Phloem – the living tissue of vascular plants that conducts food produced by photosynthesis to all parts of the plant and consists of sieve elements, fibers, and parenchyma; the complex tissue, which acts as a transport system for soluble organic compounds within vascular plants; the bast or liber portion of a vascular bundle, or the region of a vascular bundle or axis with secondary thickening which contains sieve-tubes; the stringy bit of bananas.
Farm know-how needed to improve M bovis programme – Neal Wallace:
Ben and Sarah Walling have experienced every possible emotion in their dealings with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) during three Mycoplasma bovis incidents on their Southland farm, but their overriding sentiment is to laugh.
“You’ve got to learn to laugh about it or it just eats you up,” Ben, a Five Rivers calf rearer and bull finisher, said.
Despite that, he has a daily reminder of his situation; an ongoing legal dispute involving “hundreds of thousands of dollars” compensation sought from MPI, which he attributes to a rigid and inflexible system that ignores the reality of farming.
The dispute relates to the impact of falling beef schedule prices and supply contracts being cancelled while his compensation claim was settled. . .
MPI failed farmers – Sudesh Kissun:
Ashburton farmer Frank Peters, who was forced to cull stock twice in three years, says the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has failed farmers.
Peters, who milks 1,400 cows all year-round on the family farm told Rural News that a recent University of Otago study that found the Government’s response to the 2017 Mycoplasma bovis outbreak was poorly managed and inflicted significant and lasting trauma on farmers was on the mark.
The two-year study included extensive interviews with farmers impacted by M. bovis in Southland and Otago.
Peters told Rural News that he would expect similar anecdotes from farmers whose stock were ravaged by the disease. . .
The government should be applauded for a proper consultation process on replacement RMA legislation but Federated Farmers has significant concerns about local democracy being stripped away.
Reacting to the release today of an ‘exposure’ draft of the Natural and Built Environments Act, Feds Vice-President and resource management spokesperson Karen Williams said it was pleasing this initial round of submissions and select committee inquiry would be followed by a second select committee process early next year.
“If the poor process around the production of the unworkable Essential Freshwater regulations has taught us anything, it is to carry out a thorough and genuine consultation process, as distinct from the secret and exclusive process that led to that mess.
“A two-step consultation process for this first phase of replacement resource management laws is welcome,” Karen said. . .
Polar blast hits South Island – Neal Wallace:
Farmers are taking in their stride the first cold polar blast of winter, which has dumped up to 100mm of snow in parts of the South Island and is making its way up the North Island.
Plenty of advanced warning and the fact it has arrived in the middle of winter means farmers have not been caught out, although the snow has caused some access problems in Otago.
The snow missed flood-hit parts of Mid and South Canterbury, although the region has not avoided the single-digit wind chill.
WeatherWatch lead forecaster Phil Duncan describes it as a classic, normal winter polar blast, but for some areas in the path of the storm it will be the first snowfall for a number of years. . .
A total of ten tools and calculators can now be used by farmers and growers to get an understanding of their current agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.
He Waka Eke Noa Programme Director Kelly Forster says the second set of tools and calculators has been assessed, following the first tranche earlier this year. Assessed tools now include: Foundation for Arable Research’s (FAR) ProductionWise, Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s GHG calculator (available in July), and Toitū’s Farm emanage.
The full list and the industries they cover: . . .
Try the word sorry for size anti-meat academics told – Shan Goodwin:
RED meat’s overarching representative body has taken direct aim at academics espousing anti-meat rhetoric in a sign industry leaders are fighting back hard on unsubstantiated claims made in the name of promoting plant-based products.
The Red Meat Advisory Council has written to the vice-chancellor and principal of The University of Sydney, Professor Stephen Garton, demanding a public apology for a university-branded media alert on the new food labeling senate inquiry.
The inquiry is looking into the use of words like meat and beef on the packaging of plant-based products that do not contain any animal products. . .
Labour’s Car Tax is not only forcing hardworking Kiwis to pay more because they can’t switch to an electric vehicle, but it’s pushing up the prices of electric vehicles too, National’s Transport spokesperson Michael Woodhouse says.
