Word of the day

December 5, 2012

Karma – action, seen as bringing upon oneself inevitable results, good or bad, either in this life or in a reincarnation, in Hinduism one of the means of reaching Brahman;  the doctrine of inevitable consequence; the cosmic principle according to which each person is rewarded or punished in one incarnation according to that person’s deeds in the previous incarnation; action, seen as bringing upon oneself inevitable results, good or bad; fate, destiny; the good or bad emanations felt to be generated by someone or something; distinctive aura, atmosphere, or feeling.

Rural round-up

December 5, 2012

TPP: Australia and New Zealand Agricultural Bodies Call For Action On Trade:

The peak agricultural bodies of New Zealand and Australia have united in calling for a truly comprehensive and generally liberalising Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement from day one of implementation.

Federated Farmers of New Zealand and the National Farmers’ Federation of Australia are both participating in the TPP negotiations, currently taking place in Auckland.

“Liberalisation must result in the elimination of all agricultural and food product tariffs and reform non-tariff measures,” says Bruce Wills, President of Federated Farmers of New Zealand. . .

NZ commodity prices post fourth month of gains, rising 1%:

New Zealand commodity prices rose for a fourth straight month in November, led by pelts, beef and wood pulp. Lamb prices fell to a 31-month low.

The ANZ Commodity Price Index rose 1 percent last month with 10 commodity prices gaining, four declining and three unchanged.

A firmer New Zealand dollar meant the gain in the ANZ NZD Commodity price Index was a slightly lower 0.9 percent. . .

Biological agriculture ‘joins the dots’ for farmers wanting more:

Listening to world renowned expert Arden Andersen talk on biological growing practices has helped many New Zealand farmers and growers “join the dots” to discover ways to grow healthier produce as well as improving their bottom lines.

American Dr Andersen will be back in New Zealand early in the New Year on a four-course speaking tour; two focusing on soils being held in Ashburton and Taupo, and two on human health in Havelock North and Auckland.

For John Kamp, a sheep, beef and dairy farmer in Mangleton, Hawke’s Bay, says attending the soils course not once but twice, has helped him totally change his farming approach for the 700 hectares he has direct control over. As a syndicate shareholder he has also influenced three South Island dairy farms to become biologically managed. . .

Delegat’s sees small lift in annual earnings, warns on strong currency:

Delegat’s Group is flagging a small increase in annual earnings for 2013, though it’s warning that the strong kiwi dollar is making life hard for the wine-maker.

The company forecasts operating profit of $27 million in the 12 months ending June 30, 2013, managing director Jim Delegat told shareholders in Auckland. That’s a 6 percent lift in earnings from 2012. The winemaker sees a 6 percent sales growth in 2013 to 1.97 million cases expected to sell at $119.10 a case.

“The group continues to actively manage its currency exposure, however currency movements have the potential to impact on earnings,” Delegat said. “With strong and sustainable competitive advantages in brands, distribution, supply and quality, the group is well-positioned to achieve its sales forecasts in the years ahead.” . . .

Agricultural R&D – a fantastic legacy and a means to move forward – Pasture Harmonies:

New Zealand, and its agriculture (systems) owes a heck of a lot to the billions of dollars poured into its research and development over the past 120 years.

Our wealth has, literally, been built on sunshine, soil and fresh air – and more importantly applied brains figuring out how to convert pastoral production into protein. (Actually, and to be fair, it is sunshine, soil and water – but that doesn’t work quite as well from a poetic or story POV).

For nearly a century, the ever refined pastoral method (essentially graze pasture, rest it, graze, rest…) has evolved to a quite elegant recipe. . .

Synlait posts $6.3M maiden profit, likely to seek more capital:

Powdered dairy products exporter Synlait Milk has turned in a maiden profit of $6.3 million for the year to July 31 and expects to seek fresh capital from its two shareholders as it pursues “further strongly profitable opportunities.”

The Dunsandel-based processor added a further 20 supplier farms during the year and processed a total of 498 million litres of milk in the year, compared with 343 million litres the year before, after adding a third drying unit, allowing it to manufacture higher-value nutritional products.

After failing to attract New Zealand investors to a $150 million initial public offering in 2009, Synlait Milk is now 51 percent-owned by the Chinese firm Bright Dairy, with the remainder held by Synlait Ltd, a vehicle representing the company’s founders. . .

Nominations close 16 December for top dairying woman award:

Women working in the dairy industry are being urged to get their nominations in for the 2013 Dairy Woman of the Year award, which closes for entry on 16 December 2012.

Sponsored by Fonterra, the prestigious award includes the chance to attend the year-long Women in Leadership course run by Global Women, worth $25,000.

