365 days of gratitude

July 6, 2018

TGIF – it’s Friday, the last day of the working week for those whose working week is the five days from Monday.

It’s not like that on a farm where at least some work has to be done every day.

But Friday does still signal the start of the weekend when there’s less work to be done and I’m grateful for that.


365 days of gratitude

July 6, 2018

Whoops, I was enjoying the company of old friends last night and forgot to post a gratitude post so this is for yesterday: I’m grateful for  fun with old friends and the way the years that have passed since we were together don’t matter.


Word of the day

July 6, 2018

Mammothrept –  a spoiled child; an infant brought up by its grandmother.


Rural round-up

July 6, 2018

Milking it for deer – Nigel Malthus:

If the world is ready for deer milk, New Zealand is ready to supply it.

The product, believed unique, was simultaneously launched at Fieldays and at a VIP function in Auckland aimed at high-end restaurants and the food service industry.

It won the Grassroots Innovation Award at Fieldays for Pāmu (the commercial name of Landcorp Farming) and its primary partners Sharon and Peter McIntyre, deer farmers at Gore. . . 

Is deer milk the next big thing?

“I can absolutely see this going global,” says consultant executive chef Geoff Scott, of the deer milk now being pioneered in NZ.

Scott, engaged by Pāmu to help launch its deer milk, says it’s rare for chefs to work with a new ingredient they have never seen before.

He says deer milk’s most noticeable feature is its “phenomenal” texture. And contrary to his expectations, the aroma was not as strong as goat or sheep milk.

“It’s got a lovely gentle slightly savoury nose and when you drink it you get this amazing sensation with the texture of the milk,” said Scott. . .

MPI scotches professor’s blog – Annette Scott:

Cross-species transmission is not a risk in the spread of Mycoplasma bovis, Ministry for Primary Industries response director Geoff Gwyn says.

Animals other than cattle are considered to be dead-end hosts and not important in the ongoing spread of the cattle disease.

“There is no scientific evidence that non-cattle species can act as a source of infection to cattle,” Gwyn said.

He expressed concern the matter continues to be raised given it has potential to unnecessarily heighten farmers’ anxiety. 

“Our firm view is the transfer of M bovis from non-cattle to cattle is not of material concern,” Gwyn said. . . 

Mackenzie Basin: Fonterra dairying criticism rejected – Kate Gudsell:

The Dunedin businessman behind a planned mega-dairy conversion in the Mackenzie Basin is shrugging off criticism from Fonterra about further intensification on the vulnerable landscape.

Murray Valentine has 9600 hectares of land at Simon’s Pass near Twizel and wants to irrigate 4500 hectares of that.

Originally, he was granted resource consent for 15,000 cows, but plans to put 2000 on it by next year, rising to a maximum of 5500 cows when consents are gained for extra cow sheds. . . 

Biodynamic forum held

Maori star lore, the winter solstice and water and earth energy were popular topics for the nearly 100 people who attended the 2018 New Zealand Biodynamic Association’s conference, in Clyde and Wanaka from June 22 to 24.

One of the organisers, Su Hoskin, who is in charge of the organic and biodynamic practices at Domaine-Thomson Wines vineyard near Cromwell, also sits on the association’s council.

”The conference was great,” Mrs Hoskin said.

”The theme was water and light.” . . 

Feds and MPs put on a good show – Alan Emmerson:

I’ve been dealing with Federated Farmers and going to their functions for longer than I care to remember.

I’ve witnessed a strong, focused organisation and one with a distinct lack of focus.

Currently, in my view, Feds are as strong as they’ve ever been. 

They are well led, their staff contains a good mix of youth and experience and the policy and communications teams are second to none.

I believe Federated Farmers is becoming increasingly important because of its advocacy role. That advocacy allows us to continue farming. Without it we would be in some difficulty.

Until this weeks’ conference I hadn’t realised just how busy they are. . . 


Friday’s answers

July 6, 2018

Teletext gets my thanks for posing Thursday’s questions and, since we were all stumped, can claim a batch of spicy lemon biscuits by leaving the answers below.


Super drink naturally better

July 6, 2018

Can an imaginary superdrink make consumers fall back in love with milk?

  • The Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) launched a marketing campaign that encourages consumers to see ordinary dairy milk in a new light — complete with sleek, futuristic packaging. The product is being marketed as “Mülü,” according to drinkmulu.com
  • The campaign appears to be geared toward the coveted millennial demographic, describing “Mülü” as a protein-rich alternative to sugary drinks that can give consumers energy before “late-night coding sessions,” “before you meet the parents,” or a “lazy Sunday movie marathon.”
  • The website also lists milk’s nutritional benefits, including 10 grams of protein, no added sugars and more calcium than seven cups of broccoli. A disclaimer on the Mülü webpage states that the product is milk, and “Mülü will not be sold in stores, but milk always is.”

For years now, the dairy industry has watched and worried as the plant-based milk craze erodes its share of the dairy case. Traditionally, the segment’s response to these upstart nut, rice, pea, oat, hemp and other alternative milk brands has been aggressive, with dairy producers pressuring the FDA to bar plant-based companies from using the word “milk.”

This stance is understandable, as non-dairy milk sales in the U.S. have risen 61% during the past five years and reached an estimated $2.11 billion in 2017, according to Mintel. Meanwhile, dairy milk’s performance has curdled . . .

With the Mülü marketing campaign, the DFA seems to be operating under a new understanding: if you can’t beat plant-based milks, steal their branding strategies. The Mülü campaign imagines what it would be like if traditional dairy producers broke from their “humble” habits and debuted “shiny new packaging” like their plant-based rivals, suggesting that dairy milk would then take its rightful place as the true superdrink.

It’s unclear if this marketing blitz will have any tangible impact on consumer perspective. The fact that Mülü won’t actually be sold in stores probably weakens the campaign’s potential power, as consumers can’t enjoy the new packaging and nutritional call-outs in person. Still, if consumers respond well to the imaginary product on social media, it’s possible that real dairy producers could roll out similar branding to differentiate and meet consumer demand for premium beverage offerings. . . 

As superdrinks go milk is naturally better than any of the artificial alternatives which are generally much higher in sugar and lower in nutritional value.

Whether the imaginary Mülü campaign works remains to be seen but it’s definitely worth a try.

You can read more about mulu here.


More welfare for well-off

July 6, 2018

KiwiBuild is yet more welfare for the wealthy:

KiwiBuild promised to deliver 100,000 affordable houses to help first-home buyers realise the Kiwi dream.

It promised to help average Kiwis into their first home.

But the income test is anything but average. The income caps are so high they may as well not exist.

KiwiBuild promised to deliver 100,000 affordable houses to help first-home buyers realise the Kiwi dream.

It promised to help average Kiwis into their first home.

But the income test is anything but average. The income caps are so high they may as well not exist.

A solo buyer can earn up to $120,000 a year. A couple can earn up to $180,000.

The median income in New Zealand is just under $50,000, and median household income is just over $82,000. . . 

If the government was serious about helping people buy houses it would address the underlying causes of the shortage – the RMA and zoning constraints; the consent requirements and processes; and the high cost of building materials.

Buying houses that would have been built already, selling them to anyone but the top 8% of income earners, regardless of their asset backing and allowing them to sell again and pocket the windfall gain after only three years is economic and political stupidity.

If the well-off can’t afford to buy houses without assistance there’s something wrong with their money management and/or the housing market.

Providing more welfare for the wealthy won’t solve either of those problems.

As the Taxpayers’ Unions shows, the government promised a masterpiece and has delivered a doodle.


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