Rural round-up

June 17, 2018

Infected cattle bring opportunity for study – Sally Rae:

It will not be possible to control Mycoplasma bovis if an eradication attempt fails, given the present lack of understanding of the infection and the “gross inadequacy” of existing diagnostics, Emeritus Prof Frank Griffin says.

Otago-based Prof Griffin, whose career has focused on animal health research, described that as the “sad reality”.

He believed the Government’s decision to attempt eradication first was the correct one, even though it brought considerable public liability for taxpayer funding. . .

TB work will help fight M. Bovis:

Eradication of Mycoplasma bovis could be supported by the 25-year legacy of co-operation between OSPRI/TBfree and AgResearch in tracking and researching bovine tuberculosis.  Richard Rennie spoke to Dr Neil Wedlock, one of the country’s senior bTB researchers on what can be learned.

Collaboration between AgResearch scientists and disease control managers at OSPRI TBfree and its predecessor the Animal Health Board has led to important technical breakthroughs resulting in a drastic reduction in the prevalence of bovine tuberculosis in livestock.

Eradication of TB from the national herd by 2026 will be hailed as a disease control success story but there are some challenges to deal with before that happens. . . .

Trio share their travels through hills and valleys – Toni Williams:

You can’t go from mountain to the next mountain without going in the valley,” says farmer and author Doug Avery.

Mr Avery, along with Paul ”Pup” Chamberlain and Struan Duthie, was guest speaker at a Rural Support Mid Canterbury session at the Mt Somers Rugby Club rooms.

Rural Mid Cantabrians were encouraged to ”take a break” with the trio as they spoke of their life experiences – the ups and the downs.

From front-line policing during the 1981 Springbok tour, reaching rock bottom farming in drought-stricken Marlborough to cracking open emotions, they shared it all.

All three spoke of the importance of having a mentor, or a support network of people to help when times were tough. . .

Pure taste sours :

Meat companies have asked Beef + Lamb New Zealand not to launch the Taste Pure Nature origin brand in North America fearing it will confuse consumers and give competitors a free ride.

The Lamb Company, a partnership between the country’s three largest lamb exporters Alliance, Anzco and Silver Fern Farms, has spent 54 years jointly developing the North American market.

Its chairman Trevor Burt fears the origin brand will clash with its Spring Lamb brand. . .

Climate change discussion ‘direction of travel’ is positive – Feds:

The National Party’s five principles on which it will base emission reduction policies, including science-based and taking into account economic impact, are spot on, Federated Farmers says.

The Opposition’s support for a bi-partisan approach to establishing an independent, non-political Climate Change Commission was outlined by Leader Simon Bridges in a speech at Fieldays this morning.  National’s three other emission reduction criteria are technology driven, long-term incentives and global response.

“We’re delighted that the Coalition Government, and now National, have both signaled their recognition that there’s a good case for treating short-lived greenhouse gases (such as methane) and long-lived (carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide) differently,” Katie says. . .

Different treatment of methane the right thing for global warming:

The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) is pleased to see a differentiated approach, to treat methane differently to long-lived greenhouse gases, being given serious consideration in New Zealand’s climate change policy dialogue.

“Policy must be underpinned by robust science and be appropriate to the targeted outcome. If the outcome we want is climate stabilisation, then the science is telling us to treat long-lived gases differently to methane in policy frameworks” says DCANZ Executive Director Kimberly Crewther . . .

This generation of women not just farm wives anymore – Colleen Kottke:

For many generations, the heads of farm operations across America were likely to be men clad in overalls wearing a cap emblazoned with the logo of a local seed dealership or cooperative.

Back then, most women were viewed as homemakers who raised the children, kept the family fed and clothed, and were delegated as the indispensable “go-fer” who ran for spare parts, delivered meals out to the field and kept watch over sows during farrowing – all the while keeping hearth and home running efficiently

Although many of these duties were important to the success of the farm, they were often looked upon as secondary in nature. Today women are stepping into the forefront and playing more prominent roles on the farm and in careers in the agribusiness industry once dominated by their male counterparts. . .


Rural round-up

June 23, 2016

Retiring prof’s work continues – Sally Rae:

Prof Frank Griffin describes his lengthy career in animal science at the University of Otago in his own inimitable way.

“It’s been absolutely amazing. I’ve had a party every day; it’s really been fun,” he said.

