Author Archive

Cambridge farmers incorporate maize

[17 October/ New Zealand Herald] Ten years ago, Jenny Buckley and Dave van den Beuken were standard system-one all-grass farmers, sharemilking on Trish and Paul Jones’ farm near Cambridge. However, the devastation of the 2008 drought was the catalyst for their purchasing of 100t of maize silage. The farmers were concerned about losing 10-20 percent...

Sharemilkers affected by cattle disease eligible for compensation

[13 October/ Stuff] The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) said sharemilkers and contract milkers who work on Van Leeuwen farms affected Mycoplasma bovis would be compensated for a loss of earnings. The MPI said the Van Leeuwens would be covered for loss of milk collection and replacement of herds if their livestock have to be...

Former city girl Annabelle Smart loving DairyNZ work on the Hauraki Plains

[11 October/ Stuff] DairyNZ Consulting Officer for the Hauraki Plains Coromandel, Annabelle Smart was raised in Remuera, Auckland before attending boarding school in Palmerston North. Ms Smart said during her time at Palmerston North she would spend significant time with her friends, most of whom lived on farm properties. Ms Smart studied Agriculture Science at...

Taste of farm skill for non-farmers

[11 October/ New Zealand Herald] Stratford accountant Tracy Kivell was one of twelve women who took part in a recent special Skills Day at Toko. The special skills taught included how to fence, manoeuvre a quad bike and trailer through a narrow opening, assemble and operate a chainsaw, measure and allocate grass to cows and...

Mental health support needed for farmers

[11 October/Radio New Zealand] Dairy farmer Richard Cookson is advocating for improved mental health support for the rural sector. Research shows that New Zealand’s rural sector suicide rate is up to 50 percent higher than in urban areas. Mr Cookson struggled with mental health in the past and believed there isn’t enough support for illnesses...

Farm ‘looks like a duck pond’

[10 October/Radio New Zealand] Kevin Clark is a dairy farmer near Whakatane who lost large chunks of land, fences, and farm races when the river burst its banks earlier this year during Cyclones Debbie and Cook. Mr Clark said his farm looked like a duck pond, and that this had been his toughest year of...

Wool, a work of art

[10 October/Farmers Weekly] A design competition in the California Bay Area, has turned NZ wool rugs into works of art. The competition was set up by Carlisle, which distributes Carrfields Primary Wool’s range of New Zealand wool carpets and rugs in North America under the Just Shorn brand. The designs were 6’ x 9’ in...

50th Waimate Shears hailed a success

[15 October/ Stuff] The 50th Waimate Shears were a success and the first at the Waimate’s new $800,000 pavilion. The event included a celebratory anniversary dinner and wool handling and shearing competitions on Friday and Saturday. Some top industry names competed, including 16-time Golden Shears Champion Sir David Fagan and two-time World Champion Wool Handler...

Mixed results for fine and strong wool at Christchurch sale

[16 October/ Stuff] Fine wool sales increased at last week’s Christchurch wool sale; however, crossbred wools struggled. There were mixed results for a top offering from all wool breeds. Core Asian markets were quiet, including for crossbred hogget fleece. 31 to 34 microns crossbred fleece was 3-7 percent less expensive, 35 microns and stronger was...

An ex-Tesla executive is teaming up with a little-known vertical farming startup

[17 October/ Business Insider] Tesla’s former Director of Battery Technology Kurt Kelty has begun working in the indoor agriculture sector through joining vertical farming start-up Plenty as the Senior Vice President of Operations and Market Development. Mr Kelty was one of the earliest executives at Tesla and previously spent over 14 years with the Energy...

McDonald’s released a millennial burger with sriracha and kale and its divided opinion

[16 October/ The Independent UK] The new McDonalds ‘millennial burger’ includes a Sriracha Big Mac sauce and kale. This burger has caused controversy online due to its millennial title, with one internet user commenting that instead, the burger should include emotional exhaustion, avocado toast, and a front-facing camera to justify its name. The new McDonalds...

UK climate change masterplan – the grownups have finally won; Government’s clean growth strategy unequivocally states that tackling climate change and a prosperous economy go hand in hand

[12 October/ The Guardian] The UK Government has released a new clean, green, growth strategy, making a statement that undertaking climate change and a successful economy are the same thing. The ambitious proposals lack concrete suggestions; however, there are groups such as the government’s official advisers and the Committee on Climate Change to hold ministers...

