Rural round-up

November 7, 2017

Crown cash vital to lagoon plan – Tim Fulton:

The Labour-led Government might need to keep backing Crown funding for irrigation to inject life into a vulnerable South Canterbury lagoon.

South Canterbury’s Hunter Downs irrigation scheme was in final-stage talks with farmers and Crown Irrigation Investments for funding linked to a rescue bid for Wainono Lagoon, near Waimate.

Environment Canterbury said using the Waitaki River to add clean, low-nutrient water to the lagoon was a key feature of the proposed 12,000ha Hunter Downs scheme.

ECan classed the coastal lake near Waimate as a nutrient red zone. . . 

Basic farming brings rewards – Annette Scott:

Nick France admits to being pretty stingy in his sheep and beef breeding operation as he sticks with old-fashioned philosophy of attention to detail at key times.

He told farmers at the Beef + Lamb New Zealand farming for profit day he runs his beef operation as cheaply as possible, aligning practice with the philosophy of having bulls that perform well under commercial conditions and produce well-grown, profitable offspring.

“What we do here is cheap and commercial. The cows are a tool. We use them for growing and managing pasture for our commercial sheep operation and selecting bulls for the stud,” France said. . . 

New SIL values thereby hangs a tail – Sally Rae:

A sheep breed developed in West Otago has become the first in the world to have breeding values calculated for tail length and bare skin on the tail.

Allan Richardson, from Avalon Genetics, has been breeding and recording low-input sheep that do not require docking since 2009.

He believes the new SIL (Sheep Improvement Ltd) breeding values will give commercial farmers new opportunities to reduce their cost of production, improve animal welfare and open new markets for their lamb. . . 

Farmlands directors elected – Sally Rae:

Former long-standing Alliance Group director Murray Donald has been elected to the Farmlands board.

Mr Donald, who farms at Winton, is a chartered fellow of the Institute of Directors, councillor and member of the audit and risk committee for the Southern Institute of Technology and a trustee and chairman of the audit and risk committee for the Agri-Women’s Development Trust.

Nine candidates contested the three  vacancies this year and Nikki Davies-Colley, from Northland, was  re-elected. . . 

Wobbly times ahead for wool industry – Andrew McRae:

New Zealand could face a shortage of shearers because they’re not being trained, an industry organisation says.

Wool Research Organisation chair Derrick Millton said young people were not as attracted to shearing as a career as they once were. He said there was no specific training organisation to promote shearing and woolhandling.

“The age of the shearers for a start off, they’re getting older and no new ones coming in… There are a lot of other jobs today that are more appealing than shearing. . . 

Connecting children with dairy:

DairyNZ’s education programme is now used in more than one third of primary schools and one quarter of secondary schools around New Zealand.

Thanks to farmer volunteers, 4500 children (plus teachers and parents) visited a dairy farm in the past year and more than 21,000 children have visited a farm since the Find a Farmer programme launched six years ago.

Science in schools

DairyNZ’s hands-on science kits have helped teachers bring learning alive in the classroom, and explore science through the context of dairying.

Each science kit is distributed to 200 teachers who have signed up for the resource, reaching about 6000 children. The kits provide all the tools a class needs to complete a science experiment, investigating a learning outcome within the context of dairy. The schools share their work on ourfarmvisit.co.nz. . . 


Rural round-up

July 11, 2011

Confidence lifts on rural up-swing – Tony Chaston:

PGGW’s back to the basics approach and the focusing on its core asset, it’s staff, is a strategy many in the agricultural industry said should have happened years ago.

The direction the previous management had taken the company saw major damage to the once strong PGGW brand, and indirectly to its low share price.

It appears the new owners are giving this company some time to sort its act out, but this will not last forever, and it is no secret that the controlling shareholder interests are more in the seeds area, than other parts of the business . . .

Foreign buyers’ policy affirmed by farmers – RadioNZ:

Federated Farmers has reaffirmed its support for overseas investment in New Zealand agriculture by people who want to come and farm here.

But it’s not so comfortable with foreign coporate investors buying large numbers of farms that could end up in foreign control.

Beef + Lamb promoting trade opportunities with Japan:

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Chairman, Mike Petersen is part of the New Zealand delegation attending the Japan New Zealand Partnership Forum in Tokyo next week, working to strengthen the business relationship between the two countries.

With both countries in recovery mode since devastating earthquakes, common interests are strengthened and there is a realisation that business must play a leading role in moving Japan and New Zealand forward, Petersen said.

On the agenda will be discussion of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement and while Japan is not yet a party to those negotiations it has signalled its interest.

“If Japan was to join the TPP this would certainly expand the trade opportunities for our two countries within the Asia Pacific region. . .

Woolly thinking it’s not – Peter Kerr:

For a change, you can’t call this woolly thinking

The wool industry got some interesting ‘innovation things’ happening at the moment.

Firstly, there’s a consortium consisting of the Wool Research Organisation of NZ, industry participants and the Ministry of Science and Innovation, that’s collectively investing $3m a year over the next five years on a range of projects. This is being managed by Wool Industry Research Ltd. (WIRL) and is examining some industry good projects and confidential individual company co-funded wool projects to help move the fibre up the value chain.

But, of more immediate interest is a project, initially kicked off by WRONZ, now managed by WIRL, which commissioned a New York based innovation consultancy to find some new, better paying, markets for wool. . .

Scientists in Scotland decode potato genome – BBC:

An international team of scientists based in Scotland has decoded the full DNA sequence of the potato for the first time.

The breakthrough holds out the promise of boosting harvests of one of the
world’s most important staple crops.

Researchers at the James Hutton Institute in Dundee say it should soon be
possible to develop improved varieties of potato much more quickly. . .

Rabobank’s Agribusiness review June 2011:

Prepared by the bank’s Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory division (FAR), the report provides monthly commentary on New Zealand and Australian agricultural conditions.

Key highlights:
•June was mild in New Zealand, with winter really only arriving at the end of the month. The seasonal outlook in New Zealand is generally for warmer than average temperatures and wetter than average rainfall. Continuing dry conditions across Australia through June, consistent with the end of the La Nina event and expected to prevail into spring, have switched the focus back to how much rain will fall on winter crops over coming months. . .

The full report is here.


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