Do you hear the people . . .

June 21, 2014

Protests by the usual suspects on the left aren’t unusual.

It takes a lot more than the usual disgruntlements to get other people on to the streets in any number which makes yesterday’s Don’t Damn the Dam rally a serious sign of popular support.

RivettingKate Taylor recorded the rally in words and photos:

CHB people gathered in Waipukurau in their droves this morning to support the proposed Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme. The dam.

I was going to say hundreds of people lined the streets, but I really have no way of quantifying how many people were there. Watch the news tonight – they might tell you. Suffice to say, in Kate terms, there were lots and lots.

Farmers, bankers, fertiliser reps, spreader drivers and two former regional councillors Ewan McGregor and Kevin Rose, who are probably secretly glad the decision is not up to them anymore.

There were tractors, utes, motorbikes, stock trucks and a few huntaways. . .

After clogging up the state highway system for a wee while, the vehicle possession (bigger than the annual Christmas parade but no Santa!!) parked up and the “green space” on “post office corner” was filled with claps and cheers for Mr Streeter and Mr Heaton, HB Federated Farmers president Will Foley and local fifth-generation farmer (and CHBDC district councillor) Andrew Watts. We also heard from someone from Timaru who had seen the growth in South Canterbury from the Opuha dam and resulting irrigation systems. . . .

I think the someone from Timaru was Federated Farmers vice president William Rolleston.

Feds is firmly behind the project, but Hawkes Bay provincial president Will Foley is concerned about nutrient limits:

Last month, Massey’s Dr Mike Joy told a Canterbury audience, “The nitrate toxicity in some waterways is 10 times the safe level already. We have gone from safe levels of 1.9 millilitres a litre, to 3.8ml/l in Canterbury.”

With the Tukituki Board of Inquiry proposing a limit of 0.8 milligrams per litre for dissolved inorganic nitrogen, it would seem contradictory, but its draft decision is about a very different limit – what it believes is good for ecosystem health.  And on the nitrate toxicity score, the draft National Objectives Framework has set 6.9ml/l as the bottomline and the Tukituki is not even remotely close. 

So let’s park Dr Joy and focus on what we all want to achieve for the Tukituki. 

That means remembering why we started out in the first place.  It was to tackle an algae that’s been with us forever called Periphyton.  Everyone agrees it’s a problem so what’s the solution?

We get Periphyton because the Tukituki is a rocky river running warm during summer low flows.  Its growth is exacerbated by nitrogen and phosphorus so Hawke’s Bay Regional Council came up with a three-pronged approach hitting phosphorus, managing nitrogen and increasing water flows. 

In all the debate since, this environmental solution with strong economic benefits has been parked out of sight.

You can only increase water flow during summer by storing rainwater and that’s where Ruataniwha comes in.  This extra water helps to cool the Tukituki during summer while flushing it of Periphyton.  That’s been the experience of South Canterbury’s Opuha scheme on a similar river. 

We’ve had a similar improvement in the Waiareka Creek from the North Otago Irrigation Company scheme.

It used to be little more than a series of stagnant ponds. Now with guaranteed minimum flows from irrigation water it runs clean and wildlife has re-established.

Another experience is the economic boon Opuha has been to South Canterbury.

Yet during the Board of Inquiry, Dr Joy’s colleague Dr Death, helped to shift the focus off Periphyton and towards the stream life of rivers using a model developed for the Manawatu; a very different river to our Tukituki. Arguably, that’s how a limit of 0.8mg/l entered the minds of the Board of Inquiry, but how many invertebrates found in water doesn’t correlate to any one nutrient. 

Ironically, it was Fish and Game’s Corina Jordan who confirmed that while nitrogen and clearly phosphorus have impacts, so does river flow, sediment, light intensity and temperature.  The upshot being that there is no straight line relationship between a limit of 0.8mg/l and invertebrate health. 

