‘Wet Coast’ cow cockies say ‘get off the grass’ to new rules – Lois Williams:
When stock wintering rules designed to protect waterways were imposed on a century-old South Island dairying property, the owners bet their nest egg on building an enormous barn
It wasn’t the mother of all floods in 2013 that convinced West Coast dairy farmers Matt and Carmel O’Regan to move their cows indoors.
Nor was it the latest summer deluge in February, when the old flood gauge at Inangahua Landing vanished from sight under muddy waters, along with thousands of hectares of farmland.
After three generations at Coal Creek, the family is used to floods. . .
Time for Kiwi arable farmers to shine – Jacqueline Rowarth:
New Zealand arable farmers are using science and technology to produce good food for the least impact, it’s time this was recognised, Dr Jacqueline Rowarth writes.
Three-quarters of the bread sold in New Zealand is made from grain grown overseas.
This might be a surprise to some people, but, like the 60 per cent of pork products (85 per cent of ham and bacon) consumed in New Zealand but not produced here, overseas countries can sometimes operate more cheaply than we can in New Zealand.
Sometimes that is because of environmental conditions enabling greater yields, and sometimes it is standards in regulations around environment, welfare and employment that make the difference. Sometimes it is everything. Labelling doesn’t always make origin clear. . .
The Defence Force and electricity lines companies have become unintended allies as they both grapple with wetland rules that make it harder for them to access their own infrastructure
Rules brought in two years ago via the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management and National Environmental Standards for Freshwater focused on protecting and restoring natural wetlands.
But groups including property developers, mining and quarrying companies and those with existing infrastructure in and around wetland areas argued they were too prohibitive.
The Ministry for the Environment consulted late last year and recently proposed changes that make concessions to some of the concerns, including creating consenting pathways for mining, quarrying and landfills. . .
Leading the charge for wool – Sally Rae:
Last month, Greg Smith marked his first year as chief executive of carpet company Bremworth. He talks to business editor Sally Rae about his desire to help reinvigorate New Zealand’s strong wool industry.
Growing up, a young Greg Smith never imagined he would end up running a carpet company.
Mind you, he also never contemplated jewellery as a career — “or woolly undies either”.
What he did want to do was the “right thing” and that was reinforced when he neared a key life stage — he turns 50 this year — and he contemplated what his children would say their father did. . .
The freshly-crowned Arable Farmer of the Year says winning the award was a surprise, but it is a confidence-booster.
David Birkett, who farms at Leeston, Canterbury, took out the title at last night’s New Zealand Arable Awards in Christchurch.
He said he was not expecting to win.
“The other finalists were exceptional people as well and it was a really tough competition,” he said. “I was surprised.” . . .
Ngāi Tahu and the government have joined forces on a new project to validate the science of regenerative farming.
The seven year research programme will compare side-by-side dairy farms to assess the environmental impacts of their practices.
One 286-hectare farm will use regenerative farming practices while the adjacent 330-hectare farm will use conventional methods.
Both farms will have a stocking rate of 3.2 cows per hectare. . .
Dying to Feed You: Grace suffered multiple broken bones – Johann Tasker:
Grace Addyman suffered multiple broken bones when she was hit by falling bales at her family farm.
She tells us what happened on that day, the difficult surgery that followed and how she considers herself the “luckiest unlucky person ever”.
It had been a wet summer and it was near the end of July. We’d cut the hay and it had been baled that day.
We were enjoying the weather, watching the baler go around the field and then bringing the hay in. . .