Rural round-up

Dry spell affects North Otago most:

North Otago farmers are feeling the pinch from the driest period the region has had in seven years, Federated Farmers North Otago president Richard Strowger says.

Farmers spoken to in other parts of Otago were less concerned about the dry and hot weather, and some parts of the region have benefited from the warm spell.

Mr Strowger said, unlike other areas, North Otago was coming off a very dry spring, which meant farmers were really feeling the bite. . .

Canterbury farmers fear drought as region driest in a decade – Suze Metherell:

 (BusinessDesk) – Canterbury is on the verge of a 20th century-style drought with the southern region the driest it has been in a decade, forcing farmers to sell surplus stock and leading to restrictions on irrigation as the area waits for rain.

Soil moisture in eastern and southern Canterbury is between severely and extremely drier than normal, while the outlook for rain remains light, according to data from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa). The region, which suffered crippling droughts through the 1970s to 1990s, is the driest it has been in a decade, Ivon Hurst, Federated Farmers’ South Canterbury president, told BusinessDesk.

“We are in what you would call a drought – not an emergency, official drought where the government has to come in and give assistance, but there is no moisture in the ground, we have a consistently dry weather pattern,” Hurst said. “If we do get rain at this stage then we’re saved and we’ll have a good season, but I very much doubt that – the weather pattern is too stable. It’s got the same feel as the big droughts we had in the last century.” . . .

Thompson tops at FQC :

The Fertiliser Quality Council (FQC) has named Ann Thompson as its new executive director.

Thompson is currently a policy advisor for Federated Farmers in Wellington.

FQC chairman Anders Crofoot said the Council was extremely fortunate to be able to attract a person with the talent and track record of Thompson to the role. . .

New Zealand’s fish stocks in healthy state heading into 2015

Consumers can look forward to plenty of tasty and nutritious seafood this year with New Zealand fish stocks in good shape.

“The status of our stocks over the 2014 year showed some marked improvements according to the Ministry for Primary Industries figures and point to the conclusion that ‘by far the majority of New Zealand’s fisheries are performing well [1],” says Tim Pankhurst, Chief Executive of Seafood New Zealand.

This included an increase in the number of known fish stocks at or above the target for well-managed fisheries (increasing from 69.2% in 2013 to 72.5% in 2014) and a marked increase in the percentage of stocks where overfishing is not occurring (increasing from 82.1% to 86.8%). . .

Amazing Maze 2015 get lost this Summer:

The Amazing Maze ‘n Maize in Karaka, Auckland is a giant maze carved out of a 4 hectare field of maize (or animal corn) and has just opened for the summer season. Maze goers walk along several kilometers of paths and make decisions at over 100 intersections as to which way to go. Some intersections have “Kernels of Knowledge”, or trivia signs about the amazing pet theme. These not only help people find their way, but they also keep them entertained. Lifeguards are there to assist the truly lost, but taking the provided flag will give visitors peace of mind in the maze.

The Amazing Maze features a viewing bridge within the maize maze where visitors can see the huge expanse of corn that they are walking through. Parts of the design can be made out from the bridge but the real picture can only be seen from a plane or helicopter. This year the maze design includes a girl with a lamb, a boy with a dog, and a horse, all clearly visable from the air. . .

Food Matters Aotearoa conference shows the way forward:

The Food Matters Aotearoa conference will be promoting healthy sustainable food production showcasing speakers from 5 different continents. A range of expertise will also come from New Zealand.

One speaker Dr Vandana Shiva works with thousands of small Indian farmers and has set up over a hundred heritage seed banks. Growing organically now provides extra production of highly nutritious food from difficult growing environments.

“Heritage varieties that perform without chemical fertilisers and pesticides have improved the lives of thousands of subsistence farmers; heritage seeds and organic methods are now being used in community gardens around New Zealand” said Susie Lees from Food Matters Aotearoa team. “A resurgence of communities growing their own food is resulting in healthier lifestyles for New Zealanders.” . . .

19 Responses to Rural round-up

  1. “North Otago farmers are feeling the pinch from the driest period the region has had in seven years”

    “Canterbury farmers fear drought as region driest in a decade”

    “Scientists revealed this past week New Zealand’s famous Franz Josef Glacier is dramatically retreating. Deidre Mussen investigates what the future holds for our nation’s glaciers.

    Over the past three decades, some New Zealand glaciers have quietly vanished.”

    Wwwwwwwhat’s happening???????????????????????


  2. Bulaman says:

    Normal cycle Robert.
    Drought.. Check the mid 80’s
    In the 1700’s the glaciers were both across where the road currently goes.. retreat is nothing new and certainly nothing that we need to pay an indulgence for.