Farmers like me are not in denial because Federated Farmers is okay with having a number, but that number must be an indicator and not chiselled into granite.  Especially since that number was derived from a model not validated for the Tukituki River and especially since Dr Death’s use of the Macroinvertebrate Community Index happens to be an indicator itself.

The Hawke’s Bay community needs a solution but the proposed limit of 0.8mg/l is so blunt, it makes Ruataniwha untenable. 

The Port of Napier is right to call Ruataniwha a game changer for the entire Hawke’s Bay region.  Before Ruataniwha’s viability was compromised we were talking about a quarter of a billion dollar boost each and every year.  If 0.8 remains as a hard limit, it not only kills the dam but means the region going forward will become $50 million poorer each year.  

Unless 0.8 becomes an indicator it will seriously compromise all the farming we currently have.  We’re not just talking sheep and beef but the guys who grow crops, the guys who run orchards, those who milk and even the guys who grow the grapes our region is famous for.

A hard limit of 0.8 means no Ruataniwha leaving us with Periphyton, a worsening economy and increasingly, rivers suffering from ever lower and warmer flows due to drought.  If farms convert to forestry we can possibly add sediment to that list.  Can anyone tell me what the environmental or community upside is? 

Dr Doug Edmeades wrote recently, “the best pieces of advice I was given as a young scientist: ‘Edmeades, I do not give a damn for your opinion what are the facts.”  Opinion seems the basis for 0.8mg/l but it is fact that it’s 14 times more stringent than the international standard for drinking water.  Don’t damn our dam.

Water storage and the irrigation it enables can improve both water quantity and quality.

It provides recreational opportunities and a significant economic boost. Farmers will make the biggest investment and take the biggest risk but as the people rallying yesterday obviously realise the benefits will flow right through the community in more jobs and more business opportunities with the economic and social boost that will bring.

The people of Hawkes Bay spoke through their support for the rally yesterday.

The Regional Council will show whether or not it heard them when it makes it decision on supporting the project, or not.


Rural round-up

June 16, 2013

Fieldays: Price rebound tempered – Terry Brosnahan:

Lamb prices will average $95/head for the season and milksolids will be about $6.80/kg ANZ economist Con Williams predicts.

Williams told a seminar audience at the National Fieldays the lamb crop is estimated to be 6-10% down because of fewer breeding ewes and a lower lambing percentage. This means less supply than in the 2011-12 season but globally it won’t mean the prices will be as high as back then. A 17.5kg lamb will be worth $5.40-6/kg or more depending on the size of the lamb crop and procurement behaviour. . .

Fieldays: Kiwi-German technology boosts NZ dairying – Richard Rennie:

The expansion of German giant GEA Farm Technologies in the dairy sector has brought a cross pollination of research and innovation aimed at boosting farm productivity.

This year’s Mystery Creek National Fieldays marked the giant corporation’s first with two New Zealand dairy businesses under its wings.

These were milking equipment company Milfos and hygiene-identification company FIL.

The acquisition of NZ-owned Milfos last year means GEA is represented now in all aspects of dairy operation, from dairy shed equipment to animal identification for mating. . .

Whey powder message is starting to sink in – Richard Rennie:

Telling a compelling case about how a high-grade whey powder can deliver healthier, heavier and ultimately more productive calves requires clearing a few hurdles.

It’s a tough ask, compared sometimes to selling coal to Newcastle, in a country where conventional fat-based milk powder dominates rearing practice.

However, with the industry seeking more productive livestock, it appears AgriVantage managing director Warren Tanner may be hitting the right notes with his whey powder range. . .

Avery NZ”s top ag communicator – RivettingKate Taylor:

Marlborough farmer Doug Avery is willing to talk to anyone about integrating lucerne into pastoral systems to achieve a leap in productivity and profitability.

His enthusiasm and ability in communicating how he has achieved this with spectacular results on his own property have won him the 2013 Landcorp Agricultural Communicator of the Year. . . .

On your plates – KR Connect:

Food trucks, foam, farm-to-table – these are all trends that have influenced what and how we eat over the years, but while some are going strong, others are fading away. Fortunately, there will always be new innovations to keep us eating. Here are five that you may be soon seeing on your plates. . . .


