Imprescience – a total lack of foresight and knowledge; the condition of being without foreknowledge or prescience.
Word of the day31/08/2021
Groundswell NZ have had a win, but they won’t stop their campaign– Rachael Kelly:
They’ve had a win, but the battle is far from over.
Groundswell NZ is pleased the Government has ‘’seen some sense’’ and decided to consult on some of the winter grazing rules the group campaigned against because they were unworkable for the nation’s farmers, co-founder Bryce McKenzie says.
But there were still rules that had been introduced that needed to be changed, such as those around significant natural areas and the ‘ute tax’ and Groundswell would continue to fight for change, he said.
“It’s taken 12 months of bickering and arguing and protests to get to this point, when they could have just read the 17,000 submissions that people made that told them they were wrong in the first place,’’ McKenzie said. . .
Setting up for a strong future :
Every summer, carloads of people arrive at Lyndon and Jane Strang’s Five Forks farm in North Otago, trying to access a swimming hole near the bottom of their property.
Brush, gorse and blackberry had taken over the 50m-wide fenced berm between the 290ha farm and the Kakanui River and public access had all but been blocked.
‘‘We wanted to open it up and create a walkway along the entire length,’’ Mrs Strang said.
With the help of funding from the Otago Regional Council’s Eco Fund and the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Jobs for Nature Fund, they have done just that. . .
The future of farming could be up not out – Daniel Smith:
Unlike most people in the agricultural industry, Matt Keltie plants his crop upwards, not outwards.
Keltie’s business 26 Seasons first farmed microgreens in vertical farms in a former Wellington nightclub, but has recently expanded his operation to Auckland.
Vertical farming grows food on vertical surfaces, unlike traditional farming which produces on a single level such as in a field or a greenhouse.
But Keltie said it was not just about stacking plants on top of each other, but using technology to farm smarter. . .
Farming the seabed for weed – Jessie Chiang
The global seaweed industry is estimated to be worth more than $20 billion. New Zealand would like a slice of it.
“There are times I have to ban the s-word in the house.”
Lucas Evans lives and breathes seaweed. It took one introduction to it while he was on holiday in New Zealand, for the fascination to grow and blossom into a decade-long journey.
Originally from Australia, Evans went on to learn everything he could about growing and selling algae and crossed the ditch to settle in Coromandel. He’s now the co-founder and chief executive of his own seaweed company, Premium Seas. . .
GO NZ: Cycling the Alps 2 Ocean trail with Adventure South – Elisabeth Easther:
The 356km of the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail, from Tekapo to Ōamaru, can be tackled no matter the season… just make sure you wear your waterproofs.
People asked if I was crazy when I told them I was headed to the South Island to ride the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail. It was June and the weather was packing up all over the place. A fortnight prior to departure, Twizel, one of our waypoints, recorded a nippy -8C and just one week out, Ashburton was hit by some of the worst flooding on record. But cyclists are optimists by nature – you have to be to pedal in Auckland – so, when I finally set off, I resolved to accept the weather, whatever it was. Besides, on a fully supported tour with Adventure South NZ, if worst truly came to worst, I’d still be cosy and cared for.
Here’s why you don’t need to wait for good weather to tackle the ride yourself. . .
Basil farm yet to reach its full potential – Marian Macdonald:
It’s already a very profitable business that produces more than 30,000 bunches of fresh basil a week but Honeysuckle Farm also has a commercial kitchen and a site ready for planting macadamias or berry crops.
The 91.55-hectare property is close to the coast at Avondale, midway between the Sunshine Coast and Rockhampton.
Woolworths is an important customer for Honeysuckle, which also sells basil puree as an ingredient.
Owner Jenny Grant says the business, which has its own commercial kitchen, has the potential to generate significant margins by value-adding the puree with products like pesto. . .
Yes Sir Humphrey31/08/2021
Would you trust them to run a bath?31/08/2021
The Government is possibly running out of vaccines in September and it could be their own fault.
In May Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins told Newstalk ZB that Pfizer had confirmed that New Zealand would receive 8 million doses in the third quarter, saying “we will get them all by the end of September.”
But the shipment has now been revealed to be being delivered in October, leaving the possibility of New Zealand running out of vaccines in September.
