Rural round-up

July 11, 2016

Sharemilking remains a viable career path – new report:

Sharemilking as a career path is alive and well, according to a report recently released on progression in the dairy industry.

The DairyNZ and Federated Farmers-resourced Dairy Progression Pathways report, undertaken by AgFirst, explores the latest trends and statistics relating to sharemilking and examines the issues created by milk price volatility.

Federated Farmers sharemilker farm owners’ section chairperson Tony Wilding says the report shows opportunities for progression still exist but the career pathways have been changing and will continue to do so. . . 

Feds pleased Ruataniwha gets another green light:

Federated Farmers is pleased to see the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in Hawke’s Bay has another green light with Hawke’s Bay Regional Council (HBRC) confirming its intention to invest in the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme.

HBRC today approved its $80million investment with a 7-2 vote, agreeing that all four of the conditions required for investment had been met.

The investment follows more than 190 Signed Water User Agreements in support of the scheme. . . 

Cost cutting blamed for lepto increase – Glenys Christian:

An increase in leptospirosis cases in Northland has been blamed on dairy farmers’ efforts to cut costs in a low-payout year.

While no cases were reported last year, the Medical Officer of Health has reported seven confirmed cases so far this year in the region with another under investigation.

Malcolm Fuller, Federated Farmers’ field officer for Northland, Auckland and Hauraki-Coromandel told the Auckland federation’s executive meeting he had heard of two northern farmers who were not vaccinating their herds this year.

“They can’t afford to get the vet in,” he said. . .

Support To Increase Voluntary Wool Contribution By 0.5c Gains Momentum:

Last month, one of New Zealand’s major wool growers and trustee for the Campaign for Wool (CFW), Renata Apatu of Ngamatea Station, front–footed an increase in contribution to the CFW’s activities by making an immediate commitment to up his contribution to 1c/kg, an increase of 0.5c, and challenging others to do the same.

Wright Wool Ltd, Kells Wool Ltd and Fred Tate Wools Ltd have accepted the challenge, increasing their contribution to 1c/kg also. They are now challenging others to join them, especially the bigger players who could really affect a positive increase.

“Having directly witnessed what the wool industry gets out of the activities of the CFW, an additional 0.5c/kg is one of the best returns on investment I have made,” says Mr Renata Apatu. . . 

Southland backs $250m Hollyford Highway:

The Southland District Council has unanimously backed the proposed Haast-Hollyford Highway going forward for government approval.

The controversial 130km toll road, planned by a private company, would pass through the Fiordland National Park. It is expected to cost $250 million.

The road has the support of all four West Coast councils and many local people, but needed Southland’s backing to proceed.

After a short discussion this afternoon, all councillors voted to support the project going into both the regional and national land transport programmes, to be investigated and assessed further. . . 

Shocks versus structural change is the big dairy question – Keith Woodford:

Right now, the focus of almost every New Zealand dairy farmer is on survival. It is a time when cash is king.

In the short run, it is all about turning cash inputs into milk. There can be no argument that this means using all available grass, but it also means not having hungry cows. Each farmer will find his or her way of achieving this. It may be through decreased stock numbers or it may be through appropriate supplementation to match feed deficits. In times like these, it is more important to travel the chosen path efficiently rather than to jump wildly from one path to the other.

Despite the focus on survival, it is also a good time to be thinking strategically. At the industry level, have we got it right?  In regard to what we are currently experiencing, how much of it is from one-off shocks and how much is due to structural change within global markets. . . 

The launch of The Snow Farmer ignites Cardrona’s spirit of fun – Beattie’s Book Blog:

John and Mary Lee (below right) have been at the heart of life in Cardrona for decades, establishing a world famous ski facility and saving the iconic Cardrona Hotel from dereliction. The importance of community has been integral to the Lees’ vision, their activities and adventures, significantly underpinning the local economy. Small wonder then, that the local community should gather in force to celebrate the launch of The Snow Farmer, penned by Otago Daily Times agribusiness reporter Sally Rae, at two very special events.

