Friday, 01 May 2020 10:22

Rural broadband funding welcomed

Written by  Staff Reporters
Fiona Gower. Fiona Gower.

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) says it is pleased to hear the Government’s announcement of new funding for improved rural broadband.

“Improving connectivity is vital to successful business, health and safety, education and social connection in rural communities,” says national president, Fiona Gower.

“RWNZ would like to see the Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISP’s) included in the Government’s new rural broadband funding – they have filled the gap left by the big telcos in getting internet into rural, remote and hard to reach areas of our country.

Gower says the rural women lobby also like to see a commitment to improving mobile phone coverage in rural New Zealand. She says because with only 50% coverage across New Zealand, it is the rural communities missing out.

“Covid-19 has highlighted the issue of digital inequity with incredibly slow rural internet speeds and landlines overloading. 

“Children now being schooled at home are often struggling to get to their online classes.  Women and children living with intimate partner violence are not able to contact support services and the additional health and social service support offered online is only available to those with adequate connectivity – it is our hope that this new funding from Government will alleviate these issues.”

Gower says across the board, self-isolation and restrictions on bubbles mean that it is vital that communities have the tools to connect to, at the very least, maintain mental wellness.

“We know that rural communities tend to be resilient and supportive and this new funding from the Government will, if allocated wisely, keep them that way.” 

More like this

Productivity, quality and Pinot Noir

A machine-learning algorithm could help change the face of New Zealand Pinot Noir, by offering data-based decisions for optimal Pinot production.

Keeping tails clean now’s a ‘Switch’

Any dairy farmer who has taken a smack in the face from a dung-encrusted cow’s tail on a frosty morning will know the feeling and wonder how to stop it happening again.

Look out for rural communities - RWNZ

Rural Women NZ is calling for a commitment to improving the health and well-being of rural families and enhancing rural communities’ reliance from all candidates at this year’s general election.

Featured

 

Lely offerings for the future

Dutch robotic specialist Lely launched a new farm management application called Horizon at its recent Future Farm Days 2020.

Designed to connect data from a range of on-farm equipment and suppliers into one management system, it creates a real-time decision-support platform, to make the farmer’s life easier, the herd healthier and the farm more profitable, says Lely.

Developed over a 24-month period, with over 100 test farmers in seven countries, working with 75 engineers, designers, farm management advisors, veterinarians and AI specialists, the new application will eventually replace the current Lely T4C management system. It uses smart algorithms and the cloud to deliver data that is processed into actionable information that is always accessible on any device in a user-friendly way.

Lely claims the Horizon application unburdens farmers from routine decision making and helps them optimise their workloads, using integrated routines based on easily scheduled cow ‘touches’, create logical and more efficient workflows. It is also possible to assign a certain task to an employee and to schedule a time slot for the cow touch, rather than analysing different reports and filtering long lists.

Horizon is also able to connect and combine data from non-Lely sources into a complete solution for the farmer removing the need to enter the same data twice, while scrutinising individual data streams in different applications will no longer be necessary. Currently, connections with farming applications such as Dairy Comp, Uniform-Agri, CRV and Herde already enable farmers to synchronise information about calving and inseminations between applications. Lely’s ambition is to connect with more partners over time, to hand the farmer more smart data.

To ensure full support in the migration to Lely Horizon, existing Lely T4C customers will be personally informed by their Lely Center before the end of 2020.

The migration is planned in a phased approach, from country to country, over the year 2021.

Also launched at the event, Lely Exos is an autonomous concept for harvesting and feeding fresh grass to the herd.

The company suggests that feeding fresh grass makes better use of available roughage, suggesting “fresh” has between 10 and 20% more nutritional value than grass silage, as there are minimal losses typically seen during mowing, tedding, raking, harvesting and feeding.

Lely suggests that feeding fresh grass over an extended season reduces the amount of silage that has to be conserved, reduces the need for concentrates and bought-in feed and increase the margin made on each litre of milk produced.

Based around an all-electric vehicle that mows and feeds, Exos is light weight and uses soil friendly technology, that can be exploited throughout the growing season. Design to work 24/7 as feed requirements change, the system places no constraints on labour or time, while it is also designed to work in tandem with the Lely Vector automatic feeding systems.

In operation, Exos also collects field data as it goes about its job, giving framers live data on grass supply and lending itself to a further concept of delivering a targeted liquid fertiliser as it passes over a harvested area.

Goat farming on the rise

Dairy goat milk processors, looking to increase their supplier numbers, are helping to drive interest among farmers in New Zealand’s growing goat milk industry.

TB fight goes on

The total number of TB-infected herds in Hawke’s Bay has risen to 20, following the recent reclassification of a new herd in the Waitara Valley.

Milking cows behind the barbed wire

A recent field day at the Waikeria Prison Farm near Te Awamutu offered farmers the chance to see what goes on “behind the wire”, alongside introducing the idea of farmers employing offenders near the end or after the term of their sentences.

National

Dispelling wool's myths

Paul Alston believes that when comparing wool and synthetic carpets, wool wins every time.

Not all GHGs are the same

The New Zealand Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (NZRSB) is calling for a new, more accurate, method for calculating methane emissions.

Machinery & Products

Weeds in for a shock

WIith an increasing focus on reducing chemical herbicides, largely because of crop resistance and a potential build-up of residues, new…

V8 - a baler with a grunt

Following three years of testing with clients worldwide, Ireland-based manufacturer McHale has added a bigger model to its range of…

Virtual CV valuable tool

With a 12-year history of recruiting specialised operators from overseas to service the agricultural contracting industry, Hanzon Jobs typically brings…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Tough gig!

OPINION: This old mutt has a fair amount of sympathy for Ag Minister Damien O’Connor with the two associate ministers…

Cow killer

OPINION: The Hound was not surprised to hear well-known end-of-the-world doom-merchant ‘Dr’ Mike Joy is still as joyless as ever…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter