Word of the day


Elimination – the complete removal or destruction of something; the act, process, or an instance of eliminating or discharging;  the process of getting rid of something, eg waste, errors, or the competition; the expulsion of waste matter from the body; a type of chemical reaction involving the loss of a simple molecule, such as water or carbon dioxide; the process of  removing from several possible answers the ones that are unlikely to be correct until only one is left; the process of solving a system of simultaneous equations by using various techniques to remove the variables successively; the  act of causing a quantity to disappear from an equation; a game, bout, or match in a tournament in which an individual or team is eliminated from the competition after one defeat.

Sowell says


Rural round-up


Farmers must bide their time – Annette Scott:

The probability of a global recession is growing along with the likelihood of reduced consumer spending in all red meat markets.

The covid-19 pandemic has shifted demand for red meat away from food service to eating at home, Beef + Lamb chief economist Andrew Burtt said.

Just how long that will take to reverse will depend on how long it takes people to be comfortable to eat out in restaurants again.

The key for New Zealand across the supply chain will be maintaining integrity, reliability and consistency. . .

Disaster plans made – Toni Williams:

Vicki and Hamish Mee are planning a ‘‘worst case scenario’’ for stock at their Mid Canterbury free-farm piggery.

The Mees run Le Mee Farms and also have a cropping operation.

Their planning follows restrictions during the lockdown period which stop independent butchers from opening, and make any sale of pork limited to supermarket stores, other processors or retailers which were open.

As imported pork was still allowed, the Mees were preparing themselves for a different future market post-lockdown. . .

Backing ‘best fibre in the world’ – Sally Rae:

Long-time wool advocate Craig Smith says his new role as chairman of the National Council of New Zealand Wool Interests is about “championing the cause of wool”.

The council is an association of organisations engaged in the production, testing, merchandising, processing, spinning and weaving of wool and allied fibres.

Mr Smith, who is general manager of Devold Wool Direct, was the first New Zealander to be appointed to the global executive committee of the International Wool Textile Organisation, and he has also been heavily involved with Campaign for Wool, a global project initiated by Prince Charles. . . 

Meat plants back to near normal – Neal Wallace:

Meat processing throughput could be back at close to maximum on Tuesday when the country’s covid-19 response level drops to level three.

Final protocols are still to be confirmed but level three restrictions should enable meat processing to be close to full production, helping address the backlog of stock waiting to be killed, which has blown out to six weeks, Alliance livestock and shareholder services general manager Danny Hailes says.

At level three social distancing between workers drops from 2m, to 1m.

That should allow throughput for sheep to rise from  50% to 90% of plant capacity and beef from 70% to 100%. . . .

Online auction takes off – Annette Scott:

A handshake still carries weight for livestock trading firm Peter Walsh and Associates but with covid-19 it has been forced to change tack.

The lockdown changed that handshake to a tap on a keyboard as the company held to its first Livebid online auction last week. 

“With no saleyard operation we had to find new ways of moving livestock so we said ‘let’s keep it on the farm’,” Peter Walsh said.

With a smart back office team and the latest technology the independent livestock broker came up with Livebid. . .

Full fields, empty fridges – Laura Reiley:

Farmers in the upper Midwest euthanize their baby pigs because the slaughterhouses are backing up or closing, while dairy owners in the region dump thousands of gallons of milk a day. In Salinas, Calif., rows of ripe iceberg, romaine and red-leaf lettuce shrivel in the spring sun, waiting to be plowed back into the earth.

Drone footage shows a 1.5-mile-long line of cars waiting their turn at a drive-through food bank in Miami. In Dallas, schools serve well north of 500,000 meals on each service day, cars rolling slowly past stations of ice chests and insulated bags as food service employees, volunteers and substitute teachers hand milk and meal packets through the windows.

Across the country, an unprecedented disconnect is emerging between where food is produced and the food banks and low-income neighborhoods that desperately need it. American farmers, ranchers, other food producers and poverty advocates have been asking the federal government to help overcome breakdowns in a food distribution system that have led to producers dumping food while Americans go hungry. . .

When politicians and advertisers preach


If any more advertisers tell me to “be kind” I’m going to throw a brick through the television.

This tweet was posted a couple of weeks ago and stuck with me.

Kindness is one the the values I value. The world would be a much better place if we had a lot more of it.

But the exhortation to be kind from advertisers and politicians induces thoughts in me that are anything but kind.


I think it’s partly because the lockdown has uncovered my inner contrarian.

Farming is an essential business and I spend a lot of time at home alone in normal circumstances so my day to day life hasn’t altered much. I realise this puts me in much better circumstances than a lot of other people.

But because I can’t go where I want to, when I want to and with whom I want to, I really, really want to.

Strong as the temptation is,  I’m resisting it and doing as I’m told – staying home and as the ads and politicians keep telling me, staying safe.

But I don’t like it and I like being preached at even less, especially by advertisers and politicians.

I am old enough to remember when kindness started at home and the moral and ethical foundation established there was reinforced at school and backed up at Sunday school and church, in the days when most children went there.

I like to think that kindness still starts in most homes, that it’s reinforced at school and while far fewer people are regular church goers these days, they still play a role in moral guidance not by preaching at us, but by teaching and providing good examples through their actions.

Why then do advertisers and politicians feel the need to preach at us?

If they were leading by example I might be inspired to follow.

But when they preach at me, that inner contrarian comes out and rather than feeling positive about the message I start thinking some very unkind thoughts about the messengers.

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