Word of the day

March 17, 2020

Dyspnea  – difficult or laboured breathing; shortness of breath; an intense tightening in the chest; air hunger, breathlessness; a feeling of suffocation.


Sowell says

March 17, 2020


Rural round-up

March 17, 2020

Federated Farmers calls for fiscal stimulus from government:

Federated Farmers congratulates the Reserve Bank on a decisive monetary policy stimulus in response to the worsening economic situation, cutting the OCR to 0.25%.

“We also strongly support its decision to delay implementation of its tougher requirements for bank capital to help the banking sector support the economy,” Feds President Katie Milne said.

One bank has already agreed to immediately pass on the lower OCR rate to borrowers.  Federated Farmers calls on other banks to follow suit. . .

Supermarket demands for perfection require pesticides – growers say – Bonnie Flaws:

Supermarkets demand perfectly formed fruit and vegetables, but perfection requires pesticides, growers say.

The biggest supermarkets – Countdown, Pak ‘n Save and New World – dictate the colour, shape and size that growers must adhere to in order to get their produce onto their shelves, a large grower says.

The grower, who spoke on condition of anonymity, says that if farmers don’t grow to the specifications, the produce is rejected by supermarket inspectors and must be thrown out. . .

 

Global merino conference in Otago: president says industry better than ever – Sally Rae:

World Federation of Merino Breeders president Will Roberts reckons he has never seen the merino industry has never been so good as it is now.

Mr Roberts and his wife Nada have been in Otago attending the Merino Excellence 2020 Congress, and Mr Roberts also judged at the Wanaka A&P Show.

The couple farm a 13,000ha sheep and cattle property in Queensland, originally bought by Mr Roberts’ family in 1906. The Victoria Downs merino stud was established in 1911. . .

Cowpats, cabers and clouds of soot in showcase of country life – Harry Lock:

Thousands descended on Palmerston North over the weekend to witness cowpat throwing, hay bale stacking and sheep shearing.

While other events across the country were put off, the annual Rural Games went ahead as planned, with the city’s central square transformed into a farmer’s paradise.

Onlookers were treated to a premier experience, with some of the best in the world showcasing their skills. . .

NZ Champions of Cheese medal winners announced:

After judges smelled, crumbled and tasted their way through almost 300 New Zealand cheeses, the medal winners of the NZ Champions of Cheese Awards 2020 have been announced.

Run by the New Zealand Specialist Cheesemakers Association (NZSCA) for the 17th consecutive year, Australian Master Judge Russell Smith oversaw judging on Sunday 23rd February, working with a panel of 25 specialist judges.

NZSCA chair Neil Willman said the judges made special note of the quality and variety of cheese they assessed this year. . .

Grasslands as vital as trees for environment, sheep farmers say :

Livestock farmers have challenged the government’s focus on tree planting and peatland restoration as a means to help nature address climate change.

Wednesday’s budget committed £640 million to be spent on 30,000 hectares of trees, and 35,000 hectares of peatland restoration.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said both the restoration and tree planting are funded by a new Nature for Climate fund.

“This government intends to be the first in history to leave our natural environment in a better state than we found it,” said the chancellor. . .


If this was Foot and Mouth

March 17, 2020

The impact of Covid-19 on tourist businesses is similar to the impact Foot and Mouth disease would have on farming.

If it was a Foot and Mouth outbreak all infected stock and would be culled; road blocks would be set up around the infected area; and all vehicles would be checked to ensure they weren’t transporting animals or raw meat.

I’m not suggesting culling people, but I am questioning whether the government’s response to Covid-19 has been strong enough, as it would if this was Foot and Mouth.

Requiring anyone arriving from overseas to self-isolate for 14 days is good in theory, but how  is it working in practice?

How can you stop a tourist from going to supermarkets or restaurants, visiting attractions, taking part in  activities?

How can you keep returning residents and citizens at home?

We can’t just rely on being geographically remote to protect us.

My daughter has cancer which makes her vulnerable and she has good reason to be scared.

Our health system is over-stretched already.

It won’t cope if the disease becomes wide-spread and we all have to play our part in making sure it doesn’t.

Morgan, a young woman with cancer has a message for those too healthy to worry about Covid-19:

Lucky you, but this isn’t about you. This is about me and the millions of other Americans with underlying health conditions that leave their immune systems compromised. This isn’t about whether or not a healthy person will quickly recover from a virus. This is about keeping the otherwise healthy people out of the hospitals so there is room for the sick. This is about our doctors having to avoid deciding whose life is more important and who deserves to be put on a ventilator and who doesn’t. This is about avoiding the spread of a highly contagious and potentially deadly virus to those who are most vulnerable. . .

We shouldn’t be aiming to flatten the curve, we should be aiming to stop the spread before it starts.

The response to this disease in people should be just as urgent and just as strict as if it was Foot and Mouth in stock.


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