Snow records tell own story – Tim Fulton:
You often hear claims about the biggest snowfall in decades.
This week’s weather in Canterbury led to a study that puts the term “big snow” in context.
The Canterbury snow of June 12, 2006, tagged the Big Chill at the time, egged electricity lines company Orion into some historical homework.
Snow depths in areas north of the Rakaia River were not unprecedented, NIWA reported in work on Orion’s behalf.
Comparing six Canterbury storms, NIWA said the covering in areas north of the Rakaia was similar to the 1973 storm although the 2006 blast did produce pockets of significantly deeper snow west of Darfield and towards the foothills. That rolling country experienced conditions more similar to the 1945 storm. . .
Chinese demand drives kiwi sales – Richard Rennie:
Positive Asian market prospects are providing a bright start for the kiwifruit export season, after the industry grappled with the Psa disease and Chinese import issues last year.
Zespri’s manager for grower and government relations Simon Limmer has spent several weeks in Asian markets and has returned buoyed by prospects.
The limited volumes of gold fruit available for export this season created some supply tension, with growth strong in the established Chinese eastern seaboard region, he said. . .
Attitude change encouraging – Tim Cronshaw:
New Zealand agriculture seems to have moved beyond talk of great trade opportunities in Asia to executing ways of making the most of them.
ANZ chief economist Cameron Bagrie said the agriculture sector had experienced a change of attitude.
“There has been a big change in the tenor of conversations between now and three years ago.
“Three years ago we were talking about opportunity. Now there are a lot more thought leadership forums around the country that are centred around execution and how we unlock those gains. Those sort of shifts are subtle, but I think they are very important as they signal where New Zealand is moving to.” . .
School rolls drop in Psa-afflicted area – Sonya Bateson:
A number of Te Puke school rolls have dropped as orchard workers struggle to find work in the Psa-afflicted area.
Fairhaven School and Rangiuru School said their rolls had dropped in the past year because of the effect Psa had had on kiwifruit orchards. . .
Horticulture New Zealand president Andrew Fenton is stepping down as president after the group’s annual meeting next month.
Fenton has held the role since HortNZ’s inception in 2005.
He said he was very proud of what HortNZ had achieved over the past eight years and it was now time for new leadership.
“It has been a real team effort and we could not have achieved what we have without the strong support of our grower members,” he said. . .
12 questions: Simon Washer – Sarah Stuart:
Simon Washer, 25, was last week named Rural Bachelor of the Year at Fieldays. He’s a sharemilker on his family farm in south Taranaki and says he needs to find a partner pronto as his cooking is pretty much limited to roasts.
1. So, how many calls, emails, texts, stalkers have you had since winning Rural Bachelor last week?
I had the cellphone in my back pocket when I won and it didn’t stop vibrating for a couple of hours. I’ve now got 80 texts on the cellphone and 180 emails to browse through.
2. Did your mates hassle you about entering?
That’s an understatement.
3. You’re a dairy farmer: are profits booming?
I’ve got the biggest overdraft I’ve ever had as I just started sharemilking this month. My staff and farm expenses get paid on the 20th of every month but I won’t see any income until September. Our company Fonterra is doing a great job and looking after us this year.
4. Your granddad set up the family farm after returning from the war: how much pressure do you feel to make it succeed?
Little to none. I can honestly tell myself each day this industry is what I love doing. The best advice I’ve had from Jim, my granddad, is “Find what you love doing and you’ll never work a day of your life”. I’ll be telling my kids that too. . . .