Rural round-up

08/10/2013

On Farm Productivity Is Good, But The Big Money Is Made From Off Farm Productivity – Milking on the Moove:

There’s a lot of talk about productivity in New Zealand these days.

But are we focusing on the right areas?

The government has set a target of doubling the primary sectors export earnings from $32 Billion to $64 Billion by 2025.

Nobody doubts that this is a difficult ask.

New Zealand’s primary sector has a strong record of productivity gains.

The sheep industry alone has increase productivity (expressed as meat sold /ewe) by 80% over the last 25 years.

That’s 2.5% productivity gain every year. Any business analyst will agree that that is impressive.

But are sheep farmers any better off?

Despite 20 years of productivity gains sheep farmers recently experienced their lowest level of profitability, according to Beef & Lamb NZ data. . .

Setting a pathway to a sustainable future – James Houghton:

The judges ruling on the One Plan has got everyone claiming a win, which is an unexpected result coming from two sides who have always been quite opposing in their views. What a fantastic result Honorary Justice Stephen Kòs has managed to keep both sides happy! For us it has allowed us, in conjunction with the regional council, to come up with a workable solution to the One Plan.

I was sitting next to a Fish & Game representative last Tuesday and I said that the primary industries are committed to putting money into getting good science around achieving the goals of healthy rivers and work forward for sensible solutions. I don’t know where he has been hiding for the past few years because he was quite surprised.

The plan as it now sits means everything is about making the pathway to improvements on farm achievable, and that’s all we ever wanted. It is all part of managing risk and making the most of the resources we have. But at the same time other stakeholders like Fish & Game and Forest & Bird need to have realistic expectations of what can be achieved through good management practice on farm. This all comes down to setting the values through open and honest consultation and this is why we are setting up the Stakeholders Group, who will represent the community in Waikato and identify where the issues are, as well as the Technical Alliance Group (TAG) who will come up with the solutions. . .

Raetihi farmers frustrated but coping:

Farmers reliant upon Raetihi’s water supply are as frustrated as the urban residents are but remain hopeful alternative water supplies maybe secured by the end of this week.

“With livestock understandingly refusing to drink from contaminated troughs, it has been a difficult week for the affected farms and especially those who draw water from Raetihi’s water supply,” says Lyn Neeson, Federated Farmers Ruapehu provincial president.

“What we need now is some heavy rain and it looks like some is on the cards for mid-week.

“Farmers are coping quite well by moving stock to alternative sources either on or off-farm. This includes on-farm water supplies like dams through to sending stock off-farm. . .

Colombian Farmers Get First-Hand Look at NZ Agri Expertise:

The New Zealand Agribusiness Centre, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), the Ministry for Primary Industries, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade this week welcome the largest Colombian delegation to ever visit New Zealand.

Some 170 Colombian farmers are spending a week in New Zealand to get first-hand insights into New Zealand’s pastoral farming systems and agritechnology. The visit includes an exhibition and seminar with major players in New Zealand’s agriculture sector at Mystery Creek Event Centre (home of Fieldays); fieldtrips to dairy, beef and sheep farms; and a visit to Landcorp’s pastoral farm development blocks near Taupo.

Led by Fedegan, the Colombian Federation of Ranchers, the delegation to New Zealand follows Prime Minister John Key’s official visit to Mexico, Colombia, Chile, and Brazil earlier this year as part of the Government’s increased focus on strengthening bilateral relations and capitalising on trade opportunities with Latin America nations. . .

NZ study tour on offer for international farmers:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has today announced a new programme for overseas farmers to spend time in New Zealand on an agri-tech study tour.

“Four places a year will be available for farmers to spend up to three weeks here, looking at improved agricultural productivity and reducing on-farm methane emissions,” says Mr Guy.

“This programme will be fully funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries and will help promote New Zealand’s agribusiness expertise overseas.

“My recent trip to South America has reinforced to me just how well respected New Zealand is overseas for the success of our agricultural sector. . .

Federated Farmers aids New Zealand’s agricultural diplomacy:

Federated Farmers has successfully tabled a paper at the World Farmers Organisation that could greatly contribute to New Zealand’s global agricultural diplomacy.

“I am pleased to say New Zealand’s proposal to invite farming organisations has been warmly received by the World Farmers Organisation and will further our country’s global outreach and engagement,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President.

“The World Farmers Organisation is currently writing to our Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to agree a programme for farmers from developed or developing countries to travel to New Zealand for an agri-tech study tour.

“We envisage each visit will be coordinated by MPI but will involve industry good bodies, research institutions and ourselves. It will enable visiting farmers to spend two to three weeks working alongside our farming community and agricultural science sectors. . .

