Word of the day

16/04/2021

Forspent – exhuasted, worn-out; financially exhausted.


Yes Sir Humphrey

16/04/2021


Rural round-up

16/04/2021

Feds: live export ban ‘surprising’ – Simon Edwards:

The government’s announcement this morning that live export of animals will be banned after a transition period of up to two years has come as a surprise to Federated Farmers, Feds animal welfare spokesperson Wayne Langford says.

“The Minister has said this is all about protecting New Zealand’s reputation as the most ethical producer of food in the world.

“Those farmers who support livestock exports would point out our trade in this sector operates to some of the highest animal welfare standards anywhere – standards that were further bolstered after last year’s Heron Report,” Wayne said.

“Our farmers care deeply about animal welfare. The government has seen fit to bring in this ban but Federated Farmers has no information about any breaches of the high standards relating to livestock exports.” . . 

Better safe than sorry – Ross Nolly:

Health and safety on the farm is an obligation which many farmers are meeting but an online tool is helping to simplify their recording practices.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And never is that saying truer than when it comes to Health and Safety (H&S) protocols on a farm.

Being proactive with H&S is always better than reactive and can potentially save you money. But more importantly, it could save a life or prevent a serious injury to family and employees on the farm.

With this in mind, Megan Owen started her business Orange Cross. Created by farmers for farmers, it is a tool to help farmers fulfil their H&S obligations. She and husband Jason are 50:50 sharemilkers on a 185ha dairy farm near Hamilton, Waikato, where they milk 520 cows. . . 

Dairy not sold on CCC advice – Neal Wallace:

The Climate Change Commission is being overly optimistic by claiming dairy farmers can produce the same volume of milk from less cows and in the process generate less methane, says DairyNZ.

The commission suggests a 15% reduction in farmed livestock numbers below 2018 levels is possible without compromising production due to improved animal performance, enabling biogenic methane targets to be met without new technology.

It claims farmers can run fewer cows on less land yet achieve the same or more milksolids per cow, generating less methane per kilogram of milksolids.

DairyNZ disagrees. . . 

Still trialling, despite his 80-plus years – Toni Williams:

Elder statesman Harvey Eggleston is the oldest member of the Mayfield Collie Club.

Mr Eggleston (82) was at Hakatere Station, in the Mid Canterbury high country, last month to celebrate the club’s centennial dog trial event.

He has been with the club 34 years but has a 60-year history in dog trials, having earlier been involved with the Oxford Collie Club.

He and wife Annette were seeking the sun when they moved from a 283ha sheep and beef farm at View Hill, near Oxford, to farm firstly at Valetta in Mid Canterbury, then to a sheep and beef farm, with dairy grazing, at Alford Forest. . . 

Horizons decision on Plan Change 2 brings certainty for farmers – Simon Edwards:

Federated Farmers and DairyNZ are pleased the Horizons Regional Council has adopted the recommendations of the Independent Hearing Panel for Proposed Plan Change 2.

“This gives some certainty for farmers who have been in limbo,” Federated Farmers National President and Manawatu dairy farmer Andrew Hoggard says.

“Importantly, PC2 is an interim measure, intended to address the pressing issue about the One Plan’s workability while a more fundamental, region-wide work programme is completed to give effect to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020.” . . 

Study shows consumers view ag as part of the solution to climate change :

When it comes to climate change, consumers view agriculture as a part of the solution rather than the problem. Among participants in Cargill’s recent global Feed4Thought survey, those who indicated climate change as important to them also rated livestock and agriculture lowest in negative impact compared with other industries generally regarded as significant contributors. More than one-third of respondents expressed confidence in the industry’s ability to limit its contributions to climate change.    

“Farmers are critical to feeding the world sustainably and responsibly,” said Ruth Kimmelshue, who leads Cargill’s animal nutrition & health business. “With a growing population and rising consumer interest in climate change, they are also part of the solution to address some of the toughest environmental challenges. At Cargill, our focus continues to be advocating for farmers by supporting and amplifying efforts to reduce their environmental footprint, methane emissions and, in turn, climate impact.”

Cargill’s Feed4Thought survey included responses from 2,510 consumers representing the U.S., France, South Korea, and Brazil. From among all participants, transportation and deforestation were ranked as the greatest contributors to climate change. According to consumers surveyed, who’s most responsible for accelerating change? Fifty-nine percent said that federal and national governments bear the highest responsibility for addressing climate change, while 57 percent saw companies involved in beef production and 50 percent saw cattle farmers as responsible for reducing the impact of livestock. . . 


Yes Sir Humphrey

16/04/2021


Who’s responsible?

16/04/2021

The government told us they went hard and early.

They didn’t. They were lax and late and then harsh.

Lax because they trusted people to self-isolate when they came in from overseas; late in closing the border and requiring managed isolation and quarantine; and then harsh in the arbitrary definition of essential rather than safe for determining which businesses could open during lockdown levels four and three.

The government and the Ministry of Health (MoH) told us there was enough PPE.

There wasn’t.

The government and the MoH told us there was enough ‘flu vaccine.

There wasn’t.

The government and the MoH assured us that MIQ staff were being tested regularly.

Time and time again we’ve found they were not.

The government and the MoH told us we’d be at the front of the queue for vaccinations.

We’re not.

The government and the MoH have given us a variety of numbers for border staff and the percentage who are vaccinated.

We can’t know which, if any, can be relied on.

The government and MoH told us to only believe what came from the podium of truth.

Too often the media and opposition have showed us facts that contradict those utterances.

The government and MoH ought to have systems that keep Covid-19 at the border.

The debacles this week show that the systems are full of holes.

As Duncan Grieve writes, a system that can be hacked by lying isn’t a good system:

Whether or not the worker who has been infected lied, is disputed. What isn’t disputed is that the system wouldn’t have picked up lies.

Which is why we’re in this situation – the company designed and the ministry accepted a system which could be broken by the simple act of lying. Which is not a system at all – it’s a code, a wish, a vibe. . . 

Any system which relies on individual honesty is inevitably going to break, and duty of care as an employer should not allow frontline workers to be put in this position. 

So it seems fair to ask what would be the bigger lie: an individual signing a false declaration about testing. Or the New Zealand public being told that testing was already mandatory and occurring.

Who’s responsible for the system and the failures?

Who’s been telling us, time and time again, that testing was both mandatory and occurring?

Who’s shown themselves incapable of learning from repeated mistakes and shortcomings?

The government and the MoH.


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