Rural round-up

June 11, 2013

Winning farm proud but aims to be better still:

Tarawera Station, winner of the Maori excellence in sheep and beef farming title, says it’s proud to have received the title, but there’s still room for improvement.

The winner of the Ahuwhenua Trophy was announced on Friday night.

Te Awahohonu Forest Trust’s Tarawera Station, which is 60 kms northwest of Napier edged out two other finalists. . .

Te Kuiti shepherd wins inaugural Moari Young farmer Award:

Young Te Kuiti shepherd named as inaugural winner in Ahuwhenua Young Māori Sheep & Beef Farmer of the year competition

Jordan Smith, a young shepherd working on the Kearins Bros Limited farm in Te Kuiti has been announced as the inaugural winner of the Ahuwhenua Young Maori Sheep & Beef Farmer of the Year award in the Hawke’s Bay tonight. . .

Distribution deal launches value-added dairy product into Japanese market:

New Zealand-based dairy biotechnology company, Quantec Ltd, announced today that it has signed a distribution and supply agreement with a major Japanese specialty ingredients company, Kanematsu Chemicals Corporation.

Kanematsu will distribute Quantec’s patented complex of bioactive milk proteins, called IDP®, throughout Japan.

In a deal that is expected to extend over a number of years, the distribution agreement gives Quantec an expansion opportunity into a key Asian market and provides Kanematsu with access to a unique New Zealand dairy-based bioactive protein ingredient for inclusion into Japanese functional foods and human health products. . .

Bulls in the rain – rivettingKate taylor:

Black bulls everywhere this afternoon – if you were in the same paddocks as me near Norsewood!

I was taking photos at the annual Mt Mable Angus bull sale at Pukerimu – home to Kevin and Megan Friel.

It was a tad wet at times when viewing the bulls before the sale…

Three successful years of Primary Growth Partnership marked:

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy have marked three years of the Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) at a function at Parliament tonight.

“The PGP invests in research and innovation to boost productivity in New Zealand’s farming, forestry and food sectors,” Mr Guy says. “This will mean more exports, jobs and better environmental outcomes as well.”

“The Government and industry have so far committed $658 million of multi-year funding for 13 projects.  The potential benefit to the wider economy from these projects is over $7 billion per year from 2025.

“Some examples of current projects include red meat sector collaboration, manuka honey trials, harvesting trees from steep land, improving the precision of seafood catches, and selective breeding of greenshell mussels. . .

Guaranteed Milk Price Set At $7:

Fonterra has confirmed that the Guaranteed Milk Price (GMP) for the 2013/14 season pilot will be $7.00 per kgMS, following the announcement of its opening Milk Price forecast for the season.

Earlier this year the Co-operative announced a GMP pilot programme allowing farmers to lock in a milk price announced at the beginning of a season for up to 75 per cent of their milk supply. With strong interest shown from farmer shareholders, Fonterra is looking for around 200 farms to take part.

Fonterra’s Director of Commodity Risk and Trading, Bruce Turner, says ideally they are looking for a broad base of farmers who are at different stages of their farm’s operations, have varying herd sizes and are located across the country. . .

Discuss the state of NZ’s agricultural sectors at Fieldays:

The Ministry for Primary Industries will present a snapshot of the current position of New Zealand’s agricultural sectors at a free seminar at National Fieldays this week.

An MPI speaker will outline the main conclusions from the Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries (SOPI) including the significant and long-reaching affects of the recent drought, the upcoming reform in water management, and a view of the areas for largest potential growth within the agricultural sectors. . .

Lifting the performance of Maori agribuisness:

The Ministry for Primary Industries will host a free seminar on Friday 14 June at National Fieldays on its work to lift the performance of Māori agribusiness.

Māori agribusiness is a government priority, and MPI has work under way partnering with Māori to support them in maximising the sustainable use of their primary sector assets.

