new test for fat content in milk products that has proved to be robust and simple.
“The old reference method was highly laborious, it involved hazardous chemicals, manhandling and it took a long time,” Reid says. . .
Leave a Comment » | business, environment, Farming, food, rural | Tagged: Anieka Templer, Arthur Tsitsiras, Catherine Harris, Damien O'Connor, Fonterra, Greg Webster, Henry Bersani, Mitchell and Webster, Nigel Malthus, Primary Sector Council (PSC), Radius Robotics, Red Meat Profit Partnership (RMPP), Sam Kilmister, Topflite, Victoria-Jayne Reid | Permalink
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Dead livestock paint grim picture of fire devastation and logistical challenges of recovery effort – Sophie Meixner and Tom Lowrey:
Images of fleeing kangaroos and dehydrated koalas have captured the world’s attention during Australia’s bushfire crisis — but heartbreaking photos of perished livestock paint an equally devastating picture.
In fire-scorched Batlow, New South Wales, animal carcasses line the sides of the road, with farmers beginning the slow, difficult and grim work of loading the bodies onto the trays of utes.
Most are sheep and cattle held on surrounding properties. Most are clumped together, their bodies blackened. . .
Bushfires – Little Brick Pastoral:
Do you have 2020 vision?
It’s been a heartbreaking start to the New Year across much of Australia. Whilst we know the threat is not over with a tough weekend ahead, we’re envisioning a year full of wet stuff! Quenching rains for a dry and barren land. And downpours to extinguish fires and provide some relief for our hardworking firefighters.
But it can be hard to know how to help in these times.
In 2018 we wrote about the drought in an extended blog post. This afternoon, we penned the following on the Australian bushfires; how you can find out more, how you can help, and why it is important that we come together. . .
Bellbird film inspired by director’s upbringing in rural Northland– Mikaela Collins:
While making Bellbird, Hamish Bennett felt he’d be happy as long as the Northland-based film made his family and home community proud.
But its impact has spread wider than that.
The film, set over four seasons on a humble Maungakaramea dairy farm, is charming audiences already with its story of loss, love and hope in rural New Zealand.
Bennett, who wrote and directed the film, said he did not anticipate his first feature film would be as popular as it is. . .
That’s the spirit: botanicals offer scent of success:
The climate that has made some parts of New Zealand so good for growing grass also brings opportunities to develop some niche, high-value crops that are helping to establish new industries alongside traditional pastoral sectors.
Taranaki is an area where a comprehensive economic strategy has identified the region’s climate, including reliable rainfall and rich soils, which meant it was capable of growing a wider variety of crops than it does – with honey and botanical plants identified as new opportunities.
Botanicals are the herbs, roots, flowers, leaves and seeds added to drinks, cosmetics and foods for scent and/or flavour.
From the Ridge: the year Steve put his hand in his pocket – Steve Wyn-Harris:
Hey, it’s me, Ditch.
You remember me.
I was the tiny pup the boss found a few years ago when some sod dumped me in the water table. He rescued me, called me Ditch because he thought Watertable was silly, even by his standards. He thought he’d give me a chance of being a sheepdog but then folk reckoned I was a rottweiler. But I never was. Classic sheepdog with a bit of beardy, judging from my shaggy coat.
I’m big though. The boss had three nice kennels for Gin, Sue and me but I was very snug in mine . .
Soil moisture: no more looking over the fence – Nigel Malthus:
Farm manager Bryan Mitchell describes as brilliant the SCADAfarm systems that allow him to remotely monitor and manage the irrigation of his 300ha of leased grazing land near Kirwee.
The farm has recently been transformed under Mitchell’s management — and with the landowners, the Hayes family — with comprehensive irrigation including nine pivots, a weather station and soil moisture monitoring, new fencing and stock water.
Internet-enabled SCADAfarm systems (supervisory control and data acquisition) tie it all together to allow Mitchell to manage his irrigation needs from a desktop or smartphone screen. . .
