The head of the national rural health group today made an impassioned plea for the government to consider much-needed rural research. Michelle Thompson, chief executive of the Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHAANZ) says there is a strong feeling that rural health outcomes are poorer than urban health outcomes but until they have the hard data they can’t be sure whether there is a difference or understand the scale of the difference. Earlier this year the RHAANZ presented its five most urgent priorities to government, one of which included comprehensive rural health research support. “It’s been such a relief…
Modern, science-based farming is the way to achieve a future for New Zealand where dairy farming has a lower environmental footprint, says DairyNZ’s chief executive, Dr Tim Mackle. His comment follows today’s announcement of the Dairy Action for Climate Change at National Fieldays. The Dairy Action for Climate Change lays down the foundation to reduce greenhouse gasses on dairy farms. The plan is spearheaded by DairyNZ, which represents all dairy farmers in New Zealand, and is in partnership with Fonterra. The plan has the support of the Ministry for the Environment and the Ministry for Primary Industries. Dr Mackle says…
New Zealand’s primary industries need to latch on to technology faster to support the economic growth of its agri sector and become a world leader in a fast growing agritech market, NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says. NZTech members have joined hundreds of other firms at Fieldays in Hamilton this week as technology becomes increasingly important for the New Zealand agri sector. A growing awareness of the value of technology in agriculture can be seen by the number of farmers looking into technologies such as IoT, drones, sensors and robotics, Muller says. “A report by the IoT Alliance, due for…
The new John Deere 4640 Universal Display raises the bar for performance, uptime and cost of operation as part of the latest John Deere Generation 4 Operating System. For customers, this translates into better data collection, increased application functionality, and greater choice for monitoring and managing many tractor-driven field operations. The new 4640 Universal Display enables customers to use the most common and popular John Deere applications, including AutoTrac™, documentation, and Section Control, in a portable display that has the latest internal components, design and user interface. "The new 4640 Universal Display provides a transportable, easy-to-operate solution for customers with…
Sunday, 28 May 2017 14:14

Lives of rural NZ at risk

The lives of rural New Zealanders are at risk every day because of poor connectivity and inequitable health services, a rural health leader says. Dr Martin London, chair of the Rural Health Alliance of Aotearoa New Zealand (RHAANZ), says government needs to help remove barriers so rural people’s health be considered just as important as those who live in cities. RHAANZ has 47 national member organisations encompassing rural health providers, agribusiness groups, universities, rural community groups and local government. This week it held a series of national rural conferences and meetings in Wellington. Later, London met Health Minister Jonathan Coleman…
Synlait Milk (NZX: SML; ASX: SM1) has welcomed Antony Moess to the Senior Leadership Team as General Manager, Manufacturing. With more than 20 years’ international experience in the dairy industry, Mr Moess has worked in a number of countries including New Zealand, South East Asia and the Middle East. "Antony has held a number of senior roles throughout his career and we are looking look forward to utilising that experience in our Senior Leadership Team," says John Penno, Managing Director and CEO. Most recently Mr Moess was based in Singapore as Fonterra Brand’s General Manager Operations and Supply Chain for…
Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell has told Malaysian businesses they can rely on high quality, fresh and safe food and beverage products from Aotearoa New Zealand. Speaking at a business matching event to introduce Malaysian businesses to Māori business leaders Mr Flavell says there is a huge untapped potential to work together in the food and beverage sector. “It’s one we know well, because we have been growing and gathering kai in Aotearoa New Zealand for hundreds of years,” says Mr Flavell. Mr Flavell, who is on his first Māori business and cultural mission to Malaysia this week, says…
DairyNZ is hailing the fact that 97 percent of dairy cattle are now fenced off from waterways, but its latest Water Accord report reveals a significant worsening of reported nutrient leaching in the areas with the biggest new conversions, reports Lynn Grieveson on NewsroomPro DairyNZ described the fencing on waterways as going from Cape Reinga to Bluff 12 times, and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy had it going to Chicago and back - but they both agreed the 26,197 kilometres of fencing stopping cattle from getting into streams, rivers and lakes was something to celebrate. And while farmers are congratulating…
May 11 -  Lincoln Agritech has unveiled an advanced optical nitrate sensor for groundwater which it says will bring a paradigm shift in New Zealand’s groundwater management.  
Thursday, 11 May 2017 09:51

