Gaseyn – marshy ground; a mire; puddle.
Nestlé scrutinises 50 South Island dairy farms – Yvonne O’Hara:
Global food and beverage manufacturer Nestlé sent a group of representatives to inspect 50 randomly selected South Island dairy farms – including some in Otago and Southland – last week.
The audit is part of a new pilot project between the corporate giant and Fonterra.
However, Fonterra’s global sales director Tim Deane the visit was not linked in any way to the botulism scare last year.
”It had been on the cards for a while,” Mr Deane said.
Nestlé, like other Fonterra customers, regularly visited plant and factories for auditing. . .
Dairy cows will be led into Northland’s Rangihamama milking sheds for the first time officially this weekend, marking the first tangible example of the Government’s aim to increase regional economic development in Northland.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has been working with the Omapere Rangihamama Trust (ORT) to accelerate the Trust’s transformation of 278 hectares of Māori-owned land, from grazing to high-productivity dairy farming since 2012.
“Omapere Rangihamama Trust is a model for growing rural development by pulling together a vast number of stakeholders into a larger and more commercially effective operation,” says MPI’s Deputy Director-General Ben Dalton. . .
A project funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries has resulted in more sustainable insecticides hitting the market, to control two major headaches for growers.
The Minor Crops project, which is being managed by a company called Market Access Solutionz, has launched one insecticide to control Kelly’s citrus thrips and scale, and a second to control key pests in leafy vegetable seedlings.
They are the second and third products to have come out of the project, which is aimed at having between 15 and 20 such insecticides ready for sale before funding runs out next year. . .
New Farming for Profit programme supported – Yvonne O’Hara:
West Otago farmers have voted to run a Farming for Profit programme to replace the older monitor farm programmes.
Beef and Lamb New Zealand (BLNZ) extension manager for the southern South Island, Paul McCauley, said about a dozen farmers attended a meeting in Waikoikoi last Thursday to discuss what type of extension programme they would like to see in their area for the next three years.
”We got a feel from them for what sort of project they wanted and there was a show of support from people keen to go on a steering committee to kick-start it, which was great,” Mr McCauley said. Those attending said they wanted a Farming for Profit programme, which would be run by BLNZ. . .
Last year was “the vintage of a lifetime” for Gisborne wines. This vintage is shaping up to be equally exceptional.
Gisborne is renowned for sunny weather and Chardonnay, and the two have combined again this year to produce a vintage that has local grape growers and winemakers marveling at its quality. The region’s burgeoning reputation for other white varietals, particularly Viognier and Albariño, will be further cemented with 2014’s superlative harvest.
Warm temperatures in spring ensured excellent flowering, while the cool nights and warm days towards the end of January enhanced véraison (onset of ripening). . .
A suite of award-winning New Zealand brands have today been acquired by leading Australian wine company, Accolade Wines, which plans to use its global reach to grow the brands.
The deal, announced last November pending Overseas Investment Office approval, has been finalised following regulatory approvals, and includes the Mud House, Waipara Hills, Dusky Sounds, Haymaker and Skyleaf brands and their assets and operation of Waipara Hills cellar door and café.
Accolade Wines General Manager Asia Pacific, Michael East, said the company had been keen to enhance its portfolio of New World wine brands and had been looking for brands which would complement its existing portfolio for some time. . . .
Bend it shake it, moove it . . . .
Does this inspire any other mooving music?
Or should that be mood music?
Or am I milking it?
Hat tip: Grammarly.
Being a betterarian part 3 – eating with understanding:
You can read more about being a betterarian here.
More good news on the social front – recorded crime is at a 29 year low:
New figures show criminal offences have dropped by 4.1percent in the last year, the lowest crime figure in real terms in 29 years.
When considered against a 0.9 percent growth in population, offending dropped by 5 percent per head of population, or 15,602 fewer crimes were recorded in 2013 than in 2012.
Deputy Commissioner Mike Bush said Police were delighted with the historic figure.
“We are deploying staff more efficiently and pro-actively to ensure Police are in the right place at the right time to prevent crime from occurring.
“In 2013 we conducted over 104,000 foot patrols across New Zealand. Frontline officers are now spending an extra 30 minutes per shift out in communities preventing crime.”
“The sharp reduction in public place assaults is a great example of how our Prevention First strategy is making our communities safer.”
Nine of the twelve Police districts recorded decreases in recorded crime. Auckland and Wellington Districts recorded the biggest reductions at 9.9 percent, followed by Bay of Plenty at 7.4 percent and Southern at 6.6 percent.
In contrast, sexual assault offences rose by 11.6 percent in 2013 but Mr Bush believes this is likely to be due to increased reporting.
“We know that sexual violence is under-reported, and we are heartened that more victims of this type of crime are coming forward,” Mr Bush said.
There was also a 22.7 percent drop in illicit drug offences in 2013, mostly due to a reduction in cannabis cultivation and possession.
A 59 percent increase in the import or export illicit drugs offence category was the result of Police’s targeted campaign against organised crime groups that control large parts of the New Zealand methamphetamine drug trade.
“The figures are a credit to our staff who are committed to making New Zealand communities safer,” Mr Bush said.
Police Minister Anne Tolley congratulated Police on the announcement:
“Fewer crimes means fewer victims and safer communities, and I want to thank our officers for everything they are doing to serve and protect the public,” says Mrs Tolley. . .
GlobalDairyTrade’s Price Index dropped 8.9% in this morning’s auction.
It’s the second big drop in a row and reflects increasing supply in other countries.
Northern Hemisphere dairy production is in full swing and a big drop in the need for biofuel in the USA has lowered the cost of cow feed.
Confirmation from the International Monetary Fund that New Zealand’s growth prospects have improved and that its macro-economic framework remains sound is a welcome further endorsement of the Government’s economic programme, Finance Minister Bill English says.
As the IMF notes in its concluding statement issued today, New Zealand’s economic expansion is becoming increasingly embedded and broad-based. It forecasts annual economic growth will increase to about 3.5 per cent this year.
“It’s encouraging that the IMF has again noted that our macro-economic framework remains sound and provides policy space to respond to adverse shocks,” Mr English says
“In particular, it concludes the Government’s focus on returning to surplus next year will help to preserve its favourable standing with external creditors against New Zealand’s background of relatively high net foreign liabilities.
“I also agree with the IMF that New Zealand faces some risks, including globally from any downturn in the fortunes of China and the rest of Asia, and on the domestic front from issues around housing affordability.
“As the IMF notes, the Government’s steps to help alleviate housing supply bottlenecks and the Reserve Bank’s measures to tighten mortgage lending and to raise interest rates should help to ease house price pressures.
“The Government’s fiscal deficit reduction programme is also expected to take some pressure off the exchange rate, as the IMF acknowledges.
“So this latest report on New Zealand confirms we remain on the right track to build a faster-growing economy and to manage the global and domestic risks that might come our way,” Mr English says. “That’s important if we are to support more jobs and higher incomes for New Zealand families.”
Support for the National-led government’s prescription is also a shot across the bows of the opposition parties which want to change it with higher taxes, higher spending and meddling with the Reserve Bank.