A river runs through it – Lois Williams :
Flood-prone Franz Josef and nearby farms remain at the mercy of the West Coast’s biblical rainfall as the Government dithers on protection measures.
In South Westland, work has begun on extending the giant stopbanks that protect the tourist town of Franz Josef and State Highway 6 from the wild Waiho River.
It’s nearly two years since the Government trumpeted a grant of $24 million for improved flood defences following the spectacular March 2019 event that washed away the road bridge and stranded hundreds of tourists for days.
But on the south bank opposite Franz Josef township, farmers and homeowners are still waiting to hear if they’re to be included or forgotten. . .
Long processing season likely – Riley Kennedy:
Farmers should prepare for a “very long” processing season, Silver Fern Farms chief executive Simon Limmer says.
While the company had managed to keep Omicron out of its plants, the outbreak had put pressure on its processing chains.
There had been high rates of absenteeism across its network as staff had to self-isolate.
Much as with the overall outbreak in New Zealand, Silver Fern Farms had experienced a “north to south” wave. . .
The picking is good as vineyards wait for workers – Tracie Barrett:
Central Otago winemakers and viticulturists are looking forward to the 2022 vintage, reporting good fruit size and flavours as harvest takes place on sunny days, although possible labour shortages cast a shadow.
Quartz Reef Wines winemaker Rudi Bauer, a two-time recipient of New Zealand Winemaker of the Year, said harvest of grapes began on February 22 for the label’s sparkling wine, which requires lower sugar levels than are required for a pinot noir.
“Generally, we are very happy with the sparkling wine quality,” he said.
Picking of the pinot noir began on the Bendigo vineyard on March 17, and the stable season had contributed to a promising vintage. . .
After judging at the end of February the New Zealand Specialist Cheesemakers Association (NZSCA) has announced 254 medal winners in the NZ Champions of Cheese Awards 2022.
In what was a record for recent years entries were up 20 percent on 2021 – more than 380 cheeses were judged, with 76 Gold Medals, 120 Silver Medals and 58 Bronze Medals awarded.
Thirty-six judges led by Master Cheese Judge Jason Tarrant assessed the cheeses at Wintec in Hamilton on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 February 2022.
Jason Tarrant thanked the high calibre judging team, saying proof of their skill and understanding of NZ cheese was how aligned they were with all their assessments. . .
Tim Dangen, 29, has secured himself the final spot at the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final for Season 54.
Tim, a beef farmer and calf rearer in Muriwai, was announced as the winner of the Northern FMG Young Farmer of the Year on Saturday night after a full day of challenges.
Following closely in the runner-up position was Lisa Kendall and in third place, Sam Waugh, both members of Franklin Young Farmers.
The Northern Regional Final Organising Committee, led by Auckland Young Farmer Louise Ford, put on an outstanding day, challenging Contestants to a range of tasks ensuring to test their ability and knowledge of the food and fibre sector. . .
QAAFI science cracks down on beef counterfeiting – Shan Goodwin:
WITH beef commanding top dollar, the incentive to counterfeit species and cuts is stronger than ever and the ways of doing it are becoming more and more sophisticated.
While meat fraud is rare in Australia, cattle producers certainly have a strong interest in stopping it – or even accidental substitution – overseas, given three quarters of Australian beef is exported.
That’s why scientists in Australia are honing in on ways to outsmart the fraudsters.
Advanced machine learning algorithms that researchers at the Queensland Alliance for Agricultural and Food Innovation are helping to develop have the power to validate the species, cut and even provenance of meat. . .