Word of the day

May 10, 2014

Balter – to dance artlessly, without particular grace or skill but usually with enjoyment;  tumble;  become tangled or matted; tread down in a clumsy manner;  tangle; clot; mat (as in the hair).


Rural round-up

May 10, 2014

Conference to extol merits of goat meat – Annette Scott:

The benefits of goat meat to New Zealand red-meat farming businesses will be the focus of the NZ Goats inaugural conference this month.

The event is being held by the Federated Farmers goats industry group in conjunction with Meat Goat NZ and the NZ Boer Goat Breeders Association.

NZ Goats was established recently by Mohair NZ and Meat Goat NZ to add value to the NZ goat sector.

While there remained much do to rebuild and expand the goat meat and mohair industries, it needed to be remembered goat meat led global red meat consumption and it had a lot to offer NZ red-meat farming businesses, NZ Goats chairwoman Dawn Sangster said. . . .

Campaign taking wool to NZ’s main streets – Alan Williams:

Urban New Zealand is the target of a Campaign for Wool promotion in the last week of May.

About 40 designers and retailers have been brought together by fashion stylist Anna Caselberg for the We’re Loving Wool week, funded by Primary Wool Co-operative.

City buses are already carrying displays and the promotion will involve shop-front displays in Wellington, Christchurch, and a number of regional centres.

However, the base will be Britomart, in Auckland, where several of the fashion designers are based. . . .

The Future of Weed Management: Sustainable Agriculture Series

The recently released report Challenges for Pest Management in New Zealand by the Royal Society of New Zealand highlights the ongoing and substantial costs to agricultural productivity and the economic losses associated with weeds. When coupled with the ever-present challenge of the growing resistance of weeds to agrichemicals and herbicide deregistration, it becomes vital to explore and utilise new approaches and technologies in weed management.

In response to this need, Lincoln University, New Zealand’s specialist land-based University, in conjunction with the BHU Future Farming Centre, NZ’s leading specialist sustainable agriculture research centre, have created the Sustainable Agriculture Series of short courses designed to provide professional development for farmers, growers, or anyone involved in the primary sector; whether behind the farm gate or in research. . . .

Workshop explores ecosystems and the challenge of feeding the world :

Leading ecological and environmental scientists from around the world descended on Lincoln University and the Bio-protection Research Centre late April for an intensive week-long workshop.

Known as the Geographically Appropriate Integrated Agriculture Workshop (GAIA), its key objective was to develop and evaluate a range of scenarios for agricultural land use and management from the perspective of ecosystems and the fundamental services they provide.

The 23 participants in the workshop – stemming from countries such as Denmark, the United Kingdom, the United States, the Netherlands, Kenya and Australia – were using the workshop to build on developments in agroecology to estimate how many people the world can sustain without the current dependence on, and over-use of, both the earth’s water resources and fossil-fuel based chemicals such as fertilisers and pesticides. . .

 Hereford Haymaker to $41,000 – Jamie-Lee Oldfield:

IT ONLY took 17 lots to reach this year’s $41,000 top-price at the Hereford National Show and Sale in Wodonga today.

Sugarloaf Haymaker H126 was the bull, offered by Andrew and Serena Klippel, Sugarloaf Creek Herefords, Corryong, Vic, and purchased by Frank Hannigan, Franco Herefords, Casino.

By Glendan Park Empire E002, the 21-month old bull weighed 1046 kilograms with an eye muscle area (EMA) scan of 139.

The bull’s $41,000 price tag trumped last year’s top of $30,000, and led the way for an average of $6906 for the 112 bulls sold, with 144 offered. . .

Getting up close and personal with the big Panda – Art for Agriculture:

The 2014 Archibull Prize is off to a flying start with a new look program and lots of new, exciting and diverse young people for our young farming champions and school students to work along side

As this great article reminds us

Feeding the world today does not depend on the total food produced. At the global aggregate scale we currently have enough food to feed everyone. It depends on where this food is produced and at what price. Hunger today is a problem of insufficient access to nutritious food and not of insufficient food availability

And to quote the team at the Youth Food Movement

‘4 million tonnes of food is wasted in Australia each year. As someone who eats, buys and loves food, we all have the power to help stop this waste. It’s simply a matter of making our food choices count.’ . . .


