How precision farming is changing UK agriculture – Caroline Stocks:
Just a few decades ago, the idea of robots on farms and tractors that drove themselves would have been the stuff of agricultural science fiction.
But now more than half of the UK’s farmland is reportedly farmed using precision technology in some form, and that figure is expected to rise dramatically during the next few years.
For precision farming consultant Ian Beecher-Jones, precision technology is not a new concept. . .
Joint venture excites Charolais breeder – Sally Rae:
Drew Dundass reckons the Charolais breed of cattle is a ”beautiful animal”.
Mr Dundass, who jokes that he married into the breed, and his wife Carolyn (nee Aitken), manage Glen Ayr, a 1577ha property in the Paerau Valley, home to the Taiaroa Charolais stud.
Glen Ayr Ltd comprises two properties – Glen Ayr, and Glenfield, a 600ha finishing property on the Maniototo Plain which has a 343ha run block in the White Sow Valley, managed by Mrs Dundass’ sister, Dawn Sangster, and her husband David. . .
Invermay’s key role emphasised – Sally Rae:
Deer farmers attending a recent field day at Invermay were urged to recognise they were ”at the Mecca” for deer biological research.
The AgResearch campus was looked on as the ”fountain of all knowledge” and farmers should realise that and the prospect it might not continue, Prof Frank Griffin, of the University of Otago, said.
Prof Griffin, who has collaborated with researchers at Invermay for three decades on solving animal health problems in the deer industry, has previously expressed major concerns about AgResearch’s decision to cut jobs from Invermay. . .
A focus on protecting marginal areas of their farm while lifting productivity of grazeable land helped Katikati farmers Rick Burke and Jan Loney take out the Supreme title in the 2014 Bay of Plenty Ballance Farm Environment Awards.
Rick and Jan, who farm 350ha Pukekauri Farms in the foothills of the Kaimai Ranges, also picked up a string of category awards at a special Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA) ceremony on February 28.
BFEA judges praised the couple’s teamwork and excellent people skills, noting the outstanding plantings on riparian areas and marginal land that “look stunning and greatly enhance biodiversity”. . .
Six central North Island iwi have joined forces to buy a 2.5% stake in New Zealand’s largest forestry business, Kaingaroa Timberlands. The investment is one of the biggest ever involving an iwi collective.
The six iwi representative organisations, Ngati Rangitihi, Ngati Whakaue Assets and Te Arawa River Iwi Limited Partnership, Ngati Whare, Raukawa, Te Arawa Group Holdings Limited and Tuwharetoa, have formed Kakano Investment Limited Partnership (Kakano) and purchased the stake from the New Zealand Superannuation Fund (NZ Super Fund) for an undisclosed price.
Raukawa chairperson Vanessa Eparaima has been appointed chairperson of Kakano. Ms Eparaima said the investment was a major strategic and commercial step forward for iwi, and a win-win that ensured iwi were involved in the forestry business itself as well as being the land owner. . .
The seafood industry welcomes the announcement by Conservation Minister Nick Smith on permits for shark cage tourism operators.
Commercial paua divers and other marine users are concerned that the burgeoning
shark cage tourism industry around Foveaux Strait may change the behaviour of great white sharks and increase the risk of shark attack.
The paua industry has, for many years, been urging government agencies and
responsible Ministers to work together to ensure that shark cage diving is safe for tourists, sharks, and other marine users. . . .