Big break for Hawke’s Bay as Big Save buys farms, ups the ante in wool industry – Doug Laing:
Hawke’s Bay is set to play a major role in the revival of the New Zealand wool industry kick-started by wool-buying moves taken by Napier-based furnishing manufacturer and retailer Big Save Furniture.
Moving away from synthetics as much as possible, the company is paying farmers $4.50kg for strong wool in which Hawke’s Bay is the biggest regional producer in the World – more than double recent market lows which have seen farmers paying more for the shearing than they’re getting for the wool.
The property arm of the McMinn family operation has also bought four farms in Southern Hawke’s Bay in the last 12 months, about 3000 hectares of sheep and beef farming, under the Big Rural brand.
The crisis is highlighted by Campaign for Wool NZ Trust chairman Tom O’Sullivan, from Havelock North, the fourth generation of a Central Hawke’s Bay sheep-farming family, one of several people from Hawke’s Bay at the centre of moves to get the industry, and who says that at the height of the industry in the 1950s the farm could have been bought from “the one wool-cheque”. . .
Stretching, balance helps improve health, wellbeing – Shawn McAvinue:
Physical therapist Hennie Pienaar opens his injury prevention workshops by asking meat industry staff if they want to live longer or die earlier.
Mr Pienaar began working for Alliance Group as its musculoskeletal injury prevention manager based in Invercargill about 15 months ago.
Alliance wanted to improve the ‘‘complete wellness’’ of its staff, improving their physical, mental and nutritional health, so they enjoyed their work, went home happy and maintained a healthy lifestyle, he said.
The meat processing industry had a ‘‘big struggle’’ to find staff so it was working to retain them. . .
Southlanders pioneer real paneer making in New Zealand – Uma Ahmed:
Southlanders who found a niche in producing authentic paneer from raw milk are starting to expand their business.
Paneer is a type of acid-set cheese originating from the Indian subcontinent.
Southland couple Julie and Roger Guise, after chatting with Thiagarajan Rajoo at church, found out authentic paneer was not being made in New Zealand.
The bulk of paneer in New Zealand is made from powder or standardised milk, as opposed to being made with raw milk. . .
Bremworth signs up to NZFAP:
Bremworth has signed up to the New Zealand Farm Assurance Programme (NZFAP), signalling its support for and adoption of a national wool standard.
The NZFAP provides assurance to consumers about the integrity, traceability, biosecurity, environmental sustainability and animal health and welfare of NZ’s primary sector products.
Bremworth joins 20 other wool industry members to transition towards sourcing their wool from 6800 accredited sheep farms across NZ that meet the standards set by the NZFAP.
By signing up to NZFAP, Bremworth can prove its wool has met traceability, authentic origin and animal welfare standards. . .
Farmer uses regenerative techniques to combat high nitrate levels – Conan Young:
A farmer in an area known as ground zero for high nitrate levels, is making fundamental changes to the way he farms in order to lessen his impact on water quality.
Levels in private drinking water bores in Mid-Canterbury were on average five to seven times higher than most towns and cities, and in some places exceeded the amount deemed safe by the World Health Organisation.
But a number of farmers were determined to do something about it.
David Birkett grows crops including wheat and vege seeds on 200 hectares near Leeston. . .
Promising early results for Facial Eczema lab test:
Initial results from a pilot study investigating the potential for a laboratory test to determine Facial Eczema tolerance are positive, paving the way for more detailed investigation.
Dan Brier, B+LNZ’s General Manager Farming Excellence, says the ultimate aim of the study, which is being funded by Beef + Lamb New Zealand and conducted by AgResearch, is to produce a fully validated high through-put commercial test, which is readily available for breeders and commercial farmers.
“Initial results look promising with the establishment of a cell culture method, using sheep and cattle blood, to demonstrate sporidesmin (the toxin that causes Facial Eczema [FE]) toxicity. This indicates that animals could be tested for tolerance without needing to be exposed to the toxin.” . .