Claas to build a new test centre

LEADING European farm machinery manufacturer, CLAAS, who are represented throughout New Zealand is significantly increasing its research and development capacities with the construction of a new test centre at the company’s headquarters in Harsewinkel, Germany. Due to open early next year, the €15 million facility will merge several test laboratories at the site into a single, state-of-the-art complex. The new complex will boast 8,000 square metres of floor space – the equivalent of about 40 full-size tennis courts – and more than 200 individual workstations and laboratories. The centre will enable CLAAS to test the performance and reliability of components…
John Vosper’s family farm Cleavedale in Matamata went organic in 2003 and two years ago launched the Jersey Girl Organics brand; now the bottled milk is sold North Island-wide and fresh milk is available from two vending machines in Tauranga and Mount Maunganui. The business won the outstanding producer dairy primary award at the recent Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards. Vosper told Dairy News the win affirms “we are on the right track; we are pleased to win award”. He sees a growing demand for organics in New Zealand. “Customers are increasingly concerned about where their food is coming from…
Manuka Health has officially opened its expanded national apiculture business after a $3.5million build that will significantly expand the organisation’s export capacity. Joining CEO John Kippenberger, the Minister for Food Safety Hon David Bennett opened the Manuka Health Wairarapa Apiculture Centre in an event attended by MP for the Wairarapa, Alastair Scott; Mayor John Booth of Carterton District Council; Chief Executive of Carterton District Council, Jane Davis; industry and government representatives; neighbours; beekeeper partners; site design and build companies; and Manuka Health staff. At the event Minister Bennett planted the last of 2,000 native plants that complete the build; a…
Thursday, 04 May 2017 10:15

Advantage of NZ's GE-Free Positioning

The ability for regions to declare themselves GE-Free in crops, forestry, and grasses won with the support of the Maori Party is a marketing advantage. New Zealand’s free trade deal with China, our biggest market, has seen investment in New Zealand because of the assurance of quality and GE-Free status. A Nielsen survey showed that 70% of Chinese consumers were avoiding GMOs in foods and actively seeking to buy GE-free produce.[1] Responding to USA consumer demand, Fonterra has also launched products specifying their GE-free status.[2] These real-world market trends signal the significance of the third reading of the Resource Legislation…
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says there is a limit to further dairy intensification in New Zealand and growing exports in the future will depend more on increasing the value of products rather than the volume. The number of dairy cattle in New Zealand has surged as farmers were lured by higher prices for dairy products while demand for sheepmeat and wool waned. The latest agricultural statistics for 2016 show New Zealand had 6.5 million dairy cattle, up from just 2.9 million four decades ago. Dairy products are the country's largest commodity export worth $11.3 billion in the year through…
Thursday, 27 April 2017 12:15