NZCTA urges positive action in light of botulism scare:

The New Zealand China Trade Association (NZCTA) is urging industry and Government to work together to learn serious lessons from the Fonterra botulism scare. Official reviews have yet to be published, but the NZCTA is encouraging its members to continue to monitor the situation with respect to the China market.

“There is no doubt that the incident has damaged New Zealand’s image as a source of safe, high quality food products and the implications of this have been felt in terms of earnings for a number of our members, and this is unlikely to be fully resolved until New Zealand can prove that it has adequate systems in place to safeguard the industry and export markets” says Association Chairman Tim White. . .

City-fringe farm with a history of dairy and cattle grazing goes on the market for sale:

A dairy support farm described as being ‘as close to the city as you can get without being a lifestyle block’ has been placed on the market for sale.

The 185 hectare unit near the township of Waiuku in the Counties region of Auckland is a sheep farm which has been converted into a cattle and finishing block capable of running up to 650 head of cattle.

The farm is divided into some 40 paddocks and raced for efficient stock movement and separation. This year the farm has stocked 100 dairy heifer yearlings, 150 dairy heifer calves, 200 beef yearlings and 200 beef calves. . .


Rural round-up

18/09/2012

“Correction”predicted for 2012/13 sheep and beef farm profits

Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s (B+LNZ) New Season Outlook is expecting a correction that is likely to see average sheep and beef farm profit settle at around $96,500 for the 2012/13 season.

B+LNZ Economic Service Executive Director Rob Davison says profit before tax rose 30 per cent in 2011/12, which means this season’s predicted 34 per cent drop could be interpreted as a correction, from what was a near record farm profit in the 2011/12 year.

“While disappointing, it’s not entirely unexpected given the global recession,” says Davison. . .

Farmer’s Split-Lambing Trial Recognised in Ballance Farm Environment Awards:

Wairarapa farmers Tim and Belinda White are trying to breed a ewe that will lamb three times in two years.

For the past five years they have been running a trial on their 440ha farm at Matahiwi, about 10km west of Masterton, with the aim of identifying ewes that are capable of lambing every eight months.

‘Upperwood Farm’, which also grazes dairy heifers and finishes weaner bulls, runs about 2000 Poll Dorset- Dorper ewes – about half of which are mated soon after their spring-born lambs are weaned.

Tim White says the goal is to lamb these ewes again in May/June and then mate them in July while their lambs are still at foot. . .

New Zealand Infant Formula Exporters Association:

The New Zealand Infant Formula Exporters Association, to be branded as “Infant Formula New Zealand”, was formed last week.

The purposes of the Association are to represent and protect the interests of New Zealand Infant Formula Exporters.  To do this, the Association intends to develop an accreditation process for approved export brands.  It has a preference to be self-regulated, and is looking for a close partnership with Government. . .

Anchor Zero Lacto™ brings relief to tummy troubles:

Lactose intolerant Kiwis can now enjoy the full flavour of a morning coffee, the delicious taste of a smoothie, or the simple pleasure of a bowl of cereal thanks to Anchor Zero Lacto™, the only lactose-free fresh milk available in New Zealand.

Zero Lacto™ has all the goodness and taste of fresh cow’s milk, with none of the lactose, offering a tummy friendly and tasty option for people suffering from lactose intolerance.

Leading nutritionist Nikki Hart says many people try and deal with the problem of lactose intolerance by avoiding dairy and the milk chiller aisle altogether. . .

Naked telephony – Bruce Wills:

I was left naked this week.

No I have not suddenly joined some farmers’ naturist club but I am talking about my mobile phone.

In my rush to get to Wellington I was half way to the airport when I had a dread thought, felt my suit jacket then realised, I had left it on my desk at home. There was no time to turn around so for the past few days I have returned to an era before mobile telephony. . .

It is only when you go off the grid that you realise just how dependent we have all become on that little marvel of technology. . .

Landowners call for rambler cull – Newsbiscuit:

Britain’s farmers are facing an ‘unending tide’ of  ramblers, hell-bent on cluttering up the countryside. That’s why many land-owners are calling on the government to sanction a cull, or at  least introduce some natural predators.

Fields across Britain are now dotted with Gore-Tex and farmers have to remain vigilant, ready to ignore the next chirpy ‘hello’. ‘You never  know when a rambler is going to creep up behind you, and ask the name of all your bloody cows,’ complained Derek Winterbottom, from his farm near Ludlow. ‘The sods are always gazing at some tree or other and saying ‘it must be lovely living round here’. Well it was, until you  buggers showed up.’ . . .


%d bloggers like this: