Federated Farmers is seeking Ministerial support for a change to tax legislation so farmers whose breeding stock are culled as part of the Mycoplasma bovis eradication effort are not disadvantaged by the tax regime.
“Currently farmers whose dairy or beef breeding cows are valued on their books under the National Standard Cost scheme and whose cattle are culled as part of the Mycoplasma bovis response will most likely end up with a hefty tax bill. This is not a fair outcome for affected farmers and we believe it’s an unintended consequence of the tax legislation,” Federated Farmers economics spokesperson Andrew Hoggard says. . .
For most of us, the first days of the New Year are spent resting, reflecting and rueing the excesses of the Christmas period.
The ham on the bone is being whittled away, the recycling bin is housing a few too many empty bottles and we’re all hoping that someone else will take the initiative and tidy away the Christmas decorations for another year.
But for a great many people, the early weeks of January are all about work.
With Central Otago accounting for nearly 60 per cent of planted summer fruit orchards in New Zealand, it’s fair to say that all eyes are on this neck of the woods as the country hankers after its fresh produce. . .
Change is on the way for the classic Kiwi fencepost, with a new venture making them out of recycled plastic.
Future Post has joined forces with Smart Environmental’s Kopu site, collecting bales of recycling which will then be turned into fence posts.
The Smart Environmental plant services Thames-Coromandel, Hauraki, Matamata-Piako and Waipā, and Future Post is expecting to save around 15 tonnes of plastic a month.
“It means there’s a reasonable percentage of plastic now being reused; however, there’s still a hell of a lot that is unusable and still has no market,” Smart Environmental’s Waikato and BOP regional manager Layne Sefton said. . .
From humble beginnings 19 years ago Matt and Tracey Jones now do business worldwide to help Canterbury farmers staff their farms and have launched a world class learning environment in rural Mid Canterbury to provide elite education to strengthen New Zealand primary industries. Annette Scott caught up with the agribusiness entrepreneurs.
Mid Canterbury couple Matt and Tracey Jones’ agricultural staffing businesses is going world-wide recruiting and training people to work across all sectors of New Zealand’s primary industries.
Starting out as Mid Canterbury Casual Employment Services in 2001 their recruitment and training business has evolved and expanded to meet agriculture’s increasing needs. . .
Figures released by Te Uru Rakau (Forestry New Zealand) this week show 228 grant applications were received for funding under the Government’s One Billion Trees Programme this year, a total of $42.55million being allocated across 42 projects.
Te Uru Rakau acting deputy director-general Sam Keenan said $22.2million of that had been approved across 10,758.4 hectares of new planting.
“To date approximately 17,056,165 trees comprised of 9,785,067 native and 7,271,098 exotic trees have been funded.” . .
Livestock producers are now planning for difficult conditions through summer and autumn, going into winter.
NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and Local Land Services have advised producers to use available tools and tactics to develop feasible solutions for worst case to best case scenarios.
DPI sheep development officer, Geoff Casburn, said the free Drought and Supplementary Feed Calculator app is available from the Apple App Store and Google Play to help calculate feed requirements, costs and budgets and develop cost effective feeding strategies. . .
Politicians might be slow acting on climate change but retailers and consumers who buy New Zealand produce aren’t and they expect Kiwi farmers to reduce their carbon footprint, special agricultural trade envoy Mike Petersen says.
He urges food producers to stop arguing about details and start reducing carbon emissions to preserve demand in lucrative markets.
“It is very real in-market,” he said.
Peterson said “If people think this is being dreamed up by NZ politicians to get at NZ farmers then you need to think again.”
It is being driven by those who buy our food.
“Companies and consumers are driving climate change. . .
How many of the one billion trees planted in the next decade will be native species? Government tree planting agency Te Uru Rakau has clarified that it can’t hazard an estimate.
The Government’s tree planting agency, Te Uru Rakau, says it can’t estimate what proportion of the one billion trees programme will be native species, saying a previous figure it gave to Newsroom was meant to be purely “illustrative”.
The illustrative figure was used to calculate the estimated climate benefitfrom the tree scheme, which Te Uru Rakau has put at 384 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over the trees’ lifetimes. . .
Continuing to chip away at planting all our drains with carex. This will help reduce sediment & nutrient loss, create new habitats and just look awesome once it grows. pic.twitter.com/v2olHZAG3z
Capturing phosphate in water spilling off farm catchments has been made easier thanks to work done by a Rotorua farmer group and a doctoral student who have developed detainment bunds on trial properties.
