Word of the day


Predial – relating to land, or its products, or the cultivation of land;  a predial slave.

Sowell says


Rural round-up


Fonterra increases 2021/22 forecast farmgate milk price :

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited today increased and narrowed its forecast Farmgate Milk Price range to NZD $7.90 – $8.90 per kgMS, from NZD $7.25 – $8.75 per kgMS.

The midpoint of the range, which farmers are paid off, has increased to NZD $8.40 per kgMS, from NZD $8.00 per kgMS.

Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell says the lift in the 2021/22 forecast Farmgate Milk Price range is a result of continued demand for New Zealand dairy relative to supply.

“At a $8.40 midpoint, this would equal the highest Farmgate Milk Price paid by the Co-op, and would see almost $13 billion flow into regional New Zealand through milk price payments this season. . .

New research highlights NZ beef’s differences :

Pasture-raised beef is a cornerstone of the New Zealand meat industry.

However, it is not clear if it is understood the benefits consumers get from the meat when it is raised this way.

New research from the Riddet Institute indicates there are differences in meat quality relating to health and digestion, depending on how the animal is raised.

A Massey University research team led by Dr Lovedeep Kaur and Dr Mike Boland compared the digestion differences between pasture-raised New Zealand beef to grain finished beef and a plant-based alternative. . .

Game deer donated to Kai Rescue charity in Nelson – Samantha Gee:

A  call to manage a population of deer on private land in Nelson has led to a donation of venison to a food rescue programme.

New Zealand Deerstalkers Association Nelson branch committee member David Haynes said a managed hunt was undertaken in order to sustainably manage the number of animals on a recreational property at the request of the landowners.

“They came to the Nelson Deerstalkers to say they’re having problems with some pigs rooting up the ground and damaging some tracks there along with other animals and asked us if we could come in and try and sort of manage those two more sustainable levels.”

Branch president Greg Couper and committee member Carina Jackson culled the deer along with goats and pigs. . . 

New Zealand agritech companies attracting millions of dollars :

New Zealand agritech companies are attracting millions of dollars of investment, proving that Covid is not stopping significant business activity, AgriTechNZ chief executive Brendan O’Connell says.

Aotearoa agritech is seeing remarkable progress in new global partnerships, collaborations, investments and team growth.

A surge of company announcements from around the country support the sector focus exemplified in New Zealand’s agritech industry transformation plan. It feels like fertile ground for a burst of growth in 2022 and beyond, he says.

“Dunedin’s AbacusBio has just announced their deepening relationship with Bayer Crop Science, in the area of predictive plant breeding. . . 

NZ canned win exports set for multimillion dollar growth:

One of New Zealand’s largest exporters of canned wine has launched a multimillion-dollar expansion into North America as its share of the global small format wine market grows.

The move by the Wairarapa winemaker into the lucrative US market, follows an approach from $16bn retail chain Wholefoods after a win in a major canned wine competition.

The international market for canned wines is growing at a rate of 13% per annum and is projected to reach over $807m by 2028. In contrast, the bottled wine category remains stagnant with a growth rate of 4%.

The wine industry has struggled to attract millennials and small format options are increasingly being seen as a mechanism to deliver a more portable, environmentally friendly and portion-controlled product for this health-conscious segment. . . 

Could our national fungus become the blue food dye of the future? – Olivia Sisson :

Aotearoa’s very own werewere kōkako could be the secret to all-natural Powerade, blue jelly beans and even the elusive blue Froot Loop. Olivia Sisson speaks to a scientist trying to make it happen.

Blue food is having an absolute moment.

From the rise of blue spirulina smoothie bowls and blue rice to the resurgence of Blue Hawaii cocktails –  eating aqua is in.

A few months ago @shityoushouldcareabout brought a blue food inequity to the fore: New Zealanders are missing out on blue Froot Loops. The American version of the cereal contains orange, green, purple and blue loops.  . . 


Cow manure makes DRINKABLE water after scientists turn the animal feces into a filter that removes salt from seawater – Stacy Libertore:

Cow manure may be used largely for fertilizing, but some researchers are using it to turn seawater into freshwater.

Scientists at Northeastern University developed a process that turns the bovine feces into a filter that purifies otherwise undrinkable water – an innovation the team hopes can address the global water crisis.

By blasting the manure with intense heat, scientists broke it down to a carbon powder that was made into a foam. 

The foam floats on the seawater’s surface and when sunlight hits the area, water beneath the black material turns to steam and passes through it as drinkable liquid. . . 

Stop Three Waters


The Taxpayers’ Union has launched a campaign to stop the government’s three waters reform:

The campaign launch comes on the same day that Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced a working group to tweak the reforms with an eye to forcing them on all local councils.

  • The Union has prepared a 30-second television ad and is crowd-funding to air this on prime time television and online. This ad is available to journalists upon request.
  • A campaign hub has been launched at www.StopThreeWaters.nz that presents key reasons to oppose the reforms. This site is supported with Google ads so it appears alongside the Government’s taxpayer-funded campaign site.
  • More than 65,000 New Zealanders have signed the Union’s petition against the reforms. The Union is updating these individuals and is ready to deploy them during any consultation period.
  • More than 20,000 New Zealanders used the Union’s email tool to contact their local councillors about the reforms. The Union will be launching a new email drive in the coming weeks, targeting Government MPs.
  • The Union has commissioned Curia polling showing 56% of New Zealanders oppose the proposed reform, versus just 19% in support and 24% unsure.

Taxpayers’ Union Campaigns Manager Louis Houlbrooke says, “Opposition to Nanaia Mahuta’s multi-billion dollar asset grab is already broad, energised, and well-resourced. With the Government now forcing these changes on local councils, the backlash will only intensify. We are calling on the Prime Minister to read the room and announce a CGT-style captain’s call to eject her Local Government Minister’s reforms entirely.”

New Zealanders concerned about the reforms can chip in to the campaign fund at www.taxpayers.org.nz/donate_three_waters.

The government’s proposals for three waters will add costs and bureaucracy, steal local assets and remove local control.

There are far better and less expensive ways to ensure that we have clean water.

Yes Sir Humphrey


Will beneficiaries be required to be vaccinated?


The government is changing the law to enable employers in businesses where vaccine passports are mandatory to require staff to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

That will give them the ability to sack those who won’t – as opposed to can’t – be vaccinated.

This begs the question – will beneficiaries be required to be vaccinated too?

People on job seeker benefits are required to be work-ready.

People working in jobs which requires them to work in close contact with other people will need to be vaccinated.

The logical extension of that is that being vaccinated will be a prerequisite for many job seekers.

Yesterday’s announcement applies to work places where customers are required to be vaccinated but they aren’t the only places where people have to work in close contact with others.

One sector not mentioned in yesterday’s announcement is farming. It wouldn’t be hard for the unvaccinated to keep their distance from others outside, but it would be difficult, if not impossible, in milking and shearing sheds.

There is a shortage of workers in dairying and shearing, even in areas where there are a lot of unemployed people who could do the work.

If beneficiaries aren’t going to have to be vaccinated it will give some an excuse for not accepting  lots of jobs, including on dairy farms and in shearing gangs, when it’s available.

I understand why the government isn’t suggesting people who lose their jobs because they won’t be vaccinated can’t get a benefit, or that people already on a benefit won’t be required to get vaccinated so they are eligible for more jobs.

But it has already made it much easier for people to stay on benefits longer, in spite of the economic and social harm that comes from that, and this will make it even easier.

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