“There is a discernable shift happening in the ownership and management of Māori freehold land,” says MPI Director General Wayne McNee. “Māori landowners are taking a more active approach to fully capitalise on huge gains possible by increasing the productivity and profitability of assets, and by making the most of opportunities to develop the value of its primary produce. . . .


Rural round-up

April 12, 2013

New vehicle rules will reduce cost for rural sector:

New rules for agricultural vehicles will reduce compliance costs while maintaining safety standards, says Associate Transport Minister Michael Woodhouse.

Mr Woodhouse has signed changes to Land Transport (Driver Licensing) Rule 1999 and seven other Land Transport Rules that will offer agricultural vehicle owners improved compliance and greater operational flexibility from 1 June 2013.

“This Government recognises that the primary sector remains the powerhouse of New Zealand’s economy and we want to remove unnecessary costs and red tape,” says Mr Woodhouse.

The Ministry of Transport estimates that changes will result in a net benefit of $51 million over 25 years. . .

Great white butterfly not pretty – RivettingKate Taylor:

Federated Farmers has put out a warning about a significant new pest threat – the great white butterfly.

What is it?

It is a significant pest of brassica vegetable crops. Its caterpillars feed voraciously on host plants reducing them to a skeleton. In New Zealand, it poses a major threat to commercial and animal forage brassica vegetable crops.  It could also have serious consequences for the survival of many of New Zealand’s 79 native cress species. . .

86% vote supports forest levy:

A referendum of forest growers has shown strong support for a levy on harvested forest products.

“We have been given the thumbs-up to introduce a funding system that will provide greater certainty, equity and commitment for activities that benefit all growers, such as research, promotion and forest health,” says Forest Growers Levy Trust chair Geoff Thompson.

“At this stage, we expect the levy to be introduced on 1 January 2014.” . . .

Building innovation into Marlborough’s food and beverage sector:

The untapped potential of Marlborough’s primary sector, if cleverly exploited, could take this region out in front of the field as an export earner according to a report prepared for the Marlborough Research Centre (MRC).

The research, examining the prospects for innovation with existing primary products, suggests that these industries could be transformed, said MRC chief executive Gerald Hope.

“There’s enormous scope for products which are health and performance oriented. It’s about turning smart ideas and clever science into new products and processes which will meet the expectations of the future,” said Mr Hope. . .

After A Hot, Dry Summer Green Beans Up There With Tomatoes And Wine:

Wattie’s Canterbury green bean crop has, like its sister crop of tomatoes in Hastings, relished the benefits of the country’s hot, dry summer, which has also been experienced by the wine industry.

Harvesting and processing of the beans is scheduled to finish this week, and Wattie’s South Island Agricultural Manager Mark Daniels reports excellent yields and blemish-free quality.

“Our bean crop has thrived under the hot dry conditions and we are finishing slightly ahead of schedule compared with recent years. . .

GIMBLETT GRAVELS – the best of both worlds?:

Is it possible to make world class wines from Syrah and Bordeaux varietals grown in the same area?

In France, you would have to drive almost 500km between Bordeaux and the Northern Rhone. Yet in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, GIMBLETT GRAVELS wines from these grape varieties – growing, literally, side by side in an area less than 800 hectares (2000 acres) – continue to receive acclaim from leading international wine critics.

Each year, the Gimblett Gravels Winegrowers Association (GGWA) releases to key wine influencers a limited number of their Annual Vintage Selection, comprising an independent selection of the members’ red wines that best represent the given vintage. The current 2010 vintage, selected by Andrew Caillard MW, comprises nine blended reds (from Bordeaux varieties) and three Syrah’s. . .


Rural round-up

March 29, 2013

Broaden Your Skills And See The Results – Farm Business Management Program Now Open:

Farmers looking to broaden their business knowledge to make their farm enterprise reach ‘the next level’ should apply for the Rabobank Executive Development Program, according to a recent program graduate, Guy Melville, of ‘Kairangaroa Pastoral’, Taihape in the North Island.

