Genetics, emissions on agenda

Genetics, emissions on agenda

[11 December/ Farmers Weekly] Papers with strong recommendations on climate change, water quality and gene technology would be presented by Environment Ministry staff to incoming Environment Minister, David Parker. The papers reflected the views of the ministry, and not necessarily Government policy. The paper noted how the latest developments in...
Farmlands invests in FarmIQ Systems

Farmlands invests in FarmIQ Systems

[6 December/ NZ Herald] Farmlands has taken a stake in farm software company FarmIQ Systems as part of a capital raising round. FarmIQ Systems joined Landcorp Farming, Silver Fern Farms Joint Ventures, and Veterinary Enterprises Group as shareholders in the company that developed and marketed software for farming and agribusiness....
US company Smartwool gets quality and back-story from New Zealand merino

US company Smartwool gets quality and back-story from New Zealand merino

[8 December/ Stuff] Leaders from Smartwool have visited the Stonyhurst farm in North Canterbury. Smartwool was a merino apparel company from the United States which sourced 95 percent of its wool from New Zealand. Smartwool Brand President, Travis Campbell said the reason the wool had always been sourced from New...
Rural schools struggle to fill key high school teaching jobs

Rural schools struggle to fill key high school teaching jobs

[7 December/ Radio NZ] Taihape Area School Principal, Richard McMillan said he would not be able to relax over summer because he has been unable to fill key positions for high school teachers at his school. Mr McMillan explained that positions for an English teacher, maths teacher, and a science...
Tourism boom ripe for picking, says wine industry

Tourism boom ripe for picking, says wine industry

[10 December/ NZ Herald] Tourism New Zealand and New Zealand Winegrowers have joined forces to support the growing trend of international visitors seeking out a “wine experience” while touring New Zealand. According to figures from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s International Visitor Survey, about 25 percent of international...
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Fonterra dairy farm open day part of co-operative’s charm offensive

[11 December/ Stuff] Fonterra has launched their ‘Opening Our Farm Gates’ campaign in an attempt to change the perception urban New Zealanders have of dairying and water quality. Part of the campaign involved opening two Manawatu dairy farms to the public over the weekend, with around 240 people visiting. Dairy Industry Chairman, Chris Lewis said...

Proposed Otorohanga dairy plant meets local resistance

[8 December/ Radio NZ] Otorohanga District Council have stated that they were against resource consent being granted for a $230 million dairy factory, with locals worried it would threaten wildlife as there was a wetland adjacent to the factory site. Happy Valley Milk applied for consent in November 2016 and went through public consultation, with...

Fonterra seeks 3b litres more NZ milk 2025

[8 December/ National Business Review] Fonterra said it would need an extra 3 billion liters of New Zealand milk production to reach its 2025 growth targets. The company collected 19 billion liters of liquid milk equivalent in 2017, but wanted to boost that to 22.5 billion liters by 2025. Fonterra said this could be done...

Fonterra cuts its milk price forecast

[7 December/ Stuff] Fonterra has decreased its forecast payout for the 2017-18 season by 35 cents to $6.40 per kilogram of milk solids. Based on DairyNZ production figures of 1.85 billion kilograms of milk over the season, the 35 cent decrease equated to lost income of $647 million for farmers. For the average farmer milking...

Dairy prices rise

[6 December/ Otago Daily Times] The Global Dairy Trade price index increased by 0.4 percent to USD 3,091 at the most recent auction. The price of whole milk powder, which had a major influence on the price New Zealand farmers received, increased by 1.7 percent to USD 2,830 per tonne. AgriHQ Dairy Analyst, Amy Castleton...

Contaminated spray may cost apple exporters $3m

[12 December/ NZ Herald] The New Zealand apple industry was still not sure of the cost of a fungicide contamination which has threatened to destroy 35 hectares of apples in Hawke’s Bay. The contamination could potentially lower the value of the export harvest by several million dollars. The fungicide caused russet on apple skins, knocked...

Kiwifruit’s potential $26m-a-year windfall

[9 December/ NZ Herald] Zespri and its growers could gain $26 million on the first day of the revised Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTTP) as early as the end of 2018. The new agreement would involve implementing a zero percent tariff rate for the 11 countries including New Zealand. Currently, New...

New push to tackle rural health issues will support youth at risk of suicide

[1 December/ NZ Herald] The Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand and Bayer New Zealand have announced a new partnership to support rural youth, especially those at risk from suicide. Other initiatives would include a rural youth health challenge, support of the RuralFest NZ event, and tailored suicide prevention training for veterinary and rural health...

New Zealand needs to pull ahead of world on agri-innovation

[1 December/ NZ Herald] Ministry for Primary Industries Director General, Martyn Dunne said New Zealand needed to be in a better position to respond to challenges like increased competition, environmental and climatic impacts, and disruptive technologies in the agri-food sector. Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor said the sector had to compete with others around the world...

