Word of the day

May 21, 2013

Darg – a specific quantity or fixed amount of work; a day’s work; a work quota.

Rural round-up

May 21, 2013

We’re here to stay – Anzco chair:

REMOVAL OF excess capacity is a key to breaking the impasse in the meat industry, says Anzco Foods chairman Sir Graeme Harrison.  This will ultimately be achieved, either in a relatively orderly way or through company collapses, he says. “Either way, Anzco Foods as a predominantly beef company intends to remain a part of the New Zealand meat industry,” Harrison told Rural News.His comments come as farmers make another push for merging co-ops Silver Fern Farms and Alliance in a bid to lift returns. However, combining the co-ops is unlikely to be enough to change the industry’s performance, strategy and structure.

SFF and Alliance collectively hold a market share of only 53%. Adding the private Affco and Anzco companies would bring total processing capacity to nearly 80%. . .

Nitrate leaching overview – Milking on the Moove:

Today I give an overview of nitrate leaching.

What is Nitrate Leaching?

What type of farming leach the most Nitrate?

How nitrate leaching from dairy farms is different from cropping & horticulture. . . .

How absentee farm owners can protect themselves from a “dirty dairying” taint:

The obvious answer is to stay on top of effluent discharge in the first place says Geoff Young, environmental monitoring consultant and Managing Director of BPO Ltd, the Waikato company which specialises in providing technical environmental monitoring information and systems both in New Zealand and overseas.

In Young’s opinion the recent Waikato Regional Council vs a Mangakino farm case was a no win situation. According to the reports, warnings had been issued and it wasn’t until charges had been laid that improvements were made. The investment made by the owners was significant but it was made too late to head off the Environment Court charges.

The Regional Council has been trying to get the message across for years that when it lays charges it’s already too late. According to Young, dairy farming cops more than its fair share of flack and this is yet another example protagonists will use to point out how bad dairy farming is, when that’s not the case at all. . .

High quality, safe NZ seafood focus of new role:

Cawthron Institute has boosted its science and aquaculture capability with the appointment of senior scientist Dr Jacquie Reed as its new head of aquaculture.

“We are excited to further strengthen our science leadership team with this new appointment,” Cawthron Institute Chief Executive Professor Charles Eason says.

“Dr Reed is an accomplished scientist with extensive, proven scientific expertise and specialist knowledge of the commercial aquaculture sector. She will complement and enhance our existing research, while bringing a fresh approach, new energy and drive to this important role.”

Dr Reed will lead the Aquaculture Group, manage the further development of the Cawthron Aquaculture Park and spearhead research and development to support new and existing partners, including SPATnz, Kono and Aotearoa Fisheries Limited. . .

MT. Beautiful Winery Founder David Teece to Be Honored for Receiving a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit:

United States-based internationally acclaimed professor of economics and founder of Mt. Beautiful Wines/Teece Family Vineyards, David Teece, is “absolutely delighted” that efforts to promote U.S. – New Zealand relations have been officially recognized.

Professor Teece, who is also a successful entrepreneur and consultant, has received a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services regarding New Zealand-United States relations. This Royal Honor will be presented at investiture dinner on Thursday May 23rd at 7pm by the Governor General on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II.

“In my case I have worked hard on a lot of issues between the U.S. and New Zealand, but this is a complete surprise on my part. I’m delighted to have the recognition and I feel stimulated to work even harder towards achieving common goals between the countries,” Teece said. . .

Green Meadows Beef Shows Commitment to New Zealand Food Traceability with Launch of Own Butchery:

Green Meadows Beef, a New Zealand owned, family business that produces 100% grass-fed, free-range beef has opened the doors to its own butchery in New Plymouth. This is the natural next step for the brand that hopes their approach to beef farming, processing and delivery will lead to more Kiwis purchasing healthier, tastier and more ethically produced meat.

Taranaki based Pat Hogan, who has more than 25 years experience as a butcher under his belt in supermarkets, retail butchers and his own store, has been brought on to manage the butchery. He is a welcome addition to the Green Meadows Beef team, which is led by Michael and Margy Carey, and their sons, Nick Carey, Brent Carey and Karl Carey. Pat’s expertise complements Michael Carey’s extensive knowledge of animal management and Nick Carey’s business and marketing skills. . .

Unique line-up of International Judges for New Zealand’s Spiegelau International Wine Competition:

From a total of 12 judges, three are flying in from Australia and one from Singapore to add their extensive experience to the eight-strong New Zealand team at this year’s Spiegelau International Wine Competition.