The first and official book launch was held at the Cardrona Alpine Resort, which the Lees hosted along with Paper Plus Wanaka. The infectious happiness of the Cardrona staff set the perfect scene, with Sally remarking that “it was like watching the characters in the book come to life.” The Lees neighbour Ed Taylor MC’d, skilfully recounting past incidents and keeping everything humming along nicely. Friend Shaun Gilbertson rather colourfully related past tales and Lyall Cocks spoke on behalf of the local council, praising John’s efforts and foresight. John responded with gratitude to Sally Rae and photographer Stephen Jaquiery for so expertly telling and illustrating his life story. John said that they were wonderful to work with and have put life into the story. He also thanks everyone who gave their time to tell their story and helped to enhance the book. . .

You can listen to Kim Hill’s interview with the Lees here. (Thanks Freddy for pointing me to this).

  Crossroads Wines to move winemaking to Marlborough:

The Crossroads Winery, in Hawke’s Bay, celebrates 25 years of quality winemaking in New Zealand. A large part of Crossroads’ success has come from its boutique, hand-crafted winemaking and small parcel sourcing within the Hawke’s Bay. In 2011, Yealands Family Wines acquired the winery and vineyards and continued to focus on the small lot, hand crafted winemaking strategy as they looked to grow the brand globally.

Yealands Family Wines was established in August of 2008 as the world’s first winery to be carboNZerocertTM since inception. Over the past 8 years, the Yealands Estate Winery has grown and developed into a state of the art winery and vineyard in Marlborough New Zealand, focused on high quality winemaking and site specific sourcing throughout the Seaview Estate Vineyard, and both the Awatere and Wairau Valleys in Marlborough. . . 

Changes to Milk NZ:

Milk New Zealand today announced that Andy Macleod, CEO of the Pengxin New Zealand Farm Group, has resigned with effect from 8 July 2016.

Milk New Zealand oversees the management of 16 farms located in the Central North Island and 13 in the Canterbury region.

Macleod joined Pengxin New Zealand Farm Group in 2013 and Terry Lee, Managing Director of Milk New Zealand, said the company valued and appreciated his contribution to the business and wished him well for the future. . . 


Rural round-up

July 5, 2016

The Snow Farmer – John Lee of the Cardrona Valley – Beattie’s Book BLog:

The Snow Farmer

John Lee of the Cardrona Valley
Sally Rae
Photographs by Stephen Jaquiery
Published by Random House NZ; July 1, 2016; RRP: $50

“John’s story is one to inspire others. It’s a story of a man with a vision, and the strength of personality and the strong relationships with others to make it happen. It’s a Kiwi story of grit and determination of which we can all be proud.” –

Helen Clark, Former Prime Minister of New Zealand (1999-2008).

John Lee has always been a law unto himself. Entrepreneurial, inventive, determined, he hailed from a farming background in the Cardrona Valley; the third of five boys. Schooled in Oamaru, the young John Lee was no fan of the classroom – he was good at maths, but struggled with words– preferring to spend his time dreaming about the day he would farm in his beloved Cardrona Valley. . . .

Fed Farmers launch new sustainability scheme:

An initiative aimed at directing farmers towards sustainable use of land and water has been launched by Federated Farmers.

The farming lobby group’s president Dr William Rolleston, announced the establishment of the Land Water Stewardship initiative at its conference this morning.

Dr Rolleston said the initiative would be a small group that would work together to propose solutions to take the economy and the environment forward and engage with farmers . . .

‘Best in the world’ fruit in demand – Jill Herron:

The Cromwell Basin is now producing around half of New Zealand’s export cherries and they are “the best in the world”.

Quite a claim, but one that can be confidently made, in relation to the Asian palate anyway, newly-elected chairman of Summerfruit NZ, Tim Jones, says.

“We think they are the best in the world and our market is telling us they are. That’s one of the reasons we can charge up to $25 a kg, because we deliver on the promise that when someone over there lifts the lid on a box of our cherries, they will go wow.”

Cherry plantings around Cromwell had expanded in recent years, mainly into the Mount Pisa area, as the Southeast Asian markets developed, Mr Jones said. . . 

Silver Fern confident – Sally Rae:

September 30 has been agreed in principle by Silver Fern Farms and Shanghai Maling as the revised date to meet Overseas Investment Office approval for their joint venture.

