Rural round-up

September 16, 2019

Farmers despair :

Rising stress levels among farmers struggling to digest a deluge of regulatory changes while weathering constant attacks by critics, have community leaders worried.

BakerAg director Chris Garland says morale is as low as he has ever known it and he is seeing experienced, stoic farmers burst into tears, worn down by constant public attacks on the industry while trying to comprehend the impact of new rules.

He is worried about the mental wellbeing of farmers, a view shared by the heads of several rural support trusts.

Rural Support’s national chairman Neil Bateup says demand for help in his region of Waikato has increased. . . 

The increasingly uncompromising Todd Muller – Alex Braae:

National’s new agriculture spokesperson finds himself in one of the party’s most important portfolios, at a time of dramatically increasing tensions in the sector. Will Todd Muller, a man regularly mentioned as a future leader contender, find common ground?

Todd Muller’s obsession with politics began with an American encyclopaedia, which his parents bought from a door to door salesman in 1979. 

The long biographies of US presidents jumped out at him. He copied their signatures, and drew pictures of them. In time, Muller even came to write a book about his future political dreams. 

“The short synopsis is that I go to America when I’m about 21, I become the vice-president of the United States when I’m 28, and then of course some tragedy befalls the president, and I become the president. And I serve as the United States president for 13 consecutive terms.”  . . 

Data and science do the work – Neal Wallace:

The topography of The Ranch in south Otago is steep to rolling hill country but it is managed and performs like an intensive breeding and finishing farm. Farm managers Maurice and Renee Judson tell Neal Wallace much of the performance comes down to decisions based on science and data.

The impact of data on agriculture has been reckoned to be comparable to that of fertiliser.

The challenge is to decipher that volume of data about farm performance and parameters into a workable form and that is where south Otago farm managers Maurice and Renee Judson have an ace up their sleeve.

The farm is owned by Canterbury-born Lincoln University-trained lecturer and plant physiologist Dr David Ivory who has spent about 30 years working for the United Nations on sustainable agricultural programmes around the world and his wife Wichanee. . . 

Let’s get behind our rural community – Kerre McIvor:

A couple of years ago, almost to the day, I wrote a column calling for there to be a Cockietober – a month to celebrate farmers and their invaluable contribution to the economy.

I felt, back in 2017, that farmers had got a rough ride during the election campaign, and that farmers were getting it in the neck unfairly. They were being blamed for the poor water quality in New Zealand despite the fact that city dwellers are letting literal and metaphorical crap flow into their harbours and rivers. They were being told how to manage their stock by people who’d never set foot on a farm. They were told they didn’t pay their workers enough, they were being told they were destroying the planet by providing milk and meat for consumers, they were told they mistreated their animals.

I thought things were bad two years ago. But it appears things have got much, much worse.

In an open letter to the nation, BakerAg, a rural business consultancy firm, has called for people to get in behind our rural community. . . 

Sheep water ban stuns farmers – Colin Williscroft:

Farmers have been broadsided by a rule in a proposed regional council plan that will cost some of them $1 million each.

Greater Wellington Regional Council’s proposed Natural Resources Plan includes sheep among stock to be excluded from waterways throughout the region, including hill country, a rule neither farmers nor the council saw coming.

Federated Farmers Wairarapa president William Beetham said the rule was not raised during the plan’s hearings process.

But the proposal is unworkable. . . 

Launch of the New Zealand Agritech Story:

New Zealand has a new story to tell, one that highlights the nation’s ingenuity, development of cutting-edge technology, and care for its people and place.

The New Zealand Agritech Story provides a compelling way of promoting New Zealand’s agricultural technology internationally, to build awareness and preference for New Zealand solutions and ultimately help more New Zealand agritech businesses succeed on the world stage.

The NZ Agritech Story, launched today, includes a comprehensive suite of free promotional materials that highlight New Zealand’s leading edge in the sector.

Peter Wren-Hilton, the executive director of Agritech New Zealand, said the story would make a key difference for export companies. . . 

Brazil’s fires and biofuels – Jim Steele:

From leaf cutting ants that cultivate fungus gardens to flowers that fool potential pollinating insects into having sex, the magic of rainforest ecology always inspired my love for nature’s creativity. So, it’s no surprise that any and every report of burning rainforests would rally deep concerns across the globe. Nonetheless I am disturbed by dishonest gloom and doom regards recent Amazon fires. NASA reports since 2003 the square kilometers of forest burned each year has dropped by roughly 25 percent. But such good news doesn’t get headlines.

Although the NY Times wrote the fires have no climate connection, meteorologist Eric Holthaus, who writes numerous catastrophic climate articles for Slate and the New York Times, suggested the fires show, “We are in a climate emergency”. As of August 16, 2019, an analysis of NASA satellite data indicated that total fire activity across the Amazon basin this year has been close to the average in comparison to the past 15 years, but Holthaus dishonestly tweeted, “The current fires are without precedent in the past 20,000 years.”

