Word of the day


Duffle – large cylindrical bag of heavy cloth for carrying personal belongings.

Sowell says


Rural round-up


Why this is not the time for government to be heaping regulatory costs on farmers and requiring a culling of the dairy herd – Point of Order:

On-farm inflation is at its highest level in almost 40 years, according to Beef + Lamb NZ’s Economic Service, and costs are expected to increase.  Meanwhile Federated  Farmers  says farmers’ satisfaction with their banks is relatively stable but more are feeling under pressure and the costs of finance are rising.

“Inflation is putting many New Zealanders and businesses under pressure, and our food producers are no different,” Feds President and economic spokesperson Andrew Hoggard says.

While Consumer Price Index (CPI) data has the annual inflation rate at 6.9%, the latest on-farm inflation rate has hit 10.2%  – the highest it’s been since 1985-86 (13.2%).

B+LNZ is concerned increasing regulatory requirements from the Government, such as freshwater and biodiversity rules, will stretch farmers even further. . . 

Another solid season looms – Rural News:

 Given what’s happening around the world, New Zealand dairy farmers are on to a pretty good thing with its internationally envied farming system.

A record milk price this season and another solid opening forecast for the new season bodes well for farmers’ income.

Dairy demand is still quite strong and supply remains constrained globally, especially in the US and Europe.

However, there are some short-term challenges: Covid, China’s most recent lockdowns and the unrest in Sri Lanka – a key market for Fonterra milk powder. . .

Tough conditions produce good stock – Shawn McAvinue:

Extreme weather conditions on a high-country station in the Maniototo allow for the best breeding of Charolais cattle in the country, Glen Ayr Station manager Drew Dundass says.

“The cream rises to the top.”

More than 80 people attended the 28th annual Taiaroa & Cotswold Charolais Bull Sale on Glen Ayr Station in Paerau Valley last week.

Of the 28 bulls on offer, 26 sold for an average of $6392, and the top price was $11,500. . . 

Queen’s Birthday honours unofficial mayor of Tarata gets official – Ilona Hanne:

He’s the unofficial mayor of Tarata, and now Bryan Hocken is officially a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM).

Bryan was made an MNZM in the Queen’s Birthday and Platinum Jubilee Honours List 2022, for services to agriculture and the rural community.

Announced on Monday, June 6, it’s an honour he describes as having left him “blown away”.

“I wasn’t expecting it. When I saw the email telling me, I just couldn’t believe it.” . . 

Tea Estate back on the boil – Sudesh Kissun:

New Zealand’s only tea farm is back on the boil.

The 48ha Zealong Tea Estate, near Hamilton, is preparing to welcome back local and international visitors after a two-year hiatus.

Home to 1.2 million tea plants, Zealong is the world’s largest internationally certified organic tea estate. It has a philosophy of enhancing the soil quality using carefully managed organic farm practices.

General manager Sen Kong says the company is excited to start welcoming visitors back after a challenging two years. . . 

RSPCA state New Zealand is judged to have higher welfare than UK – John Sleigh:

Flying largely in the face of what is perceived in the UK, New Zealand is the one country globally that can be judged to have better farm animal welfare standards than the UK – that’s according to animal protection body, the RSCPA.

Animal welfare has been put in the spotlight as the UK and New Zealand thrash out a potential Free Trade Agreement, where it is proposed traded food products must be produced to similar standards. UK opponents have been using the welfare issue as a potential block, citing better standards in the UK.

However, when giving evidence to Westminster’s International Agreements Committee, the RSCPA stated: “New Zealand is the only country with whom the UK is negotiating a Free Trade Agreement where there is broad equivalence on animal welfare standards. In some areas, New Zealand’s farm standards are above the UK’s.”

The RSPCA lists non-stun slaughter, increased lameness in sheep, legal live exports and poorer access to the outdoors for dairy cattle as areas where the UK lags behind on welfare. Whilst in other areas, the charity stated that the UK was ahead of New Zealand with our ban on sow stalls, more free range hens and henhouse cleanliness rules. . . 


Winston Churchill’s wisdom


It took a team


Work for the Rotary Club of Oamaru’s annual Bookarama is a year-long process with people picking up books from donors at any time.

This year it included a house lot which took two SUV loads to shift. It was well worth the effort, I have never seen so many books of such good quality and variety from a single source in the more than 10 years I’ve been helping with the event.

Sorting began in April and the Old Boys’ Rugby Club moved books, tables, empty banana boxes and other paraphernalia into the venue – what used to be Noel Leeming’s on the town’s main street on April 30th.

Two days later a team of volunteers began the work of setting up and sorting donated books.

People were dropping books off every day and we had so many really good books we set up a table outside giving away the not so good ones.

We use the bed sheet rule when deciding what to keep and what to discard – if you wouldn’t feel comfortable with a book touching your sheets if you’re reading in bed it goes out.

Charity shops find they’re used as a dump and some boxes and bags always go straight to the skip. Often these would have been very salable had they not been stored in garages or sheds where they got dirty and damp.

There’s other books that are still clean and in good order but don’t sell including Readers’ Digest condensed books which we couldn’t even give away.

But there were plenty that would sell and some gems included this which had an inscription showing it was awarded as a Hampden School prize in 1882.

Also of historical interest was a Plunket mothercraft book from the 1950s.

It has  a recipe for a supplement for breast milk which included cod liver oil and this photo:

It took three weeks of sorting,  categorising and displaying to get ready for the sale.

People were queueing outside more than an hour before we opened the doors on the first morning.

By the end of the day we’d taken about $26,000, more than half the total for the whole sale last year and a remarkable sum given most books were selling for only $2.

We had planned to be open form Monday to Sunday but still had so many good books left we extended the sale to Friday.

It’s very much a case of from the community, by the community, for the community with people donating books, people buying books and all the people volunteering their time to sort and sell.

It took a team to do it but with $60,000ish taken and costs of about $5,000 we’ll have a good sum to donate to good causes.

%d bloggers like this: