Word of the day

July 21, 2017

Unweder – bad weather; storm; tempest.


How do Highlanders’ fans get north?

July 21, 2017

Floods have closed roads which would allow people on the right side of the Waitaki to go north:

. . .The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has closed State Highway 1 between Pukeuri, about 9km north of Oamaru, and Morven, South Canterbury. 

Journey manager Lee Wright said it was “a major event”.

“There are no safe detour routes off [SH1] because they are all significantly flooded as well. We’re really advising anyone travelling south of Christchurch to delay their journey.”

SH 79 between Fairlie and Geraldine, SH 77 between Ashburton and Methven, SH 83 between Pukeuri and Peebles, and SH 82 between Waimate and Kurow are also closed due to surface flooding. 

Wright had earlier urged motorists “to get home now”. . . 

Is this a plot between the weather and the Crusaders to stop Highlanders fans getting to Christchurch for the Super Rugby quarter final tomorrow?

How will the Highlanders fans get north?


There and then, here and now

July 21, 2017

This time last week we were in Noosa.

The locals thought it was cold but 20 – 24 degrees suited us perfectly for four days of walking, biking and reading.

That was there and then.

Here and now we’re back home and the forecasters were right:

Today, Friday 21/07/2017
Time Forecast Temp. Precipitation Wind
09:00–12:00
Heavy rain.
17.3 mm Near gale, 14 m/s from south-southwestNear gale, 14 m/s from south-southwest
12:00–18:00
Heavy rain.
27.8 mm Near gale, 16 m/s from southNear gale, 16 m/s from south
18:00–00:00
Heavy rain.
29.9 mm Near gale, 15 m/s from southNear gale, 15 m/s from south
Tomorrow, Saturday 22/07/2017
Time Forecast Temp. Precipitation Wind
00:00–06:00
Heavy rain.
19.2 mm Near gale, 14 m/s from southNear gale, 14 m/s from south
06:00–12:00
Heavy rain.
10.0 mm Near gale, 14 m/s from south-southwestNear gale, 14 m/s from south-southwest
12:00–18:00
Light rain.
0.7 mm Strong breeze, 13 m/s from south-southwestStrong breeze, 13 m/s from south-southwest
18:00–00:00
Cloudy.
0 mm Fresh breeze, 10 m/s from south-southwestFresh breeze, 10 m/s from south-southwest
Sunday, 23/07/2017
Time Forecast Temp. Precipitation Wind
00:00–06:00
Partly cloudy.
0 mm Moderate breeze, 6 m/s from west-southwestModerate breeze, 6 m/s from west-southwest
06:00–12:00
Fair.
0 mm Light breeze, 3 m/s from west-northwestLight breeze, 3 m/s from west-northwest
12:00–18:00
Fair.
0 mm Light breeze, 3 m/s from north-northwestLight breeze, 3 m/s from north-northwest
18:00–00:00
Clear sky.
0 mm Gentle breeze, 4 m/s from northGentle breeze, 4 m/s from north

It’s not perfect timing for the calves which have started to arrive.

Here’s hoping the forecasters are right that it will be improving by Sunday.

P.S. – that forecast is from YR, a Norwegian service which we’ve found to be very accurate.


Whoops

July 16, 2017

From Twitter:

So, yeah. Don’t forget to turn off your pivot when the temps start to dip.

Embedded image permalink

 


Rural round-up

April 27, 2017

Door-to-door farm visits welcomed as floodwaters recede and costs become clearer:

Teams from the local Rural Support Trust and Red Cross have been documenting destroyed pastures, damaged homes and inundated orchards, as they carry out assessment visits to flood-affected farms and orchards in the Bay of Plenty.

“Our farming and growing families have been very stoic in getting through the flooding, and now our visit is a chance for them to sit down, have a cup of tea, and see what they need to move forwards with recovery,” says Igor Gerritson from the Bay of Plenty Rural Support Trust.

“What’s immediately clear is the extra cost associated with the evacuations of about 5000 cows, and the pressing need to buy feed for stock whose grazing is destroyed by floodwaters. The cost of transporting stock out alone is estimated to be $75,000 in the first week of the event.” . . 

Fifty years of Canterbury farming revolution – Keith Woodford,

The ideas for this article were triggered by a recent reunion of former Ministry of Agriculture Canterbury farm advisers. There were about 45 of us who got together to tell tales of former years. Our collective experiences that day went back to 1946 when Austin Ebert joined what was then the Department of Agriculture, followed by Les Bennetts in 1947, and then Lyndsay Galloway and Dave Reynolds a few years later.

I was one of the later recruits, joining as a fresh-faced and very ‘wet behind the ears’ 22-year old at the end of 1969, having just completed a four-year agricultural science degree at Lincoln University. Compared to many, my farm adviser career was short.  I only lasted two years, one year either side of two years back at Lincoln for a Master of Agricultural Science degree, before heading off to South America for mountain-climbing and other adventures. But those two years as a farm adviser were enough to create many memories, and also to learn many lessons, both from colleagues and some very experienced farmers.  . . 

Wet autumn weather a ‘big shake-up’ for crop farmers:

Cropping farmers throughout New Zealand are feeling the impact of a wet autumn, with two cyclones this month leaving many crops underwater or too wet to get machinery in to harvest it.

