Rural News with Farm Source


Sunday 8th October 2017

A new international study reveals three quarters of honey produced across the work contain traces of pesticides. The study from a Switzerland university also included honey from New Zealand. It says the concentration levels are too low to affect humans… but 34 percent of the honey samples that contained pesticides were detrimental to bees.


New research shows fencing waterways and other management practices are reversing downgrading water trends. It comes on the back the of Ministry for the Environment’s 2017 Freshwater report, suggesting urban waterways have the worst quality in the country. Chief scientist for Our Land and Water National Science Challenge, Rich McDowell, says dairy farmers should continue investing in fencing. He says it reduces agriculture contaminants by up to 90 percent, particularly e coli and phosphorus-contamination.


Federated Farmers is questioning New Zealand on Air’s decision to cut funding to the programme Rural Delivery. The show attracts on average 50-thousand viewers every weekend and has been running for the last 13 years. President Katie Milne says it’s concerning given the growing urban-rural divide and she says they rely on programmes like Rural Delivery to help tell stories about rural life, and get messages across.


Mapping and Zapping weeds using drone mounted lasers could fix the annual 1.5-billion-dollar annual weed problem. The programme’s been given a million dollar boost by the Government. Programme Leader Kioumars Ghamkhar says the aim is mount cameras on top of drones to identify the weeds and map them using GPS.


Then smart spraying or special lasers could be used to hone in and damage the weeds. He says it’s a more efficient option with less widespread damage for  farmers, regional councils and the Department of Conservation.


Hundreds of farmers are expected to attend the Effluent Expo being run by Waikato Regional Council. It kicks off with support from DairyNZ on the 17th of October,  with the event now being in its sixth year. It gives farmers an opportunity  to engage with a range of industry professionals around effluent management and infrastructure.


Saturday 7th October 2017

A Waihi farmer who failed to treat sick sheep can no longer own a large mob of the animals. 77 year old Elaine Coxhead was fined three thousand dollars after at least 15 sheep were found dead on her farm and many others were infested with worms. MPI found she failed to take action on complaints made to them last year, and took prosecution action.


The World’s biggest fine wool championships is wrapping up today in Alexandra. The NZ Merino Championships started yesterday, attracting wool handlers from around the country and across the ditch.


Hawkes Bay land advisors and farm planning providers are hoping to tackle the challenge of delivering more than a thousand farm plans by 2018. The regional Council met with 34 providers on Wednesday to suss a plan. It’s hoping their actions will lead to better water quality in the Tukituki catchment, through better land use, and landowner innovation.


With the results of special votes coming out today, Federated Farmers is urging parties to be pragmatic during negotiations. President Katie Milne says they’re ready to work with any Government and help them “walk” their “talk”. She says she’s confident with NZ First having the upper hand, which strongly rejected water and livestock emissions taxes.


This year’s Fieldays contributed around 240-million-dollars to the country’s GDP. It’s up by nearly 30 percent on last year. The June event attracted over 133-thousand  visitors, both international and domestic. 


Farmers are being urged to formally record their planting along stream banks on a new online portal. The NIWA and Dairy NZ initiative is aimed at helping scientist understand how riparian buffers benefit waterways. Freshwater scientist Richard Storey says there’s not many case studies showing how long, wide or where a buffer needs to be to get the results. The new database can be found at


Dairy farmers are being reminded they have only two weeks to left vote in the Dairy NZ biannual election. As well as voting for directors, they can also vote on several resolutions. Voting closes on October 24th.

Rural News thanks to Farm Source