Word of the day


Proditomania – the irrational belief that everyone around you is a traitor; the unnerving feeling that you’re surrounded by people out to get you.

Sowell says


Rural round-up


Farmers urged to create Covid-19 checklist :

Farmers are being urged to create a check list on how to run their farm in case they get Covid-19 and can’t do so themselves.

Federated Farmers and other industry groups arranged an online meeting where farmers could put questions to experts about the virus, isolating on farm and vaccines to experts yesterday.

One specific question was what would happen if they’re not well enough to take care of their stock.

Federated Farmers team leader of industry policy Julie Geange said from a legal stand point the responsibility for animal welfare sits with the owner of the animal or the person in charge. . . 

Aorangi FMG Young Farmer of the Year finalists announced for season 54 :

The finalists for the FMG Young Farmer of the Year 2022 Aorangi Regional Final have been selected.

The preliminary stages of the contest have wrapped up for the region, with the top eight competitors selected out of 27, across two district contests (Aorangi North and Aorangi South).

Dairy farmer Peter O’Connor, DairyNZ Extension Partner Hugh Jackson, Senior Machinery Operator Lachlan Angland, Irrigation Management Technician Jess Cunliffe, new mother and casual shepherd Alice Perry, shepherd Tom Adkins, sheep beef dairy and walnut farmer James Hurst, and Daniel Durdle have qualified.

Only one person will win Aorangi FMG Young Farmer of the Year, to qualify for the Grand Final in July, in Whangarei. . . 

Farmlands co-operative announces $8.1m NPBTR :

Rural service and supplies co-operative Farmlands has today announced an $8.1 million Net Profit Before Tax and Rebates for the 2020/21 financial year.

The result comes on the back of $2.7 billion in turnover and $1.1 billion in revenue. Farmlands’ more than 75,000 shareholders nationwide received $94.2 million in monthly rebates, discounts and loyalty reward redemptions over the course of the year.

COVID-19 again played a part in a result Chair Rob Hewett called “a pass mark and little more” and paid tribute to the hard work of staff across a challenging year. . .

Fonterra and VitaKey partner to enhance dairy’s contribution to health and wellness :

Looking to a future where it is likely that many foods will be more valued for their specific health benefits, Fonterra and VitaKey Inc. announced today a transformative dairy science collaboration to further unlock the benefits of Fonterra’s probiotic strains.

VitaKey specialises in precision delivery of nutrition – an emerging area of research that seeks to deliver the right nutrients, in the right amount, to the right part of the body at the right time.

Co-founded by Dr. Robert Langer, the VitaKey delivery technology platform for nutrients is based on technology licensed from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and developed at the Langer Lab, the largest academic biomedical engineering lab in the world.

Utilising VitaKey’s proprietary technology and customised solutions, Fonterra is looking to design dairy products that incorporate targeted and time-controlled release of specific dairy nutrients, starting with probiotics, in a way that locks in the freshness for longer and allows the nutrients to be more active and beneficial in the body. . .

Applications open for 2022 Meat Industry Association scholarships :

Students considering a future career in New Zealand’s red meat industry are encouraged to apply for a 2022 Meat Industry Association (MIA) Scholarship.

Applications are now open for four MIA undergraduate scholarships, providing $5,000 a year for each year of study, and one post-graduate award of $10,000 a year for each year of study up to a maximum of three years for both. The association also runs a mentoring programme connecting the scholars with industry leaders.

MIA chief executive Sirma Karapeeva says the programme is aimed at scholars from across a wide range of study areas, who are looking to contribute their skills to New Zealand’s largest manufacturing industry.

“Our scholarships provide a great pathway into a productive, innovative and progressive sector. Attracting skilled people and supporting their development is essential to the success of the industry. That in turn is critical to the prosperity and wealth of the country. . . 

Hazard classification underway for two fungicides :

A proposal to update the hazard classification of two fungicides, in line with changes recently made in the European Union and Australia, is now open for public submissions.

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has initiated an application for a modified reassessment of the fungicides, propiconazole and tebuconazole. Both are active ingredients in timber treatments, and are also pesticides used on a range of cereal and fruit crops.

There are 125 mixtures approved for use in this country containing either propiconazole or tebuconazole. They can only be applied by trained professionals in commercial settings.

The EPA’s modified reassessment seeks to update the hazard classification of both substances, after investigations by EPA scientists, and conclusions from the EU and Australia on adverse health effects on the reproductive system. . . 

Thatcher thinks


You Can’t Have It All


. . . poetry stands as the only mode of remembrance that can give shape and space to the amorphous largeness of feeling that is grief.

