A holiday’s great but a holiday where you meet other farmers and learn new skills to bring home to your operation is even better.
Farmers Weekly has teamed up with CR McPhail to bring you the Farmers Weekly Global Trek and we want you to pick the destination. CR McPhail is a leading New Zealand farm tour operator, giving New Zealanders a taste of farming life worldwide for more than 25 years.The Global Trek is for farmers and agribusiness professionals who want to open their eyes to the farming innovations the world has to offer.
It’ll be fun, it’ll be a holiday but it’ll also be an education.
We have narrowed our first trek down to four destinations, all with great opportunities for learning and adventure. Read up on them below and let us know your choice to be in to win a $200 clothing voucher from Stoney Creek.
Once we have finalised our destination we will be setting up a competition to give away a spot on the trek to one of our readers.
Follow our journey on Facebook and Instagram (@farmersweeklynz) #fwglobaltrek
Top-shelf barbecues and an emerging dairy sector are on offer in South America, a global powerhouse in beef production.
Brazil is home to the world’s biggest beef cattle herd with a grain-fed industry that is rapidly growing. Of course, everyone knows about Argentinian beef, a slow-cooked asado is one of red meat’s great delicacies. But New Zealand agribusiness has been watching the South American dairy sector closely for decades, with farming systems similar to our own emerging in Argentina, Uruguay and Chile. The sector is expanding rapidly with major investment in research, development and infrastructure. See for yourself why NZ processors like Fonterra are looking to South America to grow their milk pool. Further north, in the tropics, discover the birthplace of the kumera.
An arable farmer’s dream awaits in the corn belt of America’s midwest.
Corn, soybeans and wheat as far as the eye can see await. It’s big irrigation, big technology and big yields. Or find out about grain-fed beef and savour some barbecues to rival their South American neighbours. As a major export partner for red meat, North America is home to discerning consumers keen to buy into a great food story. To round out the industry, the Americans also produce a whole lot of milk, with California and Wisconsin leading the way in churning out the dairy for the vast domestic and growing international market. Of course, North America is also the epicentre of the world’s start-up tech and innovation sector. Research and development, adding value, e-commerce and agritech are at the heart of American agriculture.
Grains and cereals are the feature of South African farms with maize one of the biggest crops grown in this often dry land.
Peanuts, soybeans and the native sorghum are also important crops to farmers here. Animals are also farmed though keeping them safe from the wildlife can be a challenge. Drought is a major factor in South Africa with 2015’s drought the worst in 30 years. Climate change will bring new challenges to the nation and its farmers. But with 1.3 million hectares under irrigation South African farmers are harnessing what water they do have for production. Fruit and viticulture are also prominent with wine one of the best-known exports.
As in New Zealand, South Africa deregulated its agricultural sector in the 1980s with farmers there now responding to the whims of the global marketplace. Hedging tools emerged to help smooth fluctuations as they are beginning to do here now.
This vast and ancient continent offers a bit of everything when it comes to agriculture.
The dairy-rich plains of the Netherlands feed some of the best food technology and value-add processors in the world, with Food Valley as the focus. In Eastern Europe, nations like Poland are emerging as players in the dairy sector as well. Poland is now the fifth largest producer of dairy in Europe. Farmers manage more than half of the area of Europe but face a changing regulatory landscape with milk quotas lifting in recent years and Brexit casting a shadow over trade. Across the strait Ireland has launched its Origin Green label that gives assurance to consumers of the environmental and animal welfare credentials of Irish food. It’s a concept that has been talked about for some time in New Zealand. Across Europe, the environmental impact of farming is being debated with the use of chemicals and other inputs being debated.