Rural round-up

January 2, 2019

The good, the bad, and the ugly — 2018 year in review – Rural News editorial team:

As we bid farewell to another year it’s time for the annual review of 2018 in the primary sector as seen by the Rural News editorial team.

The good:

The great start award: to outgoing Zespri chairman Peter McBride for his level-headed, down-to-earth approach on taking up Fonterra directorship. An independent thinker and experienced hand. Is he the next Fonterra chair in waiting?

Straight talking award: kumara grower and Vegetables NZ chairman Andre De Bruin for honest opinion on drugs and employment issues – rather than the usual PR massaged ‘never say anything controversial’ comment that does not face issues head-on. . . 

Sodden, mouldy fruit dumped after rainfall destroys Canterbury harvests – Maddison Northcott:

Southern berry growers are feeling the squeeze as hundreds of kilograms of sodden, mouldy fruits are thrown away after the most devastating season in decades.

Paul Tapper, from Tai Tapu’s Tram Road Fruit Farm, said the unseasonably heavy rain throughout November and December destroyed crops and caused up to 300kg of strawberries to go mouldy before they could be collected. . . 

Japanese farmers set to face-off against NZ imports :

Japanese farmers are set to compete with cheaper agricultural products imported from New Zealand and Australia as the first tariff cuts under the re-jigged Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal take effect tomorrow.

Tokyo’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper reports that tomorrow Japan will axe tariffs on kiwfruit, grapes and melons, and cut tariffs on imported beef from the current 38.5 percent to 27.5.

It reports the number of stores selling New Zealand beef are likely to increase and a big company – Itoham Foods – is planning to sell more beef from its New Zealand subsidiary. . .

Fonterra strives for better year in 2019 – Samesh Mohanlal:

South Canterbury’s dairy industry has experienced a turbulent year with an increasingly “impaired” public perception adding to its woes, but Fonterra’s head of Farm Source for Canterbury, Marlborough and Tasman, Charles Fergusson plans to take the bull by the horns and clear the air in 2019.

The biggest hurdle of the year, the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis proved devastating for individual farmers, businesses and the wider community, and Fonterra posting its the first ever loss this year has also kept Fergusson busy.

“The year 2018 has been a tough one for the co-operative,” Fergusson says. . .

Extra production does not necessarily mean extra dollars – Pam Tipa:

The extra and hidden costs of bringing in feed can often mean increased milk production, but not increased operating profit.

In fact, sometimes producing the extra milk can cost money, DairyNZ research scientist Dr Jane Kay told a Northland Dairy Development Trust field day at Wellsford. . .

NFU brings industry together to discuss no deal Brexit:

The NFU brought more than 70 representatives from the agri-food supply chain together in London in December to discuss the impacts of the UK leaving the EU without a deal in place.

The NFU has been clear that the UK leaving the EU without a deal would be ‘catastrophic’ and is ‘not an option’ for UK agriculture.

The whole supply chain was represented – from seed to shop shelf – representing from pre and post farm gate. . .


Rural round-up

December 31, 2017

Southland vet says animals need to be culled – Rebecca Moore:

Southland VetSouth director Mark Bryan says to get rid of Mycoplasma bovis all affected animals must be destroyed as international vets say the disease can be “devastating”.

In Australia, farmers “lived with” the disease but New Zealand was quite different, with climate and population of cows being larger, Bryan said.

New Zealand was more similar to the United Kingdom. . .

Dairy farmer and rural lifeline Neil Bateup awarded New Year Honour – Thomas Manch:

It was the 1984 Labour government that put dairy farmer Neil Bateup​ through his toughest time.

The New Zealand dollar was floated, Bateup’s interest rate went up 26 per cent, and the 2017 New Zealand Order of Merit recipient faced some serious financial hardship.

“But we got through it,” he says, in that matter-of-fact manner familiar to most. . . 

Farmers Fast Five – Sue Culham:

The Proud to be a Farmer NZ Farmers Fast Five: Where we ask a Farmer Five quick questions about Farming, and what Agriculture means to them. Today we talk to Puripak Avocados Limited Avocado Grower, Ballance Agri-Nutrients Environment Award Winner and Proud Farmer Sue Culham.

How long have you been farming?

Originally a city girl I moved to Glenbervie, Whangarei in 2001. My husband and I were grazing beef on our original 27 hectares whilst working in the family engineering business where I was the Finance Manager. I hadn’t had much to do with country life before this time but once you got me on the land it was hard to get me back into that office. Planting our original 4 hectares of Avocados in 2004, and after having our daughter in 2006 I stepped back from the engineering to focus on the development of the orchard. . . 

Proud to be a Farmer:

The Wool Press: Where we shine the spotlight on a Wool Product or Producer to celebrate wool as an environmentally friendly, innovative, humane and versatile natural fibre of now and the future. Today we talk to Tim Brown, former captain of the All Whites and founder of the worlds most comfortable shoes, Allbirds : The hugely popular runners and loungers made from New Zealand Merino.
1. What made you choose NZ Merino as a textile when you created All Birds?
We wanted to create the world’s most comfortable shoe so it made sense that we would use the world’s finest fibre to achieve that goal. In NZ Merino and their ZQ certification, we found a partner that is the gold standard in the delivery of sustainable and ethically sourced merino and we haven’t looked back since. . . 

Celebrating a season of abundance and choice – John Rigolizzo Jnr:

Not many people around the world eat “local” at Christmas.

At least nobody does in New Jersey, where I live and farm—and where snow commonly covers the fields at this time of year.

We’re already at work preparing a big dinner for our Christmas celebration: We’ll serve hundreds of raviolis to a gathering of two or three dozen members of our extended family.

For the homemade pasta, we rely on flour, eggs, and salt. We add tomato sauce, meatballs, and sausage. Some years we may include veal, which is more expensive. We’re also stocking up on garlic, parsley, and breadcrumbs.

Almost none of these ingredients are produced in New Jersey in December. . . 

How a former vegetarian became a butcher and ethical meat advocate – Debbie Weingarten:

Butcher and author Meredith Leigh encourages consumers to consider the life, death, butchering, and preparation of the animals on their plates.

Before she was a butcher, Meredith Leigh was a vegetarian. She was fascinated by plants and loved vegetables—how they grew, the way they tasted right out of the field, how they changed color and texture as they cooked.

But during a trip to Vietnam in 2004—after Leigh had been a vegetarian for nine years and a vegan for two—a woman named Loi served her water buffalo. Aware that Loi had raised and slaughtered the animal herself, the act of eating it became an act of connecting, and Leigh began to consider the idea of ethical meat. . .


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