Farmers and producers

Farm vandals drain milk, puncture tyres

[22 October/Radio New Zealand] At least three Canterbury farms were vandalised over the long weekend. Hororata Farmer Dougal King said holes were drilled in 30 irrigator tyres on Friday night. He suspected a radical member of a protest group was responsible. A farm in Leeston, Canterbury also had Fifty-thousand litres of milk was drained out...

AgriKidsNZ events proving popular

[23 October/Otago Daily Times] Organisers of the AgriKidsNZ and TeenAg competitions are advising teams to enter now because of the popularity of the event. Competitions will be held around the country to coincide with the FMG Young Farmer of the Year regional finals, which start in February. New Zealand Young Farmers Competitions Co-ordinator David Highsted...

Retired farmer as busy as ever in community

[22 October/Otago Daily Times] Retired sheep and beef farmer Ken Gillespie he is still just as busy as ever. He takes tourists on tours, sits on an irrigation company, as well as on water strategy and water user groups, belongs to Lions, and is a wool classer for the Merino Shearing competition. Mr Gillespie was...

Rural sector faces regaining public confidence to operate in the future

[20 October/Stuff] Led by Federated Farmers President Katie Milne, a group of farming leaders are seeking to rebuild farming’s social license to operate, through ownership of the water quality problem. A principal speaker at the Forest Growers Research Conference said we’ll own it, and we’ll fix it. Land and Water National Science Challenge Director Ken...

Farmers should benefit from calls for greater transparency around food production

[20 October/Stuff] Ministry of Primary Industries’ Director General Martyn Dunne has conveyed to delegates at the International Tri-Conference for Precision Agriculture, growing demand from consumers for greater transparency in food production. Farmers are increasingly asked to demonstrate high standards of animal welfare, water management and food safety. These higher standards were likely to bring in...

Primary Industries head criticises farmers for not tagging animals

[20 October/Stuff] Farmers are failing to comply with the law over tagging livestock, raising questions over how effectively officials have been able to halt the spread of the disease Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) director-general Martyn Dunne said at a conference this week that the Mycoplasma response showed a very disappointing compliance...

Farmers ready to work together

[20 October/Rural News] Federated Farmers says that farmers are ready to engage and work with the new government, and believes the new coalition will provide a great opportunity for its members, wider primary sector, and all New Zealanders. Federated Farmers President Katie Milne says it is time to cast aside the division which fuelled the...

NZ cows in Mexico corruption probe not our responsibility, says company

[18 October/Stuff] Javier Mata of Livestock and Agricultural Products New Zealand has confirmed that the company takes no responsibility for its exported cattle livestock once delivered. This statement comes after Mexican anti-corruption non-profit Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity published an investigation claiming 900 New Zealand export cattle were kept on the ranch of the now-fugitive...

Farming in the wettest year on record

[15 October/ Stuff] New Zealand farming has been exposed to the wettest year on record. MetService said Hamilton, Taupo, Te Puke and Rotorua experienced more rain this year to date than is typically received in an entire year. Farmers have said it has been a struggle to protect paddocks from stock trampling and ensuring the...

Alliance poised with strong balance sheet

[16 October/ New Zealand Herald] Alliance Group Chief Executive David Surveyor said operating profit would be substantially higher than last year. In 2016 Alliance posted a $10.1million pre-tax profit for the year ended September 30, based on a $1.36billion turnover. Mr Surveyor said 2016’s $41 million debt figure would be halved to an estimated $20...

Farmer fined $35k after dairy effluent ends up in north Taranaki stream

[16 October/ Stuff] Taranaki Farmer Warren Frederick Gill was fined $35,000 by an Environment Court judge after 150,000 litres of partly treated dairy effluent was illegally discharged into a highly prized stream. Mr Gill lives on and manages a 200-hectare Upper Lepper Rd farm in Inglewood, and has previously pleaded guilty to one charge of...

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...

Nine vying for three spots in Farmlands director elections

[9 October/ Otago Daily Times] The 2017 Farmlands director election voting is open, with nine candidates contesting three vacancies. The South Island vacancy will be contested by former Alliance Group Director Murray Donald, former Otago Regional Councillor Gary Kelliher, Accountant Mel Montgomery, former Federated Farmers National Board Member David Rose and current Alliance Group Director...

Skills match well to livestock work

[9 October/ Otago Daily Times] German-born Dr Stefan Meyer started working at Dunedin agribusiness consulting company AbacusBio after completing a PhD in zoology at the University of Otago last year. Dr Meyer said receiving a Callaghan Innovation for his work on a dairy cow survival project was very helpful. The R&D career grant was intended...

Little sun makes it hard work on cycling dairy cows before mating

[6 October/ Stuff] The lack of sun is suppressing the mating instincts of dairy cows, and Manawatū/Rangitīkei farmers expect fertility levels will be lower than normal. Farmers have found fewer than usual cows are cycling because of cool and cloudy weather. Cow fertility levels were discussed between 45 farmers and some rural professionals during a...

New Zealand farming a ‘broken model’ – water scientist

[6 October/ News Hub] Freshwater Ecologist Dr Mike Joy said New Zealand farmers are working on a broken model which is adversely affecting water quality. Dr Joy supposed lack of leadership and a fossil-fuel derived fertiliser and palm kernel dependent system has contributed to this. Dr Joy added the increase in farming on lands that...

Manawatū farmers sick of unrelenting rain

[5 October/ Stuff] Manawatū/Rangītikei Federated Farmers Dairy Chairman Murray Holdaway says farming has been tough in the wet conditions. Farmers say the water table is so full that only a shower would top it up and produce ponding and streams in paddocks. Shearers and contractors are behind where they would usually be, crops and vegetables...

Meat processor Alliance Group to pay dividend and share offer to farmers

[5 October/ Stuff] Alliance Group Chief Executive David Surveyor told 60 farmers in Fielding that Alliance will offer a share per stock unit killed at its meat plants to current shareholders. The farmers were told a dividend would also be paid, with details announced with the annual profit result next month. Mr Surveyor said the...

DairyNZ voting packs on way

[5 October/ New Zealand Herald] Voting packs are on the way for DairyNZ election candidates, allowing Farmers a three-week voting period. Six farmers are in competition for two board of director positions. Candidates include Jim van der Poel from Ngahinapouri, Ian Brown, of Tokoroa, Grant Coombes, of Taupiri, Colin Glass, of Timaru, Cole Groves, of...