Feds slam Govt’s immigration plans – Gerald Piddock:
Federated Farmers are urging farmers with staffing shortages to write to the Government to outline the effect it was having on their businesses.
The move comes after two announcements from the Government over the past few weeks concerning immigration.
It firstly denied an application by Federated Farmers and DairyNZ to bring in 500 skilled migrants to work on dairy farms.
Instead, it approved 125 agricultural machinery operators, below the 400 that is needed. . .
Treasury to review forestry policy – Neal Wallace:
The Government has approved the sale of 32,644ha of farmland to foreign buyers since 2018 for conversion to forestry under its special policy that encourages overseas investment into the sector.
Information provided by the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) reveals it approved through the forestry test the purchase by foreign investors of 30 livestock farms for conversion to forestry, and a further 35 existing forestry blocks covering 111,517ha.
The special forestry test was introduced in 2018 as part of the Labour-NZ First coalition agreement, which effectively streamlines the OIO process for foreign entities wanting to invest in forestry.
The policy is about to be reviewed by the Treasury, says an OIO spokesperson. . .
South coping with the long dry – Sally Blundell :
The parched paddocks of farms on Canterbury’s Banks Peninsula have run out of moisture – nothing is growing. Farmers fear climate change has arrived and have begun adapting the way they work the land.
Tim Davie, director of science at Environment Canterbury, pauses in a stony gulley, a narrow trough between banks of browning grass. It was not what he expected to see.
“I was hoping to show you some water on the Port Hills of Banks Peninsula,” he tells Frank Film. “But there’s nothing here. Normally this pond would be full of water, up to my waist. On the western flank of Pigeon Bay, Edward Aitken of Craigforth farm walks across the parched ground of his sheep and cattle farm. The scenery is dramatic, the hills a uniform brown against a relentlessly blue sky. “These paddocks would normally have new grass and established greenfield crops. They’ve been fallow now since last November. There is absolutely no moisture in the sub-soil.” . .
Biosecurity, agricultural emissions research and farm planning were areas that received a funding boost in yesterday’s Budget.
On the agricultural emissions front, $24 million was committed to research and mitigation technology development, which could include things like methane inhibitors and the breeding of low emission animals.
Meanwhile, $37m would go towards a national farm planning system for farmers and growers, in line with the government’s plan for all farms to have written plans to measure and manage emissions by the end of 2024.
Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said in order to meet its climate and environmental goals, there needed to be a single, easy to use framework. . .
A recent turn out of women engaged in employment within the Seed Industry shows the future of diversity within the sector is looking good.
The second NZGSTA Women in Seed Forum was held at Riccarton Park Function Centre on the 19th of May and attended by 108 women from the Seed Industry. The roles of these women varied from agronomists, lab technicians, logistics roles, administrative roles, account managers, research technicians, grain traders, farmers and those passionate about the grain and seed industries.
Developed and hosted by the New Zealand Grain and Seed Trade Association, Executive Councillor Charlotte Connoley said “the purpose of the forum was to provide more opportunities for networking amongst women within the industry in addition to providing a platform for further discussion and collaboration around key challenges and opportunities that face the grain and seed industries.” . .
Five teenage girls at St Aloysius College, Carrigtwohill – who come from non-farming backgrounds – have just been crowned overall winners of the 2021 Certified Irish Angus Schools Competition.
Emily O’Donovan, Kelsey Hourigan, Helen Savage, Leah Buckley, and Rachel O’Gorman explored the topic ‘Communicating with the Consumer & Producer’ throughout the course of their 18-month project for the competition.
And, in an effort to educate consumers on the beef process, they created an App called ‘Angus Adventures’ which is available to download from Google Play.
The App focuses on the daily tasks of a farmer in an effort to inform consumers of the work and dedication required to produce Certified Irish Angus beef from farm to fork. . .