Word of the day

January 27, 2014

Hadiwist – the awareness that, if only one had known, one must have acted otherwise; a vain regret, or the heedlessness or loss of opportunity which leads to it.  Also had-i-wist, literally, if I had known.

Ah, it’s social democracy

January 27, 2014

Wondering why families earning well above the average wage need welfare?

Here’s an answer:

Quite how that works, remains moot.


Lorde’s a winner – tiwce

January 27, 2014

Lorde’s a winner:

Kiwi singer Lorde appeared shocked and overwhlemed as she accepted the Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance.

The 17-year-old from Auckland’s North Shore was up against established superstars Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry and Bruno Mars in the category.

Lorde had performed her smash hit Royals earlier in the ceremony, and it was that song which secured her the award. . .

This probably isn’t the appropriate place for a confession – I’ve heard snatches of Royals, but haven’t knowingly listened to it, or any of her other songs, in full.

I have enjoyed what I’ve heard and intend to listen properly soon.


Lorde has now won a second Grammy:

Lorde has won her second Grammy for Song of the Year, after earlier winning the award for best pop solo performance.

She and producer/co-writer Joel Little – joint winners of the prize – took to the stage to say their thanks to their families, managers and record labels.

“Thanks to everyone who let this song explode,” she said. . . .

Rural round-up

January 27, 2014

Three horses expected to sell for $½m at Karaka:

About 14,00 horses are for sale there this week.

Three horses are tipped to pass the $500,000 mark on Monday at the annual Karaka yearling sales.

About 14,00 horses are for sale there this week.

New Zealand Bloodstock managing director Andrew Seabrook says the price for each animal is expected to average about 70,000 , but three yearlings are likely to sell on Monday afternoon for at least $500,000. . . .

Niche dog food that’s delivered – Sally Rae:

Mighty Mix dog food has come a long way from being whipped up in a high-country kitchen.

A woman’s concern for the health of her working dogs during extreme weather conditions more than 20 years ago led to the development of a business which now sells products throughout New Zealand.

In June last year, Mighty Mix’s head office opened in Oamaru, the home of newly-appointed general manager John Walker, who has spent 35 years in the food manufacturing industry, most recently as site manager for Rainbow Confectionery. . .

It’s late – Milk Maid Marian:

The story of Cliffy Young has just finished on the tele but Wayne is still slogging through his own ultra-marathon at the dairy. It’s 10pm and it’s been a tough day that started at 5am.

As I was rattling the kids around the house in readiness for Nippers this morning, Wayne was having some youngster trouble of his own. A freshly-calved heifer simply sat down on the milking platform behind her neighbour. Now, if you’ve worked in or watched a herringbone dairy in action, you’ll say that doesn’t happen.

It did.

The cows are lined up at right angles to the pit we stand in to position the cups, with their buttocks against a “bum rail” that’s designed to guide them into position for milking and prevent a cow from falling onto a milk maid.

It didn’t. . . .

Bark on vines being trialled:

A DRIVE towards more sustainability has led to a new initiative at Eastland Port’s debarker and Gisborne growers could benefit.

The debarker is a machine which removes the bark from logs at Eastland Port’s log yard on Kaiti Beach Road and has just had a new addition to further break down the bark.

Eastland Debarking operations manager Steve O’Dwyer says there it has been a limited market for the large bark pieces, a by-product of the debarker.

“I thought there would be a market for these fines (smaller pieces of bark that are usually 20mm and under),” says Mr O’Dwyer.

So he set about to do some trials and Gisborne grape grower John Rafferty agreed to test the bark fines on 1.7 hectares of new plants. . .

MicroFarm concept a ‘sandpit’ for cropping:

“WHAT WE have here is like a big sandpit – a place where people can get together to play to try and achieve great outcomes.”

That’s how LandWise’s Dan Bloomer describes the MicroFarm, a 4ha property on the Heretaunga Plains, near Hastings.

“We’ve got paddocks that are big enough to have real toys in so we are doing work on a farm-sized scale. A high percentage of paddocks are headlands but between these we have paddocks just like a real farm,” he told an open day in December. . .

Expression of genetic growth potential underpinned by feed allowance:

Recent research by a group of scientists, Dr Long Cheng , Mr Chris Logan , Professor  Grant Edwards and Dr Huitong Zhou from the Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Lincoln University, is helping to unravel a long-standing puzzle in the farming world.

“Traditional wisdom among farmers is that sheep with the genetic potential to grow faster will be more efficient at converting their feed into weight gain (known as higher feed conversion efficiency) than sheep without this genetic potential,” said Dr Cheng, the lead researcher.

“Work in this field has, however, been restricted by the inability to make accurate measurements of the intake of individual animals.” 

Dr Cheng discovered to his surprise, after analysing the results of measurements taken during the trial, that the expectation that sheep with the potential to grow faster would be more efficient was only true when the sheep were well feed (170 % of maintenance metabolisable energy requirement, in this case). . .

Labour wants more welfare for wealthy

January 27, 2014

One of the worst aspects of Labour’s failed policies of the noughties under Helen Clark was extending welfare to the wealthy.

Policies announced today by the current leader, David Cunliffe,  show they haven’t learned from that welfare should be targeted at those in need, not greed.

. . . I am announcing that for 59,000 families with new-born babies, they will all receive a Best Start investment of $60 per week, for the first year of their child’s life.

The payment will go to all families with a combined income of $150,000 or less, and will give them more choices around how they juggle the pressure of work and care for their baby. . .

Since when have people on incomes anywhere near $150,000 been in need of government assistance to help with the costs of a new baby?

This is bribing people with their own and other people’s money.

Welfare is supposed to help people in need to pay for necessities.

It is neither sensible nor sustainable to extend it to people who aren’t in need to pay for luxuries.

People earning well above the average income who can’t cope with the expenses of a baby don’t need welfare, they need budget advice.

Labour divided in Invercargill?

January 27, 2014

When Invercargill MP Eric Roy announced he was retiring from politics at this year’s election, Lesley Soper who has contested the electorate for Labour in the past confirmed she will be the Labour candidate for Invercargill.

That was just a couple of weeks ago but the grapevine tells me that Labour has re-opened selection for the electorate.

Is that right and if so does it mean there’s division in Labour’s ranks in Invercargill, or between the locals and head office/unions which have a big influence in the party’s candidate selections?

National hasn’t opened selection yet but its candidate will start with a very strong foundation thanks to the hard work done by the sitting MP who even his opponents admit is one of the most likeable men in parliament.


This advertisement on Keeping Stock confirms what came through the grapevine:


Has anyone seen summer?

January 27, 2014

There’s nothing unusual about water skiing in January – but there is something unusual and unseasonal about snow skiing.

Avid skiers are heading to Canterbury’s mountains this morning after an unexpected dumping of snow overnight.

Staff at the region’s biggest ski field, Mt Hutt, say the dumping has left around 20cm of snow on some parts of the mountain.

“In the base area, we’ve got around 10cm on the balcony,” ski area manager James McKenzie says. “We think there’s probably a little bit more up high, we’re just heading up there on the snowmobile now.”

There was fresh snow on the mountains around Wanaka when I was there last week.

We had heavy rain at home yesterday and the autumnal feel in the air when I walked round the farm this morning had more than a little to do with the fresh snow on the Kakanui mountains.

Day after day of warm sunny weather we enjoyed last summer is a distant memory.

If anyone’s seen summer, please send it this way.

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