Story needs a happy ending

This time of year is field days season and this week it’s Feilding’s turn to put on a show. Field days, wherever they are in New Zealand, are a great opportunity for the rural sector to show off the latest technology and innovations our bright sparks have dreamed up.

Sam will help your welfare

This week we begin a series of stories from All Black Sam Whitelock who’s an ambassador for Farmstrong, the organisation that focuses on the mental and physical well-being of rural people.

Media out of step with public views

The latest opinion survey gauging the public’s view of the primary sector comes as a mix of relief and concern. The positives from the Ministry for Primary Industries-commissioned survey are that most people still have a favourable opinion of the sector, which polling company UMR said is at odds with the recent tone and volume of mainstream media coverage.

Minnow’s bite attracts whale

The a2 Milk Company (ATM) agreement with Fonterra is a match made in heaven, if the suitors hadn’t slagged each other off in the past. The phenomenal share market fortune of a2 Milk, from penny dreadful to $11.80 after the relationship announcement, means ATM now has a market capitalisation larger than Fonterra. But in terms of facilities, sales revenue and earnings it is like comparing a pilot fish to a whale.

Scientists an example for all farm sectors

The nation’s richest prize for science was given last week to the team from Plant and Food Research that confronted the kiwifruit virus head-on. Their work was extraordinary. With Psa set to lay waste to one of our largest export earners the team led by Dr Bruce Campbell kicked into gear, devising a test for the disease and looking for a kiwifruit variety that would be resistant to it.

Go at it in new ways

This week’s paper has a story on cashmere goats, once the next big thing in New Zealand farming before the industry lost its way in the 1980s and there has apparently been little interest in it since.

Even Trump talk is good for NZ

The sudden and somewhat surprising news that agreement has been reach on the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership is welcome. Now the deal is done time is not being wasted. It will be signed on March 8 in Chile and could take effect later this year.

Farmers must embrace their emissions charge

James Shaw has announced farmers will be paying for 5% of their greenhouse gas emmissions by the end of this Parliamentary term.

Judging by the comments made by industry leaders during the election campaign this will not go down well in our sector. But is it time for farmers to embrace this concept. Is it time to walk the walk?