To heighten global hysteria, French president Macron and actor Leonardo deCaprio, tweeted photographs of forest infernos. But those photos were taken 20 years ago. Likewise, Madonna tweeted wildfire photos taken 30 years ago, and others tweeted flaming photos from regions far from the Amazon.

Activist vegetarians denounced meat-eaters for deforestation, arguing forests are burnt to create pastures for cattle. But they failed to mention pastures previously created for grazing without deforestation, are now being usurped by biofuel cultivation. Indirectly, it’s the biofuel fad that has driven cattle grazers to carve out new pastures in the rain forests. . . 


Rural round-up

October 18, 2016

Calf milk powder shortage dire – Neal Walllace:

Calf rearers battling a shortage of milk powder are unlikely to get a reprieve this season with a major retailer warning product delays could continue for another four weeks.  

As if that wasn’t enough, farmers report the price of calf milk replacer, or what some are calling white gold, has increased in recent weeks from $53 for a 20kg bag to $75.  

Farmlands chief executive Peter Reidie said his company was not taking any new orders for calf milk replacer (CMR) because suppliers had advised they could not supply any product. . . 

World food trends favour dairy – Hugh Stringleman:

Fonterra has identified 11 modern consumer food trends it says are very positive for high quality milk production in New Zealand.  

Global consumer and food service chief operating officer Jacqueline Chow said Fonterra had invested $1 billion over the past decade in dairy innovation – in science, sustainability, nutrition and packaging – to position the co-operative to meet the trends.  

Its dairy farmers had also spent $1b over the past five years on environmental initiatives. . . 

More calls to rural support line reported -:

The Waikato Rural Support Trust is receiving unusually high numbers of calls from farmers as adverse weather conditions and the low dairy payout take a toll, it says.

Trust chairman Neil Bateup said a particularly wet spring had caused issues with feed quality and quantity and that had made farming very difficult.

Mr Bateup said the farmers calling were mainly in the dairy industry, with those people also struggling with the low payout of the past couple of years. . . 

Feral Activists Are Worse Than The Pests 1080 Fights:

Activism in New Zealand has sunk to a new low as conservation workers don’t even feel safe going about their daily jobs.

Federated Farmers is deeply concerned for the safety of the country’s conservation department staff and contractors, as so-called activists continue to ignore the fact that 1080 is working well for New Zealand.

“It is simply unacceptable for New Zealanders who go to work every day to protect our environment, to be made to feel unsafe doing their jobs,” says Federated Farmers president Dr William Rolleston.

“This is madness and it’s activism out of control. . . 

Ngāi Tahu adds horse treks to its tourism stable – Aaron Smale:

Ngāi Tahu has bought a horse trekking business in Glenorchy to add to its tourism portfolio.

The South Island iwi has bought Dart Stables in Glenorchy, which runs horse treks through a region that features heavily in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film trilogy.

Ngāi Tahu Tourism chief executive Quinton Hall said the business fit well with its broader tourism strategy.

“The team at Dart Stables has an excellent reputation with customers and within the local community and has access to some of the most beautiful parts of the country,” he said. . . 

Enterprising Rural Women Awards (ERWA) entrants for 2016:

Six fantastic businesses are competing in three categories this year and the ultimate winner will receive the supreme prize for the Enterprising Rural Women Awards.

Rural Women New Zealand’s annual awards showcase rural women who run their own successful businesses. For the entrants, it is an opportunity to promote their innovative rural enterprise and gain recognition for their contribution to their community.

Each category winner receives $1,000 in prize money and a trophy, with a further $1,000 being awarded to the supreme winner who is judged as an exceptional rural business women. Prizes also include clothing from Swazi Apparel and from the Agri-Women’s Development Trust $400 worth of executive coaching for each category winner and an additional $3,400 professional development package for the supreme winner.

2016 ERWA categories: . . 

International Beef Alliance meets in Taupo:

New Zealand is hosting beef producers from the International Beef Alliance in Taupo this week.

The International Beef Alliance includes the national organisations representing beef cattle producers in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Paraguay and the United States and it meets annually to progress issues of common interest.

This week the Presidents and CEOs from the Cattle Council of Australia, Associação dos Criadores de Mato Grosso, Associação Nacional dos Confinadores de Brasil, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Confederación Nacional de Organizaciones Ganaderas, Asociación Rural de Paraguay, Beef + Lamb New Zealand and the US National Cattlemen’s Beef Association will meet in Taupo. This group accounts for 46% of the world’s beef cattle production and 63% of global beef exports. . . 

Helping farmers save time and take control:

With volatility in the dairy payout, there has never been a more important time to have a clear picture of your farming business’ performance.

And according to Figured’s marketing manager Monica Shepherd, nearly 40 per cent of farmers surveyed at the New Zealand National Fieldays, said they wanted more advice from their accountants on how to achieve just that.

In response, Dairy Women’s Network is running a free dairy module called ‘Farming in the Cloud’ with its partners Figured, Xero, ASB Bank and Crowe Horwath. . . 

New Zealand’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards – Top Honours Announced:

Winners in New Zealand’s most prestigious competition for olive oil were announced last night at a formal dinner held at Parliament in Wellington and hosted by MP Paul Foster-Bell.

Robinsons Bay Olives from Akaroa took out the 2016 Best in Show as well as Best in Class in the Commercial Medium Blends Class at the New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Awards, run by Olives New Zealand, the national organisation for olive oil growers.

The Old N’Olive Grove Partnership from Wairarapa won the Best in Boutique Category for growers who produce less than 250 litres of certified extra virgin olive oil, as well as Best in Class in the Boutique Intense Single Varietal Class with their Rockbottom Grove Picual. . . 

Image may contain: grass, outdoor, text and nature

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Rural round-up

March 14, 2013

Push for rural health alliance to tackle farmer depression:

A rural doctors representative wants a new health alliance to make a commitment to tackling rural depression.

The Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand, which was formed last year, will hold its first AGM on Wednesday afternoon in the run up to the annual Rural General Practice Network conference in Rotorua this week. . .

Urgent decisions due for Sharemilkers and Sharemilker Employers:

Federated Farmers is warning Sharemilkers and Sharemilker employers that with drought now widespread, they need to urgently sit down and jointly plan the close of the 2012/13 season.

“Forget about how you handled the last drought because this one is significantly different,” says Tony Wilding, Federated Farmers Sharemilker Employers’ Section Vice-Chairperson.

“These are not normal drought conditions as there is little feed in the whole of the North Island to fall back upon. There are very few places where farmers can send stock to which has enough grass even in the South Island.

“Federated Farmers urges all sharemilkers and those who engage sharemilkers to sit down and plan for the close of the season. Both sides of the business relationship need to figure out how they can best manage today’s situation to prevent further damage or compromise next season’s production. . .

Sheep and beef farmers support PGP collaboration programe:

New Zealand sheep and beef farmers have agreed to co-fund the ‘Collaboration for Sustainable Growth Red Meat Primary Growth Partnership’, following a farmer vote held at the Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) Annual Meeting in Wanaka last week.

Electionz.com, which managed the vote on behalf of B+LNZ, has advised that the resolution was passed with 77% support from 2746 participating votes. The weighted voting percentage represents 21.3% of the potential total weighted vote based on sheep (31.2m head), beef (3.74 m head), and dairy (6.46 m head) livestock numbers at 30 June 2012.

B+LNZ Chairman, Mike Petersen said that following the funding commitment from the Government and industry partners, the positive farmer vote paves the way for the programme to proceed. . .

Meat sector takes huge step forward in supporting PGP

The strong farmer support for Beef+Lamb New Zealand’s co-funding of the Collaboration for Sustainable Growth Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme shows the entire red meat industry is on track toward a brighter future, says Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre Chairperson.

“This PGP will provide a huge amount of investment in ways farmers can directly increase their productivity and returns through their own efforts, so it is very heartening that Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s co-funding resolution was supported,” Mrs Maxwell says.

“Federated Farmers saw the potential in this partnership and more than three quarters of the sheep and beef farmers who voted agreed.

“While the red meat sector is having a tough season with drought now adding to the stress of lower prices, I am confident this scheme could mean we do not face such dire seasons in the future. . .

Drought bites – RivettingKateTaylor:

It’s getting worse.

I have been holding off writing about the drought, but now I want to tempt the rain. It’s like watering the garden and then it rains. Only this time it’s not. And it’s not. And it’s not.

We are so lucky we are only on a lifestyle block. The pet sheep and calfie are not impressed by the dry, but they will survive, as will we with off-”farm” income. . .

Minister meets Brazilian counterpart – opportunities in the ‘giant of Latin America‘:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy was impressed by the size and scale of Brazilian agriculture when he met with Brazilian Agriculture Minister Mendes Ribeiro Filho in Brasilia today, at the end of a nine-day trade mission to Latin America led by Prime Minister John Key.

“In meeting with my counterpart I outlined the expertise, innovation, and efficiency which characterises New Zealand’s agricultural sector,” says Mr Guy.

“With New Zealand’s world-leading expertise, and Brazil’s land and location, there are plenty of opportunities for our countries to collaborate and work more closely together.

“During the meeting I stressed that New Zealand and Brazil should try to work in partnership as agricultural exporters to reduce trade barriers and ease trade restrictions.” . . .

