‘M. bovis’ effects force family off farm – Sally Rae:
Graham Hay is preparing to walk off the land his family has farmed for nearly a century.
The Hakataramea Valley property has been in the family since his grandfather took over in 1921 and Mr Hay has lived there all his life.
It is gut-wrenching to hear his voice choking, as he explains how he and his wife Sonja have had no choice but to sell their farm.
Already under financial pressure coming out of an irrigation development phase, he believed they could have farmed through that. . .
Painful lessons have been learned during the Mycoplasma bovis response and hopefully all lessons will be “locked in” and used in the event of another disease incursion, programme director Geoff Gwyn says.
Mr Gwyn was speaking at a public meeting in Oamaru last week, as part of a series of farmer and public meetings throughout the country.
Those meetings came in the wake of the launch of the 2019 Mycoplasma bovis National Plan, released by the Ministry for Primary Industries, DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand last week. . .
On the face of it, it’s a no-brainer. Weighed down with debt, Westland Milk, based in Hokitika is financially on its knees. Riding to its rescue, Chinese dairy giant Yili has come in with a $588m buyout deal which will yield $3.41 a share to the co-op’s farmer shareholders, and, as well, absorb Westland’s debt and liabilities.
According to Westland, the nominal value of its shares has ranged from 70c to $1.50 per share. For the average-sized Westland farm, the share offer translates to about half a million dollars cash.
The offer looks even more attractive since Westland had to cut its milk payout forecast, while other companies’ forecasts are rising. Westland, which has grown out of the West Coast’s 150-year dairy heritage, hasn’t paid a competitive milk price for several years. . .
Mothers may be forced to travel further to give birth after a Southland birthing centre was downgraded.
The Southern District Health Board announced the Lumsden Maternity Centre downgrade last August, triggering community outcry, a protest march, petition and appeals to the government.
The centre has become a maternal and child hub where babies are only delivered in an emergency.
The company that ran the centre said mothers travelled from as far away as Queenstown and Te Anau to use the birthing services. . .
Farmhand’s common sense solution for vegan activism – Andrea Davy:
A YOUNG farmhand has offered up a commonsense approach for stopping the spread of misinformation around Australian farming.
Coming off the back this week’s vegan protests, which rolled out across the nation on Monday, Zoe Carter posted a Facebook live where she called on the industry to “step up” and increase education in schools.
Zoe has more than 140,000 followers online, an audience she has grown through sharing videos and photos from her life working in ag.
In the post, she said the current education system was leaving a huge knowledge gap on how food was produced. And, unfortunately, this space was being filled up with “lies” peddled on social media. . .
A highly-productive farm whose grazing stock once produced prized wool used by one of New Zealand’s foremost carpet manufacturers has been placed on the market for sale.
Puketotara, near Huntly in the Waikato, was previously owned by Douglas Bremner – the businessman who founded the legendary Bremworth Carpet brand in 1959. Wool from the Drysdale sheep farmed at Bremner’s Puketotara farm was used in the production of quality carpet manufactured at the company’s mill in South Auckland.
The Bremner family sold the property in 1989, and soon after it was converted into an intensive breeding and finishing farm – stocking beef and sheep and producing cash crops.. .