Rural round-up

June 10, 2016

Synlait forecast milk price $4.50 kgMS next season:

Synlait Milk’s forecast milk price for the 2016 / 2017 season is $4.50 kgMS and will carry a higher than usual advance rate for milk suppliers.

Chairman Graeme Milne said the prospect of another tough season will be slightly offset for Synlait suppliers as they’ll start the season in a stronger cash flow position than they were expecting.

“Cash flow is really important at this time of year and we’ve prioritised a significantly higher advance rate for our milk suppliers’ benefit,” said Mr Milne. . . 

One more step to Open:

It’s a long way from Whangamomona to Somerset, but distance has been no barrier for Taranaki shearer Darren Alexander.

Alexander has celebrated his first trip to England by winning a title at one of England’s major shows.

The 22-year-old shearer, who graduated from Lincoln College in Canterbury with a B.Sc last year, won the senior final at the British Golden Shears, during last week’s Royal Bath and West Show at Shepton Mallet in the southwest of England. . . 

2016 Sheep Industry Awards Finalists Announced:

Finalists in the 2016 Beef + Lamb New Zealand Sheep Industry Awards have been announced.

The awards are now in their fifth year and Beef + Lamb New Zealand chief executive, Sam McIvor said they were a great way to celebrate the New Zealand sheep industry and the farmers who produce the best sheep meat in the world.

“It’s right that we acknowledge the top performers and showcase our industry, which is a significant contributor to the New Zealand economy.

“These businesses and individuals can rightly take their place as outstanding performers on both the domestic and international business stage,” McIvor said. . . .

Environment Showcase Celebrates Best Of Sustainable Agriculture and Horticulture:

Supreme winners from the eleven regions participating in the 2016 Ballance Farm Environment Awards will be honoured at New Zealand Farm Environment Trust’s National Sustainability Showcase in June.

Celebrating environmental excellence and culminating with the naming of the National Winner of the 2016 Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA), the annual Sustainability Showcase is regarded as a premier event on the farming calendar.

This year’s Showcase is being held in Northland where the next recipient of the Gordon Stephenson trophy will be announced at a special gala dinner on June 22 at the Copthorne Hotel and Resort, Bay of Islands. . . 

More funding for the New Zealand cycle trail:

The Government is investing more than $1.2 million in seven new projects for the upkeep and maintenance of the New Zealand Cycle Trail, Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism John Key announced today.

The investment comes from the fourth round of the Maintaining the Quality of the Great Rides Fund and priority has been given to proposals that aim to improve safety and quality of the Great Rides – the premier rides of the New Zealand Cycle Trail.

“The Great Rides are used by thousands of people every day and have provided a significant boost to New Zealand tourism,” Mr Key says. “This funding will help ensure visitors can continue soaking up New Zealand’s beautiful scenery in a safe and enjoyable way. . . 

Nuffield scholar looking to Merino for returns

The sheep meat and wool industry is Victoria’s third largest agricultural industry by value, but 2014 Nuffield Scholar Tim Gubbins believes the future of this important industry could be even brighter with a greater focus on reproductive potential.

The Darlington farm manager is responsible for a sheep flock consisting of 10,000 composite ewes.

The operation also includes a winter grazed area of approximately 2,100 hectares, as well as an annual cropping program of around 600 hectares. . .

Seawater tomatoes set new farming benchmark – Andrew Marshall:

A landmark $100 million-plus greenhouse complex capable of producing 16,000 tonnes of tomatoes annually from solar power-filtered seawater officially opens in arid South Australia in October.

The much-anticipated 20-hectare Sundrop Farms development near Port Augusta will be the world’s biggest “seawater greenhouse”.

It is also the latest of about seven big scale hydroponic greenhouse developments to have sprouted in Australia in less than a decade. . . 


Pedal power generating economic boost

January 31, 2014

New cycle trails are already generating an economic boost.

Nga Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail Evaluation Report shows that visitors using the NZCT are staying one to three nights and spending between $131 and $176 a day per person.

The evaluation report was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows that although the trails are still very new, they are making good progress in terms of job creation and contribution to the local economy.

Interviews with trail managers, surveys of business owners and trail users, and four cycle trail case studies were undertaken for the evaluation. The case studies looked at a range of cycle trails, including remote trails and popular day-trip and urban destinations – the Mountains to Sea Trail in Manawatu, the Hauraki trail in Waikato, the Motu Trail on the East Coast and the Queenstown Trail.

Overall about one-quarter of businesses surveyed believed the trails had been good for their business, and about half believed it would be in the future. An impressive 98 per cent of users said they were either very satisfied or satisfied with their cycle trail experience and 97 per cent of trail users said they were likely to recommend the trail to others.

The Chair of NZCT Inc. Richard Leggat says the trails have been busy this summer with visitors and cycling enthusiasts alike.

“While it is still early days for the cycle trails, they are making great progress towards achieving their goals of creating a high quality tourism asset for New Zealand. It’s gratifying to get such excellent feedback from trail users,” says Mr Leggat.

The trails have already received international recognition for their quality, receiving the honourable mention award at the International Trails Symposium in April last year. . .

The Alps to Ocean (A2O) Cycle Trail passes near our home on its way from Mt Cook to Oamaru Harbour.

It’s not finished yet – several sections are still on roads – but it’s already proving popular with cyclists.

It’s bringing people to a part of New Zealand they might not otherwise visit and providing opportunities for existing and new businesses servicing and selling to cyclists.


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