Fear forestry conversions impacting farming communities – Shawn McAvinue:
A Swiss company has been given consent to buy a nearly 500ha farm in South Otago for forestry conversion.
The Overseas Investment Office has approved the sale of the farm in Hillend, about 20km north of Balclutha, to 100% Switzerland-owned company Corisol New Zealand Ltd.
Corisol paid the vendors — Alistair Lovett, Mark Tavendale and A R Lovett Trustees — $4.8million for the farm, which in the consent was described as a breeding and finishing unit.
The consent states Corisol intends to subdivide and sell about 71ha of land and its dwellings and covert about 400ha to commercial forestry. . .
Charity funding rural counselling – Mary-Jo Tohill:
It is something of a misnomer to think because farmers are used to isolation, that things such as lockdowns do not affect them the same as other people.
“I think this would be particularly true of South Island farmers,” Will to Live founder Elle Perriam said.
Her mental health charity has just launched the RuralChange initiative to fund counselling sessions for rural people of all ages.
Ms Perriam did a Young Farmers online event recently with well-known farming personalities Tangaroa Walker (Farm4Life) and Kane Briscoe (FarmFitNZ). . .
The schemes and drams over reducing cow methane – The Detail:
Millions of dollars is being spent on getting cows and sheep to produce less gas.
The projects in train range from genetics experiments, using seaweed in burp-free feed, and toilet-training cows. Some of it sounds ridiculous – but the animals produce methane, and New Zealand must do something urgently on reducing the amounts our agricultural industry is contributing to global warming.
Farmers argue that the country’s sheep and cows are the lowest methane emitters in the world but nearly half our total greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture.
These schemes are aimed at doing enough to get farms to our targets – by 2030 biogenic methane emissions should be cut by 10 percent on 2017 levels. By 2050 the goal is for methane emissions to be 24 to 47 percent lower than they were in 2017. . .
A new test detects whether the bacteria responsible for Johne’s disease is present in a farm’s effluent wastewater.
The same technology used to detect Covid-19 in wastewater is now being used to help dairy farmers manage Johne’s disease in their herd, a contagious infection estimated to cost New Zealand more than $40 million in lost production each year.
Johne’s disease is caused by a bacterium which infects the gut of dairy cows and other ruminant animals. Common side effects include lower milk production, difficulty reproducing and rapid weight loss. . .
South Island dairy company Synlait Milk has posted its forecast loss as it was hit by disruptions for its major customer, but predicted a return to “robust” profitability this year.
Key financial highlights
(compared to previous financial year)
- Net loss $28.5m vs profit $74.3m
- Revenue $1.37bn vs $1.30bn
- Full year payout $7.82 vs $7.30
- Forecast 2022 payout $8.00/kilo of milk solids
Synlait’s loss was at the top end of its forecast range of $20m-$30m as it bore the cost of sharp fall in orders for infant formula from its major customer A2 Milk.
New Zealand’s number one pesto retail brand has moved to source all its basil onshore, exponentially increasing the basil-growing industry and helping sustain it through the challenge of COVID-19 Lockdowns as well as boosting the local economy.
Genoese Pesto, based in Horowhenua, had until recently obtained all the fresh basil that went into their award-winning products from Fiji, having anywhere from a few hundred kilograms to a tonne per week flown in.
However, issues around supply continuity, freight costs, biosecurity, and a concern for the environmental impact of the air miles involved led Genoese to find a New Zealand grower, securing a contract with Southern Fresh Foods in Cambridge, Waikato.
Genoese Pesto co-owner Andrew Parkin says they had been maxing out the volume of supply from the farm the business owned in Fiji, and when the first COVID-19 lockdowns occurred, they knew they needed to look for the security of supply here in New Zealand. . .