Rural News with Farm Source


Sunday 22 October 2017

A number of farmers in Canterbury have had tyres slashed on their irrigation pivots. There are reports of at least three farms being targeted, and at least one farmer’s milk vat also being emptied. Six-thousand litres of milk was drained out from the vat on a Leeston property in Canterbury. Police are investigating.


Federated Farmers insist the new Government is starting out on a good footing with the Primary sector. Vice president Andrew Hoggard says it’s the backbone of the economy, contributing more than 30-billion-dollars in exports for the June year. Forestry and horticulture exports are also up around five percent and arable over seven percent.


But there is growing concerns the Crown Irrigation Investments fund could be targeted under the new Government. National committed 400-million-dollars to the fund, with only 131-million-dollars so far spent. Leaked documents show the Green Party's policy gains for forming the new Government are to wind down support for irrigation schemes.


A new sustainability research project has been launched, aimed at reducing the country’s environmental footprint. The Sustainable Agro-Ecosystems programme wants  to enable farmers and growers to produce high-value sustainable crops. Team Leader, Steve Thomas says they’ll be looking at science, tools and technologies. He says they want  to improve the environment,  increase profitability, grow export earnings, and improve market access


Prices for  kiwifruit orchards have hit new heights as property sales SPRING into season. Bay of Plenty orchards are selling at higher prices with no fruit to harvest, than at the end of last season with crop still on the vine. Stan Robb from PGG Wrightson Real Estate, says sales sit at around 150-thousand-dollars per canopy hectare.  He says the properties are only lasting for days on the market, a good sign the industry’s recovering from the 2013 PSA outbreak.


Saturday 21 October 2017

New Zealand First has had its way with Labour’s proposed water tax, rendering it dead in the water. The water royalty would’ve cost farmers two cents per 1000 litres on irrigated water to clean up rivers. But leader Jacinda Ardern says their coalition partner strongly opposed it, and they’re now turning their heads to other methods.

It’s still unclear what overall impact the new Government will have on the Primary Industries. Leaked documents show the Green Party’s policy gains include support for a shift in farming to more sustainable land use. It also includes improving water quality, putting healthy rivers as a priority, and more funding for the enhancement of fresh water. Stronger regulations for lakes and aquifers, as well as winding down Government support for irrigation have also been mentioned.

Meanwhile proposed crackdowns on selling land to overseas buyers could mean the bid for Jericho Station falls flat. The Chinese bidder for the Landcorp block has only just applied to the Overseas Investment Office, five months after his 8.7-million-dollar offer was accepted.

Winston Peters has slammed Landcorp previously for the sale with well known Southland farmer Ed Pinckney losing out with a bid 200-thousand-dollars less.  The 1359 hectare farm is near Manapouri.

Fewer farmers are being killed on the job, with the rate of work deaths fewer than the last three years. So far 11 people have been killed this year,  compared to an average of 15 for 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Protesters are expecting to be out in force this weekend, as the rodeo season kicks off around the country. Animal Advocacy group SAFE claims calves, horses and bulls will be subject to stress and fear. It launched a campaign this week called dog roping - aimed at highlighting the so-called animal abuse of calf roping.

Fonterra's Foodservice business, Anchor Food Professionals, is now New Zealand's sixth biggest export business. It generated more than 2 billion dollars in annual revenue over the past year.

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