“EV importers have seen the price of a used electric vehicle increase by $3000 only three days after Labour announced its Car Tax, almost matching the subsidy you could get from buying a used low-emission vehicle.
“It’s basic economics. If you’re giving someone more money to pay for a product it’s only going to drive up the cost. Most of the Government’s subsidy will end up going directly into the pockets of Japanese used-EV exporters.
“Transport Minister Michael Wood’s officials were told exactly this by the industry, but the Government ignored that advice.
“So now not only will ute drivers be expected to pay for EVs when they don’t have any other options, but most of that tax will be shipped offshore.
“National will repeal Labour’s Car Tax.”
The government gave students more money and rents went up.
The government has tried various initiatives to make it easier for people to buy first homes & prices always go up.
It is indeed basic economics – buyers and sellers respond to price signals. Giving buyers more money is a signal to sellers that they can charge more.
Why oh why, doesn’t the government learn from it’s past mistakes?
Flapdoodler – a speaker of nonsense; a deliverer of twaddle and flimflam; someone whose behaviour, idea, speaking, is silly or stupid.
Very recently a scientific paper was put out looking at the greenhouse gas and nutritional impacts of replacing meat in the average diet. The paper Lifetime Climate Impacts of Diet Transitions, with input from a number of very well respected scientists across a range of fields, found that the emissions reductions for a person who abstained from meat for a lifetime were very small – only 2 to 4%. It also highlighted the risk of them missing out on key nutrients.
It wasn’t so much the findings of this paper that I am most interested or excited by, rather the methodology that went into it. Two items really stick out: firstly, the fact that the paper includes nutrition understanding as well as climate science. Far too often when the subject of agricultural emissions come up, the full picture/understanding is omitted in favour of a narrow, siloed view.
The problem with this approach is that it fails to recognise choices are never as simple as portrayed. For example, if we get rid of all animal agriculture and only have plant-based ag, what happens to all the crop waste? Think of the most common plants we grow for food: how much of that plant is consumed by humans? Quite often, less than half. The rest we can feed to animals, which convert it into edible protein. . .
‘Shearing sheep was in my blood’ – David Hill:
An eight-month student exchange was enough to convince Diane Webster that New Zealand was the place to be.
The Dunsandel-based shearing contractor first visited New Zealand from the United Kingdom on a student exchange in the 1980s.
“I had always been in sheep farming. My dad was a sheep farmer and a stock truck driver and he used to shear sheep in the summertime, so shearing sheep was in my blood.”
She learned to shear while at agricultural college in the UK and when she first came to New Zealand, the host farmer encouraged her to do a shearing course so she could shear in this country, too. . .
Hospo life quite a ride – Ashley Smyth:
Hospo life seems to sit well with former Manuwatu farmers Craig and Blanche Sturgess.
It has been a “learning curve” for the couple, who bought the former Enfield School in 2016, converting the classrooms into a welcoming home, with bed and breakfast accommodation.
“We came from farming, which is not an easy lifestyle, so we’ve never been afraid of work, that’s for sure. And that’s just as well, because it is undoubtedly more work than I had thought it would be, but certainly not more work than we can handle,” Mr Sturgess said.
The business was perfectly placed on the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail. Visitors tended to stop off after the long cycle from Kurow, and before the last push to Oamaru the next day. . .
Working 12+ hour shifts outdoors in bitter Northern winter temperatures of minus 45 degrees, would send most school leavers shuddering under their duvets, but not Agcarm’s most recent scholarship winner, Gemma Neve. The Massey University student, originally from Australia’s iconic Bondi beach, not only embraced the challenge of working with huskies in Finland but thrived on it. Realising “an obsession with the North and the Northern Lights”, she secured a winter job-stay at a husky farm in Lapland. “Within a week, run ragged by long days with no sunlight, feeding 250 dogs, running dog teams and constantly wiggling my toes to slow the frostbite down,” she says she knew she was staying.
The dogs and the wilderness captivated Gemma and her initial three-month stint at Hetta Huskies kennel farm turned into five years – braving every winter there. Initially employed as a dog handler, Gemma soon progressed to guiding dogsled tours and being responsible for clients and dogs in her sole care for up to five days. “I enjoyed introducing people from all over the world to the wilderness. It was a lot of responsibility. You would go from one hut to the next, with all the gear.” She spent some summers travelling, including two stints working for a New Zealand sled dog company in the Cardrona Valley.