Official retirement might be looming at the end of the month for the popular professor but his association with the university, where he has worked since 1973, is unlikely to end. . . 

Port dairy cows spared – Sally Rae:

Port Chalmers dairy farmer Merrall MacNeille is looking at various options to get his milk back on the market.

He was recently ordered to stop selling raw milk after a tuberculosis-positive heifer was discovered on his property.

He was able to supply milk for pasteurisation and, using a small pasteuriser, hoped to have “something on the shelf” by the end of August.

Other options were also being explored and Mr MacNeille said they would “get there one way or another”. . . 

Zespri raises profit forecast range to recognise $50M of Gold3 licence revenue :

(BusinessDesk) – Zespri International, the kiwifruit marketer, raised its full-year profit forecast to take into account licence revenue of $50 million from the release of 400 hectares of Gold3 licence in 2016.

Zespri is now forecasting profit of $70 million to $75 million for the 2016/17 year, up from the range of $25 million to $30 million it gave in April. The earlier forecast excluded revenue from the release of Gold3 licences that were tendered in May.

The closed tender bid process attracted broad participation from the industry with 1,376 hectares bid and 266 successful bidders for the 400 hectares of the SunGold licence, Zespri said. Half the hectares were restricted to Green and Green14/Sweet Green growers to provide an opportunity for existing green growers to convert over to SunGold, it said. . . 

Seeka handles record volumes:

Seeka Kiwifruit Industries Limited advises that it has completed kiwifruit packing operations in Australia and New Zealand for the 2016 season. The Company has handled record volumes in the packing season, with more than 30M trays handled in New Zealand for the first time. Seeka now heads into the storage and inventory management portion of the season in New Zealand, while at the same time it completes its kiwifruit sales program in Australia. The Australian pear selling season is anticipated to complete in October.

New Zealand volumes handled by Seeka were up by 16.6% at 30.8m trays. This figure includes approximately 700k trays that will be removed from the inventory or at time of packing, through crop management. All volumes have been handled within the company’s infrastructure, and Seeka now moves to managing more than 16M trays in store. . . 

Police investigate ‘dear old lady’s’ pet sheep:

An elderly Waikato woman has been left distressed after four of her pet sheep were killed and their body parts strewn across her paddock.

Cambridge police say someone jumped the “dear old lady’s” farm fence on Tirau Road on Friday night and killed the four pregnant ewes.

“They left the offal and heads in the paddock for her to find the next morning,” police said on their Facebook page. . .

Greenpeace launches legal challenge against controversial $1b dam plan:

Greenpeace NZ is launching a legal challenge against a controversial plan to build a dam that’s set to cost close to $1 billion and will pollute a region’s rivers.

Today, Greenpeace will file a judicial review of resource consents granted by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council to extend the area of land area that can be irrigated by the Ruataniwha scheme, which will aid the expansion of dairy farms in the region. 

The motion, to be lodged at the High Court in Napier, challenges two resource consents given to the Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company in January, which were granted without public notification on the basis of a Council assessment that any environmental effects would be no more than “minor”. . . 


Rural round-up

September 24, 2013

Fears of ‘erosion of capacity’ in agri-science :

Unless the ”erosion of capacity” in agri-science is halted and quickly reversed, New Zealand will remain a preferred supplier of low-tier food commodities and additives.

That is the message from Frank Griffin, who is concerned about the direction of the sector, including the proposed restructuring of AgResearch which would see the Invermay research centre reduced.

For more than three decades, Prof Griffin has led a University of Otago-based research team devoted to solving animal health problems in the deer industry. . .

Nominations open for third annual Dairy Woman of the Year:

The Dairy Women’s Network and Fonterra announced today that nominations open for the 2014 Dairy Woman of the Year on 1 October.

In its third year, the Award provides the winner with a position on the prestigious Women in Leadership Programme run by Global Women, valued at $25,000. The scholarship is sponsored by Fonterra Milk Supply.

The call for 2014 nominations comes on the heels of Barbara Kuriger’s 19 September graduation from the Global Women programme. Barbara was the inaugural winner of the Award in 2012. . .

Synlait Milk posts $11.5 million NPAT for FY2013:

Synlait Milk posted an $11.5 million net profit after tax for the year ending 31 July 2013, an increase of $7.1 million on FY2012 and ahead of its prospective financial information (“PFI”) forecast of $10.8 million.

