Word of the day

June 22, 2013

Repine – feel or express discontent or gloom; be in low spirits or brooding; complain, fret; long for or yearn after something.

Rural round-up

June 22, 2013

Snow records tell own story – Tim Fulton:

You often hear claims about the biggest snowfall in decades.

This week’s weather in Canterbury led to a study that puts the term “big snow” in context.

The Canterbury snow of June 12, 2006, tagged the Big Chill at the time, egged electricity lines company Orion into some historical homework.

Snow depths in areas north of the Rakaia River were not unprecedented, NIWA reported in work on Orion’s behalf.

Comparing six Canterbury storms, NIWA said the covering in areas north of the Rakaia was similar to the 1973 storm although the 2006 blast did produce pockets of significantly deeper snow west of Darfield and towards the foothills. That rolling country experienced conditions more similar to the 1945 storm. . .

Chinese demand drives kiwi sales – Richard Rennie:

Positive Asian market prospects are providing a bright start for the kiwifruit export season, after the industry grappled with the Psa disease and Chinese import issues last year.

Zespri’s manager for grower and government relations Simon Limmer has spent several weeks in Asian markets and has returned buoyed by prospects.

The limited volumes of gold fruit available for export this season created some supply tension, with growth strong in the established Chinese eastern seaboard region, he said. . .

Attitude change encouraging – Tim Cronshaw:

New Zealand agriculture seems to have moved beyond talk of great trade opportunities in Asia to executing ways of making the most of them.

ANZ chief economist Cameron Bagrie said the agriculture sector had experienced a change of attitude.

“There has been a big change in the tenor of conversations between now and three years ago.

“Three years ago we were talking about opportunity. Now there are a lot more thought leadership forums around the country that are centred around execution and how we unlock those gains. Those sort of shifts are subtle, but I think they are very important as they signal where New Zealand is moving to.” . .

School rolls drop in Psa-afflicted area – Sonya Bateson:

A number of Te Puke school rolls have dropped as orchard workers struggle to find work in the Psa-afflicted area.

Fairhaven School and Rangiuru School said their rolls had dropped in the past year because of the effect Psa had had on kiwifruit orchards. . .

HortNZ president steps down

Horticulture New Zealand president Andrew Fenton is stepping down as president after the group’s annual meeting next month.

Fenton has held the role since HortNZ’s inception in 2005.

He said he was very proud of what HortNZ had achieved over the past eight years and it was now time for new leadership.

“It has been a real team effort and we could not have achieved what we have without the strong support of our grower members,” he said. . .

12 questions: Simon Washer – Sarah Stuart:

Simon Washer, 25, was last week named Rural Bachelor of the Year at Fieldays. He’s a sharemilker on his family farm in south Taranaki and says he needs to find a partner pronto as his cooking is pretty much limited to roasts.

1. So, how many calls, emails, texts, stalkers have you had since winning Rural Bachelor last week?

I had the cellphone in my back pocket when I won and it didn’t stop vibrating for a couple of hours. I’ve now got 80 texts on the cellphone and 180 emails to browse through.

2. Did your mates hassle you about entering?

That’s an understatement.

3. You’re a dairy farmer: are profits booming?

I’ve got the biggest overdraft I’ve ever had as I just started sharemilking this month. My staff and farm expenses get paid on the 20th of every month but I won’t see any income until September. Our company Fonterra is doing a great job and looking after us this year.

4. Your granddad set up the family farm after returning from the war: how much pressure do you feel to make it succeed?

Little to none. I can honestly tell myself each day this industry is what I love doing. The best advice I’ve had from Jim, my granddad, is “Find what you love doing and you’ll never work a day of your life”. I’ll be telling my kids that too. . . .


Saturday smiles

June 22, 2013

Lessons from snow men/women/people:

Wearing white is always in style.

Getting outside in the winter is good for your health even if it’s just to stand around on your lawn.

We’re all made up of mostly water.

Accessories don’t have to be expensive.

Too much sun is bad for your health, even in winter.

Being a little bottom heavy has its good points, one of which is helping your balance.

You’ve made it when they write a song about you.

If you look down and can’t see your feet, you should probably get more exercise.

Sometimes sweating too much can have disastrous results.

If you need some inspiration for your own snow people, check out Calvin and Hobbes.

Unhappy, unfocused and slap-happy

June 22, 2013

Trans Tasman’s verdict on Labour:

This is an unhappy, unfocused and slap-happy team.

It’s difficult to disagree with that.


June 22, 2013

8/10 in the Herald’s politics quiz.

Though I’m awarding myself a bonus for knowing that in question 4  it’s Jacqui Dean, not Jackie Blue, who chairs the Law and Order select committee.

Growing, growing,

June 22, 2013

And now for some good news:


None of these growth rates are particularly good in isolation and the recession in the Eurozone is concerning.

But growth in the face of the global financial crisis is encouraging.

New Zealand’s growth rate is particularly good when it’s been achieved in spite of the Canterbury earthquakes and various other natural disasters.

It shows the policies of John Key, Bill English and their team are on the right track.

On solo blogging

June 22, 2013

Dear Robert,

Every now and then you get your knickers in a knot over what you regard as my failure to react in the way you want to an issue.

The most recent example is over the animal limb found in PKE.

I posted on that  on Thursday,  linking not only to the media release from MPI but a story in Rural News which gave background from Federated Farmers.

Later that day I linked to a media release from Federated Farmers in the Rural Round-Up post, and when you questioned my apparent lack of interest at 10:45pm by copying the whole release I responded when I saw it at 7:15am next morning:

That’s the media release I linked to in the post above and of course I’m concerned about FMD. Any New Zealander who isn’t doesn’t understand how serious it would be if it came here.

I didn’t respond to your other comments yesterday because I didn’t have the opportunity.

That’s what happens sometimes when you’re a solo blogger.

New posts appearing doesn’t mean I’m sitting at my computer. I usually write most posts in the evening and time them to publish throughout the following day.

As it happened I’ve been having one of those fortnights this week dealing with the impact of the weather (including leaks inside), major alterations (builders, painters, fire installers), a major mouse invasion requiring extensive and time consuming cleaning,  and travelling – to Christchurch then Wellington  on Tuesday (for a meeting all day Wednesday) then Havelock North (for a funeral on Thursday), then Townsville yesterday (to visit my brother and his family while my farmer copes with the snow and rain at home).

Call me paranoid if you will, but I rarely mention when I’m away – and did so now only because my farmer is still at home. While even when we’re both away there’s staff who aren’t, and the chances of someone who stumbles across the blog working out where we live and taking the opportunity to rob us is remote,  I don’t think it’s a good idea to tell the world my every move.

To get back to your comments. Two posts and a response to your first comment at the first opportunity I had seemed like enough.


Thank you Andrei, Mr E and Tracey for defending me.

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