Word of the day

September 10, 2019

Whakaute – respectto respect, show respect, tend, care for, prepare.

From the Maori Dictionary for  te wiki o te reo Māori Maori Language Week 


Rural round-up

September 10, 2019

2050 deadline to improve freshwater in New Zealand – Rachael Kelly and Gerard Hutching:

A lobby group says some Southland farmers may abandon their land because of new water rules but the agriculture ministers says it’s a ridiculous statement to make.

Agriculture minister Damien O’Connor and Environment Minister David Parker released a draft National Policy Statement and National Environment Standards: Freshwater, on Thursday.

They propose changes to farming practices and new rules for councils, aiming to stop the degradation of waterways and clean up rivers and lakes within a generation.

Southland Federated Farmers president Geoffrey Young says some of the rules nitrogen may be able to be met but the numbers around freshwater may just be a step too far and there is going to be a significant financial cost. . . 

Water policy is doomed to fail – Aan Emmerson:

I can’t see anyone in the provincial sector being remotely surprised at the draconian nature of Environment Minister David Parker’s policy announcement on water quality.

For a start, Parker told us in June there would be tighter regulation of the agricultural sector.

He also made the earth-shattering statement he would regulate what, in his view, were some of the riskier farming practices.

Last Thursday’s statement came in three parts, a diagram, a bland summary then the actual document, all 105 pages of it.

Climate change Bill concerns for SFF – Brent Melville:

Silver Fern Farms, the nation’s largest procurer and exporter of red meat, has tabled “significant concerns” related to the economic impacts of the Government’s proposed climate change response Bill.

In its submission to the environment select committee this morning, the company said while it supported the Bill’s ultimate temperature increase goals, it had concerns specific to methane reduction targets, the inability of farmers to offset the warming effects of biogenic methane and processor obligations for farm emissions.

Silver Fern Farms head of communications and sustainability Justin Courtney said the submission had largely been informed by discussion with more than 750 of the company’s 15,500 farmer suppliers across New Zealand. The zero carbon proposals as tabled were “top of the list of farmers’ concerns”, he said. . . 

The unpopular tree sucking carbon from our air – Eloise Gibson:

Pinus Radiata grows like a weed, which is why it’s so fast at sequestering carbon. But since many people prefer native trees, forestry scientists are proposing an unconventional solution to get the best of both worlds.

To measure how much carbon is in a tree, you first have to kill it.

You slice up the trunk, branches, twigs, leaves and roots and dry the dismembered tree parts in an oven. Then you weigh them.

“It takes a long time,” says Euan Mason, a professor at the University of Canterbury’s School of Forestry. “I did some in 2012 with two students, and in six weeks I think we did 25 trees.” . . 

New campaign promotes wool’s benefits – Brent Melville:

Recent experiments in Japan measured the efficiencies of using wool carpet versus a synthetic option in two identical houses.

The wool option resulted in electricity savings of between 8% to 13%, with additional savings of up to 12% for cooling under the same conditions.

It is one of the fast facts contained in an informative and highly stylised campaign, designed to educate international frontline carpet and other retailers on the benefits of strong wool.

The “back to basics” approach is the brain child of wool sales and marketing company Wools of New Zealand (WNZ), in the belief that frontline retailers are neglecting the natural benefits of the fibre in the rush to sell synthetic product.

The heart of the programme is a 12-part “wool benefits” marketing campaign, which the company says has resonated strongly with local and international customers alike. . . 

NSA celebrates ban on false advertising about wool:

The National Sheep Association (NSA) is pleased to see the response by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) banning some misleading advertising from PETA propagating the lie that wool is cruelly obtained from sheep.

NSA Chief Executive Phil Stocker comments: ‘NSA is pleased to hear this decision by ASA that exposes PETA’s advertising for what it is, grossly inaccurate jargon which is misleading the public as well as damaging farmers reputations and livelihoods. The simple undeniable fact is that removing wool from sheep is necessary for their health and welfare. It does not harm them, and it does not exploit them. Wool is a by-product of their existence.”

Following reports of cruelty during shearing last year (2018), NSA joined with several other industry bodies to create a clear set of guidelines for farmers and shearing contractors to follow to ensure they shear to the highest standard possible. . . 


Deliberate or ignorant?

September 10, 2019

The government’s Action for healthy waterways has a lot to say about farming but was developed without any input from the industry groups like Beef + Lamb NZ, DairyNZ,  Deer Industry NZ, Federated Farmers and  Horticulture NZ.

It proposes new requirements that would:

  • strengthen Te Mana o Te Wai as the framework for freshwater management
  • better provide for ecosystem health (water, fish and plant life)
  • better protect wetlands and estuaries
  • better manage stormwater and wastewater, and protect sources of drinking water
  • control high-risk farming activities and limit agricultural intensification
  • improve farm management practices.

Eric Crampton points out that proposals could bankrupt some farmers.

 . . .Let’s step back and consider why strict targets without compensation are likely to cause a lot of bankruptcies. 

Farm purchases and dairy conversions are often heavily leveraged. Farmers will have borrowed to purchase the land and to put in the infrastructure improvements for irrigation and dairying. The selling price of the land, and the amounts that banks have been willing to lend, reflect the expected return that comes from the business. 

That return builds in certain expectations of the regulatory environment. 