Meat co-ops search for winning formula

New Zealand's two big meat co-ops, Silver Fern Farms and Alliance Group have both had new CEOs at the helm for the past two years, each charged with improving returns to their farmer-shareholders. Dean Hamilton and David Surveyor talked to Tony Benny from NZFarmer Continue here to full article ||  April 27, 2017   |||
Whether it’s apples from New Zealand or bananas from Ecuador, produce often travels great distances to get to the consumer and loss due to spoilage or other problems along the supply chain is costly and wasteful. But Swiss scientists have come up with a new sensor that could help solve this issue. The temperature sensing device created by Empa Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology looks and acts like a piece of fruit, down to its shape, size, surface texture, color, and internal composition. The self-powered wireless electronic sensor is surrounded by a solid shell made of polystyrene…
A new Maori-owned new dairy factory is being planned for the Kawerau region, modelled on the first Maori dairy company Miraka, near Taupo. The new plant, to make milk powder, will use geothermal power owned by Putauaki Trust, one of the Maori trusts in the project. Miraka has just such a deal with one of its geothermal power-owning partner trusts. Maori leader Tiaki Hunia, a leader in the development, is chairman of the Putauaki Trust which has dairy farms around Te Teko and Kawerau. One of the farms, Himiona, named after his late father, was a finalist in the Ahuwhenua…
Leading New Zealand grower, Bostock New Zealand, is processing a whopping 100 tonnes of onions per hour with new automated handling equipment from Tong Engineering. Based in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, in what is claimed to be one of the cleanest and purest growing environments in the world, Bostock New Zealand has been exporting a wide variety of quality produce including onions, apples and kiwi fruit for over 30 years. As part of the company’s commitment to producing premium produce, Bostock needed to increase the capacity and efficiency of their onion handling process, and Tong equipment, supplied by their local…
Sunday, 19 March 2017 13:59

Rural health a key election issue

Waipukurau – New Zealand is potentially at risk of damaging its economy, unless the government does not act on improving rural health services, a national rural leader says. Michelle Thompson, chief executive of the Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHAANZ), says rural New Zealanders do not receive equitable health services. She says Kiwis in cities receive far better health support than in rural areas. The RHAANZ met politicians in Parliament this week and pleaded for a much better health deal for rural people. Economic powerhouses “Agriculture and tourism are the powerhouses of our economy. Each year, more than two…
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has signed an Agricultural Cooperation Arrangement with Argentina today, aimed at building closer relationships between the two countries. The Arrangement was signed at the Central District Fieldays in Feilding today with Argentina’s Secretary of Agriculture, Ricardo Negri, during his three day visit to New Zealand. “New Zealand and Argentina have a close relationship, particularly in agricultural sciences,” says Mr Guy. “This new Arrangement creates a framework for greater cooperation between our two countries in the agricultural, livestock and agro-industrial sectors, including opportunities for technical exchanges, joint research, innovation and value addition. “Two-way trade between Argentina…
Farmers, families and more than 550 agribusinesses and organisations are readying for ‘the best day off the farm’ as the opening of Central Districts Field Days, New Zealand’s largest regional agricultural field day event, approaches on Thursday 16 March. Manfeild Park in Feilding will come to life as a temporary city during the three-day event. Set to host more than 30,000 visitors from across the country, it provides an opportunity to soak up a cross-section of heartland New Zealand farming all in one place. Topically interesting attractions For the first time, the event will feature the new ASB Innovation Zone…
TeenAg, an agriculture sector youth programme run by New Zealand Young Farmers, will receive $146,000 of support under a new partnership announced today by Youth Minister Nikki Kaye. “This is about supporting more young people to develop skills such as leadership and learn about potential career opportunities in the primary sector, which is such a vital part of our economy,” says Ms Kaye. “TeenAg aims to promote a positive picture of agriculture and raise awareness of agricultural careers from an early age. “The funding announced today will support around 500 more young people to participate in the programme.” TeenAg consists…
Monday, 06 March 2017 09:24

