Tag Archives: farm

GLOBAL – G20: Ministers Agree To Fight Volatility Of Ag Prices – June 24, 2011

GENERAL – At the G20 Farm Ministers meeting, 20 of the most powerful economies in the world have agreed an action plan to fight against the volatility of agricultural prices.

Together, the G20 nations committed to increasing agricultural production through use of improved practices and technologies and a commitment to new and expanded research and development.

“The need for market transparency and consistency with science-based rule-making systems among our nations and the international community is stronger than ever,” said US Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack.

“Purposefully then, we support establishing the groundwork for an international agricultural market information system, or AMIS, that if fully supported and utilised, will mitigate volatility and reduce market distorting signals by promoting greater shared understanding of food production and price information.”

“This is a tour de force for the international community,” French Minister of Agriculture, Bruno Le Maire added.

“The consensus reached this week by the Ministers of Agriculture is a historical unity to solve the pressing challenges of hunger and the volatility of food prices,” Secretary Vilsack concluded.

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NEW ZELAND – New Tararua Project Benefits Environment – June 14, 2011

NEW ZEALAND – Sustainable dairy farming in Tararua is the focus of a new project which has just been launched and has two more field days coming up this month.

More than 50 farmers and industry leaders gathered at Geoff Arends and Ester Romp’s 162ha farm at Hukanui for the launch of the Tararua DairyLink project. The initiative is led by local farmers, DairyNZ and Horizons Regional Council.

The host farm is one of three selected as part of the project to demonstrate methods of reducing dairying’s environmental impact, while also looking to improve productivity.

The DairyLink launch is one of a series of events, with field days also being held in Pahiatua and Dannevirke and more planned for later in the year.

Geoff and Ester, along with sharemilkers Chris and Dana Sutton, gave attendees a rundown of their operation, what they hope to achieve in their business and the reason for participating in DairyLink.

Last season’s production of nearly 140,000kgMS/ha was badly affected by flooding in the spring. They are hoping to increase production this season through better pasture management whilst decreasing the use of nitrogen fertiliser.

Mr Sutton says he is taking part in the project to give back to an industry that has been very generous to him.

“The DairyLink project provides a way for me to contribute towards the future of dairying in this district,” he says.

Keith Riley, the farmer chairman of the DairyLink committee, spoke of the importance for farmers to have greater control over all aspects of their farming systems, to improve productivity and reduce negative environmental impacts.

Mr Riley says there are real opportunities for farmers to increase productivity and use natural resources more efficiently.

“The project provides a way for everybody to work together, pool their knowledge, and become more innovative and adaptive to the pressures currently being felt by dairy farmers,” says Mr Riley.

Professor Mike Hedley, director of the Fertiliser and Lime Research Centre at Massey University, gave the opening presentation at the launch.

Mr Hedley says it is crucial that farmers learn to understand the environmental consequences of their production systems.

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SOUTH KOREA – S. Korea Not To Raise FMD Alert Level Despite New Outbreak – April 18, 2011

SOUTH KOREA – South Korea will not raise its present foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) alert level despite a fresh outbreak in the southeastern part of the country over the weekend, a government official said Monday.

Deputy Farm Minister Lee Sang-kil said animals at the small farm in Yeongcheon, 344 kilometers from Seoul, were affected by the “type O” FMD virus that had devastated South Korea since November.

The farm owner reported the sick animals on Saturday, and they were confirmed to have the FMD virus the following day.

“There is no need to upgrade the country’s present ‘yellow’ alert level to ‘orange’ since it is unlikely that the virus could pose risks to more animals,” the official said.

He pointed out that all 13 million cattle and pigs have received shots to protect them from the “type O” virus.

Seoul lowered the alert status to “yellow” last Tuesday, and from “red” — its maximum readiness posture — to “orange” on March 24 after the last FMD case, before Saturday’s, was reported on 26 February.

“More work needs to be done to determine why the animals got sick, but it may be due to the owner failing to vaccinate the breeding sow at the appropriate times,” Lee said. “In order to fully inoculate newborn piglets, the sow must be shot three or four weeks before giving birth.”

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Source: Yonhap News Agency

NEW ZEALAND – Dairy Compliance Still A Challenge For Bay Of Plenty – April 05, 2011

NEW ZEALAND – Routine farm dairy effluent compliance monitoring in the Bay of Plenty has again highlighted the ongoing challenges of consistent compliance across the region.

This year’s results are similar to last year’s results where some areas have improved and others have worsened.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Group Water Management Manager Eddie Grogan said that while there had been some highlights of the season including Rotorua’s significant improvements, overall there had been a marked drop in performance across the region.

“Of the 354 dairy sites inspected this season, just 72 per cent achieved full compliance. Unfortunately, the performance rate has deteriorated from 79 per cent last year,” he said.

Mr Grogan said the increased level of significant non-compliance is the most concerning factor for this year’s compliance inspection with 47 cases (13 per cent ) reported.

To be rated as significant non compliance there must either be a discharge to a waterbody or a serious breach of consent which could result in a discharge to water.

“Reduction of the significant non compliance category is the industry’s primary focus. It is unfortunate that the considerable effort so far from Federated Farmers, Dairy NZ and Fonterra has not yet impacted on overall compliance figures,” Mr Grogan said.

“We are witnessing the same repeated issues of non-compliance; irrigators and ponds are not being managed properly due to lack of gear maintenance, lack of staff training, and certainly lack of pond storage.”

The Regional Council continues to work on a number of initiatives to improve compliance figures. One change is a big shift by farmers towards incorporating storage back into effluent systems.

“The improved use of pond storage has been a focus for the dairy industry, and this is being strongly supported by the Council, with increased resource consent terms reflecting the infrastructural investment that farmers are now making on their systems,” Mr Grogan said.

“A new calculator tool is also used widely by Bay of Plenty dairy professionals and council to help farmers calculate how much storage is needed to get through particularly wet periods.”

Rotorua farmers made a significant improvement on their compliance figures this season. Rotorua recorded poor results last year with about half of the farms inspected rating as significantly non compliant. This season only three of the 25 farms inspected were rated significantly non compliant.

“A working party that was formed as a result of the 2009 Rotorua Audit appears to have been successful in changing behaviours and getting agreement on accepted practices. This was one of a number of successful initiatives undertaken in the Rotorua catchment and we plan to roll these out in other areas,” Mr Grogan said.

“It is clear that we have a long way to go with Bay of Plenty farmers to achieve our goal of 100 per cent compliance. Whilst it is good to see progress in some great initiatives, we need farmers to see the urgency and make compliance a priority with their farm management.”

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