Taking on the challenge of managing the health, welfare and nutrition of 250 sled dogs in her second year at the kennel, located in the far north of Finland – high in the Arctic Circle, Gemma started running and documenting health checks. Part of her role included checking nipples and testicles for frostbite, assessing the dogs’ nutritional needs and ensuring they were in optimal health. . .
Fonterra has agreed the sale of its two joint venture farms in China, with the sale expected to be completed on 30 June.
The farms in Shandong province will be sold to Singapore-based AustAsia Investment Holdings for USD 115.5 million.
Fonterra, which owns the farms with a joint venture partner, has a 51% stake in the business and will receive NZD 88 million* in total asset sale proceeds, which includes cash on completion.
The sale of the JV farms is unconditional and requires no further regulatory approvals. . .
Do you have an innovative idea that could create real change for Kiwi farmers? Rural professionals are encouraged to team up with farmers to apply for $75,000 funding to rapidly test smart ideas and share the results.
Rural professionals are invited to team up with farmers to apply for funding to test innovative ideas that could lead to significant improvements in farming systems.
The Rural Professionals Fund, established in 2020 by the Our Land and Water National Science Challenge, is now accepting applications for a second round of funding to support projects that could benefit farming communities.
“We need to encourage more ‘mavericks’ to test smart ideas that challenge our patterns of behaviour,” says Stephen Macaulay, chief executive of the New Zealand Institute of Primary Industry Managers (NZIPIM), a key partner in the fund. . .
When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.
Fiddling with language in this way might be alright in literature, it isn’t in law making which requires clarity, yet confusion and lack of clarity are what we’ve got with the government’s explanations on its proposed law on hate speech.
Richard Harman writes in Politik the Prime Minister is confused, or confusing:
The Prime Minister yesterday added more confusion to what was contained within the Government’s discussion document on hate speech.
It quite clearly proposes that inciting hatred or hostility against a group on the basis of its political opinion would be grounds for prosecution. A successful conviction could result in up to three years jail or a $50,000 fine.
However, Jacinda Ardern claimed at her post Cabinet press conference yesterday that the Government had removed political opinion as grounds for prosecution. . .
But the confusion comes right at the top of the document, on page four, where there is a summary of the Government’s proposals which it says it has agreed to “in principle”.
“Under this proposal, more groups would be protected by the law if hatred was incited against them due to a characteristic that they have. This may include some or all of the other grounds in the Human Rights Act. These grounds are listed in section 21 of the Act, which is included in Appendix One.”
That section has a long list of grounds that could be invoked, but critically it says in Section 21 (j), “political opinion, which includes the lack of a particular political opinion or any political opinion.”
And herein lies the confusion; the Prime Minister was clearly talking about page 17 while seeming to not know about what was in the summary on page four. . .
Tova O’Brien points out the Prime Minister and Justice Minister don’t understand what they’re proposing:
Jacinda Ardern is wrong about her own hate speech law. Completely and utterly wrong.
Not only is the Prime Minister wrong about the basic facts of the proposal, she was wrong to shut down debate on hate speech on The AM Show this morning with her glib, inaccurate dismissals.
The Prime Minister and Ministers develop policy and set policy directions for law. If they don’t understand the policy direction and intent of the law, how can they expect the judiciary to interpret and apply the law?
On Newshub Nation we questioned the Justice Minister about the proposed changes and tested his policy direction and intent with examples. He conceded that, for example, if millennials expressed hatred towards boomers they could potentially be found liable for hate speech.
Ardern is now contesting that, saying the law will only apply if it ‘incites violence’. That is wrong, the proposed threshold is as low as ‘insulting’ someone.
The Prime Minister was dismissive about the interview and said we were trivialising the need for the law change – the terror attacks on March 15.
It is insulting and irresponsible to pit journalists – or anyone who questions or debates the legislation – as somehow being in opposition to the needs of the victims of March 15th.
