Word of the day

13/11/2020

Eremite – a hermit or recluse, especially one under a religious vow; a member of a religious order who is bound by vows of poverty and chastity and obedience.


Sowell says

13/11/2020


Rural round-up

13/11/2020

MIA wary as second wave hits

New Zealand’s red meat trade continues to generate crucial export revenue but with the full economic impact of covid-19 yet to hit, the industry cannot afford to be complacent.

Meat Industry Association (MIA) chief executive Sirma Karapeeva says the red meat processing and exporting sector has been NZ’s success story during the covid-19 crisis but with further disruptions in the global markets expected, she urged caution. 

“The red meat processing and exporting sector has been a real success story during the covid-19 crisis and continues to generate crucial export revenue for the country when other sectors are facing significant headwinds,” she said. . . 

North Otago farmers call for more fire ponds  – Kayla Hodge:

A large fire has highlighted the need for a greater water supply in one of the “driest areas” in North Otago.

Last month, a blaze in a pine forestry block near Livingstone burnt through 611ha.

At a public meeting with officials last week, farmers asked if there was a plan to install more water in the area, to help fight fires.

One farmer, whose pond was used during the emergency, knew there was no water for the helicopters to use when the October 4 fire started. . . 

How are you dealing with change? :

Farming into the future is changing in New Zealand to meet consumer demand – but change can be scary.

 Sarah’s Country host Sarah Perriam has teamed up with Farmlands to bring you a thought-provoking seminar series at AgFest on November 13-14.

Join the conversation at the Farmlands site during AgFest dealing with change and advice on the season ahead from the Technical and Growth and Innovation teams.
You won’t want to miss these expert panel discussions covering topics specific to West Coast challenges, as well as dealing with national regulation changes. . . 

Car-racing farm manager artificially inseminates more than 25,000 dairy cows in 10-year career :

It is 3.15am on a calm spring morning as Dannevirke dairy farmer Tania Cresswell slides on her gumboots and heads outside.

The 29-year-old manages her parents’ 55-hectare dairy farm at Papatawa, milking 160 predominately Holstein Friesian cows.

Cresswell jumps on to a two-wheeler motorbike, giving it a kick-start. The engine roars to life, piercing the pre-dawn silence.

It is not long before the farm’s 14-aside milking shed starts to fill with cows gently jostling for position and eager to be milked. . . 

LIC invests in first of two start-ups to deliver more value to dairy farmers:

LIC has increased its level of investment in its AgCelerator™ Fund and announced its first two investments designed to deliver more value to New Zealand dairy farmers. The cooperative has confirmed investments in New Zealand-based TrackBack and Mastaplex.

Auckland-based TrackBack uses blockchain technology in the agriculture sector to provide trust and transparency through the supply chain for global confidence in quality, integrity and provenance. Fuelled by the pandemic, traceability is increasingly front of mind for consumers and the data LIC holds on animal health is an important contribution to providing quality assurances for New Zealand dairy farmers.

The other business LIC is investing in is Dunedin-based Mastaplex which has developed a proprietary mastitis testing device, Mastatest®.  . . 

New chief scientist Cathy Foley to get research out of the lab – Sally Whyte:

Australia’s incoming chief scientist wants to help Australia’s “fabulous” research move beyond the laboratory and “turn it into prosperity and impact”.

Dr Cathy Foley, currently the chief scientist at the CSIRO, will take over from Dr Alan Finkel at the start of next year, and she has a long to-do list, much of it continuing the work she has already been doing at the national science research agency.

The world-renowned physicist wants to continue increasing diversity in science, increasing work in national preparedness, and championing “research translation” – moving discoveries beyond the theoretical and into making a difference in people’s lives.

“We’ve got fabulous research in Australia, but everyone knows we haven’t necessarily been able to take that from the laboratory bench turn it into prosperity and impact in a whole range of ways,” Dr Foley said. . . 


Yes Sir Humphrey

13/11/2020


Inconvenience tiny compared with consequences

13/11/2020

Everyone who works in downtown Auckland is being asked to work from home today after the confirmation of another case of Covid-19 in the community:

Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay says Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) has interviewed the person.

The student in her 20s was one of three cases announced at the afternoon media briefing today.

McElnay says the woman’s job is a customer-facing role. She called in sick to work after being tested but went to work after talking to her boss, although she wore a mask. . . 

The worker and her manager will be two of the most unpopular people in the city, given the potential for another cluster and then another increase in lockdown levels.

It’s difficult to understand what motivated the woman who’d tested positive to listen to her manager rather than the advice to isolate and what motivated the manager to tell the staff member to ignore the advice. That isn’t an invitation to unleash invective on them or the business. Who knows what pressure they were under?

But no matter what the motivation or the pressure, they’ve risked the health of a lot of people, increased the threat of another lockdown, and imposed costs and inconvenience on other people and businesses. They’ve also added the cost of a shut-down and deep clean on their own business and almost certainly breached health and safety law.

The message on acting responsibly, using the Covid app or keeping a record of where you’ve been, getting tested if you have symptoms and isolating until you get the result is clear but it obviously isn’t getting through to everyone:

Covid is back in the community, back in Auckland city, threatening to cut short our window of recovery and jolting us out of complacency and slack behaviour, says Auckland Business Chamber CEO, Michael Barnett.

“Our continued freedom of movement is in our hands. The price is simple and so are the guidelines that we can follow to stop another outbreak – stay home if there is the slightest indication of illness, alert the helpline, get tested at one of the pop-up stations being set up across the central city, always sign in using the tracer app, wash your hands, wear a mask and keep a distance,” he said. “Employers need to act responsibly and show care. Tell any of your staff who are not feeling well to stay home and give them the support they need to do what is right for them – and for all of us to keep the virus away. The cost of another lockdown, even if it is possible to localise it to a specific area, is too high for many businesses to bear and the knock on effects will shake confidence, viability and sustainability of jobs.”

Mr Barnett said while most businesses have contingency plans in place if alert levels shift up and can have their staff working remotely as a precaution, the new Auckland case is a stark reminder that we all have to do the right thing to keep the virus away.

“It’s a tiny inconvenience to use the Covid app or jot down where you have been so that the track, trace and isolate processes designed to keep us safe can be activated. Christmas is coming and I am sure no one wants the pandemic grinch to steal it away from us because not all of us could be bothered following the guidelines. So when you are told to stay at home and use the app wherever you go, please do so.”

I wasn’t particularly good at using the app at first but the second Auckland lockdown, and the knowledge that my daughter is vulnerable because she has cancer persuaded me that the inconvenience of acting responsibly is tiny in comparison with the consequences of contracting and spreading Covid-19.


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