The Company had revenue of $420 million in FY2013, an increase of 11.5% compared to $377 for FY2012 driven largely by increased sales volumes.

Synlait Milk Managing Director Dr John Penno said the Company made positive steps forward in all areas of its business relative to FY2012. . . .

Crown Irrigation appoints chief executive:

The newly formed Crown Irrigation Investments Limited (Crown Irrigation) has selected a proven investment professional, Murray Gribben, as its first chief executive.

Chair Alison Paterson said “Murray will bring to the role a strong combination of investment experience and working knowledge of the primary sector”.

Crown Irrigation has been established to help harness the potential of irrigation to accelerate New Zealand’s economic development by making targeted, bridging investments in larger, regional scale irrigation schemes. The Government has signaled its willingness to invest up to $400 million. . .

Excitement hosting World Alpaca Expo :

Kaiapoi alpaca breeder Kit Johnson is looking forward to opening the World Alpaca Expo and Conference in Hamilton this weekend.

”We have been waiting for this for a long time, since we got chosen back in 2007. This is the big event and we probably won’t get it for another 20 years,” the Alpacas Association of New Zealand president said.

”As the host president, I get to speak at the opening of the expo and the closing of the conference. The rest of the time I will be showing my animals and fleeces.”

Mr Johnson said there were 50 delegates coming from Australia and other delegates from the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Hungary, the United Kingdom and Canada. . .

Better beef genetics in dairy beef supply chain a win-win

Early results from research are showing clear advantage with the use of better beef genetics for dairy beef.

Two-thirds of New Zealand’s beef production originates from the dairy industry, yet despite this, few dairy farms use beef bulls of known genetics.

The five year Beef + Lamb New Zealand Dairy Beef Integration Programme is looking at the impact of using good beef genetics in a dairy beef supply chain. 

“The use of beef sires with high estimated breeding values (EBVs) for calving ease, growth and carcass characteristics on dairy farms is not commonplace, but will produce surplus calves of higher value to dairy farmers, beef finishers and beef processors,” says AgResearch scientist and project leader Dr Vicki Burggraaf.  . .

Farmax, Cashmanager Rural integration provides return to farmers:

A new partnership between leading farm management software providers Farmax and Cashmanager Rural has given sheep and beef farmers the ability to share data quickly and easily between the two programs.

The integration eliminates the need for double-entry of livestock information, saving farmers time and providing greater data accuracy.

The first phase of integration is already in place for sheep and beef farmers, giving them the ability to import livestock sales and purchase transactions from Cashmanager Rural into Farmax, meaning users of both systems only have to enter the data once.  The companies will launch a second integration in the future, allowing farmers to share physical farm management data. . .

Kiwi First Hits Garden Centres This Week:

The  incredible edibles® POTATO TOM™ will be released to garden centres early this week. A Kiwi first and potentially a world first at a commercial level, the new concept by incredible edibles® brings a grafted tomato and potato together in one plant. This is the first time at a commercial level anyone has delivered this concept to home gardeners in New Zealand. Andrew Boylan General Manager of Tharfield Nursery who produces and markets the POTATO TOM™ says “The POTATO TOM™ has gone viral, we can’t believe the response.  The phones have been running hot with garden centres throughout New Zealand vying to get hold of this new and exciting concept”. . .

Chardonnay makes a comeback as a must-have win:

This year, with 65% of all entries in the Chardonnay category of the New World Wine Awards winning a medal and Spy Valley’s 2012 Chardonnay taking out the title of Champion White Wine, the varietal is back as a must-have for wine lovers.

With a record number of entries, including more than 100 wines from the eagerly anticipated 2013 vintage, the highest number of medals ever was awarded overall this year.

“White wine varietals performed particularly strongly at this year’s awards with around 60% of all Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Sparkling and sweet wines entered winning a medal. For the second year in a row, Chardonnay has scooped the Champion White Wine trophy which reflects the international resurgence in Chardonnay’s popularity,” says Jim Harré, Chairman of the judging panel. . .


Rural round-up

November 5, 2012

Fonterra: land of milk and money – The Economist:

ALTHOUGH New Zealand still has seven times as many sheep as people, cows drive its economy these days. Dairy products are a quarter of the country’s exports, giving it a third of the world’s dairy trade. Large tracts of sheep pasture and forest are being converted to churn out more milk, or “white gold”.

