Agstaff Update - February 2018

Welcome to 2018!

Well, Spring is over and we have now hit Summer with a bang. We all love Summer, especially following on from record rainfalls in the Winter and one of the warmest springs in many years. Driving around Ashburton district, we are noticing the land being nearly as dry as our February usually is. We are now all crossing our fingers for a good rain to ease this dryness. Ashburton have already started to put water restrictions in town. I can't remember when this last happened this early into Spring/Summer.

I hope you all managed to get a bit of a break and relax over the holiday. I have just returned from a 28 day holiday overseas. I'm actually glad to be home in our little country and breathing our fresh air - there’s nothing quite like it.

I thought I may have missed the worst of the extreme heat over Christmas - luckily, it's still here and now reaching temperatures that I can’t remember seeing since the late 80s, early 90s. I remember living between Mount Sommers and Mayfield when the district was dry and full of crops. Harvesters were up and down the road on warm nights and the harvest could go on easily until to 4-5 am before the dew set.

We are in February already! It has certainly come around quickly and I would nearly call this our hottest month as crops are nearing the end of harvest.

Agstaff are excited about the Rakaia fishing competition this month but we are hoping for a good fresh wind to come down from the NW. We reckon this will clear any unwanted Algae in the river and a have a cooling effect so the salmon can take a run up the hills to spawn. So, rain please give us a little more to help our environment a little!

It’s nice to be back home and we are looking forward to working with you in 2018.

Happy new year!

Blair O'Donnell

0800 AGSTAFF

www.agstaff.co.nz

Congratulations!

The Agstaff team would like to congratulate Blair on his recent marriage to his beautiful wife, Shirley O’Donnell. We wish you every happiness for the future.

The new pest in town - Red Clover Moth

The red clover pest casebearer moth has flown the coup and spread across New Zealand.

The red clover moth, first discovered in Auckland 15 months ago, sparked a nationwide monitoring campaign that initiated the importing of special pheromone traps.

The results of the trap have not been positive with the moths being found on farms, roadsides and other areas.

Adult moths lay eggs on developing red clover flower heads, and once hatched the larvae tunnel into the florets to feed, destroying the growing seed.

As the larvae grow they adhere themselves to a chewed-off floret, using it like a cape or case for protection and camouflage.

Feeding damage to seeds can severely affect crop yields.

Farmers checking their crops for the presence of red clover casebearer should inspect flowers looking for millimetre-sized holes chewed into the base of individual florets and-or distinctive black droppings, also at the base of the florets.

They may also be able to see the casebearing larvae, which look like small red-brown cigars on the flowers.

Chynoweth urged farmers finding evidence of the casebearer moth to discuss management with their crop agri-chemical adviser.

Agstaff Mid Canterbury Rugby News - Bayleys National Sevens

Mid Canterbury Sevens players were looking to impress with National honours and professional contracts on the line at the Bayleys National Sevens tournament in Rotorua.

16 men’s teams and 12 women’s teams competed in the two-day tournament which kicked off at Rotorua International Stadium on Saturday 13 January.

The team were delighted to get through to the Men’s Shield Semi Finals and despite giving their all, lost 24-32 to Southland.

Great effort lads!

Compliance Partners Health & Safety Update with Jane

Government announces changes to the Employment Relations Act

Well the much anticipated (well for the HR geeks like Jane) announcements on how Government plan to change the Employment Relations Act were announced last week. This is the first of the changes to be announced and we expect to see some more soon.

The key amendments include:

  • Restoring statutory rest and meal breaks
  • Limiting 90 day trials to employers with fewer than 20 employees
  • Restoring reinstatement as the primary remedy to unfair dismissal
  • Increasing protections for vulnerable workers such as cleaners and caterers, when a business is transferred or restructured
  • Strengthening collective bargaining and union rights in the workplace (there is a lot of detail with this last one, so feel free to get in touch if you'd like more information).

The Bill's first reading in Parliament will be in February 2018 and it will then go to select committee, where you are able to make submissions. I would encourage you, if your are an employer to read through the changes in more detail and make a submission.

As for the rest of the changes - we will wait with baited breath!


Agstaff Updated - December 2017

Well, Spring is over and we have now hit Summer with a bang. We all love Summer, especially following on from record rainfalls in the Winter and one of the warmest springs in many years. Driving around Ashburton district, we are noticing the land being nearly as dry as our February usually is. We are now all crossing our fingers for a good rain to ease this dryness. Ashburton have already started to put water restrictions in town. I can't remember when this last happened this early into Spring/Summer.

Rouging is full throttle now with our Agstaff division and it's certainly keeping our team on their toes. Plenty of work and pretty much straight through so far. Normally we might have a day or two off during the week with wet weather!

We have also seen record cherry and strawberry harvesting and with apricots now ready to harvest in the central Otago, I do believe this is the first time since early 80's for a harvest this early.

Please make sure your staff have hats and sunscreen on. Keep safe over the Christmas break.

Remember, whether you need a job, or staff for four hours or four months, give the good buggers at Agstaff a call for all your staffing solutions.