But looking back at a June interview Heather du Plessis-Allan did with Hipkins, it revealed the delay may be the Government’s own doing. In the interview he said that while Pfizer was still committed to the September deadline, the Government was talking to them about delivering some of those doses in October and November.
Would that be because they weren’t confident of having enough vaccinators because they hadn’t involved GPs and pharmacies in the roll out that until the Delta variant got into the community was much more a stroll out?
Auckland University Emeritus Professor Des Gorman says he’s “gobsmacked” to find that [the Government] have “been deliberately delaying or asking for deliveries to be delayed.” . .
The Labour Government has recklessly delayed vaccine shipments to New Zealand, putting the health and freedom of all New Zealanders at risk, National’s Covid-19 Response spokesperson Chris Bishop says.
In June Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins revealed he was speaking with Pfizer to deliver some of the doses that were originally supposed to arrive in September, to instead arrive in October and November.
“Because the Government unbelievably pushed back our vaccine delivery, we now risk running out of vaccines,” Mr Bishop says.
“A Delta outbreak in our largely unvaccinated population has caused the country to lock down once again, with vaccination our only pathway out of lockdown, yet the Government has been deliberately slowing down our vaccine supply.
“It’s great that Kiwis have been showing enthusiasm to go and get vaccinated, the Government should be matching that enthusiasm by encouraging Kiwis to get the jab, not calling for a little less demand, as well as making sure we have enough supply.
“Instead it’s doing the opposite.
“New Zealand’s vaccine rollout has been negligently slow, now that it’s finally ramping up the Prime Minister says demand needs to lessen because her Government slowed down our vaccine shipments.
“This is incompetence on a grand scale. Right at the moment demand is surging, the Government can’t meet it.
“Labour’s complacency has cost New Zealanders.
“New Zealand signed contracts with vaccine manufacturers late, we got around to ordering our vaccine later than other countries, we refused to offer an incentive payment to Pfizer for earlier delivery, and we still haven’t got around to ordering any booster shots.
“This lockdown happened because our vaccination rate was too slow. It could go on for a lot longer now because the Government delayed the vaccine supplies we need to get ourselves out of lockdowns.” . .
The government has been telling us for months how important it is to be vaccinated. Radio advertisements recount sad stories of life under lockdown and how much better life, will be and the freedom we’ll enjoy when that happens.
Slowing down delivery of vaccines contradicts those messages.
That isn’t a surprise from the government that’s been telling us how important it is to keep ourselves safe from Covid-19 while not implementing the recommendations of no less than four reports that would address shortcomings in areas for which it’s responsible that would make the whole country safer.
And another sigh.
Several weeks ago I was speaking to someone who has cancer, ought to have been contacted to have a vaccine but hadn’t been. I was urging her to be proactive and she responded by saying she trusted the system the government was running.
I replied I wouldn’t trust the government’s system to run a bath.
This latest revelation reinforces my fear that they’d turn on only the cold tap and forget to put the plug in.
Word of the day30/08/2021
Dumfungled – exhausted; used up; worn out; in a state of near imbecility.
Produce having to be thrown away – Molly Houseman:
Rodger Whitson has had to start throwing away perfectly good produce as the reality of being a small business owner during lockdown sinks in.
He owns Janefield Paeonies and Hydroponics, which operates from his 4ha property just outside Mosgiel, growing lettuce and herbs, as well as strawberries and paeonies when they are in season.
Usually, that fresh produce is sold at the Otago Farmers Market and to select restaurants and cafes.
‘‘We only grow half a dozen product lines and good quality. We have got a really good customer base on the farmers market, and the few restaurants and cafes we deal with keep it niche,’’ he said. . .
Covid 19 coronavirus Delta outbreak: Crop fed to cows in Northland as farmers’ markets closed – Peter de Graaf:
Some Northland food producers are being forced to feed valuable crops to cows because Covid restrictions have closed the region’s farmers’ markets.
Several growers spoken to by the Advocate have been lucky with the Delta outbreak coming just as they were between harvests.
Others, however, have been hard hit with no let-up in costs or work, but no income apart from the wage subsidy, which doesn’t fully cover staff costs.
One Northland egg producer is giving everything to a foodbank — a boon for struggling families but a blow to their own incomes — while one spring onion grower has reportedly been forced to plough in an entire crop. . .
