Pork farmer predicts ‘massive’ productivity drop – Yvonne O’Hara:
Like many in the pork industry, North Otago pig farmer Ian Carter is dependent on experienced and skilled migrant workers to run his 318ha, 2000 pig, 700 cattle operation.
If farmers cannot access migrant workers with the needed skill sets and experience, including from the Philippines where there are large commercial pork operations, he predicts a “massive drop in productivity” within the industry.
As a result of Covid-19, workers who would ordinarily be arriving to work here on three-year visas had been unable to fly into the country.
Although the former New Zealand Pork chairman was pleased to see the recent visa extensions introduced by the Government, he did not think those changes would be enough to meet the needs of the industry. . .
M bovis eradication on track -Annette Scott:
The number of properties infected with Mycoplasma bovis has dropped to an all-time low, triggering a wave of confidence that the plan to eradicate the cattle disease from New Zealand is on-track.
Three years on since the disease was first confirmed in NZ, industry leaders are confident the world-first attempt to eradicate the disease is making positive gains towards eradication being within reach in the coming seven years.
As of July 22, the M bovis programme had just four confirmed active properties on its books.
Of these, two are dairy and one beef in the North Island, with one beef property in Canterbury. . .
Smith downplays British farming fears – Nigel Stirling:
A former Trade Minister is hopeful he can play his part convincing Britain to open its farmers up to increased competition from New Zealand and other rival producers once it leaves the European Union.
Lockwood Smith credited his appointment to a new commission advising the British government on trade agreements and agriculture to his long experience as a farmer and former trade and agriculture minister, as well as his knowledge of the British farming and political scene as a recent High Commissioner to London.
“There is a realisation that (British) agriculture needs to move forward and this is an attempt to find a consensus on how best to do that,” Smith said. . .
Can-do farm installs methane-run generator – Yvonne O’Hara:
Dairy effluent is being used to power an Isla Bank milking shed and mitigate methane emissions at the same time.
Dairy Green and Scandrett Rural owner and consultant John Scandrett has been overseeing a biogas conversion project at Glenarlea Farm, Isla Bank, since November 2016.
Glenarlea Farm, which is owned by the Fortuna Group and managed by Brendon and Lorelai Santos, milks about 900 cows at peak.
Bacteria convert effluent solids into biogas, of which methane and carbon dioxide are the main constituents.
The methane fuelled a converted diesel motor, which drove a generator to make electricity, Mr Scandrett said. . .
A Taranaki dairy farmer who has won a raft of production awards attributes his success to having well-grown young stock.
Stefan Buhler milks 260 Holstein Friesian cows on his 80-hectare coastal farm at Manaia near Hawera.
The herd produced 202,000 kilograms of milksolids (kgMS) in the 2019-20 season.
“It was a record season for us, despite the drought. We produced 2525 kgMS per hectare, which is quite incredible,” he said. . .
Report questions gender bias in succession planning – Mollie Tracey:
WHILE the agricultural industry has made great progress in advancing women in the workforce, little work has looked into shifting traditional patterns of patrilineal farm succession, which act as gender barriers for daughters growing up on farms.
That’s according to a new report by 2017 Nuffield scholar and Morawa farmer, Katrina Sasse, who investigated the position of daughter successors in United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark – a study that was motivated by her own keen interest as a daughter successor and desire to help women in Australia find a pathway back to the family farm.
It’s an unfortunate fact that in rural communities some people continue to view daughter successors differently to sons and more needs to be done to empower young Women to remain in family farming operations. . .