Word of the day

September 10, 2012

 Accretion– the process of growth or increase, typically by the gradual external addition, fusion, inclusion or accumulation of additional layers or matter;  a thing formed or added by such growth or increase; asset growth through internal expansion or acquisition.


Weaving the people together

September 10, 2012

Quote of the day:

One way of understanding what rangatira means is to cut the word in two, ranga meaning to weave, and tira meaning a group.  To be a rangatira is not about being an individual leader, out front– the leadership is best seen in encouraging collective power – taking up one’s responsibilities and obligations to the greater group.  In its purest sense then, rangatiratanga is about weaving the people together with leadership that becomes an example of benefit to the people.

Ultimately, if we look to our greatest examples of Māori politicians in this land since the Māori Representation Act of 1867, the central underlying value has been how well that representation truly reflects the hearts and minds of the people that placed them in power. Te Ururoa Flavell.


Rural round-up

September 10, 2012

Efficient Water Use Recognised in Ballance Farm Environment Awards -Kai Tegels and John Evans:

An efficient irrigation system drives crop production on John Evan’s award-winning Canterbury farm.

A leading arable farmer in the region, John runs an intensive 245ha (effective) property in the Dorie district.

‘Tregynon Farm’ finishes stock and grows a range of crops, specialising in seed production.

John says water is the life-blood of the farm, and his ability to manage water efficiently was recognised when he won the WaterForce Integrated Management Award in the 2012 Canterbury Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA). . .

Sharemilking and the progression to farm ownership – Milking on the Moove:

Federated Farmers has a report on their website called Ensuring a viable progression path in the dairy industry”.
 
It raises some interesting observations.

35% of farms are managed by sharemilkers (2009/10), 20% by Herd Owning Sharemilkers (HOSM). Although there has been only a minor reduction in the percentage of dairy farms managed by sharemilkers, there is a more noticeable trend in the declining number of HOSM, particularly in the South Island.

It’s important to know the difference between a herd owning sharemilker and a contract milker/variable order sharemilker. Obviously a herd owning sharemilker owns the herd and they receive 50% of the milk cheque. They are responsible for most costs except capital fertilizer and R&M on the farm & infrastructure. . .

Federated Farmers assists Ministry in animal welfare case

Under its Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), Federated Farmers is supporting the Ministry in a major animal welfare case involving dairy cattle on the West Coast.

“Federated Farmers is assisting the MPI, but as this is a live investigation I need to choose my words carefully,” says Katie Milne, Federated Farmers West Coast provincial president and a dairy farmer herself.

“In animal welfare cases involving farm animals, Federated Farmers provides expert farmers and resources to complement the Ministry’s professional team.  Our sole combined aim is always the welfare of affected stock. . .

Meat inspection no longer exclusively supplied by AsureQuality – Allan Barber:

Last Tuesday AFFCO’s Imlay plant in Whanganui was the first to be allowed to introduce meat inspection by its own employees. Till then this function has been performed exclusively by government employed meat inspectors, originally employed by MAF, subsequently by the SOE AsureQuality.

The proposal to allow meat companies to have a hand in meat inspection finally saw light of day about two years ago, although the companies have been dissatisfied with the government monopoly for many years. I can remember the issue raising its head in the early 1990s when the meat inspectors went on strike because of pay and conditions. . .

Wool Services FY profit falls 66% on drop in wool prices – Hannah Lynch:

New Zealand Wool Services International, the wool scouring and exporting business whose majority shareholding is up for grabs, posted a 66 percent drop in full-year profit as wool prices tumbled.

Profit was $2.2 million in the 12 months ended June 30, from a record $6.6 million a year earlier, when wool prices surged in the face of global demand and a supply shortage. Sales rose 0.9 percent to $202 million. . .

New Zealand Beef Wows Tokyo Festival-Goers

Grass-fed New Zealand beef struck a chord with the crowds at one of Japan’s largest dance and music festivals, Super Yosakoi, held in Tokyo on the weekend of 25 and 26 August.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand was at the festival for the second year in a row, as part of its programme of activities to boost a taste for grass-fed New Zealand beef among Japanese consumers.

Organisers estimate that around 800,000 visitors took part in this year’s festival. Over the course of the two days, nearly 700 kilograms of grass-fed beef was served off the B+LNZ stand, which equated to more than 4,000 servings. To enable people to appreciate its true flavour, the beef was cooked simply in oil and seasoned only with salt and pepper. . .

Big Station’s Cropping Plan Impresses Ballance Farm Environmental Award Judges Adam Waite and Ross Shepherd:

A meticulously planned cropping programme is crucial to the success of Landcorp’s Rangitaiki Station on the Napier-Taupo highway.

Totalling almost 9,700ha, the Central Plateau sheep, beef, deer, dairy grazing and forestry farm grows significant areas of crop to lift livestock production in challenging climatic conditions.

