Rural round-up

July 18, 2018

Super grass offers huge benefits – and it’s green! Pity about the GM … – Point of Order:

Environmentalists should be encouraging NZ’s development of ryegrass with the potential to substantially increase farm production, reduce water demand and decrease methane emissions.

We are told the grass has been shown in AgResearch’s Palmerston North laboratories to grow up to 50 per cent faster than conventional ryegrass, to be able to store more energy for better animal growth, to be more resistant to drought, and to produce up to 23 per cent less methane (the largest single contributor to New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions) from livestock. . .

Dig deep for sheep – Annette Scott:

Confidence in sheep is at an all-time high with demand at the Temuka in-lamb ewe fair providing the real proof of industry positivity.

With record processing prices for mutton the sale was always going to be the real test for the market, PGG Wrightson livestock manager Joe Higgins said.

With just 6000 ewes offered and close to 100 registered buyers it was a sellers’ market with clearly not enough sheep to go around. . .

Wool Summit leads to greater direction:

Key players in New Zealand’s wool industry are to form a new coordinating group to better tell wool’s story, says Federated Farmers.

At this week’s Wool Summit in Wellington there was a real sense of urgency to get cooperation and momentum, says Miles Anderson, Federated Farmers Meat & Wool Industry Group Chairperson.

New Zealand wool producers have been under pressure, particularly in the last two years as prices for strong wool hit record lows. . .

Eradicating cattle disease M. bovis may be costly, even impossible, but we must try – Richard Laven:

In May this year, the New Zealand government decided that it would attempt to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis, a bacterial disease that affects cattle.

A phased eradication means that an additional 126,000 livestock will need to be culled, at an estimated cost of NZ$886 million.

Here’s what we know, what we don’t know and what’s at stake. . .

Works not an out for sick stock – TIm Fulton:

Stock transport is high on the animal welfare agenda as new regulations come into force.

Inspectors will be especially alert to badly lame stock being carted to meatworks, Ministry for Primary Industries compliance team manager Peter Hyde told a Beef + Lamb New Zealand meeting in North Canterbury. 

“Using the meat companies to sort out your lameness issues is not acceptable,” he said. . .

 

Kiwifruit expected to remain king of horticulture export industry – Julie Iles:

Kiwifruit exports, valued at $1.86 billion, remains New Zealand’s most valuable horticulture export. 

It’s closely followed by the value of wine exports, at $1.72b, though they were less than half the value of the kiwifruit exports in 2004. 

The latest forecasts by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) predict the kiwifruit export industry will grow in value at a slightly faster pace than the wine industry over the next four years.  . .

Farmlands joins Apple and Emerites in KPMG Award

Farmlands Cooperative has been named the New Zealand winner of KPMG’s prestigious Global Customer Experience Excellence (CEE) Award.

New Zealand’s largest rural supplies and services cooperative was presented with the award at a ceremony hosted by KPMG in Auckland this morning.

Farmlands joins 13 other winners of the award world-wide, including Singapore Airlines (Australia), Apple Store (Italy), Alipay (China) and Emirates (UAE). Following Farmlands in the top five for New Zealand were Air New Zealand, Kiwibank, New World and ASB Bank. . .

America’s cheese stockpile just hit an all-time high – Caitlin Dewey:

The United States has amassed its largest stockpile of cheese in the 100 years since regulators began keeping tabs, the result of booming domestic production of milk and consumers’ waning interest in the dairy beverage.

The 1.39 billion-pound stockpile, tallied by the Agriculture Department last week, represents a 6 percent increase over this time last year and a 16 percent increase since an earlier surplus prompted a federal cheese buy-up in 2016. . .

 


Some of us can learn from other people’s mistakes . . .

February 9, 2016

. . . the rest of us have to be the other people.

Last week I was one of the other people and am posting this so you can learn from it.

I noticed my farmer’s phone needed charging so plugged it in and saw there was an upgrade due.

Knowing he wasn’t good at upgrading I did it and instead of an improvement to performance the phone wouldn’t work at all.

The short version of a long story involving a lot of time with the very helpful people at 0800myapple was that upgrading phone software if it isn’t regularly upgraded is like taking it from kindergarten to university in one big jump. The phone doesn’t like that and you have to use the restore function which takes the phone back to how it would be if it was new.

Fortunately his contacts were backed up on icloud and his photos on Dropbox so nothing important was lost and both the phone and my farmer’s good humour are back to normal.

What I’ve learned from this – upgrade regularly; backup regularly and leave my farmer to do, or not do, his own upgrades.


30 years of CER

February 10, 2013

CER, the Closer Economic Relationship between Australia and New Zealand is 30 years old and both countries are better for it.

Prime Minister John Key says Australia and New Zealand are two of the most integrated economies in the world and this weekend’s talks with Prime Minister Gillard have only strengthened that bond.

The two Prime Ministers are in Queenstown for the annual Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ meeting.

Prime Minister Key and Prime Minister Gillard acknowledged the 30th Anniversary of the Australia/New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Agreement (CER). 

CER is widely acknowledged as the vehicle which has seen successive governments on both sides of the Tasman progressively remove barriers to trade in goods, services and investment between the two countries. . .

CER in effect gives us a domestic market of 20 million extra people instead of just our own 4 million.

The population advantage isn’t so great for Australians but the open borders make travel easier and give businesses on both sides of the Tasman more opportunities. Consumers benefit from more choice and often lower prices and/or higher quality.

The relationship has had the odd strain. An example of this was the non-trade barriers Australia tried to impose on New Zealand apples.

However, the World Trade Organisation ruled in our favour – and Ms Gillard had to swallow that when she lost a bet with our Prime Minister:

Ms Gillard made a bet with New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key on the outcome of the 2010 Rugby World Cup – a deal that would see the leader of whichever country lost eat an apple from the winning country.

Luckily for Mr Key, the All Blacks reigned supreme.

The bet was symbolic of the end of Australia’s 90-year ban on New Zealand apples, following a World Trade Organisation ruling that it must allow imports.

Ms Gillard finally honoured the bet during dinner with Mr Key, his wife Bronagh, and Ms Gillard’s partner Tim Mathieson in Queenstown, New Zealand, on Friday night.

“I’d have to say, of course, Australian apples are better,” Ms Gillard said.

She added that Mr Key had tried to serve her New Zealand apples on multiple occasions. . .

She would say that about the apples, but I don’t think all the consumers in her country would agree with her.


D’ ye ken wha’ he’s sayin’?

February 4, 2012

A reader emailed me this and wondered if I could understand it.

(Warning: it uses the word which manages to cross most language/accent barriers).

I dinnae have a problem and could understand every worrrrd he said.

My father was a Scot and while my friends all told me he had a really strong accent I couldn’t hear it.

But when we went to Scotland I had no trouble understanding the locals and often had to translate for my farmer.


Apple and Adobe

January 10, 2012

Dear Apple & Adobe,

The first day I got an iPad I clicked on something and got a message saying it didn’t support Adobe Flash Player?

That same message has popped up far too often since.

I don’t know what the history is between your two companies and whether it’s political, inter-personal or technical issues that are causing the problem.

I do know it’s irritating.

For the sake of your customers, could you please sort it out.

Yours in frustration,

 


In memory of Steve Jobs

October 8, 2011

You dont’ have to be an Apple user to appreciate the contribution Steve Jobs made to the company, communication, technology and business.

You will find better tributes than I could write in Celebrating Crazy  by  Roarprawn, Steve Jobs 1955-2011  by  Not PC and Steve Jobs – he lived by Liberty Scott.

I’ll stick to borrowing someone else’s pictures:


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