Applications have officially opened for the 2013 year intake of prestigious Rabobank Executive Development Program which gives leading Australian and New Zealand, farmers from a range of agricultural sectors, the opportunity to develop and enhance their business management skills.

Now in its fourteenth year, the program covers all aspects of rural enterprise management to help drive sustainable business growth, including strategic goal setting, negotiating and people management. . .

Brother and Sister claim top title in Northland Ballance Farm Environment Awards:

Outstanding management of their “high input, very sustainable farming system” has earned Kokopu siblings Shayne and Charmaine O’Shea the Supreme Award in the 2013 Northland Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

Shayne and Charmaine’s dairy farm, 12km west of Whangarei, was described by Ballance Farm Environment Award (BFEA) judges as an aesthetically-pleasing, well-presented property that achieves excellent production at minimal cost to the environment.

“All aspects of the business are sustainable and profitable and there is a clear balance between the financial performance of the operation, followed by the environment and socially sustainable aspects.” . . .

Possible meat industry solution proposed nearly 30 years ago – Allan Barber:

In 1985 the Meat Industry Council commissioned a report from consultancy firm, Pappas Carter Evans & Koop, entitled Cost Competitiveness in Export Meat Processing which proposed a solution to the problems of the industry. Unfortunately, in view of the history of the industry since then, the recommendations were never implemented.

There were two key recommendations, the main one being the introduction of a tradable killing rights scheme to encourage the stronger competitors to take volume from the weaker companies or plants which would then close; the second recommendation was to abolish averaging of transportation schemes and to reduce meat inspection costs through structural and policy changes. . .

Smedley field day – Awesome – RivettingKate Taylor:

We hosted the East Coast Ballance Farm Environment Awards field day on Smedley Station and Cadet Training farm in Central HB yesterday.

It was a great day hosted by East Coast supreme winners Terry and Judy Walters, apart from the fact it wasn’t postponed due to rain (which obviously we would have been pleased about). . .

Global warming fat-cats exploiting drought-stricken NZ farmers’ misery – Lord Monckton:

Lord Christopher Monckton has hit out at those using the current drought situation in New Zealand and its serious economic effects on a number of farming families to further the cause of man-made global warming.

“It is repellent that shameless global-warming profiteers in government, the universities and some media are exploiting the misery and hardship of New Zealand’s farmers by fraudulently blaming the current severe drought on non-existent global warming”, he says.

“As the science and economics behind the climate scare continue to collapse, these whining fat-cats should be made to repay every penny they have extracted from taxpayers.” . . .

The evolution of freshwater management under the RMA – Nicola de Wit:

The enactment of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) combined around 70 pieces of legislation into one central environmental planning statute. The integration of a number of fragmented regimes was a significant step forward for environmental management in New Zealand. The RMA was also significant for its incorporation of the principle of sustainability; the purpose of the RMA is to promote the ‘sustainable management’ of natural and physical resources.

The RMA is consistently described as world-leading legislation – so why has freshwater quality been declining so rapidly in our lowland streams and rivers?

The Act contains two key protections for water. First, it allows people to take and use water for their reasonable domestic needs and to provide drinking water for animals, but it prevents people from using water for any other purpose, unless permitted by a regional plan or a resource consent. Secondly, it prevents any person from discharging a contaminant into water, or onto land where it is likely to enter water, unless allowed by a regional plan or resource consent. . .


Rural round-up

March 24, 2013

Biological control agents vary in results:

A review of the history of the biological control agents introduced to combat weeds in New Zealand has found some have produced incredible results.

Others, however, were next to useless.

Dr Max Suckling is science group leader of biosecurity at Plant and Food Research and his latest work has taken a look at the benefits of biological control introduction in the country.

He says while the success of the different biological controls introduced varies greatly – some have been game changers. . .

Willow and poplar feed stock during drought:

A North Island farm forester is urging drought-afflicted farmers who have run out of feed for their stock to take a leaf out of his book and feed them foliage from trees.

