Tasman growers and farmers brace for lasting damage from hail storm – Tracy Neal:
Farmers and growers are counting the cost – thought to be in the tens of millions of dollars – of the Boxing Day hailstorm in Tasman.
It shredded vineyards, smashed greenhouses, dented and bruised apples, kiwifruit and hops and severely damaging buildings in Motueka.
Some say it was the worst hailstorm in living memory, in a region where recent summers have been marred by cyclones, floods, and fires. . .
Brexit: EU-UK deal hurts NZ exporters says Beef + Lamb :
The meat industry is urging the government to fight new quotas for local exporters as part of new trade deal between the UK and European Union.
The post-Brexit agreement will mean access will be more controlled.
A new quota will force Kiwi sheep and beef exporters to split their product between the UK and EU, even if one of the markets is not going well.
Meat Industry Association chief executive Sirma Karapeeva said it was a major step back in trade. . .
High season for rural theft – Mark Daniel:
Rural insurance company FMG claims data has shown that January is the time when thieves are out and about looking to relieve farmers and rural dwellers of their property.
Stephen Cantwell, FMG’s manager advice services, says theft is the leading cause of farm contents claims at that time of year.
“January appears to be the month when thieves are at their most active, resulting in a higher number of claims, but also with average values up by 23%,” he says.
The rural insurance specialist suggests there are actions people can take to help to deter thieves targeting your property. . .
Concerns over ‘rural generalists’ as doctors in Greymouth – Lois WIlliams:
Is rural generalism best for the Coast?
In recent weeks, various medics and their union have – unusually for the profession – aired their views in this paper on the use of ‘rural generalists’, a new breed of doctor increasingly being employed on the West Coast to work both in hospitals and at GP clinics.
For the West Coast District Health Board, ‘rural generalists’ or rural health specialists, as they’re also known, are a godsend: the answer to the region’s perennial difficulties in attracting specialists and GPs. But the senior doctors union, the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, has warned of their potential to displace more highly-trained doctors, and ultimately reduce West Coast residents’ access to that level of care. What is the community supposed to make of this? What exactly are rural generalists and how safe are people in their hands? . .
Conduit for growers, researchers – Colin Williscroft:
Late last month Kiwifruit Vine Health liaison adviser and technical specialist Linda Peacock received the Minister’s Award at the New Zealand Biosecurity Awards, recognising more than 30 years of dedicated service to the industry. Colin Williscroft reports.
When Linda Peacock received her award from Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor she told the Wellington audience that a key part of her work involves providing a link between growers and researchers to ensure the collaboration the industry is renowned for continues.
“I talk to people,” Peacock said.
“I help people on the land understand what some of the big words mean and I tell scientists what those people want and have to know, so they can do what they do. . .
Developing a Great Pyrenees into a poultry guardian – Uptown Farms:
When we first started raising working Great Pyrenees puppies, our dogs went almost exclusively to sheep and goat farms or occasionally to guard cattle herds. But initially, we fielded no requests at all for poultry dogs.
Fast forward to today, and sometimes as many as half the pups in a single Uptown Farms litter are being sent to farms to actively guard birds. Below are some considerations we share with our customers who are looking for poultry or small animal guardians. Please note, we do currently have birds at Uptown Farms, but this is a combination of advice and tips from our customers through the years who have successfully developed poultry dogs. For information on bringing home a livestock guardian, please refer here.
1. Start with a working dog. Starting with a working pup is the most important step for whatever type of working dog you are needing. . .
Leave a Comment » | business, environment, Farming, food, health, rural, trade | Tagged: Brexit, Brian Leahy, Colin Williscroft, Edwin Mabonga, Farmers Mutual Group (FMG), Great Pyrenees, Kiwifruit Vine Health, Linda Peacock, Lois Williams, Mark Daniel, Meat Industry Association (MIA), NZ Biosecurity Awards, NZ Merino Company (NZM), rural generalists, Sirma Karapeeva, Stephen Cantwell, Tracy Neal, Uptown Farms, West Coast District Health Board | Permalink
Posted by homepaddock
Farmers natural guardians of biodiversity new study says – Tracy Neal:
A study of sheep and beef farmers’ attitudes to managing biodiversity on their farms showed more than 90 percent supported its merits.
The survey by AgResearch, AUT University, University of Canterbury, and the Catalyst Group, highlighted that many farmers associated a range of values and benefits with biodiversity on the farm, spanning social, environmental and economic themes.
As part of a study funded by the Biological Heritage National Science Challenge, 500 farmers around the country took part in the survey that was published in the New Zealand Journal of Ecology.
Auckland University School of Biological Sciences associate professor Bruce Burns said that while the results showed most wanted land protected for future generations, there were barriers to conservation efforts, such as the cost and time needed to do this. . .
IrrigationNZ pleased National will promote water storage keen to see more detail:
IrrigationNZ is encouraged to see that the National Party has been bold enough to promote water storage as part of its agriculture and horticulture policy, announced today in Gisborne.
“All New Zealanders are reliant on accessing water when it is needed, but we have become increasingly vulnerable to dry weather patterns which restrict this right.”
“Despite being an obvious solution to this increasing vulnerability – water storage has unfortunately become the elephant in the room,” says IrrigationNZ Chair, Keri Johnston. . .
New project to increase tomato yield in winter – Maja Burry:
A new tomato venture in Northland could go some way in easing the spike in tomato prices seen during the winter period.
Rohe Produce Limited plans to build a $70 million, 8.9-hectare, high-tech glasshouse at Marsden Point to grow organic speciality tomatoes.
The glasshouse will be the first of its kind in New Zealand with the use of 100 percent LED lights, which Rohe Produce said would increase yields by 50 percent per square metre. . .
Strong Wool Action Group appoints executive offices, meets with industry:
The Strong Wool Action Group has made rapid progress with the appointment of an experienced Executive Officer and a first meeting with the wider wool sector to lay out its vision for strong wool.
International wool industry marketer Andy Caughey has been appointed as the Executive Officer for the Strong Wool Action Group.
Mr Caughey has been involved in the wool sector in New Zealand and internationally since 1988. In 2011 he founded Armadillo Merino, a global company specializing in advanced next-to-skin clothing for tactical operators and professionals operating in high risk environments. . . .
Hawke’s Bay rugby team to pay tribute to region’s farmers :
Hawke’s Bay’s rugby team, the Magpies, will take to the field this weekend wearing special jerseys as a tribute to the region’s farmers.
A farmer-style swandri with a checked-shirt pattern will replace the black and white hoops the team usually wears as a reflection of the bird which is its mascot.
The jerseys will be worn against Canterbury at McLean Park on Saturday.
Afterwards, they will be auctioned off to raise money for farmers who sweltered during drought last summer and autumn. . .
Yes cows fart – Uptown Farms:
The rumors are true.
I thought we had gotten over this conversation the last go round, but I’ve got two boys so I understand the stay ability of a good fart story.
Cows burp too, which actually releases way more methane than their farting but isn’t nearly as fun to talk about (apparently).
You know what else is true? . .
Leave a Comment » | business, environment, Farming, food, horticulture, rural | Tagged: AgResearch, Ally Hunter Blair, Andy Caughey, Armadillo Merino, Auckland University School of Biological Sciences, AUT University, Biological Heritage National Science Challenge, Bruce Burns, Catalyst Group, Donald Martin, Hawkes Bay, IrrigationNZ, Keri Johnston, Magpies, Maja Burry, NZ Journal of Ecology, NZ National Party, Rohe Produce, Strong Wool Action Group, University of Canterbury, Uptown Farms | Permalink
Posted by homepaddock
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. . .
Leave a Comment » | business, environment, Farming, food, rural | Tagged: Andrew Hoggard, Beef + Lamb NZ (B+LNZ), Clive Barker, Federated Farmers, Gizzy Shrek, Kowalchuk Farms, Labour Party, Maja Burry, NZ National Party, Rabobank Rural Confidence Survey, Rob Faulkner, Shrek, Stephen Ludwig Jacobi, Todd Charteris, trout farming, Uptown Farms, Wairakaia Station, Zanda McDonald Award | Permalink
Posted by homepaddock
Dairy farm sales dry up as tighter bank lending, foreign investment take hold – Catherine Harris:
Commentators say dairy farm values are falling, as bank lending tightens and foreign investment becomes harder to get.
According to the Real Estate Institute (REINZ), sales of dairy farms nationally tumbled 55 per cent in the three months to November on the same period in 2018, and 83 per cent on 2017.
Dairy farm prices slid 22 per cent, from $50,964 per hectare to $39,678 per hectare.
Lincoln University farm management professor and commentator Keith Woodford told RNZ that while other types of farms such as grazing or horticulture were holding their own, dairying had suffered, despite improving milk prices. . .
Border collie saves flock of sheep from wall of fire in Australia: – Joe Roberts:
A hero border collie has saved a flock of sheep as a wall of fire destroyed farmland in Australia.
Patsy the six-year-old working dog rounded the sheep up with a farmer as the flames bore down on them in the rural town of Corryong in Victoria.
She brought them to the safest paddock on the farm as her owner fought the fire in a tractor with a tank of water.
Thanks to Patsy and her owner, almost all of the sheep were saved, along with the hay bales, silage, shearing shed, and farm houses. . .
‘Mycoplasma bovis’ challenges faced – Laura Smith:
‘‘One of the greatest biosecurity challenges we’ve ever faced’’ — Mycoplasma bovis continues to affect farmers but the Ministry for Primary Industries is confident eradication of the disease can be achieved.
Southland farm owners Ben Walling and Sarah Flintoft had 1700 cattle culled in 2018 after Mycoplasma bovis was discovered on their farm.
Since then they were declared disease-free, but are now awaiting results after tests on cows at one of their three cattle farms.
The bovine disease Mycoplasma bovis can cause mastitis, pneumonia, arthritis and late-term abortions. More than 130,700 cattle have been culled nationwide because of it. . .
Fonterra rationalises in Chile – Hugh Stringleman:
Fonterra is buying the minority interests in its Chilean processing partner, Prolesur, to streamline its businesses and give it more options for the future.
Among the options could be an exit from the dairy industry in Chile after several decades of New Zealand involvement, firstly by the Dairy Board in 1986.
Fonterra has agreed to buy 13.6% of Prolesur for NZ$29.3 million from Fundacion Isabel Aninat, a church-owned charity. . .
Remote island farm on market – Richard Rennie:
A long-held family property on Great Barrier Island offers the chance to own the last piece of land before Chile.
It includes private beaches and an historic grave site for shipwreck victims.
The Mabey family has farmed the 195ha property at the island’s northern end for almost a century and has decided to put the farm on the market as a bare block.
