Media Releases

New project manager to focus on cereals research

The Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) is pleased to announce the appointment of Rob Craigie as Project Manager for cereals and irrigation related issues.

Rob joins us from his previous role as agronomist in the seed potato industry. As well as giving crop management advice, a key focus OF Rob’s role was to develop management techniques to control virus in seed potato crops. He was also involved with trials to optimise the performance of new varieties.
Previously Rob worked for Jatra Corporation, a Christchurch based company growing wasabi and exporting it frozen to Japan. There he identified problems with the wasabi production system and implemented a research programme to improve yield and quality of wasabi. He completed a part time Master of Horticultural Science degree on wasabi agronomy.
Rob also holds a Bachelor of Horticulture Science degree. He has also worked as a horticultural consultant for MAF.
Rob says “I am really looking forward to establishing research projects and delivering the results that will give growers tools and information that will improve their production systems. I am also looking forward to working with the FAR team.”
Nick Pyke, FAR’s Chief Executive comments: “Rob brings with him a variety of knowledge which will be a great asset in the maintenance and development of new research projects in the areas of cereals, cultivar evaluations and irrigation. Rob will also be involved in delivering the results of these research projects to farmers and industry personnel at FAR workshops, field days, conferences and discussion sessions.”

FAR welcomes new assistant project manager

The Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) is delighted to welcome on board Alan Bowring as Assistant Project Manager.

Alan who will be working alongside Nick Poole, FAR Research Coordinator, has relocated for 12 months from North West New South Wales and brings with him knowledge in the areas of water, soil and crop production. Alan is currently completing a B. Rural Science at the University of New England in Australia.
Nick Poole comments “Alan will be involved with a number of FAR projects including noninversion agronomy and crop sequence trials, as well as assisting with the New Zealand cereals research prograrnme. Alan will also share some of the workload on our Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) funded research programme n Australia.”
Alan is looking forward to providing assistance with FAR research projects and delivering beneficial results to New Zealand arable growers. Alan will be attending numerous FAR field days and workshops throughout the coming months and looks forward to engaging with growers and key industry personnel in the process.

Reduction in levy rate for hybrid vegetable seed crops

Further to consultation with members of the New Zealand Grain and Seed Trade Association (NZGSTA), which reflected both the high value of hybrid vegetable seeds and the decision making rules within the Commodity Levies (Arable Crops) Order 2006, the board of FAR has set the levy for hybrid vegetable seed crops at 0.3% at the first point of sale. All non-hybrid vegetable seed crops (open pollinated types) have the same levy rate as all other combinable crops of 0.8% at the first point of sale.

Nick Poole, FAR’s Acting Chief Executive commented that the new lower levy rate for hybrid vegetable seed crops had been put in place not only to reflect the higher value of these crops, but potentially higher grower inputs. He hoped that the new rate would also simplify the system for those companies forwarding the FAR levy.
Thus in accordance with the 2006 Levy Order, the FAR levies for 2007 for combinable crops (except maize) are as follows:
  • Herbage and amenity seed – 0.8% of sale value
  • All other grain and seed crops (cereals, pulses, etc) – 0.8% of sale value
  • Open pollinated vegetable seed crops – 0.8% of sale value
  • Hybrid vegetable seed crops – 0.3% of sale value
  • Onion seed crops will be zero rated

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Foundation for Arable Research awards its first postgraduate scholarship

The Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) is delighted to announce the award of its inaugural scholarship to Tony Butler.

FAR’s postgraduate scholarship was set up with the aim of encouraging more students into the agricultural science and research arena, providing financial assistance with both course and day-to-day living fees.
The scholarship valued at $7,000 was open to full-time students at Lincoln University whom were eligible to proceed to, or were planning to undertake postgraduate research, which in turn would assist with increasing knowledge within the New Zealand arable farming sector.
Nick Poole, FAR’s Acting Chief Executive said: “it is without a doubt that New Zealand is suffering a shortfall of people skilled in agricultural science areas. Farming in New Zealand relies more now than it ever has in the past on research and extension activities; it is therefore imperative that FAR, as a key industry player, assists with developing such enterprises in order to assist young scientists with their educational requirements.
“I am thrilled to be able to award this scholarship to Tony. Tony stood out as a perfect candidate for this scholarship with clear intentions of pursuing a career in research in agronomic plant studies on completion of his degree. Tony is already part way through his Masters in Agricultural Science where he has concentrated on research in the areas of physiological effects of ryegrass and tall fescue under drought conditions and the efficient use of irrigation water, areas which are vital to the future success of the New Zealand arable and pastoral farming sectors.”

Foundation for Arable Research re-launches website

The Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) is proud to announce the launch of its new look website today.

A website survey form was distributed to FAR levy payers and industry personnel who subscribe to the site in order to ascertain their thoughts on how the site could be improved. Feedback clearly identified three areas where there was room for improvement: 1. download speed, 2. visual appeal and 3. ease of navigation.
As a result, major changes have been made to the site to help improve these factors, at the same time giving it a crisp new look and ensuring that the wealth of technical information has been retained for the use of FAR levy payers and industry subscribers.
The web site provides information about FAR, its structure, events, news, a shop as well as providing an array of technical resource tools in the restricted members’ area.
Important note to FAR levy payers and industry subscribers:
In addition to the re-design, we have also improved the security for our members by switching to personalised user names and passwords. Up until the 31st January, the members’ area can be accessed using existing user name and passwords. However these passwords will need to be replaced by a self selected user name and password prior to then for those who wish to continue using the restricted area of the site. Just click on ‘subscribe’ and follow the simple step-by-step instructions to set up your personal account. Should you have any technical hitches, please contact the FAR office on 03 325 6353.