Rural News with Farm Source

02/09/2017

Sunday 3rd September

New research shows farmers aren’t prepared for the disruption that technology could cause in the agrifood industry. The Massey University report found technologists are predicting “unprecedented change”. Lead researcher Professor Stephen Kelly says we should be preparing for the arrival of global corporates that can halve costs with efficient production. He says Kiwi companies wouldn’t be able to compete.. But collaboration could be key.

Federated Farmers is calling for Water Conservation Orders to be tossed out. It claims under RMA, the Orders don’t consider farming, horticulture… and access for human and livestock drinking among others. The Federation says the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management has overthrown the act… and Orders are now a barrier for water quality issues.

Fresh milk straight from Kiwi pastures will now be consumed on the other side of the world. Milk New Zealand has secured a trading agreement to market it’s fresh product direct to Chinese consumers. It’ll be available via online retailer Alibaba Group to a channel of medium-upper-class families.

Three ag organisations have joined forces to protect  bees from unintended exposure to agrichemicals. The Agricultural Aviation Association, Rural Contractors, and Agcarm say it’s up to aerial and ground sprayers to spray responsibly. It says chemical manufacturers should also have clear safety labels that include how to protect our pollinators.

A West Coast Polytechnic is looking to invest in more training programmes to meet the needs of the dairy industry. Tau Poutini Polytechnic and Westland Milk Products are looking at pairing up… to create relevant tertiary and vocational education. It says the aim is to support local businesses and get more people into training… which will have benefits for the wider economy.

Saturday 2nd September

Rolling out the Rural Broadband network will go a long way towards helping medical practices, businesses and households. The Government made the announcement earlier this week, extending it to a further 74 thousand households and businesses. Rural General Practice Network says it’s recognition of the importance of rural and regional sectors.

Dairy export volumes are recovering, with new info metrics data showing a boost of nearly 7 percent over the June quarter. But exports are still down by two percent from last year as a result of the soggy season. Importing volumes are also eight percent higher than last year. But growth is expecting to come down from recent heights over the coming months.  

Landcorp Farming has posted a landmark profit, up by more than four times from last year. It’s profit rose to nearly 52-million-dollars for the June year, with revenue also rising by 11 percent. The results include a 20-million-dollar increase in livestock value.

Officials are confident the spread of Mycoplasma Bovis can be eradicated by the end of the year. The cattle disease has spread to a further three farms in the South Island, bringing the total to six. MPI response co-ordinator David Yard says there’s no evidence it’s spread by anything but close animal contact. which is highly likely to occur.

Hawkes Bay’s biggest honey producer is ramping up security after nearly half a million bees were stolen. 19 Arataki Honey hives were pinched from a remote pine forest block in what’s believed to be a professional operation. General Manager John Walsh says they’ve spent a lot of time wintering, feeding and protecting the bees and estimate the theft to be around 20-thousand-dollars in loss. 

Bug-sniffing-detector dogs will be at the border on the hunt for brown marmorated stink bugs, trying to make New Zealand their home. The stink-bug season started yesterday for the Ministry for Primary Industries. Who now have three dogs in action. It says they’re targeting imported vehicles and machinery and increasing inspections of vessels and goods from U.S. and Europe.

Rural News on REX thanks to NZ Farm Source.