The changing face of the dairy farm – Gerald Piddock:
It wasn’t easy for Doug and Tracey Chappell to get onto their own land.
But their entry-level Pukeatua dairy farm means more than just what the 60 hectares and its relatively small 150 cow herd add to their long-term business plan.
“It’s our place and it’s something for our kids as well and they have even talked about running the farm in the future,” said Doug. . .
Shortsighted? – Annette Scott:
Experts fear high ewe prices are encouraging farmers to sell breeding stock to processors at such a rate New Zealand exports might in a few years not have enough product.
That would provide an opening for Australia to grab market share from NZ. There is also a worry a shortage of stock could lead to a single desk seller, thus eliminating procurement competition.
The problem is compounded by the falling number of farmers willing to breed the lambs. Many young farmers are not interested and instead buy in store lambs to fatten. . .
Opunake farmer Andy Whitehead milks eight different breeds of cattle, but Lakenvelders are his favourite. They hail from the Netherlands and are easy to spot in the dark.
If you drive past Andy Whitehead’s Taranaki farm at night, his favourite cows are easy to spot.
They look as though they’ve been draped with a white blanket.
“Lakenvelder simply means ‘white blanket’ or ‘white sheet’ which describes the cow with a stripe over her back,” Andy says. . .
50 avocado trees completely stripped in Hawke’s Bay orchard – Georgia May Gilbertson:
“Stupidity and desperation” are the only reasons a police officer can think of after 50 avocado trees were completely stripped of their fruit in Hawke’s Bay.
Sergeant Alasdair Macmillan said the theft happened at an orchard belonging to Crab Farm Winery in Bay View and was reported to police last weekend.
He said the thieves cut through a fence near a group of beehives and it was estimated they took an apple crate worth of fruit. . .
Dairy farmers had some Xmas cheer this week, as dairy giant Fonterra told them the forecast payout would be the fourth-highest-ever, at the mid-point of its farmgate milk price range.
The $7.30kg/ms means the cash payout for the season will reach $11.2bn, a rise of about $400m from the earlier forecast.
There could even be a clap from the cowsheds for the new bosses of Fonterra who are turning around the co-op’s financial performance, as they apply a back-to-basics approach to recovering from last year’s horrendous $605m loss. The first quarter of the new financial year has gone well. . .
Canterbury running out of water??? – Gravedodger:
I have returned to the world after another time of peace and calm at “The Gorge”.
Rakaia Gorge that is and it was somewhat different this time. The river that ruled Mona Anderson’s life inspired her to write of her time married to the then manager of Mt Algidus Station, which lies above the confluence of the Rakaia and Wilberforce rivers, the story related in her first book of nine, “A River Rules my Life”. That river was in flood for many recent days peaking at over three thousand cumecs at least twice.
A cumec is a cubic meter of water flowing past a point each second. Just absorb that figure, three thousand cubic meters every second!
Do the maths. . .