Word of the day

19/12/2021

Sobornost – spiritual harmony based on freedom and unity in love; ecumenisity; the principle of spiritual unity and religious community based on free commitment to a tradition of catholicity interpreted through ecumenical councils of the Eastern Orthodox Church; a unity of many persons within the organic fellowship of the Church, each person maintaining full freedom and personal integrity; cathedrality; being gathered or united as one; spiritual harmony; collective love.


Milne muses

19/12/2021


Rural round-up

19/12/2021

New report confirms trend of land-use change from pastoral farming to carbon farming :

The latest analysis of farm sales data confirms the increasing price of carbon in the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is driving the conversion of whole pastoral farms into forestry, particularly for carbon farming.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) is tracking data on farm sales for conversion into forestry as concerns continue to grow over the unbridled ability of fossil fuel emitters to offset their greenhouse gas emissions by planting trees on productive sheep and beef farms.

These policy settings are estimated to have helped drive the loss of around 800,000 stock units. There are also worrying signs that carbon farming interests are spreading into new areas and onto more productive land.

The latest independent report by Orme & Associates released today shows that in the first six months of 2021, 14,219 hectares of sheep and beef farmland were purchased with the intent for planting into trees (11,585 hectares of exotic planting and 2,634 hectares of planting of natives for honey). . . 

Are rural communities expected to run sausage sizzles to pay for hospital upgrades to manage Covid and holiday makers?

The New Zealand Rural General Practice Network and Rural Hospital Network are shocked that the Government’s announcement of half a billion dollars to prepare hospitals for COVID-19 in the community ignores rural communities once again.

The Minister’s pledge to remove the postcode lottery of health care is not being demonstrated in his actions.

Where will Aucklanders and most of provincial New Zealanders flee to this summer? Where will they go next winter during ski season? To their holiday homes, baches, camping grounds, ski fields and Airbnb’s in our beautiful rural backyard.

When COVID hits these visitor hotspots, how are our rural health services and rural hospitals going to care for them? . . 

 

Waimea Dam investigation finds no wrongdoing:

An investigation into the construction of the Waimea Dam has found no evidence of impropriety or hasty, uninformed decision-making, says Tasman Mayor Tim King.

A report on the investigation, which was requested by a number of councillors earlier in the year, was received at a full Tasman District Council meeting on Thursday.

The investigation which looked at the appropriateness of the dam project was undertaken by PJ & Associates and overseen by the council’s Audit and Risk Committee independent chair Graham Naylor.

Staff were interviewed and hundreds of documents and reports were reviewed during the investigation. . . 

Lawyer engaged over West Coast stewardship land -:

West Coast councils have engaged a specialist lawyer in the hope of gaining the government’s ear as it launches the long-awaited review of stewardship land.

More than two million hectares of land was parked in the ‘stewardship’ box under Conservation Department management, when the Forest Service and other government departments were abolished in the 1980s.

About half of it is on the West Coast, where it makes up 30 percent of all public conservation land in the region, and cash-strapped councils are keen to see as much released as possible for development that could yield rates.

The massive job of deciding which of the 3000 separate land parcels belong in the conservation estate and which do not, will fall to independent panels appointed by the government. . . 

New Zealand blueberry prices set to drop leading up to Christmas:

The harvest for New Zealand blueberry varieties has now begun and growers are encouraging Kiwis to buy them as larger volumes come to market, with prices set to drop below $3 a punnet in the lead-up to Christmas.

Last year we consumed 8.6m punnets of blueberries in this country worth over $32m (an increase of 600,000 punnets and $2m on the year before). Blueberries New Zealand Executive Member and Exporter Rep Craig Hall says demand for fruit rich in vitamin C is now soaring around the world thanks to COVID-19, which will likely drive sales up even further this year.

“So far volume has been small on the domestic market, but we’re now getting into the main season and higher volumes are coming through. Both supermarket chains will be promoting blueberries this week and we’ll see the impact of greater supply and lower prices between now and Christmas,” Hall says.

“Post-Christmas, a larger quantity is exported to Australia as their season ends and that can affect New Zealand prices. . . 

CBB op-ed: Comparing beef with plant-based alternative proteins – Norman Voyles, Jr:

In mid-November, I traveled from my farming and beef cattle operation to Kansas City for an ag media event called “Trade Talk.” Hosted by the National Association of Farm Broadcasters (NAFB), this annual event offers ag industry broadcast personalities the opportunity to interview representatives from various organizations and companies, all of whom serve this country’s farmers and ranchers in some capacity. As the vice chair of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board this year, I did several interviews, and was quite frankly surprised by how many broadcasters wanted to hear what this guy from Martinsville, Indiana had to say.

They asked me all kinds of questions about the national Beef Checkoff, including many I’ve been asked before – how it works, what kinds of programs it funds, what impact are those programs having on beef demand and so on. However, one new question came up again and again:

What’s the Checkoff doing to address the threat that plant-based alternative proteins pose to the beef industry?

Honestly, this question wasn’t surprising. Like everyone else, I’ve observed news anchors and market watchers bring up plant-based alternative proteins consistently over the past few years. Some even referred to these products and others as “revolutionary” and “game-changing.” However, that’s not how some beef industry stakeholders view these protein alternatives. I’ve been involved in discussions that took me back a few decades when consumer concerns about beef’s role in a healthy diet weren’t considered all that important. . . 

 


Silent Night

19/12/2021

Maya muses

19/12/2021


Sunday soapbox

19/12/2021

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.

No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted. – Aesop


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