Saturday’s smiles

May 10, 2014

Apropos of Mothers’ Day tomorrow:
May I take your order please?

 


Payout drop threat to indebted

May 10, 2014

Stating the obvious:

A farm accountant is backing the Reserve Bank’s view that a significant drop in milk payouts would leave some highly indebted dairy farmers in trouble. . .

Anyone who’s heavily indebted is in a precarious position if there’s a significant increases in costs or decrease in income.

This season’s payout was a record high one, interest rates have been at record lows.

Anyone but the deluded would know the chances of the payout dropping and interest rates climbing were high.

That some people borrowed heavily in spite of that is inevitable.

Whether or not they can farm their way through higher costs and lower returns is up to them and their banks.


Compulsory CoOL not cool

May 10, 2014

Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor is introducing a Supplementary Order Paper to the Food Bill, requiring mandatory country of origin labelling (CoOl) for food.

“New Zealanders want clear information about their food. They should have the same information and protection our Australian neighbours receive about their food.

“Introducing mandatory CoOL would be a good start.

Compulsion is rarely a good start.

Some, maybe many, consumers do want to know where food comes from and it’s not hard to find it on most food in most supermarkets now.

CoOl’s not hard to do for single ingredient items like fresh fruit, vegetables and meat and it’s happening voluntarily in response to consumer demand.

If it’s not happening fast enough or on enough products then consumers can let retailers know directly – or indirectly by choosing products that are labelled over those that aren’t.

CoOl is more difficult, and expensive, on multi- ingredient products.

Imposing mandatory CoOL on them would add significant costs.

CoOl isn’t a food safety issue, it’s a consumer preference one and action on it should be taken by consumers not politicians.

 


Greens camapign for state funding continues

May 10, 2014

The Green Party campaign for the state funding of political parties continues:

Some of Wellington’s most recognisable names paid $3500 each to meet Prime Minister John Key at a National Party fundraising dinner also attended by his taxpayer-funded chief of staff, Wayne Eagleson.

As Opposition allegations continue to swirl around National’s so-called “Cabinet clubs” for wealthy donors, it has emerged about 15 people, including former Wellington mayor Kerry Prendergast and Weta Digital co-founder Jamie Selkirk, attended the dinner at the Museum Hotel, which raised $45,000 for National. . .

The Museum Hotel event was held in 2011, and organised by hotel owner and National Party fundraiser Chris Parkin.

He said yesterday the event was nothing to do with the Cabinet clubs but was his way of helping to support National.

He joked that at least $2000 worth of each donation was for the food and wine. He did not believe anyone attending fundraising dinners expected to be able to “influence” the prime minister. “They are more there to ask questions.”

Goodness me, a party supporter organises a dinner and donates the proceeds to the party.

I can’t see a problem in that but Norman does.

Green Party leader Russel Norman said the fundraiser showed wealthy people could get access to the prime minister when poorer people could not.

Such fundraisers “may be technically legal, they’re not right”, he said. “If you have a lot of money, you can buy exclusive access to the prime minister.” . .

They aren’t just technically legal, they are legal and they don’t mean that wealthy people get access when poorer people don’t.

It means wealthy people are willing to pay to have a meal attended by the PM when others get to meet and talk with him for free, every day.

A spokeswoman for Key said the Greens were welcome to highlight legitimate fundraisers by National, but Key was more interested in the job of governing.

National had frequently pointed out that all the funds it raised were declared as required by law. She did not respond to a question asking if it was Key’s usual practice to take Eagleson to fundraisers.

Otago law professor Andrew Geddis said National had obeyed the rules around donations by declaring the aggregate of those who donated.

People who donated to political parties liked to see where their money was going and to have contact with those they were giving money to, he said.

People also like to see the government concentrate on governing and issues that matter.

All but the very few who are members of the left-wing parties which want state funding of political parties would also prefer that their taxes were spent on things that matter, not propping up parties which can’t persuade enough people to fund them voluntarily.


Congratulations Cameron

May 10, 2014

Cameron Slater won the Best Blog at the Canon Media Awards last night.

The award recognises the impact he makes with Whaleoil.

It doesn’t condone all, or in fact any, of his posts.

I find some offensive and don’t bother going past the headline on many.

But some are well researched and break news  and make an impact in a way no other blog in New Zealand does.

Congratulations, Cameron, that’s why you got the award and you deserved it.

 

 


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