Farm sales up, confidence strong – Laura Walters:
The number of farm sales rose by more than 20 per cent last year, reflecting strong confidence in the rural sector, the Real Estate Institute says.
More than 1700 farms were sold in 2013, the largest number of sales a year since 2009.
Figures released by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) today showed 292 more farms were sold in the three months to December compared to the same period the previous year, an increase of 20.1 per cent.
Overall, there were 554 farm sales in the three months to the end of December 2013, compared to 414 farm sales for the three months ended November 2013, an increase of 33.8 per cent. . .
Good, not spectacular, arable harvest ahead – Annette Scott:
Crops are looking good but the harvest is not going to be a “bin buster”, industry leaders say.
As the combines roll out many farmers, particularly in Mid Canterbury, are counting the losses after wind and hail played havoc with crops in recent months.
All on top of a wet winter that has created more disease than usual.
“We are really just getting started with the harvest,” Mid Canterbury arable farmer and Federated Farmers South Island grain and seed vice-chairman David Clark said.
“So far the vining peas have been quite disappointing. Autumn cereals, having endured some very wet weather, are not expected to be too exciting. Some ryegrasses have been good and some, due to a variety of ills, quite disappointing. . .
Farmers have been helping Environment Canterbury by providing practical onfarm knowledge and expertise on water quality.
They are members of the Guardians of Fork/Hakatere Stream.
The group was in the process of completing a funding application to help develop and restore an area of land adjacent to the stream.
This would include an educational amenity with green space and interpretive panels next to the stream on Braemar Road. . .
Apple exports a sweet success – Esther Ashby-Coventry:
The growing American demand for the honeycrisp apple has prompted Waipopo Orchards to encourage other local growers to join its export market.
Honeycrisp out-earns any other export apple grown in New Zealand. In the US it sells for about US$50 (NZ$61) a box, compared with other varieties, which are about US$20 a box.
Honeycrisp is the most popular apple in the US, with demand increasing 20 to 30 per cent each year since Waipopo’s first export of 50 tonnes in 2011.
Waipopo co-director Peter Bennett said that along with growers in Central Otago a total of 1300 tonnes, which was double the volume shipped in 2013, would be exported this year. Waipopo will produce about 1100 tonnes, which is 85 per cent of the market. . . .
Missing foal feared stolen – Nicole Mathewson:
A Central Otago couple are baffled after their foal disappeared.
Horse trainers Bill and Rosanne Keeler were shocked to find their three-week striking black colt was missing from its paddock on January 15.
Bill Keeler said he believed the male foal went missing about two days earlier, because his mother’s milk had already dried up.
The paddock – located in Millers Flat, just south of Roxburgh – was surrounded by high fencing and there were no holes it could have escaped through. None of the other horses in the paddock had disappeared.
”I find the chances of it being stolen are pretty minimal, but the chances are even more minimal of it disappearing by itself through two paddocks surrounded by deer fencing,” Keeler said. . . .
Hawke’s Bay iwi want Mayor’s resignation – Adam Ray:
A Hawke’s Bay Iwi says local Mayor Peter Butler should resign after suggesting their opposition to a proposed dam means they should be banned from any jobs it creates.
Mr Butler singled out the chair of Ngati Kahungunu for criticism in an email to other councillors.
He says parched pastures will be transformed with irrigation from the proposed Ruataniwha Dam.
“We’re sick of the negativity of the people trying to stop the dam,” he says.
Among those in his sights are local iwi Ngati Kahungunu and its chair Ngahiwi Tomoana. . .