Skelf – a splinter or sliver of wood; a tiny amount of something; a slight, thin or diminutive person; troublesome or annoying person.
China’s demand for New Zealand’s beef, lamb and mutton is forecast to propel both sheepmeat and beef exports past the $4 billion mark for the first time.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s (B+LNZ) New Season Outlook 2019-20 report forecasts beef, lamb and mutton prices to lift from historically high levels, helped by continuing strong export demand and an expected weakening of the New Zealand dollar.
“We have forecast increases in farm-gate prices for beef, lamb and mutton in 2019-20, because small increases in in-market prices are expected to be further assisted by an easing of the New Zealand dollar,” says B+LNZ Chief Economist Andrew Burtt. . .
Agriculture Minister O’Connor under fire at Gore meeting – Rachael Kelly:
The Minister of Agriculture refused to accept that the Government is affecting farmers’ balance sheets.
O’Connor fronted up to a Ministry for the Environment freshwater consultation meeting in Gore attended by about 400 farmers on Thursday.
He told farmers to “get over it” when he was questioned about farmers’ equity.
While he told the crowd the one thing the Government needed to front up to was how banks were treating farmers at the moment, it wasn’t long before a heckler said it was O’Connor’s Government that was driving the equity out of farmer’s balance sheets. . .
Farmers urged to have say on water – Yvonne O’Hara:
Southland Federated Farmers president Geoffrey Young can see why some farmers could become disheartened and consider giving up their farms if they continue to get hammered by new regulatory requirements and increasing compliance costs.
He has done the maths on the impact the Government’s proposed Essential Freshwater rules would likely have on his ability to earn a living from his 5400ha hill country sheep and beef Cattle Flat Station, near Balfour.
It runs about 15,000 stock units including 8000 breeding ewes and 550 cows, on mainly hill country. . .
City slickers need to clean up their own backyard before criticising farmers, top New Zealand chef Al Brown says.
Brown, who owns restaurants in Auckland and Wellington, slammed “urban keyboard warriors” in a Facebook post aimed at defending farmers.
During a weekend in rural Raglan, Brown said he was impressed by the “extraordinary beauty of the NZ countryside”.
“Farm after farm in beautiful condition…..we witnessed many new plantings of native trees, fenced off waterways and blocks of old established bush breaking up the pastural land and providing ample shade for the stock,” he said in the Facebook post. . .
Small jars of New Zealand Mānuka honey are about to go on sale in the UK for nearly $3000 each.
The ‘super’ honey is collected by helicopter from remote parts of the North Island where there are heavy concentrations of Mānuka trees.
The high price is driven by a limited supply. A thousand jars only will be available exclusively from Harrods. While most of New Zealand’s Mānuka honey does not command such an extravagant price there is strong and growing demand internationally. . .
Nelson man takes Young Grower of the Year – Angie Skerrett:
A Nelson man with a strong family connection to horticulture in the region has been named as New Zealand Young Grower of the Year 2019.
Jono Sutton was announced as the winner at an awards dinner in Tauranga on Wednesday night.
As the regional Nelson finalist he was up against six other contestants from around New Zealand.
The finalists were tested on a range of practical tasks and theory during the week, culminating in the awards presentation. . .
Sour milk: how are US dairy farmers coping? – Lindsay Campbell:
US farming has seen better days.
Matt Moreland has taken what little hope he had left in dairy farming and put it behind him.
Moreland, who comes from three generations of dairy farmers, thought that after graduating from college he would follow that path as well.
But with the decline of milk prices and uncertainty of the industry’s future, he says it didn’t take long for him to come up with other ways to pay the bills. . .
Morals were the reason behind the sudden resignation of NZ First president Lester Gray:
New Zealand First party president Lester Gray has quit the party, citing his refusal to sign off financial reports for ‘moral’ reasons.
A resignation letter reveals Gray took his stand against signing the party’s 2019 reports with a claim he has been kept in the dark over party expenditure and donations, leaving him unable to put his name to them with confidence. . .
In Gray’s resignation letter, obtained by Stuff, he raises issues around communication with senior party officials and uncertainty over financial dealings.
“I refuse to sign off the 2019 Financial Reports with the information I have been provided,” he wrote.
“As President, the limited exposure I have had to Party donations and expenditure leaves me in a vulnerable position.
“This type of operation does not align with my moral and business practice values, and I am therefore not able to support the Party any longer.”
Gray also stated there was “insufficient communication and support from senior members of the Party for me to effectively function as the President“. . .
Is anyone surprised?
A friend with shares in a race horse received a letter before the last election seeking a contribution towards a generous donation to New Zealand First.
Was any donation like this, or from fishing and forestry interests which benefit from its policies, declared? No, and time after time, this party is the only one in parliament that never declares any sizable donations.
It isn’t so much a party as a principality presided over by Winston Peters whose word is law.
NZ First presents an ongoing risk to our reputation for openness, transparency and, relatively, low rates of corruption.
It is a carbuncle on the hide of democracy. Dare we hope that this news might prompt someone to lance it?