SFF has been awaiting an announcement from the OIO since farmer shareholders voted in favour of the deal last October.

More time was needed to answer the further information requests from the OIO and then to provide sufficient time for the OIO and then Government ministers to consider the application.

SFF continued to believe the investment would be approved “given its substantial merits”, chief executive Dean Hamilton said in a statement. . . 

Waterways project wins environment funding:

Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith and Māori Party co-leader Marama Fox have announced more than $376,000 of funding to improve water quality in seven waterways in the Manawatū-Whanganui and Taranaki regions.

Local iwi Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi will lead the Te Kāhui o Rauru Trust’s Waterways Restoration Project, working with both local and central government.

“The Government is committed to improving water quality in the Manawatū-Whanganui and Taranaki regions. This initiative is focused on the Kai Iwi, Ototoka and Ōkehu streams, the Waitōtara riverbank, Tapuarau Lagoon, the middle reaches of the Waitōtara River and the Whenuakura River,” Dr Smith says.

“Te Kāhui o Rauru Trust clearly understands the issues in these waterways and its project offers realistic, achievable objectives. It has focused clearly on protecting and restoring the seven waterways and moreover has recognised the need to develop ways to monitor the ongoing health of these rivers, lagoon and streams.” . . 

Marlborough Sounds Salmon Working Group to be established:

The Marlborough District Council and the Ministry for Primary Industries will establish a Marlborough Sounds Salmon Working Group to consider options to implement the Best Management Practice Guidelines for Salmon Farming in the Marlborough Sounds (the guidelines). Other agencies that will have input into the process include the Department of Conservation and the Ministry for the Environment.

The working group will meet starting in July and provide recommendations to Marlborough District Council and the Government on implementing the guidelines.

Ministry for Primary Industries Deputy Director General Ben Dalton said the public, the council, government and industry have shown a commitment to implement the guidelines. . . 

Guy attending primary sector leaders’ bootcamp:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy departs for Stanford University today to attend a primary sector leaders bootcamp, focused on developing collaboration and innovation. 

“The week-long conference is part of the Te Hono movement, bringing together Chief Executives and leaders with a vison to accelerate the transformation of the primary sector by adding value and creating demand,” says Mr Guy.

“As a Government we have a goal of doubling the value of primary sector exports by 2025 and sector leaders share our ambition to explore new ways of collaboration and building capability in our people. . . 

10 Reasons Why Kids Brought Up in Agriculture Make the Best Employees – Raised in a Barn:

Kids involved in agriculture are truly one of a kind. They possess a unique skill set unlike anyone else. For the record, there are more than 10 reasons why you should hire an ag kid, but here are some of the best and most important reasons why ag kids make the best employees.

  1. They understand the importance of being on time.

For Ag kids they know that time is of the essence and wasting daylight is not an option. Even if your five minutes late feeding that show lamb, it will notice. You can expect us to be 15 minutes early because that’s what we’ve learned from our time at the barn.

  1. Respect is something they value more than anything.

They have worked hard in the show ring to be well-respected so they understand that respect isn’t something that’s given it’s EARNED. FFA taught them to, “…believe in leadership from ourselves and respect from others.” . . .

 


Rural round-up

June 27, 2013

New Agricultural Trade Envoy appointed:

Trade Minister Tim Groser and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy today announced the appointment of Mike Petersen to the position of New Zealand Special Agriculture Trade Envoy (SATE).

The role is to advocate for New Zealand’s agriculture trade interests, from the perspective of a practising farmer.

“In the immediate term, Petersen’s priority will be to coordinate support among international farmer groups for a comprehensive outcome on agriculture in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations,” says Mr Groser.

“More broadly, he will be tasked with telling the story of New Zealand’s agriculture success in a post-subsidy world. New Zealand farmers are the least subsidised in all OECD member countries.”

Mike Petersen is a sheep and beef farmer from the Hawke’s Bay, and is currently serving as Chairman of Beef + Lamb New Zealand. He has held a variety of other governance roles in the primary sector. . . .