Leave a Comment » | business, environment, Farming, food, rural | Tagged: Anieka Templer, bellbird, Bryan Mitchell, Hamish Bennett, Little Brick Pastoral, Mikaela Collins, Nigel Malthus, SCADAfarm systems, Sophie Meixner, Steve Wyn-Harris, Tom Lowrey, William Morrison | Permalink
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Security for Otago farmers unclear amid water plans – Jono Edwards:
Some Otago farmers could be left with “unbankable” irrigation schemes as the Government recommends an overhaul of the Otago Regional Council’s planning processes.
Environment Minister David Parker yesterday released a raft of recommendations for the council after an investigation into its management of freshwater.
It said the council was not equipped to transfer hundreds of century-old water rights into resource consents by 2021, and regardless it should not do so because they would be processed under its current “inadequate” water plan.
On top of the rewriting of council plans already in progress, it recommended an interim plan change to transfer the permits into consents in the meantime.
They would be for a maximum of five years, which some farmers say is too short to ensure future security. . .
Food bowl or toilet bowl? – John Jackson:
New Zealand shouldn’t become a ‘toilet bowl’ of trees for other countries’ carbon dioxide commitments, explains John Jackson.
By the time this is published, a group representing everything good about provincial NZ will have marched on Parliament under the 5New Zealand shouldn’t become a ‘toilet bowl’ of trees for other countries’ carbon dioxide commitments, explains John Jackson. OPINION: By the time this is published, a group representing everything good about provincial NZ will have marched on Parliament under the 50 Shades of Green banner. I’ve never had much interest in trees. I have always enjoyed their ‘fruit’ – whether a physical product I could eat, a picture of might or magnificence in a singular or landscape perspective, or simply shade or shelter. banner.
I’ve never had much interest in trees. I have always enjoyed their ‘fruit’ – whether a physical product I could eat, a picture of might or magnificence in a singular or landscape perspective, or simply shade or shelter. . .
No slacking for M Bovis effort – Annette Scott:
There’s no time to slacken off over the next year if the , programme is to limit the disease, M bovis governance group chairman Kelvan Smith says.
The M bovis governance group, made up of Ministry for Primary Industries director-general Ray Smith, DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle, Beef + Lamb chief executive Sam McIvor and independently chaired by Smith, meets monthly to discuss and review the eradication programme.
Smith said the group is focused on strategic planning to ensure the programme builds on progress made to date and continues towards eradication.
“To date the programme has found 207 infected properties, stopping further spread of the disease and clearing the infection from these properties,” he said. . .
Beef + Lamb puts money where its mouth is- Nigel Malthus:
A ‘model’ sheep and beef farm in North Canterbury is away and running, its founders say.
The North Canterbury Future Farm, set up by Beef + Lamb NZ in partnership with local famers, has had an “OK” first full year of operation, said the organisers of its 2019 Open Day.
BLNZ’s partner is Lanercost Farming Ltd, formed by the landowner, Julia Whelan, with locals Simon Lee and Carl Forrester. . .
A natural blend of grains firms – Tim Fulton:
Two New Zealand-based, foreign-owned seed companies marked a milestone merger in October.
PGG Wrightson Seeds chief executive John McKenzie has seen a good number of mergers and acquisitions over 45 years in the grain and seed trade.
Some deals went well and good and others were distinctly disappointing. The lastest was a natural blend, he said.
The sale of PGG Wrightson’s former grain and seed division has put McKenzie in charge of an Oceania business unit in a global business, DLF Seeds. . .
Pet day a national school tradition :
Dogs of every shape and size, miniature ponies, cats, lambs and guinea pigs put aside their differences and got together for Fairton School’s annual pet day last week.
Fairton School principal Mike Hill said, ”We are a little country school and pet days are a national tradition, and a lot of fun.”
The majority of the pupils had pets at home, so it was good to recognise the way they cared for their animals, he said.
It was also a great chance for parents, and visiting preschoolers from Stepping Stones @ Braebrook, to come to the school and be involved. . .
Leave a Comment » | business, environment, Farming, food, rural | Tagged: 50 Shades of Green, Beef + Lamb NZ (B+LNZ), Carl Forrester, DairyNZ, David Parker, DLF Seeds, Jake Smith, John Jackson, John McKenzie, Julia Whelan, Lanercost Farming Ltd, Mike Hill, Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), Mycoplasma bovis, Nigel Malthus, Otago Regional Council (ORC), PGG Wrightson Seeds, Ray Smith, Sam McIvor, Simon Lee, Tim Mackle | Permalink
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Saving us from ourselves – John Jackson:
The Government’s policy to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions in New Zealand is working directly against the goals of the Paris Accord.
