The year ahead for agri-food – Keith Woodford:
The year ahead is going to be challenging for many of New Zealand’s farmers. There are no quick solutions for either dairy or sheep. Amongst the bigger industries, only kiwifruit and beef have a positive outlook. The wine industry could go in either direction this year. Among the smaller industries, manuka honey could be the one to watch.
The year has started badly for dairy, with whole milk powder down 4.4% at the early January auction. For me, this number came almost as a relief. It could have been a lot worse. . .
More cows stolen in Mid-Canterbury – Audrey Malone:
More than 100 dairy cattle disappeared without a trace from three Mid Canterbury farms during December.
A farm in Alford Forrest has lost 52 Friesian bull calves, while a farm south of Hinds lost 17 grown dairy cows.
It followed news that 36 cows disappeared from Mayfield farm over a two week period in December.
The farm owners are puzzled
Jill Quigley, who owns the Mayfield farm with husband David, said rural Mid Canterbury was not a good place anymore.
“It just looks a little suspicious,” she said. . .
A group of 40 people celebrated another milestone in The Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail in Duntroon yesterday afternoon.
Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher officially opened the 28km section from Kurow to Duntroon – now totally off-road – in a short ceremony in the Waitaki Valley town. Mr Kircher said the trail would be a boon for the town’s economy, but also allowed locals to show ‘‘how proud people are of their community”. . .
Hat tip: Utopia
High country meets town in rural games – Jill Galloway:
How far can you throw and catch a raw egg, throw a gumboot or spit a cherry stone? For that matter, how fast can you put up a fence or shear a sheep?
These skills will be tested when country comes to town in the New Zealand Rural Games at Queenstown next month.
Games founder Steve Hollander was in Palmerston North on his way to help run the events.
He said rural people from this area would take part in shearing and fencing.
Hollander said the games were about entertaining people, and no event was more than two hours long. He expected 8000 people over the two day event. . .
Lewis Road Creamery eyes China as potential export market – Fiona Rotherham:
(BusinessDesk) – Lewis Road Creamery, the premium dairy brand company, will make a final decision this year whether to export, most likely fresh organic milk into China’s Shanghai. It’s also planning to release a number of product extensions and has already moved beyond dairy products into baked goods.
The Auckland-based brand saw 340 percent growth in retail sales to $40 million of its butter, cream, organic milk, and flavoured milk products during 2015, the year of what founder Peter Cullinane calls “the chocolate milk frenzy”.
His big decisions this year include whether to get serious about exporting and how far to extend the product range beyond dairy. For the past couple of months it has been trialling sales of Lewis Road Bakery premium kibbled grain bread in 12 Auckland retail outlets. . .
Those entrants who used their summer holiday to prepare for the 2016 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards could have an advantage, as activity gears up in this year’s competitions.
The awards, which oversee the Share Farmer of the Year, Dairy Manager of the Year and Dairy Trainee of the Year competitions, received 452 entries prior to Christmas.
General Manager Chris Keeping says information events for entrants and sponsors are being held in some of the awards’ 11 regions over the next couple of weeks. . .
New Zealand Wool Services International Limited’s C.E.O, Mr John Dawson reports that this week’s auctions held in both centres saw slightly different price movements between them, however overall the local market remained firm.
Of the 16,500 bales on offer, 95.6 percent sold. . . .
A cavalcade of Vintage Tractors, Jeeps and Trucks trekking 2600km from Bluff to Cape Reinga over 26 days.
Raising funds for hospices throughout New Zealand. . .