YOU CAN’T HAVE IT ALL by Barbara Ras

But you can have the fig tree and its fat leaves like clown hands
gloved with green. You can have the touch of a single eleven-year-old finger
on your cheek, waking you at one a.m. to say the hamster is back.
You can have the purr of the cat and the soulful look
of the black dog, the look that says, If I could I would bite
every sorrow until it fled, and when it is August,
you can have it August and abundantly so. You can have love,
though often it will be mysterious, like the white foam
that bubbles up at the top of the bean pot over the red kidneys
until you realize foam’s twin is blood.
You can have the skin at the center between a man’s legs,
so solid, so doll-like. You can have the life of the mind,
glowing occasionally in priestly vestments, never admitting pettiness,
never stooping to bribe the sullen guard who’ll tell you
all roads narrow at the border.
You can speak a foreign language, sometimes,
and it can mean something. You can visit the marker on the grave
where your father wept openly. You can’t bring back the dead,
but you can have the words forgive and forget hold hands
as if they meant to spend a lifetime together. And you can be grateful
for makeup, the way it kisses your face, half spice, half amnesia, grateful
for Mozart, his many notes racing one another towards joy, for towels
sucking up the drops on your clean skin, and for deeper thirsts,
for passion fruit, for saliva. You can have the dream,
the dream of Egypt, the horses of Egypt and you riding in the hot sand.
You can have your grandfather sitting on the side of your bed,
at least for a while, you can have clouds and letters, the leaping
of distances, and Indian food with yellow sauce like sunrise.
You can’t count on grace to pick you out of a crowd
but here is your friend to teach you how to high jump,
how to throw yourself over the bar, backwards,
until you learn about love, about sweet surrender,
and here are periwinkles, buses that kneel, farms in the mind
as real as Africa. And when adulthood fails you,
you can still summon the memory of the black swan on the pond
of your childhood, the rye bread with peanut butter and bananas
your grandmother gave you while the rest of the family slept.
There is the voice you can still summon at will, like your mother’s,
it will always whisper, you can’t have it all,
but there is this.


Posturing and politics


Heather du Plessis-Allan asks a very good question: what was the point of COP26?

This big climate change conference in Glasgow is probably doing more harm than good three days in. 

Nothing hurts a movement or an idea more than hypocrisy and there is just so much hypocrisy at COP26:  

    • Boris Johnson telling the world that when it comes to climate change “words without action are absolutely pointless” then getting a private plane to fly back to London  
    • Prince Charles flying in from Rome also on a private plane  
    • Jeff Bezos turning up to do God-knows-what there also on a private plane  

In fact, 400 private planes have flown into Glasgow in the past few days. 

The event is copping it for serving environmentally unfriendly salmon. It’s copping it for building an event so large it takes 15 minutes to walk across it. 

How much fossil fuel was burned in the making and fitting of that space?  

The news that many of the estimated 30,000 people there are hangers-on and celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio not actual decision makers. 

Does any of this make you feel like these people really believe that we are one minute to midnight on climate change?  

And then there’s the real politik of China and Russia’s leaders not evening turning up. How demoralizing is that?  

So even if you got onboard with Boris and the Queen and Greta telling you you must do something now, the leaders of two of the biggest emitters on the planet aren’t even there – so what difference will it really make if we go hard on reducing our piddly 0.17%  of global emissions?  

And then you’ve got the goal post shifting.  

We’re supposed to be aiming to bring down emissions to net zero by 2050.  But now China wants it to be 2060 and India wants it to be 2070. 

The goal was to keep the global warming to 1.5degrees but now China wants to shift that to 2 degrees. 

In the end, you wonder what was the point of COP26 anyway??  

Three days in it feels like these 30,000 people would’ve done more good for the planet by staying home and turning off the private jets; instead of burning all those fossil fuels to get there, only to change the goal posts and put on a public display of hypocrisy.

There is one small positive among the politics and posturing. Boris Johnson acknowledged the good work being done by New Zealand scientists:

A tossed off comment from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson about belching cows has put work by clever Kiwi scientists onto the world stage at COP26. . . 

“Two weeks from now, smoke stacks will still belch in industrial heartlands, cows will still belch in their pastures even if some brilliant Kiwi scientists are teaching them how to be more polite.” . . 

The Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre in Palmerston North is conducting a range of experiments to slash methane from burping cows.

The centre’s director, Harry Clark, said the attention was pleasing.

“It really is always lovely that your work is recognised, and I think we’ve got to thank successive New Zealand governments for their foresight.”

Clark said the work could slash emissions from individual animals by more than 30 percent – which was welcome given New Zealand’s goal to nearly halve methane by 2050. 

Just think how much more good would have been done if the money spent on the politics and posturing had been directed to science like this.

Matt sums it up:

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