A field day later this month gives farmers the chance to look at work that has largely been under the radar but offers a practical, farmer-focused solution to improving water quality. Richard Rennie spoke to the group’s project manager John Paterson.
While nitrogen mitigation has played on the minds of most regional councils and many farmers, phosphorus losses are also required, under the Government’s latest water quality rules, to be measured and curtailed. . .
The answer is that many of the nation’s official nutrition recommendations — including the idea that red meat is a killer — have been based on a type of weak science that experts have unfortunately become accustomed to relying upon. Now that iffy science is being questioned. At stake are deeply entrenched ideas about healthy eating and trustworthy nutrition guidelines, and with many scientists invested professionally, and even financially, in the status quo, the fight over the science won’t be pretty.
Red meat is a particularly contentious topic because people have such strong objections to eating meat for a variety of reasons: the environment, animal rights and even religion (Seventh-day Adventists advise against it). . . .
Shane Jones has a stern word of warning for foreign-owned forestry companies looking to undermine him: “Political utu is a dish best served cold”.
He said the people who tried to undermine him would learn this lesson closer to the next election.
Is he not expecting to be a minister closer to the election that he thinks thinks he can say something then his role prevents him from saying now?
Jones made the remarks after he was publicly rebuked by the Prime Minister for trying to solicit votes for NZ First at the Northland Forestry Awards. . .
But now Jones is firing back. He wants the attendees to know he’s aware of who they are, and their relationship to the National Party.
“They were playing a dangerous game,” Jones said.
“I know them. A handful work for international forestry companies,” he said.
“It is wrong for overseas-owned forestry companies to have their staff briefing the media and using the same language as the National Party against me.” . . .
This is appalling for any MP, let alone a Minister, and what makes it worse is the hypocrisy.
His one billion trees policy is encouraging forestry and, while making it all but impossible for foreigners to buy land for farming, the government he’s part of is making it easier for them to buy farms to plant in trees for forestry.
Like my family before me, and following after me, I’ve always taken great pride in being a dairy farmer, and in the reputation of the New Zealand dairy industry internationally.
My husband and I grew up in a generation where we had the opportunity to buy a farm and build our livelihoods on the land as our family had before us. It has been a privilege to forge an incredible career as a dairy farmer. My husband, Louis, and I are both award-winning dairy farmers and we’re proud of the mark we’ve made on the industry.
Sadly, the outlook for New Zealand’s primary sector is the worst that I’ve seen in my lifetime. I don’t make this strong statement lightly, nor to scaremonger – but rather to reflect the policy settings under a virtue-signalling government which is setting the dairy industry up for failure. As a rural MP, but more importantly as a farmer, I won’t sit back and allow the ladder to be pulled up behind future generations of New Zealanders wanting to pave their way in the farming sector. . .
Tributes are flowing in from around the world in memory of Dannevirke shearing identity Koropiko Tumatahi (Koro) Mullins, who died suddenly on Monday at the age of 65.
Mr Mullins was known across all aspects for the shearing industry and sports, from shearer and shearing contractor to a frontman commentating role shearing great Sir David Fagan says set the standard on a global scale.
Born and raised in the Rotorua area, and of Te Arawa stock, he met the-then Mavis Paewai when he was a woolpressing teenager working for her brothers and father in Southern Hawke’s Bay.
It sparked what Fagan says was a unique family involvement and commitment to the shearing and wool industry, becoming the basis of Maori Television series Shear Bro which first aired in July last year. . .
Farming families and communities keen to do the right thing on water should not lose hope and confidence in the consultation process, says a Canterbury dairy farmer and industry leader.
The Government’s proposed nitrogen target for mid Canterbury isn’t attainable, says Colin Glass.
But that is no reason to give up on the consultation process, he says. “It looks as though there is nothing we could do today that would even come close to achieving that target. It simply means that if that target is not amended, farming as we know it today is not possible. Any form of farming.
“The key thing is that farmers are doing the right thing. Everyone is moving in the right direction. Now is not the time for people to lose faith or confidence in the process. . .
Climate change policies, the Billion Tree initiative and recent news promote the establishment of extensive pine plantations to benefit Aotearoa New Zealand’s climate change response by sinking carbon. Others have questioned the benefit of short-rotation plantation pines compared to natural regeneration of native forests. Whilst afforestation has an important role in New Zealand’s climate change response, we need to be clear about future implications.
