Rural round-up

February 7, 2014

Beef producers need comprehensive TPP deal:

Beef producers from the four largest beef producing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) member countries continue to advocate that any TPP agreement must deliver on the 2011 TPP Ministers’ position of eliminating tariffs and other barriers to trade.

Beef producers of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States, working in a coordinated partnership known as the Five Nations Beef Alliance (FNBA), issued a statement today expressing concern at the possibility that some TPP members may seek to exclude some so-called “sensitive” products from comprehensive, duty free access.

Granting a TPP member any such exclusion would result in other members seeking similar treatment, leading to a decline in the agreement’s level of ambition and the resulting economic growth that it would bring. . .

NZ apple growers likely to beat $1 billion export target early on rising prices, higher productivity – TIna Morrison:

(BusinessDesk) – New Zealand apple growers will probably reach $1 billion in exports ahead of their 10-year 2022 target as the industry benefits from higher productivity and rising prices.

The apple industry, New Zealand’s second-largest fresh fruit export after kiwifruit, has raised export prices to offset the negative impact of a higher New Zealand dollar on returns, said Gary Jones, business development manager at grower organisation Pipfruit New Zealand. Better access to seasonal staff through a 2008 government scheme has helped orchard owners raise production.

New Zealand’s apple industry, which accounts for a quarter of the southern hemisphere’s fresh apple exports, is heading into its main three-month harvesting period. Pipfruit NZ plans to drop its compulsory grower levy for research and development to 1 cent a kilogram this year from 1.25 cents last year as it benefits from the extra revenue gleaned from a larger crop. . .

Strong Export Seed Season:

New Zealand seed growers enjoyed another strong export season in 2013.

Radish, carrots, ryegrass and white and red clover are just some of the high value export seed crops grown in this country every year, many of them in Canterbury, and exported to over 60 world New data sourced from Statistics New Zealand show the total value of seed exports was $192 million up $24 million or 14 per cent for the year ended December 2013, compared with the previous year.

Herbage seed (ryegrass, clover and other grasses) accounts for 53 per cent of total seed exports by value. Vegetable seed has 47 per cent share.

Australia is the biggest market for pasture seed, accounting for 16 per cent of total shipments.

Northern hemisphere markets remain hugely important for New Zealand vegetable seeds and Asian sales are steady with good growth opportunities. The Netherlands is the number 1 export market by value for carrots, radish and other vegetable seeds.

Thomas Chin, general manager of the New Zealand Grain and Seed Trade Association, says growers, processors and exporters have every reason to be pleased with the latest export data. . .

There are two types of eaters at the table: The quick, and the hungry! – Art4Agriculture:

It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to our guest blogger Andrew Dallimore

In the words of Marian MacDonald ( read Marian’s blog post on Andrew here) who suggested  Andrew to me as a candidate for the Young Farming Champions program

There are plenty of dreamers out there. I can’t tell you how many of our city friends say how lucky we are to be living on the land but never take the plunge. Andrew Dallimore is not one of them.

This young man is a dreamer, thinker and doer rolled into one. In the name of encouraging students to be ambitious, achieve their goals, and overcome challenges, he set up a charity and cycled from Adelaide to Melbourne (see more at http://thegentlewaydotorg.wordpress.com/about-2/). Now, in the name of his future family and community, Andrew’s applying those very same principles to his own life. . .

My first five decades in a nutshell (but I didn’t marry a farmer after all) – Madbush Farm:

January 1964

My mother gave birth to her fifth child. It was the time of the Vietnam War. People were dying and the protests against the war were already raging. Mum and Dad got a black and white Murphy Television.

1967
I was three years old and I saw my first horse. I wanted to have my own horse. Next door was an old horse named Joey. I was found sitting underneath him with a rope in my hand.

1969

I started school. My first day was crap. I got the drawing in the book wrong. The teacher hit me on the hand with a ruler. I  now wanted my own farm and a horse.  I didn’t like school. We watched Neil Armstrong take his first steps on the moon. I was disappointed. There was no man in the moon after all.

1973

I still wanted my own farm and a horse. I was told I had to marry a farmer if I wanted a farm. I knew the answer to the question What is the capital of Vietnam? in my class general knowledge quizz. It was Saigon. The Vietnam War was all over our television screen. People were dying. I didn’t understand why. I started to watch Country Calender because I wanted to be a farmer. . .

 


Rural round-up

May 5, 2013

Multiple causes for colony collapse – report – by Seth Borenstein:

A new federal report blames a combination of problems for a mysterious and dramatic disappearance of US honeybees since 2006.

The intertwined factors cited include a parasitic mite, multiple viruses, bacteria, poor nutrition, genetics, habitat loss and pesticides.

The multiple causes make it harder to do something about what’s called colony collapse disorder, experts say. The disorder has caused as much as one-third of the nation’s bees to just disappear each winter since 2006. 

Bees, especially honeybees, are needed to pollinate crops.

The federal report, issued Thursday by the Agriculture Department and the Environmental Protection Agency, said the biggest culprit is the parasitic mite varroa destructor, calling it “the single most detrimental pest of honeybees”. . .

And the top steaks are…:

After an intense semi-final tasting today, the top 20 sirloin steaks have been found to compete in the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Steak of Origin Grand Final.

Today’s semi-final saw over 70 steaks tasted by a panel of chefs and foodwriters, including 2012 MasterChef winner Chelsea Winter.

Winter says the quality of the product on show made marking the steaks very difficult.

“I love a steak at the best of times and to taste some of the best in the country was a great experience. It was a hard job as they were each of such high quality, but someone has to do it!” says Winter. . .

Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track Nominated For Green Ribbon Award:

The Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track has been nominated as a finalist in the Green Economy category for the 2013 Green Ribbon Awards for the second consecutive year. Honouring outstanding contributions to protecting New Zealand’s environment, the Green Ribbon Awards are conferred by the Ministry for the Environment.

Environment Minister Amy Adams announced 32 finalists in 11 award categories that recognise individuals, businesses, communities and youth, as well as larger organisations.

“All the finalists have shown great dedication and initiative. I am looking forward to meeting them and learning first-hand about the great work they are all doing to help New Zealand’s environment,” Ms Adams says. . .

Growers, Importers Scramble to Meet New Brassica Rules:

A snap change to government import rules for brassica seeds has caught New Zealand producers on the hop as they prepare for sowing the high value crops.

The new rules, including mandatory fungicide treatment, mean significant delays to shipments and serious production issues for some growers already working to very tight planting schedules.

Thomas Chin, general manager of the New Zealand Grain and Seed Trade Association, says the Ministry for Primary Industries gave no warning of the change and no immediate explanation. . .

Appointment Of AGMARDT’s Associate Board Member:

AGMARDT has announced the appointment of James Allen as an Associate Board Member to join its Board of Trustees.

AGMARDT is an independent not-for-profit trust that aims to foster and encourage leadership, innovation and research capability within the agricultural, horticultural and forestry sectors of New Zealand.

AGMARDT Chairman Jeff Grant said that the purpose of creating the Associate Board Member position is to provide an emerging agribusiness leader with an opportunity to observe and experience governance in action within an innovative agribusiness environment. . .


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