Kauri headed for extinction, scientist warns

[1 December/ Radio New Zealand] International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) New Zealand Board Chair, Peter de Lange said kauri trees were heading for extinction because of public apathy and stupidity. Mr Lange explained that the panel had resisted putting kauri on the threatened list, but data showing kauri dieback had doubled in the...

Ex-Zespri head to lead Silver Fern Farms

[5 December/ Otago Daily Times] Silver Fern Farms has named Zespri Chief Operating Officer, Simon Limmer, as its new Chief Executive. Mr Limmer had worked for Zespri in a variety of general management roles in New Zealand and China, and would take over from Dean Hamilton in March 2018. Silver Fern Farms Chairman, Rob Hewett...

Auckland’s future: vertical farming?

[1 December/ Radio New Zealand] Sustainability Strategist, Henry Gordon-Smith said vertical farming in high-rise buildings, warehouses or shipping containers could benefit a rapidly expanding Auckland. Mr Gordon-Smith added that vertical farming was becoming more popular overseas as more importance was placed on the idea of buying local and fresh. Mr Gordon-Smith explained that vertical farming...

Famous Cambridge Stud sold

[29 November/ Radio New Zealand] Champion Breeder, Patrick Hogan has sold his champion stud to Sistema Founder, Brendan Lindsay, and his wife Jo Lindsay. Mr Patrick said there had been strong foreign interest in the stud, but he wanted to wait for the right time and the right buyer. The stud had produced horses that...

Anti-1080 group threat to take down helicopters, poison milk

[5 December/ NZ Herald] An anti-1080 group has threatened to bring down Department of Conservation helicopters if it dropped the controversial pesticide in Taranaki’s Egmont National Park. In a letter to the Department of Conservation, the group said “this will be a war like no other” and “these hunters have more guns that you or...

Leptospirosis strain discovered in alpaca for first time floors researchers

[4 December/ Stuff] A leptospirosis strain has been found in New Zealand alpaca for the first time. The disease was more common in dairy cows and could occasionally be passed on to dairy and abattoir workers. In humans, the disease could appear as a minor flu-like sickness, but may put some people in intensive care...

Wools of NZ strategies for the future

[30 November/ NZ Herald] Wools of New Zealand held their Annual General Meeting in Christchurch last week. Wools of New Zealand Chairman, Mark Shadbolt said the company would drive towards revolutionising the industry through a focus on research and development, the development of innovative technologies, and product authenticity initiatives. Mr Shadbolt added that ongoing success...

Government to review primary sector research programmes

[4 December/ Stuff] The Government has announced that it would keep the Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programmes running until it reviewed them. Under the previous National Government, the 22 PGPs were its flagship research and development programme for the primary sector. Of the 22 programmes, six have been completed and 16 were currently still underway....

Hawke’s Bay winegrowing future uncertain in face of water order

[5 December/ NZ Herald] Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers Association Legal Counsel, James Gardner Hopkins said winegrowers could live with some form of water conservation order on the upper Ngaruroro River, and it aligned with the association’s industry sustainability values so it could conditionally support it. However, Mr Hopkins added that this support was based on multiple...

Dry weather already feeding into NZ markets

[5 December/ NZ Herald] The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) said a powerful and persistent ridge of high pressure over much of New Zealand during the second half of November caused near-record or record dryness in some locations, and has led to the depletion of soil moisture levels. NIWA explained that plants...

Farmer confidence drops 41 per cent

[5 December/ NZ Herald] The Rabobank Rural Confidence Survey results have shown New Zealand farmer confidence drop in the final quarter of the year and has tumbled 41 percent in the past six months. Rabobank New Zealand General Manager for Country banking, Hayley Moynihan said around 80 percent of farmers who believed the rural economy...

Dry weather spells potential problems for farmers

[30 November/ Stuff] Weatherwatch Head Weather Analyst, Philip Duncan said farmers in some parts of the country could be in trouble if it did not stop raining soon. Mr Duncan explained that Northland, Auckland’s West Coast, Taranaki, Manawatu, Canterbury and Southland were drier than normal and contractors were concerned about the fact that grass had...

Earthquake-damaged rural land use studies begin

[30 November/ NZ Herald] Farmers, growers and foresters in the South Island’s earthquake affected regions have been encouraged to use the $5,000 worth of funded advisory services each to plan how they would farm in the future. The Ministry for Primary Industries has approved at least 20 suppliers of advisory services to help farmers decide...

Government to tighten rules around selling land to overseas buyers

[29 November/ Stuff] Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage, and Associate Finance Minister, David Parker, have announced restrictions on foreign land buyers. The new restrictions meant any sale of more than five hectares of New Zealand land to a foreign buyer would have to undergo scrutiny by the Overseas investment Office before it could be approved....

Dairy-farm finances healthier, FSR says

[1 December/ Otago Daily Times] The Reserve Bank’s latest Financial Stability Report showed that most dairy farms were expected to be profitable in the 2017 – 2018 season as higher dairy prices continued to support farm incomes. As a result of this, the performance of banks’ dairy loan portfolios had improved. The report showed that...