Sep 8, 2023
I hope everyone is enjoying warm temperatures and lots of grass growth. It’s nice to be leaving the cold, wet and mud behind.
The month for me has been spent pretty much in the office apart from the Next Generation programme at the beginning of August (see last issue of DFA Stagline). I think this is the first time in years that I haven’t been travelling around the country for this long.
Over this time the Producer Management Team has been reviewing the various documents and policies and procedures that allow the NZDFA to function as the voice of deer farmers. We’ll be looking to streamline these and re-format them as a collection of concise leaflets contained in a ring binder with tabbed dividers (à la Deer Facts) and these will be available to all the NZDFA Branch Chairs. We are hoping to present a draft prototype at the upcoming Branch Chairs Meeting on 5 and 6 October in Wellington.
Speaking of which, the October Branch Chairs meeting is an important event for the NZDFA as it is the major opportunity for branches to raise issues with the DINZ Board and staff, as well as the NZDFA Executive Committee. Please get in touch with you local Branch Chair so that your queries and concerns can be included.
Earlier this week I attended a presentation from NIWA on the summer coming up – the message is of some concern. Normally forecasts and predictions are couched in probabilities and possibilities of events happening, so when the experts state with great certainty that we will be shortly moving into an El Nino weather pattern and we should expect a long, dry summer over much of the country, that should give us a clear guide on setting up for the next few months.
The key messages from the presentation are here:
Finally on a more positive note earlier in the month Otago Regional Council published a series of reports examining the regional economy and the role that agriculture plays. There was considerable input into the agriculture reports from a number of Otago deer farmers and authorship from Tony Pearse, Solis Norton (DeerPro) and Simon Glennie (Abacus Bio). The work was mentioned last year in Deer Industry News (Issue 114, July-September, pages 10-11, www.deernz.org.nz/home/our-stories). There are two reports that will be of interest to Otago deer farmers (Farmer Grower Phase 1 and Phase 2 reports) and they can be downloaded here: www.orc.govt.nz/plans-policies-reports/corporate-plans-and-reports/regional-economics
This is only the second time that such a detailed and comprehensive analysis of a regional primary sector has been undertaken in New Zealand, the other being a report for Southland in 2017 (which similarly involved Southland deer farmers).
Now that things are growing and drying out, I do hope that the upcoming venison and velvet seasons are good for everyone. It’s also only a couple of months away from the velvet competitions and we are also casting our minds to field days at the 2023 Environment Award winners’ farms. Best wishes and prepare well for the summer ahead.
- Lindsay Fung, Producer Manager