Word of the day


Instantiation – the process of deriving an individual statement from a general one by replacing the variable with a name or other referring expression; the representation of an abstraction by a concrete example; the valid inference of an instance from a universally quantified statement; something that represents or is an example of something else, or the act of producing something like this;  the act or an instance of instantiating.

Sowell says


Rural round-up


Research looks at breeding more climate friendly cows :

New research has confirmed bulls’ genetics play a role in how much methane they emit, highlighting the potential for farmers to breed low methane-emitting cows in the future.

The news comes following the first year of a research programme run by major New Zealand artificial breeding companies LIC and CRV.

The research, funded by the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre (NZAGRC), measures methane emissions from the burps of young bulls set to father the next generation of New Zealand’s dairy cows.

Results from year one, where the feed intake and methane emissions from 281 bulls were measured, found there is genetic variation in the amount of methane emitted after accounting for the feed eaten by the bulls, with the lowest emitting around 15-20% less methane than the average. . .

David Parker must delay winter grazing regulations :

The Government is about to pile up to $100 million of unnecessary compliance costs onto farmers because its freshwater regulations are more than a year overdue, National’s Agriculture spokespeople Barbara Kuriger and Joseph Mooney say.

“Under Environment Minister David Parker’s regulations, farmers must have a certified freshwater farm plan for winter grazing on sloping land. If they do not have a certified plan, they must obtain a resource consent,” Barbara Kuriger says.

“Two years after the regulations were passed, the Ministry for the Environment has not completed the framework allowing farmers to certify freshwater farm plans. Officials have indicated the framework will not be ready this year.

“The regulations have already been delayed by David Parker twice, but are now due to come into force in November. Because the guidelines will not be ready, many thousands of farmers will have no alternative but to apply for resource consents for their winter grazing. . . 

How Miles brings smiles to the nation’s cowsheds this time by upgrading earnings guidance – Point of Order:

The giant  dairy co-op Fonterra  has  sent  a  shiver  of  excitement  through the  country’s   cowsheds     by   upgrading  its earnings guidance to between 45 and 60c per share, up from 30 to 45c per share for the 2022-23  season.

At  a  time  when  other  sectors  of  the  economy   are  under  pressure, and the  dairy industry is  coping with  difficult  climatic  conditions,  Fonterra in effect is signalling  that NZ’s export  mainstay can  do  even  better  than it  did in the  previous outstanding season  in sustaining its  export  earnings.

Some  might   say  Fonterra is  at  last  on  the  brink of  fulfilling  the  promise  its  founders held  for it 20-odd  years  ago.

Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell foresees  the  possibility  that if  current conditions  persist, the revised guidance  could be raised   again. . . 

Sheep farmers roll out woollen mate for the wellnes market – Country Life:

With crossbred wool prices remaining low, some sheep farmers are having a serious crack at adding value to the fibre they proudly grow.

Canterbury farmers Jane and Mark Schwass are making felted wool exercise mats from their crossbred wool clip.

“A daughter brought a woollen mat home that was made offshore and imported into New Zealand for quite a significant amount of money and we thought, ooh this is something we could be thinking about!”

Most people use the woollen mats for Yoga and Pilates, Jane tells Country Life. . . 

Whaitiri to promote dairy sector’s interests in India while O’Connor deals with the IPEF – but he aims to review dairy quota, too – Point of Order:

Two new announcements  have been posted on the Beehive website since our monitoring yesterday, one dealing with the dairy sector, the other with New Zealand’s trade relationships.

One announcement said Food Safety Minister Meka Whaitiri is headed for India to address the World Dairy Summit in New Delhi, the flagship event of the International Dairy Federation.

The other said Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor is in the USA where he has joined ministerial representatives from 13 other economies across the Indo-Pacific region to launch negotiations on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF).

A week earlier O’Connor had made another trade-related announcement with particular implications for the dairy industry, . . 

Central Australian cattle station saves big in maintenance after employing all-female crew – Hugo Rikard-Bell:

It’s about midday on Umbearra Station, and owners Angus and Kimberley McKay are sitting down for lunch with their crew, who are recapping the antics of the William Creek races held the weekend just gone.

Sixteen years ago, when Mrs McKay first arrived on the remote cattle property, 300 kilometres south of Alice Springs, the dining room set-up looked a little different. 

“I was the only female, and we’d have a whole table of males,” she said. 

Now, the tables have turned, and it is Mr McKay who is sitting at a full table of females, eating a lunch of freshly made quiche and salad. . . 



Almost all the restrictions imposed on us because of Covid-19 were removed at midnight.

We can still choose to wear masks, and people who for a variety of reasons are vulnerable to, or concerned about, infection, will continue to do so.

But fewer people have been using masks recently and most won’t except where they’re still required in health and aged care facilities.

We are now freer and can look forward to life with travel and events with more certainty than we’ve been able to since we were locked down more than two and a half years ago.

But it is freer and freeish rather than completely free of Covid-19 and its impacts.  It is still being transmitted and the human and economic costs of the disease are still with us.

But can we be free of the fear that accompanied it?

In Spain in July masks were required in pharmacies and public transport and we saw a very, very few people wearing them outside. In Scotland and England there were no requirements and again we saw hardly anyone wearing masks.

The impression we got was that people were over the disease, even though it isn’t over, if it ever will be.

We didn’t see daily updates of Covid infections, hospitalisations and deaths in the media and maybe it will take that to happen here before we feel free of the Covid shadow and we’re back to as close to normal as it used to be as we’ll be able to be.

If people want a holiday . . .


A Bank Holiday to honour Queen Elizabeth makes sense in the UK where it’s being held on the day of her funeral.

That will allow people who want to listen to, and watch, the service live to do so.

A public holiday here makes a lot less sense.

The funeral will take place at 10pm New Zealand time when few of us are working. Watching or listening live to it will mean a late night which could give credence to a day off next day.

But how many people will stay up and need a day off to recover, especially when it would be possible to record the service and watch it at a more convenient time? And if they do why expect their employers to pay for it?

The idea of having a holiday is as a mark of respect for the late Queen but is that the best way of doing it, especially when she was exemplary in putting duty first?

And how many people will use a day off to honour her and how many will treat it as just another day off like most if not all of the 12 other public holidays we have every year?

Anzac and Waitangi Days have public observations. Christians mark Good Friday and Christmas Day with special services. But for most people these are, like the others,  paid days off or, if you have to work, days when you are paid time and a half and get a day off in lieu.

So if most aren’t actually going to honour the Queen, why inflict a public holiday on all the businesses already struggling with rising costs, staff shortages; and on children having missed so much school through Covid-19 illness and isolation?

And if they do want a holiday, there’s a better way than a government prescribed one:

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union says that New Zealanders should take a day of annual leave to mark the passing Queen Elizabeth II rather than have another public holiday.

Taxpayers’ Union Board Member and small business owner Chris Milne said:

“We all mourn the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and recognise her dedicated service to the people of New Zealand over her long reign.

“For small businesses—who are still trying to recover after the pandemic—this is yet another cost loaded on. The owners of these businesses, many small family enterprises, are being told to pay not only for their own respect for the Queen, but also for all the respect shown by their staff. This is inequitable. The Queen was the queen of us all and the cost should fall on all of us.

“Rather than rejecting the idea of an observance to recognise the Queen, the Taxpayers’ Union believes that New Zealanders should, if they wish to do so, take a day of annual leave to mark this historic occasion and an extraordinary life.”

If people want a holiday to mourn the Queen’s death, they can do so without it being a government mandated one with all the costs associated with that.

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