The land is farmed by Scott Mabey who said he anticipates a buyer will be most interested in building a dream home on one of the farm’s many elevated positions. . .
The beef farmer eats a plant patty – Uptown Farms:
Well… we did it. We were in a hip little craft beer joint in Nashville, saw the Impossible burger on the menu, and ordered one.
Of course they wanted to send it out with a fresh baked bun, cheese and all the sauces.
But we passed on all of that so we could really get an idea what all the fuss was about. Here’s what we decided:
🌱 It is better with ranch. Matt jokes, “What vegetable isn’t?” (His jokes are getting worse the older he gets.) . .
Leave a Comment » | business, disaster, environment, Farming, food, rural | Tagged: Ashley Trobridge, Ben Walling, border collie, Catherine Harris, Fonterra, Fundación Isabel Aninat (the Fundación), Hugh Stringleman, Joe Roberts, Keith Woodford, Laura Smith, Patsy, Prolesur, Real Estate Institute (REINZ), Richard Rennie, Sarah Flintoft, Scott Mabey, Uptown Farms | Permalink
Posted by homepaddock
Water restrictions reduced in Nelson after ‘significant’ rainfall in dam catchment – Skara Bohny:
Nelson’s water restriction is back down to stage two after “significant” rainfall into the dam catchment, and closed reserves are being reopened.
Nelson City Council (NCC) has peddled back from stage three restrictions to stage two after rainfall overnight raised the Maitai Dam levels by 930mm, or just under one metre.
Over the course of the drought, the dam level had dropped by four metres. . .
GPS-enabled collars allow farmers to steer cows around the farm remotely – Sam Kilmister:
Growing up on a small dairy farm in Waikato exposed Craig Piggott to the problems farmers face.
Armed with an engineering degree and a year’s experience building satellites for Rocket Lab, Piggott, 24, is now solving them with his own agri-tech invention.
His brainchild is a GPS-enabled collar powered by solar energy, named Halter, which was unveiled to farmers at the Central District Field Days at Manfeild, Feilding, on Thursday. . .
Wagyu-style lamb group recruiting more farmers – Maja Burry:
A group breeding a premium Wagyu-style lamb is looking to recruit more farmers as it aims to scale up production.
Te Mana Lamb is bred in the New Zealand high country and costs about 50 percent more than normal lamb.
It is marketed as being to lamb what Wagyu is to beef, with a fine marbling of Omega-3 fats achieved through breeding and grazing on a specific type of chicory pasture.
The product is part of the Omega Lamb Project, a programme which started in 2015 and involves New Zealand’s largest sheepmeat exporter Alliance Group, the Ministry for Primary Industries and 35 farmers. . .
Selecting deer for resistance – Ken Muir:
Selecting deer with natural resistance to internal parasites could be the next tool for deer farmers in their search for better growth rates and ways to reduce the use of drenches in their animals says Tikana Wapiti Stud owner Dave Lawrence.
Resistance levels were scored using a saliva test that measured the antibodies triggered when animals ingested internal parasites.
Dubbed CARLA (Carla), short for carbohydrate larval antigens, the test was developed by AgResearch scientists for the sheep industry, where Carla breeding values (BVs) are now a routine part of genetic selection.
The Carla test measured antibodies triggered when animals ingested internal parasites. The saliva test for the antibodies was now well-established. . .
Precision bee keeping launches in New Zealand:
Helping New Zealand’s commercial bee keepers get more out of their hives is the goal of a new start up that marries together the best of the tech world with solid, Kiwi knowhow.
Until now most of New Zealand’s 880,000 registered bee hives have produced honey without the bee keepers knowing for sure how the hive is operating until the day of harvest. They’ve been working in the blind, hoping and trusting that the hive is active and producing, but with no cost-effective way to check on the hive’s progress.
Typically the first opportunity a bee keeper has to see how a hive is performing is on the day of harvesting itself – something that usually involves helicopters, trucks and personnel. By then, it’s too costly to change the harvesting schedule if required.. .
Stop the tractor man and tell her when you’re coming home – Uptown Farms:
She didn’t understand. And I didn’t get that she didn’t understand. When I came back to the farm, I was just continuing on what had been done for six generations in my family.
I didn’t know we were so different – the hours, the seasons, the lifestyle. Farming was completely normal to me.
For a long time, I missed just how not normal it was for her. I missed how hard it was. I’m not saying I’m perfect now, but going into our eleventh planting season, I can guarantee I’m better today than I was before. . .
Leave a Comment » | business, environment, Farming, food, rural | Tagged: AgResearch, Alliance Group, breeding values (BVs), CARLA (Carla), Craig Piggott, Dave Lawrence, Fraser Dymond, Maja Burry, Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), omega 3, Omega Lamb Project, Rocket Lab, Sam Kilmister, Skara Bohny, Te Mana lamb, Tikana Wapiti Stud, Uptown Farms | Permalink
Posted by homepaddock
Finding the path for dairy – Keith Woodford:
I have always been optimistic about the long-term future of dairy. I think it is likely that dairy will remain one of the pillars that underpins the New Zealand economy. But we sure do have some challenges!
The first challenge is that urban New Zealand does not understand the extent to which our national wealth depends on the two pillars of dairy and tourism. Yes, there are other important industries such as kiwifruit and wine, and yes, forestry, lamb and beef are also very important. But rightly or wrongly, our population has been growing rapidly, and the export economy also has to keep growing. There is a need for some big pillars.
Somehow, we have to create the exports to pay for all of the machinery, the computers, the electronics, the planes, the cars, the fuel and the pharmaceuticals on which we all depend. . .
Overseer transition needed – Ken Muir:
Clint Rissman Clint Rissman Attempts to move beyond the use of Overseer to manage nutrient loss on farms could be hampered by the level of investment already made in the system, Southland soil scientist Dr Clint Rissman says. ‘
‘In many situations, Overseer has been misused as a regulatory tool, mainly because there is a lack of alternatives for regulatory authorities,” Dr Rissman said. ”It’s important that we find a way to develop better tools while preserving the value of the investment we have already made in Overseer.” . .
Hemp/wool combo spring a good yarn :
Innovative new products using wool and hemp fibre will be developed under a new partnership between NZ Yarn and Hemp NZ. Farmers will have long-term opportunities to diversify into hemp and those already growing it will be able to sell a greater proportion of their product.
Christchurch-based NZ Yarn Ltd, a world-leading producer of wool yarns for the global soft flooring market, has announced a new shareholder and business partner — Hemp New Zealand Ltd. . .
Perendale top seller – Yvonne O’Hara:
For the second year in a row, a Perendale ram is the top selling ram at the Gore A&P Association South Island Premier Ram Auction.
The ram, owned by Pip Wilson, of Waikaka, sold for $8200, which was $400 down on the top price last year. The nine breeds, totalling 241 rams, were offered at the auction held at the showgrounds on Tuesday and Wednesday last week. . .
A day’s work is a life lesson for a kid – Uptown Farms:
On a farm there’s always work.
I try not to lose sight of the blessing that is for our family.
Today, a snow day, it meant we could say yes when our oldest asked if he could go to work instead of going to daycare.
He’s had his eye on an expensive LEGO set and he’s looking for ways to earn a few more dollars for it. So today, like a lot of farm kids, he will go to work.
He will sweat a little. He’ll freeze a little. He will probably get hollered at a little and likely goof some things up. . .
NZ importers join in India’s largest global food event:
More than US$ 1 billion worth of business was transacted at Indus Food 2019, India’s biggest international food and beverage expo, in New Delhi on January 14-15, according to the Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI).
Indus Food is a global platform where top exporters from India’s food and beverage industry participate and meet with prospective buyers and distributors from across the world invited to the event by the TPCI. . .
Leave a Comment » | environment, Farming, food, rural | Tagged: Dr Clint Rissman, Gore A&P Association South Island Premier Ram Auction, Hemp NZ, Indus Food, John Ladley, Keith Woodford, Ken Muir, NZ Yarn, Overseer, Perendale, Pip Wilson, Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI), Uptown Farms, William Morrison, Yvonne O'Hara | Permalink
Posted by homepaddock
Hardy Perendales sheep of choice for breeder – Sally Rae:
Pip Wilson describes Perendales as “resilient little critters”.
And it was that resilience that made the breed the ideal choice for the Wendon Valley property that she is busy developing.
They got into farming “from scratch” and Perendales were the obvious choice, as their toughness made them ideal for developing country.
“They withstand a lot more pressure. I thrash them,” she said.
Last week, Ms Wilson topped the two-day Gore ram fair, selling a ram for $8200 to Andrew Laing, from Leeston and Adam Thacker, of Okains Bay. It was a successful sale as she also sold two other rams for $4000 and $3000. . .
First NZ company gets licensed for high THC cannabis:
An East Coast cannabis company says it’s the first in the country to get the green light to grow strains of the plant with high levels of cannabinoids.
Hikurangi Cannabis was one of the first in the country to get a license for medicinal cannabis cultivation in August last year.
Now, its managing director Manu Caddie said Ministry of Health officials had extended its license and biosecurity rules to allow for it to import stronger varieties.
Man vs beast in the Whangamomona presidential race:
Thousands of New Zealanders crossed the border into the self-declared Republic of Whangamomona at the weekend for the tiny nation’s 30th independence day celebrations.
Once there, they were treated to possum skinning and whip cracking demonstrations, a three-legged shearing competition involving a pie and pint, and a presidential election like no other.
In 1989, angered at being shunted out of Taranaki and into the Manawatu, Whangamomona revolted and declared itself a republic.
Every second year since, the permanent population of about 12 has put up customs borders and thrown a street party to celebrate. . .
A battle of champions at Wairoa Shears:
Hawke’s Bay shearer Rowland Smith got the year of his hoped-for second World title under way in good fashion when he won the Wairoa A and P Show’s Open shearing title on Saturday.
Making the now regular trip to the home show of wife, former shearer and fellow-record-breaker Ingrid, 2014 World champion Smith beat almost as tough a field as could be gathered, including reigning World champion John Kirkpatrick and 2010 World champion Cam Ferguson, both also now shearing contractors in Hawke’s Bay.
But pushing Smith hardest in a pulsating four-man final was former Golden Shears runner-up Aaron Haynes, who chased all the way to succumb by just six seconds in the race for fastest time, Smith’s 17min 40sec for the 20 sheep. . .
Bringing a working Great Pyrenees puppy home – Uptown Farms:
You’ve made the decision, you’ve found your pup, and you’re bringing a Great Pyrenees livestock guardian home! Now what…
The following are steps we recommend to our clients that are bringing a pup to their farm to serve as a livestock guardian.
