Dairy industry to launch workplace accord:
A new dairy industry workplace accord will be launched in May as part of a range of industry actions aimed at helping farmers attract and retain skilled people to work on farms.
“The Quality Workplace Accord is a commitment to improving the work environment of dairy farms,” says DairyNZ’s strategy and investment leader for people and business, Mark Paine.
“The overarching goal is to achieve quality work environments through helping farmers implement good people management practices. . .
Korea tariff reductions benefit value-added velvet:
The potential to add value to velvet in New Zealand as tariffs reduce is the one big positive for deer farmers to come out of the Korea-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement.
“It’s no secret that Deer Industry NZ was unhappy with the terms of the agreement in respect to tariffs and taxes on frozen velvet. But we now need to make the most of the opportunity we have gained – elimination of the 20 per cent tariff on processed velvet over 15 years,” says DINZ chief executive Dan Coup.
“It’s a better outcome than some other countries have achieved, and the overall result of the FTA for the NZ primary sector will be very positive. We look forward to the FTA starting as soon as possible because within two or three years the reduction will be quite meaningful.” . .
Deer industry to co-operate with Korean health-food giant:
The New Zealand deer industry is today signing an agreement with one of Korea’s largest health food manufacturers, the Korea Ginseng Corporation (KGC), to help it develop more products containing NZ velvet antler.
The non-binding memorandum of understanding, to be signed by Deer Industry New Zealand (DINZ) chief executive Dan Coup and KGC chief executive officer Kim Jun-gi, will be witnessed by Prime Minister John Key. The signing will take place in Seoul following the signing of the Korea New Zealand Free Trade Agreement.
“For seven years our relationship with KGC has strengthened and has increasingly focused on the development of branded consumer products that include extracts from NZ velvet. In that time, KGC has developed a children’s tonic that has become a household name in Korea, taking around 8 per cent of NZ’s velvet production,” said DINZ chief executive Dan Coup. . .
Lengthy links in merino field – Sally Rae:
The Merriman name is closely linked with Australia’s merino sheep industry.
Wal Merriman, managing director of the famed Merryville stud, was recently in Otago to judge super-fine and ultra-fine merinos at the Upper Clutha A&P Show in Wanaka.
His family’s association with the New Zealand merino industry extended for 50 years or more, with Merryville’s genetics featuring among the bloodlines of New Zealand sheep, Mr Merriman (62) said. . .
Finalists announced for farm environment awards – Sally Rae:
Five finalists have been named for this year’s Otago Ballance Farm Environment Awards.
Richard and Kerry France, from Longview Farm, in West Otago, also own the Hazeldale Perendale stud.
The couple bought the 568ha breeding and finishing property, at the northwest end of the Moa Flat area, in 2000.
About 6000 stock units – sheep, deer and cattle – were wintered. Peter and Sarah Adam have been managing Wilden Station, at Moa Flat, since 2000, when the property was purchased by Mrs Adam’s uncle, John Maisey.
It comprises a sheep and beef breeding and finishing operation spread over the home block of 570ha and a run block, 14km away, of 1200ha. About 12,300 stock units were wintered. . .
Mesh cover to fight potato pests:
New research shows a plastic mesh cover laid over potato crops could be the answer to fighting potato pests without using chemical sprays.
Scientists at the Future Farming Centre and Lincoln University say field trials of the mesh cover is showing exciting results in controlling the tomato potato psyllid as well as reducing potato blight.
The psyllid arrived in New Zealand in 2006 and can cause severe crop loss through its bacterium.
Researchers Dr Charles Merfield said the trials over two growing seasons in Canterbury showed potatoes under the mesh covers had reduced numbers of psyllids, increased tuber size and an increase in overall yield. . .
Project brings students back to nature:
As the earth loses biodiversity at a rapid rate and people become increasingly disconnected from nature, we must encourage new generations to take an interest in preserving the natural world, says Lincoln University senior ecology lecturer Dr Tim Curran.
High school students involved in an award-winning biodiversity project aimed at addressing this issue met at Lincoln University last week to examine the plant and animal specimens they collected a year ago during a weekend EcoBlitz near Lewis Pass.
More than 170 high school students from 21 South Island schools took a trip to the Nina Valley in March last year, accompanied by scientists and students from Lincoln University and many other research organisations.
They found a range of plant, insect, bird, reptile and mammal species, which some of the students set about identifying last Thursday, March 12. . .
Oxfam calls for support as Vanuatu farmers face months without crops:
As aid begins to reach communities across Vanuatu, Oxfam New Zealand have spoken to their development partner Farm Support Association (FSA) to understand the longer term impact Cyclone Pam will have on a society which lives mostly off farming.
Oliver Lato, Senior Extension Officer from FSA was at home in Port Vila when the Cyclone struck. “For me, it was my first time experiencing a cyclone this strong. I was at home. I thought it would take off the roof. There was lots of water overflowing from the creek. Water came into my house, half a meter deep”.
Mr Lato said “Lots of vegetation is destroyed. Root crops are people’s main food. If yam, cassava and taro haven’t been destroyed, they need to be quickly harvested before they rot from flooding. They will need to be eaten quickly, within a week or so they will be spoilt” . .
Fourth ANZ Young Farmer Contest Grand Finalist Named:
Sully Alsop is the fourth Grand Finalist to be named in the 2015 ANZ Young Farmer Contest.
The thirty-one year old took first place at the East Coast Regional Final in Greytown on Saturday 21 March.
Mr Alsop went home with a prize pack worth over $10,000 including cash, scholarships and products and services from ANZ, FMG, Lincoln University, Ravensdown, AGMARDT, Silver Fern Farms, Honda, Husqvarna and Vodafone. . .