Velvet quality keeps improving

Velvet quality is higher now than in the past 30 years and deer farmers should be rightly proud of what they have achieved, Deer Industry New Zealand chief executive Innes Moffat says.

But better quality aside, with demand and prices beginning to plateau the industry is not looking for new producers to enter the fray.

Support teams ready to help

Dedicated teams have been set up to provide support for Hawke’s Bay farmers and rural communities affected by drought and constrained by the national lockdown.

Hawke’s Bay Rural Advisory Group co-chairmen Wade Nilsson and Lochie MacGillivray say the eight teams cover water, feed, logistics, finance, welfare, animal health, Maori liaison and Wairoa.

Living in high-country bubbles

Living in an isolation bubble is not new for high country farmers but keeping their heads above water under covid-19 has added a whole new management dimension.  

Farming in a bubble is not that hard for the Guild family on High Peak Station in Canterbury, Hamish Guild says.

“We are treating the farm as one bubble, limiting contact on to the farm and only off the farm for essential supplies – keeping a tight grip.

Moves to get sales moving again

A group of stock agents is trying to establish operating guidelines to allow an early but limited resumption of sale yards and on-farm auctions.

Still very much in the planning stages and not yet policy of the NZ Stock and Station Agents Association, the proposed operating protocols will apply once the covid-19 level four alert is eased and allow an early resumption of sale yards and farm auctions.

Fieldays postponed indefinitely

This year’s Fieldays at Mystery Creek has been postponed indefinitely because of the ongoing impact of covid-19.

Chief executive Peter Nation said the difficult decision was made because there is no means of knowing what the continued effects of covid-19 will have on the events sector and the organisation’s ability to stand-up an event in the future, in an email sent out to all exhibitors. 

Fieldays postponed indefinitely

This year’s Fieldays at Mystery Creek has been postponed indefinitely because of the ongoing impact of covid-19.

It’s not all rosy for NZ exports

Covid-19 disruption is biting into New Zealand’s commodity markets with mixed results for farm and orchard gate prices, ANZ economists report.

The April issue of the ANZ Research Agri-Focus is called Storm Clouds Above, written by agricultural economist Susan Kilsby and chief economist Sharon Zollne.

Packhouses ramp up processing

Kiwifruit packhouse productivity is starting to ramp up under reduced staff numbers and covid-19 distancing requirements as the industry reconfigures packing lines and processing rates.

James Trevelyan, head of the country’s largest single site processor, Trevelyan’s, said his company had been in contact with associates in Italy where 59,000 cases of covid-19 were reported before the lockdown. Packing facilities continue to operate successfully.

Bridging the chasm of doom

Freshwater scientist and communicator Jenny Webster-Brown will take over as director of the Our Land and Water science challenge in May. Colin Williscroft reports.