Rural round-up

25/09/2020

Lower sheep and beef farmers sentiment chief contributor to rural confidence fall – Rabobank – Maja Burry:

Waning sentiment among sheep and beef farmers has pushed rural confidence deeper into negative territory in Rabobank’s latest rural confidence survey.

The survey, completed earlier this month, found net farmer confidence has slipped to -32 percent, down from -26 percent previously. In the last quarterly survey there had been a strong recovery from historic lows recorded early in the year.

Rabobank said the chief contributor to the lower net reading was markedly-lower sheep and beef farmer sentiment. That negated higher confidence levels reported among dairy farmers and horticulturalists, who were bouyed by improving demand for products.

Rabobank New Zealand chief executive, Todd Charteris, said sheep and beef farmers reported lingering concerns over government policy and the on-going impacts of Covid-19. . . 

2021 Zanda McDonald Award to crown two winners:

In an Award first, the Zanda McDonald Award, Australasia’s agricultural badge of honour, have announced today that they will crown not one, but two winners – one from each side of the Tasman – for the 2021 Award.

Eight passionate and talented young individuals in the primary sector have been named in the shortlist for the prestigious trans-Tasman award – four from Australia, and four from New Zealand.

The award, now in its seventh year, recognises talented and passionate young professionals working in agriculture, and provides an impressive prize package. The shortlist have been selected for their passion for the industry, strong leadership skills, and the contributions they’re making in the primary sector.

The change for 2021 comes as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, which prevents the award judges from being able to interview the usual shortlist of six together in one place, to determine the overall winner for Australasia. . . 

The case for trout farming – Clive Barker:

Anglers have long resisted the idea of commercial trout farming but a select committee recently recommended the Government give the idea “serious consideration”. Clive Barker makes the case for trout farming.

The species of fish used for aquaculture were at one time very limited. Carp were the fish used in pond culture originally in China. The method was transferred and developed in Europe during the Middle Ages. This was to help inland populations to follow the centuries-old law of meat abstinence on Fridays. In addition, there was the period of Lent during which eating meat was also prohibited. The 15th and 16th centuries were called the ”Golden Age” of Carp pond farming.

By the 1700s, river trout stock depletion had become a problem and in 1741 Stephen Ludwig Jacobi established the first trout hatchery in Germany. From this time, anglers have started to depend on cultured supplies of trout to increase or substitute the natural wild trout production. . . 

Feds suitably impressed with week of agriculture and horticulture announcements:

This has been a promising week for farmers.

Federated Farmers says it started with an excellent agriculture policy from ACT announced on Monday, followed by Labour’s positive farm plan policy announced by the Prime Minister and Agricultural Minister yesterday and finishing today with a well-researched and well thought out National Party Agriculture and Horticulture policies today.

National’s policy outlines a situation where the border is effectively closed, and New Zealand has lost almost a quarter of foreign earnings in the form of tourism and international education, leaving primary industries keeping the economy afloat.

Federated Farmers National President Andrew Hoggard says all these policies are the shot in the arm that our primary industries require. . . 

Shrek 2 found in Gisborne

First there was the South Island Shrek who came to our attention in 2004 – now a rival has been found in Gisborne.

She’s finally been caught at Wairakaia Station and has been given a name – Gizzy Shrek.

Farmer Rob Faulkner has been on her tail for years, he says.

“She’s been eluding me for about four or five years now and she finally came in through the back paddock”, Ron told Jesse Mulligan.

Empty meat counters – Uptown Farms:

Have you ever had your washer breakdown? It’s a real pain, and can cause a real issue around the house.
Finding someone to fix it is tough – skilled labor is hard to come by.

While you’re waiting, the laundry doesn’t stop coming. Everyone in the house keeps sending more your way. But without the washer – you’re stuck. There’s literally no where for the clothes to go.

Meanwhile, with huge piles of clothes stacking up on one side, clean clothes are becoming pretty scarce. Everyone in the house is wearing their jeans multiple times and getting nervous as they watch their underwear drawer slowly empty out…

This is what’s happening in our meat industry right now. Instead of washers and laundry it’s packing plants and livestock.
Many packing plants have been forced to shut down or run at lowered capacity because of Covid outbreaks and sick employees. Enough that it has created a massive backup on one side. . . 


Has farming harmed salmon fishing?

19/11/2011

Salmon farming hasn’t harmed angling, on the contrary it has helped it.

Why then are anglers so concerned about the prospect that trout farming might be permitted in New Zealand?

I haven’t found any policy from any party promoting this although Don Nicolson, then president of Federated Farmers and now an Act candidate, did talk of the benefits of trout farming.


Trout farming should get tick

15/01/2010

Federated Farmers’ President Don Nicolson is calling for the prohibition on commercial trout farming to be lifted.

In a submission to the government’s review of aquaculture he said aquaculture,  minerals and the agricultural sector, provide three pillars for the transformation of the New Zealand economy.

“It’s time for New Zealand to back the sectors that represent the sunrise,” . . .

“By making water storage an infrastructural priority, New Zealand will future proof itself against climate variation.  This infrastructure can further create new opportunities by way of in land and freshwater aquaculture.

“It’s not that New Zealand’s running out of rain but the rain is literally running out of New Zealand. . .

“This is also about evolving farm practices and the species we farm commercially.  It’s about sensibly harvesting the fruits of the environment that benefit every New Zealander.

Nicolson points out that Fish and Game is one of the largest trout farmers in New Zealand through its trout hatcheries. But the ODT reports the organisation is opposed to lifting the prohibition.

Any benefits from allowing commercial trout farming would be “heavily outweighed” by the risks to New Zealand’s wild trout fishery, Otago Fish and Game chief executive, Niall Watson, says. . .

. . . Risks came from the commercialisation of what was a non-commercial fish species and would encourage trout poaching in vulnerable spawning streams of the Central North Island lakes.

“Commercial-scale poaching would be a very serious risk in that area as well as elsewhere in the country.

Monitoring and enforcement costs would be considerable and successful protection of wild fish stocks would be difficult.”

A proliferation of fish farm operations could mean a much greater risk of disease transfer, he said.

I don’t understand why this would be a problem with trout farming when it hasn’t been with salmon farming.

That’s created businesses, provided jobs, added to the variety of locally produced food in supermarkets and restaurants and earned export income.

Friends who fish tell me that, rather than threatening recreational fishing, salmon farming has enhanced it. Why would trout farming be different?

Providing any risks were managed, and that might mean restricting the location and number of trout farms, we’d have lots to gain from lifting the prohibition.


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