Labour’s water plan ‘dangerous, deceitful’, says Marlborough grapegrower – Oliver Lewis:
A Marlborough grapegrower has blasted Labour’s irrigation policy as “dangerous” and “deceitful”.
Wine Marlborough deputy chairman Simon Bishell said it was populist electioneering that would “drive a deeper wedge between the rural and urban divide”.
The Caythorpe Family Estate grower said international wine markets were incredibly competitive and any extra charge would put New Zealand exporters at a disadvantage. . .
Concern for Hawke’s Bay farmers, growers over “water tax” – Victoria White:
Concerned members of Hawke’s Bay primary sector have waded into the debate on a Labour Party proposal for a royalty on commercial water.
Yesterday Labour leader Jacinda Ardern revealed their freshwater policy, which included charging an unspecified royalty on commercial water, with the revenue going to local regional councils to be used to clean up rivers, lakes and streams.
This royalty would include water bottlers, and farmers taking water for irrigation schemes. . .
Horticulture New Zealand Responds to Scaremongering Claims:
Reacting to claims yesterday from Labour’s water tax spokesperson David Parker that its level of “scaremongering around this would make Donald Trump blush”, Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman says this is a disappointing way to start a policy discussion about water and land use.
“Since Labour announced last week that it planned to tax fruit and vegetable growers’ use of water, I have been contacted by many of our growers asking that Horticulture New Zealand speak out about this tax and its direct impact on the cost of healthy food,” Chapman says.
“The tax confuses water users with water polluters – they are not one and the same – and implies that people on municipal water supply already pay for water, when in fact nobody pays for water. The costs they are talking about relate to the infrastructure required to source water. . .
Positive perception important to farmers – Sally Rae:
Dean Rabbidge is an advocate for telling the good stories in farming.
Mr Rabbidge (32), a Glenham sheep, beef and dairy farmer, is intent on not only growing his own farming business, but also defending what he views as a “bad rap” that farming receives from some.
He recently became a trustee and member of the Three Rivers Catchment Group, which was established to engage with all sectors of the community and educate around the management of fresh water.
The group comprised about 12 trustees, who were all farmers and who wanted to engage with the community around water quality issues. The catalyst for its formation was Environment Southland’s proposed Water and Land Plan.
Mr Rabbidge encouraged people to “do the right thing” and showcase best management practice. He wanted to “get some good noise” out there with all the good stuff that was happening, he said. . .
Understanding meat behind marketing – Sally Rae:
When it comes to marketing meat, Wayne Cameron is in the enviable position of having experienced first-hand all aspects of the chain — from producer to restaurateur.
Mr Cameron has been heavily involved with the Silere alpine origin merino meat brand established six years ago.
Originally a joint venture between the New Zealand Merino Company and Silver Fern Farms, SFF later withdrew from the venture and Alliance Group took it up.
Mr Cameron’s latest role is as marketing manager premium products at Alliance Group, overseeing not only Silere but also Te Mana lamb, and other yet-to-be launched products, including a beef label due to be rolled out soon. . .
NZ sheep numbers decline at a slower annual pace as farmers rebuild flocks – Tina Morrison:
(BusinessDesk) – The steady decline in New Zealand’s sheep numbers continued at a slower pace over the past year as farmers in some areas rebuilt their flocks following drought, natural disasters and the impact of facial eczema.
Sheep numbers reduced to an estimated 27.34 million as at June 30 from 27.58 million a year earlier, according to the latest survey from the Economic Service of farmer-owned industry organisation Beef + Lamb New Zealand. The annual 0.9 percent decline compares with last year’s 5.3 percent drop, and marks the fifth consecutive fall since 2012 when sheep numbers rose 0.4 percent. . .
Farmers taking a hammering with One Plan, gorge closure :
“We won’t survive,” was Tararua District mayor Tracey Collis’ reaction to the Environment Court directed One Plan presented to Horizons Regional Council’s strategy and policy committee yesterday.
“The report is really scary,” Mrs Collis, an Eketahuna dairy farmer, said.
“We’ve seen the damage a loss of 30 per cent of business has meant to Woodville, with the close of State Highway 3 through the Manawatu Gorge. A drop in dairy farmer’s profit will be felt throughout our community,” she said. . .
Otematata wetland project gets funding boost – Elena McPhee:
Volunteers are fencing, clearing willows, and planting 2200 native plants before spring for a wetlands restoration project at the head of Lake Aviemore.
Another $15,000 has been granted for the conservation project as part of an ongoing Environment Canterbury initiative to fund biodiversity projects around the district.
The Otematata Ratepayers Association received the grant from the Upper Waitaki Water Zone Committee to enhance another section of the 50 hectare Otematata Wetlands at the head of Lake Aviemore.
The wetlands site is a popular recreation area, and is being restored by the community-led group. . .
Draft Report on Fonterra’s Base Milk Price Calculation:
The Commerce Commission has today released its draft report on Fonterra’s base milk price calculation for the 2016/17 dairy season.
The base milk price is the price Fonterra pays farmers for raw milk, which is set at $6.15 per kilogram of milk solids for the 2016/17 season just ended. The report does not cover the forecast 2017/18 price of $6.75 that Fonterra announced in July.
The Commission is required to review Fonterra’s calculation at the end of each dairy season under the milk price monitoring regime in the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act (DIRA).
Commission Deputy Chair Sue Begg said with the exception of the asset beta component of the cost of capital estimate, Fonterra’s calculation of the 2016/17 base milk price is consistent with both the efficiency and contestability purposes of DIRA. . .
Teacher resources bring primary industries into the classroom:
A new set of online resources will provide teachers with the information they need to help their students learn about New Zealand’s animal welfare, biosecurity and food systems, says Associate Minister for Primary Industries Louise Upston.
“The curriculum-linked resources are being rolled out so that teachers can help students to learn key knowledge and skills while also discovering how these key systems underpin the primary industries and play an important role in our economy, our environment and our way of life,” Ms Upston says. . .
First female president of Agcarm:
Agcarm, the industry association which represents crop protection, animal health and rural supplier businesses, has appointed its first female president.
Dr Pauline Calvert heads the production animal business for MSD Animal Heath in New Zealand and was elected president at Agcarm’s annual meeting on July 27.
Under her presidency, Agcarm will continue to focus on promoting the responsible use of products, sustainable agriculture, environmental preservation, and sensible science-based regulation of crop protection and animal health products. . .
Interesting Facts And Figures About The 2017 Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year National Final:
With the Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year 2017 National Final looming closer (29th August 2017 at Villa Maria) the contestants are well into study mode, researching their projects, writing budgets, revising a wide range of subjects such as pests & diseases, soil nutrition, pruning, trellising and tractor skills to name but a few. Each of them is very determined to be this year’s winner.
Here are some interesting facts about the competition:
• 2017 will be the largest national final to date with SIX contestants . .