International Dam Expert Confident Hawke’s Bay Dam Site Ticks All the Boxes:

The man who could be leading one of New Zealand’s largest water storage projects has just inspected the Ruataniwha Dam site and given it the thumbs up.

Leading European Contractor, Obrascon Huarte Lain (OHL) and Hawkins Infrastructure, New Zealand’s largest privately owned construction company, have joined forces to bid for the design and construction phase of the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in Central Hawke’s Bay.

Santiago Carmona is likely to be appointed construction manager if the OHL Hawkins bid is successful. He was among several experts from the OHL Hawkins team to inspect the site last week and says he’s very happy with the data he collected. . . .

Relief PKE animal part not foreign but systems needed:

Federated Farmers is relieved that DNA testing on an animal part found in Palm Kernel Expeller (PKE) is now confirmed to be a local sheep. Originally suspected by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to be foreign, its discovery still shows the need for system improvements.

“Confirmation by DNA testing that the animal limb is local and a sheep is a huge relief for all farmers,” says Dr William Rolleston, Federated Farmers Biosecurity spokesperson.

“Can we again stress that the Bay of Plenty dairy farmer who discovered the contaminant did the right thing in calling the Biosecurity hotline; 0800 80 99 66.

“If any one finds something untoward then calling the Biosecurity hotline is the correct response. An additional measure is to take photographs; almost all modern mobile telephones have in-built cameras. . .

Peak effort getting stock down – Stephen Jaquiery:

Ida Valley farmer Lochie Rutherford moves a sheep one sapping heave at a time, 1200m up Mt St Bathans yesterday. Trudging through the snow behind him is neighbour David Hutton.

The pair’s properties were not badly affected by last week’s snowfall and the two farmers have been helping rescue stock on nearby St Bathans Station.

Thick snow which blanketed inland Otago is thawing quickly on the flat but the race is still on to rescue stock trapped on the hill country. . .

Two new primary growth projects announced:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has welcomed $6.88 million in Government funding for two new Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programmes, which will deliver a major boost to productivity and environmental outcomes.

“A project led by the Whai Hua group will work to develop new probiotic dairy health products. This will help to add value to what we export by targeting high value niche markets. . .

Top 10 annoying cows to milk – Freddy Lawder On the Udder Side of the World:

Here is the list of the most frustrating, infuriating and unpleasant types of cows to milk. There is always at least one of each in the herd.

 
If you milk cows for a living, there is a good chance this will resonate with you!
 
10. ‘The Low Udder’
 
The Low Udder is as you might have predicted when the teats are particularly close to the floor. This is due to the cow being either very short or having a huge udder. It means there is not much room for the cluster and your hand when cupping on. The rubber pipes get kinked and stops the vacuum which prolongs the annoyance as your knuckles are scraped against the concrete.
 
9. ‘The Nervous Dancer’
 
The Nervous Dancer will not stand still whilst cupping on. She hops from one foot to the other, it is neither aggressive or likely to cause injury but it is incredibly irritating. It is if she is desperate for a wee and is trying to hold it in, or maybe she is just dancing to the music of The Rock FM.
 
8. ‘The Mud Grater’ 
 

The Mud Grater is often combined with the Nervous Dancer, and occurs when there is a load of dry mud on her legs. . .

(This is a post written by a young Englishman who spent last season working on a North Otago dairy farm. I’m working my way through all 59 posts, the first of which is here, and thoroughly enjoying his observations on dairying,  and sightseeing).

First Viognier for Clearview Estate takes out silver:

The first-ever Haumoana Viognier produced by Clearview Estate Winery has taken out a silver award at the Spiegelau International Wine Awards announced this week, while the Te Awanga winery’s star, its Reserve Chardonnay won another gold.

The 2012 Viognier is a special one-off limited release, while the Reserve Chardonnay adds to its consistent long pedigree of gold awards or five-star ratings; 50 in total since the first vintage won a gold award in 1991.
Clearview sourced grapes sourced from Black Bridge Vineyard on the gravel banks of the Tukituki River near Haumoana for the Viognier wine. Only 2000 bottles of the inaugural release were bottled last year. . .


