Author Archive

Tenure plans alienate farmers

[16 April/Farmers Weekly] The Government has been warned it will be in breach of contract with farmers if it tries to wield greater influence over the management of ecological and biodiversity values on Crown pastoral lease properties. Lobby group the High Country Accord said proposed changes will re-weight property rights but that cannot be done...

Lessons learned: MPI holds public meeting with farmers

[15 April/Rural News] Geoff Gwyn, Mycloplasma bovis response Programme Director spoke in Oamaru last week about the lessons learnt during the response and explained how they will be used in the event of another disease incursion. Mr Gwyn was speaking in Oamaru, as part of a series of farmer and public meetings throughout the country....

Kiwis discover insects that weren’t known in their native countries

[15 April/The Country] Scientists from the Bio-Protection Research Centre have described and named two new exotic insects present in New Zealand that weren’t previously known about even in their native countries. Two psyllids (also called jumping plant lice) Acizzia errabunda and Ctenarytaina insularis were found in the country. They are very small insects, no longer...

Stewart Island oyster farmers get $2.5m compensation after devastating parasite found

[12 April/Stuff NZ] Big Glory Bay oyster farmers on Stewart Island have been paid out nearly $2.5 million in compensation after being forced to close their businesses. Biosecurity New Zealand senior manager John Sanson reported 31 compensation claims had been received from oyster farmers at Big Glory Bay no new claims had been received since...

Controls on fruit and vegetables lifted after no new fruit flies found in Auckland

[12 April/Stuff NZ] No more Queensland fruit flies have been found on Auckland’s North Shore and controls on the movement of fruit and vegetables have been lifted. Biosecurity New Zealand made the decision after weeks of an extensive trapping and inspection program. Since the last fruit fly was found over a month ago, they are...

NAIT registration draws interest at Central Districts Field Days

[11 April/The Country] Several hundred farmers updated their NAIT details at the OSPRI stall at the Central Districts Field Days. Mr Watson, a lifestyle farmer updated his details and reported that other farmers should do the same especially after the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. The M. bovis outbreak was made easier to track due to the...

Kiwifruit workers scramble for Te Puke accommodation amid housing ‘crisis’

[14 April/The Country] Affordable accommodation is hard to find for seasonal workers in Te Puke during the kiwifruit picking season. The Western Bay District Council announced they are increasing monitoring of freedom camping areas during the season and that those breaking the local bylaw will be fined $200. Mayor Garry Webber reported the industry needs...

Pest fly found in citrus fruit

[12 April/Farmers Weekly] Larvae of the spotted wing drosophila were found in a single orange in a citrus shipment from the United States on 08 April.  The fly is not normally associated with citrus fruit but is a serious risk to a range of fruit crops. A temporary hold has been placed on citrus consignments...

Seventy new jobs for Central Hawke’s Bay as OIO approves farm conversion to huge apple orchard

[12 April/The Country] The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) has approved Craigmore Sustainables to invest in developing an apple orchard in Hawke’s Bay. 130 hectares will be converted from pastoral farming and annual cropping into an apple orchard. The orchard is expected to be in production by mid-2020 with 73 full time employees. The investment is...

Bare land best kiwifruit option

[11 April/Farmers Weekly] Con Williams, MyFarm Investment Research head reports that bare land conversion may be a better option for SunGold Kiwifruit orchard investors. Williams reported this is due to the fact that SunGold Orchard sales values are around the million dollars a hectare mark. Three years ago planted land was fetching $525,000-$625,000 a hectare...

Seeka pumps $18m into Kerikeri kiwifruit packing facility

[11 April/The Country] Seeka has recently purchased Kerikeri kiwifruit packing facility and spent more than $18 million on it to modernise the outdated facility. Seeka purchased T&G Globals Waipapa Road packing operation in April last year and has since built a new packing shed and installed grading and sizing equipment. The upgrades are expected to...

Muzzle takes Merino prize

[12 April/Farmers Weekly] Muzzle Station in the Clarence Valley won the 2019 Marlborough Merino Association two-tooth ewe flock competition. Guy and Fiona Redfern with Colin and Tina Nimmo won the overall top prize as well as the conformation section. Their flock is made up of 1760 Merino ewes which typically clip 6.8 kilogram of 18.7...

