Rural round-up

February 13, 2014

Farming confidence bodes well for Southern Field Days – Diane Bishop:

Southern Field Days is the place to be.

That’s according to 789 exhibitors who will showcase their wares at the South Island’s largest rural expo – the Southern Field Days – which starts at Waimumu near Gore today and continues tomorrow and Friday.

Schouten Machines managing director Marcel van Hazendonk said it was his second time exhibiting at the field days.

“You’ve got to be here. It’s important for exhibitors because if you’re not here you could be missing out on business,” Mr van Hazendonk said.

Southern Field Days chairman Mark Dillon expected there would be a “mad rush” this morning as exhibitors completed their sites in readiness for the crowds. “As long as the weather stays like this it will be fantastic,” he said. . .

Not much in farming qualifies as natural – Doug Edmeades:

The word “natural” and its derivatives such as “nature’s way”, “nature’s own”, “grown naturally”, a “product of nature” and “naturally organic” are tossed into product advertising like minties at a lolly scramble.

They convey a feeling that something, a product or a process, is honest and true, as in the way Mother Nature intended, and not artificial or false, in the sense of being man- made.

The implication is always that nature’s way is better than man’s way or more specifically, mankind has screwed nature and we must now bow our heads in penitential shame.

I thought it was time to play with this idea. Is our clover-based pastoral system natural? . . .

LIC’s half-year profit dips – Alan Williams:

Sales were higher but costs of a rebuild of the database and technology platform bit into LIC’s half-year profits.

The dairy genetics company reported today an after-tax profit of $26.9 million for the six months ended November 30 on sales of $135m.

In the same period a year earlier the profit was $30m on sales of $131.2m. Earnings per investment share slipped to 91.3c from $1.01.

High milk prices and stable weather had encouraged farmers to increase investment in a range of information management tools, chairman Murray King said. . . .

 

Solid Energy farm blocks for sale – Lauren Hayes:

More than 2000 hectares of farmland has been put on the market in Eastern Southland.

The land is owned by Solid Energy and is being sold, as one of the largest offerings of New Zealand dairy land, through PGG Wrightson Real Estate.

PGG Wrightson Real Estate general manager Peter Newbold said the block was made up of nine farms, three of which were dairy farms and six of which could be dairy support properties or dairy conversions. . .

 

Progress For Wool:

Over 100 New Zealand wool industry members gathered in late January to listen to international wool leaders discuss the significant progress being made on a global scale by both the Campaign for Wool and International Wool and Textile Organisation (IWTO).

Peter Ackroyd the President of the International Wool and Textile Organisation (IWTO) and Chief Operating Officer of the Campaign for Wool and Ian Hartley, the Chief Executive of the British Wool Marketing Board shared the stage.

Ackroyd shared the background and benefits of the International Wool and Textile Organisation including internationally recognised procedures which are fundamental to trade and manufacturing, coordinated environmental standards, and standardising environmental “foot printing”. . .

February 2014 – Rabobank Agribusiness Monthly & Rural Economics Monthly:

The Rabobank Agribusiness Monthly provides timely information and analysis on agricultural conditions, commodity price updates and commentary on the latest sectoral trends and developments. In conjunction, the Rural Economics Monthly provides a useful overview of the key macro developments in the local and global economies while also covering specific economic developments relevant to New Zealand and Australian agricultural sectors.

Key highlights
Agribusiness Monthly

• Beef – Strong Chinese demand drives growth in beef exports

• Dairy – Chinese supply issues to drive commodity markets in 2014

• Other costs – Baltic Dry Index weak as global economy takes wrong turn

• Fertilizer – All eyes on demand fundamentals in 2014

• Climate – Mostly normal outlook for New Zealand

• Currency – New Zealand dollar supported by solid economic growth . . .

The full report is here.

Nitrogen management made easy by new farming app:

A next-generation product for nitrogen management on-farm will be launched by the innovative Kiwi start-up company, Regen, at the Southern Field Days in Waimumu beginning this Wednesday the12th of February.

Regen, who successfully launched “ReGen Effluent” are now bringing to market “ReGen Nitrogen” – a powerful yet simple product that assists farmers make real-time decisions about fertiliser application.

“ReGen Nitrogen uses on-farm data such as climate and soil information. It calculates the expected response from nitrogen application on any given day and advises the farmer for or against application and the reasons why. The product calculates the kilograms of dry matter likely to be achieved from each kilogram of nitrogen, given the prevailing climate and soil conditions. It also calculates how many cents per kilogram of dry matter that response rate would equate to,” says Bridgit Hawkins, Chief Executive Officer & Director at Regen. . . .


