Five Otago entries for farmer of year award – Sally Rae:
Five Otago farming businesses are among those entered for the 2015 Lincoln University Foundation South Island Farmer of the Year award.
Twelve entries have been received from throughout the South Island, including a West Coast farm for the first time in the history of the competition.
Operations range from sheep and beef farms to a marine mussel farm, saffron grower and fruit producer. . .
Pipes full, water coming soon – Alan Williams:
The pipes are full and ready to start irrigating stage one of the Central Plains Water (CPW) scheme in Canterbury.
Once the control system was fully tested over the next few weeks the valves could be turned on, chief executive Derek Crombie said.
The official target date was September 1 but the practical timing for water to flow to most of the 120 farms involved would be late September or early October, depending on rainfall levels and ground temperatures. . .
New Zealand and South Korean scientists may soon be able to identify the compounds that give deer antler velvet its immune-boosting properties.
If successful, it would allow velvet extracts to be sold with a precise measure of the active ingredients they contain. Deer Industry New Zealand (DINZ) says this will be an important step in getting such products registered for sale as healthy functional foods. . .
Crowdfunding might be better known for assisting fledgling businesses but it is also helping restore New Zealand waterways.
The Million Metres Streams Project, set up by the Sustainable Business Network in collaboration with Enspiral, is New Zealand’s first conservation crowdfunding initiative.
Launched in October last year, the project gave people the opportunity to contribute to the restoration of waterways. It has already funded almost 5km of riparian restoration work. . .
Biosecurity staff detected a deadly rattle in a set of souvenir maracas carried by two air passengers arriving in New Zealand from Cuba.
The couple declared the Cuban percussion instruments to Ministry for Primary Industries biosecurity staff at Auckland airport earlier this month.
X-ray screening revealed the maracas used red seeds for their rattle. MPI later identified the seed asAbrus precatorius, commonly known as crab’s eye and rosary pea.
The seeds contain abrin, which is more toxic than ricin – a deadly poison associated with spies and biological weaponry. . .
Tips and information to help manage the ups and downs of fluctuating milk price will be provided at a series of DairyNZ events in September and October.
The Feed Tactics field days will focus on helping farmers get the best returns from all feeds used on farm.
The nationwide events follow on from one-on-one feed review visits which provided more than 750 farms with an assessment of feed allocation and grazing management in early spring. . .
The Commerce Commission is to reconvene its conference on Cavalier Wool Holding Limited’s application for authorisation to acquire New Zealand Wool Services International’s wool scouring business.
The conference will be held on Tuesday 1 September to consider specific issues relating to property valuations, which form part of Cavalier’s application. . .
GMO ‘Right to Know’ movement takes food off of plates of hungry in Africa, Asia – Michael Dzakovich:
One of the most contentious and polarizing issues today is the use of biotechnology in farming. While many farmers in industrialized countries have been safely and successfully using genetically engineered crops for almost two decades, adoption in the developing world has been significantly slower, only recently eclipsing the U.S. in terms of total acreage.
Many of these crops have been developed to produce naturally occurring nutritional compounds, resist aggressive diseases and tolerate extreme environmental conditions. The benefits of GE crops are not equitably spread throughout the developing world, as those in most critical need often cannot benefit from existing solutions created by public scientists. . .
Dayton community harvests late farmer’s final crop – Taylor Viydo:
A community came together this week to help a family harvest the final crop of a local farmer who passed away from cancer.
Jim Hanger was still running a 5,000-acre family farm in Dayton when he passed away last week. He lost his battle to cancer at age 66.
“He was always on the tractor, the combines — if it was seeding, he was seeding. If it was harvest, he was harvesting,” said daughter Tracy Hanger. . .