Word of the day


Chimera –  a fire-breathing female monster with a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a serpent’s tail; a horrible or unreal creature of the imagination; a vain or idle fancy; something which is hoped for but is illusory or impossible to achieve; an unrealistic idea that you have about something or a hope that you have that is unlikely to be fulfilled; n organism or tissue that contains at least two different sets of DNA, most often originating from the fusion of as many different zygotes (fertilized eggs). .

Away In A Manger


Rural round-up


My thoughts on carbon farming – Pete Fitz-Herbert:

Manawatū farmer Pete Fitz-Herbert is worried about carbon farming and he’s got something to say about it.

As you sit by your prematurely harvested and quickly wilting tree this Christmas, ponder this – have you heard about this carbon farming thing?

I think it’s getting out of hand.

Most people don’t appear to understand it, so they think it doesn’t affect them, but it will very soon. . .

Looking on the bright side for 2022 – Jacqueline Rowarth:

Remembering the good things of life is a great resolution for 2022, Dr Jacqueline Rowarth writes.

In October this year, New Zealand was ranked eighth of 167 countries in the Legatum Prosperity Index.

Denmark topped the list, followed by Norway, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Netherlands, Luxembourg and then New Zealand. The UK is thirteenth and Australia sixteenth. The USA is twentieth.

We sometimes forget how good New Zealand is. . .

Feds ask for flood protection for all :

Canterbury Federated Farmers’ presidents are alarmed to hear urban based regional councillors wildly claiming entire towns should be shifted to avoid flood protection costs.

Federated Farmers Mid Canterbury president David Clark warns councillors to remember to focus on flood recovery and river management for all ratepayers, not just a few.

“Proactive management of our flood protection works is essential for the wellbeing of our communities,” David says.

During 2021 most of Canterbury has been challenged by flooding, with Christchurch and Banks Peninsula the most recent areas receiving more heavy rain.   . . 

Feds survey shows slight uptick in farmer bank relationship :

Farmers are feeling slightly more satisfied with relationships with their banks but interest rates are starting to rise and some are reporting a tougher attitude from lenders.

Results from the November Federated Farmers Banking Survey show 67 percent of the more than 900 respondents are satisfied with their bank relationship, up 5.5 points on the May survey and a break in what had been a steady erosion in satisfaction since 2017 (when it was over 80%).

“It’s also pleasing to see that the 13.5 percent of respondents feeling ‘undue pressure’ from banks is down 4.4 points compared to six months ago,” Federated Farmers President and commerce spokesperson Andrew Hoggard said.

“However, there are hints of more bumpy times ahead, with a quarter of farmers saying their lending conditions had changed since the May survey, and of those with changed conditions most said they were tougher rather than easier.” . . 

Fruit exports dominated by gold kiwifruit :

Gold kiwifruit continues to dominate fruit exports in an otherwise challenging market, Stats NZ said today.

In the year ended November 2021, gold kiwifruit made up 47 percent ($1.9 billion) of total fruit export value, while green kiwifruit made up 23 percent ($923 million).

Both increases were quantity driven, with prices falling compared with a year ago. Gold kiwifruit have a traditionally higher unit price than green. Since the kiwifruit season in 2016, which is typically from March to November, gold has overtaken green in terms of value. In the 2020 season, gold kiwifruit also overtook green in terms of volume. . .

Rain dances don’t provide water security – Tom Marland:

Paradise Dam on the mighty Burnett River has now released more water than it can store at its reduced capacity of 170,000 megalitres.

Bundaberg farmers who started the water year on just 22 per cent of their allocations have been provided with a stay of execution, with widespread rainfall across the Bundaberg region and the Burnett River catchment.

Many farmers were facing significant crop losses across the region prior to the much-needed rain.

Despite assurances from the Queensland Labor Government that a decision about the future of Paradise Dam would be made before Christmas, it looks like Santa Clause will have come and gone before we see any leadership on water security in this state. . .

Sowell says


From fear to freedom


The government has done a very good job of instilling fear of Covid-19 in us.

It was an effective way of ensuring most of us complied with edicts about lockdowns, testing and vaccination.

The end of the Auckland border and arrival of the omicron variant with the knowledge that one, or both, will spread in the community sooner or later has stoked the fear.

Because of that yesterday’s announcement of delays to loosening of border restrictions wasn’t a surprise and was generally accepted as necessary.

But we can’t keep doing this.

Children are split from parents; spouses and partners are being kept apart; people whose jobs have finished are stranded overseas, some without funds or homes; others can’t get home to visit the ill or to attend funerals, weddings and other celebrations; people who need to travel for work or to visit families and friends can’t  unless they accept they might not be able to return.

A few months of this in the early stages of the pandemic might have been understandable but the failure to have no better plan to allow these Grounded Kiwis back to their homeland, and those here to travel and return, than the MIQueue lottery is not.

It is inhumane.

Meanwhile, those of us already at home, are looking ahead to a summer with a lot less freedom than we had 12 months ago.

This year was supposed to be better than last year. It wasn’t and there’s little confidence that much, if anything, will improve next year.

If we’re looking to the government we’ll continue to be fearful. If we want freedom from that fear, it’s up to us.

Those of us who accept the risk from the vaccine is less than the risk of Covid, can now get a booster sooner.

All of us can take what precautions we feel are necessary to reduce the risk of catching the disease.

Then we can get on with our lives, not as free as we’d like to be but at least free from fear.

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