Changing the face of farming

[12 April/Farmers Weekly] Alternative proteins and genomics could change the face of New Zealand agriculture, a Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment report suggests. However, due to New Zealand’s attitude surrounding the topic of gene editing, it may not be given a look. Studies indicate that it would improve the quality of crops as well...

Kiwi nootropic firm aiming to become ‘world’s most iconic brain health brand’

[10 April/Nutra Ingredients] Ārepa, a New Zealand food technology firm with its patented nootropic formula has a goal of becoming the world’s most well-known brain health brand. Founder Angus Brown reports that the formula was created with the help of neurologists and food technologists. It contains four main ingredients including a New Zealand pine bark...

Banks claim their books solid

[12 April/Farmers Weekly] ASB and Rabobank are the two banks with the highest proportion of non-performing farm loans in New Zealand according to the Reserve Bank’s financial strength dashboard. Both ASB and Rabobank maintain their loan books remain solid. Each bank holds about 17 percent of the market’s agricultural loans. A Rabobank spokesman said the...

MP Barbara Kuriger presents petition calling for better rural healthcare

[16 April/The Country] King Country MP Barbara Kuriger has presented a petition to Parliament’s Health Select Committee with the aim of changing the Government’s approach towards both measuring and funding rural healthcare needs. Mrs Kuriger reports that the Ministry of Health does not have proper population data for rural New Zealand which has resulted in...

New project to support farmers in minimising rural waste

[16 April/The Country] The Associate Minister for the Environment, Eugenie Sage, announced the launch of the New Zealand Rural Waste Minimisation Project on Thursday. Rural recycling programme Agrecovery will offer nationwide events for farmers to sustainably dispose of waste. These events will clear agrichemical and motor oil containers, unwanted agrichemicals, used motor oil, fertiliser bags...

Supreme environmental win for Tīrau farmers

[16 April/Stuff NZ] The 2019 Waikato Ballance Farm Environment Awards Supreme Award has been won by Tīrau’s Adrian and Pauline Ball. Mr and Mrs Ball were one of five finalists for the award and have run Dennley farms for 30 years in Rangipai Road and also have a dry stock block along the Waihou River....

Farm Environment Awards supreme winner named

[12 April/Rural Life] Kepler Farm in Te Anau has been named this year’s supreme winner of the Southland Ballance Farm Environment Awards. Travis Leslie and Catriona Cunningham have been managing the beef and sheep farm since 2012. Carrying about 7300 sheep and 1650 cattle, the operation’s main focus is a terminal sire sheep flock called...

Lamb prices hold firm

[16 April/Rural News] Susan Kilsby, ANZ’s Agricultural Economist has reported that lamb prices have held up at stronger levels than those expected. The going rate is about $7/kg in the North Island and $6.60/kg in the South Island. Strong international markets have allowed the processors to keep prices strong especially due to the steady number...

Demand for NZ beef increases as swine fever hits Chinese pork production

[15 April/Stuff NZ] New Zealand’s largest export market for beef is now China, who have overtaken the United States. This is reported to be due to African swine fever (ASF) effecting the Chinese domestic pork production. More than 70 outbreaks of the virus have been confirmed in China with more than 600,000 pigs that have...

World first from Meadow Mushrooms

[15 April/FMCG Business] Meadow Mushrooms have created green packaging for their products made out of mushrooms as a world first. The company stopped using plastic punnets to hold their mushrooms, eliminating the equivalent of 2.5 million plastic drink bottles, in just a year and converted to bio-degradable and compostable cardboard punnets. Meadow Mushrooms are now...

Sheep meat exports affected by Brexit

[16 April/Rural Life] Ongoing Brexit uncertainty is having a negative impact on New Zealand sheep meat exports. In January export volumes plunged 32 percent year-on-year according to Rabobank’s latest Agribusiness Monthly report. Global demand and in-market prices in New Zealand’s key export markets remain generally strong however the United Kingdom is the market causing the...

Vegan protesters charged after stopping traffic in Melbourne

 [09 March/NewsHub] 39 Vegan protestors have been charged after protesting against abattoirs at a major intersection blocking traffic in Melbourne. It has been reported they might face imprisonment for obstructing roads and resisting police. The protestors chained themselves to vans parked on tram tracks. The protest was part of a global movement calling for an...