Word of the day

December 8, 2013

Ventifact – a stone  abraded, pitted, etched, grooved, polished or shaped by wind-driven sand or ice crystals.


McKenzie to succeed Turia

December 8, 2013

Chris McKenzie has been selected to succeed Tariana Turia as the Maori party candidate for Te Tai Hauauru.

His work history includes being the lead Treaty of Waitangi settlement negotiator for Ngati Raukawa, a self-employed consultant, education manager at Raukawa Trust Board and teacher at Tokoroa High School.

He is a member of the Te Ohu Kaimoana electoral college and was the previous chair of the Raukawa Settlement Trust. . .

Turia formed the Maori Party when she left Labour over the Seabed and foreshore debacle.

His challenges is to transfer personal support from her to votes for him and the party.


Rural round-up

December 8, 2013

Another 385ha to be irrigated by scheme – David Bruce:

The North Otago Irrigation Company is expanding again, and will next week add another 385ha to a scheme that started with a 10,000ha first stage.

That initial investment of $67 million commissioned in 2006 to ultimately bring irrigation to 26,000ha on the North Otago Downlands, Waiareka Valley and eventually the Kakanui Valley has now grown to an asset of $75 million.

The new expansion, worth $3.5 million, has been financed by a combination of shareholder equity and company borrowings. . . .

Perfect country for sheep, paradise for rabbits too… – Timothy Brown:

The story of Earnscleugh Station was told at a field day at the property last month. Reporter Timothy Brown went along to hear how a rabbit-plagued desert was transformed into an award-winning showcase of farm management.

Earnscleugh Station stretches across 21,000ha of rugged Central Otago landscape. 

The station rises from 170m above sea level to 1850m, and has bitterly cold winters and hot dry summers – perfect sheep country.

Unfortunately for the Campbells – the owners of the station – it is also perfect rabbit country. . .

Fruit research aims for yield boost – Yvonne OHara:

A new research programme for pipfruit, kiwifruit and summer fruit is expected to see potential yield increases of between 50% and 150% by 2025.

Plant and Food Research (PFR) was given $8.3 million over six years by the Government, along with a 20% industry buy-in, in August, to redesign orchards from the ground up.

PFR business manager Declan Graham said the programme, Future Orchard Planting Systems (FOPS), was designed to increase the productivity and efficiency of the industry and that included expanding the kiwifruit and pipfruit sectors to $4 billion, up from the present $1.5 billion, by 2025. . .

Lack of pasture persistence a recurring theme:

IN THE 2007/08 drought Wayne Reynolds’ cows chewed covers down to four clicks and average cover across his 154ha effective farm was just 1190kgDM/ha.

Production that season dropped from 1200kgMS/ha to 1000kgMS/ha and despite immediately reseeding nearly half the farm, and a quarter of the farm annually after that, it didn’t recover.

“Milksolids were static despite our best efforts, bringing feed in and renewing the pasture of the farm,” he told the New Zealand Grassland Association’s conference in Tauranga earlier this month. . .

Attempt at shearing record:

WAIKARETU SHEARING record-holding husband and wife Sam and Emily Welch are rewarding the loyalty of their workers by helping them also get their names into the books with a five-stand lamb shearing record near Auckland this month.

The two and shearing contracting partner Tony Clayton-Greene are organising The Cavalier Woolscourers Ltd eight-hour, five-stand World Lamb Shearing Record attempt for the unclaimed eight-hour tally record at Cashmore Farms in Kawakawa Bay, between Clevedon and the Firth of Thames, on December 10. This is the closest to Auckland an event like this has ever been held. . .

Foaly Moley! – Jillaroo Jess:

This year, we only have had 3 Australian Stock Horse foals born on the property. It’s definitely quality over quantity though, they are beautiful. First born was a flashy chestnut colt with a big baldy face (lots of white) and 3 white socks who we named Coolrdige Kidman – after a famous Australian cattle baron. Next, a lovely little bay filly with a bucket load of attitude named Coolridge Karijini – a beautiful desert in Western Australia. Finally, a leggy black filly called Coolridge Khaleesi – I’m a big fan of Game of Thrones!

In case anyone is interested in Australian Stock Horses, and follows their breeding, all three are by Kooloombah Confidence, a very handsome red dun stallion. Confidence, and all of the mares are bred to Campdraft, which is an Australian horse sport with cattle, where you must first cut out a beast in the ‘camp’, then take it out into the arena and bend it around two posts and through a gate. These foals all have great breeding and we are looking forward to seeing their natural ability under saddle. I’m currently in the process of building a website for our horses and will have it finished in the coming months. Once breeding season is over I’ll have more time to get things happening. . .

Thousands attend official opening of world’s largest drier:

Thousands of Cantabrians joined Fonterra today to celebrate the official opening of the world’s largest milk powder drier at the Co-operative’s Darfield site.

The milk powder drier, which has already produced more than 50,000 metric tonnes of whole milk powder since it kicked into gear, was officially opened by Selwyn Member of Parliament and Minister for the Environment, Amy Adams as part of a public open day.

Fonterra’s Director of New Zealand Operations, Robert Spurway, said the completion of Darfield’s second stage was great for the local community and means that Fonterra can make the most of the Co-operative’s milk produced in the South Island. . .


Gift from hands and heart

December 8, 2013

Our new parilla, (wood-fired barbeque modelled on those we’ve seen in Argentina)works well and has already been well used.

But when my farmer was cooking for some of our staff the other night he mentioned he needed a set of long handled tools – a shovel to get the embers from under the fire to under the grill, a poker and a fork.

The husband of one of our staff who is a farrier heard him and turned up today with a set he’d made and making it extra special are the antler handles which came from deer shot on one of our properties.

This is a very special gift from hands and heart.

parilla tools


Invention

December 8, 2013

Open large picture

From Story People by Brian Andreas.

You can get a daily dose of email whimsy like this by clicking on the link.

 


Let’s put farming first

December 8, 2013

The title has a capital G for green – that’s because that’s how you write titles, it doesn’t mean the political party/ies.


Subsidies bad for environment

December 8, 2013

New Zealand is calling for action on fisheries subsidies.

Trade Minister Tim Groser has led a call at the WTO’s 9th Ministerial Conference in Bali for urgent action to protect global fish stocks. New Zealand has been coordinating a group of countries that includes Argentina, Australia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Iceland, Norway, Pakistan, Peru and the United States.

The purpose of the meeting, which included a wider range of Government representatives, international media and international environmental NGOs, was to issue a joint statement drawing political attention to how subsidies contribute to the destruction of wild fisheries and to reiterate the group’s commitment to negotiate ambitious and effective disciplines on fisheries subsidies.

In presenting the statement today on behalf of the group, Mr Groser emphasized that that over 85% of the world’s fish stocks were fully exploited, over exploited, depleted or in recovery.

“The depletion of the world’s fish stocks is the clearest example today of what is called ‘the tragedy of the global commons’. Obviously, no country individually seeks the destruction of the wild fisheries of the world, but this is exactly the danger facing certain critical fish stocks in parts of the world unless there is more effective international cooperation to deal with the problem.

“We need action on a variety of fronts, but reduction of harmful subsidies which contribute to over-fishing is a central part of any solution,” Mr Groser said.

“This is a trade issue – fish products are one of the most highly traded commodities in world trade, and subsidies contribute to distorting this trade – but it is about far more than just trade. This is a pressing issue for the entire international community due to its environmental, economic and development consequences.”

“As a development issue, it is of particular importance to developing countries in the Pacific – the source of about half the global wild catch. Fish is part of these countries’ food security. Beyond that, it is also one of their great economic assets, offering Pacific countries significant economic development opportunities.”

The scale of subsidization is huge – around US $25-30 billion per annum.

“The countries which have signed this statement represent a diverse group of developing and developed countries. We have come together to reaffirm the pledge we made within the UN Rio+20 conference in 2012 to not introduce or increase harmful fisheries subsidies, and we will work within the WTO and other fora to improve fisheries subsidies reform and transparency.”

It’s not hard to explain the economic perils of subsidies.

This illustrates the environmental harm they can do too.


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