Rural round-up

November 30, 2012

On the hoof – Sally  Rae:

The West Coast, where tradition and time appear to stand still, folk heroes are born, and the compelling scenery in all directions is as attention-grabbing as the sandflies, and where the annual Haast cattle sale is a firm fixture on the farming calendar. Agribusiness reporter Sally Rae and illustrations editor Stephen Jaquiery went along for a look.

Looking to the future, John (J. J.) Nolan believes eventually there might not be a cattle sale at the Turnbull saleyards at Haast.

With the advent of modern technology, he reckons 1000 head of cattle could potentially be sold one day in a video sale, in the pub, over a cold beer. But he hopes that he never sees that happen.

For the Nolan family – household names in Westland since first arriving at Jackson Bay in 1885 – have been taking their cattle to sales for generations. . .

Stud proves a winner – Sally Rae:

Stud breeding is in Wayne Williams’ blood.

Mr Williams and his wife Maggie own Glacier Horned Herefords at Fox Glacier, continuing a tradition that started back in the 1940s when his grandfather established a Hereford stud, then named Bluedale stud.

Slideshow: Haast cattle sale

After he moved to Canterbury and took some of the cattle with him, Mr Williams’ father took over the farm and the stud name was changed to Glacier Horned Herefords.

Sustainability efforts awarded:

Taranaki laundry and dry cleaning operation La Nuova Apparelmaster and Wairarapa farming business Aohanga are among those honoured in the 2012 Sustainable 60 awards, announced in Auckland this evening.

The Sustainable 60 awards recognise firms which incorporate sustainable practices into the operation and management of their businesses. . .

Sheep, beef and forestry agribusiness Aohanga takes out the award for Strategy and Governance.

It is a Maori incorporation with a firm focus on the future. The hapu has continuously held its land in the Northern Wairarapa since pre-European times, and has written a 100-year business plan taking it to 2100. . .

Rabobank 2013 Commodities Outlook: Agri markets to remain volatile as fundamentals ‘rebalance on a tightrope’:

Volatility in agri commodity prices looks set to continue into 2013, according to a report from Rabobank’s Agri Commodity Markets Research department. This will be particularly true for grain and oilseeds markets, with a supply squeeze in the first six months expected to push prices higher, before an expected production rebound leads to a weakening in prices in the second half of the year. The report says soymeal is the commodity likely to show the largest price decline by the end of 2013. In contrast, Rabobank analysts expect palm oil to be the strongest performer, as Chinese imports and biofuel demand drive prices higher after the sell-off in 2012. The soft commodity markets should continue in the same vein as this year, with prices expected to be relatively range bound.. . . 

BEEFLAMBNZ.COM Wins Prestigious Website Award:

Beef + Lamb New Zealand scooped the hotly contested prize for best private sector website at this year’s WriteMark New Zealand Plain English Awards.

The annual awards honour the organisations and people who are trying to make the world a better place by banishing jargon and gobbledygook.

The judges said: “This is certainly the best entry in the category. Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s farmer website shows a strong commitment to plain English. The purpose is really clear and the pages show plain language, active verbs, and short sentences. Useful summaries and clear navigation help site visitors quickly find what they need.” . .

Fonterra Australia-NZ boss leaves after regional rejig – Paul McBeth

Fonterra Cooperative Group’s Australia New Zealand managing director John Doumani will leave the dairy exporter after the company rejigged its regional boundaries.

The cooperative, fresh from raising $525 million through its shareholders’ fund to reduce shareholder redemption risk, has reorganised its consumer businesses to combine Australia and New Zealand with the ASEAN/Middle East/North Africa unit, it said in a statement. Sydney-based Doumani signalled he will leave the dairy exporter in March next year due to the restructuring, it said. . .

Dairying women prepare to challenge their boundaries at annual conference:

Hundreds of women who work in the dairy industry will be tackling some of the big issues that affect today’s farmers including the rural/urban divide, environmental constraints and developing future leaders, when they get together at the Dairy Women Network’s annual conference in March 2013.

The line-up of high calibre keynote speakers includes Olympic rowing gold medal winner Mahe Drysdale.