If Jacinda Ardern wants to be the only voice who can have a say on the proposed hate speech changes – let’s fact check some of what she said on The AM Show this morning and you can decide whether she should have the only and ultimate say. . .
If the Prime Minister doesn’t understand the law how are the rest of us supposed to?
The more that our elected lawmakers talk about the proposed ‘hate speech’ laws, the more concerned New Zealanders should become, according to the Free Speech Union.
“Over the weekend the Minister of Justice, Kris Faafoi, couldn’t clearly say that millennials wouldn’t be up for possibly three years in jail if they wrote something that spoke ill of boomers as blame for not being able to afford a house,” said Dr David Cumin, a Spokesman for the Free Speech Union.
“This morning the Prime Minister told the AM Show the proposed law was to ‘clarify’ the existing legislation, was to stop incitement to violence against groups, and political opinion would not be included as a protected category.”
“The PM’s comments do not match the proposals issued by her Government. If the proposed law change is just about stopping incitement to violence, why is the wording not so clear?”
“And why would our PM allow incitement to violence against people with a certain political opinion? Surely, when the threshold of inciting violence is breached, whoever is the target should be protected. Inciting violence towards anyone is already criminal, and rightly so.”
“Something doesn’t add up. Either the politicians don’t understand what they are doing, or they are misleading Kiwis.”
The Free Speech Union is calling on New Zealanders to join its campaign against the proposed ‘hate speech’ laws at www.fsu.nz/support
Why, when the law against blasphemy has been repealed, would the government want to introduce a new and confusing law criminalising people who criticise religion.
As the Observer editorial says:
Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right and a cornerstone of democracy, which cannot flourish unless citizens can articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship or sanction. . . .
Good law is clear law. The proposed hate speech legislation is neither good nor clear; in threatening free speech it threatens to undermine democracy and neither the PM nor Justice Minister even understand what they’re proposing.
Govt’s response on farm workforce crisis underwhelming – Jason Herrick:
The Government needs to do more to help farmers cope with staff shortages, Southland Federated Farmers sharemilker chairman Jason Herrick writes.
Farm staff shortages in Southland and around the country are getting worse.
While the government finally bowed to dairy industry pleas and announced border exemptions for 150 management and 50 farm assistant positions, the sector was already under severe workforce gap pressure.
The super-busy calving season begins mid-July, and it’s unlikely many of the 200 extra migrant staff will be out of managed isolation by then. . .
Farmers are being encouraged to take their tractors and dogs to town next month in a show of protest against Government regulations – and tradies are also being encouraged to show their support.
Farmer action group Groundswell NZ is organising ‘A Howl of a Protest’ in town centres from Gore to Kerikeri on July 16, for “farmers, growers and ute owners who are fed up with increasing Government interference in your life and business, unworkable regulations and unjustified costs”.
Groundswell NZ spokesperson Bryce McKenzie said farmers were growing increasingly frustrated with new Government regulations, but he hoped tradies would also join the protests as they were being penalised if they wanted to upgrade their utes.
Last week the Government announced its new rebate scheme, which will make lower-carbon-emitting cars more affordable for New Zealanders and will see a fee placed on higher-emission vehicles, including utes. . .
When Luke Knowles got the call that a good mate had taken his life, it was mind-numbing, heart-breaking and “just totally confusing”.
Mr Knowles said his mate, an intelligent, outgoing and fun-loving young man, was not someone he would ever have guessed was not happy on the inside.
“He was just one of the boys; we always had a good time together. But when he passed away, it did come to light that he had been battling with a few things, but he kept it all pretty close to his chest.”
As a salute to his late friend, Mr Knowles will be participating in Dry July, a campaign in which participants go without alcohol for the month of July. Typically, the campaign is to raise money for cancer research, but he will instead give his fundraising efforts to the Will To Live Charitable Trust which focuses on initiatives specifically designed to help young rural people suffering from mental health issues. . .
The world-wide commodities boom has driven world fertiliser prices to 10-year highs.
Global food prices have recorded their biggest annual rise in a decade, driven in part by China’s soaring appetite for grain and soyabeans and a severe drought in Brazil, which has put fertiliser in hot demand.