Specialty product a2 Milk popular with consumers but not dairy industry

[12 October/ CBS News] In the United States, a2 milk is rising in popularity as people who have difficulty digesting regular milk, with A1 and A2 proteins are turning to a2 milk as an alternative. An a2 Milk company-funded study claims that when A1 proteins are broken down in the gut, they form the BCM-7...

How real should ‘fake’ meat and dairy be?

[15 October/ Mother Nature Network] Field Roast Grain Meat Company does not plan to create realistic imitations of meat and dairy products, but instead create similarly satisfying, savoury products while still staying true to real ingredients. Upton Naturals is also pursuing a similar aim, focussing on simplicity and the use of real, recognisable ingredients. Upton...

Tax plan a win for workers: Trump

[12 October/Otago Daily Times] President Donald Trump has told workers they will win under his nine-page tax cut framework he unveiled two weeks ago, saying it would help the middle class and boost the economy. Financial markets have rallied strongly since Trump’s election, driven by expectations that he would cut taxes for businesses. President Trump...

Farm profits may halve after Brexit, says report

[11 October/ BBC] Research by the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board said the profitability of UK farms could decrease, at worst, by half after Brexit. The research attempted to model the effects of cheaper imported food, decreased subsidies and more expensive labour. However, a Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Spokesman said the report...

SOSV: “The future of food will be sustainable, personalized, and cellular”

[9 October/ AgFunder News] SOSV, an early-stage agrifood tech investor, was named the most active investor in agrifood tech startups in H1-2017. SOSV Chief Futurist and Director of RebelBio UK, Elsa Sotiriadis, said the future of food would be sustainable, personalised and cellular. Ms Sotiriadis commented on the critical startup trends such as customised food...

If the ‘antibiotic apocalypse’ happens, it’ll be because our politicians let it

[9 October/ The Guardian] Global Justice Now Director, Nick Drearden, believes agribusiness and big pharma prioritising profits could cause 10 million deaths annually by 2050 due to antibiotic resistance; however, political intervention could prevent this. Mr Drearden believes this can be avoided through an overhaul of the agribusiness and pharmaceutical industries. 700,000 people already die...

Future Farm may be set up in North

[12 October/ New Zealand Herald] Beef and Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) plan to establish a Future Farm to trial new technologies and farm systems. These trials are part of B+LNZ’s strategy to support farming excellence and increase farm productivity and profitability. The farm will be a sheep and beef property with around 6,000 stock units...

Beef and sheep industry remains solid with good prices

[12 October/ New Zealand Herald] Livestock markets have reached a traditionally slow period, allowing farmers to reflect on the season and the future. The store cattle market is stable with low numbers helping to keep store values high, while the sheep market goes through seasonal slowdown period. Over this period, farmers are attempting to get...

No levy rise for red meat sector

[12 October/Rural News] Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) Chairman James Parsons says the board has reviewed budgets and activities for the financial year. They have decided that the sheep meat levy on all sheep slaughtered and the beef levy on all cattle slaughtered would remain $0.60 per head and at $4.40 per head respectively...

Talley’s-owned Affco general manager Andy Leonard’s departs after short tenure

[17 October/ Stuff] Affco General Manager Andy Leonard resigned after only two years in the position. Chief Financial Officer Nigel Stevens has stepped into the role on an interim basis. Mr Leonard did not comment on his reasons for resignation. Affco has been involved in numerous court issues with the Meatworkers Union. The level of...

New Zealand frozen beef exports to Japan slump after tariff hike

[17 October/ New Zealand Herald] AgriHQ have said New Zealand frozen beef exports to Japan have dropped since the Japan lifted tariff rates. From August 1, Japan increased its frozen beef tariff to 50 percent from 38.5 percent under a World Trade Organisation safeguard after high sales of imported beef. AgriHQ said only 729 tonnes...

Fonterra starts c farmer talks about finalising PKE guidelines

[13 October/ Stuff] Fonterra has begun talks with its farmers about finalising penalties for excessive use of palm kernel expeller (PKE). Fonterra’s Bay of Plenty Farm Source Regional Head Lisa Payne said two penalty options are being presented to Farmers, and Fonterra hopes to finalise an option by the end of 2017, for new guidelines...