Word of the day

February 11, 2020

Malagruze – to cause havoc; put into disorder or disarray; to disparage; to harm physically.


Sowell says

February 11, 2020


Rural round-up

February 11, 2020

All that’s missing is the workforce :

Mid-Canterbury farmer Ryan Esler enjoys an enviable lifestyle – working in the scenic foothills beneath Mt Hutt, jet boating on the Rakaia River, and fishing for fresh salmon.

But it’s becoming harder to attract young people to a career in farming and he believes the industry has a perception problem which needs to be addressed.

“If you start looking at petri dish meat, you’d think farming is doomed but there’s a lot of scope for a lot of different directions.

“When you look at the marketing of wool and merino, the range of products being made now is absolutely incredible. . .

Dry hits hard – Colin Williscroft:

As dry starts to ratchet up the pressure on farmers Central Hawke’s Bay farmer John Waldin has been lucky enough to get some of his stock away to the works but there’s still more that needs to go.

Waldin was pleased to get a call confirming he will be able to send 240 lamb to the works.

Though he’s experienced conditions just as dry as now on his Ashley Clinton property Waldin can’t remember a time when he’s seen such a shortage of grass.

He normally aims to kill lambs at a carcase weight of 18kg-plus but a couple of weeks ago he decided there was not enough feed so drafted at 15kg-plus, with anything lighter likely to be worth more as stores. . . 

Is grass-only still feasible in New Zealand farming? – Jacqueline Rowarth:

Nobody, least of all farmers, wants animals to be hungry – but is grass-only best? Dr Jacqueline Rowarth investigates.

Drought is affecting the country. Holiday makers have been able to enjoy warm temperatures and sunny barbecues, but towns and cities are already on restrictions for watering gardens and washing cars, particularly in the north and east of the North Island.

The situation for farmers is different – it is animals and crops that are the focus.

Farmers in some areas have access to irrigation, but most don’t, and they are increasingly worried about when rain might come. . .

Aussies get a taste of Kiwi – Tony Leggett:

Two enterprising young Australian rural professionals received an amazing insight into New Zealand agriculture during a two-week whistle-stop tour of the country last November.

The pair were joint winners of the 2019 Zanda McDonald Award which is presented annually by the Platinum Primary Producers (PPP), a group of 150 larger scale and influential farm owners and agribusiness professionals from both sides of the Tasman.

The award is open to anyone under 35 and winners receive $2000 in prize money plus a flying trip around properties and agribusinesses on both sides of the Tasman, hosted by members of the PPP group. . . 

 

U.S. dairy subsidies equal 73 percent of producer returns, says new report :

Comparing government support for Canadian versus American dairy farmers is not a simple black and white process. While Canada’s dairy sector operates under a regulated supply management system, the U.S. government’s support for its dairy farmers is less direct.

Support, in its various forms, equaled 73 percent of U.S. dairy farmers’ market returns in 2015, according to a report published by a Canadian trade consulting firm on Thursday.

The 588-page study by Grey, Clark, Shih and Associates — commissioned by Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) — says the American government contributed around $22.2 billion in direct and indirect subsidies to the dairy sector in 2015. . . 

2019 GB potato crop fifth lowest on record :

Total potato production in Great Britain for the 2019 crop has been estimated to be the fifth lowest on record, according to latest figures.

AHDB estimates the figure to be 5.10Mt, which is an increase of 182Kt from last season, but 7% below the five-year average (2014-2018, 5.49Mt).

While total GB production is 4 percent more than last season, it still comes in at the fifth lowest on record.

The 2019 estimated average net yield is 45.6t/ha, up 3.9t/ha from last season and 2% below the five year average (2014-2018, 46.6t/ha). . . 

 


Do you trust him?

February 11, 2020

Does the Prime Minister trust her deputy?

New Zealand First is reviewing its donation practices as the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) decides whether to probe allegations it’s been hiding donations in a slush fund.

No-one with any knowledge of running a political party and campaigns can understand how NZ First could do all it does without getting donations that should be declared.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern now wants a full independent look at political donation laws, and she’s refusing to say whether she trusts New Zealand First leader Winston Peters. . . 

But Jacinda Ardern couldn’t express trust in her Deputy Prime Minister. When Newshub asked if she trusted Peters, she wouldn’t say “yes” or “no” instead replying, “We have an excellent working relationship”. 

Ardern was asked three times but never once said yes she trusts him.

If she doesn’t trust him, how can we?


Maori Party rewriting history

February 11, 2020

The National Party is open to working with the Maori Party should it get back into parliament but the Maori Party would prefer to go left:

National Party leader Simon Bridges has talked about a resurgent Māori Party as a potential ally, but it may not have a willing partner, with the Māori Party President Che Wilson indicating a strong preference for Labour.

“We’re clear that our people align more to Labour and so we are open to having a conversation with Labour.

“If we ever do talk to National it will have to be a big deal for us to move that way again,” Wilson said.

“The perception and reputation by aligning with National affected us.”

“It kicked us out and so it would have to be a pretty impressive package for us to consider it,” he said. . . 

It kicked us out? That is rewriting history.

Then Labour leader Helen Clark referred to the Maori Party as the last cab off the rank but National invited it into coalition when it got into government in 2008 even though National didn’t need the support.

National continued to coalesce with the Maori Party even though it voted against the government considerably more often than it voted with it.

Furthermore National didn’t stand candidates in Maori seats whereas Labour did. In the last election Labour won all of them and, since the Maori Party didn’t get 5% of the vote, it was Labour that kicked them out of parliament.

By stating its preference for Labour the Maori Party is staking its ground to the left with NZ First and the Green Party, reducing its leverage should it get back into parliament.

It is also proving there is no one Maori voice.

Should National be in a position to lead the next government both the Prime Minister and deputy will be Maori, but the Maori Party’s preference for Labour shows those Maori voices don’t count for them.

 


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