Crops grown this year include over 600ha of swedes, kale and fodder beet for winter feeding. A combination of pasja and cordura ryegrass is sown for summer lamb finishing, and the station harvests 700ha of pasture silage and 30ha of lucerne annually. . .

Stars shine at rare vintage wine tasting event

Gibbston Valley Winery opened the vaults to some of Central Otago’s oldest and rarest wines at an exclusive ‘vertical tasting’ event to coincide with 25th anniversary celebrations on Saturday (September 1).

The Gibbston Valley Pinot Noir Grand Vertical Tasting took wine enthusiasts on a journey through four generations of the award-winning winery’s finest Pinot Noirs showcasing the development of the wine from 1990 to 2011.

Held at Queenstown Resort College, the exclusive event was open to Gibbston Valley Wine Club members and was hosted by legendary wine vignerons Alan Brady and Grant Taylor and current Gibbston Valley winemaker Christopher Keys. . .


Frankenfood or farmaceuticals?

September 10, 2012

Opponents to genetic modification talk about ‘frankenfood’.

Those with more open minds see the health and financial opportunities in farmaceuticals.

New Zealand scientists have genetically engineered cows to produce milk that can treat a number of human diseases.

Cloning techniques have been adopted in the genetic modification of animals, a field looking to alter cows’ milk to produce pharmaceuticals in an application known as “biopharming”.

Crown Research Institute AgResearch says it has been the pioneer in transferring from mice to cows the concept of changing the composition of milk. . . .

AgResearch has several “proof-of-concept” cows which could produce milk with human proteins that could treat human diseases. Recently, the research has extended to production of therapeutic antibodies in goatsmilk.

Touted by proponents as the next Green Revolution to help feed the world, and labelled “frankenfood” by critics, genetic modification has generated both interest and controversy. . .

Of course there are risks, as there are with the development of conventional pharmaceuticals, but there is also the potential for breakthroughs in health treatments, pest and disease resistance and improved nutrition.

Overseas GM has already been used to develop insect resistant and herbicide tolerant crops, tomatoes with more antioxidants, canola oil which yields low-cholesterol oil, rice which makes vitamin A, cassava which produces more protein and lower caffeine coffee.

In New Zealand research includes:

Improved grassPastoral Genomics, a New Zealand GM research consortium, is developing a genetically modified grass to have at least 25 per cent more leaf mass, more protein for livestock and improved drought resistance, alongside other aims. The scientists have begun trials overseas.

Wasp-killing bacteria The Ministry for the Environment says GM is being investigated as a potential tool for pest control, specifically “research to genetically modify bacteria from the gut of wasps to produce a toxin that could kill wasp species”.

As with any new developments, a cautious approach is sensible.

But we shouldn’t close our minds, laboratory doors and paddocks to GM and the health, nutritional and financial reward that could come from it.


Caption competition

September 10, 2012

Without free trade it will only be this big.

You can do better than that.

Usual rules – political is fine, personal isn’t.


We can make NZ go faster

September 10, 2012

Economic Development Minister Steven  Joyce says making New Zealand go faster would require a “geographical play” and being prepared as a country to welcome investment and infrastructure:

The “good news” was rapid growth in Asia and the investment  opportunities it created.   

Mr Joyce said three markets – North America, Europe and Asia   – all had about half a billion people in the “middle income”  bracket.   

“The difference [between] these three … the Asian market is  growing rapidly. Within 10 years it will have 1.5 billion people in the middle income bracket. By 2030 it will have 3  billion.”   

The others would be static.   

 “They [the Asian market] are going to want to buy good quality food and secure future supply. [Secure] education  services for their kids, agritechnology, high-value  manufacturing services and ICT products and hopefully, for  the first time since I think this country was settled … we are in the exact right place.”

We can’t afford to ignore our traditional markets in Europe and the USA but the opportunities for export growth are in Asia.

When people’s incomes increase, as those in Asia are, their demand for protein increases too and we are ideally placed to supply them with more milk and meat.


Shouldn’t be shy

September 10, 2012

Former Australian Prime Minsiter John Howard was one the speakers at the Property Councils of New Zealand’s annual conference in Queenstown.

One of his messages to delegates was:

On natural resources, Mr Howard said he had a “fairly simple view”.   

      “If you were blessed … with large resources, you shouldn’t be shy about exporting them and you shouldn’t be shy about  finding customers.”

It’s a pity that too many people who are happy to take all the benefits of living in a first world economy don’t understand this and are proposing policies which would take us back to a second or even third world economy.

We need to buy goods and services from other countries and the only sustainable way to pay for them is by earning money from selling our goods and services to other countries.

This is no time to be shy about sharing our wares with the world.


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