Rural-urban divide proves to be real

The concept of an urban-rural divide can no longer be dismissed as a conspiracy theory given the deluge of Government decisions that negatively affect the rural sector.

Don’t be greedy Mr Taxman

The first big storm of the year last week reminded us all the year is moving quickly. In fact, the dairy season ends in just over a month.

A chance not to be wasted

The demise of the strong crossbred wool industry will be the subject of future academic studies about how this natural, sustainable, premium product meekly surrendered its market position to competitors made from dirty, unsustainable fossil fuels.

There’s more to life than lucre

It’s important but there are many other things that contribute to what we are. That’s the gist of the message from two women featured in this issue.

Fonterra must put farmers first

Fonterra's leaders can rightly expect some robust debate and tough questioning from farmers at its series of shareholder meetings following the release of its interim results.

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.