Mycoplasma bovis is unlikely to go away – Keith Woodford:
It now seems likely that Mycoplasma bovis is in New Zealand to stay. Just like the rest of the world, we must learn how to live with it. We do not yet have to give up totally on hopes of eradication, but eradication is looking more and more unlikely.
The control program has suffered from incorrect information and poor communication, and there is much to be learned from that. These information flaws have affected farmer and public attitudes. In some cases, this has created additional and unnecessary stress, and unfair criticism of individuals.
However, the probability is that these flaws have not affected the success or failure of the eradication program. The chances are that Mycoplasma bovis has been here for some years, in which case eradication was always going to be impossible. . .
Droughts are threatening the supply of fresh fruit and vegetables on shopping shelves and storing water in dams would rectify this, says Horticulture New Zealand.
“Relying on water to fall from the sky simply isn’t enough,” said HortNZ chief executive Mike Chapman. “HortNZ believes we should be more proactive in capturing and storing that water to ensure sustainability of supply during times of drought.”
Chapman said the dry conditions of early summer were putting fruit and vegetable growers under pressure to the point where some of them were having to make decisions about which plants and trees they would plant or harvest. . .
Kiwi-born Nasa scientist for CSST – Pam Jones:
An award-winning Nasa scientist has been appointed director of research for the Centre for Space Science Technology (CSST).
The appointment of Delwyn Moller was announced yesterday.
Dr Moller was born and raised in the Waikato, studied at the University of Auckland and went on to design and implement technology for Nasa space missions. She will be moving to Central Otago from Los Angeles with her husband and two children.
CSST chief executive Steve Cotter said Dr Moller’s contribution would be invaluable to CSST and to New Zealand as a whole. . .
Ask a farmer, we don’t hate you – Pete Fitzherbert:
It must be so easy for the average New Zealander to just start again at the end of one year and begin another – make some resolutions, forget about them within the week, and then if you are feeling a little overweight just go down to the food court at the local mall and problem solved, because compared to the fatty at the smorgasbord you are an athlete!
It’s fair to say it is not as easy for your average farmer. Our seasons roll over without ever having a definitive start or finish.
So, what kind of New Year resolutions or hopes could we have? The best we can do sometimes is hope for the best, plan for the worst and the rest of the time play it as it lays.
Maybe we could hope the next year brings the chance to take off a couple of those public holidays.
Maybe hope for a totally average year in every way, or hope that we can farm, just farm, to the best the season presents us with without the public scrutiny that has begun to develop around agriculture.
Could you imagine a return to a world where the only people that gave dairy farmers grief were sheep farmers and bank managers? . .
Fonterra has launched a new fresh milk product in China in partnership with Hema Fresh, Alibaba’s innovative new retail concept which combines traditional bricks-and-mortar shopping with a digital experience.
The new Daily Fresh milk range is now available in Hema’s 14 stores in Shanghai and Suzhou in 750mL bottles, sourced directly from Fonterra’s farm hub in Hebei province. The product boasts unique product labels to match each day of the week in order to emphasise freshness, with stock being replenished overnight ready for each new day.
Initial volumes are currently around three metric tonnes daily, with plans to scale-up over time and expand with the retailer as it rapidly grows its footprint of stores across China. . .
A blast from the Haast – NZ’s most isolated town – Sarah Harris:
Of the 240 people who call Haast home there’s one policeman, 13 students at the only school, one electrician who is trying to retire and no plumber. If one comes to town residents chase him down the road.
There’s also no doctor – one comes once a fortnight. If there’s a medicial emergency a helicopter can land on the school field.
A drive to the closest supermarket is two hours away and the nearest hospital in Greymouth is a four-hour drive or 90 minute flight. . .
Can we keep our country shows alive? – Alex Druce:
IT’s been nearly two years since Wingham last held a country show and organisers are determined to get it right.
“We had to go back to the drawing board, and we’ve got some pretty exciting new things,” says press officer Elaine Turner.
“For starters, there’s the piggy races. And the demolition derby is going to be on again too . Everyone loves that.” . .