Author Archive

Government policy to be rural-proofed

[13 June/Farmers Weekly] Rural communities would be at the heart of all Government decision making under a new Rural Proofing policy. Minister for Rural Communities, Damien O’Connor, said those living in rural communities could enjoy excellent lifestyles but they faced unique challenged that needed to be reflected in Government policy. He added this year alone...

New Zealand to become the world’s first zero emission food producer – James Shaw

[18 June/Stuff] Climate Change Minister, James Shaw, has a vision for New Zealand to become the first food producer to be emissions neutral. This could create a powerful brand in the international market for New Zealand’s primary produce. Previously, talks about shifting farming to lower its emissions was seen as too difficult, however Mr Shaw...

Largest vessel due for delivery

[19 June/Otago Daily Times] New Zealand’s largest fishing vessel, the Tokatu, was due to arrive in Nelson follow its six week delivery voyage from Norway. The state of the art vessel is the first purpose built ship to be added to New Zealand’s deep water fleet in more than 20 years and was designed to...

Zespri red kiwifruit about two years away from commercial introduction

[14 June/NZ Herald] Zespri said the world was waiting for a good red kiwifruit, and that they hoped to deliver this in a few years. Chief Executive, Dan Mathieson, said Fieldays visitors could sample the fruit, but it would take time before its commercial introduction so the fruit would be viable from orchard right through...

Fonterra’s milk price calculations higher than competition – Commission

[14 June/NZ Herald] The Commerce Commission said Fonterra’s estimated risk in calculating the cost of financing milk processing operations was too low, which resulted in it calculating a higher milk price than its competitors. The cost of financing feeds into the calculation of the milk price Fonterra paid its customers. Commerce Commission Deputy Chair, Sue...

KPMG Agribusiness Agenda 2018, We need to tell you our stories – LAUNCHES TODAY

Biosecurity incursions, environmental challenges, water quality, labour availability, trade wars and inadequate rural infrastructure all feature prominently in the ninth KPMG Agribusiness Agenda, which is released at the National Fieldays at Mystery Creek. KPMG’s Global Head of Agribusiness, Ian Proudfoot, said “the last year has not played out how industry leaders expected.  Whereas the 2017...

Record spend predicted for New Zealand National Fieldays 2018

[10 June/Stuff] Forecast milk payouts and high commodity prices meant spending could be up 10 percent on last year. Waikato University Economics Professor, Framk Scrimgeour, said Fieldays 2017 recorded peak attendance after some lean years in the dairy sector, and the economic impact was a record. He expected another large event this year. He added...

Beef + Lamb’s new environmental strategy earns high praise

[7 June/Rural News] Minister for the Environment, David Parker, praised Beef + Lamb NZ’s new environmental strategy. He said it was what the public wanted as they didn’t want things to be getting worse over time. Beef + Lamb NZ unveiled its plan to lift the environmental performance of NZ’s sheep and beef sector. It...

Economists concerned by risk of mycoplasma bovis

[7 June/The Country] According to economists, economic risks associated with Mycoplasma bovis were rising. Last week, the eradication attempt was announced at a cost of $886 million, and the slaughter of 126,000 cattle. BNZ Senior Economist, Doug Steel, said there was more to it than just the initial impact on production from culling cows. Costs...

Farmers welcome further greenhouse gas discussions

[8 June/Radio NZ] Federated Farmers saw the silver lining in the Government’s latest climate change proposals related to the Zero Carbon Bill which aimed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Of the three alternatives, two give a softer run to livestock-sourced methane than to carbon dioxide which could give farmers an easier life during climate...

Shearers push for 25 per cent pay hike, as farmers struggle to make earning from wool

[8 June/Stuff] Shearers are seeking a 25 percent pay rise in anticipation of another crisis. More shearers are having to travel to Australia to make a good living, and the workforce is steadily aging. The New Zealand Shearers Contractors Association recommended workers’ pay and entitlements are improved by up to 25 percent. Federated Farmers Meat...

B+LNZ farmers won’t oppose levy increase

[11 June/Farmers Weekly] Farmers will undoubtedly scrutinise how Beef + Lamb NZ Spends its extra $4 million in levies it proposed to raise but are unlikely to vote against the increases according to industry leaders. Federated Farmers Meat and Fibre Spokesman, Miles Anderson, said the increased levies weren’t big, and wold not be opposed in...