Bestriding the local market with a share of over 90% is Fonterra, a co-operative formed in 2001 as a national champion, from two smaller entities and the former New Zealand Dairy Board. The only truly global Kiwi company, with annual revenue of almost NZ$20 billion ($16.4 billion), Fonterra operates in 100 countries and has 10,500 farmer-owners. Rabobank of the Netherlands ranks it the world’s fourth-largest dairy company. . .

‘Grand career’ but concerns for future – Sally Rae:

Professor Frank Griffin sums up his lengthy career in animal science with a simple comment – “it’s grand”.

For three decades, Prof Griffin has led a University of Otago-based research team devoted to solving animal health problems in the deer industry.

That work has included developing diagnostic tests for the detection of two major bacterial diseases of New Zealand deer – bovine tuberculosis and Johne’s disease – and a vaccine for the prevention of yersiniosis.

Widely respected in the industry, he was recently one of 11 researchers and scholars elected as Fellows of the Royal Society of New Zealand. . .

Farm Environment Ambassadors Go On Tour to Promote Sustainability

‘Good things take time’, was the key message delivered by the National Winners of the 2012 Ballance Farm Environment Awards, Blair and Jane Smith, to some of the nation’s leading politicians.

In October, the North Otago farmers addressed the Primary Production Select Committee in their role as ambassadors for good environmental practice.

The address to the multi-party parliamentary committee was part of a six-day tour organised by the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust. . .

Working towards water standards – Groping Towards Bethlehem:

Various colleagues and I have been trying for years to get research funded on the preferences of New Zealanders regarding the environment. Bits and pieces of work get done — notably, the public perception work by Huey, Cullen, and Kerr from Lincoln University (here’s a summary conference paper (pdf)). We have grander ambitions, though. We want to understand the rank ordering of different environmental attributes amongst different subpopulations, and the economic value of those attributes in comparison to other things of value. Methodologically, it wouldn’t break much new ground. That’s actually a strength. If we end up squabbling over method, that’s taking away from the content of the findings.

Why? Isn’t it obvious that we want clear air and clean water and biodiversity? Well, yes, it is. We also want health care and tertiary education and public transportation and wi-fi and rainbows and unicorns. Maybe not unicorns. But you get the drift. . .

2013 Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming Award Launched 80th Anniversary Commemorated:

Māori sheep and beef farmers who compete in the 2013 Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming award this year will be part of the competitions 80th anniversary commemorations.

Entry for the competition is now open following its launch by the Minister of Māori Affairs, Hon Dr Pita Sharples at the Federation of Māori Authorities conference in Taupo on Saturday November 3th 2012.

The Minister also launched the Ahuwhenua Young Maori Trainee/Cadet competition, the first for young Maori sheep and beef farmers. This award was introduced last year for young Maori dairy farmers. . .

Search for the 2013 Ahuwhenua Young Māori Sheep and Beef Trainee/Cadet of the Year begins:

The search is on for the 2013 Ahuwhenua Young Māori Trainee/Cadet of the Year. On Saturday 3 November the competition was officially launched by the Minister of Māori Affairs Hon Dr Pita Sharples at the Federation of Māori Authorities conference in Taupo.

This is the first year the competition has targeted young Māori sheep and beef farmers. . .

MPI backs awards for Maori farming excellence:

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) today announced it is a gold sponsor of the 2013 Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Maori Excellence in Farming Award.

The competition was launched at the Federation of Maori Authorities (FoMA) conference in Taupo on Saturday (3 November).

Ben Dalton, Deputy Director General Maori Primary Sector Partnerships, said MPI had increased its sponsorship to build on a longstanding involvement with the competition.

“MPI is committed to working with Maori to enable the sustainable growth of their primary sector assets and this competition fits well with our objectives,” Mr Dalton said.

“Maori agribusiness has a significant part to play in lifting the primary sector contribution to New Zealand’s economy. By increasing Maori primary sector productivity, we increase the wealth of New Zealand as a whole. . .

High Level Of Interest In Maori Agribusiness Funding Round:

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is reporting a high level of interest from groups seeking to promote sustainable resource use in Maori agribusiness.

MPI’s Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) provides co-funding for small to medium-scale applied research and extension projects.

In August 2012, MPI held a special SFF round for Maori agribusiness, offering approximately $1 million of co-investment funding.

MPI has committed to undertake activities that specifically foster opportunities for Maori agribusiness. . .

Both Sides of the Fence:

A resource for teachers and children from Walking Access NZ.


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