NZ’s pastoral farming is a low emissions process.
Studies published in the NZ Crown Research Institute (CRI) assessment of agricultural production systems the world over show NZ is “head and shoulders” above its competitors.
This goes well beyond our on farm production. With regard to NZ lamb sold in the UK, ocean shipping made up 5% of the final product’s carbon cost – voiding the belief that meat produced on this side of the world is environmentally unsustainable. . .
Action groups motivate farmers – Richard Rennie:
Working together to gain access to high-level agriculture and business expertise is already leading to efficiency gains for a group of Hawke’s Bay farmers, rural consultant Sean Bennett says.
Bennett facilitates two Red Meat Profit Partnership action groups and is working with farmers to set up several more.
The RMPP action network supports small groups of seven to nine farm businesses working together to explore ideas and share expert resources to help make positive on-farm changes. Kick-start funding of $4000 a farm is pooled to fund facilitation and expertise. . .
Independent dairy companies offer farmers an attractive option – Gerard Hutching:
Ask a New Zealander to name a dairy company and the one they are certain to come up with is Fonterra.
But beyond that, many would be stumped for an answer. There are in fact at least a score of independents, processing 18 per cent of New Zealand milk, a share that has steadily increased over the 18 years Fonterra has been in existence.
Open Country Dairy (OCD) farmer supplier Chris Lewis speaks for many when he says farmers opt for an independent over Fonterra because it’s an easier way to get ahead. . .
He’s just mad about saffron – Nigel Malthus:
“I always reckoned you could make a living off 10 acres,” says Canterbury saffron grower Geoff Slater.
“I think if you get the right products you definitely can.”
For Slater and his wife Jude, their 10-acre (4ha) slice of paradise at Eyrewell, north of the Waimakariri River, is where they are building a multi-faceted business trading under the Canterbury Saffron banner. . .
Council role review a priority – Neal Wallace:
New Fonterra Shareholders’ Council chairman James Barron promises a review of the council’s role will be completed by the co-operative’s next annual meeting.
The council’s priority will be a review of its role while contributing to discussion on the co-operative’s capital structure and new strategy.
Barron is a fourth-generation farmer milking 450 cows on the 140ha dairy farm he grew up on, on the banks of the Waihou River south of Matamata.
He replaces Duncan Coull who has retired after four and a half years. . .
Artisan cheesemakers unite – Catherine Donnelly:
An excerpt from ‘Ending the War on Artisan Cheese,’ a new book that exposes government actions that limit food choice under the guise of food safety.
Over the past 35 years, the US Food and Drug Administration has pushed for a mandatory requirement for the use of pasteurized milk in cheesemaking, claiming a public health risk for raw milk cheese. This scenario is playing out abroad as well, where creameries are collapsing because they can’t comply with EU health ordinances. In her new book, Ending the War on Artisan Cheese (Chelsea Green Publishing, November 2019), Catherine Donnelly defends traditional cheesemaking and exposes overreaching government actions that limit food choice under the guise of food safety. The following excerpt explains how the loss of artisan cheese is tantamount to the loss of culture.
American artisan cheese has become mainstream, providing big business for retailers such as Whole Foods, Costco, Wegmans, Murray’s Cheese (now owned by Kroger), and others. Despite the success enjoyed by US artisan cheesemakers and the meteoric rise of artisan cheese production, the American artisan cheese industry faces an existential threat: regulatory overreach. . .
Leave a Comment » | business, environment, Farming, food, rural | Tagged: Canterbury Saffron, Catherine Donnelly, Chris Lewis, Costco, Duncan Coull, Ending the War on Artisan Cheese, Fonterra Shareholders' Council, Geoff Slater, Gerard Hutching, James Barron, Jude Slater, Kevin McSweeney, Murray’s Cheese, Neal Wallace, Nigel Malthus, Open Country Dairy (OCD), saffron, Sean Bennett, Wegmans, Whole Foods | Permalink
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Muller: Labour wants ag gone – Annette Scott:
The Government does not see agribusiness as part of the future of New Zealand’s economy, National Party agriculture spokesman Todd Muller says.
