Word of the day

31/10/2021

Vespering – heading west or flying towards the sunset; singing vesper hymns or songs.


Milne muses

31/10/2021


Rural round-up

31/10/2021

‘Farmers in limbo’: Water permit decision disappoints – Hamish MacLean:

A disappointed Otago farming sector says it has been left in the lurch by the Environment Court’s interim decision on the Otago Regional Council’s water permits plan change.

The court decision said interim consents to replace expiring water permits should be limited to a term of six years.

Otago Federated Farmers president Mark Patterson said as a result farmers would have trouble getting financial backing for supporting infrastructure due to the uncertainty short-term consents created.

‘‘The farmers are going to be left in absolute limbo,’’ he said. . .

Can Fonterra finally focus on adding value to milk – please – Nikki Mandow:

Fonterra has been talking up value-add as a way to add value for shareholders for a decade, to little effect. Could this time be any different? Business editor Nikki Mandow pores over a decade of Fonterra annual reports.

“We have clear aspirations,” trumpets Fonterra in its 2016 annual report, alongside a soft-focus photo of a nice-looking cream cake. “By 2023, our foodservice operations [a jewel in the Fonterra value-add crown] will be a $5 billion business, supplying over five billion LME [liquid milk equivalent] of dairy products to customers around the world.”

How Fonterra’s foodstuffs business was going to grow from a less than $2 billion operation to $5 billion wasn’t at all clear in that 2016 report, but who cared? There would be New Zealand mozzarella for the world’s pizza chefs, butter for the bakers, cream for the cake makers, and money for the farmers and shareholders. Hurrah! 

Except it didn’t happen. . . 

Flowers for mental health – Jessica Marshall:

United Flower Growers (UFG) have teamed up with florists across New Zealand and the NZ Peony Society to campaign for mental health funds.

The Peonies with a Purpose campaign for 2021 will see $1 from purchases of bouquets of Peonies made at selected retailers go to the Mental Health Foundation.

“We have teamed up with a number of influencers to help spread the word,” says a spokesperson for UFG.

“Looking after the mental health of Kiwis is important to us and anything we can do to support this amazing cause with our beautiful blooms, we are happy to do so,” they told Rural News. . .

Document designed to save key data  – Alice Scott:

A series of life experiences have come to fruition for a North Otago farming mother.

The result has been a one-of-a-kind online business, one which she hopes, might at the very least start a “what if” conversation for those in the rural sector.

Mother-of-two Paige Wills farms sheep and deer with her husband Richard in the Waitaki Valley.

She recently launched a business called My Peace of Mind; a comprehensive in-case-of-emergency document designed to help people organise all their essential information in case someone experiences an illness, injury or death so their family will have all the important information clearly laid out and all in one place. . . 

Ben McNab from Palliser wins Tonnellerie de Mercurey North Island Young Winemaker regional competition:

Congratulations to Ben McNab, Assistant Winemaker at Palliser in Martinborough, who came became the 2021 Tonnellerie de Mercurey North Island Young Winemaker of the Year. The competition was held on 27th October at EIT in Hawke’s Bay.

As the 2020 winner of the North Island competition Ben says “Defending the title added a bit more pressure so I was very relieved to come out on top again this year, especially as the calibre of the other contestants was so high.” He is thrilled to go through to the National Final and looking forward to competing against Jordan Moores from Valli and Peter Russell from Matua as he knows them both quite well. “It’s going to be a great competition. It will be tough, but with a real buzz. I can’t wait!”

Congratulations also goes to Kaitlin Bond from Indevin in Gisborne who came second and to Douw Grobler from Trinity Hill in Hawke’s Bay who came third. . . 

Station well poised on wine country’s edge:

Birch Hill Station’s proximity to Wellington means it offers an exciting range of options from its traditional pastoral sheep and beef base.

The 1,579ha (1,320ha effective) property sits only 10 minutes southeast of Martinborough in picturesque southern Wairarapa, offering a good mix of flat, rolling and steeper country that includes some attractive terraced land.

Bayleys Wairarapa salesperson Lindsay Watts says properties of Birch Hill’s expanse and quality are rare to the market, typically held intergenerationally by families.

Treating the station as his own, long-time manager Stuart Ross has overseen a high standard of farming, with exceptional land stewardship and stock. . .

 


Maya muses

31/10/2021


Sunday soapbox

31/10/2021

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.

Never underestimate the incompetence of government. – James Cook


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