Primary sector leader ‘humbled’ by award – Gerard Hutching:
Agricultural leader Chris Kelly said he was “humbled” by the Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) bestowed on him in the Queen’s Birthday honours.
Kelly, who has been involved in the farming sector all his career, is best known as chief executive of Landcorp. During his 12-year stewardship of the SOE between 2001-13, Landcorp’s value mushroomed from $500 million to $1.6 billion.
“I’m proud to be part of a wonderful industry. The primary sector is not only very important for New Zealand but it’s also a great place to work.
“The most memorable component would have been my sojourn at Landcorp. I feel humbled to have been singled out because there are lots of other people who could have been,” Kelly said. . .
Harnessing youthful energy at Mangahao – Kate Taylor:
The infamous Mangahao fog doesn’t dampen the farming enthusiasm of the Tararua Farmers of the Year. Kate Taylor paid a visit
Toddler Jack reaches for another piece of his toast as mum Ally puts a cake in the oven and dad Pete Apthorp has a well-earned coffee after sending away lambs in the early morning fog.
“The fog is at least easier to deal with than the dark last week before daylight saving ended. The people who like it lighter in the evenings have obviously never had to get stock away early for same-day kill,” says Pete with a chuckle.
Pete and Ally Apthorp, who are still in their 20s, farm on Mangahao-Pahiatua Rd, otherwise known as the Pahiatua Track to Palmerston North. They have been named the 2016 Rural Aerial Co-op Tararua Farmer of the Year and will host a field day on April 27. . .
NZ tech firm raises funds, wins award:
A local agri-technology company is on a high after raising $4.5 million for product development and research and being named the best AG-Tech start up in a Silicon Valley technology competition.
Engender Technologies has worked with two Centres of Research Excellence – the MacDiarmid Institute and the Dodds-Walls Centre – to develop technology to allow dairy farmers to manage the sex make-up of their herds.
It opens the way to a leading position in what’s estimated to be a $3.5 billion market. . .
Nominations sought for 2016 trans-Tasman agribusiness leadership awards:
Nominations have opened for the 2016 Rabobank Leadership Awards, recognising the contribution of senior and emerging leaders in the success of New Zealand and Australia’s food and agribusiness industries.
The peer-nominated trans-Tasman awards – now in their eleventh year – include the flagship Rabobank Leadership Award, which was last year won by New Zealand business leader Sir Henry van der Heyden, the former chair of global dairy giant Fonterra.
The award is presented annually to an individual in a senior leadership role in the food, beverage and agribusiness sector who has created sustainable growth and prosperity at both corporate and industry level, while also demonstrating a wider commitment to society. . .
Invasive ants eradicated from Tiritiri Matangi:
An ant considered one of the most destructive invasive species in the world has been successfully eradicated from Tiritiri Matangi Island in the Hauraki Gulf, Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says.
“Tiritiri Matangi is one of the few places in the world where Argentine ants have been successfully eradicated, the culmination of 16 years of hard work by DOC staff and volunteers,” Ms Barry says.
“They may be small, but these ants are one of the most damaging of all invasive pest species. The World Conservation Union lists them as one of the 100 worst eco-invaders on Earth.” . .
Fungi workshop first of its kind:
Some of the world’s leading experts in fungal biology and the study of pest and weed invasions met recently at a workshop organised by researchers from the Bio-Protection Research Centre.
The aim of the workshop, the first of its kind in New Zealand, was to stimulate discussion between scientists from different disciplines and develop a publication to guide future research in this area.
Sponsored by the New Phytologist Trust the event attracted more than 70 scientists for a day of public talks and a four day writing workshop for key participants.
“This was an incredible opportunity to bring together plant invasion ecologists, fungal ecologists and plant pathologists,” says Professor of Invasion Ecology Ian Dickie. . .
Dairy: In a tough year, farmers can optimise tax through preferential livestock valuation:
With this years continued convergence of values between the Herd Scheme Value and National Standard Cost for dairy cattle, professional services firm Crowe Horwath says farmers are presented with an opportunity to review their livestock valuation methods and optimise their operations for tax efficiency.
That’s according to Tony Marshall, agri tax specialist who points out that the IRD’s 2016 Herd Scheme (HS) values have drawn to their closest with the National Standard Cost (NSC) in some time. “Valuation choice is important due to the tax treatment of livestock under each scheme,” he notes. “Once livestock are valued under HS, movements in value are non-taxable, whereas movements in value under the NSC method are always taxable, either as income or a deduction.” . . .
LIC bulls deliver top results for farmers:
LIC is celebrating the co-operative’s top bulls with the release of the industry’s latest Ranking of Active Sires (RAS) list – which ranks the top breeding bulls in New Zealand.
”These are our farmers’ bulls, developed by LIC on behalf of farmers for farmers,” LIC’s General Manager Biological Systems Geoff Corbett said.
The co-operative is pleased to see that 26 of the top 30 bulls of all breeds in the country are LIC’s. In other great results, the top 12 bulls across all breeds are LIC’s. . .
CropLogic Secures New Licence for Global Growth:
Precision agriculture firm CropLogic has signed an exclusive agreement with the New Zealand Institute of Plant & Food Research to expand the marketing of its patented technology to corn, wheat, soybean and cotton farmers in the United States.
The technology — developed over 30 years out of Plant & Food Research, a New Zealand Crown Research Institute, and guided and shaped for international markets by IP investor Powerhouse Ventures — enables growers using the firm’s predictive modelling systems to pinpoint the best times to apply nutrients and to conserve precious water for maximum plant yields. . .