BLOG: Farmers are right to ask questions

Last week Regional Development Minister Shane Jones called farmers a bunch of moaners for voicing concerns about the billion trees policy and the Zero Carbon Bill.

BLOG: Women play vital roles in farming

On Farm Story star Trish Rankin was named Dairy Woman of the Year last week.

The amount of work the South Taranaki farmer manages to fit into a week puts a lot of us to shame and the accolade is well-deserved. As well as farming with husband Glenn, Trish also teaches part time in Opunake and has various other industry and governance roles.

BLOG: Doing more with our milk

In the never-ending debate about Fonterra’s follies and future, adding value is the constant theme.

The co-operative claims it now adds value (over the prices of standard dairy commodities) to 45% of external sales by volume, thus earning more than half of total revenue from such goods.

BLOG: Rapid change coming soon

The first seeds of what is likely to be a year of fundamental change for agriculture were sown with the revelation the wind has gone out of the market for dairy farms in two key South Island dairy regions.

BLOG: No sense please, we’re British

I say chaps, those Brits have pulled a blinder, the cunning rascals.

They’ve got those Europeans exactly were they want them. Confused.

BLOG: More money can speed up change

There was good news for dairy farmers last week with Fonterra raising its forecast milk price range by 30c to $6.30-6.60 for the season.

It appears production will be back a bit on forecasts though still ahead of last year. The dry that’s set into a few regions probably has something to do with that – I know farmers here are down to once-a-day.

BLOG: The truth about tenure reviews

The end of the tenure review process for South Island pastoral leases announced last week is hardly a surprise for two reasons. Firstly, those wanting to be unshackled from having a Government landlord had 21 years to do so. But, a more pertinent factor, is Lands Minister Eugenie Sage, who in an earlier life was a Royal Forest and Bird employee and ardent critic of tenure review.

BLOG: We can’t eat the concrete

When there is year-round milk for your coffee and supermarkets stocked with salad, fresh vegetables, fruit and meat it is understandable our urban cousins are complacent about the soil and toil required to produce it.

BLOG: Farm food critics hard to stomach

The meat and dairy industries should rightly feel battered and bruised after a series of academic papers blaming the farming of animals for a multitude of the world’s ills.

These papers allege livestock farming is to blame for aiding climate change, environmental degradation and obesity.