Merry Christmas from the Agstaff team.

Blair O'Donnell

0800 AGSTAFF

www.agstaff.co.nz

Event for agricultural workers in Ashburton

Agstaff have caught wind of an exciting event being hosted by NZ Dairy Careers in Ashburton next week:

Padraig Madden and John Bronson from Farm Relief Services are coming to New Zealand in partnership with NZ Dairy Careers to promote agricultural opportunities available to young people.

Come and learn about life in Ireland and what you will gain from working and experiencing this amazing country.

All agricultural workers are welcome.

Agstaff Mid Canterbury Rugby News - ANNUAL JUNIOR & TEENAGE RUGBY CALF FUNDRAISER

MCRU were proud to host Agstaff and other sponsors at the annual calf fundraising celebration dinner. It was a fantastic evening from start to finish with prizes and an awesome buffet from Hotel Ashburton. The icing on the cake was hearing from calf guru Chris Ford, and inspirational speaker Reon Nolan - the room was still as Reon told his life story from a lost little boy to a leader in youth support, cycling and all round amazing chap.


Agstaff and Rural Co; Team Effort To Assist Riding for Disabled

Agstaff were excited to share some Christmas cheer with a very deserving cause last Thursday. It all began a couple of years ago when Riding for Disabled chief coach, Maxine Hooper, entered the Agstaff office looking to hire someone to move hay from a property on Maronan Road to Riding for Disabled Ashburton. Maxine was greeted by Agstaff consultant Andrew MacDonald, who is involved with several Ashburton community groups, and received a welcome donation of Agstaff time and resources.

“I felt that this was something that Agstaff could do to give back to the community. Therapeutic riding helps so many people but is not government funded. Riding for Disabled relies heavily on the support of the community and we were happy to help,” explained Andrew.

Rural Co also got on board by donating the use of their large trailer. This was well received by Andrew (ably assisted by his guide dog Carla), Graham Taylor, Lyall Iles and Neil McArthur, enabling them to complete their Christmas delivery of a year’s worth of hay for the horses to the Leeston Street address.

With 55 groups operating across New Zealand Riding for Disabled provides opportunities for anyone with a disability to enjoy safe, healthy, stimulating, therapeutic horse riding and horse-related activities. These Groups combined provide a valuable service to over 3,000 Riders each year, including Recreational Riding, Therapeutic Riding, ‘Equine-assisted’ or ‘Equine-facilitated’ Psychotherapy and Hippotherapy (which literally means treatment with the horse. Over 80,000 rides are undertaken each year across the country.

If you would like more information about volunteering for Riding for Disabled, please visit http://www.rda.org.nz/volunteers.htm


Agstaff Update - September 2017

Firstly, we would like to thank you all for your support over the last 10 months. The Agstaff team wish you all the best start to your Spring, and hope old mother nature has some kindness in her over the coming months to set us all up for a great summer.

The first day of Spring has brought a happy smile to most farmers out there! Coming from a very wet Autumn and a wetter winter, into what promises to be plenty of Sunshine would make the grouchiest of farmers crack a smile. Hopefully, the conditions will be perfect for the grass to grow and produce some well needed milk solids and give us all a well-needed pre-season boost before Summer is upon us.

With calving coming to an end, and the tail paint almost ready to apply, we must now prepare to start our cycles again! It makes you realise how fast this year has sped by, with only 3 months until Christmas – bloody heck!!

The winter bulbs season has now finished and working to get all plant stock ready to plant, brings it home how wet it is out there. Still lots of puddles in paddocks, some almost have ponds, at least the ducks love their new found environment! We hope this starts to dry out a bit so we can start getting those crops in soon.

When the conditions are great for grass, they tend to be even better for those pesky weeds! This means our (famous in Ashburton) Agriculture team will be very busy soon!!

And remember, whether you need staff for four hours or four months, give the good buggers at Agstaff a call for all your staffing solutions.

Blair O’Donnell

0800 AGSTAFF

http://www.agstaff.co.nz

Wool Prices Gain Ground

Strong wool average prices have risen about 12% in just the last three weeks, sparking hopes they will move steadily off their lows of this year.

The market barometer 37 micron good-to-average full wool sold at $3.52kg/clean at Thursday’s Christchurch sales, a rise of about 40c/kg clean from early August prices, continuing the trend of intervening sales in Christchurch and Napier. While strong wool showed some recovery, finer Merino wool and mid-micron fleece continued to sell at astonishing prices, the best in many years.

Rugby News – Agstaff Mid Canterbury gear up for South Canterbury Clash

North Otago were too good for the Agstaff Mid Canterbury boys over the weekend, taking out the match 31 to 25. With two of the opposition in the bin in the final quarter Mid Canterbury had their chances but it wasn’t to be.

Agstaff Mid Canterbury A on the other hand were clear winners, taking out North Otago Development 46 to 25. It was great running rugby and an exciting spectacle to watch.

See you at the Ashburton Showgrounds next Saturday, September 9th, when Agstaff Mid Canterbury take on the boys from South Canterbury.