Word of the day

December 30, 2013

Risorial – causing, pertaining to, or producing laughter.


Espiner to replace Robinson

December 30, 2013

Guyon Espiner is to replace Geoff Robinson when he retires from Morning report next year.

. . . Espiner has been a political editor for Television New Zealand and the Sunday Star-Times, and has presented TVNZ’s Q + A programme on Sundays.

He also worked on TV3 programmes The Vote and 3rd Degree and has been in journalism for 20 years.

Radio New Zealand’s chief executive Paul Thompson described Espiner as an incisive interviewer with an impressive career and impeccable journalistic credentials. . . .

When I did the Kellogg Rural Leadership programme we visited Radio NZ while Morning Report was on air and were able to speak to Robinson afterwards.

I asked him what made a good interviewer, he said, one of the most important attributes was being a good listener.


Rural round-up

December 30, 2013

Irrigation holds key to future farming viability – Tim Crighton:

Water issues polarise people, not just in Canterbury but throughout the country. The debate is inextricably entwined with water quality and the link to dairy farming and irrigation.

New Zealand relies on the agricultural sector to provide economic success.  And in turn the sector relies on effective irrigation techniques and investment to increase land productivity, which also enhances capital value.

Dairy farming is the highest and best use of land within larger irrigation schemes but there have been periods when intensive arable land use has competed strongly on economic terms. . .

TracMap signs agreement to improve tomato harvest efficiency:

TracMap has further extended its market reach by signing a supply agreement with Kagome Foods, the largest tomato grower in Australia.

Kagome, part of the Japanese group of the same name, grows a range of process vegetables, with tomatoes being its main crop in Australia. They will use the TracMap systems to improve harvest efficiency and reduce risk of quality errors.

GM of Field Operations Jason Fritsch is excited by the TracMap technology. “We have 11 harvesters operating 24 hours a day a for over 2 months, so it’s fairly full on over this period”, said Jason. “With 2100 hectares of crop spread over a 150km range, logistics is a big issue for us, and the TracMap system solves most of those issues.” . . .

2014 will be ‘massive’ for New Zealand’s $6 billion red meat industry:

Federated Farmers members are currently mulling its options for how to best reform New Zealand’s $6 billion red meat industry.

“As red-meat industry revenues are worth around 35 Avatar movies each year and generates some 80 times the annual revenue of Xero, you can say its future is fairly important to every Kiwi,” says Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre spokesperson.

“2014 promises to be a massive year for the red meat industry and for wool too. Just before Christmas, we got the great news that Wellington-based The Formary’s breakthrough mid-micron/rice straw fabric is moving into commercial production. . .

ECan’s Land & Water Regional Plan sets Federated Farmers to work:

Federated Farmers three Canterbury provinces are fully committed to doing their bit for the community and for farmers in the management of our most precious resource.

“As people head to the summer barbecues no doubt water quality will feature as part of the discussion, “says Chris Allen, Federated Farmers Mid-Canterbury provincial president.

“The recent Lincoln perceptions survey shows we’ve got a wee way to go before public perceptions of what food producers do catches up with reality. . .

Artistic Vistas :

For 10 years North Canterbury’s Art in a Garden has been drawing crowds of about 2000 people to view work by some of this country’s leading artists.

The three-and-a-half day event is held at the Zino family’s Flaxmere Gardens, situated on river bed terraces of the Waitohi River at Hawarden, North Canterbury. Art in the Garden is regarded as one of the top events of its kind in New Zealand. It is an art exhibition in a garden that has been awarded the title A Garden of National Significance by The New Zealand Garden Trust.

These extensive and stunning gardens, covering 4ha, have been lovingly created and tended by Penny Zino. . .

 


Strange encounters of the bovine kind

December 30, 2013

This year’s strangest encounter was a five-legged steer we met on a farm near Mansfield in Victoria.

5 legged cow

Not only does the steer have an extra leg, he also has a Facebook page.

The condition has a name – polymelia and isn’t confined to cattle.


Next year there will be more . . .

December 30, 2013

. . .  of this:

Laughter Yoga's photo.

Laughter Yoga is the funniest way to exercise and the best way to have fun while exercising I’ve ever tried.


China changing one child policy

December 30, 2013

China has been forced to change its one child policy:

Earlier today, China announced that it would finally loosen its decade old one-child policy. This policy has had a disturbing affect in China in the form of skewed demographics.

It’s well known that China’s population is ageing rapidly, causing the workforce to shrink. And without siblings, children are under tremendous financial pressure as they have to care for their own aging parents. But those aren’t even the most disturbing trends, wrote BI’s Mamta Badkar citing a 2011 report from Nomura.

“Perhaps the more alarming concern for population sustainability is the large imbalance between baby girls and boys,” wrote the Nomura analysts.

For every 100 girls born there are 120 boys and a couple of years ago there were 51 million more men than women in the country.

fm births

The one child policy is unsustainable.

One of its tragic consequences has been the abortion and infanticide of female babies.

There are now far too many young men and not enough young women.

It will take decades to get the population back in balance and will need a change in attitude to value girls as highly as boys.


China culls 2m cows

December 30, 2013

We know dairying is big in New Zealand, but it’s even bigger in China.

China’s dairy herd has shrunk by two million cows in the past year.

There has been a mass exodus of small dairy farmers due to high production costs and record beef prices.

Dairy Australia industry analyst John Droppert says China has killed more cows this year than the entire Australian dairy herd.

That’s about 20% of New Zealand’s dairy herd.

“Basically it means production in the country is in a hole, in short,” he said.

“But you are certainly seeing a reduction in production, I think they are talking 10-15 per cent this year.

“Effectively that means at the broader level they have a bigger gap.

“Demand is growing and at the same time supply is shrinking.”

This is the main reason demand for milk from New Zealand is so strong and is likely to remain so which is good for the whole economy.


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