The two-day conference at Nelson’s Rutherford Hotel, starting on 20 March 2013, is themed ‘Taking down the boundary fences’. . .

Chairman of Central Plains Water steps down

Pat Morrison, chairman of Central Plains Water Ltd since 2003, has retired from the position but will remain on the board as a director.

An integral part the project since its inception in 2000, he believes the time is now right to hand over the reins.

“Having been involved right through the resource consenting phase, and with the scheme now moving into the design and construction stage, it is an appropriate time to hand over the role to CPWL Director and newly appointed Acting Chairman, Doug Catherwood who has been deputy chairman. . .

Three Months, Three Trophies, One Wine:

Coopers Creek’s Select Vineyards Albariño 2012 has won its third Trophy in three months.

It’s been dubbed “The Wine of the Summer”.

Back in late August at the New Zealand wine industry’s Bragato Conference, Coopers Creek Select Vineyards Gisborne Albariño 2012 was awarded its first Trophy. This was a surprising and impressive result for a young wine, new to this country and only in its second vintage. Just over a month later, in early October, the “Bell-Ringer” as it’s affectionately known, secured its second Trophy at the International Aromatic Wine Competition. Then last weekend at the celebration dinner for the country’s most prestigious competition, the Air New Zealand Wine Awards, the news of a third Trophy for the Albariño! . .


Rural round-up

November 7, 2012

Fonterra man’s new international post – Caleb Allison:

Fonterra’s director of research, science and technology  has been elected president of the International Dairy Federation.

Dr Jeremy Hill, who replaces Richard Doyle, was elected yesterday at the IDF’s World Dairy Summit in South Africa.

The IDF bills itself as a “non-profit private sector organisation representing the interests of various stakeholders in dairying at the international level”. . .

Nugget from the Cavalcades:

Otago Daily Times agri-business editor Sally Rae and illustrations editor Stephen Jaquiery teamed up to add a book to the already groaning New Zealand bookseller’s shelves. This is their story of how that happened.

One a writer, the other a photographer, and between us we have been on more than half of the 20 cavalcades, so co-producing a book on the Otago Goldfields Heritage Trust’s horse and cart pilgrimages seemed to make sense.

We had an idea, a vision, a collection of many thousands of photographs and loads of potential subjects for compelling, highly entertaining stories. But before getting too serious, we had to find a publisher. . .

Make no excuses, just enter – Sally Rae:

Lorraine Johnson is ready to counter any excuses people may have for not entering the 2013 Otago regional competition of the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards.

The awards will be launched at a function at the Cross Recreation Centre in Balclutha tomorrow at 7.30pm.

Mrs Johnson, who is regional convener, urged people to “come along and launch yourself and your career”. . .

Ashburton Lyndhurst Irrigation scheme gets piping mandate:

A decision to pipe the Ashburton Lyndhurst Irrigation scheme will result in significant energy savings and improved water use efficiency.

The 234 shareholders in the Ashburton Lyndhurst Irrigation Limited (ALIL) have voted 82% in favour of piping over 200km of the scheme’s open water races.

ALIL’s chairman, John van Polanen, says the energy saved by piping the scheme is equivalent to the energy used by 2000 homes. . .

Sky farms are here – Misc-Science:

I’ve blogged before about sky farms, and how I think they’re a truly excellent idea. When last I wrote about it in 2009, it was a mad (yet extremely rational), science fictional solution to agriculture.

Now, as with so much of its ilk, it’s HERE.

I literally just threw my hands up in the air and shouted ‘F**k yeah!’ 🙂

Singapore has built the world’s first sky farm: it opened this year. And now, it’s begun selling its produce. . .

Global wine meetings in Auckland:

Two international wine meetings are being held in Auckland this week – the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Wine Regulatory Forum (November 5-6) and the World Wine Trade Group meeting (November 7-9).

The two-day APEC Wine Regulatory Forum will bring together 67 wine regulators and industry representatives from 15 APEC economies to discuss wine trade risk assessment and management as well as coordinating approaches to wine certification. Participants will also develop a set of recommendations for future APEC activities aimed at tackling unnecessary wine-related non-tariff barriers in the region. . .


%d bloggers like this: