A North Canterbury farmer who had to evacuate today says the intense deluge has brought back memories of floods which washed away nearly 100 of his cows 12 years ago.
More than 240 residents in Waimakariri district have been told to evacuate. They include 102 housesholds in the Ashley River area, eight near Kairaki Beach and 133 near Eyre River – including Peter Schouten’s farm.
Schouten’s farm is 800m from the river, and some of his properties share their boundary with the river.
He recorded 150mm of rain up until 7pm on Sunday evening, shortly before he received an alert telling him to evacuate. They were in the process of packing up and leaving, when the police knocked on the door. Schouten has headed to his parent’s place “just around the corner”. . .
Kiwifruit giant Zespri has reported record returns for the 2020-21 season.
The company has reported a net profit after tax of $290.5 million – up $90m on the previous year.
Total global fruit sales revenue also grew to $3.58 billion – up 14 percent – and global sale volumes were up 10 percent on last season to 181.5 million trays.
The company said increased sales, the ongoing expansion of Zespri SunGold kiwifruit production and great quality fruit underpinned the strong returns. . .
Chuffed to hand over wool reins – Sally Rae:
Change is in the air at long-established wool business Brian Redding Ltd which has been operating in Gore since the early 1960s, as business and rural editor Sally Rae reports.
When it came to being in business, Jim Paterson’s parents gave him some good advice.
They drilled into him the importance of being “dead straight” in a community like Gore, saying reputation was everything.
And it was advice he heeded during more than four decades in the wool industry . . .
Below average rainfall across many regions was a factor in the average 3% drop in yields for the six main arable crops in the 2020/21 season.
The latest Arable Industry Marketing Initiative (AIMI) report, based on 1 April survey results, also found that the number of hectares harvested was down 3% (-3183ha), with the net result being a 6% decrease in total tonnage compared to the previous season.
Particularly marked drops in tonnages were seen with feed wheat (down 9%) and malting barley (down 21%) while tonnages of milling oats and feed oats jumped 31% and 60% respectively. . .
This profile is part of a seven-part series from WorkSafe New Zealand sharing the health and safety approaches taken by the grand finalists of the 2021 FMG Young Farmer of the Year competition. For the next seven weeks we will be sharing a profile and short video about each of the finalists and how they incorporate health and safety into their work, from a dairy farm manager to an agribusiness banker.
Working on massive farming operations in the United States highlighted the importance of New Zealand’s focus on health and safety for Dale McAlwee.
Dale, Aorangi FMG Young Farmer of the Year, grew up near Timaru on the farm that’s been in his family for over a century. After gaining a Bachelor of Agricultural Science, he headed to the US for a year. He is now assistant manager at Singletree Dairies, a 2500 cow farm five minutes north east of Ashburton.
“In the US, I was working in massive farming operations for the wheat harvest. There were very large staff teams and the main focus was on employing experienced people who were expected to already have the knowledge to work safely with heavy machinery.
Nelson’s Seifried Estate family winery has taken top honours for its 2020 Sauvignon Blanc at the prestigious Royal Easter Show Wine Awards 2021, winning the title of Guala Closures Champion Sauvignon Blanc.
This newest accolade from the Royal Easter Show Wine Awards adds to the impressive medal tally for Seifried Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2020, which has already been awarded ‘Best of Show New Zealand’ at the Mundus Vini Tasting in Germany 2020, Gold in the AWC Vienna 2020 International Wine Challenge, Gold in the Melbourne International Wine Competition 2020, and was rated 95/100 by Oz Clarke of Three Wine Men in the UK – his highest scoring wine of the New Zealand tasting!
“We are really quite blown away by this latest recognition of our 2020 Sauvignon Blanc,” says co-winemaker Heidi Seifried-Houghton. “With Sauvignon Blanc making up 63% of New Zealand’s total wine production, our competition was fierce!” . .
A stoush is brewing between Southland farmers and Environment Minister David Parker over the Government’s new freshwater rules.
About 94 per cent of farmers that registered to attend a meeting hosted by farming advocate group Groundswell to discuss the freshwater regulations indicated they would not pay their Environment Southland rates in protest against the new freshwater rules introduced by the Government last year.
The group also polled farmers on holding more tractor protests and not applying for resource consents, and which has prompted Parker to again remind Southland farmers that ‘’no one is above the law’’. . .
WorkSafe is advising farmers to buckle up after an analysis of vehicle-related fatalities found that nearly half those that occur on farm could have been avoided if a seatbelt was being used.
The data analysis, completed by WorkSafe New Zealand, revealed that not wearing seatbelts while on the job was the largest single factor contributing to fatal work-related accidents.
The data analysis coincides with the launch of a new side-by-side vehicle simulator which will spend the next six months travelling New Zealand’s agricultural Fieldays and featuring in the FMG Young Farmer of the Year competition. . .
Rural contractors say red tape obstructing access to overseas workers – Sally Round and Riley Kennedy:
The rural contracting industry says red tape means they can’t make the most of some overseas workers who’ve been allowed into the country.
Last year, with borders restricted due to Covid-19, the government granted more than 200 critical worker visas to machinery operators to help with the summer harvest.
Rural Contractors New Zealand chief executive Roger Parton said just under 200 came in and the season had progressed reasonably well.
However he said there had been some bureaucratic issues which meant some workers had not been allowed to move to another employer. . .
The New Zealand Merino Company (NZM) and global Merino wool apparel and footwear brands Allbirds®, icebreaker®, and Smartwool® announced they are working collectively with 167 sheep growers to create the world’s first regenerative wool platform that represents 2.4 million acres (more than one million hectares) in New Zealand. They are doing their part to tackle the impact of the global fashion industry, which is responsible for 10% of annual greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
“We are on a journey of continuous improvement that recognises and celebrates progress over perfection. Through our industry-leading carbon footprint work with our leading brand partners, and with support from the Ministry for Primary Industries, we know on-farm emissions represent approximately 60% of the emissions associated with woollen products and are our biggest opportunity to lower our impacts,” says John Brakenridge, NZM CEO. “ZQRX is an important and necessary evolution of our ethical wool program, ZQ. Through the adoption of regenerative practices that both store more carbon and emit less, we could reduce our on-farm emissions down to zero.” . .
Farmers discovered that there are many ways to protect and enhance mahinga kai and biodiversity values while visiting Waimak Farm in Eyreton last week.
The 612-hectare farm includes the largest remaining kanuka stand in North Canterbury and due to its important biodiversity values this area is being protected by farm managers Richard and Susan Pearse.
Richard says the kanuka stand provides an important seed source and seedlings have been taken from the area to try and recreate a similar ecosystem in other dryland areas. He is aiming to plant approximately 1000 native trees per year throughout the entire farm. . .
The government’s fresh-water regulations are close to being fully in place, and most in the primary sector acknowledge regardless of which government is in power, the rules will by and large remain in play. Included within them is the need for all farms to complete a farm environment plan (FEP), identifying the farm business’s land management units and how environmental risk within them will be managed and mitigated.
Ideally, farmers want to take ownership of their FEP. They know their farm best, they know its limitations and challenges, and how to work sustainably within them. More often than not, it is simply a case they hold this in their heads, rather than on any formal plan template.
But FEPs have to be more than a compliance driven “box ticking” exercise, and need to deliver real benefits not only to the environment, but to farmers’ profitability, given the time and commitment required to complete them. . .
Green Rush: will pines really save the planet? – Kate Newton and Guyon Espiner:
Vast new pine forests are being hailed as a solution to New Zealand’s carbon emissions deficit – and promise a lucrative pay-day for investors. But farmers say they’re gutting rural communities, not all environmentalists see them as a silver bullet, and the profits are largely being reaped by foreign owners.
Want to plant a pine tree? It’ll cost you a dollar. 38 cents for the seedling, a spiky, spindly finger; 55 cents for the labour to plant it; 8 cents for the cost of managing the labour.
John Rogan’s crew have planted about 350,000 of them so far. “Tree here, tree there – it’s like tossing little dollar coins on the ground,” he says. Concentrate on the variations in the grass and, like a magic-eye illustration, the seedlings flip into focus one after the other, every three metres, all the way to the grey horizon at the crest of the hill.
Rogan’s mostly teenage workers, skin burnished by wind and sun, tramp up and down hillsides, lugging 200 seedlings at a time in canvas buckets slung into harnesses. After 10 weeks of planting, their movements with spade, seedling and boot are sparse and sure: stab open a wedge of earth, jab a tree into the ground, stomp the hole closed. Stab, jab, stomp. The crew’s mascot Johnny, a beady-eyed little dog who looks like he was assembled from wispy oddments of wool, scampers behind on short legs. . .
Woman shares partner’s farm death story as lesson – Luke Kirkeby:
Harriet Bremner still struggles to talk about the death of her long-term partner.
But two and a half years on, the Canterbury primary school teacher and children’s author, whose partner James Hayman was killed in a baler in the Hakataramea Valley in 2017, is finding strength in using her grief to prevent other farm workers from putting themselves in harm’s way.
Bremner is working alongside WorkSafe New Zealand, travelling throughout New Zealand to share her story.
She recently stopped in at Putaruru College in the South Waikato where she spoke with a group of horticultural and agricultural students. Since 2013 there have been approximately 16 on-farm deaths in the Waikato alone. . .
Farmers have an “amazing opportunity” despite the challenges that lie ahead, as long as they forge a truly resilient mindset to embrace change, according to the author of a best-selling book about positive mental health.
New Zealand farmer Doug Avery, whose book The Resilient Farmer documents his own journey from debt-heaped depression to one of his country’s biggest agricultural success stories, wants to use his current UK tour to help smash the taboo that stops both farmers, and the wider public, from talking about poor mental health.
A farmer who is empowered by positive mental health can see through their worries and capitalise on opportunities, the 64-year-old told Country Week ahead of a public speaking appearance in Harrogate in 12 days’ time. . .
‘Gran’ shows us how it’s done – Jill Galloway:
It was hard for Suzanne Giesen when her husband John died.
She was just 32, had five children aged from 1 to 11 and had a farm to run. More than 50 years later she is still living and working on the farm.
“When John died, my father-in-law said I should go into town. I have never lived in town and I wanted to stay on the farm,” Suzanne Giesen told Rural News.
The Giesens had leased the farm for 10 years, with the right to buy. When John was around, they set about improving the property. “There was gorse in almost every paddock. I don’t think there was a stock proof fence on the place. The gorse was so thick you couldn’t walk through some paddocks.” . .
Seeds are earning us big money – Annette Scott:
Small seeds have yielded big gains for New Zealand’s multi-billion dollar agri-food sector.
The quiet achieving seed sector pumped almost $800 million into the NZ economy last year with pasture and vegetable seeds putting food on the table in more ways than one.
A new economic impact report shows NZ’s world class seed production is one of the country’s smallest primary industries but with a modest footprint it contributes much more to NZ’s bottom line than many realise, NZ Grain and Seed Trade Association general manager Thomas Chin said.
Business and Economic Research (BERL) reports the total output value of seeds grown in 2018 was $798m, adding $329m to NZ’s GDP. . .
The peak association that represents New Zealand’s animal medicine and crop protection industries welcomes the National party’s new biotech policy.
Agcarm chief executive Mark Ross says that updating New Zealand’s biotechnology regulations to embrace the latest science will “allow life-saving medicines, benefit the environment, eradicate pests and boost food production”.
“New Zealand is being stalled from adopting the latest science due to archaic laws that halt innovation. . .
As well as being urged to produce more from less while satisfying environmental critics farmers are also being squeezed by pressure for more land for housing and forestry. This week Farmers Weekly journalists Richard Rennie and Neal Wallace begin taking an in-depth look at how much land has been lost and how much more could still be lost as a billion trees are planted to create a low-carbon economy while another 100,000 homes are built.
As the Government grapples with building another 100,000 homes just to meet shortages, planners and producers are nervously watching continued population growth, much which will be in the country’s key farm produce regions.
Until 2016 New Zealand was losing just over 100,000 hectares a year of growing land, whether to urban development or the proliferation of lifestyle blocks increasing by 5800 a year. . .
Take 5 with Rob Barry – Tristan Burn:
After an epic adventure around the world, Rob Barry returned to the Central Hawkes Bay four years ago and settled his new family. He is currently working as a Managers Assistant on a 1220 cow dairy farm.
The farm is part of BEL Group, a Family Corporate farming business Rob’s parents built up over the last 30 years. They have nine Dairy farms milking 9500 cows in total and seven dairy support farms (three owned, four leased). Since calving Rob has been block managing Ellingham and 400 cows.
1. In 5-10 words what is your farming philosophy?
Leave it better than you found it – Scouts motto. . .
The Ministry of Social Development has declared a seasonal labour shortage across Hawke’s Bay.
Declaring a seasonal labour shortage allows visitor visa holders to apply for a variation of conditions, which will enable them to work on orchards and vineyards in the Hawke’s Bay.
The shortage is for a six-week period between 25 February and 5 April 2019, in response to discussions with pipfruit leaders, industry experts, and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. . .
WorkSafe New Zealand has today announced a partnership with the FMG Young Farmer of the Year competition.
WorkSafe Chief Executive Nicole Rosie says the partnership will connect New Zealand’s future farming leaders with health and safety in an engaging setting, build rapport with rural communities and help create generational change. . .
Landcorp Farming Limited (known as Pāmu) has declared a net profit after tax of $29 million for the half year ended 31 December 2018. This compares to $21 million for the half year ended 31 December 2017.
Chief Executive Steven Carden said that the increased half year profit was a pleasing result, reflecting good weather conditions and good trade terms for the company’s main products.
“On an EBITDAR (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and revaluations) basis, which we use as a key measure of performance, the half year represented a loss of $3 million compared to a loss of $6 million in the prior period. The loss is largely due to the seasonality of Pāmu’s operations since the bulk of livestock revenue is earned in the second half of the year.” . .
Long-standing contributor to New Zealand agriculture Gallagher Ltd and Federated Farmers are joining forces to form a new business partnership.
Feds recognises Gallagher as a leader in its field, having more than 80 years’ experience as a leading technology company in the animal management, security and fuel systems industries. . .
Bananas, so often associated with warm tropical climates on the equator may prove to be another cropping opportunity for enterprising horticulturalists from Northland to Gisborne.
New Zealanders have an appetite for the yellow fruit, chomping through a whopping 18kg per capita a year, about $140 million worth that puts this country at top of the global list for banana consumption. . . .
Increased confidence that cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis can be eradicated from New Zealand should be greeted with very cautious optimism.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor announced last week that international experts were impressed by the eradication efforts and were more confident the campaign was working.
The Technical Advisory Group was more optimistic than six months ago, having confirmed that evidence showed the response was dealing with a single and relatively recent incursion from late 2015-early 2016. . .
The results from the Colmar Brunton survey of the public that showed the public care about waterways is no surprise, and reinforces that all kiwis care deeply about New Zealand.
DairyNZ CE Tim Mackle says “we believe so strongly that kiwis care about waterways that we’re starting a movement, where the vision is clear – we want all new Zealanders to do their bit to look after rivers, lakes and beaches and you can find out more at thevisionisclear.co.nz” . .
Big plans for predator control in the Mackenzie Basin – Matthew Littlewood:
There are big plans to protect some of our smallest insects and birds in the upper Mackenzie Basin and Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. Reporter Matthew Littlewood talks to some of those involved in an ambitious project to make the Basin predator-free.
It’s been roughly 18 months in the making and much of it is still in the planning stages, but already there is momentum building around Te Manahuna Aoraki.
Everything from expanding a breeding area for kakī/black stilt to building a massive predator fence is on the cards as part of the major, multi-agency predator control programme involving Department of Conservation, the NEXT Foundation, Ngai Tahu, local run holders, philanthropists and other agencies.
Summer is a busy time on the farm, but it’s also among the most hazardous periods for accidents, says WorkSafe NZ.
Almost 550 farmers suffered injuries serious enough for them to take at least a week off work over the last summer (December 2017-February 2018) while there were three fatalities on farms.
Overall, trips, slips and falls, being hit or bitten by animals, hit by moving objects and incidents involving vehicles were the major causes of injuries, according to data from ACC. . .
Owl Farm uses proven research and good practice and, importantly, encourages young people into the dairy industry.
The joint venture demonstration dairy farm run by St Peters School Cambridge and Lincoln University had its Farm Focus Day in mid-November and gave visitors an overview of how the 2018-19 season was shaping up compared to the previous year. . .
Researchers have found that people who eat higher levels of red meat and cheese are more likely to live longer.
The study of 220,000 adults found that eating three portions of dairy and one and half portions of unprocessed red meat a day could cut the risk of early death by one quarter.
Chances of a fatal heart attack decreased by 22 percent, according to the study by McMaster University, in Canada. . .
Australia’s Home Affairs Minister is investigating how to bring white South African farmers to Australia on humanitarian grounds.
White farmers facing violence in South Africa “deserve special attention” from Australia, Peter Dutton said.
He said he had watched television footage and read articles that convinced him the farmers needed help, and had ordered his department to investigate how to bring the farmers to Australia. . .
Young farmer making most of opportunities – Sally Rae:
Scottish-born Ann Linton always wanted to visit New Zealand before she was 21.
She got her wish – albeit a week after the milestone birthday – but she did not realise that she would never really leave.
Miss Linton (26), who came with just a suitcase, has ended up with a career in the dairy industry – and a husband-to-be.
She and her partner, Scott Henderson, are now managing a 420ha effective self-contained dairy farm near Milton, with stunning views over South Otago, milking 830 cows. . .
NZ lamb, mutton returns at record levels as supplies dwindle -Tina Morrison
(BusinessDesk) – New Zealand meat processors are having to pay more for lambs as supplies dwindle, pushing lamb and mutton returns for Kiwi farmers to record levels for this time of the year, according to AgriHQ’s Monthly Sheep & Beef report for March.
Better rainfall in dry areas of the South Island and lower lamb growth rates in the North Island have led farmers to keep hold of their stock instead of sending them to slaughter, and a higher kill rate earlier in the season also means there is now less stock available than normal, said AgriHQ analyst Reece Brick. . .
Stubbornly high rates of farm fatalities have prompted a three-year Worksafe campaign to get farmers to use their rural vehicles more safely.
The agency will be sending inspectors to farms and launching publicity campaigns to try to reduce the death toll.
WorkSafe statistics show 128 people have died in farm accidents since 2011. . .
A joint venture company has been created to breed and develop new unique berry varieties to be marketed exclusively by Māori-owned firm Miro Limited Partnership (Miro).
The Government-owned science institute Plant & Food Research and Miro signed a 50:50 joint venture agreement at an event hosted this afternoon by Ngati Haua at the iwi’s Rukumoana Marae in Morrinsville. . .
BioLumic, creator of the world’s first crop-yield enhancement system using UV light, today announces the close of US$5 million [NZ$6.5m] in Series A funding.
This significant round of financial backing comes from leading global AgTech investors Finistere Ventures and Radicle Growth acceleration fund, along with Rabobank’s recently-launched Food & Agri Innovation Fund and existing investors from across New Zealand.
Restrictions on group’s farms – Sally Rae:
Sixteen properties belonging to the Van Leeuwen Dairy Group in South Canterbury have had Restricted Place Notices imposed on them by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) after the outbreak of the bacterial cattle disease mycoplasma bovis.
The effect of the notices is to control the movement of stock.
Two dozen cows on one of the group’s farms have tested positive for the disease and are the first in New Zealand to have the disease. A further 150 cows on the property have signs of infection.
MPI veterinarians are working with local vets to assess stock on the affected farm, which has a milking herd of about 1000 cows.
MPI regional controller Dr Chris Rodwell said the situation was well under control, praising Glenavy farmer Aad van Leeuwen for the way he had handled the outbreak. . .
DairyNZ is disappointed that today’s announcement by Government has not addressed the concerns raised about migrant staff.
However, DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle says there is hope for farmers who need to employ people from overseas.
“Government has committed to tackling the issues as a priority to help provide certainty for farmers who need to employ migrant staff, and those staff members themselves, as well as their families.” . . .
Opening the farm gates – Sonita Chandra:
Metaphorically speaking, dairy farmers have closed their farm gates in recent times for fear of criticism, but this now needs to change, says Federated Farmers dairy vice-chairman Wayne Langford.
“The farm gates need to be opened again so that we can show what we are doing, but also see what our communities want us to be doing.
“As dairy farmers, we have to be proud of the industry and proud of what we are doing. If we are not proud of it, then we need to make changes.” . .
Take a scenic drive ten minutes west of Masterton in the Wairarapa and you’ll be greeted with a rustic sign announcing your arrival at “Spring Valley farms”. Nestled deep in the Kaituna valley, it’s the home of Matt and Lynley Wyeth and their two sons.
Spring Valley Enterprises farms roughly ten thousand sheep and another four thousand stock units made up of three hundred Angus breeding cows. It sits on 16 hundred hectares of hard hill country with some decent quality flat lands. It consistently rates in the top 5 per cent of performers in the red meat industry, in part this is due to their early adoption of agri-tech.
The Wyeth’s employ a range of technology each with a specific, measurable outcome that allows them to make small tweaks, accumulatively, saving them money. . .
Farmers preparing for calving should also be thinking about effective ways to keep workers safe and well, said WorkSafes Agriculture Sector Lead Al McCone.28 July 2017
Plan for calving – include talking to workers about risks
Farmers preparing for calving should also be thinking about effective ways to keep workers safe and well, said WorkSafe’s Agriculture Sector Lead Al McCone. . .
It was an all-New Zealand affair in Orange County, California today as Zespri officially opened its regional office to manage growing sales across Northern, Central and Southern America.
Zespri Chief Executive Lain Jager says Zespri is growing strongly across North America with most of this growth coming from the new gold variety Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit, which is proving hugely popular.
“The New Zealand kiwifruit industry is on track to more than double sales to $4.5 billion by 2025 and an important part of this growth will come from developing markets like North America, as well growing sales in our more established markets. Zespri is relaunching the kiwifruit category in the United States and the wider Americas region to attract new consumers and grow sales,” says Mr Jager. . .
Seeking guidance from other farmers has helped Chloe and Matt Walker make the switch from city living to dairy farming – a move that came sooner than expected.
Back in 2012, Chloe and Matt were running start-up companies in Wellington and considering a move to Matt’s parents’ dairy farm near Taupo. However, after getting married in February 2013 and a change in the dynamics of their respective start-ups, they decided to take the plunge earlier than planned.
The Walkers left their city jobs and started afresh on the 133ha farm four seasons ago, with Matt taking up a role as farm manager. They had little on-farm experience but were quick to apply what they had learned in city jobs to their new careers. . .
Deluge misses southern hydro lakes – Pattrick Smellie:
(BusinessDesk) – Last weekend may have been Oamaru’s wettest since daily rainfall records began in 1950, but the deluge that hit eastern coastal parts of the South Island over the weekend all but missed the southern hydro lakes, which remain at critically low levels for the time of year.
The managers of the southern catchments, Meridian Energy, Contact Energy and Genesis Energy, all reported either little or no additional rainfall, although national grid operator Transpower said lake levels now sit at 62 percent of the national average level for this time of year, compared with 58 percent before the weekend.
A Meridian Energy spokeswoman said the weekend weather “did not bring inflows . .
A new irrigation scheme in Otago will help transform dry, wasted land into productive land full of cherry trees and vineyards, the company behind it says.
But it comes at a time when questions have been raised about the sustainability of irrigation schemes in the region, in the face of expiring permits.
The $9 million Dairy Creek Irrigation Scheme, which will cover 1500 hectares of land in the Clutha catchment, has been given the green light. . .
Blockchain the transformer – Eye2theLongRun:
Do yourself a favour and read this to “get it” about blockchain and why it matters… or try to make time stand still.
This from Kevin Cooney – ASB’s National Manager Rural:
It’s vital that New Zealand’s agri industry pays close attention to blockchain development and ensures we are well positioned to capture our share of new value this technology could unlock.
Mention blockchain and agriculture in the same breath, and the image of a heavy duty chain towing one farm vehicle behind another pops into my mind.
Turns out, that’s a handy analogy. Like a physical chain, blockchain connects parties directly with one another to enable fast, secure, and borderless transactions. . .
‘Get on and do it’ culture contributing to farm accidents – Andrew McRae:
The high injury rate among farm workers has prompted a call for them to be more involved in health and safety decisions on the farm.
WorkSafe New Zealand’s farm sector analysis of injuries between April 2012 and March 2015 shows that for every 1000 employees, 20 suffered an injury requiring more than a week off.
For every 1000 employees in dairying 28 were injured, compared with 18 in sheep and beef, and 30 per 1000 in the shearing industry.
The sector leader for WorkSafe, Al McCone, said the figures were a result of the culture that has crept into the agricultural sector. . .
Soaring prices worldwide for vanilla beans have prompted New Zealand vanilla grower and manufacturer, Heilala Vanilla, to launch a new product to shield its customers from market volatility.
For the second year in a row, international prices have skyrocketed as demand outstrips supply. Spice traders predict the current market turmoil will continue into 2018. . .
When a concerned citizen saw a cow chained to a tractor in Southland, they thought it was odd enough to ring police about.
But instead of being an animal welfare issue, the case turned out to be a common(ish) farming practice.
It was Sunday afternoon when the police station phone rang – the caller having just seen the bovine suspended in its field along Gore’s Waikaka Rd. Officers were told the animal couldn’t get food or water, and the owner was nowhere to be seen.
The matter was referred to animal control.
Though what looked like cruelty was in fact the opposite, the farmer says – insisting it’s a life-saving measure. . .
WorkSafe New Zealand says the latest forestry death in Hawkes Bay is a sad reminder to the industry of the need to remain vigilant about health and safety.
Monday’s death follows three earlier confirmed forestry fatalities so far this year, and is the second death in the Pohakura Forest.
“It is obviously concerning to see two deaths in the one forest within a matter of months. Any deaths are a tragedy for family, friends and co-workers and the wider community,” says WorkSafe’s chief executive Gordon MacDonald. . .
A Picton group that pre-empted the Government’s predator-free push by 12 months plans to create a line of defence surrounding the entire town.
Volunteer group Picton Dawn Chorus has already started setting 150 traps, or a trap every 100 metres, on public walkways in the town’s Victoria Domain to kill rats, stoats and possums.
The next step is to set more than 700 traps in private gardens and outlying coastal and bush areas, eventually covering an expected 2000 hectares. . .
NZ Landcare Trust has been working with deer farmers to capture examples of excellent sustainable land and water management from around the country. This information has been distilled into fifteen short videos that are now available to view online. The final five videos from Waikato and Southland join the ten previously released (Hawke’s Bay and Canterbury) to create an informative video based resource.
NZ Landcare Trust’s Regional Coordinator Janet Gregory said, “I’d like to thank the deer farmers who welcomed us onto their properties. They have taken the time to share some of the good management practices that they have put in place on their respective properties, demonstrating a proactive approach to addressing issues around the environment and water quality.” . .
The dairy sheep industry is gaining traction as a viable alternative to traditional land uses, say rural property experts.
As the ability to convert to dairying faces greater challenges on environmental and economic fronts, the option of leaving the land as a milking sheep unit is coming into focus for farmers in regions like Southland and central North Island.
Invercargill-based Bayleys rural consultant Hayden McCallum says his patch of New Zealand’s rural landscape offers some significant opportunities for milking sheep, given its well established sheep sector and strong pastoral property base. . .
Farm life in Taradise – Brad Markham:
Have you ever slipped your hand inside a cow having difficulty calving, felt two large front feet, and thought ‘I’m going to need a lot of lube to get this one out’? I’ve had to deliver a few monster calves this winter. Several were almost half my body weight. I often joke that semen from a certain bull with a reputation for producing huge calves, should come with a complementary container of lube. . .
New regulations to strengthen the law around the management and treatment of bobby calves are planned to be in place before the 2016 spring calving season, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has announced today.
“Most farmers care for their animals and do a good job of looking after them. However it’s important we have clear rules and enforcement in place. Animal welfare is important not just to animals, but to consumers and our export markets,” says Mr Guy.
“The new, strengthened regulations will go to Cabinet for final approval shortly. I want to give farmers, transport operators and processors advance warning of these changes before the start of the calving season.” . .
Details announced today for new regulations for the management and treatment of young calves are part of a wider programme of work by farmers, industry and government to strengthen bobby calf welfare.
The eight organisations that formed the Bobby Calf Action Group at the end of 2015 have accelerated and added to existing measures aimed at ensuring everyone involved with bobby calves applies best practice in their handling and care. . .
An updated tool-kit designed to help farmers better manage risks on their farms will be distributed at National Fieldays at Mystery Creek.
The tool-kit, which provides practical advice and resources to help farmers improve health and safety on their farms, has been developed by Safer Farms, ACC and WorkSafe New Zealand’s health and safety programme designed with farmers and the wider agricultural sector.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand and Federated Farmers were among the groups which provided input to the tool-kit. Beef + Lamb New Zealand, in addition to working with WorkSafe on the new tool-kit, is working with sheep and beef farmers to help them meet their obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act. Beef + Lamb New Zealand Chief Executive, Sam McIvor, says that by the end of June, the organisation will have run over 70 health and safety workshops for more than 2,100 attendees around the country. . .
Nominations and entries are open for the 2016 Lincoln University Foundation South Island Farmer of the Year competition, and organisers are expecting wide interest.
Foundation Chair Ben Todhunter says, “Last year we had excellent entries which resulted in a tie, with Omarama Station and Clearwater Mussels sharing the honours. This substantially boosted public interest and we had excellent attendance at all of our events. We anticipate this level of interest will continue in 2016.” . . .
The genetic base cow – the genetic reference point for all dairy cattle in New Zealand – will be updated this month when it will become younger, moving from a 2000 to a 2005-born base cow.
New Zealand Animal Evaluation Limited (NZAEL) manager Jeremy Bryant says the genetic base is updated every five years and will be again on June 19, 2016.
Jeremy says the base cow update reflects genetic progress and prevents the gap between today’s animals and the genetic base becoming too large. This keeps the scale of genetic predictions relevant. . .
Huge demand for New Zealand blueberries is being welcomed by local growers who have exported a record 1.37 million kilograms of fruit this season.
Blueberries New Zealand (BBNZ) today announced over 10 million punnets of berries (worth an estimated $30 million FOB) were shipped to the end of March – a 40 per cent increase on the season before.
“Demand is continuing to grow, especially in Asia-Pacific where a ‘food-as-a-medicine’ culture prevails,” explains Blueberries NZ Chairman Dan Peach. “Asian markets have demonstrated a clear and voracious appetite for blueberries thanks to the wide range of amazing health benefits they offer.” . .
Two dairy farmers from Canterbury and south Auckland will join the DairyNZ Board of Directors this year.
New associate directors Jessie Chan-Dorman and Stu Muir have been selected to join the DairyNZ board for successive six month terms. Jessie begins this month and Stu from January 2017.
DairyNZ chair Michael Spaans says Jessie and Stu bring great industry experience to the roles, which are about providing experience to future leaders, showing first-hand how a board works and what goes into making key decisions. . .
Marine farming rubbish removed during beach clean-up – Mike Watson:
Marine farmers have recovered almost 20 tonnes of rubbish, much of it non-industry related, from Marlborough Sounds and Tasman Bay beaches in the past five years.
The total tonnage from the marine farming industry-led environmental programme was the equivalent of more than two weeks work every month over the past five years by volunteers cleaning up the region’s beaches, a review of the programme showed.
The programme had been operating since the early 1990s to help clean up beaches in the top of the South Island. . .
Pondering life and death down on the farm – Joyce Wyllie:
“When you have livestock, you do have dead stock” is a saying I heard often when I was a vet.
It is a farmer’s laconic way of coping with disappointments, sickness and demise of both farm and pet animals. Death is something we face on farms regularly and rural families do learn to deal with it, although it should never become casual or frivolous. Our garden has a cemetery where the white mice are buried, there are RIP white crosses among flowers, and fruit trees planted on top of deceased dogs.
Our children have learnt that life does end. They have experienced grief, understand sadness of loss and have developed respect for death. . .
The outlook for the wider dairy sector including support available for farmers were the focus of an event near Morrinsville attended by Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy today.
The event brought together farmers and others from the rural business community, including MPI, DairyNZ, Federated Farmers, Rural Support Trusts and the New Zealand Bankers Association who together launched a new brochure outlining various support available for farmers.
“While the medium to long-term outlook for the sector remains strong, our dairy farmers are doing it tough this season. Low global prices are having a real impact on cashflows and farmers are rightly focussing on their business decisions and on-farm costs,” says Mr Guy.. . .
WorkSafe NZ’s chief executive says farmers should place a high priority on health and safety plans rather than doing them at the end of the working week.
Gordon MacDonald’s comments come as the new Health and Safety at Work Act comes into force on April 4. He says the new act should come under the banner of ‘looking after my mates’ and become an important part of any business.
He adds the ‘she’ll be right’ approach has no place in the current environment and shouldn’t have had for the past 20 years under the previous act. . .
The Ministry for Primary Industries has imposed tough new border restrictions to stop contaminated seed from entering New Zealand.
The move follows the discovery of velvet leaf in fodder beet seeds imported from Europe. MPI, industry bodies and regional councils are currently responding to an outbreak of the invasive weed in farm properties across the country.
“We already have strong border controls in place to stop contaminated seed from entering New Zealand. The new interim measures will provide another layer of biosecurity until we know exactly how the contaminated fodder beet seeds entered the country,” says Stephen Butcher, MPI Manager Import and Export Plants. . .
JAPANESE shoppers are not normally known for their appetite for sheepmeat products, but changing consumer trends could see more lamb on their barbecues alongside Australian beef.
Food industry marketers say the world’s biggest importer of red meat (by value) is not only a cosmopolitan marketplace with plenty of scope for new taste trends among younger consumers, Japan also has a growing attraction to barbecued meat. . .
James Hoban is the fifth Grand Finalist to be named in the 2016 FMG Young Farmer of the Year.
James is a 30 year old Sheep and Dairy Support Farmer and Farm Environment Consultant who took first place at the Tasman Regional Final in Rangiora on 2 April
Mr Hoban went home with a prize pack worth over $10,000 including cash, scholarships and products and services from FMG, Massey University, Ravensdown, Meridian Energy, AGMARDT, Silver Fern Farms, Honda, STIHL and Vodafone. James also won the Massey University Agri-growth Challenge. . .
LIC’s Jersey Premier Sires bulls have cemented their position at the top of the national Jersey Ranking of Active Sires (RAS) list, released at the weekend.
This is good news for dairy farmers who prefer to get their Jersey inseminations from their farmer-owned co-operative.
Among a range of positive statistics on the Jersey RAS list, LIC has all of the top 5 bulls. It also has 8 of the top 10 and 11 of the top 15 bulls on the Jersey RAS list. Of the 11, 9 are new graduates which illustrates the change in LIC’s momentum. . .
Onus put on everyone to keep safe on farms – WorkSafe – Brittany Pickett:
The responsibility of farmers to ensure safety on farms remains mostly unaltered with the new health and safety legislation, says WorkSafe NZ chief executive Gordon MacDonald.
The Health and Safety at Work Act comes into effect on April 4.
The new act puts the responsibility onto almost everyone on a farm to ensure the health and safety of themselves and the people around them.
They must be accountable and identify hazards and risks, taking steps to prevent them from happening, and hold regular training and reviews of incidents with frequent health and safety audits. . .
Resources to back up health and safety laws – Sally Rae:
Helping people through the “demystification” of health and safety is not about having endless ring binders on the shelf gathering dust, WorkSafe chief executive Gordon MacDonald says.
Instead, there are great resources available and implementation of the new Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) next week was an opportunity for people to review what their own approach was to health and safety.
For the farming community, it was not a question of “eliminating risks from life or getting obsessed by paper cuts”; it was about stuff that caused life-changing and life-ending injuries to people, Mr MacDonald said. . .
‘A cool bit of science’ – Sally Rae:
AgResearch scientist Sara Edwards is on a quest to help find out why the reproductive performance of hoggets is so poor.
Dr Edwards is reproduction team leader, based at Invermay, where a hogget trial has been conducted over two years at the research centre’s farm, near Mosgiel.
Much work had been done to try to improve the efficiency of hogget lambing using management practices.
Hoggets produce about half the lambs mature ewes do but the underlying question remained as to what was going wrong, Dr Edwards said. . .
Life on the ridge of sighs – Kate Taylor:
Adrian Arnold glances at the sky and wonders out loud if the flurry of raindrops will come to anything.
Even the slightest hint of rain is enough to send a farmer scurrying back to the woolshed in the middle of shearing to make sure he has enough sheep under cover – in this case, the remainder of 600 two-tooth ewes due for a campylobacter vaccine after shearing.
Adrian grew up at Kaiwaka, north-east of Napier, and has been farming the family’s 425ha property with wife Kim since 1987. . .
Understanding European dairy – Keith Woodford:
In working out the long term positioning for the New Zealand dairy industry, we have to ask ourselves four big questions:
• What will happen in China?
• What will happen to oil prices?
• What will happen in America?
• What will happen in Europe?
In this article I will focus on Europe.
The need to shed some myths
To understand the fundamental changes that are occurring in European dairy, we need to first shed some myths. Dominant among these myths is that the European industry only survives because of subsidies. . .
There are 10,011 fewer pest rabbits on Central Otago farms thanks to the annual Great Easter Bunny Hunt.
The 328 hunters who took part in the annual event assembled in Pioneer Park in Alexandra at midday today for the count and prizegiving and a team called Down South took top honours for a second consecutive year with a kill of 889 rabbits.
Team leader Brett Middleton from Winton says the team has been competing for six years and in four of them it has been in the top five. . .
Dairy Women’s Network is shifting its members’ Kiwi can-do attitude to a ‘can-do safely’ attitude with its new Dairy Modules titled ‘Step up to Safety’ being offered from late October.
The Step up to Safety workshops are run by DWN members who are experienced in the field of Health and Safety and are supported by expert organisations Worksafe NZ and Hazardco.
“The most important thing participants will get out of these free workshops is a 90-day Health and Safety action plan. They will leave having made a start with their Health and Safety system or some actions identified to progress to next steps,” said project manager and Farmer Wellness specialist Lynda Clark.
She said the challenge is that some farmers may have fallen into complacency and think they have been let off the hook following the Government’s recent Health and Safety legislation announcements. . .
Remote-controlled tree-felling reduces hazards – Annabelle Tukia:
New Zealand’s first remote-control forest-harvesting machine is being put to work in Nelson.
It’s hoped the technology will reduce the safety hazards associated with the forestry industry.
Tony Irvine is still getting to grips with his new machine. He’s normally in the cab of a 40-tonne self-leveller cutting down trees on the steep slope, but this week he’s started trialling a remote-control operation.
“It’s a lot better in this machine,” says Mr Irvine. “You feel a lot safer.” . .
While the girl has been taken out of the country, at least for part of the day, the country remains firmly with Mya Taft because she brings a piece of it to her city classmates.
The schoolgirl from Ngakuru near Rotorua was well into her first school year at St Mary’s Catholic School in Rotorua as a year 6 student when she realised how much she would miss Ag Day, such a big part of the calendar at her previous school, Ngakuru Primary.
Mad keen on animals, a devoted calf-rearer and future vet, Mya decided to take matters into her own hands and arrange an Ag Day for her city classmates. . .
(BusinessDesk) – Fonterra Cooperative Group director John Monaghan said critics who claim dairy is doomed, and the economy with it, show a lack of understanding of the market and the structure of the dairy company.
Monaghan told the New Zealand Shareholders Association conference at the weekend that the news was full of gloomy predictions with falling global dairy prices that not only was it the end of the golden weather for dairy farmers, but also the end of the industry.
“Farmers are worried, anyone would be when their incomes are halved in the course of a year,” he said. “The US, Europe and Australia will have to consolidate and learn to live without subsidies but we’ve already done the hard yards and the cooperative is in the best position to weather the storm and come out the other side. Dairy is not doomed or dead.” . .