Rural round-up

January 22, 2014

Rural contracting nears a billion-dollar-a-year industry:

New Zealand’s rural contracting industry contributed almost a billion dollars to the country’s economy last year, according to recently published research.

Rural Contractors New Zealand (RCNZ) says a report, prepared for it by research company Infometrics, shows that the rural contracting sector contributed some $947 million to New Zealand’s GDP in 2013.

“This research shows that the rural contracting industry is not only a major contributor to our all-important agri-sector, but also a strong and vital part of New Zealand’s over all economy,” says RCNZ chief executive Roger Parton.
This contribution to the national economy came from some 5255 registered rural contracting businesses. . . .

Hastings apple orchard attacked:

A Hastings fruit and vegetable grower is picking up the pieces after vandals destroyed 5,500 apple trees on one of his orchards.

Kulwant Singh says he arrived at the orchard one morning in November to find his 10 hectare apple block had been destroyed.

He says it was a deliberate attack by people who knew what they were doing.

He says 100 rows of trees had been cut or snapped in such a way as to destroy them. . .

Queenstown chef wins accolade – Hamish McLeod:

A Queenstown chef has been named one of New Zealand’s “culinary rockstars”.

Ben Batterbury, head chef at the True South Dining Room at the Rees Hotel in Queenstown, was one of five chefs awarded the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Ambassador Chef title, and was the only one from the south.

Beef + Lamb NZ communications manager Kim Doran said 2014 was the second year Mr Batterbury had received the title.

The five ambassadors were chosen from 164 recipients of the 2014 Beef and Lamb Excellence Award. . .

Gates speaks at ag innovation forum:

BILL GATES will call on participants to help create another agricultural revolution in our lifetime to support a world where most of the poorest are farmers.

He will speak upcoming Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA), which claims to be world’s largest showcase of game-changing agricultural innovations and technology.

The solutions-driven event and will run from February 3-5 at Abu Dhabi’s National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC). . .

 

 NSW mine licence cancellation emotional news for farmer – Lisa Herbert:

A Hunter Valley farmer who’s been fighting a nearby mine proposal for the past five years says the NSW Government’s decision to rip up the mining licence caught him by surprise.

Late yesterday afternoon Premier Barry O’Farrell announced the Government will introduce legislation to cancel the exploration licences for Doyles Creek, Mount Penny and Glendon Brook; mines that were at the centre of two high-profile corruption inquiries.

In December, the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) recommended the cancellation. . .

Campaign touts benefits of wool:

An international wool industry leader is crediting the ongoing Campaign for Wool for raising awareness of the environmental benefits of the fibre.

Peter Ackroyd, chief operating officer of the campaign and president of the International Wool and Textile Organisation (IWTO), is in New Zealand to meet wool industry representatives.

He said the four-year-old campaign, under the patronage of Prince Charles, had focused on promoting the natural and sustainable attributes of wool over competing artificial fibres. . . .

Fonterra Issues Renminbi Bond to Support China Growth:

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited announced today it has raised 1.25 billion Chinese renminbi (approximately NZD250 million) through a 5 year “dim sum” bond issue (Chinese renminbi raised offshore) as part of its ongoing commitment to developing its China business.

Fonterra Chief Financial Officer, Lukas Paravicini, said the funds raised from the dim sum bond issue will be used to further strengthen and support the growth of Fonterra’s businesses in China.

“Along with refinancing some of our existing China operations, we will also be using funds to support further growth in this market. This will include the further expansion of our consumer, foodservice and farming operations,” he said. . .

Mt Difficulty Wines
Six seeds in a berry – meant to be impossible! Going to be large berries and bunches this season… #‎pinotcentral‬ ‪#‎nzwine‬
Six seeds in a berry - meant to be impossible! Going to be large berries and bunches this season... #pinotcentral #nzwine

New marketing collaboration to grow Hawke’s Bay wine sales in China

Funding has been confirmed for a $500,000 three-year programme to increase awareness and sales of Hawke’s Bay wine into China.

Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers’ Inc., the regional organisation representing local grape growers and winemakers, has secured a dollar for dollar grant from the Agricultural and Marketing Research and Development Trust (AGMARDT), an agribusiness trust, to get a collaborative China marketing project underway.

The programme includes up to nine education and tasting events per year in addition to PR and social media campaigns. . . .

#MondayMotivation Even in the cold and on holidays, our #Farmers & #Ranchers keep working!


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