Deer, sheep and cattle spread the risk in uncertain times – Kate Taylor:
Diversification is one of the keys to success for Central Hawke’s Bay sheep, beef and deer farmer Matt von Dadelszen on Mangapurakau Station.
Combining breeding deer, velvet stags, bull beef, breeding ewes and finishing lambs gives the von Dadelszens a mix of stock classes on the property at any time of the year… and a buffer when prices drop in one sector.
“The way we’re set up it’s easier to react,” he says. “Changes can be made quickly for different markets. Every year is a good solid year thanks to the diversity of the farm. We’re not at the mercy of one market.”
Matt and Paula von Dadelszen farm in partnership with Matt’s parents Ponty and Jane on the 1000-hectare property in the Flemington farming district, south of Waipukurau. They are on the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s southern boundary with Horizons Regional Council with two-thirds of the farm in Hawke’s Bay. It is a summer-safe farm with an altitude of 370 metres above sea level up to 620m and an annual rainfall of about 1250mm. . . .
Cold winds bring death to East Coast farms – Kate Taylor:
Hawke’s Bay farmers still in the middle of lambing are counting the costs of this week’s rain deluge.
More than 400mm of cold rain fell at Trelinnoe, the Te Pohue property farmed by former Federated Farmers president Bruce Wills and his brother Scott. They started lambing the day before the rain began.
“There is hardly a lamb surviving,” Bruce Wills said. “It’s not good … finding it hard to find a live lamb anywhere. It’s frustrating and annoying to do all the work all year and then, flipping heck, Mother Nature comes and does her thing.
“A week ago we were talking drought. On our country once we get 350mm, even with all of our 15,000 trees and all our good work, Mother Nature takes over.” . .
Farmers ‘would really struggle’ without Filipinos:
A North Canterbury dairy farmer who helps support migrants when they move to the area says she’s not surprised to hear Filipino workers falsified documents to secure visas.
Hundreds of Filipino workers on dairy farms are under scrutiny after authorities in the Philippines revealed dozens have arrived on visas based on false documents.
They are also looking into claims some of the men paid as much as $1,500 to a recruiter who falsified work experience and qualifications in a bid to get them a better job.
Sharron Davie-Martin is based at Culverden, North Canterbury and said there’s about 70 Filipinos working on local dairy farms and without them, farmers would really struggle. . .
Concerns about water quality computer-modelling:
Waikato Federated Farmers is warning that there would be a massive impact on the local economy if computer-modelling to improve water quality in the region was followed through.
The modelling has been produced to look at the impacts of implementing changes, such as land-use and in particular moving away from dairying.
It is estimated it would cost anywhere between $1 and nearly $8 billion over a 25-year period to clean up the Waikato and Waipa rivers and their tributaries.
It is based on scenarios ranging from making the rivers suitable for swimming, fishing and healthy biodiversity, to no further water quality decline, but with some improvements, or just holding-the-line with no further degradation. . .
$10k Rates Club Raising the Bar –
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the formation of Federated Farmers $10k Rates Club – an informal grouping of members who share the unwelcome bond of payment more than $10,000 a year in general rates.
“The club has been a way for us to capture stories, gauge the trends in general rates and add another string to our lobbying bow,” says Senior Policy Advisor Nigel Billings, who helped found the club back in 2005.
The club remains strong but times have changed – and, as Nigel admits, it might be time for a rebrand.
“Unfortunately, $10,000 rates notices are not as rare as they used to be for those in our rural communities. We’re thinking we might need to change the name to the $15k Rates Club. It may even need to be $20k.” . . .
Rural theft is gut wrenching – Chris Irons:
Rural crime is getting out of hand and something has to happen or we may need armed defender callouts to rural communities. The recent spate of thefts in the Waikato has been sickening especially for sharemilkers who are doing it tough trying to stay afloat with the downturn in dairy prices.
Huntly farmer Philip Thomas had his four- wheeler stolen in broad daylight and then suffered the indignation of watching the thieves ride off brazenly out his farm.
As most farmers know quad bikes are key part of the daily running of our business, it’s not a toy, more a necessity. The Huntly farmer had all his aids and ropes stored on his bike which he needed for calving. . .
NZ Dairy Awards Develops Future Leaders:
The New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards is proving to be a breeding ground for future industry leaders.
Six of the 10 candidates currently seeking election to the Board of Directors of DairyNZ cite their participation in the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards on their curriculum vitae.
Two candidates, Ben Allomes, a Director seeking re-election, and Elaine Cook are former New Zealand Sharemilkers of the Year while another candidate Greg Maughan is a former longstanding chair of the Awards executive organising committee and former regional winner in the Sharemilker of the Year competition.
Another former regional Sharemilker of the Year winner is seeking election, Murray Jamieson, while Steve Hines is a past entrant and judge. Grant Wills has judged entrants in the awards. . . .
Treble Cone’s busiest ever snow season:
Treble Cone Ski Area (Wanaka, New Zealand) celebrated the Closing Day of a successful snow season that achieved a number of key milestones last Sunday.
This winter Treble Cone received it’s highest ever visitation since forming as a company in 1968 and installing the first rope tow in 1969, with a record number of skier visits in 2015.
The momentum and vibe at Treble Cone has been building over recent years, with stability in pricing coupled with tweaks and improvements across the guest experience.
Anticipation prior to this season was fantastic, with record online interaction and engagement, and increases in early bird season pass and pre-season lift pass sales.
Leading into winter 2015 Treble Cone introduced additional groomed intermediate trails in the Saddle Basin through summer earthworks and snow fencing which proved very popular. . .