Dairy Women’s Network chief executive Sarah Speight said the Dairy Woman of the Year award celebrates and advances women who are making a real difference in the dairy industry, in their dairying businesses and in their communities. . .

And from the Nutters Club:

Six cakes . . .

December 5, 2012

. . .  and counting.

Just to show there’s more to my life than politics and blogging, this is the result of something else I’ve been doing in the last few days:


Four cakes were baked over the weekend, another two  on Monday.

Three were given away yesterday, a fourth today and the remaining two have my brother’s name on them so guess what I’ll be doing this weekend too.

They’re Cathedral Window cakes for which I use Alison Holst’s recipe.

Local govt ammendment good start

December 5, 2012

Federated Farmers has welcomed the Local Government Act Amendment Bill, but says more must be done to contain and reduce the rates burden.

“The passage of the Bill is good news for ratepayers. Since 2002 rates have increased an average of 7 percent per year,” Ms Milne says.

“This growth is unsustainable and to rein it in councils and communities need better guidance and clarity on local government spending priorities.

“The Bill does this by changing the purpose of local government away from its activist, open-ended job description towards something more like what most people think local government should focus on: local infrastructure, local public services and local regulation. . .

Councils used to focus on their basic activities.

The power of general competence handed to them by Labour a decade ago gave them licence to do almost anything, regardless of the cost and often to the neglect of core functions.

“However, the Bill really just tinkers at the margin and will only go part of the way to containing and reducing the rates burden.

“What‘s needed now is funding reform, which so far has been the missing element of the Government’s work.

“It is well known that rates fall heavily and inequitably, with farmers being particularly hard hit. Far too many farmers pay more than $20,000 per year in general rates to fund activities they barely use or benefit from.

“What is perhaps less well understood is that funding policy also affects councils’ regulatory performance, especially when central government makes laws for councils to enforce, but does not provide any resources. The incentives are all wrong.

“We also think limited funding options are a factor in housing affordability, for example when councils impose high development contributions that push up the costs of sections.

“The burden of funding local government must be spread more equitably and that means moving away from the over-reliance on a 17th century system of property value rates and finding new and better tools for councils operating in the 21st century. . .

Rising rates aren’t all the fault of councils. Successive governments have added regulation, compliance and other requirements on them without any extra funding.

But addressing that wouldn’t change the system which isn’t fair.

We own a property which has no houses on it. The rates bill for it includes payment for services such as the library and swimming pool even we and the staff all live on other properties which are also rated for these services.

Peters facing karma

December 5, 2012

How many times in his long and not always illustrious career was Winston Peters a thorn in the side of his party leader before he resigned and formed his own?

How many times has he not gone quietly when the Prime Minister of the day wished he would?

He’s now getting a taste of his own medicine because NZ First MP Brendan Horan isn’t going quietly either:

NZ First MP Brendan Horan is refusing to be shamed into quitting Parliament after Winston Peters kicked him out of the party. . .

Mr Horan claimed to have had no warning from Mr Peters, who has the power to expel him from his caucus and his party, but not from Parliament.

A defiant Mr Horan, speaking through his lawyer, said he would stay on as an independent MP.

“His question was, ‘Why should I quit, what have I done wrong? Just because Mr Peters has expelled me, and I have been convicted in the court of Mr Peters’,” Mr Horan’s lawyer, Paul Mabey, told Radio Live.

“Why should I quit, what have I done wrong?”

How often have we heard those words, or others to similar effect from Peters?

Imitation is supposed to be the sincerest form of flattery but Peters won’t be pleased to have his own words used back at him.

What goes round, comes round.

Peters is finally facing karma and those who’ve been on the wrong side of his obdurate behaviour in the past will be excused if they’re enjoying it.

Dairy prices down 2%

December 5, 2012

The trade weighted index for dairy products dropped 2% in this morning’s GlobalDairyTrade auction.

GDT Trade Weighted Index Changes

Prices are still above the 10 year average.

gdt 5.12. hp

The price of anhydrous milk fat increased 3.7%; cheddar was down 2.4%, milk protein concentrate was down 1.2%, rennet casein was up .3%, skim milk powder was down 1% and whole milk powder was down 3.5%.



Crafar farm sale delay costly

December 5, 2012

PGG Wrightson has finally received repayment of loans over the Crafar Farms of about $25 million now the sale of the properties to China’s Shanghai Pengxin Group has gone through.

The people protesting about the sale for political reasons wouldn’t have considered the businesses which wouldn’t have got their money back until the deal was finalised.

The delay would have been costly for creditors and there are probably some who will still be owed money.

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