Grass-fed Gold

New Zealand’s sheep and beef farmers have a profound story to tell about where and how our meat is produced, says Mike Lee. New Zealand’s sheep and beef farmers are sitting on a grass-fed gold mine. This is according to Mike Lee, the CEO and founder of New York-based food design and innovation agency Studio Industries, who says this country’s farmers have a great story to tell consumers hungry to know where and how their meat is produced. Visiting this country, Lee says it is about creating the profound out of the mundane – and for NZ sheep and beef…
Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges and Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith today announced $2 million funding for a wood-processing facility which uses automation and robotics to turn low-value pine trees into high-value wood products. This is just one of the local initiatives announced at the release of the Tairāwhiti Economic Action Plan in Gisborne. “Forestry is a major employer in the region and this funding accelerates research and development in this sector. This technology from Wood Engineering Technology Ltd ensures that even low value ‘pulp’ logs, or forestry blocks on remote sites, can become economically viable,” says Mr Bridges.…
Trade barriers cost New Zealand billions of dollars annually, according to an NZIER report for the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ). The report, titled Dairy trade’s economic contribution to New Zealand, highlights the strong contribution the dairy sector has continued to make to New Zealand’s national and regional economic development, even while it has been at the bottom of a price cycle, and despite global dairy markets remaining highly distorted. “Trade barriers are a significant cost to New Zealand. Tariffs alone are suppressing the value of our dairy products by around 1.3 billion dollars annually,” says DCANZ Chairman…
Fonterra’s Research and Development Centre has developed a new white butter product to meet growing demand from manufacturers in the Middle East market. The New Zealand dairy co-op developed the product alongside its global ingredients business NZMP. Fonterra’s butter is renowned amongst Middle East consumers for its golden appearance thanks to milk from grass fed cows. However, a niche segment of manufacturers prefer white butter as a processing ingredient for their food products. These Middle Eastern food manufacturers have traditionally sourced butter from grain fed cows which produce dairy products with a pale colour, according to Fonterra. The co-op seized…
The Farming Robots Market Projected to Reach $5.7 Billion by 2024 Brandon Marshall has a look at this market on machinery.com.  He writes, Transparency Market Research (TMR), has released a report, “Agriculture Robots Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2016 – 2024,” predicting a sizeable increase in demand for agriculture robots within the decade. The report estimates that the agricultural robotics industry has generated USD $1.01 billion in revenue globally as of 2016. Going forward, TMR suggest that revenue for this industry will rise to approximately $5.7 billion by the end of 2024. This estimate…
Waste-to-energy showcase for reluctant New Zealand dairy sector A 1,100-cow dairy in southern California became the first-ever operation in the world known to produce no-sulfur renewable diesel products from manure on a livestock facility in late April. The milestone is the culmination of three years of collaboration between Scott Brothers Dairy in San Jacinto, California, and Ag Waste Solutions (AWS), a privately held company that designed the farm’s manure processing system. “To make it to the top of the hill is a euphoric moment,” dairyman Bruce Scott says. Steve McCorkle, founder and CEO of AWS, announced the partnership’s achievement on…
As New Zealand marks the one-year anniversary of its Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with South Korea, Fonterra Co-operative Group is gearing up to take advantage of huge potential for its dairy products there, particularly cheese. Since the FTA was signed in December 2015, New Zealand has experienced 16 per cent growth in exports of food and beverage products to Korea. The country is New Zealand’s fifth largest cheese market, worth US$50 million (NZ$70m) a year – comparable to New Zealand’s cheese trade to the United States. New Zealand’s new annual duty free quota of 7000 metric tonnes (MT) of cheese…
Wednesday, 07 December 2016 09:45

Fonterra seeks ‘cow to cup’ traceability

Fonterra is on track to become the first global dairy processor to have farm-to-fork electronic traceability. By 2020 the co-op’s 11,000 supplier farms around the world would be part of the system; any product concerns will be traced anywhere on the supply chain within three hours. The world-class traceability standards will extend to Fonterra’s 140 plants at 50 sites in nine countries, in seven languages and involving 2000 unique food items. Already, all New Zealand and Australian-sourced products, representing 74% of total global production, can be electronically traced through the supply chain from manufacturing sites to customers. While the co-op…
Reader insists that the question must be asked  Dear Sirs, In regard to the mysterious “agro Centre” which has appeared somewhere in the Arabian desert seemingly built and constructed by the New Zealand taxpayer you, the Taxpayers Union, and other questioners have all been asking the wrong question. The question that you should be asking is this: Is this agri hub the pivot of a counter trade deal between New Zealand and the Saudis?If it is the central component of a counter trade deal then the New Zealand government deserves credit for its imagination in implanting itself into a valuable…