Joining regulars Ralph Kyte-Powell from Melbourne and Adelaide-based consultant Phil Reedman MW are Annette Scarfe, a newly minted MW based in Singapore and Nick Ryan, wine writer and commentator from Sydney. . .

Parking problems

May 21, 2013

Auckland has parking problems:

Residents of central Auckland fringe suburbs such as Mt Eden, Parnell and Orakei are getting riled at their streets becoming free parking lots for commuters skimping on bus or rail fares. . .
Down here a parking problem means you can’t park outside the place you want to visit.
A bad parking problem is having to drive round the trees in the middle of Oamaru’s main street a couple of times before you find a park.
A really bad parking problem is when you do that and still have to park a block away.
Could someone explain why so many people want to live in Auckland?

What’s the case for state ownerhsip of Solid Energy

May 21, 2013

The Opposition are not just opposed to the Mixed Ownership Model for state assets under which a minority share in a few companies are sold.

They want to retain all the companies the crown currently owns.

A case can be made for the state to own some companies but what is the case for owning Solid Energy which is in such a dire state?

. . . The state-owned coal miner is grappling with debts of nearly $390 million and earlier in May announced a further 105 job losses. . .

What justification is there for the state to be risking public money in this enterprise?

It’s not a monopoly, it’s not an essential or strategic industry.

It is possible that had it not been state owned, banks would have been a lot more careful about lending it money and it might not be so deeply in debt.

Green Party to contest by-election

May 21, 2013

The Green party has opened nominations for a candidate to contest the Ikaroa Rāwhiti by-election.

The party has only ever won one electorate. that was a general seat and the party didn’t manage to hold that.

The chances of its winning the by-election are slight.

The interest will be in whether it manages to mobilise voters and which party it takes votes from – Labour, the Maori Party or Mana.


Different country, different ways

May 21, 2013

New Zealand has a well deserved reputation for the safety and quality of its primary produce and its lack of corruption.

China’s reputation for both is somewhat less desirable.

But no-one is suggesting the hold-up of our meat at China’s border is due to either safety concerns or corruption.

Whatever the cause, Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy said sorting out the problem is MPI’s top priority.

“New Zealand officials have worked around the clock to provide additional technical information to Chinese authorities over the weekend.

“This information will be given to AQSIQ, the Chinese organisation responsible for border clearances. This will enable them to pass it on to port authorities, a process which may take some days.

“New Zealand officials are also talking with their counterparts in China today to see what, if any, further information or support is needed.

“Overall trade to China is still flowing well and this issue appears confined to some shipments of meat.

“Most product is frozen and is being properly stored, while priority for clearance is being given to chilled meat.

“The Ministry for Primary Industries is also keeping in close contact with the meat industry and updating them on a daily basis.

“New Zealand is a trading nation and from time to time these kind of technical delays will occur. This is a temporary issue, but we’re confident it can be resolved,” says Mr Guy.

There is no convenient time for such a hold-up but this is another blow in what has been a particularly difficult season for sheep farmers.

“On top of the drought and the meat schedules this is causing concern amongst sheep and beef farmers,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President and its trade spokesperson.

“It is reassuring to see Minister Nathan Guy confirm that its speedy resolution is the Ministry for Primary Industries number one priority.

“Sheep and beef farmers will be affected one way or another as suppliers or shareholders. A number of the exporters involved in the delay are cooperatives. This means any financial impact ultimately falls back upon the farmers who cooperatively own them.

“What I can say is that New Zealand’s farmers truly value the Chinese market for our lamb.

“We want to build a much closer relationship with Chinese consumers and our Chinese farming counterparts too. It is about establishing a true-two way relationship and we hope these messages can be conveyed to the right authorities.

 “I know our farmers will want a speedy resolution to any confusion around export certificates. Farmers genuinely appreciate the hard work being put in by our embassy staff in China and that of the Chinese Government.

“We must now urgently resolve this matter to the satisfaction of the Chinese authorities. Comment must be responsible and informed by fact because speculation could do New Zealand damage in a vital market,” Mr Wills concluded.

China is a very important trading partner but doing business there is not like doing business here.

It’s a different country with a very different culture and different ways of doing business.

What works here will not necessarily work there and we will have to learn to adapt to that.

Impossible things

May 21, 2013

“Like Alice, I try to imagine six impossible things before breakfast,” she said.

“Why?” he said.

“For the exercise,” she said. “Imagining the impossible stretches the mind and doing it on an empty stomach helps the focus, if for no other reason than fear of remaining hungry if I fail.”

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