Manawatu Whanganui Regional Council has highlighted the benefits of willows and poplars in particular as a source of nutritious supplementary feed. . .

Seven-Time Entrants Win Hawkes Bay/Wairarapa Awards:

Pahiatua farmers Shaun and Kate Mitchell can finally claim the 2013 Hawkes Bay/Wairarapa Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year title after entering seven times and placing runners-up last year.

The couple won $16,400 in cash and prizes at the region’s Dairy Industry Awards dinner at Copthorne Solway, in Masterton, last night. The other big winners were Bart and Tineke Gysbertsen, the 2013 Hawkes Bay/Wairarapa Farm Managers of the Year, and Ken Ahradsen, the Dairy Trainee of the Year.

The Mitchells say they have entered the awards multiple times due to the benefits of the feedback they have received. “It’s helped us to get a better understanding of our business and goals. The awards has also brought us out of our comfort zone and given us an opportunity to meet and interact with like-minded people.” . .

and now it’s the dairy industry awards – RivettingKate Taylor:

Guess where I have been tonight….. Masterton – watching the Hawke’s Bay Wairarapa Dairy Industry Awards (and taking the photos). . .

Contest Makes Dairy Awards Winner Better Farmer:

Entering the 2013 Manawatu/Rangitikei/Horowhenua Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year contest has made its winner, Richard McIntyre, better at what he does.

Mr McIntyre, who won $13,500 in cash and prizes, says he entered the Dairy Industry Awards to have his farm business analysed, with weaknesses highlighted and solutions found. “Essentially, it makes us better at what we do.”

The other big winners were Michael and Raewyn Hills, the 2013 Manawatu/Rangitikei/Horowhenua Farm Managers of the Year and Nic Verhoek, the Dairy Trainee of the Year. All winners are farming at Feilding and were announced at the region’s awards dinner held at Awapuni Racecourse, near Palmerston North, last night . .

“Extreme Barbecue” A Recipe For Market Success:

Combine New Zealand lamb with 40 keen foodies, a celebrity chef, some heavy-duty barbecue equipment, spectacular alpine scenery… and a forecast for snow. What have you got? Winter Grillcamp – a Beef + Lamb New Zealand promotion in Germany.

The event last week launched the farmer organisation’s new season PR programme in Northern Europe. It targeted two key market groups: upwardly mobile young men and women with a keen interest in cooking healthy but delicious food.

“Hosting a barbecue in zero temperatures at the top of Germany’s highest mountain may seem extreme, but we wanted to do something out of the ordinary,” says Nick Beeby, Beef + Lamb New Zealand Market Manager, Emerging Markets. . .

More drought pics – RivettingKate Taylor:

These were taken before we had 57mm of rain on Monday and Tuesday.

Friends up at Te Pohue had only 11mm.

It may have rained but the fat lady has seriously left the stage. . .

2013 a dream vintage so far for Bay wine industry:

The superlatives are coming thick and fast as the Hawke’s Bay wine industry gets underway with the 2013 grape harvest, with many believing this could be the “vintage of the century”.

“It’s a dream vintage,” says Tony Bish, chief winemaker for Sacred Hill and chairman of Gimblett Gravels Winegrower Association. “It’s been an awesome season, one we don’t get often enough. The fruit is early, ripe and clean; everything we would want.”

For Peter Gough, senior winemaker and viticulturist with Ngatarawa the lack of stress has meant there is a buoyancy of spirit across the industry this year. “There is no disease pressure so we aren’t picking because we have to, it’s when we want, based on flavour. It’s a winemaker’s dream.” . . .


Rural round-up

March 14, 2013

Push for rural health alliance to tackle farmer depression:

A rural doctors representative wants a new health alliance to make a commitment to tackling rural depression.

The Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand, which was formed last year, will hold its first AGM on Wednesday afternoon in the run up to the annual Rural General Practice Network conference in Rotorua this week. . .