These steps assume that your Great Pyrenees was bred as a working dog, comes from working parents and was imprinted and lived with livestock for his first 8 weeks of life. . .
Potential great for Hawke’s Bay 2011 grape harvest:
With the 2011 wine vintage kicking off this week, it appears Hawke’s Bay’s fruit quality will again shine through, with local wine growers delighted at the clean quality fruit on the vines.
Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers Inc., the regional wine organisation, conducts an informal survey every year to gauge how the region’s wineries and growers feel about the upcoming vintage. . .
Leave a Comment » | business, environment, Farming, food, rural, viticulture, wine | Tagged: Aaron Haynes, Adam Thacker, Andrew Laing, Great Pyrenees, Hikurangi Cannabis, John Kirkpatrick, Perendales, Pip Wilson, Republic of Whangamomona, Rowland Smith, Sally Rae, Sandra Matthews, Uptown Farms | Permalink
Posted by homepaddock
McBride to challenge everything – Richard Rennie:
Zespri chairman Peter McBride’s has not had time to put his feet up and catch his breath as he steps down from 17 years on the kiwifruit marketer’s board and becomes a Fonterra director.
But a glance over his career path indicates he has never been one to sit around for long and he ruefully acknowledges there will be more than enough to keep him busy again in his new post. He spoke to Richard Rennie.
Peter McBride’s time with Zespri has not lacked its share of roller-coaster moments and he is exiting his fifth year as chairman at something of a peak at the top of the country’s most acclaimed primary produce marketer. . .
Investment fund eyes Central cherry option – Sally Rae:
Central Otago cherries are being considered by a $250 million horticulture investment fund, but nothing has “lined up” yet, Craigmore chief executive Che Charteris says.
Craigmore Sustainables began fundraising for a new Permanent Crop Partnership in 2016, with a target of $250million. It was “quickly approaching” that target, and expected closing the partnership for new funds next month.
The strategy was to build a diversified business of the best of New Zealand orchards across a range of fruits for which the country already had an established reputation, including kiwifruit, apples and wine grapes, plus emerging crops such as cherries, citrus and avocado. . .
NZ duck callers do well at world champs :
New Zealand duck-callers have done well against international competitors in the latest world championships.
They took part in the World Waterfowl Calling Championships at Easton, Maryland, on the American East Coast.
The best results were from Hunter Morrow of Otago, who came second in the Live Duck category, fifth in the Live Goose category, and 3rd in the team events. . .
CRISPR solves cotton bollworm resistance mystery – Ella Walla-Arizona:
Scientists have used genomics and gene editing to discover a genetic mutation that makes cotton bollworm caterpillars—one of the world’s most destructive cotton pests—resistant to genetically engineered cotton.
The method may signal a new era in efforts to promote more sustainable pest control. Cotton, corn, and soybeans have been genetically engineered to produce pest-killing proteins from the widespread soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt.
Non-toxic to people and wildlife including bees, these environmentally friendly Bt proteins are in sprays by organic growers for more than 50 years and in engineered Bt crops millions of farmers have planted worldwide on a cumulative total of more than two billion acres since 1996.
Consumers confused on nutritional value of milk alternatives – Jacqui Fatka:
New research shows there is misunderstanding on nutritional values associated with milk alternatives compared to dairy milk.
Dairy milk and plant-based milk alternatives are purchased with nutrition in mind, yet many consumers are not aware of nutritional distinctions between products, according to a new survey by IPSOS commissioned by Dairy Management Inc.
Plant-based milk alternatives have grown in number and volume over the years, so understanding consumers’ expectation of “milk” is important, especially as the Food & Drug Administration is reviewing the standards associated with milk. The dairy industry has criticized the use of the term “milk” for plant-based alternatives, such as soy milk or almond milk, and asked FDA to restrict the use of the term if the product isn’t from a cow. . .
It’s cold! But don’t worry our soils are covered – Uptown Farms:
Whoa, it’s cold! But don’t worry, our soils are covered.
Winter can be hard on soils and on the organisms that live in them. Our livelihood is dependent on healthy soils, and those soil bugs, so we take steps to keep them happy and comfortable all winter long.
🌱 We don’t till, or plow, our fields. No-till farming means less traffic across our field (less compaction) and less disturbance within the soil. . .
Leave a Comment » | business, environment, Farming, food, rural | Tagged: Bacillus thuringiensis (BT), Che Charteris, cotton bollworm, Craigmore Sustainables, Dairy Management Inc, Ella Walla-Arizona, Fonterra, Hunter Morrow, Jacqui Fatka, Peter McBride, Richard Rennie, Sally Rae, Uptown Farms, World Waterfowl Calling Championships | Permalink
Posted by homepaddock
Precious arable land – Eric Crampton:
I just don’t get the fixation with making sure that nobody builds a house on agricultural land.
The government plans to make it harder for councils to approve new homes and lifestyle blocks on productive land near urban areas.
A report out today, called Our Land 2018, shows New Zealand’s urban sprawl is eating up some of the country’s most versatile land.
It highlights that between 1990 and 2008, 29 percent of new urban areas were built on some of the country’s most versatile land. . .
We are growing houses instead of food – Feds:
We are losing our most productive land to houses – that’s the most significant point Federated Farmers takes from the ‘Our Land 2018’ report released today.
The Ministry for the Environment report shows the pressure New Zealand agriculture is under from the loss of highly productive and versatile land due to urbanisation.
There was a 10% increase in urban areas from 2002 to 2012 and the loss would be even more now with the pressure on housing in the last few years. . .
Auckland Council rates policy fails to value private land conservation:
Auckland Council is proposing to remove rates remission for privately owned land protected by QEII covenants.
QEII National Trust CEO Mike Jebson says “we are submitting against Auckland Council’s proposed policy. This policy discourages landowners from protecting natural heritage areas on their properties and fails to support protection of biodiversity on private land in the region.”
“QEII covenants often protect the habitat of threatened indigenous species, and provide corridors linking larger areas of private and public land set aside for conservation. The work landowners do in protecting their land, like excluding stock from the protected area, is critical in encouraging regeneration of native vegetation.” . .
A2 shifts from a brand to a category, with Nestle and Mengniu now on board – Keith Woodford:
It is only six weeks since mega-sized Fonterra in New Zealand and medium-sized Freedom Foods in Australia announced their intention to produce A2 dairy products, these being products free of A1 beta-casein. Since then, both Nestle and Mengniu have stepped up to announce that they too are developing brands for A2 infant nutrition products.
To place this in perspective, and as reported by Rabobank, Nestle is easily the largest global dairy company by turnover, followed by Lactalis, Danone, Dairy Farmers of America and then Fonterra. Further down comes Mengniu at number 11 globally, but number 2 in China.
It is now evident that dairy products free of A1 beta-casein are shifting from being a niche brand belonging to The a2 Milk Company (A2M) to becoming a broader dairy category. This was always going to happen, but the speed at which it is now occurring is taking most people by surprise. . .
Livestock Improvement buys back $5.3M of shares to simplify structure – Tina Morrison:
(BusinessDesk) – Farmer-owned cooperative Livestock Improvement Corp will buy back $5.3 million of its shares as part of its move to simplify its share structure.
In March the company’s shareholders voted to reclassify all cooperative control shares and investment shares into a single class of ordinary shares. Livestock Improvement said today that a small number of shareholders had elected to exercise their minority buy-out rights under the proposal. . .
#SustainabilitySunday: A tale of two farms – Uptown Farms:
What you see above is crazy exciting for our family!
These two pictures are from two fields, only separated by an old fence row. The photos were taken about 4 foot apart.
The farm in the bottom photo has been traditionally managed for north Missouri row crop farms. You see larger and more compacted soil clods, fairly typical of dirt in the area.
On the farm in the top photo we have been using no-till and cover crop practices for three growing seasons. What you see, and would feel if you were here, is a light and loose soil. It’s full of organic matter without any compaction. (Think of potting soil compared to dirt from your backyard.)
We have actually added soil to this farm by allowing crop residue and cover crops to decompose and turn to dirt. In only three years, we have changed the soil makeup of our farm. . .
Scales hunts for NZ agribusiness acquisitions to fit with apple export business – Tina Morrison:
(BusinessDesk) – Scales Corp is eyeing potential agribusiness acquisitions that would fit well with its export apple business as the country’s largest apple grower aims to become the foremost investor in and grower of New Zealand agribusiness.
“We think New Zealand agribusinesses are in a good space, they make good products, and sell them to Asia,” chief executive Andy Borland told BusinessDesk. “We have over the years developed our skills around exporting and dealing with Asia, particularly China, and we are looking at businesses within New Zealand that would work with those sort of dynamics and be complementary to our apple business. We are really looking for those sort of New Zealand opportunities.” . .
Good Idea! Feds Likes NZX Primary Sector Index Concept:
Federated Farmers congratulates the New Zealand Stock Exchange for coming up with the idea of creating a ‘primary sector index’ for investors.
The NZX intends to launch the new primary sector index later this year, where it will sit alongside the existing indices for other sectors such as energy, healthcare and real estate.
The index will include 15 companies, including Fonterra and A2 Milk. . .
China begins to challenge multinationals in domestic infant formula market, says GlobalData :
CITIC Agri Fund Management, backed by Chinese state-owned CITIC Group, has recently agreed to buy a 25.18% stake in Hong Kong-based Ausnutria Dairy, one of the leading local suppliers of infant formula in the Chinese market. This clearly marks a change in direction for the government, which has hitherto been focusing its efforts on regulation in this sector, says leading data and analytics company GlobalData.
Local suppliers in China are yet to recover from the melamine contamination scandal in 2008, with parents continuing to put their faith in foreign-made milks even after a decade. . .
Leave a Comment » | business, environment, Farming, food, rural | Tagged: a2 Milk Company (a2MC), Andy Borland, CITIC Group, Eric Crampton, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, Keith Woodford, Livestock Improvement Corp, Mike Jebson, Ministry for the Environment, Nestle, NZX, Our Land 2018, QE II National Trust, QEII covenants, Scales Corp, Tina Morrison, Uptown Farms | Permalink
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Provincial president reflects on future of farming belonging to those who are good at what they do – Pat Deavoll:
South Canterbury sheep and beef farmer Mark Adams has been the provincial Federated Farmers president for the district for almost three years.
His face and opinions are commonplace in online news and the Canterbury farming mags. He farms just north of Fairlie amongst a pleasant, fertile and rolling landscape. In the winter the local ski fields form a snowy backdrop to the farm.
Adams’ term of office with the Feds comes to a close in April. He is reflective on the past three years and says representing farmers in the district has been satisfying. But there’s been a lot to get his head around. . .
Record temperatures tough on stock – Esther Taunton:
With much of Taranaki hit by drought and other parts of New Zealand experiencing record-breaking temperatures, AgResearch scientists say the pressure is on farmers to carefully manage animal welfare.
The soaring temperatures across the country include the hottest recorded temperature in Dunedin and Invercargill over recent days. The increased heat and humidity raises issues around the welfare of livestock as well as production from those animals.
Over the last 15 years, AgResearch scientists have carried out extensive research into how dairy cows cope with heat. That research has provided important insights for animal management, says senior scientist Dr Karin Schütz. . .
Farmers welcome 90 day work trial retention :
Fears difficulties attracting staff to farming would be exacerbated by employment law changes appear to have subsided with the Government retaining the 90-day trial provisions for small businesses.
Federated Farmers employment spokesman Chris Lewis said allowing businesses employing less than 20 staff to retain the trial would give farmers renewed confidence to employ staff, given the main concern for dairy farmers was a lack of available, motivated workers.
“Many employ few staff, but because of the small size of the business, they simply can’t afford the situation or inconvenience when new staff aren’t suited for the job or can’t fit in,” he said.
Retaining the 90-day trial would give farmers confidence to employ staff. . .
Dear neighbor we need NAFTA, love, your local farm family – Uptown Farms:
You pass by our local business daily, even though we don’t have a storefront on Main Street. You drive by our production lines to and from work each day, although you probably just call them fields. You probably don’t give much thought at all to the corn, cattle and soybeans we are raising.
It would probably surprise you to know, that right here in our own little county, $126.6 million in sales is created each year by the farm families and that 1,173 jobs that are supported by those sales. For a rural county, with total population just over 12,000, those numbers are rather significan . .
Leave a Comment » | animal welfare, business, environment, Farming, food, rural, trade | Tagged: 90 day trial, AgResearch, Chris Lewis, Dr Karin Schütz, Esther Taunton, Federated Famers, Mark Adams, NAFTA, Pat Deavoll, Uptown Farms | Permalink
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Let’s crunch the facts and the debate on irrigation – AgriView NZ:
The Labour Government’s decision to cut additional funding for new irrigation plans has sparked debate over the value of irrigation to agriculture and the economy in recent weeks. According to the 2017 Manifesto on water policy, Labour will “Honour existing commitments, but remove Crown subsidies for the funding of further water storage and irrigation schemes”, a measure falling under the government’s wider aims to improve water quality nationwide, and “restore our rivers and lakes to a truly swimmable state within a generation”.
For Dr. Mike Joy, senior lecturer in Ecology and Zoology at Massey University’s Institute of Agriculture and Environment, the negative environmental impacts of intensive irrigated systems are undeniable. . .
Lepto no longer men-only disease – Peter Burke:
With more women working in farming, more are contracting the disease leptospirosis, says the president of Rural Women NZ, Fiona Gower.
She told Dairy News, at a recent international conference on leptospirosis in Palmerston North, that the changing nature of the workforce on farms and in the rural sector generally means this disease is no longer a probably only for men.
Women are getting to work on farms in their own right or in a partnership, “feeding calves, milking cows, doing work with the stock — much more hands on these days”. . .
The AstinoTM: New Zealand’s newest sheep breed moves wool up the value chain:
Developed by wool innovation specialists Lanaco, The Astino is bred specifically for the company’s premium, wool-based healthcare products – offering farmers the opportunity for better wool returns.
Breeder Andy Ramsden says Astino represents a positive step-change in the industry.
“It’s increasingly clear that supplying generic wool on the open market is not sustainable. The way forward for farmers is twofold – transitioning to innovative new breeds that are branded and controlled and forming partnerships with manufacturers like Lanaco, who have the global reach and marketing capability to earn a premium”. . .
Did ewe know . . . wool clothing helps your skin breathe and regulate temperate better.
New national Dairying Award announced:
A new national award will recognise dairy farmers who demonstrate leadership in their approach to sustainable dairying and who are ambassadors for the industry.
The Fonterra Farm Source Responsible Dairying Award has been introduced by the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards to recognise those dairy farmers who are respected by their farming peers and their community for their attitude and role in sustainable dairying.
Rachel Baker, NZDIA Executive Chair, says that farmers are being encouraged to share stories of how they are farming responsibly, both environmentally and socially. . .
Beef reads into the headlines – Shan Goodwin:
BY 2020, health related expenditure in Australia is expected to overtake the spend on restaurants and hotels.
Meanwhile, incomes are growing fast in Asia.
Dishonest companies are being exposed online.
Consumers are looking for country of label origins on food packaging.
And the plethora of competing sources of information means nobody knows what or who to trust.
As inconceivable at it may seem, these apparent peripheral tidbits all have quite the potential to influence the future fortunes of the Australian cattle producer. . .
We must not take NAFTA’s blessings for granted – Tim Burrack:
How is NAFTA good for your children and grandchildren?” A very direct – and insightful – question asked by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer at a recent round of NAFTA talks, according to an account in last week’s Wall Street Journal.
Patrick J. Ottensmeyer, a railroad executive who described the incident, offered his own response in an op-ed. He cited the usual statistics: U.S. farm exports to Canada and Mexico have quadrupled since NAFTA lowered tariffs in the 1990s. Without this trade agreement, he wrote, the billions of dollars in goods and services that we now sell to Canadians and Mexicans “would be replaced by products from other markets,” such as Europe and South America.
All that’s true. I’ll even take it a step further: Without NAFTA, America’s agriculture-dependent heartland would sink into a new depression. . .
Early releases and empty aisles: is this the beginning of the wnd to the #StockShowLife? – Uptown Farms:
The North American International Livestock Exposition is wrapping up and as is customary, my newsfeed is filled with pictures from the green shavings.
There’s an emerging theme to this year’s photos and posts- one of emptiness. The show introduced a new, shortened schedule for the first time in years, drastically reducing the number of animals and people that held over to the end.
Those exhibitors still left are posting pictures of empty barn aisles and vacant ringside seats, even while Supreme Champions are being selected.
It’s heartbreaking. . .
Leave a Comment » | business, environment, Farming, food, language, rural | Tagged: AgriView NZ, Andy Ramsden, Astino, Dairy News, Dr Mike Joy, Fiona Gower, Fonterra Farm Source Responsible Dairying Award, Lanaco, leptospirosis, NAFTA, North American International Livestock Exposition, NZ Dairy Industry Awards, Rachel Baker, Robert Lighthizer, Rural Women NZ, Shan Goodwin, Stock & Land, Tim Burrack, Uptown Farms | Permalink
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Young sheep and beef farmers lift their performance with small tweaks – Brittany Pickett:
For Matt and Joe McRae, getting their ewes to perform at a consistently high level is their number one goal.
The young Southland brothers – who farm their 575 hectare effective rolling hill country farm Eilean Donan in partnership – are aiming to have their ewes lambing more than 150 per cent every year and, more importantly, grow the lambs to maximise every kilogram produced per hectare.
“The lambing percentage is only one part of it, it’s the product out the gate that pays the bills,” Matt says. . .
Let’s get the facts, not fiction, on M.bovis – Geoff Gwyn:
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) wishes to set the record straight regarding the article titled ‘Imported semen fingered for M.bovis outbreak’ in Rural News October 24.
Read the article here
In the article, Chris Morley, DairyNZ biosecurity manager stated that, in his opinion, he would bet on semen as the most likely source of the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. Of course, Mr Morley is entitled to his opinion, but the fact of that matter is that MPI does not know how or when Mycoplasma bovis entered NZ, although significant efforts are being made to find out.
A full investigation is looking at six possible means of entry: live animals, imported semen, embryos, contaminated equipment, biological material (such as vaccines) and feed. While this is underway, we are not going to speculate on the origin of the disease in NZ. . .
Saltwater intrusion – Waimea Water:
What is saltwater intrusion
In the 2001 drought, saltwater intrusion occurred in the lower reaches of the Waimea River and was threatening to migrate further inland. In March Tasman District Council opened talks to consider options to protect the dry riverbed. Because the river had no flows, no river water was flushing the saltwater out and it was instead accumulating on the estuary. The Council discussed building a bund across the river and drilling monitoring bores to better monitor how the saltwater contamination was migrating inland, including to the urban supply bores. Ultimately, three urban supply wells were shut down over this period and two were decommissioned at the end of the drought.
Saltwater intrusion is a threat to coastal communities. Once saltwater has entered an underground freshwater system (aquifer) and contaminates it, it can cost much more to treat it for consumption or simply render the supply unusable. For people along the Waimea Plains who rely on bores for their water supply, saltwater intrusion is a real issue. . .
Why blaming farmers doesn’t hold water – Vaughan Jones:
Water is being discussed across the country, but without solutions. Farmers are blamed, never townies, but look at this photo of polluted water entering the Waikato River just upstream of Fairfield Bridge, in September 2016. If a farmer did the same, they would be fined up to $50,000 and closed down until fixed. I’ve been told by a person that what looked like toilet paper was in some of it.
Environment Waikato told me in 1995 that Hamilton needed four sediment ponds. There are still none while thousands have been built on farms at high cost. This is another example showing that rules for farmers are stricter than for townies.
Waikato Regional Council has forced some farmers to build sediment ponds, but they are negatives because of high costs, and because fresh effluent is of more value and causes less polluting when spread fresh, not months later during which time much has been lost into the air, polluting it, and reduced its fertilising value. . .
Bay of Islands P&I Show runs in the family:
Sam and Christine Ludbrook will be at the Bay of Islands Pastoral and Industrial Show at Waimate North this weekend, as they have been every year for decades. And they won’t be the only Ludbrooks there by any means.
The show was first staged, as an agricultural demonstration, at the Waimate North mission in 1842. It’s still going strong 175 years later, making it the oldest show of its kind in the country.
And Ludbrooks have been there from the start.
Sam’s grandfather was there in the early days, exhibiting stock, and his brother was on the committee. And while no one can be absolutely sure, it is almost certain that his great-grandfather, Samuel Blomfield Ludbrook, was there in 1842. . .
Which NZ university has the best employment rates?
As we get older what we talk about with friends changes. This is because of the challenges faced and experiences shared. So when Megan Hands’ friends from her hometown started talking about the choices they had to make when they finished studying, she found she couldn’t join in.
After finishing school, Hands left home in the Manawatu and moved south because she wanted to study both environmental management and agriculture, and Lincoln University offered exactly what she was looking for. Fast forward to graduation and she found some of her contemporaries were having conversations completely outside what she had experienced.
Hands is now running her own farming sustainability company as an environmental consultant.
The experience of Hands and others in her year group are typical for Lincoln University graduates. In Ministry of Education statistics released recently, Lincoln University Bachelor’s Degree graduate employment rates are consistently the highest among New Zealand universities. A survey of graduates from the Lincoln class of 2016 found that 93 percent of those employed were in career-related positions. . .
#My60acres: soybean harvest – Uptown farms:
#My60Acres is harvested again! This was the second year Matt let me play a leading role in the management of a sixty acre field on our home farm, and my first soybean crop.
I didn’t get to start the morning with him because my work schedule has been a little hectic, so I didn’t join until late afternoon. But as soon as I got there, he slid over and let me take the wheel.
It might sound odd that he couldn’t wait a day or two for my schedule to be better, but soybean harvest is very time sensitive. We have to wait long enough the plants are dry, but not too long. . .
Leave a Comment » | business, environment, Farming, food, rural | Tagged: Bay of Islands Pastoral and Industrial Show, Brittany Pickett, Chris Morley, Christine Ludbrook, DairyNZ, Eilean Donan, Environment Waikato, Fonterra Farmers, Geoff Gwyn, Joe McRae, Lincoln University, Matt McRae, Megan Hands, Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), Mycoplasma bovis, saltwater intrusion, Sam Ludbrook, Samuel Blomfield Ludbrook, Uptown Farms, Vaughan Jones, Waikato River, Waimea Water | Permalink
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Westland Milk makes case to be NZ poster-child for clean, green dairy, eyes other ingredients – Jonathan Underhill
(BusinessDesk) – Westland Milk Products says it’s a better poster child for New Zealand’s clean, green image than some of its rivals and having returned to profit it is now focused on ensuring its returns to farmers stay competitive as it grows.
“When people think of New Zealand they think of clean water, green pastures, forest-covered hills and snowy peaks,” said chief executive Toni Brendish, who started in September 2016. “Westland is the exemplar of this landscape. Our shareholders’ farms literally border world heritage national parks. More than 90 percent of our rivers meet or exceed the criteria for ‘swimmable’.” . . .
Cattle disease may be more widespread – Van Leeuwen – Alexa Cook:
The dairy farmer at the centre of the South Island cattle disease outbreak is worried it could be more widespread than thought.
First discovered in July, mycoplasma bovis has been found on seven farms in South Canterbury and North Otago – five of them owned by the Van Leeuwen Dairy Group who have 16 farms in the area.
On Wednesday the Ministry for Primary industries (MPI) quarantined two new properties that border a Van Leeuwen farm because of “suspicious” tests. . .
Breeding company wants standardised testing– Alexa Cook:
Artificial breeding company World Wide Sires New Zealand is calling on the industry to bring in a standard testing process for the cattle disease mycoplasma bovis.
The disease was first discovered in July and to date has been found on seven farms in South Canterbury and North Otago, five owned by the large Van Leeuwen Dairy Group.
About 4000 thousand infected cows are being culled and the Ministry for Primary industries is cautiously optimistic that the disease is contained. . .
Start of export season best for years – Heather Chalmers:
Record returns of more than $10 a kilogram for venison and more than $4/kg for mutton point to one of the brightest starts to the meat export season for many years.
Demand and pricing for lamb is also strong.
While export returns typically peak in spring, as exporters compete for limited supplies of livestock to fill higher-value chilled markets, prices are still well up on the same time last year. . .
Taking care of big country business – Andrea Fox:
Keeping his animals content and happy was always a fundamental farming principle for Paparata Farms owner Trevor Johnson. Now he’s passed that baton to his staff, he’s applying the same zeal to looking after them.
“My staff and I are a team and I get a lot of satisfaction out of supporting them and providing an environment where they and their families are happy,” says Johnson, whose 7100-hectare high-performance romney and cattle breeding operation on the Forgotten World Highway west of Taumarunui is gearing up for its 29th annual ram sale.
“It’s rewarding, caring for people and seeing them enjoy the work they are doing.” . .
Rural Equities eyes investment outside of NZ rural property, citing ‘uncertain’ outlook – Tina Morrison:
(BusinessDesk) – Rural Equities, the farming group majority-owned by the Cushing family, is eyeing investments outside New Zealand rural property where it sees an “uncertain” future.
The Hastings-based company, which owns 22 farms in New Zealand, told shareholders in its annual report published this week that directors decided to consider new long-term investment opportunities in other asset classes and potentially other jurisdictions to provide enhanced returns and portfolio diversification. . .
Sheep ‘can recognise human faces’ – Paul Rincon:
Sheep have demonstrated the ability to recognise familiar human faces, according to a study.
Cambridge University researchers were able to train sheep to identify the faces of actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Emma Watson, former US President Barack Obama and BBC newsreader Fiona Bruce.
After training, the sheep chose photos of familiar faces over unfamiliar ones significantly more often than not.
It shows that sheep possess similar face recognition abilities to primates. . .
#We are those farmers – Uptown Farms:
Shortly after our oldest was born, I started reading everything the search engine returned about how to feed children the “right way”. It would be a few more years before I realized this is almost never a good idea.
From the first article on, an overwhelming weight was being pushed onto my shoulders. The weight of fear, fear of our food.
Everywhere I looked, I was being told our food was scary. It wasn’t like it “used to be”. It wasn’t “natural”. It wasn’t “simple” or “clean”.
His runny nose, my extra baby weight, his occasional rashes, my cough, our inability to sleep well, the mysterious missing other sock – all clearly stemmed from consuming this new “Franken-food”.
I was being told this, being sold this, by food manufactures and restaurants and bloggers and even other moms. I was being told I had to pay more, be more selective, and demand more. I had to “know my farmer” and “buy local” or else…
Leave a Comment » | business, environment, Farming, food, rural | Tagged: Alexa Cook, Andrea Fox, Barack Obama, Cambridge University, Cushing family, Emma Watson, Fiona Bruce, Fonterra Farmers, Heather Chalmers, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jonathan Underhill, Mycoplasma bovis, Paparata Farms, Paul McGill, Paul Rincon, Rural Equities, Tina Morrison, Trevor Johnson, Uptown Farms, Van Leeuwen Dairy Group, Westland Milk Products, World Wide Sires NZ | Permalink
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New version of capitalism coming, rural-urban bridges have to mend: Bagrie – Gerald Piddock:
New Zealand’s economy is in a transition of old economic drivers stepping aside for a new “social-justice” version of capitalism.
The three big engines that had driven the economy – migration, construction and tourism – had peaked and would make way for a new version of capitalism, ANZ chief economist Cameron Bagrie said.
That form of capitalism would feature a higher level of government spending following tight controls in the National-led government, he told farmers and agri-business people at the launch of the 2017 Fieldays Economic Impact Report at Mystery Creek on Thursday. . .
Milking sustainably more than compliance:
With the growing focus on regulation in New Zealand, you could be forgiven for thinking that milking sustainably is all about meeting limits.
But limits are just part of the equation and truly sustainable businesses are striking a balance to get the best out of their farms, their people and the environment. Here, a group of farmers share their experiences of developing a Sustainable Milk Plan (SMP) with DairyNZ.
SMPs were first developed by DairyNZ about five years ago, funded by the farmers’ levy and co-delivered by consultants in areas where the pace of regulation was accelerating. Their primary purpose was to help raise awareness of environmental issues and start a conversation with the farmer about how to move their business to a more sustainable footing – before change was forced upon them. . .
Fonterra trims 2018 milk collection forecast on wet August, September – Paul McBeth:
(BusinessDesk) – Fonterra Cooperative Group trimmed its milk collection outlook for the 2018 season after a wet August and September sapped production, especially in the North Island.
The Auckland-based cooperative lowered the forecast to 1,540 million kilograms of milk solids for the year ending May 31, 2018 from a previous projection of 1,575 kgMS, it said in its latest Global Dairy Update. Fonterra collected 171 million kgMS in September, down 2 percent from the same month a year earlier, while the year-to-date collection slipped 1 percent to 294 million kgMS. . .
Synthetic foods to have ‘major impact’ within 10 to 15 years – Sir Peter Gluckman – Tom Pullar-Strecker:
New Zealand may need to reconsider its approach to genetically modified crops to respond to the economic threat presented by synthetic milk and meat, the Prime Minister’s chief science adviser, Sir Peter Gluckman, has suggested.
Gluckman told the NZBio biotechnology conference in Wellington that great strides were being made commercialising artificial milk and meat, which usually rely on genetically modified (GM) ingredients to enhance their taste or texture.
He thought most milk sold worldwide in 20 to 25 years could be synthetic, though it might be “some time” before scientists could create a T-bone steak. . .
Grass-fed steak with a side of environmental enhancement?:
Consumers are to be asked what attributes in beef and lamb are important to them in their purchase decisions in a research project led by Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Greenlea Premier Meats and Lincoln University’s Agribusiness and Economics Research Unit (AERU).
The research, which will be focused on high market potential states or cities in the US and China, will test consumers’ awareness of New Zealand red meat and gain an understanding of the attributes that are important to them. . .
Amazing grazing: why grass-fed beef isn’t to blame in the climate change debate – Diana Rodgers:
My inbox has been inundated with people freaking out about recent papers and articles claiming that grass-fed beef is NOT going to save the planet. Basically, these scientists are ignoring important research and not looking at the full picture. While there’s still work to be done, many have proven that yes, in fact, grass-fed beef IS better for the planet.
I’ve found there are three reasons why people are conflicted about eating meat. The environmental argument is just one. We’re also fed a lot of misinformation about the nutritional implications of eating meat and conflicted about the ethics of eating animals. I get it. While I don’t argue for factory farming, I do offer some logical, concrete reasons for why meat, especially grass-fed beef, is one of the most nutrient-dense foods for humans and according to the principle of least harm, large ruminants like cattle are the most ethical protein choice. . .
If you’re thinking about marrying a farmers stop – Uptown Farms:
I’m 400 miles from home, getting ready to walk into a church for a wedding, without my farmer. It’s not the first, nor the last, event I’ll attend without him at my side.
It’s harvest season, which means anything I do that isn’t in the cab of a combine, likely doesn’t involve him.
It’s been almost almost nine years ago since I said, “I do”, and walking into another wedding has me thinking…
If you’re thinking about marrying a farmer, stop. . .
Leave a Comment » | business, environment, Farming, food, rural | Tagged: Beef + Lamb NZ (B+LNZ), Brendan O'Connell, Cameron Bagrie, DairyNZ, Diana Rodgers, Fonterra, GM food, Greenlea Premier Meats, Lincoln University, Mark Fennell, NZBio, Paul McBeth, Sir Peter Gluckman, Tom Pullar-Strecker, Uptown Farms | Permalink
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Rockit Global is Hawke’s Bay Exporter of the Year:
Specialist apple grower Rockit Global has been named ExportNZ Hawke’s Bay’s ASB Exporter of the Year.
They were presented with the award by the Head of Trade Finance at ASB Bank, Mike Atkins, at the sold-out awards dinner last night at the Napier Conference Centre.
Rockit Global had earlier in the night won the Napier Port Industry Trail Blazer Award. . .
Arable Farmers Honoured with Inaugural Awards:
The best and brightest of the country’s arable industry was celebrated and honoured at last night’s Federated Farmers’ Arable Industry Conference and AGM at Lincoln.
At the climax of the industry’s annual get together was the presentation of two inaugural awards.
Mid-Canterbury farmer Eric Watson was crowned Federated Farmers /Bayer Arable Farmer of the Year with Karen Williams from the Wairarapa awarded Federated Farmers’ Biosecurity Farmer of the Year.
$85 million for new Lincoln University facilities:
Primary sector education, research and innovation will receive a significant boost thanks to a capital injection for state-of-the-art new buildings at Lincoln University, Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment and Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith announced today.
The Government has agreed to provide Lincoln University with $85 million to support the construction of new shared education and research facilities with AgResearch on the university’s campus. The investment will help Lincoln University’s recovery from the Canterbury earthquakes by replacing earthquake damaged buildings with modern teaching and research spaces. . .
#My60Acres: Is it really illegal for me to keep my own seed? – Uptown Farms:
Its growing day 30 and we have been blessed with timely rainfalls for #My60Acres! The soybeans are doing well and starting to become more visible among the cover crop and last year’s corn stubble.
As I have had the opportunity to talk about my soybean crop, I’ve realized people have some of the same questions I did about soybeans. Is it really illegal for farmers to keep their own seed? Does the government force us to grow GMO crops?
I think these are important questions and with all the misinformation available, I wanted to tackle them head on.
Is it really illegal for me to keep soybean seed from #My60acres to plant next year?
The short answer is – yes, it is! When we decide to purchase certain seeds, we sign a contract that we will not keep seed to replant. But why the heck would farmers be OK with that? . .
Mid-2018 opening for Lorneville venison plant – Sally Rae:
Alliance Group’s new $15.2million venison processing facility at Lorneville is expected to be operational in mid-2018.
Plans were announced last year to build the plant in a refurbished beef building, funded with proceeds from selling Makarewa land.
In the latest update to suppliers, chief executive David Surveyor said the team had been working since then to improve the design. . .
Kiwifruit industry to create 29k jobs by 2030:
The kiwifruit industry will generate 29,000 new jobs and add an annual $3.5 billion to New Zealand’s gross domestic product by 2030, with much of the growth driven by new cultivars such as Gold 3, according to a Waikato University report for Zespri International.
The nation’s statutory kiwifruit exporter commissioned the report to look at the economic contribution of the industry to the Bay of Plenty, Northland and New Zealand as a whole. The report finds that both the Bay of Plenty, which has the lion’s share of the industry, and Northland will enjoy a similar impetus to regional GDP – 135% between 2016 and 2030, with the contribution to Bay of Plenty GDP rising to $2.04b from $867 million and Northland’s to $72m from $30.6m. . .
Skifield possums return – Guy Williams:
Queenstown’s furry skifield saboteurs may have struck again.
For the second time in a fortnight, the Remarkables ski area was unable to open yesterday because of a power cut possibly caused by possums.
Ski area manager Ross Lawrence said the outage occurred about 6.45am.
”I was doing our reports saying we were opening, then bang, the power went out.”
A helicopter took to the air at dawn and found a power pole, with a dead possum attached, on the mountain’s lower slopes about 15 minutes later.
However, power could not be restored immediately, forcing him to close the ski area for the day. . .
Colonial homestead in North Canterbury abandoned by UK owners, looking for love – Colleen Hawkes:
No-one is building houses like this any more, which makes it all the more sad that this majestic homestead has been abandoned for the past six years.
The colonial beauty in Swannanoa, North Canterbury, known as Northwood, was last sold in 2011 to a family living in the UK. But due to changed personal circumstances, their dream plans for relocation fell through.
Now, they need to sell, says listing agent Mitchell Roberts of Harcourts Twiss-Keir Realty in Christchurch. . .
Leave a Comment » | business, Farming, food, horticulture, rural, trade | Tagged: AgResearch, Alliance Group, David Surveyor, ExportNZ Hawke’s Bay’s ASB Exporter of the Year, Federated Farmers /Bayer Arable Farmer of the Year, Lincoln University, Lorneville, Mike Atkins, Mitchell Roberts, Northwood, Paul Goldsmith, Remarkables, Rockit Global, Ross Lawrence, Sally Rae, Swannanoa, Uptown Farms, Zespri | Permalink
Posted by homepaddock
Riding the dairy rollercoaster – Ian Telfer:
Head just west from Riverton, Southland, turn inland from stony Colac Bay and the wilder waters of Foveaux Strait, and you reach the Mathieson family farm.
Sandwiched between the sea and the bush-covered slopes of Longwood Forest, it’s where Ewen Mathieson was born, and has remained ever since.
“It’s a pretty special place.”
For most of its history, the 650-hectare farm ran mainly sheep and beef, but in 2008 – the year the National-led government was elected – the family decided to convert to dairy.
It turned out to be interesting timing. . .
Researchers confident of pāua comeback after quake:
Researchers studying how pāua have been impacted by the Kaikōura earthquake say it is not yet clear how long it will take the species to recover.
November’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake lifted parts of coastline up by several metres in places, dehydrating and killing thousands of exposed pāua.
Last year the government announced a $2 million research package to look at how marine life was coping after the disaster.
Pāua are one of the species thought to have fared worst in the Kaikōura earthquake. A ban on collecting them and all other shellfish and seaweed in the area, excluding crayfish, is in place until November this year – when it will be reviewed. . .
Green Ribbon Awards showcase farmers’ environmental work:
Federated Farmers is delighted to see farmers’ environmental work being showcased and celebrated at the annual Green Ribbon Awards in Wellington last night.
The Ministers for Environment and Conservation who hosted the event announced two farmer led initiatives as winners; The Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust was honoured in the community leadership category, while Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu was winner of the Kaitiaki Leadership category.
In all, there were five farmer led initiatives which were 2017 finalists, underlining kiwi farmers’ commitment to the environment and biodiversity. . .
Grow large with milk – Eric Crampton:
It would be tempting to take these results and make a case for ending Canadian dairy supply management, but there are better reasons for ending Canadian supply management.
A new paper out in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows there’s an association between children drinking non-dairy milk, as opposed to cow’s milk, and lower heights.
The press release doesn’t link to the paper. Here’s the link to the paper if you’re interested.
The press release talks about associations but doesn’t say anything about causality. Nevertheless, the author goes on about the lack of regulation of protein content in non-dairy milk.
And hey, maybe that’s what’s going on. Reduced protein intake could be doing it. . .
Global demand fueling forestry export growth:
Strong demand from key markets is driving up export growth in forestry products, Associate Primary Industries Minister Louise Upston says.
The latest Ministry for Primary Industries’ Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries (SOPI) shows strong growth in the forestry sector.
“Forestry exports are expected to grow 6.4 per cent to $5.5 billion in 2017, before increasing further to $6.3 billion by 2021 as increased volumes of wood become available for harvest,” Ms Upston says. . .
Proud moment as New Zealand farmers take their wool to the world stage:
Seeing their product presented to the North American market was an emotional and triumphant experience for a group of New Zealand wool growers last month.
Just Shorn®, Carrfields Primary Wool (CP Wool)’s range of premium New Zealand wool carpets and rugs, was launched in New York City on May 18 at an event attended by New Zealand Trade Commissioner – Consul General, Beatrice Faumuina.
Craig Carr, managing director of Carrfields, said the farmers who attended the event were immensely proud to see the finished carpets and rugs, which are now available from US luxury flooring specialist Carlisle, presented at the event. . .
Soybeans: Missouri’s Super Crop! Planting #My60Acres – Uptown farms:
It’s ‘s growing day 10 already and I am just now telling the story of planting #My60Acres! Many of you will remember from last year that my farmer husband gave me full access to take over one, 60 acre field on our home farm.
Last year #My60Acres was planted to corn (you can read that story here). I delayed planting a few days (because I didn’t want to take time off from my day job) and it cost me in yield at harvest time because I hit some wet, cold weather right after planting. . .
Sileni Estates wins Platinum at the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards in London:
Hawke’s Bay producer, Sileni Estates, has been awarded Platinum at the 2017 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) for its 2014 Estate Selection Peak Syrah.
The Decanter World Wine Awards is one of the world’s largest and most influential international wine competitions judged by the top wine experts, Masters of Wine and Master Sommeliers from around the world. . .
Xero urges agri sector to Improve glacial invoicing:
Xero announces new app developments, agri-specific reporting templates and benchmarking capability
As Fieldays is in full swing and businesses have been spending up large, Xero is urging agri businesses to proactively manage their finances.
Craig Hudson, New Zealand Country Manager at Xero, says the agri sector has some of the longest payment terms Xero sees across New Zealand.
“The concept of monthly invoicing is outdated for the agri sector. If you aren’t invoicing as you complete work, you are missing a trick. The sector will be losing out on millions due to the unnecessary cost of financing negative cashflow. . .
Leave a Comment » | business, environment, Farming, fishing, food, forestry, rural | Tagged: Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust, Beatrice Faumuina, Carrfields Primary Wool (CP Wool), Colac Bay, Craig Carr, Craig Hudson, Decanter World Wine Awards, Eric Crampton, Ewen Mathieson, Federated Farmers, Green Ribbon Awards, Ian Telfer, Just Shorn, Kaikoura earthquake, Longwood Forest, Louise Upston, paua, Primary Industries’ Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries (SOPI), Sileni Estates, Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu, Uptown Farms, Xero | Permalink
Posted by homepaddock
Stop the open season on farmers – Chris Allen:
An open letter to anglers, hunters and farmers – it’s time for meaningful discussion:
This Saturday (6 May) thousands of farmers will open their properties up to hunters for the opening of the 2017 duck shooting season. Throughout the year farmers provide access to waterways across their properties – to enable anglers the opportunity of catching trout.