  3. Hottest year on record globally – Bulaman says, “Normal cycle”.



  4. Paranormal says:

    Hang on RG – the global stats aren’t in yet so you can’t just blithely say ‘hottest year’, (particularly with how cold it was in the northern hemisphere before Christmas). Although of course you will as it suits your henny penny storyline.


  5. So, Paranormal – you claiming this won’t be the hottest year on record?
    The Japanese seem confident of their science. The others are indicating their results will back those. In any case, trend,s Paranormal, trends. It must be awfully inconvenient for you to have to argue against what’s stacking up to be the hottest year on record at a time when you are wanting to believe there is no warming.
    Very inconvenient.


  6. Gravedodger says:

    Hey Guyton before Kennedy asks links please.


  7. Hey Gravy – you could have Googled it yourself rather than relying on my good nature. It wouldn’t hurt you to learn something new, you know.


  8. Paranormal says:

    RG, lets focus on facts and reality shall we, rather than politically motivated soundbites put out to pressure political debate at a gorebull warming talkfest. Have a read of:

    Note that the full data sets to make an accurate call on just what happened in 2014 won’t be available until March 2015. Up until now it’s just political rhetoric. Not surprising then your desire to repeat it.

    You are right that it is about trends which is why the talk of 2014 being ‘the hottest year ever’ (as pronounced by your mate DK) is irrelevant. You warmeners have still got an 18 year plateau in climate terms to explain.


  9. Paranormal – you are a fully-fledged denier. Should find plenty of supporters here in the home paddock, but in the real world, you’re one of a tiny, tiny odd-ball minority, out of touch, mislead and misleading.


  10. Paranormal says:

    Thank you RG, I’ll wear your criticism with pride. No actual logic, facts or reasoning in your response though.


  11. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, Judith Curry supports the general science around climate change and does believe that human produced GHG is the cause. She just takes a more cautious approach than others and therefore her opinions are just an outlier of the broad mass of science. In fact most scientists are fairly cautious which is why most predictions have been exceeded.


  12. Paranormal says:

    So DK you agree with Dr Judith Currie then when she points out that any positing on the ‘warminess’ of 2014 at this stage is political posturing. Thank you.


  13. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, you are using Dr Currie’s comments in a disingenuous way. Dr Currie actually agrees that our planet is warming because of human induced factors and she feels that it is wrong to say that 2014 is the warmest on record until all the data is properly in. She hasn’t said it won’t be the warmest, she is just very cautious. I don’t totally agree or disagree with Dr Currie, her point of view is not unreasonable, just not helpful when trying to create the necessary urgency around our situation. Her views around the slower rate of change is not supported by most other scientists.

    Obviously other scientists are concerned about the misinformation from deniers that global warming has stopped and to my mind it is perfectly reasonable to say that, based on current data, it is likely to be our warmest year.

    Do you agree with Dr Currie’s view that man made GHG contributes to climate change?


  14. Paranormal says:

    And neither have I said it won’t be the warmest in the current era DK. What I have said, and you have confirmed that it is correct, is that to be saying that now before the data is in is political.

    I have always agreed that the climate is changing and has always changed. That man has some god like ability to make the wholesale changes in climate that you claim is where you participate in politics rather than science.

    Significantly the climate has not complied with the prognostications of you warmists. Science actually relies on repeatable provable evidence. You warmists have yet to obtain that.


  15. *Pump a finite envelope full of heat-trapping gas and you get more heat trapped in that envelope.

    *Not Nanna science


  16. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, you are still continually denying the huge body of evidence that demonstrates a high probability that we are in serious trouble. By the time we have the irrefutable proof that you want it will be too late, to do nothing about the mass of science that we already have would be criminal. You are obviously not a gambler, because the odds that you are correct and there is nothing to worry about are extremely low.


  17. Paranormal says:

    DK you are denying the fact the evidence does not match your theory, or the huge body of evidence that disproves your theory.


  18. Getting dry though, ain’t it…
    Hot too…
    Still, it’s been dry in the past. Hot too, so no worries. It’ll rain somewhere soon, proving that AGW is a con. I bet somewhere in the world, it’s cold – what do you say to THAT, warmists!


  19. Paranormal says:

    Generally tends to get dry and hot in Summertime RG, or should i say ‘Henny Penny’.

    I have to say we’re having a stunning growth season at our place. The trees are booming away. If it is due to human released CO2, then I’m off to buy a v8, especially now gas is cheaper.


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