There are both native and introduced tree species that grow fast and others that grow more slowly. Consider along with the speed of sequestration, the total carbon stocks that can be accumulated, and how long sequestration rates can be sustained. These rates depend on whether the forest is permanent and allowed to grow to maturity (i.e. not harvested) or harvested.
Fast-growing trees such as pines or eucalypts in harvested plantations reach their maximum carbon storage capacity in about 20 years. Landowners then lose most of those carbon stocks when the forest is harvested; NZ loses most of the embedded carbon when logs are exported; furthermore, the globe loses most of those stocks back into the atmosphere as the products decay, as well as through associated emissions from forest management, transport and processing. Thus to store more carbon actually requires another forest to be planted on new land that is not already forested, while also continuing to replant and maintain the previous area in forest to recover the lost carbon stocks. That is, plantation areas will need to be doubled in size with every crop. . .
Waikato dairy farmer Christopher Falconer is parked up on his farm looking out over the wetlands as he talks about mitigating the effects of climate change.
“I don’t make climate change-based decisions for what we do on-farm. I don’t. But as it happens, there’s a great deal of overlap between what is good for the climate, and what is good for all sorts of other things.”
Take riparian planting, the practice of growing plants alongside waterways. The goal is to mitigate nutrient loss and subsidence and stream bank erosion, but it’s also an effective carbon capture.
Fonterra’s delay in announcing its results, driven by Fonterra’s need for discussions with its auditors about appropriate asset values, provides an opportunity to reflect on Fonterra’s capital structure and whether it is still fit for purpose. The simple answer is that it is not.
The value destruction that has occurred and which is now coming to light means that inherent conflicts between the interests of farmer shareholders and investor unitholders have become too great to be papered over. Co-operatives do not survive long-term unless everyone’s interests align.
Two former directors of Fonterra, Colin Armer and Nicola Shadbolt, have both come out recently and said that reworking Fonterra’s capital structure is not the immediate priority. I agree with them. The immediate and urgent priority is to sell assets and create a new slimmed-down and financially-efficient organisational structure, with many fewer high-paid executives. . .
Attracting the best and brightest minds is and remains one of the international meat industry’s top priorities and for Sam Hitchman – a physicist in an industry dominated by biological researchers – the quest to attract new talent has paid off.
The AgResearch scientist recently won the International Meat Secretariat (IMS) Prize for Young Talent in Meat Science and Technology at the International Congress of Meat Science and Technology (ICoMST) near Berlin, Germany.
Sam Hitchman, who is a postdoctoral research fellow in AgResearch’s Meat Quality team, says he was thrilled with the recognition, while adding he didn’t feel “young” – as his award would suggest – upon his return to New Zealand. . .
It was just a few months ago that experts were declaring the end of meat. Earlier this year, consultancy firm AT Kearney predicted that by 2040, animal products will have become so socially and environmentally unacceptable that most “meat” eaten across the globe will come in the form of plant-based or lab-grown substitutes.
But a major study released this week just might put the brakes on the rapidly accelerating plant-based trend. According to Oxford University research, published in the British Medical Journal, vegetarians and vegans have a 20 per cent higher risk of stroke than those who regularly tuck into a plate of bacon and sausages.
The authors of the study, which tracked almost 50,000 Britons for 18 years, said this might be because veggies did not have enough cholesterol in their blood. The finding flies in the face of much conventional wisdom, which says that vegetarianism is a healthy alternative to a carnivorous lifestyle.
But nutritionists say the increased risk of stroke is just one of the many health risks that any would-be vegetarian should be made aware of before they take the plunge. . .
A Prime Minister who is well regarded overseas is good for a small country.
But being well regarded overseas isn’t good enough. A Prime Minister has to earn, and keep, approval at home and the stardust that settled on Jacinda Ardern early in her leadership is dulling under the sunlight of scrutiny.
But, but, but what about the way she handled the aftermath of the mosque shootings?
There is no question she did that well but that’s the New Zealand way. Other recent Prime Ministers, Bill English, John Key (who did at least as well after the Canterbury earthquakes) and Helen Clark would have reacted with similar compassion.