New Zealand has been drenched in recent weeks, with the remnants of Cyclones Cook and Debbie causing widespread flooding.

Federated Farmers spokesperson Katie Milne said farmers across the country had been hit in different ways by the storms and while some areas had plenty of feed, others were struggling. . . 

Pumped Dry – Central Otago farmers’ fight for water – Ian Telfer:

Alarm is growing in the farms and orchards in the country’s driest region as irrigation rights granted during the Otago Gold Rush expire, and new environmentally sustainable allocations loom.  

More than 400 so-called deemed permits, which underpin Central Otago’s economy, have to be replaced with modern water permits within five years, and large cracks are appearing in the process.

The Carrick Water Race has run for 140 years, and survived, but its users might now have to dig deep to save it.

The historical hand-dug water channel has snaked its way downhill since the gold rush days, carrying water from Coal Creek high up in the mountains to the water-short land of Bannockburn. . . 

A2 Milk posts third-quarter sales that beat its projection, lifts annual guidance – Paul McBeth

(BusinessDesk) – A2 Milk Co’s third-quarter sales beat expectations as Chinese and Australian demand outstripped the milk marketer’s projections and the company sees annual revenue jumping by almost 49 percent.

The Auckland-based, Sydney-headquartered company forecasts revenue of $525 million in the year ending June 30, up from $352.8 million a year earlier, it said in a statement. A2 generated sales of $388.1 million in the nine months ended March 31, with the third quarter infant formula sales exceeding expectations.  . . 

Canadian Milkroad trilogy – Eric Crampton:

Three great reads on the insanity of Canada’s dairy supply management system:

Trevor Tombe explains the consequences of supply management:

According to recent estimates from the OECD, the artificially high agricultural prices in Canada transfer $3.5 billion from consumers to producers annually — nearly $3 billion from milk alone. Spread over the 8 billion litres of annual production, it’s effectively a hidden milk tax of 37 cents per litre.

For producers, this is a big deal. At the end of 2015, there were just under 11,500 dairy farms in Canada. The $3 billion that supply management allows them to extract each year is equivalent to $260,000 per farm. Much of this is capitalized into the value of the quotas they are required to hold. A single one in BC and Alberta, for example, is currently worth roughly $40,000; in Ontario and Quebec, they go for $24,000. With nearly one million dairy cows in Canada, quotas are collectively worth tens of billions of dollars, an important cause of our country’s higher production costs. . . 

Earth Day isn’t relevant here – Uptown Farms:

The last few days social media has been blowing up with Earth Day celebrations. Earth Day was born in 1970 by protestors in response to “the deterioration of the environment,” according to EarthDay.org.

This morning on our farm, we will get up and go to work like we always do.

We will check cows that are grazing our crop fields, currently seeded with turnips, radishes, and cereal rye. We refer to that mixture as cover crops, which we’ve been using on the farm for the last eight years or so, and they provide immeasurable environmental benefit. They reduce our chemical usage, runoff and erosion while increasing our soil organic matter and soil microbes. That means healthier fields and healthier environment surrounding our fields. . . 

Canterbury’s leading agritech companies showcase their solutions to increase productivity and profitability in agriculture:

Canterbury’s leading agritech companies, who contribute to the country’s $3 billion agtech sector, will be showcasing their solutions to increase productivity and profitability in agriculture, at a TechWeek event on 10 May 2017.

Robotics, software, pasture mapping and management are some of the solutions being integrated into on-farm practices across New Zealand, and will be exhibited at Lincoln Hub’s ‘Showcasing Agtech’ event in Lincoln.

For the first time in Tech Week’s history, events are being held outside Auckland, including the showcase, which has been developed to raise the profile of Canterbury Agtech companies, as well as create a conversation around sustainability and growth in the agriculture industry. . . 

NZ’s largest logging industry event planned for June:

The New Zealand forestry industry set a new record last year for the annual forest harvest. There is no denying the fact that the sector is on a high right now. On the back of booming log exports to China, low shipping rates and strong domestic demand, wood harvesting has reached record levels.

This year forestry export revenues are forecast to rise even further. For the year ending June of this year, they’re forecast to increase by 5.8% to NZ$5.4 billion, and climb a further 8.8% to NZ$5.9 billion in the year to June 2018. With the supply of harvestable wood also forecast to rise even higher over the next five years, logging contractors and transport operators from around the country will continue to be extremely busy. . . 


365 days of gratitude

November 18, 2016

People who’ve lived in North Otago far longer than I have say they’ve never seen it looking greener.

We’ve had a very wet spring and pastures we can almost see pastures growing.

It’s a case of quantity rather than quality though and milk production is down.

But too much grass, albeit lacking in nutrient value, is better than too little.

Ands to today we woke to blue sky and sunshine which was welcomed by stock, farmers, and everyone involved with the Victorian Heritage celebrations in North Otago.

Today’ I’m grateful for blue sky and sunshine.


366 days of gratitude

October 15, 2016

My farmer reckons he’s never seen North Otago looking better.

We can almost see the grass growing even though no-one’s started irrigating yet.

To put that into context, one very dry year we started irrigating in early August.

This year, the combination of enough, but not too much, rain and warm temperatures is fostering growth of pasture and crops with no need of added water.

It’s a spring out of the box and I’m very grateful for it.


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