Farmers, often in partnership with their local fish and game folk, have spent significant time and money creating and restoring wetland habitats. Strong friendships have been established between hunters/anglers and landowners. In recognition of this partnership, resident landowners and their families do not need a Fish and Game licence to shoot or fish on their own properties.
In some regions the Fish and Game licence revenue has been used to make the life of landowners that much more difficult. As a result, some Fish and Game licence holders may not face the same friendly welcome by their farmer friends this year. . .
Crown Irrigation provides funding for Kurow Duntroon Irrigation Scheme
Crown Irrigation Investments Ltd. (Crown Irrigation) has agreed development grant funding of $388,000 for Kurow Duntroon Irrigation Company (KDIC), matching the company’s own financial contribution for this development phase. The funding is required to complete the remaining work to reach construction commencement and confirm the commercial viability of the proposed scheme.
The current community-based scheme was established in 1965 irrigating on the south bank of the Waitaki River below the dam, however it is now in need of major work.
KDIC is seeking to upgrade and expand the existing open canal scheme with a fully piped system capable of expanding irrigation capacity from its existing 1,986ha to potentially 6,000ha. The water supply comprises consented takes from the Waitaki dam and river together with additional supply from the existing McKenzie Irrigation Company. . .
Response underway following myrtle rust find
A biosecurity response is underway after the detection of myrtle rust on mainland New Zealand for the first time, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Conservation Minister Maggie Barry have announced today.
Myrtle rust is a fungal disease which can seriously damage various species of native and introduced plants in the myrtle family, including pohutukawa, rata, manuka, gum, bottlebrush and feijoa.
“The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) was notified on Tuesday evening by a nursery in Kerikeri that five pohutakawa seedlings had suspected myrtle rust, and laboratory testing has now confirmed this,” says Mr Guy.
“MPI has moved quickly and initiated a Restricted Place notice to restrict the movement of any plants and people at the site, and is treating nursery stock with fungicide spray as a precaution. Work is also underway to trace any stock that has left the nursery and all other nurseries in Kerikeri are being inspected today. . .
New Zealand’s fisheries continue to be well managed:
The overwhelming majority of New Zealand’s commercial fisheries are performing well, according to MPI’s latest stock assessments.
The Status of New Zealand’s Fisheries report for 2016 released this week shows a record percentage of the tonnage and value of landings of scientifically evaluated stocks have no sustainability issues.
The report shows ninety seven percent of scientifically evaluated landings were from stocks above or well above sustainable levels, Seafood New Zealand chief executive Tim Pankhurst said.
“The figures show that New Zealand continues to be a world leader in fisheries management,” he said. . .
Breeding blue cod brings new possibilities:
Scientists have managed to successfully breed blue cod for the first time, a milestone that will support the development of a new aquaculture industry for New Zealand.
In association with Ngāi Tahu Seafood Ltd, the Seafood Technologies team at Plant & Food Research in Nelson are investigating how to breed different species of native fish in captivity, building knowledge of the conditions required for the fish to successfully reproduce.
For the first time, they have managed to breed and grow blue cod to fingerlings. New Zealand can now consider potential opportunities for this desirable table fish, such as intensive aquaculture grow out or supplementing local populations under pressure from fishing. . .
Ara primary industries restructure:
Ara Institute of Canterbury’s proposal to restructure Primary Industries programmes is designed to adjust provision to align with industry demands, Chief Executive Kay Giles said.
“We are disappointed that the Tertiary Education Union has chosen to portray this review as a ‘betrayal of Timaru’, which clearly does not accurately reflect the facts of the review consultation document.”
“It is our responsibility to the Timaru community and the Primary Industries sector to adjust the portfolio to offer the right programmes for the needs of employers. There has been very little demand for the particular programmes that are under review so we need to put our energy where there will be much more value for the primary sector.” . .
Showcase Comes to Southland:
Southland is hosting the National Sustainability Showcase of the Ballance Farm Environment Awards for the first time at the end of this month.
Up to 400 people will be attending a gala dinner at the Ascot Park Hotel in Invercargill on Wednesday May 31. Tickets are on sale on http://www.bfea.org.nz.
Eleven award ceremonies have already been held around the country and each regional supreme winner has been invited to the Showcase to be considered for the Gordon Stephenson Trophy – named in honour of Waikato farmer and noted conservationist, the late Gordon Stephenson. . .
When I say goodbye to Farm Credit – Uptown Farms
“I hope we can keep you all here.”
We had just wrapped up a team presentation to our Board of Directors. The comment came across as a compliment, so I smiled and politely responded that I love my work here.
On the drive home, and numerous times since that day, I found myself thinking about his comment.
I’ve never worked anywhere else. Or at least a real “grown-up job” anywhere else. Since I sat down at my first Farm Credit desk as a 21 year old intern, I’ve never left. The offers have been there. But I could list on a single hand the hours I’ve actually contemplated leaving. . .
Leave a Comment » | business, environment, Farming, fishing, food, rural | Tagged: Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA), Chris Allen, Crown Irrigation Investments Limited (CIIL), duck shooting, Farm Credit, Federated Farmers, Fish & Game, Gordon Stephenson Trophy, Kurow Duntroon Irrigation Company (KDIC), Maggie Barry, myrtle rust, Nathan Guy, Ngāi Tahu Seafood, Plant & Food Research, Seafood NZ, Status of New Zealand’s Fisheries, Tim Pankhurst, Uptown Farms | Permalink
Posted by homepaddock
Door-to-door farm visits welcomed as floodwaters recede and costs become clearer:
Teams from the local Rural Support Trust and Red Cross have been documenting destroyed pastures, damaged homes and inundated orchards, as they carry out assessment visits to flood-affected farms and orchards in the Bay of Plenty.
“Our farming and growing families have been very stoic in getting through the flooding, and now our visit is a chance for them to sit down, have a cup of tea, and see what they need to move forwards with recovery,” says Igor Gerritson from the Bay of Plenty Rural Support Trust.
“What’s immediately clear is the extra cost associated with the evacuations of about 5000 cows, and the pressing need to buy feed for stock whose grazing is destroyed by floodwaters. The cost of transporting stock out alone is estimated to be $75,000 in the first week of the event.” . .
Fifty years of Canterbury farming revolution – Keith Woodford,
The ideas for this article were triggered by a recent reunion of former Ministry of Agriculture Canterbury farm advisers. There were about 45 of us who got together to tell tales of former years. Our collective experiences that day went back to 1946 when Austin Ebert joined what was then the Department of Agriculture, followed by Les Bennetts in 1947, and then Lyndsay Galloway and Dave Reynolds a few years later.
I was one of the later recruits, joining as a fresh-faced and very ‘wet behind the ears’ 22-year old at the end of 1969, having just completed a four-year agricultural science degree at Lincoln University. Compared to many, my farm adviser career was short. I only lasted two years, one year either side of two years back at Lincoln for a Master of Agricultural Science degree, before heading off to South America for mountain-climbing and other adventures. But those two years as a farm adviser were enough to create many memories, and also to learn many lessons, both from colleagues and some very experienced farmers. . .
Wet autumn weather a ‘big shake-up’ for crop farmers:
Cropping farmers throughout New Zealand are feeling the impact of a wet autumn, with two cyclones this month leaving many crops underwater or too wet to get machinery in to harvest it.
New Zealand has been drenched in recent weeks, with the remnants of Cyclones Cook and Debbie causing widespread flooding.
Federated Farmers spokesperson Katie Milne said farmers across the country had been hit in different ways by the storms and while some areas had plenty of feed, others were struggling. . .
Pumped Dry – Central Otago farmers’ fight for water – Ian Telfer:
Alarm is growing in the farms and orchards in the country’s driest region as irrigation rights granted during the Otago Gold Rush expire, and new environmentally sustainable allocations loom.
More than 400 so-called deemed permits, which underpin Central Otago’s economy, have to be replaced with modern water permits within five years, and large cracks are appearing in the process.
The Carrick Water Race has run for 140 years, and survived, but its users might now have to dig deep to save it.
The historical hand-dug water channel has snaked its way downhill since the gold rush days, carrying water from Coal Creek high up in the mountains to the water-short land of Bannockburn. . .
A2 Milk posts third-quarter sales that beat its projection, lifts annual guidance – Paul McBeth
(BusinessDesk) – A2 Milk Co’s third-quarter sales beat expectations as Chinese and Australian demand outstripped the milk marketer’s projections and the company sees annual revenue jumping by almost 49 percent.
The Auckland-based, Sydney-headquartered company forecasts revenue of $525 million in the year ending June 30, up from $352.8 million a year earlier, it said in a statement. A2 generated sales of $388.1 million in the nine months ended March 31, with the third quarter infant formula sales exceeding expectations. . .
Canadian Milkroad trilogy – Eric Crampton:
Three great reads on the insanity of Canada’s dairy supply management system:
Trevor Tombe explains the consequences of supply management:
According to recent estimates from the OECD, the artificially high agricultural prices in Canada transfer $3.5 billion from consumers to producers annually — nearly $3 billion from milk alone. Spread over the 8 billion litres of annual production, it’s effectively a hidden milk tax of 37 cents per litre.
For producers, this is a big deal. At the end of 2015, there were just under 11,500 dairy farms in Canada. The $3 billion that supply management allows them to extract each year is equivalent to $260,000 per farm. Much of this is capitalized into the value of the quotas they are required to hold. A single one in BC and Alberta, for example, is currently worth roughly $40,000; in Ontario and Quebec, they go for $24,000. With nearly one million dairy cows in Canada, quotas are collectively worth tens of billions of dollars, an important cause of our country’s higher production costs. . .
Earth Day isn’t relevant here – Uptown Farms:
The last few days social media has been blowing up with Earth Day celebrations. Earth Day was born in 1970 by protestors in response to “the deterioration of the environment,” according to EarthDay.org.
This morning on our farm, we will get up and go to work like we always do.
We will check cows that are grazing our crop fields, currently seeded with turnips, radishes, and cereal rye. We refer to that mixture as cover crops, which we’ve been using on the farm for the last eight years or so, and they provide immeasurable environmental benefit. They reduce our chemical usage, runoff and erosion while increasing our soil organic matter and soil microbes. That means healthier fields and healthier environment surrounding our fields. . .
Canterbury’s leading agritech companies showcase their solutions to increase productivity and profitability in agriculture:
Canterbury’s leading agritech companies, who contribute to the country’s $3 billion agtech sector, will be showcasing their solutions to increase productivity and profitability in agriculture, at a TechWeek event on 10 May 2017.
Robotics, software, pasture mapping and management are some of the solutions being integrated into on-farm practices across New Zealand, and will be exhibited at Lincoln Hub’s ‘Showcasing Agtech’ event in Lincoln.
