Word of the day

03/02/2021

Distintermediation – reduction in or elimination of the use of intermediaries between producers and consumers, for example by investing directly in the securities market rather than through a bank; the removal of intermediaries in economics from a supply chain, or “cutting out the middlemen” in connection with a transaction or a series of transactions; the diversion of savings from accounts with low fixed interest rates to direct investment in high-yielding instruments.


Yes Sir Humphrey

03/02/2021


Rural round-up

03/02/2021

DairyNZ: Climate Commission lays out challenge :

Industry body DairyNZ says the Climate Change Commission’s new report is a welcome acknowledgement of a split gas approach and that methane does not need to reduce to net zero.
DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle said the Commission’s science-based approach is ambitious and challenging for all of New Zealand and farming is no exception.

Dr Mackle said the Climate Change Commission proposals and underlying assumptions will be closely examined over the next few weeks, in particular the biogenic methane targets and advice on reducing stock numbers.

“The short-term 2030 and 2035 methane targets are ambitious, making the next 10-15 years the most important for adapting farm systems and investment in research and development solutions  for agriculture,” said Dr Mackle. . .

Whaling a most unhelpful analogy:

“Climate Commission chair Rod Carr’s suggestion that New Zealand farmers could go the way of the whalers is an extremely unhelpful start to the six week consultation of his draft carbon emissions budget,” says ACT Primary Industries spokesperson Mark Cameron.

“Asked on radio this morning whether the Commission accepted that New Zealand farmers already produce the lowest carbon-impact beef and dairy in the world, Dr Carr said ‘Given the way we produce it that is true, but being the best whale hunters in the world didn’t protect the whaling fleets.’

“To use as an analogy an industry that wasn’t only unsustainable but which has been outlawed in most jurisdictions because the vast majority of the world considers it to be morally reprehensible is extremely unhelpful.

“This sort of rhetoric risks taking us back to a sort of ‘them and us’ stand-off between farmers and the environmental lobby. . . 

Climate report set up fight over herd sizes – Mark Daalder:

The Climate Change Commission wants the primary sector to reduce livestock herds to reduce emissions, but some farmers aren’t so keen, Marc Daalder reports

The Climate Change Commission proved its independence on Sunday when it broke a political taboo in proposing one way to reduce methane emissions from the agricultural sector: Have fewer cows.

While the Commission estimated current policy settings would already lead to an eight to 10 percent reduction in the size of the national cow – and sheep – herds by 2030, it said something on the order of 15 percent would be crucial for meeting emissions reduction targets.

At issue is the thorny problem of biogenic methane, which is produced by decomposing organic matter (the waste sector is responsible for 10 percent of biogenic methane emissions) and the natural digestive processes of ruminant animals, including cows, sheep and goats (the other 90 percent).  . . 

Fonterra lifts its 2020/21 forecast Farmgate Milk Price range:

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited today lifted its 2020/21 forecast Farmgate Milk Price range to NZD $6.90 – $7.50 per kgMS, up from NZD $6.70 – $7.30 per kgMS.

The midpoint of the range, which farmers are paid off, has increased to NZD $7.20 per kgMS.

Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell says the lift in the 2020/21 forecast Farmgate Milk Price range is a result of strong demand for dairy, which is demonstrated by the continued increase in Global Dairy Trade (GDT) prices since the Co-op last revised its milk price at the beginning of December.

“In particular, we’ve seen strong demand from China and South East Asia for whole milk powder (WMP) and skim milk powder (SMP), which are key drivers of the milk price. . . 

Surge in demand sees AWDT double intake :

A leading governance and leadership programme for primary sector women is doubling its 2021 intake in response to surging demand from aspiring female leaders across New Zealand’s food and fibre sectors, and rural communities.

The Next Level programme is researched, designed and delivered by the Agri-Women’s Development Trust (AWDT) and runs across two North Island and two South Island intakes in 2021.

“Offering Next Level more widely is a response to the change in mindset of many primary sector women. They are recognising their value as leaders and choosing to step up as agents of positive change, without the need for permission or position,” AWDT general manager Lisa Sims said.

The six-month programme takes a strength-based approach, empowering women to understand their leadership style, define their personal “why” and design their roadmap to making a positive impact for the people and places they care about. . . 

Ni-Vanuatu seasonal workers will arrive in New Zealand next week

Around 900 Ni-Vanuatu seasonal workers will soon travel to New Zealand for work under the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme.

Last November, the New Zealand government granted a border exception for up to 2000 experienced Pacific Island RSE workers to address labour shortages.

