We will be sorry when we say Bye Bye birdie – Tim Gilbertson:
Slow motion catastrophe: Another massive Hawke’s Bay drought is looming.
Fifteen years ago climate scientists predicted that severe droughts would strike every five years rather than every 20 years. The boffins were close to the mark. The 2006/7 drought cost the East Coast $700 million in lost production and set the region back for years. That’s what droughts do. This one won’t be much different. That’s why we started to look at water storage and irrigation.
But since New Zealand is now 95 per cent urban and 30 per cent of us live in Auckland, there is little or no understanding of rural issues amongst the population at large. Last week on talkback radio, an Auckland DJ was lamenting the fact that he lost cellphone coverage when he went under motorway bridges and that Auckland didn’t have 4G.
“We live,” he said “in a Third World country.” He certainly lives in a different country from much of rural New Zealand where there is no cellphone coverage at all. . .
Kiwi farmers take risks every day – it’s what they do – Simon Edwards:
Massey University professor Nicola Shadbolt says it always makes her laugh the number of well-meaning commentators who pronounce that we need to teach farmers how to manage risk.
“I think ‘have you any idea how much risk our farmers handle on a day-to-day basis’? It’s what they do, and they’ve done it well for many years.
“Ever since subsidies came off it’s been ‘you’re it. There’s no one to prop you up,” she says.
“There are always new tools to use, and new worries sitting on the horizon, but that doesn’t mean our farmers don’t have some of the innate characteristics to make it work. They do. Just see how quickly our farmers adapt to things.” . .
Hill country water well worth it – Annette Scott:
A new report has revealed huge environmental and economic gains for hill country farmers investing in stock water reticulation.
The first such study, done by AgFirst agricultural economists Erica van Reenen and Phil Journeaux, quantified the benefits of installing onfarm stock water systems on hill country farms.
The study last year involved investment analysis of 11 hill country sheep and beef farms across New Zealand where farmers had invested in stock water systems.
“There had been anecdotal reports of how good stock water systems contributed to production but not a lot of evidence. . .
Poachers fined for shooting $5000 stag on Te Puke farm – Allison Hess:
Two men have been fined for shooting and killing a stag worth $5000 on private farmland in Te Puke, in a bid to deter others from poaching.
Shane Robert Williamson and Matthew Warren Miller were sentenced to pay $750 each plus court costs in Tauranga District Court yesterday by Judge David Cameron.
The Te Puke men pleaded guilty to theft of an animal, after shooting a stag on private property owned by farmer Murray Jensen on Te Matai Rd on April 10 last year.
Judge Cameron said the two friends left their vehicle near Mr Jensen’s farm on Sunday April 10, 2016 and made their way onto the farmland, where stag and hines run freely through a mix of dense bush, pine trees and open paddocks. . .
Scholarship to bring Shaun’s farming dream closer – Esther Taunton:
Former Stratford High School head boy Shaun Rowe has been awarded an FMG agriculture scholarship for this year
Rowe, who grew up on a 10-hectare lifestyle farm near Stratford, will receive $5000 towards his tuition fees for each year of his agricultural science degree at Massey University.
It is the second agriculture scholarship Rowe has received in recent months, having been a recipient of a $5000 award from the Alexander and Gladys Shepherd Scholarships Trust in November.
The FMG scholarship recognised his academic, sporting and leadership achievements, as well as a passion for agriculture. . .
Farming with children – how to do it safely – FarmingMumsNZ:
Farming offers a unique environment and wonderful opportunities for children/adolescents to learn, grow, develop in and to learn the value of hard work and responsibilities. Traditionally we have seen farming as a ‘family affair’ with parents, children and grandchildren by the generations, learning and passing on the skills of our land.
With the changes to our now not so typical farming communities, we are seeing people from all sorts of backgrounds bring their skills into our agricultural industry, from city slickers to foreigners – looking for a better life or a new career. With this we often loose the common sense that comes with being raised on a farm, meaning more training in Health and Safety needs to become a priority. . .
Tired of phone-obsessed people, a Waimate farmer decided to employ a more direct approach for his next hire.
Initially, the community newspaper advertisement appeared straight forward, with a stockman and a labourer position available.
But then, contractor and farmer Geoff Wallace said he wanted to make it very clear the people he wanted and the people he did not. . .