The “very tricky patch” for sheep and beef farmers is set to continue in the short term, with Covid-19 at its heart, Westpac senior agri-economist Nathan Penny says.
In his monthly meat report, Mr Penny said the Omicron outbreak had been felt most acutely in meat processing plants, where it had caused very low operating capacity and delays in processing.
Some plants were operating at as low as 40% capacity and, as a result, some processing delays had blown out to about eight weeks.
Some bookings were being cancelled at the last minute as plants did not know how many workers would be available day to day. . .
DairyNZ will host a webinar on attracting and retaining farm staff in a difficult labour market on 20 April.
Bay of Plenty contract milker and former DairyNZ consultant Jordyn Crouch is one of four guest speakers who will discuss how New Zealand can design dairy workplaces to attract great employees.
Kellogg Rural Leadership project interviews with leading farmers led Crouch to identify four ways dairy workplaces could become more attractive including flexible rosters and pay scales; fostering leaders not managers; developing safe workplace cultures that allow autonomy and innovation; and sharing a common purpose on-farm.
“Involving your farm team is the starting point to improve your workplace,” she says. . .
New Zealand’s first commercial volume harvest of red kiwifruit is heading overseas, and with returns to pioneer growers looking juicy, there will be keen interest in the results of this year’s Zespri growing licence round.
Marketer Zespri released a further 350ha of RubyRed brand licence this year in a closed tender bid, the results of which will be announced from May 2.
The New Zealand grower-owned company said it was expecting a total red crop of around 140,000 trays this year. That’s double last year’s harvest, which was used for market trials sales.
Around 100ha was expected to produce the red fruit this year from a total of 415ha already licensed. . .
Gorsebusters of Ōkārito Lagoon – Lois Williams:
The phenomenal work ethic of a volunteer army has the gorse scourge at a West Coast beauty spot in retreat
For the second year running, volunteers from all over New Zealand have descended on picturesque Ōkārito Lagoon in South Westland to attack the gorse menace that threatens the Unesco World Heritage site.
“Gorsebusters”, the phenomenon sparked almost by accident last year by Ōkārito businessman Barry Hughes, is back bigger and better than ever as the West Coast basks in a record-breaking Indian summer.
The tiny community is hosting more than 80 people who arrived this week from as far away as Auckland, paying their own way to help out, armed to the teeth with loppers, pruning saws and other weapons of gorse destruction. . .
“New Zealand organically grown and manufactured medicinal cannabis products will be in huge demand internationally, taking the country’s newest industry to a whole new level in the future,” says Carmen Doran, chief executive of Helius Therapeutics.
Her comments follow the Government announcing a $32.2 million joint project with New Zealand’s largest and only organic certified medicinal cannabis grower, Puro, to accelerate the growth of the industry.
A key workstream will see New Zealand’s largest medicinal cannabis processor and manufacturer, Helius, working alongside Puro on research and development and the creation of an organic manufacturing road map.
“Our ambition is to take Puro’s organically produced high value biomass and manufacture it here in New Zealand to organic certification. Achieving both organically grown and organically manufactured will create a significant premium differentiation for Helius and other local medicinal cannabis companies as well,” says Ms Doran. . .
Kiwis love hidden gems, so we’re on a mission to find them. Undiscovered Aotearoa is a video-led series by Brook Sabin and Radha Engling to show you the best of New Zealand.
The call from Mum brought a tear to my eye. Since the pandemic started, I’ve been lucky enough to travel to every region in the country. I’ve seen New Zealand at its best, without the usual hordes of international tourists. And she wanted to know one thing: where is the one place I should see before tourists return.
My answer was emphatic: you need to drive New Zealand’s most beautiful road, weaving through the mountains to Milford Sound. But I added a note of caution: many people don’t do it quite right. They don’t realise there are many stops that make the journey almost as beautiful as the destination. So I volunteered to act as a tour guide.
In the past few weeks, I’ve made the trip twice. Once to gather photos for this story; we were given rare permission to get drone shots along the road, under strict conditions. The second was with my gorgeous mum. . .