Ute tax final straw for farmers as pressures mount– Matthew Littlewood:
On Friday, farmers and tradies will come together to protest a number of new government regulations, with thousands expected to drive their utes and tractors into centres across the country – the Government’s new ‘ute tax’ on high emission vehicles is the final straw for many, Matthew Littlewood reports.
It’s been a year of upheaval for many, and the farming community is no different. But setting the impacts of Covid-19 aside, South Canterbury Rural Support Trust chairman Mark Adams says there have been many challenges mounting for those in the rural sector for some time.
“It was happening even before Covid-19 hit. In this region, you have had Mycoplasma bovis, the Rangitata River flooding, the long dry spell, and then the more recent flooding last month.”
As well as having to contend with raging weather issues, farmers also had a Government pushing on with wide-ranging environmental reforms, Adams said. . .
Activist photos reignite winter grazing debate in Southland – Rachael Kelly:
A cow stands in a muddy paddock on a winter grazing block, and it’s ignited a fresh firestorm of comments on social media as activists and farmers clash.
Environmental activist Geoff Reid took a photo of the cow and posted it on his own Facebook page, but when asked when he took it, he’ll only say he took it at Waituna last Wednesday, from the side of the road.
When asked if it was taken after heavy rain, he replied “it is Southland and for it to rain in winter is no surprise. I believe we need significant land-use change to avoid the harm intensive winter grazing is causing.’’ . . .
New Zealand’s largest kiwifruit grower Seeka announces an equity investment in Fruitometry an innovative horticultural agritech.
In its first year Fruitometry successfully delivering a new commercial Digital Crop Estimation (DCE) service to kiwifruit growers, managers and packhouses in the North Island. Fruitometry’s exclusive technology enables the $3billion kiwifruit industry by growers being able to measure fruit set and growth by row throughout the growing season.
Fruitometry CTO and Founder Christopher Miller said “We are delighted with our performance after commercially scanning a thousand hectares. Grower feedback has been fantastic; it affirms our hard work to transform a challenging concept into a horticultural metrics provider in three years. Seeka is an ambitious, growth-oriented leader. Their investment is rocket fuel to rapidly scale our operation, broaden our product line and launch innovative tech towards additional crops and beyond New Zealand.” . .
Ballance Agri-Nutrients is a co-operative owned by over 17,000 farmers and growers, and is a leader in driving sustainable productivity within New Zealand’s primary sector.
“We are pleased to announce that we have appointed our first Associate Director, Will Grayling, into an 18-month role focused on building governance experience,” says Duncan Coull, Ballance Chair.
“To understand how boards set and drive organisational strategy and vision, you need experience and training.
“We’ve created an opportunity for an associate to get involved in primary sector governance and learn through doing by being around the board table.
Jamie McIntyre, 25, an orchard hand at Illawarra Farms, has won the 2021 Gisborne Young Grower of the Year competition.
‘What a day and I’m really stoked,’ said Jamie.
‘This is the best job you can have. I love what I do as growing is such a fantastic lifestyle choice. I am passionate about growing and want to share what happens on our orchards, so more people can have a slice of the lifestyle that we can all lead.’
Jamie will represent the Gisborne growing community in the national Young Grower of the Year competition in Wellington on 22-23 September, where six other regional finalists will compete for their share of $30,000 worth of prizes. . .
Graziers, peak bodies respond to Landholders for Dingoes – Sally Gall:
An acknowledgement that wild dogs don’t respect boundaries must be respected by the Landholders for Dingoes group, according to Queensland producers and peak body representatives.
The newly launched body, which has members in most states, has initiated ripples of comment with its claim that members are reaping business and environmental benefits in keeping wild dogs on their properties.
Queensland spokesman, Longreach grazier Angus Emmott said it was unfortunate that organisations driving the persecution of wild dogs, citing Meat & Livestock Australia, Australian Wool Innovation, and the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions, focused only on killing them. . .