Urgent decisions due for Sharemilkers and Sharemilker Employers:

Federated Farmers is warning Sharemilkers and Sharemilker employers that with drought now widespread, they need to urgently sit down and jointly plan the close of the 2012/13 season.

“Forget about how you handled the last drought because this one is significantly different,” says Tony Wilding, Federated Farmers Sharemilker Employers’ Section Vice-Chairperson.

“These are not normal drought conditions as there is little feed in the whole of the North Island to fall back upon. There are very few places where farmers can send stock to which has enough grass even in the South Island.

“Federated Farmers urges all sharemilkers and those who engage sharemilkers to sit down and plan for the close of the season. Both sides of the business relationship need to figure out how they can best manage today’s situation to prevent further damage or compromise next season’s production. . .

Sheep and beef farmers support PGP collaboration programe:

New Zealand sheep and beef farmers have agreed to co-fund the ‘Collaboration for Sustainable Growth Red Meat Primary Growth Partnership’, following a farmer vote held at the Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) Annual Meeting in Wanaka last week.

Electionz.com, which managed the vote on behalf of B+LNZ, has advised that the resolution was passed with 77% support from 2746 participating votes. The weighted voting percentage represents 21.3% of the potential total weighted vote based on sheep (31.2m head), beef (3.74 m head), and dairy (6.46 m head) livestock numbers at 30 June 2012.

B+LNZ Chairman, Mike Petersen said that following the funding commitment from the Government and industry partners, the positive farmer vote paves the way for the programme to proceed. . .

Meat sector takes huge step forward in supporting PGP

The strong farmer support for Beef+Lamb New Zealand’s co-funding of the Collaboration for Sustainable Growth Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme shows the entire red meat industry is on track toward a brighter future, says Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre Chairperson.

“This PGP will provide a huge amount of investment in ways farmers can directly increase their productivity and returns through their own efforts, so it is very heartening that Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s co-funding resolution was supported,” Mrs Maxwell says.

“Federated Farmers saw the potential in this partnership and more than three quarters of the sheep and beef farmers who voted agreed.

“While the red meat sector is having a tough season with drought now adding to the stress of lower prices, I am confident this scheme could mean we do not face such dire seasons in the future. . .

Drought bites – RivettingKateTaylor:

It’s getting worse.

I have been holding off writing about the drought, but now I want to tempt the rain. It’s like watering the garden and then it rains. Only this time it’s not. And it’s not. And it’s not.

We are so lucky we are only on a lifestyle block. The pet sheep and calfie are not impressed by the dry, but they will survive, as will we with off-”farm” income. . .

Minister meets Brazilian counterpart – opportunities in the ‘giant of Latin America‘:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy was impressed by the size and scale of Brazilian agriculture when he met with Brazilian Agriculture Minister Mendes Ribeiro Filho in Brasilia today, at the end of a nine-day trade mission to Latin America led by Prime Minister John Key.

“In meeting with my counterpart I outlined the expertise, innovation, and efficiency which characterises New Zealand’s agricultural sector,” says Mr Guy.

“With New Zealand’s world-leading expertise, and Brazil’s land and location, there are plenty of opportunities for our countries to collaborate and work more closely together.

“During the meeting I stressed that New Zealand and Brazil should try to work in partnership as agricultural exporters to reduce trade barriers and ease trade restrictions.” . . .

Fonterra launches Mainland cheese in Malaysia:

Fonterra Brands Malaysia’s launch of Mainland Cheese in Malaysia signals the strengthening trade links between New Zealand and South-East Asia, Minister for Economic Development Steven Joyce says.

Minister Joyce today launched the Mainland Cheese brand at a New Zealand Gala event in Kuala Lumpur.

“Over the last five years, Fonterra Brands Malaysia’s business in South East Asia has doubled, which shows the increasing demand for New Zealand dairy products, and the growing opportunities for New Zealand export companies in the region,” Mr Joyce says.

The launch coincides with New Zealand Week in Malaysia, a series of business and education events to lift the profile of New Zealand as an education destination, and to promote business and investment opportunities. . .


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