And the freshwater reforms are potentially damaging to the rural community, he told about 200 people at a meeting in Ashburton.
He is wary of new rules without factoring in the potential economic impact.
“You can only get sustainable, enduring outcomes if farmers can see a way they can farm to their limits.
“Economic, social and environmental implications are all perspectives that need to be in communications.
“That’s why we are pushing back very hard and will do if we are in government after September next year.” . .
Fonterra wants change to water rules – Sudesh Kissun:
Fonterra wants the Government to remove suggested maximum required levels of nitrogen and phosphorous in streams.
In its submission on the Government’s Action of Healthy Waterways proposal, Fonterra says it “strongly opposes” some of the maximum required levels for dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) and dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP).
Farm Source Group director Richard Allen says the discussion document does not contain sufficient economic analysis to justify the proposed bottom line values.
Fonterra believes that in-stream bottom lines should only be used where there is a direct link to the outcomes sought. . .
‘Some mud needs to be thrown’ – farmer at Fonterra AGM :
Fonterra shareholders are frustrated and want accountability after turbulent times for the country’s biggest enterprise.
About 200 farmers gathered in Invercargill for the dairy giant’s annual general meeting.
The co-op recently posted a $605 million loss for the last financial year, and didn’t pay dividends to shareholders.
Farmer shareholders acknowledged that today was going to be tough for Fonterra’s leaders during an Q and A session. . .
Breeders boost eating quality – Neal Wallace:
Breeders are responding to customers’ desires and positioning the sheep farmers for the day when processors start grading meat for its eating qualities. Neal Wallace reports.
Meat processors don’t recognise eating quality yet but a group of ram breeders is preparing for when they do.
Andrew Tripp from Nithdale Station in Southland is involved in the South Island genomic calibration project, which uses DNA testing to let breeders predict terminal sire rams likely to produce offspring with meat that has superior qualities of tenderness and juiciness.
Other partners in the project include Beef + Lamb Genetics, Pamu, AgResearch, Focus Genetics, Kelso, the Premier Suftex group, the Southern Suffolk group and Beltex NZ. . .
A blaze of yellow – Nigel Malthus:
Several thousand hectares of South Island farmland is a blaze of yellow as the annual rapeseed crop welcomes the spring.
Cropping farmer Warren Darling is one whose display regularly wows the public, since his farm straddles State Highway One just south of Timaru. His 120ha of rape is at “peak flower” and he expects to harvest at the end of January.
Darling has been growing the crop for about 12 years, along with wheat and barley.
He is now also trying sunflowers, beans and industrial hemp, in an effort to find compatible crops to move to a four-year rotation. . .
Busy music career gathers speed – Alice Scott:
Farmer’s wife, teacher, mother of twin boys, fledgling musician and all while recovering from brain surgery … it’s fair to say Casey Evans hasn’t been taking things easy over the last few years.
Casey moved to husband Rhys’ family farm near Owaka just under three years ago and things have been moving rapidly since, as her country music career begins to gain momentum and she is about to set off on a Somewhere Back Road music tour, raising funds to produce her first solo album.
It is just over a year since Casey underwent surgery to extend the size of her skull and release the pressure on her cerebellum and brain stem tissue which was pushing against the hole at base of her skull. For years Casey said she has experienced chronic fatigue and headaches which she attributed to “a few too many” horse falls. Being pregnant with twins, the symptoms compounded and Casey blacked out.
“It was then they did a scan and diagnosed the problem.” . .
EcoScapes: Stunning views, mental massages and the country’s coolest cinema – Brook Sabin:
I’ve come up with a great concept: the mental massage.
Let me explain. It’s a crazy time to be a human: we’re bombarded with so much information, we’re expected to do more than ever, and we’re all feeling, well, a little bit tired.
So, you’ll like this next bit: it’s time for a mental massage. I’m talking about a little holiday that slows the heartbeat. That relaxes the muscles. That gives your brain a break.
And, boy, I think I’ve found it.
It’s a luxury pod in the mountains, where you can sit back in bed and stare at the Southern Alps. And with the flick of a button, the room transforms into the country’s coolest cinema – all to enjoy with just one other person. . .
