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NORTH OTAGO FARMERS RUSH FOR IRRGATION SHARES (1)

NORTH OTAGO FARMERS RUSH FOR IRRGATION SHARES

The North Otago Irrigation Company is thrilled by the response to its latest offer of shares in a $53 million extension of its irrigation scheme.

The farmer-owned irrigation company started just over 10 years ago with shares issued at $1850 each. Now they are valued at $4200 and can be traded freely between farmers.

Just prior to Christmas, the company made a new share offer to fund its extension plan, and says the rush of demand has given it confidence in the future of the project.

Its offer of more than 7,900 shares is over-subscribed – and the company will be deciding who gets the shares before the start of next week.

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NELSON ORCHARD COMPANY FINED $134,000 FOR WORKER’S DEATH

NELSON ORCHARD COMPANY FINED $134,000 FOR WORKER’S DEATH

A Nelson-based apple and kiwifruit orchard company – AB Wood Holdings – has been fined $49,000 and ordered to pay $85,000 in reparation after an employee died when the tractor he was using to mow grass rolled over on a slope and fatally injured him.

The company pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to take all practical steps to ensure the employee was not exposed to safety hazards.

WorkSafe New Zealand gave evidence that AB Wood could have taken a number of steps to prevent its employee’s death – including reshaping the terrain, erecting suitable barriers along slopes, and ensuring a formal risk assessment was in place. It says farm vehicles account for over half of all fatalities on farms – and vehicle rollovers are the first and most frequent cause of the fatalities.

In passing sentence, Judge Zohrab said it would have been practicable for some form of roll-over protection to be used on the tractor..

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MANAWATU FIREFIGHTERS BATTLING THE BIG DRY

MANAWATU FIREFIGHTERS BATTLING THE BIG DRY

Manawatu firefighters have been battling three rural fires in their region, including one covering 150 hectares of farm land at the Bainesse settlement, about 20 kilometres east of Palmerston North.

The big grass fire broke out at 1.15pm on Wednesday.

At its peak, multiple crews and four helicopters battled the blaze. Nearby homes were evacuated though not damaged.

Also on Wednesday, the fire fighters attended a one-hectare scrub fire at Pineland, south of Palmerston North – and their latest call-out is to a hay barn in Tangimoana that’s reported to be well alight.

Overnight, the Palmerston City Council has declared a restricted fire season in all rural areas under its control.

The Rotorua Lakes Council has gone a step further.

It’s suspending existing fire permits for rural areas and putting a hold on issuing any new permits because of the extreme dry conditions.

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FALLING OIL PRICES SHOULD REDUCE FARM COSTS

FALLING OIL PRICES SHOULD REDUCE FARM COSTS

Federated Farmers says falling oil prices should be reflected in falling farm costs – and not just in the farmer’s own fuel bills.

The organisation’s transport spokesperson Ian Mackenzie says the sector’s spent years seeing the rates for stock and equipment transport go up because of escalating fuel prices, and now they’re coming down the cost of these services should go down.

Ian Mackenzie also says farmers should expect to see reductions in expenses for fertilizer, agricultural chemicals and contracting services.

 

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SOUTH ISLAND BATTLES GRASSFIRES IN BIG DRY

SOUTH ISLAND BATTLES GRASSFIRES IN BIG DRY

Rural firefighters have been working round the clock in many parts of the parched eastern South Island – from Marlborough, through Canterbury, and into Central Otago.

The key hotspot regions are Canterbury and Otago, where conditions are rated “extremely drier than normal”, and scattered showers over the past week have brought little relief.

Fire and water restrictions are widespread – the banks are rolling out funding assistance packages – and meatworkers are on overtime slaughtering stock as farmers ease the pressure on what’s left of their pasture.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy isn’t ready to call it a “medium scale adverse event” – yet … but his Ministry’s watching the situation closely.

 

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TOXIC ALGAE IN TARANAKI RIVERS

TOXIC ALGAE IN TARANAKI RIVERS

In Taranaki, the regional council is warning people – and particularly dog owners – to be wary of potentially toxic algae mats that are forming as local river levels fall.

Taranaki regional council offices have found exposed mats of cynobacteria in popular swimming spots on the Waingororo, Manganui, and Wawkaiho Rivers – and warning signs are now in place.

The council says dogs are particularly attracted by the odour of the exposed mats and are susceptible to poisoning if they swallow the algae..

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Country TV Announces Increase In Viewers

As of January 19th 2015, Country TV will be watched by an estimated 130,000 people, equating over 40,000 household subscriptions. This hike in viewers will allow an ever-increasing, comprehensive programming schedule to include more local, relevant content, targeting rural-minded individuals around New Zealand.

Accessed through SKY channel 081, Country TV is New Zealand’s only dedicated rural channel, supplying the nation with agribusiness, farming, equestrian and rural lifestyle television. Increasing viewership means a higher volume of up-to-date information about local and international agriculture, farming, gardening, and more – all brought to the homes of rural-loving Kiwis.

The increase in viewers will give Country TV a better idea of which shows are attracting who, an understanding that will open doors for new programs and partnerships to further accommodate the demands of the market. Country TV aims to communicate directly with rural residents and/or those involved in rural industries to better inform and entertain the communities they support, and long term goals include being a part of every such household in New Zealand.

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20150128

All New Zealand Show

All New Zealand Show

Manfield Park Stadium  (Feilding)

The best dairy show case that New Zealand has to offer, with record entries from Dargaville to Wyndham, international judges, and more trade sites than ever! This event is not one to miss - check out the event website for more information.

More info: www.nzdairyevent.co.nz