Local media in Vanuatu report that of the quota for the Pacific, Ni-Vanuatu make up 45 percent of the RSE labour for the February to March intake. . . 

Well-established avocado orchard with huge expansion potential placed on the market for sale :

A well-established and highly-productive avocado orchard in the heart of Whangarei’s foremost avocado growing district – and with the potential to double its production capacity – has been placed on the market for sale.

The 40.1-hectare property at Maungatapere on the western outskirts of Whangarei sits in a volcanic soil valley which was once a dairy and beef farming strong-hold, but is now Whangarei’s most concentrated conglomeration of avocado orchards due to the location’s deep fertile volcanic soil base.

The generally rectangular-shaped orchard for sale at 38 Kokopu Block Road features 10 blocks planted with 1,566 Hass on Zutano rootstock currently under production. Replacement clonal trees have also been planted to fill in all the gaps, and will further boost production over the coming seasons. . . 


Yes Sir Humphrey

03/02/2021


Captain Sir Tom Moore – 30.4.20 – 2.2.21

03/02/2021

The centenarian who inspired the world with his fundraising efforts for the UK’s National Health Service,  Captain Sir Tom Moore,  has died.

Captain Sir Tom Moore has died with coronavirus.

The 100-year-old, who raised almost £33m for NHS charities by walking laps of his garden, was admitted to Bedford Hospital on Sunday.

The Queen led tributes to Capt Sir Tom, “recognising the inspiration he provided for the whole nation and others across the world”.

His daughters said they “shared laughter and tears” with their father in their final few hours together.

Announcing his death, Hannah Ingram-Moore and Lucy Teixeira said the last year of their father’s life had been “nothing short of remarkable”

The Army veteran won the nation’s hearts by walking 100 laps of his garden in Marston Moretaine in Bedfordshire last year during the first lockdown, raising money for NHS Charities Together.

He was credited with lifting the nation’s spirits and his saying “Tomorrow will be a good day” trended on social media. . . . 


Have they learned?

03/02/2021

Southern hospitals have a bad case of bed-block:

Southerners who have already endured more than 21 months’ delay receiving an operation are being placed back on waiting lists due to bed block.

Unless the issue was taken seriously and tackled urgently, the problem would continue unabated, Southern District Health Board chief executive Chris Fleming said in a report to be considered by the board tomorrow.

“The impact of these challenges is added burden of stress on our staff, potential harm for patients, and cancellation of planned patients due to lack of resourced beds.

“This must change, and we need to have a very clear focus on this with urgency.” . . 

The problem isn’t new, nor is it confined to the south.

For several months the SDHB has being try to manage high hospital occupancy, a phenomenon also noted by many other hospitals around the country.

DHBs are still trying to find the cause of the problem, but suspect it may be because patients who would normally have been treated during Covid-19 lockdown were now being admitted to hospital more seriously ill than they were beforehand, and needing longer treatment time for more complex conditions.

The patients who were now missing out on operations were among those who had waited the longest for surgery, Mr Fleming said. . . 

We know how many people contracted Covid-19 and how many died. We will probably never know how many people had deteriorating health and quality of life, had to wait longer for treatment and how many died sooner than they would have had they been treated earlier.

It didn’t need to be this bad.

When the country first locked down, closing all hospitals for all but the most urgent cases was prudent.

Nobody knew what would happen and experience overseas showed how quickly hospitals could be overwhelmed by patients with Covid-19.

But once it was obvious that the disease had peaked and numbers contracting it were declining, why couldn’t some hospitals have been left to deal with Covid patients while the rest got on with treating other patients?

That this didn’t happen during the first lockdown might was bad enough, that it didn’t happen when Auckland was locked down a second time showed the government hadn’t learned from earlier mistakes.

The shortcomings that led to the most recent community case and ineptitude in handling it shows failure to learn isn’t confined to hospital policy and that is eroding trust.

. . . Any new outbreak will have major health, economic and social costs. But there will also be another significant casualty.

Until now, politicians and public health officials have been able to draw on their social capital, the trust they have earned. But that trust is conditional.

If leaders are seen as failing to act and letting foreseeable failures happen, that has the potential to seriously weaken the collective support and compliance that is absolutely pivotal for current public health measures.The Conversation

The changing narrative from front of the queue for vaccines to prevaricating over when they’ll get there is doing nothing to bolster confidence in government, and ministry, capability that has been eroded by evidence that neither have learned from mistakes.

That is very concerning because without trust and confidence, maintaining compliance will be much harder if, or as is likely, when there’s a need for another lockdown.

 


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