Leave a Comment » | business, environment, Farming, food, rural | Tagged: Action on Healthy Waterways, AgResearch, Alice Scott, Andrew Tripp, Annette Scott, Beef + Lamb Genetics, Beltex, Brook Sabin, Casey Evans, EcoScapes, Focus Genetics, Fonterra, Kelso, Matthew Herbert, Neal Wallace, Nigel Malthus, Nithdale Station, Pamu, Richard Allen, Sudesh Kissun, the Premier Suftex group, the Southern Suffolk group, Todd Muller, Warren Darling | Permalink
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Who needs the Greens when Labour hates farmers this much? – Mike Hosking:
Here’s the irony of David Parker. Parker was once the Minister of Economic Development and is currently the Minister of Trade and Export Growth – and yet he has done more than anyone these past two weeks to achieve exactly the opposite.
It was Parker who stopped the hydro dam on the West Coast despite every council, three of them, iwi, the Department of Conservation and 90 per cent of Coasters all being for it.
And now he’s put out water regulations that may as well come with the headline ‘we hate farmers’.
Tim Mackle’s piece in the Herald on this subject is excellent. It basically starts with him wistfully remembering a time when farmers were liked. Well I have a message to rural New Zealand: you still are, at least by people like me, realists who understand the energy, effort, and risk required to do what you do. . .
The waters are rising on farming – Kerry Worsnop:
The release of the Essential Freshwater Report, ‘Action for Healthy Waterways’ will undoubtable add further turbulence to an already stormy torrent of proposed Central Government policy effecting Regional Councils and land based industries.
The report’s stated intention is to ‘stop the further degradation of New Zealand’s Freshwater resources and start making immediate improvements so that water quality is materially improving within 5 years’. The reference to immediacy is no idle threat, with Regional Councils being expected to comply with many of the proposals by June 2020.
No one can argue with the intent of the report, and few would negate the importance of prioritising our greatest natural resource, however the scope and likely implications of the report will be a topic of much discussion in the coming weeks and months. . .
Forgotten aspects of water – Mike Chapman . .
The Government released its consultation on freshwater this week (click here). We are now busy analysing it in detail and it is really too early to reach a view about the ultimate impact, especially before the consultation.
Two of the background documents also released make interesting reading and provide insight into the thinking behind these proposals. Te Kāhui Wai’s recommendations are strident. They go to the core of the water issues facing New Zealand including: iwi/hapu water rights, a moratorium on additional discharges for the next 10 years, establishing a Te Mana o te Wai Commission, and developing a new water allocation system that conforms with iwi/hapu rights and obligations.
The Freshwater Leaders Group’s recommendations include: bringing our water resources to a healthy state within a generation, taking immediate steps to stop our water becoming worse, and achieving an efficient and fair allocation system. They also recommend an immediate stop to poor agricultural and forestry practices, and a complete halt to the loss of wetlands. In summary, the reports are very similar in the outcomes they are seeking – immediate action to stop further degradation.
In all I’ve read, missing is how much water New Zealand gets each year and how much use we make of that water. NIWA figures show that 80% of our water flows out to sea, 18% evaporates and only 2% is used. My point is that there is more than enough water for everyone. The problem is we are not being smart in our use of water and we are not planning for the impact of climate change – long dry summers. . . .
Time for change – Neal Wallace:
A one-size-fits-all approach to freshwater management will penalise farmers shrinking their environment footprint, Beef + Lamb chairman Andrew Morrison says.
Farmers, like everyone, want clean, fresh water but the blanket regulatory approach in the Government’s Action for Health Waterways discussion document lumps those who have cut their footprint with those who haven’t.
Federated Farmers’ reaction was scathing.
Water spokesman Chris Allan said proposed nitrogen reduction targets of 80% mean farming will cease in large parts of rural New Zealand. . .
Fonterra’s clean-out is overdue – Hugh Stringleman:
Fonterra’s farmer-shareholder with the largest number of shares believes the co-operative’s house cleaning and write-downs are absolutely necessary and overdue.
Former director Colin Armer, who with his wife Dale has 10 million supply shares, says over-valued assets mean farmers sharing-up in the past four years paid too much.