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said global food prices rose last month at their fastest monthly rate in more than a decade, even as world cereal production was on course to reach a new record high. . .
It’s one of the most culturally diverse schools in the country, but it’s not in the inner city – it’s in rural Canterbury.
Hororata Primary School has 85 students from more than a dozen nationalities – including Serbia, Syria and Sri Lanka – and about a quarter of youngsters speak a language other than English at home.
The village of Hororata lies an hour west of Christchurch, just before the snow-capped Southern Alps rise up on the horizon.
The local economy is heavily reliant on the dairy industry, with workers from around the world employed on the farms and in the cattle sheds. . .
Dairy farmers in north-east Victoria are leading an industry response to climate change.
A group of farmers has identified changing rainfall patterns, increased temperatures, availability of water, weather extremes and access to health services as challenges and/or opportunities for the next decade.
The North East Dairy Climate Futures Project invited dairy farmers to have a say about their own businesses in response to data released by the CSIRO in 2020 that supported predicted climate change impacts across the valleys of north-east Victoria.
At a series of workshops across the region earlier this year, dairy farmers embraced the opportunity to identify what should be the focus for their industry. . .
. . .Rachel Poulain from Free Speech Union says “we’re delighted by this result – it’s a win for free speech in New Zealand, at least when it comes to Councils trying to deplatform views or groups they don’t like.” . .
The win is even more important given the proposed law change which would limit free speech and is about controlling our lives:
I want to be very clear with New Zealanders, the National Party will reverse any attempts Jacinda Ardern’s Government makes to criminalise speech beyond the threshold of ‘inciting violence,’ Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins says.
“This is an opportunistic grab at one of our most fundamental rights and New Zealanders can be assured that we will fight this on their behalf.
“To frame these proposed laws as a response to the atrocity in Christchurch is disingenuous at best. There is no evidence to support the idea that ‘hate speech’ laws would have prevented the massacre.
“The National Party condemns vile speech that is intended to insult, but there is a big leap from condemning it to criminalising it.
“This is about control. It is about ensuring that only approved opinions are allowed and making questioning those opinions criminal. The matter of who decides what opinions are acceptable is unclear.
Who would dictate which opinions are approved and which are not?
“The Prime Minister has delegated the task of imposing these laws on New Zealanders to a minister who doesn’t understand how the laws will work himself. He cannot tell us what ‘hatred’ looks like nor what the threshold for punishment is.
“I am calling on Jacinda Ardern to front these proposed ‘hate speech’ laws herself. If she is going to erode our democracy and control our speech she needs to own it.
“New Zealanders are entitled to hear from their Prime Minister as to why it is she thinks she is entitled to control even our most core rights.
“I will not be allowing her to palm the issue off to others. It is too important; preserving our democracy is too important. I will be going directly to the Prime Minister to get answers for New Zealanders. I certainly hope she has better answers than Minister Faafoi.”
National’s Justice Spokesman Simon Bridges says freedom of speech is a fundamental right:
. . . “The Prime Minister has already begun mischaracterising the proposed law changes by framing them as simply adding ‘religion’ as a protected group in light of the Royal Commission. I encourage all New Zealanders to read the 6 proposals for themselves because these laws reach much further than that.
“The National Party encourages open debate and discussion as this leads to people being better informed and able to form their own opinions. Democracy relies on the ability of people to speak freely and in turn others are, of course, free to disagree.
“Protecting free speech does not mean that there isn’t speech that I find abhorrent. We are all offended by a variety of things. However, it would be complete overreach to criminalise people, throw them in jail for up to three years, because they caused offence.
“This Government, unable to deliver on much else, appears to want to regulate New Zealanders in every facet of our lives. Not content with just telling us what car we are allowed to drive, they want to restrict and regulate the words that come out of our mouths.
“This is Orwellian and the National Party will oppose such a complete encroachment on our rights.”
Words can hurt. Words can harm – but why would hurting someone with words carry a harsher penalty than inflicting physical harm?
Paraneoplastic – of or relating to a syndrome or other systemic disturbance associated with but not directly related to a primary tumor or its metastases; caused by or resulting from the presence of cancer in the body but not the physical presence of cancerous tissue in the part or organ affected.