The opportunity to precisely manage a fertiliser analysis and application programme, on highly variable hill country, has East Otago farmer Rob Lawson excited.
The trial is a part of Ravensdown’s Pioneering to Precision Primary Growth Partnership programme in partnership with the Ministry for Primary Industries and supported by Massey University and AgResearch.
Rob, who farms with his brother Willie, father Jim and their families on their steep-to-rolling hill country, is also looking forward to the reduced workload that the programme is expected to make possible. They run about 10,000 stock units on a ratio of about 70% sheep and the remainder cattle on their 2,330 ha property just south of Waikouaiti.
The programme aims to improve the use, and application, of fertiliser, and Rob has welcomed the opportunity for his farm to be a part of it. . .
National agritech business accelerator Sprout is looking for a startup with the potential to be New Zealand’s next global agritech superstar.
Sprout is searching the country for eight budding entrepreneurs with new agritech businesses for a new development programme.
Sprout Programme Manager James Bell-Booth said the chosen eight would receive a cash injection of $20,000 and be mentored by world-class business and technical experts.
“One of the things we are looking to equip is the next generation of agri-entrepreneurs,” he said. . .
Yamaha Sky Division New Zealand represents the future of the agricultural industry. The introduction of the Yamaha RMAX unmanned helicopters will enable property owners, licenced operators and contractors to maintain the land and crops remotely, from the air, and without the hassles that come with more traditional farming methods.
Weighing in at 99kg and at a total length of 3.63m and a height of 1.08m, each helicopter has a load capacity of 28kgs and runs on a 2 stroke, horizontally opposed 2-cylinder engine. The newest member of the Yamaha Sky Division is the ultimate piece of farm machinery for the 21st century.
The versatility of this new technology means that operators can spray weeds, crops, or spread seed in a more cost effective and accurate manner. . .
Wairarapa REAP (Rural Education Activities Programme) was this week recognised for its partnership with Corrections in helping community-based offenders increase their literacy levels and employment and education prospects.
Corrections Deputy Chief Executive Christine Stevenson presented Wairarapa REAP Director Peter McNeur with a community work partnership award at Masterton Community Corrections on Tuesday.
Corrections Service Manager Mel Morris said the award recognises the contribution Wairarapa REAP has made to community-based offenders’ lives.
“Corrections values the commitment of our community work partners like Wairarapa REAP that allows offenders to learn new skills and behaviours, and provide role models that make a positive difference to others.
“Wairarapa REAP has done a tremendous job in providing offenders with the tools that could turn their lives around,” she said. . .
Why Getting Nepal the Right Seeds After the Earthquakes Matters – Kelsey Nowakowski:
When two major earthquakes hit Nepal this past spring, it devastated the country’s agricultural sector. Cultivated terraces were washed away by landslides and covered in rubble. But farmers lost more than just their crops, cattle, and homes (see Nepal Earthquake Strikes One of Earth’s Most Quake-Prone Areas). Gone, too, were the seeds they had uniquely adapted to their land over the course of decades.
Farming communities in central Nepal’s mountainous region were some of the hardest hit areas in the country. Seeds, tools, food stocks, and buildings were destroyed. In the six most-affected districts, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that about 60 percent of food and seed stocks were destroyed in farming households. . .
Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s Economic Service released its New Season Outlook 2015-16 today. It predicts the average sheep and beef farm in New Zealand will see its profit before tax lift to $109,900 this season – 9.6 per cent more than last season, but 3.1 per cent below the five-year average.
B+LNZ Chief Economist Andrew Burtt says this is positive news, at a time when the New Zealand economy will benefit from increased farm sector spending.
“This season, New Zealand’s 12,300 commercial sheep and beef farmers will spend a total of $4.66 billion on fertiliser, interest, repairs and maintenance and general farm operating costs. This will be welcomed by rural suppliers and communities, particularly at this time.” . .
Techno lucerne: getting the best out of bulls – Kate Taylor:
Nothing spells out spring more than lambs and daffodils.
You won’t find many woolly creatures on the Central Hawke’s Bay farm of Angus and Esther Mabin, apart from the ones keeping the grass down in the home paddock.
You will find daffodils though. Thousands of them planted across more than 8ha by Angus’ Mum Railene over 40 years and now sold as a fundraiser for CHB Plunket. Every September, giant-sized daffodil signs grace the side of SH2 south of Waipukurau and locals and visitors swarm to the farm known as Taniwha. . .
Will ants bee the saviours of our hives? – Alexa Cook:
Scientists have discovered a new ant virus related to the deformed wing virus, which kills honey bees.
The new virus is carried by Argentine ants, which are one of New Zealand’s major bee pests.
The ants already carry a deformed wing virus, which can cause bee colony collapses. . .
Silver Fern Farms ‘strategic’ not even close – Gravedodger:
The entire NZ Meat Industry may qualify in that category but there is absolutely nothing about a farmer supplier owned part player processor, I hesitate to call them marketer, in the meat industry to what I understand Strategic to involve.
Yes there is farmer supplier investment in SFF and if the whole shambolic outfit went broke tomorrow it would have some dire effects for many but in the absence of any significant new meatworks being created, those that were built in the latter years of last century have all outlived the planned obsolescence and the older ones are more relics than meatplants.
The entire meat industry since the “Dunedin” departed New Zealand waters with the first refrigerated cargo of meat for the UK over 130 years ago, is littered with incompetence and manipulations bordering on fraud as aspiring entrepreneurs attempted to make their fortune. . .
New great walk to be ‘one of the best‘ – Paul Taylor:
The Department of Conservation is working on plans for a Great Walk near Queenstown, the country’s 10th.
The proposed three day route is through the spectacular scenery of nearby Mt Creighton Station.
The ”Moonlight Trail” is part of a mooted trade off between the Government and the company which owns the perpetual lease for the 15,000ha station. . .
The New Zealand Wine Intermediate Certificate was launched in Shanghai last week, giving Chinese wine consumers the chance to learn about New Zealand’s diverse wine styles.
The education programme was developed by New Zealand Winegrowers and New Zealand Trade & Enterprise in response to a growing demand for information about New Zealand wine from consumers across China.
“This certificate has been several years in the making. We are working with New Zealand based Master of Wine Jane Skilton and her team at the New Zealand School of Wines & Spirits, whose experience will prove invaluable” said Chris Yorke, Global Marketing Director at New Zealand Winegrowers. “Education plays a huge part in our marketing strategy for China, and the launch of a programme specially tailored for consumers will help raise awareness and appreciation of our premium wines in a growing market.” . .
Sheep farmers busy with tailing/docking of lambs are being urged to take extra care of their backs.
“With spring comes more stock handling,” says Al McCone, WorkSafe’s Agriculture Programme Manager. “Injuries often happen when people do routine tasks like tailing/docking over and over again. Before you or your workers start any job on the farm, stop and consider what you need to watch out for and how to get it done safely.”
In September last year, people working on farms made 600 claims qualifying for ACC funding for back injuries. In addition to injuries suffered as a result of tailing/docking work, other back-related injuries came from kicks or crushing by animals, slips, trips and falls, and injuries from vehicles and heavy machinery. . .
Changes to the 2016 New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year competition will give genuine dairy trainees the opportunity to succeed.
National Convenor Chris Keeping says the entry criteria in the dairy trainee competition has been tightened to ensure it caters for young people, who have less experience and qualifications than other potential new entrants to the dairy industry.
“The dairy trainee contest aims to foster and assist new people coming into the industry to gain the skills, knowledge and reputation they need to progress,” Mrs Keeping says. . .
Entries in New Zealand’s most prestigious competition for extra virgin olive oil closed on Wednesday 9th September, with a total of 70 entries. There were 60 entries in the Extra Virgin classes and 10 entries in the Flavoured Oil classes, which are new classes for these Awards.
The 2015 New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards have attracted entries from all of the major olive growing regions across the country. . .
Weaning calves from milk when they reach 65 kilograms could add to the bottom line if a good value meal and pasture is added to the diet early on – especially when it comes to replacement heifers.
Wendy Morgan, Nutrition and Quality Manager at animal nutrition company SealesWinslow said the cost of rearing calves can be reviewed by farmers who are looking for ways to make cost savings this season.