No change to level 4 setting – Hort NZ – Sudesh Kissun:
Horticulture New Zealand says it has now been officially advised by the Ministry for Primary Industries that the settings for this Alert Level 4 are the same as those used last year in Level 4.
However, because this strain of Covid is far more virulent, more precautions need to be taken, it says.
There is no requirement to register with MPI as an “essential business or service”.
You will be considered a Alert Level 4 business or service, if you are one of the following: . .
Leader of the pack living best life – Sally Rae:
Surrounded by her much loved team of working dogs — plus pet miniature schnauzer Mickey — casual shepherd Kate Poulsen reckons she is literally living the proverbial dream. She talks to rural editor Sally Rae about the career she has chosen in the rural sector.
Lockdown doesn’t really mean much is different for Kate Poulsen.
The 25-year-old East Otago casual shepherd is doing a lambing beat at Goodwood “tucked away out of it”, which really was not much different from usual.
For her line of work meant that she was often working by herself and, as far as she was concerned, as long as she had her dogs with her then it was “business as usual“. . .
Delay planned fires until after lockdown :
Farmers and lifestyle block owners in the Otago and Southland regions are being asked to avoid lighting fires until lockdown is over, to reduce risk to firefighters.
Southland’s principal rural fire officer Timo Bierlin says even well controlled burns will cause issues at present, because people see the smoke and dial 111 in the belief they are reporting an escaped fire.
Brigades will always turn out to 111 calls and have the protective gear and procedures to do this safely.
“But we would like our firefighters to stay safe in their bubbles and not have to respond to avoidable fires just now,” says Bierlin.
Deaf sheepdog learns sign language to round up sheep – Cortney Moore:
A senior sheepdog has learned sign language for herding.
Nine-year-old Peggy, a border collie from the U.K., lost her hearing and was handed over to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, according to South West News Service.
However, Peggy’s luck took a turn for the better when she crossed paths with Chloe Shorten, the British news agency reports.
Chloe, who is an animal welfare manager at the RSPCA’s Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk Branch in Norwich, England, provided Peggy a place to stay and access to much-needed training. . .
Yes Sir Humphrey30/08/2021
Too much demand not too little supply?30/08/2021
The Government’s incompetent and negligent vaccine contracting is coming back to haunt them as the Prime Minister warns the country risks running out of vaccines, National’s Covid-19 Response spokesperson Chris Bishop says.
“The Prime Minister’s comment at this afternoon’s 1pm press conference that ‘it’s not about running out of vaccines, it’s about having a little less demand’ is unbelievable.
Does the PM really not understand basic economics?
This sounds like the housing crisis, the government version is that it’s not a problem of too little supply but too much demand.
“New Zealanders have shown an encouraging enthusiasm to go and get vaccinated. Most Kiwis know that vaccinating as many people as possible as quickly as possible is the way to avoid more lockdowns and to reconnect to the world.
“New Zealand’s vaccine roll-out has been the slowest in the developed world. Now it is starting to ramp up, there is a real risk we will run out of vaccines and the Prime Minister says demand needs to lessen.
“This is incompetence on a grand scale. Right at the moment demand is surging, the Government can’t meet that demand.
“Chris Hipkins said in May that all of New Zealand’s Pfizer stock was meant to be delivered by September. What happened to that commitment?
“New Zealand signed contracts with vaccine manufacturers late, we actually got around to ordering our vaccine later than other countries, we refused to offer an incentive payment to Pfizer for earlier delivery, and we still haven’t got around to ordering any booster shots.
“This lockdown happened because our vaccination rate was way too low. Now the Government looks like they want to slow down the very roll-out that will help avoid more lockdowns in the future.”
Not only was the vaccination rate too slow, the preparation for contact tracing and testing should the expected outbreak occur was woefully behind what was needed.
If contact tracing and testing had been better fewer people might have been infected, there would have been fewer places where infection might have occurred and we might all be looking at a much shorter lockdown.
We can’t change what wasn’t done before this outbreak but the government must ensure that it, and its agencies, are much better prepared for the next one, or we’ll be slipping even further down Bloomberg’s rankings:
Word of the day29/08/2021
Galant – relating to or denoting a light and elegant style of 18th-century music; an 18th-century style of music characterised by homophony and elaborate ornamentation; of, relating to, or composed in the galant style of musical composition.