Farmers have never had to pay for water directly. The value of water instead is reflected in the value of an irrigation consent tied to a piece of land. Research done earlier this decade suggested that land with an irrigation consent traded for up to fifty per cent more than comparable land without a consent. In other words, the value of the water was already incorporated into the selling price of the land. And that value will not have gone down over the intervening years.

A big change in the regulatory environment around water abstraction, or around allowable nutrient runoff or on-farm practices, would substantially change the cost calculus for already heavily leveraged farms. Costs go up, returns go down, and net cash flow is insufficient to pay the mortgage. Hello, bankruptcy. . . 

This isn’t fear-mongering.

The proposals are as drastic as the changes that precipitated the ag-sag of the 1980s.

Farmers are very aware of the costs and risks to their businesses. The government appears not to be worried about that, but have they taken into account the huge economic hit the country would take with the huge fall in production, and therefore export-earnings?

The paper was launched last week, consultation meetings have started, mostly in cities, and people have only six weeks to submit.

That is a very short time for people to read, absorb, reflect and respond let alone right in the middle of lambing and calving, the busiest time of the year for dairy, beef and sheep farms.

Is the timing deliberate or are those behind it simply ignorant of the demands placed on farmers in spring?

A cynic might think they know but don’t care.

The goal of clean water is one no-one should argue against but the government would have a much better chance of reaching it, without a huge economic and social cost, if it worked with farmers and their industry groups, and gave more time for them to come up with practical solutions.

 


Quote of the day

September 10, 2019

Music and Poetry have ever been acknowledged Sisters, which walking hand in hand support each other; As poetry is the harmony of words, so music is that of notes; and as poetry is a rise above prose and oratory, so is music the exaltation of poetry. Both of them may excel apart, but sure they are most excellent when they are joined, because nothing is then wanting to either of their perfections. –  Henry Purcell who was born on this day in 1659.


September 10 in history

September 10, 2019

506  The bishops of Visigothic Gaul met in the Council of Agde.

1385 Le Loi, national hero of Viet Nam, founder of the Later Lê Dynasty, was born (d. 1433).

1419  John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy was assassinated by adherents of the Dauphin, the future Charles VII of France.

1509 An earthquake known as “The Lesser Judgment Day” hit Istanbul.

1547 The Battle of Pinkie Cleugh, the last full scale military confrontation between England and Scotland, resulting in a decisive victory for the forces of Edward VI.

1659 Henry Purcell, English composer, was born (d. 1695).

1798 At the Battle of St. George’s Caye, British Honduras defeated Spain.

1813  The United States defeated the British Fleet at the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812.

1823  Simón Bolívar was named President of Peru.

1844 Abel Hoadley, Australian confectioner, was born (d. 1918).

1846 Elias Howe was granted a patent for the sewing machine.

1852 – Alice Brown Davis, American tribal chief , was born(d. 1935).

1858 George Mary Searle discovered the asteroid 55 Pandora.

1897  Lattimer massacre: A sheriff’s posse killed 20 unarmed immigrant miners in Pennsylvania.

1898  Empress Elizabeth of Austria was assassinated by Luigi Lucheni.

1898  Waldo Semon, American inventor (vinyl), was born (d. 1999).

1904 – Honey Craven, American horse rider and manager, was born (d. 2003).

1914 – An eruption on White Island killed 10 people.

1914 Robert Wise, American film director, was born (d. 2005).

1918 Rin Tin Tin, German shepherd dog, was born (d. 1932).

1919 Austria and the Allies signed the Treaty of Saint-Germain recognising the independence of Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia.

1932  The New York City Subway’s third competing subway system, the municipally-owned IND, was opened.

1933 Karl Lagerfeld, German fashion designer, was born.

1935 – Mary Oliver, American poet and author, was born.

1939  The submarine HMS Oxley was mistakenly sunk by the submarineHMS Triton near Norway becoming the Royal Navy’s first losss.

1942 World War II: The British Army carries out an amphibious landing on Madagascar to re-launch Allied offensive operations in the Madagascar Campaign.

1951 The United Kingdom began an economic boycott of Iran.

1956 Johnny Fingers, Irish musician The Boomtown Rats, was born.

1960 Colin Firth, English actor, was born.

1961 Italian Grand Prix, a crash caused the death of German Formula One driver Wolfgang von Trips and 13 spectators who were hit by his Ferrari.

1967  The people of Gibraltar voted to remain a British dependency rather than becoming part of Spain.

1974 Guinea-Bissau gained independence from Portugal.

1976 A British Airways Hawker Siddeley Trident and an Inex-Adria DC-9 collided near Zagreb, killing 176.

1977  Hamida Djandoubi, convicted of torture and murder, was the last person to be executed by guillotine in France.

1984 The Te Maori exhibition opened in New York.

Te Maori exhibition opens in New York

1990 The Basilica of Our Lady of Peace in Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire – the largest church in Africa was consecrated by Pope John Paul II.

2001 Charles Ingram cheated his way into winning one million pounds on a British version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

2003 Anna Lindh, the foreign minister of Sweden, was fatally stabbed while shopping.

2007  Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif returned to Pakistan after seven years in exile, following a military coup in October 1999.

2008 The Large Hadron Collider at CERN, described as the biggest scientific experiment in history was powered up in Geneva.

2014 – The first Invictus Games took place at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.

2017 – Hurricane Irma made landfall on Cudjoe Key, Florida  after causing catastrophic damage throughout the Caribbean. Irma resulted in 134 deaths and $64.76 billion (2017 USD) in damage.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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