Word of the day

18/08/2021

Dispositional – of, pertaining to, or arising from disposition;  of or relating to a natural and characteristic mental or emotional outlook or mood;  anything related to putting affairs in order or a state of readiness.


Sowell says

18/08/2021


Rural round-up

18/08/2021

Ongoing battle for river draining experience – Sally Rae:

As the microscope continues to focus on the Manuherikia River in Central Otago and its future minimum flows, rural editor Sally Rae talks to award-winning Omakau farmer Anna Gillespie about the stress the rural community is under.

They are two farmers farming – literally.

Central Otago couple Ben and Anna Gillespie trade under Two Farmers Farming, running a 400ha property at Omakau comprising a dairy grazing and beef finishing operation.

It was a challenging environment to farm in, with an average rainfall of about 450mm, temperatures in winter as low as -10degC and summer hitting more than 30degC, Mrs Gillespie said. . . 

Govt reforms ‘absolutely punishing’ – Neal Wallace:

Local authorities and industry groups warn they are being driven to breaking point by the volume and pace of Government legislation reforms.

One described the pace and scale as “absolutely punishing” and warned “it has the potential, unless managed very carefully, to break the system”.

Karen Williams, a former planner and current Federated Farmers vice president, says that pace shows no letting up, with parties given just one month to comment on the exposure draft of the first of three documents to replace the Resource Management Act (RMA).

“The RMA is 30 years old, so you don’t start looking at its replacement with one month of submissions,” Williams said. . . 

Carbon-farming economics are also attractive on easier country – Keith Woodford:

Given current carbon prices, the march of the pine trees across the landscape has only just begun. The implications are massive

My previous article on carbon farming focused on the North Island hard-hill country. If financial returns are to be the key driver of land-use, and based on a carbon price of $48 per tonne, then the numbers suggested that carbon farming on that class of country is a winner.

By my calculations, sheep and beef farms on this hard-hill country provide an internal rate of return (IRR) of around 2%, whereas my recent estimate for carbon farming was 9.7%.

Here I extend the analysis, still using a price of $48 per tonne, by looking at the easier hill country that Beef+Lamb (B&L) categorise as ‘Class 4 North Island Hill Country’. This fits between their ‘Class 3 North Island hard-hill country’ and the ‘Class 5 North Island intensive finishing farms’. . . 

Efficiency key to simple, profitable A2:A2 farm– Samatha Tennent:

A Waikato farmer has succeeded in creating a top farming business, as well as a career in the corporate world.

The desire to have a dynamic farming business as well as an exciting career off the farm, a Waikato farmer has come out on top in both.

And he got there by focusing on creating a simple, profitable farming operation with an efficient Jersey herd.

Zach Mounsey who is an equity partner and sharemilks 440 Jersey cows on 161ha at Te Kawa near Otorohanga on the family farm, which was the most profitable Waikato 50:50 sharemilker in Dairybase for 2018. He is also the general manager of milk supply for Happy Valley Nutrition (HVN), a new dairy processor aiming to produce high-quality infant formulas. . . 

NZ grower’s squash milk creates new export patch :

One of New Zealand’s largest buttercup squash growers is diving into Asia’s alternative proteins market with a plant-based milk.

Kabochamilk is a collaboration between Hawke’s Bay grower Shane Newman and Sachie Nomura, a Japanese celebrity chef who also developed a world first avocado milk.

Kabocha, a Japanese variety of squash, is a staple part of the Japanese and East Asian diet and New Zealand is one of the largest exporters of kabocha to Japan and Korea.

The Ministry for Primary Industries contributed more than $95,000 through its Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund to help boost Kabocha Milk Co’s efforts to formulate, manufacture, and market a shelf-stable kabocha milk recipe that would appeal to consumers in Japan, Korea, China, and beyond. . . 

Commission publishes draft conclusion on base milk price:

Commission publishes draft conclusion on base milk price calculation

The Commerce Commission has today released a draft report concluding that Fonterra’s calculation of the base milk price it will pay farmers in the 2020/21 dairy season is consistent with the requirements of the milk price monitoring regime under the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act (DIRA).

Fonterra set a forecast price for the season of $7.45 – $7.65 per kilogram of milk solids according to rules set out in its Farmgate Milk Price Manual. DIRA requires the Commission to review Fonterra’s methodology for calculating the price and to conclude on whether the calculation is consistent with the purpose of DIRA and the rules set in the Manual.

The regime is designed to provide for the setting of a base milk price that is consistent with efficient and contestable market outcomes. . . 


Yes Sir Humphrey

18/08/2021


When the luck runs out

18/08/2021

We’ve been lucky.

A combination of management and luck had kept Covid-19 at the border.

Now we have one case in the community which is expected to be the Delta variant that has spread so rapidly in so many other countries.

The government’s reaction – putting the whole country into lockdown level 4 is following its rhetoric of hard and early and I think it’s the right approach. The New South Wales experience of starting with a much more relaxed approach is an example we don’t want to follow.

If our luck holds up, the South Island will be back down a level after three days. Auckland and Coromandel will have to endure a week of it.

If our luck has run out at least some of the country will be locked down strictly for a lot longer.

However long it lasts there are a few questions that require answers:

Half of the $10 billion Finance Minister Grant Robertson set aside in the case of a further COVID-19 resurgence has been spent funding Labour’s non-Covid-related ideas, National’s Shadow Treasurer Andrew Bayly says.

The Government allocated a total of $62 billion to support the Covid ‘response and recovery’. But a substantial amount of that has been spend on non-Covid-related projects. Earlier this year the Government said it was setting $10 billion aside for a resurgence but following the recent budget, only $5.1 billion is now left.

“The Covid Response and Recovery Fund is supposed to help New Zealand deal with any future COVID-19 outbreaks,” Mr Bayly says.

“But Grant Robertson has denied this, even though Treasury’s website still outlines how the remaining $5.1 billion of the Covid Response and Recovery Fund had been set aside for ‘any future health and economic response needed in the case of a further Covid-19 resurgence’.

“Grant Robertson has also contradicted his own Budget documents.  While he says he doesn’t expect to exhaust the rest of the Fund, the Budget says the opposite, assuming ‘the remaining unallocated portion of the Covid fund will be spent by the end of the forecast period’, and at a rate of $1.1 billion each year.

“The Minister has argued he doesn’t expect to exhaust the fund because the Government’s vaccine rollout will render lockdowns unnecessary. This is worrying given New Zealand’s vaccine rollout is one of the slowest in the OECD with the vast majority of our population still unvaccinated.

“If Wellington’s latest Covid scare had resulted in another major lockdown, $5 billion wouldn’t go very far in supporting businesses and New Zealanders through.

“Grant Robertson has said COVID-19 has not yet gone away, so why is he acting as if it has?

“Instead, Grant Robertson has spent the Covid Fund on a play about New Zealand’s response to COVID-19; a ‘modern approach to night classes’; water safety; funding for the Olympics; and the Government’s housing acceleration package.

“This is irresponsible. The Covid Response and Recovery Fund was effectively an insurance against the worst effects of COVID-19. But Labour has spent half of it on unrelated projects.

“If we do have a resurgence of COVID-19 in New Zealand, Grant Robertson will need to create an even larger debt burden for our recovery, debt that our children and grandchildren will have to pay back.”

  • How much of that fund is left?
  • Isn’t it time to bring back the Epidemic Response Committee?
  • Isn’t it time for a stand-alone Covid response agency?
  • Shouldn’t we have systems and protocols in place so that we don’t have to rely on luck to keep Covid-19 at the border?

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