He has made a formal complaint to the Financial Markets Authority over inconsistent valuations and executive performance payments. . .
Irrigating farmers record better enviro audit grades – Nigel Malthus:
Irrigating farmers in the Amuri district in North Canterbury are continuing to record improved environmental performance.
The latest round of Farm Environment Plan audits by the Amuri Irrigation Environmental Collective have given 97% of the farmers collective A or B grades, the remaining 3% a C grade and none a D.
That contrasts with 20% rated as C and 6% as D in the first round of collective audits four years ago. . .
Leave a Comment » | business, environment, Farming, food, rural | Tagged: Amuri Irrigation Environmental Collective, Andrew Morrison, Beef + Lamb NZ (B+LNZ), Ben Lee, Chris Lewis, Colin Armer, David Parker, Essential Freshwater, farm environment plan (FEP), Federated Farmers, Fonterra, Hugh Stringleman, Joyce Campbell, Kerry Worsnop, Mike Chapman, Mike Hosking, Neal Wallace, Nigel Malthus | Permalink
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‘Cut the red tape binding Fonterra’ – Pam Tipa:
The time has come to reduce aspects of Fonterra’s regulatory burden, National’s Agriculture spokesperson Todd Muller says.
National opposed the Dairy Industry Restructuring Amendment (DIRA) Bill at its first reading.
Competitive pressure — rather than half-baked regulation — should drive the dairy market forward, Muller says.
“National believes it is vital we have an efficient and innovative dairy industry that supports the long term interests of farmers and consumers. This means having a strong Fonterra, strong smaller manufacturers and a robust domestic liquid milk and retail market.” . . .
Hawke’s Bay shepherd seizes agri-food sector opportunities –
Chris Hursthouse is proof you don’t have to grow up on a farm to be successful in the agri-food sector.
The 22-year-old is a shepherd for the R+C Buddo Trust at Poukawa, near Hastings in Hawke’s Bay.
The trust finishes 15,000 lambs and 500 bulls a year across four blocks totalling 825 hectares.
“The operation has a big emphasis on using plantain and clover forage. . .
Poultry virus likely at Otago chicken farm –
A poultry virus is highly likely to be present at an Otago egg farm which is now under voluntary biosecurity controls.
Biosecurity New Zealand is managing the possible outbreak of Infectious Bursal Disease Virus type 1 at the Mainland Poultry egg farm in Waikouaiti.
The virus poses no risk to human health or the health of other animals, but can affect the health of infected chickens.
Testing of other South Island layer and meat chicken farms is underway.
In the meantime Biosecurity New Zealand has stopped issuing export certificates for the export of chicken products to countries which require New Zealand to be free of the virus. . .
MPI pair helping farmers through `M. bovis’ process– Toni Williams:
Empowering farmers working through the Mycoplasma bovis process involves Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) regional managers Charlotte Austin and Lydia Pomeroy working long hours.
But, as a way of being prepared to fight for their cases and keeping up to date with the issues, it is something they are only too happy to do.
”We certainly lose sleep, but we also understand that it’s not nearly as big an impact on us.
”That’s why we will quite happily work a 12, 13 or 14-hour day ‘cos we understand that these individuals are living it,” said Ms Austin, speaking to media after the recent Mid Canterbury Mycoplasma bovis Advisory Group meeting in Ashburton.
Included in the group are others from MPI, Federated Farmers, Canterbury District Health Board, Rural Support Trust Mid Canterbury and Ashburton District Council. . .
Expect more disruption – Nigel Malthus:
Food and fibre is the most “activist disrupted” sector globally, second only to petroleum, says KPMG’s global head of agribusiness, Ian Proudfoot.
“People desperately want us to grow more food, but how it’s being grown is challenging people and causing them to think clearly about what they expect,” Proudfoot said.
He told the Silver Fern Farms annual farmers’ conference that they could choose to see disruption as either a threat or an opportunity.
The fourth industrial revolution is underway, melding the biological, physical and digital, he said. . .
Rain-resistant wheat variety developed using genome editing :
Scientists have created a rain-resistant wheat variety using genome-editing technology, a breakthrough that could lead to the development of higher-quality flour.
The research team from the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) and Okayama University said genome editing enabled them to develop the variety in just about a year.