For the first time in Tech Week’s history, events are being held outside Auckland, including the showcase, which has been developed to raise the profile of Canterbury Agtech companies, as well as create a conversation around sustainability and growth in the agriculture industry. . .
NZ’s largest logging industry event planned for June:
The New Zealand forestry industry set a new record last year for the annual forest harvest. There is no denying the fact that the sector is on a high right now. On the back of booming log exports to China, low shipping rates and strong domestic demand, wood harvesting has reached record levels.
This year forestry export revenues are forecast to rise even further. For the year ending June of this year, they’re forecast to increase by 5.8% to NZ$5.4 billion, and climb a further 8.8% to NZ$5.9 billion in the year to June 2018. With the supply of harvestable wood also forecast to rise even higher over the next five years, logging contractors and transport operators from around the country will continue to be extremely busy. . .
1 Comment | business, environment, Farming, food, rural, technology, weather | Tagged: A2 milk, Austin Ebert, Carrick Water Race, Coal Creek, Cyclone Cook, Cyclone Debbie, Dave Reynolds, Eric Crampton, Ian Telfer, Igor Gerritson, Katie Milne, Keith Woodford, Les Bennetts, LIncoln Hub, Lyndsay Galloway, Paul McBeth, Red Cross, Rural Support Trust, Tech Week, Trevor Tombe, Uptown Farms | Permalink
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Isn’t agriculture really just at war with liberals? – Uptown Farms (Kate Lambert):
Last week after a speech, a young college student approached me. Eager to connect, she started with, “Do you ever get completely frustrated with these liberals?”
Her question was intriguing to me. Not because it was unique, the exact opposite. Because it was so common.
Almost without fail, when I get the chance to talk to producers about the desperate need to tell the story of agriculture, someone asks a similar, politically loaded question.
But it’s a fair question, isn’t it? In this politically correct era, surely a blogger can still call a spade a spade?
Because isn’t the reality that our enemies are easily identifiable? Isn’t agriculture really just at war with liberals? . . .
WTO agreement a victory for NZ exporters:
Trade Minister Todd McClay has welcomed the entry into force of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) saying it is a big win for New Zealand exporters.
“The TFA will benefit all New Zealand exporters and is particularly good for small and medium sized enterprises. The TFA reduces the cost, administration and time burden associated with getting products across borders and into the marketplace,” Mr McClay says.
“New Zealand’s agricultural exporters will also benefit significantly from a provision to hasten the release of perishable goods within the shortest possible time.”
A rising tide of protectionism could hit NZ dairy sector hard: NZIER – Rebecca Howard:
(BusinessDesk) – New Zealand’s economy would be hard hit if there is a retreat to protectionism in the global dairy sector, a report from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research has found.
“In the current global trading system, the tide of protectionism is rising. Brexit and the initial trade policy proclamations by Donald Trump both point to a challenging environment for further trade liberalisation, at least in the short term,” said NZIER in the report for the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand. Against this backdrop there is an increasing risk that tariffs could be lifted rather than reduced, it added. . .
Bobby calf death rate halved over a year – but still room for improvement – Gerald Piddock:
Bobby calf deaths more than halved after a big improvement in their transportation welfare last spring.
A new report from the Ministry for Primary Industries showed the mortality rate went from 0.25 per cent in 2015 to 0.12 per cent last year.
Last year 2255 calves were reported dead or condemned during the time they were collected for transport to their slaughter from 1,935,054 calves processed.
Young NZers chase endless shearing season – Alexa Cook:
The declining number of sheep in New Zealand and changes in weather patterns are driving more shearers to chase work around the globe.
The national sheep flock is now about 27 million, a big drop from the 70m or so sheep that the country had in 1982.
Jacob Moore from Marton is part of a group of about 60 young shearers who follow the summer seasons for work.
Mr Moore said for shearers who were at the top of their game and established locally, there was full-time work and contractors tended to hold on to them for many seasons.
Wool market strengthens:
NZ Wool Services CEO John Dawson reports 4600 bales on offer this week saw an 87 percent clearance with mostly positive results, with lambs wool increasing considerably.
The weighted currency indicator is down 0.34 percent having a small but positive impact.
More growers are continuing to hold back wool, further reducing volume which is restricting supply in some categories.
Mr Dawson advises compared to the last South Island selection on 16 February; . .
A2 CEO, chair sell down holdings following strong first-half earnings – Sophie Boot:
(BusinessDesk) – A2 Milk Co’s chief executive and chair have sold down their stakes in the milk marketing firm, less than a week after reporting first-half profit more than tripled as demand for its A2 Platinum infant formula surged in its key Australia, New Zealand and China businesses.
Chair David Hearn sold 1 million shares for about $2.5 million, or $2.48 a share, on Friday, while chief executive Geoffrey Babidge sold 900,000 shares for $2.2 million, or an average price of $2.49, yesterday. Hearn gained the shares by exercising 1 million of his 5 million options, for which he paid $630,000, with the sale to facilitate a property transaction in the UK to move his personal residence, according to documents published to the NZX. . .
Maize crops ‘worst in 30 years’ – Alexa Cook:
Farmers in drought-hit Northland battling with a shortage of stock feed are also experiencing the worst maize harvest in 30 years. .
Northland Regional Council is warning farmers to be careful with feed reserves and not get too excited about the recent rain.
The council said the drought meant some farmers had already used up their extra supplementary feed, which was being saved for the autumn and winter months.
Northland dairy farmer Even Sneath said it had been a terrible season for growing crops. . .
Busy summer for MPI biosecurity staff:
Faced with record numbers of international visitors this summer, Ministry for Primary Industries biosecurity staff have intercepted risk goods ranging from the bizarre to the potentially devastating for New Zealand’s economy and environment.
Some of the unusual airport interceptions so far this summer include:
• A chilly bin of live spanner crabs from Thailand presented to officers at Wellington Airport.
• Fruit fly larvae in mangos found at Auckland Airport inside a suitcase from Malaysia jammed full of plant produce and other food. . .
New Zealanders Offered Sweet Investment:
New Zealanders are being invited to invest money for honey in a revolutionary hive sharing initiative launching today.
Whanganui-based Canaan Honey has launched a PledgeMe crowdsourcing campaign for investors looking to get a sweet return: a lifetime supply of honey.
A launch party last night saw the season’s first harvest of honey with a 3kg bonus honey offered to the first 10 signups.
Hive Share lets backers around New Zealand become beehive owners, without the fuss of having to look after the hive. . .
1 Comment | biosecurity, business, environment, Farming, food, rural, trade | Tagged: A2 Milk Co, Alexa Cook, bobby calves, Canaan Honey, Dairy Companies Association of, David Hearn, Even Sneath, Geoffrey Babidge, Gerald Piddock, Jacob Moore, Kate Lambert, Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), NZ Institute of Economic Research (NZIER), Rebecca Howard, Sophie Boot, Todd McLay, Uptown Farms, WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) | Permalink
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Johnny Kirkpatrick wins World Shearing Championships title – Brittany Pickett:
Napier shearer Johnny Kirkpatrick has finally won the elusive world machine shearing title.
The World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships were on at ILT Stadium Southland in Invercargill on Saturday night..
The 46-year-old had competed at the world championships three times prior to this year’s competition and said it was a hard final. . .
Farm growth relies on good staff – Richard Rennie:
Rural employment specialist John Fegan has seen big changes in his time in the industry but yet issues he tried to address 20 years ago have still not been fundamentally fixed. While recruiting staff he also spent much time educating farmers and encouraging them to treat staff well. Richard Rennie spoke to him before his semi-retirement.
HE SPENT time in his youth skiing southern slopes as a self-confessed adrenaline junkie but John Fegan’s career was more about avoiding the cliffs and crevasses that accompany employing farm staff.
Zespri to license more SunGold kiwifruit in Italy to meet rising demand – Rebecca Howard
(BusinessDesk) – Zespri International, New Zealand’s kiwifruit marketer, it will licence more production of its SunGold variety in Italy to meet rising demand and ensure 12-month supply.
The Tauranga-based company today said it will allocate an additional 1,800 hectares of European SunGold licence over the next three years. The first 1,200 will be in Italy and the remaining 600 hectares are still to be allocated.
Zespri chief operating officer Simon Limmer said the move is driven by growing year-round demand for Zespri kiwifruit. It has established supply in several northern hemisphere countries, particularly Italy and France, to ensure supply when New Zealand kiwifruit is not available. It currently exports and markets premium New Zealand kiwifruit to 56 countries around the world. . .
New Zealand Winegrowers releases first Sustainability Report:
New Zealand Winegrowers has released the first ever report on the wine sector’s achievements in sustainability. The Report presents data collected from vineyard and winery members of Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand – one of the first and world-leading sustainability programmes in the international wine sector.
The Sustainability Report highlights actions undertaken by the wine industry such as enhancing biodiversity, reducing and recycling by-products, optimising water and energy use, investing in people, protecting soil, and reducing agrichemical use. . .
Shifting climate and Sauvignon blanc style – Can you taste the future? – Dr Glen Creasy:
Wine is a fascinating beverage. It is the culmination of a myriad of effects on the grapevine and its fruit, decisions made by the winemaker, handling of the bottles and the time until it’s poured into your glass. It is an expression of the environment it was made in, and so therefore as the environment changes, so must the wine.
My career has focussed on how to improve the way we grow grapes so that they can be made into better wine, and more recently, how factors relating to climate change alter the way grapevines grow and subsequently, how the wine smells and tastes. The factors I’m most interested in are increases in temperature and changes in rainfall patterns, because these have a large impact on grapevines and the wine made from their fruit. . .
The truth about coming back to the farm – What young farmers are dying for you to know. – Uptown Farms:
I just wrapped up a week of being on the road, talking with young farmers throughout the Midwest. I had committed to speaking at three different events this week, all of which catered to young farmers.
During my presentations , I shared with them the questions that consumers share with me, and tips for how they can tell their own farm story.
Without fail, this presentation evokes passion and sparks conversation among farmers, but even more noticeably among young farmers.
This week there were some very clear themes that emerged – realities of farming that our young farmers are dying for you to know. . .
Little Brick Pastoral tells agriculture story with lego – Jennifer King:
A tiny plastic farmer wearing a wide-brimmed hat and green overalls is doing his bit to raise awareness of Australian agriculture.
He is the Lego Farmer, 4.5cm tall and becoming quite a national, if not international, celebrity as he sows the message of agriculture in schools and via social media.
The farmer spends his day working hard, fixing machinery, baling hay, checking the harvest, planting crops or hanging out with his working dog. . .
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Posted by homepaddock