Word of the day

15/10/2021

Scantling – a timber beam of small cross section; a timber of relatively slight width and thickness, as a stud or rafter in a house frame; a set of standard dimensions for parts of a structure, especially in shipbuilding; a specimen, sample, or small amount.


Rural round-up

15/10/2021

Investors see promising signs of recovery in infant formula sales in China – Point of Order:

After  a  rough  ride  since  Covid-19  struck, the New Zealand economy  is  in   better   shape   than might  have been  predicted  at the  onset  of the  pandemic.  Yet labour  shortages,  an energy crisis  in Europe  and  China, and  massive  inflationary  pressures suggest  that  the  passage  ahead   will  be  anything  but  smooth.

With  the  government abandoning  the  elimination  strategy  and  moving  towards  living  with  endemic  Covid, the  country  is adjusting  to  the  prospect  of  a  new  normal.  But  without  any  sign of  the  number of  cases  of the Delta  variant  diminishing, restrictions  may  persist  for  longer  than  might  have been  imagined  just  weeks  ago.

It’s  a  blow  to  industries  looking  to  inflows  of  workers  to ease  labour  shortages, particularly  in the  rural  regions,  which  last  season  sustained  the  economy  with  the  production of  commodities  that  were  in  relatively  tight  supply  in  world markets,  fetching excellent  returns. . .

Anchor Food Professionals reaches $3bn in annual revenue :

Anchor Food Professionals – Fonterra’s foodservice business – has defied Covid challenges to become a $3 billion annual revenue business.

Fonterra says the milestone was pleasing, despite restaurants around the world being affected by Covid-19.

Chief executive Miles Hurrell said the success was down to the the co-op’s strong connection to customers.

“Our people have worked hard to find new ways of working with customers and new product applications to suit the pandemic environment, and we can see this has been a success. . .

Kiwifruit growers take Gisborne District Council to High Court over land valuation method – Alice Angeloni:

Kiwifruit growers are taking Gisborne District Council to the High Court for including the licence to grow the gold variety in rating land valuations.

The national body representing growers, NZ Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated (NZKGI), has brought a judicial review proceeding of the decision to the High Court, and is supporting a grower on Bushmere Road, who has lodged an objection to their property valuation before the Land Valuation Tribunal.

Gisborne was the first region to adjust land valuation methods to include the value of the gold kiwifruit growing licence, known as the G3 licence, on the rateable value of the property.

The move has resulted in a rates hike Gisborne growers called “absurd” and inequitable, with reports of rates tripling for some. . .

A farming mystery hits social media – Vincent Heeringa:

Regenerative farming: only one person knows what it means (and it’s not you), writes Vincent Heeringa, but it is vital that it becomes known and understood

A new report by Beef and Lamb NZ sheds fresh light on the role that regenerative farming could play in growing our primary sector exports. The news is encouraging. Conducted by US food researcher Alpha Food Labs, the report shows that ‘conscious consumers’ in Germany, the UK and the US have a strong appetite for sustainable foods – and are even hungrier for foods labelled regenerative.

“After learning about the benefits of regenerative agriculture, the proportion of consumers willing to pay 20 percent or more increased in the United Kingdom and Germany, as well as the proportion willing to pay substantially more (i.e. 30 percent more) at least for the United States and Germany.” . . .

New Zealand pork tackles common misconceptions about pork nutrition :

As World Iron Awareness Week comes to a close, New Zealand Pork is reminding Kiwis of the many benefits of enjoying New Zealand pork as part of a healthy balanced diet.

“There are several misconceptions about pork, so this campaign has been designed to bust a few myths and give consumers simple easy facts around some benefits of enjoying delicious New Zealand pork in their diet,” says New Zealand Pork’s nutrition advisor Julie North of Foodcom.

“Some people believe all pork is a fatty meat, thinking of a pork roast with a thick layer of crackling or a juicy pork belly. However, most cuts of pork are quite lean when the external fat (which is easy to remove) is cut off. By trimming off the outer layer of fat, New Zealand pork is quite a lean meat.” . . 


Keep the all safe

15/10/2021

This column from Joe Stanley, UK Farmers Weekly opinion writer, was too important to include in the daily rural round-up.

He starts movingly describing the very short life and far too early death of his son, George and then writes:

A few days after we lost George, I saw through numb eyes a Health and Safety Executive notification that a child had been killed on-farm – the ninth in the past five years. In each of those cases, I can only imagine the devastation for the parents of losing a child into whom had been poured not just minutes, but years of love. And my heart goes out to them for their loss.

As an industry, please let us take this issue more seriously. We have an appalling safety record in general, and are the only industry where children are still dying in our workplaces every year.

There are many reasons given for this, but let us all remember the law: any access to the farm workplace for children under 16 must be supervised by an adult not engaged in work. Children under the age of 13 must not drive or ride in the cab of any agricultural vehicle. It is illegal and unsafe.

I”m not sure that these laws apply in New Zealand, but keeping children safe certainly does.

None of us ever think tragedy will befall us or our nearest and dearest, but the wheel of fate always stops somewhere. If you can help it, don’t let it be on you and yours. You don’t want this pain.

As farmers, most of us treat “the farm” as an entity in its own right – one that almost resents time spent away from it by the farmer.

Well, the farm will still be there tomorrow. So spend more time with your loved ones, with your family. Don’t lose sight of what’s truly important in life.

When my own end comes, I’m certain I would trade the memories of every day of work between this day and that, for those of the few brief minutes I spent with my darling little George.

Children growing up on farms have opportunities and experiences that town children don’t.

There’s a lot to be gained by seeing and, where appropriate, helping with  their parents’ work; learning how to care for the land and stock, and having hundreds, possibly thousands of hectares as a playground.

But while farms can provide a lot of fun and teach a lot of lessons, they can be dangerous workplaces, especially for children.

As another member of that group none of us choose to join – bereaved parents – I know only too well that you don’t want this pain and that everyone should do everything possible to keep farms safe for children, and for adults.


Spot the contradiction

15/10/2021

The government is planning for quarantine hotels to be over-run with Covid cases:

People with Covid-19 will soon be asked to quarantine at home, rather than being ushered to a managed isolation facility.

Modelling suggests Covid-19 case numbers could overwhelm managed isolation spaces, with a worst case scenario model predicting 5200 cases per week, just in the Auckland and Northland regions alone.

That modelling is based on a 90 percent vaccination rate, which those regions have not met.

At even a fraction of those rates, quarantine hotels would be full to the brim. . . 

Spot the contradiction – people known to have Covid-19 will be isolating at home but fully vaccinated people arriving from overseas who have negative tests still have to spend 14 days in MIQ.

The government has got this the wrong way round.

It would be far safer for people who are double vaccinated and have a negative Covid test before they fly in and after they arrive to self-isolate at home than people known to be infected.

It would also take a lot of the pressure of MIQ hotels.

Either way self-isolating would be safe only for some people and some homes.

The people self-isolating would have to have others who could bring them food without making contact with them.

If there were others in the house, those self-isolating would have to be able to do so separately from everyone else.

That would require bedrooms with en suite bathrooms.

Before MIQ was instituted last year people coming from overseas were left to self-isolate on trust and many didn’t.

Unless there’s electronic monitoring of everyone self-isolating the risk of people not following the rules will be high.

Even if people do everything required, if would be far less risky if those self-isolating at home were people who were double vaccinated and with negative tests than if they had the disease.


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