O the joys and woes of being Prime Minister! One minute you’re swaying your hips for the cameras in the lovely warmth of Tokelau while the world gazes with adoration at your picture on the cover of Vogue, as chosen and commissioned by Her Royal Highness Meghan Markle the Princess of Trans-Atlantica; the next minute you’re back in New Zealand, there’s a serious sex scandal rocking the Labour Party, the cops have gone feral at Ihumātao, the weather’s gone all to hell –and worst of all, you’re stuck on the phone for your regular Tuesday morning convo with Mike Hosking.
It’s paramount that the Prime Minister keeps her cool and shows every sign of being at ease and in control when she makes media appearances. There is but one emoji to maintain: the one with a smiley face, round and yellow and all good, expressing the optimum vibe of inane happiness. . .
But good cheer and happiness was entirely absent during Ardern’s 10-minute interview with The Hosker on Newstalk ZB this morning. Her appearance was an emoji trainwreck, and it crashed every time that the Prime Minister called the ZB talkback host by his first name.
She said it 11 times. . .
He goes on to give an emojiological analysis of those 11 times.
It’s behind the paywall and it’s worth paying for, here’s a taste:
The PM’s plan is to put so much pressure on farmers that she will drive them out of business, just as occurred in the coal industry, and oil and gas.
In a speech to state sector workers and children in Melbourne, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described a period of economic turmoil in New Zealand: “Starting in 1984, through to the 1990s, we removed regulations that were said to hamper business, slashed subsidies, transformed the tax system, dramatically cut public spending … “
She questioned whether the reforms were really necessary, then added, “I was a child back then, but I remember clearly how society changed. I remember nothing of Rogernomics of course — I was five. But I do remember the human face.”. . .
There’s an irony about the combination of the Provincial Growth Fund funded one billion trees programme, sheep and beef land being sold without needing Overseas Investment Office (OIO) approval for conversion to forestry, the sharp fall in Chinese log prices, and Shane Jones ranting about log traders being intoxicated by high prices.
According to Jones, these log traders should have supported the domestic timber processing industry, although it’s not immediately obvious how domestic sales would have compensated for log exports to China which exceeded $3 billion over 12 months.
The history of tree planting, well before it was seen as essential for meeting greenhouse gas reduction (GHG) targets, is no different from any other commodity. After an exciting start too much of anything inevitably provokes indigestion; think oil, dairy, sheep meat, wool, angora, alpacas, logs – you name it, there is always a cycle; the world may even turn away from New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc one day. China features strongly as a market which has a habit of dominating purchasing patterns, driving prices up before turning the tap off, although this was more of an issue when the state rigidly controlled all purchasing. . .
Dawn at Timahanga, 12000 ZQ Corrie ewes waiting to find out if their fleece will make the Godfrey Hirst contract!
Producing top-of-the-line milk from 6000-plus dairy herd milkings over five years has earned Far North dairy farmers Terrence and Suzanne Brocx a dairy industry acknowledgement.
The Puketi couple have this year won a Fonterra award acknowledging their top-of-the-line milk production — for a fifth consecutive year.
Milk from the 2018-19 dairy season on their Puketi and Ohaeawai farms has this winter been awarded a Fonterra gold standard “grade-free” quality award, adding to four previous annual awards of the same type. This means all of the milk produced on their two farms since 2014 has reached the dairy co-operative’shighest gold standard quality standards. . .
Biosecurity New Zealand has sent a stark message to shippers, agents, and importers that imported cargo must meet new rules intended to keep brown marmorated stink bugs out of New Zealand.
“The importing industry needs to be aware that high-risk cargo that hasn’t been treated before arrival will not be allowed to come ashore in most instances,” says Biosecurity New Zealand spokesperson Paul Hallett.
“The aim is to keep out a highly invasive pest that could devastate New Zealand’s horticulture industry if it established here.”
Biosecurity New Zealand formally issued new import rules on 22 July. They require off-shore treatment of imported vehicles, machinery, and parts from 33 identified risk countries, and all sea containers from Italy during the stink bug season.
In the past, only uncontainerised vehicle cargo from risk countries required treatment before arriving in New Zealand. . .
Avid big-game hunters and trout anglers are being lined up as potential shareholders in a remote South Island high country partnership on the market for sale.
Shares are being sold in the land and buildings at the Miners Creek high-country station some 13 kilometres west of the Central Otago township of Ettrick.
The 513-hectare freehold property is located on the Mount Benger Range adjacent to the Department of Conservation’s Mount Benger Reserve. Combined, the two landholdings are home to red stags on its stark hills and brown trout in its pristine rivers. . .