Newsletter 17.05.15

Cropping/ Horticulture
The fine weather that has kept temperatures up all over the country has put next season’s horticultural crops at risk. Growers need at least 1500 hours of cold weather for crops to winter off, but some horticultural crops are already going into a false spring mode because of the warm conditions. Jim Grierson says growers should hold off using herbicides until the frosts start.

Despite a brilliant season for horticulture farmers, the returns are a lot lower than expected and some won’t make any money this year. The reason is because of the unrest in Russia and the embargoes placed on that country leading to huge volumes of produce not being sold to Russia. It has been suggested that the President would rather have his people stave than bower to political pressure.
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Racing Industry
Now is the ideal time to buy race horses or form a syndicate to get started in the industry. Long term standard breeder Bob McArdle says the breeding industry is about to swing back after a period of down turn. He says the down turn has meant that many “average” mares have been lost to the industry so the yearlings that are coming onto the market are of a better quality than ever before. He says the prices being paid at the yearling sales reflect that.
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New rulings about Nitrate leaching has thwarted many farmers wanting to irrigate their land. Unless they are part of an established scheme, producers wanting to get a new consent will face obstacles that many consultants are saying are impossible. It is considered that the rulings set out by E-Can will become the template for other regional councils. 
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Our shores are very likely to be safer from unwanted pests because of work being done by Lincoln university on bio-security. Travis Glare says there are many students who are working on bio-security and while about 40 percent go overseas before coming back with more knowledge, the other 60 percent stay here and concentrate on keeping our shores safe.
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Animal Health
Farmers should dry their cows off earlier than later despite wanting to get as much milk out of them as possible to help cash flow. Gary Dixon from MPI says the temptation is there to carry on milking, but the animals will suffer if they aren’t dried off and production next season will also suffer.
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The young farmer of the year finalist have been decided and the standard is very high reflecting the increase in interest in the organisation. CEO Terry Copeland says the influx of young people into the industry is swelling numbers as young people search for company of those their own age and with similar interests.
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