It takes nearly 10 years to develop such a wheat species using conventional breeding technology because the plants must be bred over generations.
The wheat used for the study is not a species currently sold on the market, but the team believes the method utilized could someday succeed in developing an edible variety resistant to rain. . .
Leave a Comment » | business, environment, Farming, food, rural | Tagged: Biosecurity NZ, Bursal Disease Virus (BDV), Chris Hursthouse, Dairy Industry Restructuring Amendment (DIRA) Bill, Mainland Poultry, Mycoplasma bovis, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO), Nigel Malthus, Okayama University, Pam Tipa, Tim Gorton, Todd Muller, Toni Williams | Permalink
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Meat industry concerned by education shake-up :
A shake-up of vocational education could be a backwards step for training in the meat industry, the sector’s leaders say.
Last week, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced seven key changes in store for on-the-job training and apprenticeships, which included the creation of a “mega-polytech”.
Up to seven industry-governed Workforce Development Councils would also be created to “replace and expand” Industry Training Organisations (ITOs). . .
Consumer trust is key for future success of NZ food industry:
Consumer trust has never been more valuable to the New Zealand food industry and is set to play a key role in its future success, a visiting international agricultural expert has told the horticulture sector. Yet winning and sustaining this trust has also never been more complex.
Speaking at the New Zealand Horticulture conference in Hamilton last week, the Sydney-based general manager for RaboResearch Australia and New Zealand Tim Hunt said consumer trust was becoming an increasingly precious commodity for New Zealand food producers.
“New Zealand’s emerging markets, like China and South East Asia, place a high value on food safety and the process of food preparation, while more mature wealthy markets are willing to pay for sustainability, animal welfare, fairness and attractive provenance,” he said. . .
‘No ordinary job’: Dairy farmers put in the hard yards over calving – Esther Taunton:
Most calves are born like Superman, with their front legs up over their heads, but sometimes even Superman needs a hand, Taranaki sharemilker Jody McCaig says.
McCaig and her husband, Charlie, farm at Te Kiri, inland from Opunake, and like dairy farmers around the country, they’re headed into another busy calving.
At the height of the season, up to 50 calves a day will be born on the 1000-cow, 320-hectare property. . .
Stop pigeonholing farm systems– TIm Fulton:
Support for regenerative agriculture is building across New Zealand and Australia. As Crown-run Landcare Research seeks state funding to test the principles and practice Tim Fulton spoke to Australian soil science leader Professor John McLean for an assessment of the movement.
At home with a newborn in southeast Queensland Associate Professor John McLean recently read a an article on regenerative agriculture in the special Fieldays issue of Farmers Weekly.
Bennett is a principal research fellow at the university’s Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Systems and the immediate past president of Soil Science Australia. . .
New Zealand’s first carbon neutral milk plant – Nigel Malthus:
French global food company Danone says it will spend NZ$40 million on its Nutricia spray drying plant at Balclutha to achieve net carbon neutrality there by 2021.
NZ operations director Cyril Marniquet says it will make the Balclutha plant NZ’s first carbon neutral one of its kind.
A NZ$30m biomass boiler will reduce the plant’s CO2 emissions by 20,000 tonnes per year – the equivalent, the company says, of removing 60,000 cars from NZ’s roads. And a more efficient waste water treatment plant will meet Danone’s stringent global clean water standards. . .
China confirms it is suspending agricultural product purchases in response to Trump’s new tariffs – Kate Rooney:
China confirmed reports that it was pulling out of U.S. agriculture as a weapon in the ongoing trade war.
A spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said Chinese companies have stopped purchasing U.S. agricultural products in response to President Trump’s new 10% tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods.
“This is a serious violation of the meeting between the heads of state of China and the United States,” the Minister of Commerce said in a statement Monday that was translated via Google. . .
Leave a Comment » | business, environment, Farming, food, rural, trade | Tagged: Chris Hipkins, Cyril Marniquet, dairymanNZ, Danone, Esther Taunton, Industry Training Organisations (ITOs), Kate Rooney, Landcare Research, Nigel Malthus, Nutricia, NZ Horticulture, Professor John McLean, RaboResearch, Soil Science Australia, Tim Hunt, Workforce Development Councils | Permalink
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