Newsletter 14.06.15

Livestock
Nearly 50,000 young sheep and several thousand cattle beast are on their way to Mexico as part of the breeding programme in that country. With the costs being covered by the Mexico Government, the State governments and those who will farm the sheep the shipment has been a complete success and in many cases has helped New Zealand farmers with a cash flow they wouldn’t have achieved if the stock had been slaughtered here. The fact that the whole deal was put together by a very small group of people and that the logistics were managed without massive amounts of media attention is remarkable.    

Having been very close to those who put the shipment together, I can assure everyone the protocols would make your eyes water! It wasn’t just the rules and regulations set out by the New Zealand authorities, the Mexicans were just as strict and nothing was left unattended to. Those animals have to be the healthiest sheep and cattle in the world, and as far as the voyage is concerned, I expect they will be hard to get off their floating hotel at the other end.

How do you have a logical conversation with someone who says sending nearly 50,000 sheep on a ship to Mexico which takes two weeks is very wrong, when they could fly there in a few hours? What’s more how do you get through to the reporter and editor who printed and broadcast it. How do you get through to them that the sheep are having a fabulous life in Mexico and the shipment saved them from the butcher’s knife here? Even opposition parties in Government chimed in to gain a foothold in the “Greenies” camp.  There are times when logic and common sense seems to have died and been replaced with total ignorance, but I am sure I didn’t need to day that.
Watch the full EXCLUSIVE interview with Javier here

Community
70 percent of funerals now end in cremation and that figure is expected to reach 80 percent in ten years. The reasons are a shortage of space in cemeteries and a reluctance to develop new ones on productive land and to a degree fashion. Roddy McKinnon of McKinnon Funeral group says families are burying their loved ones in graves that were previously occupied. He says despite some soil types preserving bones, in most cases there’s nothing left after a number of years so “recycling graves” isn’t uncommon. The other aspect being used is two or more caskets being placed in the same grave
Watch the full interview here

Horiticulture & Cropping 
With frightening figures being quoted about the world’s need for food in coming years, a focus is going onto producing more and wasting less. People are already producing fruit and vegetables in high rise building in cities and obviously more and more focus is being put into producing more from less land, but a frightening figure is that 50 percent of food produced in the world is wasted because it either rots before it is eaten or doesn’t get to the right markets.

Some horticultural chemicals have a life of just 2 to 3 years before resistance kick in and something new is needed. Jim Grierson says producers have to make a concerted effort to ensure they use their chemicals as the manufacturers say to help reduce the problem.

Wine prices are likely to rise this year but the quality will make up for it. The crop nationally is 100 thousand tonnes down meaning producers are in for a better year returns wise.

However other producers in the Horticultural arena are still facing low returns and doors slamming closed as the “G7” countries continue with their refusing to supply food to Russia.
Watch the full interview here

Animal Health
If your flock is experiencing 1 to 2 percent of abortions, it’s time to check with your vet. There are several ways you can reduce the problem when it does hit, but Nick Page from Rolleston Vet Services says speed is of the essence. Collect aborted specimens and get them to your vet unfrozen, but remember to ensure you don’t put yourself at risk when doing it. 
Watch the full interview here

Irrigation
Its certainly getting colder as we head for winter, our sponsor for Irrigation RX Plastics have got some great tips on frost proofing on their blog that you should head over and read - check it out here

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