Was the cost really worth it – ODT editorial:
Albert Einstein once said, “I don’t need to know everything, I just need to know where to find it, when I need it.”
In the case of the Ministry for Primary Industries’ response to the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak, it plundered on, ignoring those with the practical knowledge it desperately needed, and leaving a path of trauma in its wake.
A two-year University of Otago-led study has recently been completed on the psychosocial impact of the bacterial cattle disease on rural communities in the South.
Excerpts make harrowing reading, including the farmer interviewed who struggles to remember the birth of his fourth child in the midst of the outbreak, and the dominant theme of the “intrusive, inpractical and inhumane” nature of the MPI eradication programme. . .
The human side of M bovis – Nicola Dennis:
They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Many South Island farmers got a very good look at that road as the Government “helped” them through the Mycoplasma bovis (M bovis) eradication programme. So far, there have been over 171,600 cattle forcibly slaughtered from 260 farms.
A recent University of Otago study found that the “poorly managed government response to the 2017 Mycoplasma bovis outbreak inflicted significant and lasting trauma on farmers”.
If you farm in the South Island, where 75% of the culled properties were located, then this finding is no surprise. The heavy-handed, whole-herd eradication strategy that MPI adopted cast a very wide net. In addition to “depopulating’’ farms, a further 2000 properties were thwarted by movement restrictions and many more were under the scrutiny of “active surveillance”.
If Southern farmers weren’t directly involved, or consoling someone who was, then they were at least feeling it via the sluggish cattle prices over the past three years. . .
Nurturing New Zealand’s future farmers – Steve Wyn-Harris:
I want to tell you about a great initiative out there because it’s a good idea and it’s an uplifting story.
Like many industries, the sheep and beef sector has struggled to get enough quality young folk to enter the industry as a career choice.
Near here we have Smedley Station, which has a two-year cadet training programme and has 13 cadets graduate from the course each year.
Up in Gisborne is the Waipaoa Station Farm Cadet Training Trust, which sees five young people graduate from their course annually. And there are other worthy cadet courses scattered around the country too. . .
New business hits spot at right time – Toni Williams:
Lucy Gilbert has a bounce in her step and a shine in her eyes.
She and friend Tash Andrews, of Timaru, started grazing table and platter business Fern & Feta Platters, bringing joy and wonder where it matters: via clients’ stomachs. And business is booming.
It belies a turbulent ride the 31-year-old has been on over the past 18 months.
While married to dairy farmer Nick Gilbert, Lucy has gone from being a top-performing travel agent, managing Flight Centre Ashburton, to losing her job as a Covid casualty then welcoming a much-loved newborn into the world but suffering postnatal depression. . .
Truffle hunters are putting nose to the dirt as the harvest for the elusive fungus gets into full swing, with some expecting to find more than they can sell this season.
According to the Tuffle Association, there are over over 300 truffle farms, known as truffières, in New Zealand, including dozens of growers who supply to the hospitality industry.
Maureen Binns, husband Colin and trained truffle-hunting dog Jed collect the fungus from beneath more than 200 trees on their Paengaroa property near Tauranga.
Binns said the harvest started weeks early this year due to requests from a prominent Auckland chef – and supply might outstrip demand. . .
As cattle producers rebuild their herds, many are looking towards the promising potential emerging from fast-growing and lucrative global grain-fed beef demand.
Those turning off steers producing some of the best daily weight gains in feedlots say the unfolding dynamics in export markets at the moment are presenting some of the best opportunities for grain-fed beef they’ve seen in their lifetime.
Producers who entered steers in this year’s Royal Queensland Show Paddock to Palate competition notched up average daily gains in the late 2 kilograms and some in excess of 3 kilograms. . .
Sunday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse but not to abuse.
Identity politics divides us, fiction connects. One is interested in sweeping generalizations, the other in nuances. One draws boundaries, the other recognises no frontiers. Identity politics is made of solid bricks, fiction is flowing water. – Elif Shafak
Avoirdupois – heaviness, weight, especially personal weight; fatness; blubber, fat; the system of weight measurement used for general merchandise.