RTF frustrated by Govt’s ‘she’ll be right’ attitude – Annette Scott:
Road transport operators are frustrated over decision-makers holding up their business of moving essential freight and livestock.
Road Transport Forum (RTF) chief executive Nick Leggett says the “she’ll be right” message from the Government is not good enough.
He says the decision-makers appear to be gripped by timidity and that is not helping to move essential freight around the country.
A key concern is the insurance liability of trucks . . .
Chinese export clampdown threatens Kiwi businesses – Sam Sachdeva :
Exporters already dealing with strained supply lines and the downsides of lockdown face another threat – the suspension of export licences with China if the current Covid-19 outbreak makes its way into their workplace
Kiwi food exporters battling through lockdown have been warned a single positive Covid-19 case within their workforce could lead to Chinese authorities immediately suspending their export rights and forcing a recall of their products.
Sector figures say the advice from government officials has added to the stresses businesses face as they deal with strained supply lines and the public health requirements of operating at Level 4.
In a guidance note to export businesses this week, the Ministry of Primary Industries said it was aware of new import measures being applied by China, covering “all cold chain food products that are normally stored and transported under refrigeration, including vegetables and fruit”. . .
US foodies drive TPN’s popularity up – Annette Scott:
Taste Pure Nature (TPN) is growing in the United States, as conscious foodies strive to understand where their meat comes from.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand global manager brand and red meat story Michael Wan says brand tracking in the US market shows there is increased awareness of the TPN NZ red meat brand and story.
TPN is a global brand platform designed to enhance the position of NZ grass-fed beef and lamb globally.
Awareness of NZ grass-fed beef and lamb and what makes it unique and special has increased by 17%, as more consumers understand the story behind the brand. . .
A2 Milk facing 80 percent drop in net profit in year battered by Covid-19 disruption :
Specialty dairy company A2 Milk has had a major slump in full year profit caused by pandemic related disruptions to key markets.
A2 Milk’s net profit dropped by 79 percent as excess stock and a slide in sales of infant formula in the key Chinese market battered its earnings.
The company issued numerous earnings downgrades over the past 12 months as Covid-19 closed borders and put an end to the previously lucrative “backdoor” daegou sales channels, while a falling birth rate in China also reduced demand.
Key results for the year ended June vs year ago: . .
Forestry waste trial offers lifeline to Huntly power plant – Jonathan Milne:
Until this week, Genesis Energy had steadfastly refused to discuss any future beyond 2030 for the coal and gas-fired plant. That’s just changed.
To most New Zealanders, the twin stacks of the Huntly power station are a Kiwiana icon. But to the people of that community, the electricity generator is a family, and a future.
Yvonne Anscombe runs the town’s community patrol. Her neighbour works at the power station. Her friend’s husband worked there. And when the local Lions Club was fundraising to buy a new car for the community patrol this year, Genesis came to the party with a $10,000 donation.
“Genesis are part of our community,” Anscombe says. “It’s been a big employer over the years. We’re not stupid, we understand the climate issues. But we would be supportive of anything that kept the jobs in Huntly.” . . .
End quarantine bickering say ag leaders – Andrew Miller:
Stop the bickering over quarantine.
That’s the message to federal and state governments from farm sector leaders, desperate to get workers into the country.
They say quarantine is the main sticking point to the introduction of the new Australian Agriculture visa, which responds to workforce shortages in the agriculture sector.
“The elephant in the room is this continual bickering, or lack of co-ordination, between state premiers themselves and the federal government,” GrainGrowers chairman Brett Hosking said. . .
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.
For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. – Nelson Mandela
Word of the day28/08/2021
Apocryphate – a fraudster; a sham; fictitious; of doubtful authenticity, although widely circulated as being true.
8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown28/08/2021
Feds: Be targeted, not revolutionary, about RMA change – Simon Edwards:
Federated Farmers has called for “extreme caution” in repealing or re-writing the Resource Management Act.
Targeted and focused change, rather than wholesale replacement, would provide the ability to make changes to address problems with the RMA whilst minimising the disruption to 30 years’ of case law, to councils, resource users and communities, Feds said a submission to the Environment Select Committee.
An independent economic assessment of the proposed Natural and Built Environments Act (NBA) warns of higher costs and more uncertainty.
Federated Farmers commissioned Douglas Birnie, Director of Enfocus to assess the economic implications of the NBA, the first of three new pieces of legislation planned to replace the RMA. His assessment is that the resource management approach proposed in the NBA risks: . .
Pāmu reports a 29 million after tax profit:
A strong year for its dairy and forestry portfolios has seen the state owned farmer, Pāmu, report a $29 million after tax profit.
The company which owns about 200 farms said total revenue was $250 million – with the milk cheque accounting for half of all farm operating revenue.
Chief executive Steve Carden said the company was still hit with covid-19 disruptions such as lower prices for some red meat categories.
But as a diversified farming business, its capacity to offset any downsides in year on year returns with upsides across other aspects of its portfolio is growing. . .
Food-derived opioids are a medical frontier – Keith Woodford:
In late 2020, I was invited to write a paper on food derived-opioids for the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, with a focus including effects on microbiota. Eight months later and the paper has been written, then refereed by three scientists chosen by the journal, then modified in response to the referees’ critiques and now published. The paper draws on and integrates evidence from 125 prior-published papers. It is available online via a link at the end of this post.
The key messages are that food-derived opioids from A1 beta-casein and also from gluten are a medical frontier, with clear evidence that they affect the microbiota in our digestive system, but also linking within a complex system to the brain and multiple internal organs.
Fundamental to this system is the widespread presence of opioid receptors to which the food-derived opioids attach. These opioid receptors are present in the brain, intestines, pancreas, lungs, heart, kidneys, liver, adrenal glands and many other places.
The natural role of opioid receptors is as part of the internal messaging system between the gut, brain, internal organs and peripheral tissues. But when external opioids are consumed, either in the form of drugs or within food, then the internal messaging is disrupted. The body then reacts to this in multiple ways, including inflammation and autoimmune responses. . .
Good Progress on intensive winter grazing rules:
The Government’s confirmation it is shelving the unworkable pugging and sowing date rules in its latest intensive winter grazing proposal is positive for farmers, Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) says.
The controversial pugging and resowing date rules have been replaced with a practical management approach under the revised intensive winter grazing proposals, which have just been released for public consultation.
“We, and other industry groups, have for some time been calling on the Government to replace the pugging and sowing date rules with sensible and pragmatic alternatives,” says Sam McIvor, chief executive of B+LNZ.
“It is positive for farmers that we now have clarity on the proposed approach in this area, which aligns with the recommendations of the Southland Winter Grazing advisory group last December. . .
Mānuka honey sales in US and China drives profit for Comvita :
The listed honey producer Comvita is crediting strong growth in Mānuka sales to the US and China for helping drive a return to profit.
Reported net profit after tax was $9.5 million, compared to a loss of $9.7 million in the previous year.
Comvita said the 2021 financial year had been a crucial one for the company, as it looked to prove the businessess’ significant potential.
In 2020 the company completed a strategic review and chief executive David Banfield said the business had gone through significant change in order to arrive at this point. . .
Non-urgent veterinary appointments on hold:
Non-urgent veterinary appointments on hold until COVID-19 levels reduce
While veterinarians are still providing care and treatment for animals during lockdown, it’s far from business as usual.
According to two of Aotearoa’s key veterinary organisations, the Veterinary Council of New Zealand (VCNZ) and the New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA), COVID-19 restrictions have changed how animals, as well as people, receive healthcare.
“Under Alert Level 4 restrictions, veterinarians can only provide care that can’t be postponed,” according to the Council’s Veterinary Advisor Dr Seton Butler. “As a result, non-urgent healthcare, routine vaccinations and regular checks need to be postponed until the situation changes.” . .
Enviromark diamond certification for Silver Fern Farms:
Enviromark diamond certification reflects Silver Fern Farms’ commitment to sustainability best practice
Silver Fern Farms has achieved Toitū enviromark diamond certification, the highest New Zealand-based environmental certification. This represents another important step in Silver Fern Farms’ commitment to playing a leadership role in driving sustainability in the red meat sector.
Enviromark diamond is recognised internationally as equivalent to ISO 14001 accreditation, and to achieve enviromark diamond certification New Zealand companies in fact need to exceed some ISO requirements.
Silver Fern Farms Chief Executive Simon Limmer said achieving enviromark diamond is a massive endorsement for the company’s systems and the ways it is managing environmental impacts and risk. . .