“To wean from milk, start weighing calves at six weeks of age. An animal can be weaned once it has reached 65 kilograms, has an obvious rumen (a pot belly when looking at it from behind) and is eating 1 kilogram of meal for three consecutive days,” she said. . .
Excerpts from the Wood Resource Quarterly (www.woodprices.com)
Global Timber Markets:
Sawlog prices fell again in the 2Q/15 in most of the 19 regions worldwide that are part of the Global Sawlog Price Index (GSPI). The Index is at its lowest level since 2009, and is down 20% from its all-time high four years go.The only regions where prices increased in the 2Q were in Northwest Russia andthe Interior of British Columbia.
Global trade of softwood roundwood slowed down towards the end of 2014 and log shipments have continued to be slow during the first half of 2015, with the biggest reduction in imports being in Japan, South Korea and Sweden. . .
The Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI) announcement to beef up biosecurity on incoming cruise ships is a welcome result for the kiwifruit industry.
Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH) Chief Executive, Barry O’Neil, says KVH has been working with MPI for increased border interventions on the cruise ship pathway, and supports the work being done to address the increasing risks.
“The cruise ship pathway is one the kiwifruit industry is concerned about so we are fully supportive of MPI’s proactive approach following a cruise ship passenger risk review.” . .
Federated Farmers says the Government must hold firm on a deal for agriculture at the Trans Pacific Partnership talks in Hawaii.
Federated Farmers’ Dairy Chair Andrew Hoggard is adamant that the reason for New Zealand being at the 12 nation talks is to establish free trade in the region, and a trade deal that doesn’t include meaningful access for dairy is not a free trade deal.
“Let’s be clear. Dairy is our largest export earner. It would be like the Japanese concluding a deal that didn’t have anything in it for automotive or technology trade.” . .
Like Uber but for dairy – Offsetting Behaviour:
There could be a lot of opportunities for Canadian dairy in opening up their markets to foreign competition, and in having foreign markets opened to their products. But there would be transitional costs.
Health and Safety — some way to go – Katie Milne:
The long awaited report back to the Select Committee on the Health and Safety Reform Bill has now occurred.
We don’t totally know what we are getting. The Labour Party will be opposing the legislation. The Council of Trade Unions doesn’t like it. The Government has signalled a Supplementary Order Paper to amend the Bill before it goes through its final stages before becoming law and there are regulations to be drafted to sit under the eventual Act as well.
Besides this, WorkSafe New Zealand has considerable discretion how it implements the new Act and the interpretation courts put on the sections and regulations will keep a whole lot of lawyers busy for some years to come. . .
National dairy industry body DairyNZ is warning farmers to prepare for further cuts to companies’ already low milk price forecasts.
It comes as ASB announced this morning it expects Fonterra to slash its forecast by $1 to $4.25 per kilo of milk solids when it reviews its payout next week.
However, the bank is predicting an end of season payout of $4.50. . .
T&G Global strengthens position as asparagus marketer – Jonathan Underhill:
(BusinessDesk) – T&G Global, the fruit marketer controlled by Germany’s BayWa, has acquired assets from long-term Australian partner M&G Vizzarri, strengthening its position as a major asparagus trader.
T&G’s 50 percent-owned Australian subsidiary Delica will buy Vizzarri Farms, the asparagus marketer founded by Mario and Gina Vizzarri, from its Delica co-shareholder M&G Vizzarri. No price was disclosed.
The joint venture will be renamed T&G Vizzarri Farms and will become “one of the leading asparagus traders in the southern hemisphere,” T&G Global said in a statement. Targeted revenue from the enlarged business is about $40 million in its first year and more than 5,000 tonnes, it said. Currently Delica handles export sales for Vizzarri Farms, which owns 29 properties with a combined 1,900 acres. . .
The South Island’s largest ski area – Treble Cone (Wanaka, New Zealand) has enjoyed its busiest ever start to a snow season and has set new records for both its ‘busiest week overall’ and ‘busiest July ever’.
With fantastic pre-season and early season snowfalls the entire mountain including the Home and Saddle Basins, the right-of-passage Summit Slopes, the revered expert only Motatapu Chutes, and the Matukituki Basin were all open from Opening Day.
Over the first week of the New Zealand school holidays Treble Cone enjoyed its busiest ever week of skier visits, with all terrain open spreading guests across the entire mountain enjoying the cold dry snow.
Merino school jersey success – Sally Rae:
With a passion for New Zealand wool, it was only natural that Banks Peninsula farmers Carl and Tori Uren dressed their four young children in merino clothing.
But when their eldest daughter Annabel turned 5, they were disappointed to find the only jersey option for the school uniform was made from polar fleece.
Believing there had to be another option, the sheep and beef farmers made some inquiries and were disappointed to find merino jerseys were not available. . .
Safe workplace culture ‘comes from within’ – Sue O’Dowd:
Changes around health and safety need to come from the community and from industry, says a Taranaki Worksafe leader.
“It’s not going to be the regulator that makes the change,” WorkSafe assessment manager Jill Manaia told about 200 people at this week’s NZ Ground Spreader Fertiliser Association conference in New Plymouth. “It’s industry and the community who decide what’s important.”
She said Worksafe was tasked with leading a step change in health and safety performance in New Zealand to reduce fatalities and serious harm by 25 per cent by 2020.
“Whatever we’ve been doing hasn’t worked. We’re killing too many people – each statistic is a family member, a business member, a guy who has to be replaced and who is no longer part of society. If someone is killed or injured at your business, it’s likely you knew them well.” . . .
Export conditions still tough – Neal Wallace:
If last year proved tough for exporters they are unlikely to get much of a reprieve in the coming season.
A combination of economic upheaval in key markets and high production from competing exporters threatens to overshadow the looming export season before it even starts.
Rabobank’s dairy research director Hayley Moynihan said this season would be tough but some of that impact could be softened by an easing NZ dollar. . .
All atwitter over beef Wellington – Rod Slater:
Before our very eyes, the way we advertise our products is changing rapidly.
No longer can we refer to a marketing plan which includes the traditional mix of television, print, radio, outdoor and a touch of online marketing, as strong.
Online marketing is without a doubt “taking over the world” and I’m certainly not one for closing my eyes to the inevitable. In fact, I’m predicting the social media and the online space will quickly begin to absorb the majority of our costs when it comes to allocating advertising spend. . .
Outram’s Johnstones win again – Sally Rae:
Outram Limousin breeders Rob and Jean Johnstone have done it again.
The couple have been awarded the Alan Dodd Trophy for the overall champion in the annual Otago Southland beef carcass competition, which attracted 38 entries. . .
Federated Farmers is calling for people with bee industry experience and skills to apply for positions on the Interim Apiculture Industry Governance Board (IGB). The IGB emerged out of the merger between Federated Farmers Bees, Honey Packers and Exporters Association and National Beekeepers Association at the New Zealand Apiculture Conference last month.
The interim working group member and Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group Vice-Chairman, Peter Bell, says it is vital to have the best people to navigate a way to structure and fund the apiculture industry. . .
Four months into his new job as CEO of Alliance, David Surveyor is really loving the challenge of heading a global business which is so crucial to farmers, consumers and New Zealand as a whole. He has always been interested in the agrifood space, as he terms it, and enjoys getting to know New Zealand through its agricultural producers.
In contrast with his previous roles in steel and building materials, the biggest difference in the meat industry is the question of livestock supply with so many factors outside the company’s control. Variable climatic conditions and land use change are just two of the main ones. At Alliance its cooperative status demands a lot of time seeing things from the supplier perspective which is not such a major factor in manufacturing industries, while all meat companies need to spend more time focused on the market. . .
Fonterra Shareholders’ Council Chairman, Ian Brown said Farmers will be cautiously optimistic following today’s announcement by Fonterra of an opening forecast Milk Price for the 2015/16 season of $5.25 per kg/MS, including an opening advance rate of $3.66 per kg/MS.
Mr Brown: “Farmers will view next season’s forecast as a positive given the situation we have experienced this past season.
“They will also see the announcement as a signal from their Board that the market should start to move in a positive direction in the near future, which is welcome news. . .
Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited today announced that Sir Ralph Norris has indicated he will not seek to continue his term on the Fonterra Board, following the Co-operative’s Annual Meeting on 25 November 2015.
Sir Ralph joined the Board in May 2012 as an Independent Director, and made this decision because of his other commitments.
Sir Ralph is also resigning from the Board of the Manager of the Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund, from 25 November 2015. . .
Irrigation projects will receive a kick-start of $25 million in operating funding for five years from 2016/17 through the Irrigation Acceleration Fund (IAF), Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has announced today.
“This funding will help to complete the investigation and development of new regional scale irrigation proposals,” says Mr Guy.
“The need for more water storage projects is obvious given that nearly every part of the country has suffered through drought at some stage over the past three years.
“Providing a reliable water supply for farmers and growers has massive potential to boost growth, creating jobs and exports in provincial regions.” . . .
IrrigationNZ today welcomed the post budget announcement by Primary Industries Minister, Nathan Guy, of a $25 million allocation of new funding to the Irrigation Acceleration Fund.
“This will boost the development stages of water storage and irrigation distribution infrastructure, which is desperately needed in our summer dry east coast regions. Reliable water supply will sustain communities and maintain the environmental health of their rivers,” says Nicky Hyslop, IrrigationNZ Chair.
“With additional IAF funds contributing to the early stages of this infrastructure development, it will be essential that RMA process reforms that empower collaboration also occur so that the funds do not go to waste,” says Mrs Hyslop. . .
A safety council has been set-up, chaired by Dame Alison Paterson, to make forests safer places to work. Establishing the council was a key recommendation of the Independent Forestry Safety Review Panel that reviewed forest safety in 2014.
The Forest Industry Safety Council (FISC) was launched tonight at a function at parliament. Its board includes representatives of forest owners, contractors, workers, unions and Worksafe New Zealand. Funding will come from the Forest Grower Levy and from government – ACC and Worksafe. . .
Kanuka right at home on winning farm – Kate Taylor:
Kanuka is very much part of our landscape, says Simon Beamish, who with wife Josi was named the 2015 Pan Pac Hawke’s Bay Farm Forester of the Year in April.
They farm alongside the Ngaruroro River that slices between the Kaweka and Ruahine ranges in Hawke’s Bay, west of Hastings, with the farm rising to 690 metres above sea level.
Their 1121ha Awapai and 992ha Waitata properties have been owned by the Beamish family for almost 130 years. They were both part of the original Whanawhana block leased and then freeholded by Simon’s great great grandfather Nathaniel Beamish in 1886. Nathaniel’s son George was sent up to manage the block of land at the young age of 18. . .
New Zealand venison exporters have started a trial to test the appetite of European consumers for Cervena venison in the summer grilling season.
The trial, which began in April, is part of the Passion2Profit initiative that was formally launched today at the Deer Industry Conference in Napier. P2P is a joint venture between the deer industry and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) under the Primary Growth Partnership programme.
“We are really excited that this pilot is underway. Launching Cervena in Europe has been talked about in the deer industry for many years, but it needs careful branding and substantial promotional support to make it a sales success,” says DINZ venison manager Innes Moffat. . .
Increasing urbanisation means more support for initiatives like the ‘NZ Young Horticulturist of the Year 2015 Competition’ is needed to encourage fresh talent into primary industries, like horticulture, to sustain this country’s edge as a top quality food producer.
The horticultural industry has a bright future and is fundamentally important to New Zealand’s economy, but the fact that more than 85 per cent of kids under 15* now live in urban areas is prompting some of the country’s top companies to throw their weight behind career awareness and development initiatives in the sector. . .
After months of planning TUANZ and RHAANZ are delighted to announce that the Rural Connectivity Symposium kicks off in Wellington today.
“The event has sold out with over 150 people attending. The Symposium will be opened by the Communications Minister, The Hon. Amy Adams and has been well supported by sponsors across the health and ICT spectrum” said Craig Young, CEO of TUANZ.
“Rural satellite service provider, Wireless Nation, is the premier sponsor for our one-day event, which is a mixture of presentations and workshops.” . .
As mineral deficiencies continue to cost dairy farmers time, money, livestock and lost production, a unique new mineral blend is offering a comprehensive, cost-effective solution.
Developed specifically for New Zealand dairying by BEC Feed Solutions, Main Stay Macro Minerals, delivers key nutritional minerals in a convenient, palatable, accurate and dust-free blend. And, because it incorporates the revolutionary Bolifor Mag 33 and MGP+ Magnesium products, farmers won’t have to worry about pasture dusting again, consequently saving valuable time and labour costs. . .
The Ministry for Primary Industries has carried out more than 100,000 tests since a threat to contaminate infant formula but none has detected any trace of 1080, it says.
It is almost a fortnight since the deadline imposed by a blackmailer threatening to contaminate infant formula with the pesticide.
The ministry began its testing in mid-January, after the threat was made. . .
Dairy farm’s boss has eye for talent – Sue O’Dowd:
The 2015 Taranaki Farm Manager of the Year is on track for his second record production season on a Central Taranaki dairy farm.
Lance Chadwick is in his second season as manager of a 115ha (effective) Toko property owned by farm consultant Brendan Attrill and wife Susan Mundt.
Chadwick’s win is also the second successive Taranaki Dairy Awards title with which Attrill has a connection.
The 2014 Taranaki and New Zealand Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year winners, Jody and Charlie McCaig, were variable order sharemilkers on the Taranaki Community Rugby Trust Farm supervised by Attrill when they won both titles last year. . .
Farmers are being urged to take special care on quad-bikes after two fatalities this week. A farmer died on his Wairarapa farm on Tuesday, while a 17-year-old died today on a farm in Kaikohe.
“These two tragic events are a reminder to the farming community that while quad-bikes are a useful tool on the farm, they need to be used safely,” says Francois Barton, Manager of National Programmes at WorkSafe New Zealand.
“Five people died on quad-bikes in 2014 and many were seriously harmed. Using a quad safely comes down to the attitude of the user, their safety practices, making safe choices and using the bike responsibly.” . .
Former rural reporter becomes a dairy farmer in New Zealand – Angela Owens and Sally Bryant:
It is not common to hear of young people leaving a successful career to go into farming but it is a move that has worked for one former journalist.
Former ABC Radio journalist Brad Markham worked in rural New South Wales and then became the state political reporter in Tasmania before throwing down the microphone and pulling on the gumboots.
Mr Markham grew up on a dairy farm, but chose a life in media and was having considerable success in that field. . .
Farmers are being encouraged to get along to a series of workshops on how to use OSPRI’s National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) programme.
The workshops have been tailored to beef, deer and lifestyle farmers, and will provide a hands-on, interactive two-hour experience using NAIT’s online system.
OSPRI Acting Chief Executive Stu Hutchings said the workshops aim to help new users of the NAIT system and those needing a refresher course. The feedback to date from farmers who have attended a workshop has been overwhelmingly positive.
“The NAIT programme is critical to biosecurity and market access. To be effective, we need all cattle and deer tagged and registered with NAIT as well as up to date data on their location and movements,” said Dr Hutchings. . .
The addition of persistence and metabolisable energy (ME) traits to the DairyNZ Forage Value Index (FVI) are seen as key targets for Cameron Ludemann in his new role as Forage Value Manager.
Cameron, originally from a mixed farm in mid-Canterbury, joins DairyNZ having submitted his PhD thesis last year at the University of Melbourne.
In his thesis he assessed the value of changes in perennial ryegrass traits for Australian dairy farmers. The work was funded through the Dairy Futures Co-operative Research Centre.
A major component of Cameron’s thesis was the assessment of the value of improvements in the ME concentration trait in perennial ryegrass for Australian dairy farmers. . .
The final results in the Kiwifruit Industry Strategy Project (KISP) referendum have now been officially confirmed by election management company Electionz.
KISP’s independent Chair, Neil Richardson, said that the official results have changed very little from the interim results and now they have been confirmed, the industry’s focus will turn to implementing the recommendations.
“With the official final results showing over 90% support for each recommendation in the referendum, including 97% support for the industry’s single point of entry structure, growers have sent a very clear message to the Government, Zespri, and New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Inc (NZKGI) on how they want their industry to be structured and controlled. . .