Ruataniwha plains ‘drying up’

[11 June/Radio NZ] Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Head, James Palmer, was concerned about a major increase in the amount of water farmers may be able to take for irrigation from a Ruataniwha aquifer. A board of inquiry ruled that an additional 15 million cubic metres of water could be taken from underneath the basin. Eight...

‘Suck it and see’ avo water consents worry conservationists

[7 June/Radio NZ] Northland was looking to become the avocado capital of New Zealand after the granting of water rights for growers north of Kaitaia. Seventeen growers were given resource consents to draw 2 million cubic metres of water a year from the Aupouri aquifier. Nearly 1,000 hectares of trees were being planted in avocados...

More families get farm awards

[11 June/Farmers Weekly] The 12th annual Century Farm and Station awards honoured 32 new families. People gathered to share stories and celebrate each other’s dedication, perseverance and success over the 100 plus years of farming. Regional Economic Development Minister, Shane Jones as well as others took part in the celebrations. Mr Jones presented the families...

More farmers feeling financial pressure from banks

[5 June/NBR] Even with improved dairy market conditions, more farmers were falling under undue pressure from their banks. Federated Farmers Vice-President, Andrew Hoggard, said confidence and satisfaction with banks remained reasonably high, and thought non-financial pressures were also impacting farmers. He cited government climate change policies and the emerging risk of Mycoplasma bovis as factors...

Lots of challenges for chief executive

[7 June/Rural Life] New Zealand Young Farmers Chief Executive, Terry Copeland, is set to take over as Federated Farmers’ new boss next month and admitted dealing with the ongoing impact of Mycoplasma bovis would be difficult. He said he was looking forward to his new challenge. He added he had a real passion for mental...

Plant growers face losses after MPI seizes valuable plants

[7 June/Stuff] Owners whose fruit trees were seized by the Ministry for Primary Industries may not be insured against losses or entitled to claim compensation if the trees are destroyed. A United States nursery was found to have exported 55,000 trees to New Zealand in 2013, but did not follow correct procedures. It seized the...

Envoy recommends eradication

[11 June/Otago Daily Times] New Zealand special agricultural trade envoy, Mike Petersen, said Mycoplasma bovis was more serious than reports had so far indicated. He said in Europe it was a difficult disease with impacts on farms, and could be fatal for some livestock. He believed the decision to eradicate the disease was the right...

M bovis count adds up to Wairarapa farm infection

[7 June/Radio NZ] A sheep and beef farm in Wairarapa tested positive for the devastating cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis. MPI unit, Biosecurity New Zealand, said the farm near Masterton was located through the tracing of animal movements from other affected farms. The property was under legal controls which restricted the movement of animals and other...

Many skippers accused of avoiding fisheries observers

[11 June/Radio NZ] Forest and Bird accused fishing boat skippers of wriggling out of oversight by an observer from the Ministry for Primary Industries despite being legally obliged to do so. Some boats are required to have an observer on board to check up on environmental requirements such as not catching too many fish and...

Fishing industry open to cameras, but worry how data will be used

[8 June/The Country] The fishing industry was not opposed to the deployment of monitoring cameras on commercial boats, however was worried about the access to catch data and the cost of the policy. Fisheries Minister, Stuart Nash, said the deployment was on hold as he wanted more information. The cameras had been installed by Seafood...

Greenpeace want agricultural greenhouse gas emissions in carbon act

[7 June/The Country] Greenpeace questioned why the Government was tabling options for its Zero Carbon Bill that could result in agricultural greenhouse gas emissions being treated more softly than other emissions. Farming groups were happy to see the Government considering its approach to shorter-lived gases differently. Greenpeace Climate Campaigner, Kate Simcock, said as the biggest...

Northland’s simmering summer is Taranaki’s scorched earth: ASB regional scorecard

 [7 June/NZ Herald] Northland’s summer outperformed the rest of the country, and it climbed to the top of the latest ASB Regional Economic Scorecard. It measures regional performance in terms of growth across 11 measures. ASB Chief Economics, Nick Tuffley, said strong growth across all the measures had been key to Northland’s success. He added...