Word of the day


Blashie – a sudden and forceful shower of rain, a squall;  wet and windy; an outburst of temper.

Which do we believe?


The PM dismisses a nation-wide lockdown.

Her deputy says:

An urgent Cabinet committee meeting is taking place at 4pm where deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says a full lockdown of the country and the closure of its borders will be discussed.

Which story do we believe?

Sowell says


Rural round-up


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. . .

Turning personal challenge into positive life-changing journey:

Dairy farm manager Chelsea Smith from the King Country has turned a personal challenge that blindsided her into a positive life changing journey.

“That’s when I went to the farm owners and just said, look, as much as I love farming and the farm, I’m unable to do another season just due to personal reasons.”

Keen to retain Chelsea the farm owners came back to her with different options and after some time off travelling overseas she returned to take up a role overseeing four farming operations near Otorohanga in the Central North Island. . .

Cattle breeders focus on quality – Neal Wallace:

British Hereford breeders are cautiously optimistic the hardy breed will help them through any post-Brexit regulatory uncertainty.

United Kingdom Hereford Cattle Society president Mark Roberts says with the UK in the throes of leaving the European Union future subsidies to farmers being considered by the government are likely to be linked to environmental issues and not production.

They will primarily be targeted at arable or land that can be cultivated and not land in permanent pasture. . .

Fonterra reports its interim result :

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited today announced its 2020 Interim Results, which show the Co-operative’s financial performance has improved with increased underlying earnings and reduced debt.

Interim Results Summary
  • Total group normalised Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT): $584 million, up from $312 million
  • Total group EBIT: $806 million, up from $312 million
  • Normalised Net Profit After Tax: $293 million, up from $72 million
  • Reported Net Profit After Tax: $501 million, up from $72 million
  • Free cash flow: $369 million, up from $(782) million
  • Net debt: $5.8 billion, down from $7.4 billion. . 

Farmer’s Voice: excerpting Kiwi ingenuity:

Taranaki dairy farmer Kane Brisco has always had a passion for keeping fit and healthy and understood the positive effects it can have both physically and mentally.

Driven by this passion, Kane set up and outdoor training class where he endeavors to inspire the rural community about the importance of exercise in a rural lifestyle. 

Four years has given rise to many topics down on the farm – Joyce Wyllie:

“I am willing to open myself again and add another commitment to the list of ‘what I do with my spare time!’.” The last sentence of the first column I wrote way back on February 20, 2016 and amazingly here I am mid-March 2020 pondering column number 100.

Woohoo… beginning four years ago I never considered that a century of two-weekly typing with single-finger tappings would roll around. Often I’m asked how it came about that a farming ex-veterinarian with nil journalistic experience contributes regular compositions to the paper.

I confess that one day after re-reading yet more articles previously printed in recent farming mags, I sent a hasty email to the Nelson Mail editor offering my cheeky opinion that something fresh in the rural pages would be good. Her response was a positive “We would be delighted to be able to run a fortnightly column from a rural woman on our Primary Focus page each alternate Tuesday” . . .


How seriously is NZ taking covid-19?


A Facebook post from a recent arrival to New Zealand:

Maree Glading

Hi All! We have arrived safely in Auckland and are now in a hotel waiting out our isolation period. I wanted to make everyone aware of what we experienced at the airport this morning.

There was no mention on the plane or information handed out explaining self isolation enforcement and what was involved.

No information was handed out at the airport arrivals. We were given a card where we had to give a contact address (not an isolation address) – no one asked us where we were staying or if we understood our obligations when isolating. No temperature checks.

A handful of staff wearing masks. Lots of people in the arrival area land side waiting to greet and pick up people from category 1 countries – are they now going to isolate too?

A man in front of me in the queue was from the UK, I heard him tell immigration that he was here for 2 weeks. He then grabs a NZ tourism brochure on his way pass – something tells me he doesn’t plan to isolate!

The whole process is a joke! We are an island we can easily stop this virus by shutting our borders down and geo targeting everyone who has to isolate and enforcing a fine if they go out of their isolation area. I’m disappointed and I’m concerned. Any ideas on how we can feed this through to the government better procedures and enforcements need to be in place.

We were supposed to be hosting a 90th birthday for around 100 people on Saturday.

I phoned a couple of friends who are doctors and both told me to cancel it.

They said cases of Covid-19 are increasing in New Zealand, a 90 year-old would be very vulnerable, as would a lot of the guests and it would be very unwise to go ahead with the party.

I took their advice seriously.

The Facebook post suggests that the government, and at least some of its agencies, are not yet taking their response to Covid-19 as seriously as they should be.

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