Fonterra launches Mainland cheese in Malaysia:

Fonterra Brands Malaysia’s launch of Mainland Cheese in Malaysia signals the strengthening trade links between New Zealand and South-East Asia, Minister for Economic Development Steven Joyce says.

Minister Joyce today launched the Mainland Cheese brand at a New Zealand Gala event in Kuala Lumpur.

“Over the last five years, Fonterra Brands Malaysia’s business in South East Asia has doubled, which shows the increasing demand for New Zealand dairy products, and the growing opportunities for New Zealand export companies in the region,” Mr Joyce says.

The launch coincides with New Zealand Week in Malaysia, a series of business and education events to lift the profile of New Zealand as an education destination, and to promote business and investment opportunities. . .


Looking east

March 11, 2013

The Eurocentric view of the world has always regarded the East as Asia and the Middle East.

But our East is the Americas and while we’ve long established and strong links with Canada and the USA, we haven’t paid nearly as much attention to countries further south.

Prime Minister John Key’s very full agenda on his trip to Mexico, Columbia, Chile and Brazil is a sign that we’re not only recognising the importance of Latin America but keen to do business there.

The presence of Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy on the trip was no coincidence. Agriculture is one of the sectors with the potential to gain from improved relations with, and access to, Latin America.

Results from the trip include:

* The extension of the Chilean Government’s “Penguins Without Borders” scheme, through which high-achieving Chilean students travel to New Zealand for six-monthly study visits.

* A pledge for further trade and economic co-operation between Chile and New Zealand.

* A willingness for improved strategic co-operation between Colombia and New Zealand which could provide opportunities for New Zealand companies to enter into joint ventures and offers significant potential to increase our exports of agricultural services.

* A commitment to stronger trade relations with Mexico.

The Prime Ministerial visit has opened doors.

It’s now up to businesses to make the most of the opportunities this provides.


Tuesday’s answers

February 2, 2010

Monday’s questions were:

1. Through which seven countries does the Amazon River flow?

2. Who said, “I like to see life with its teeth out.”?

3. Which two rivers used to meet at Cromwell before Lake Dunstan was formed?

4. Who is New Zealand’s Minister of Statistics and Land Information?

5. What’s a  sgian dubh?

Paul got two right and a bonus for extra info, imagination & humour.

JC got one.

Gravedodger got 3 and 5/7 and a bonus for extra info and having worn a sgian dubh.

PDM got two – maybe three because his cousins are sure to know what a sgian dubh is.

Tuesday’s answers follow the break: Read the rest of this entry »


January 9 in history

January 9, 2010

On January 9:

1349 The Jewish population of Basel, Switzerland, believed by the residents to be the cause of the ongoing Black Death, was rounded up and incinerated.

1431 Judges’ investigations for the trial of Joan of Arc began in Rouen, France, the seat of the English occupation government.

 Joan interrogated in her prison cell by Cardinal Winchester. By Hippolyte Delaroche.

1768  Philip Astley staged the first modern circus in London.

1793  Jean-Pierre Blanchard became the first person to fly in a balloon in the United States.

1799 British Prime Minister William Pitt introduced income tax to raise funds for the war against Napoleon.

1806 – Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson received a state funerll and was interred in St Paul’s Cathedral.

Nelson’s coffin in the crossing of St Paul’s during the funeral service, with the dome hung with captured French and Spanish flags.

1816 Sir Humphry Davy tested the Davy lamp for miners at Hebburn Colliery.

1822  Portuguese prince Pedro I of Brazil decides to stay in Brazil against the orders of the Portuguese king João VI, starting the Brazilian independence process.

1839 The French Academy of Sciences announced the Daguerreotype photography process.

1854 Jennie Jerome, American society beauty and mother of Winston Churchill, was born.

1859 Carrie Chapman Catt, American suffragist leader, was born.

1861  The “Star of the West” incident occurs near Charleston, South Carolina. It is considered by some historians to be the “First Shots of the American Civil War”.

 Steamship Star of the West approaching Fort Sumter. Illustration from Frank Leslie’s Weekly

1878  Umberto I became King of Italy.

1880 – The Great Gale of 1880 devastated parts of Oregon and Washington with high wind and heavy snow.

1894 New England Telephone and Telegraph installed the first battery-operated telephone switchboard in Lexington, Massachusetts.

1896 Warwick Braithwaite, New Zealand-born British conductor, was born.

1898  Gracie Fields, English music hall performer, was born.

1902 Saint Josemaría Escrivá, Spanish Catholic priest and founder of Opus Dei, was born.

1903  Hallam Tennyson, 2nd Baron Tennyson, son of the poet Alfred Tennyson, became the second Governor-General of Australia.

1905 According to the Julian Calendar which was used at the time, Russian workers staged a march on the Winter Palace that ended in the massacre by Tsarist troops known as Bloody Sunday, setting off the Russian Revolution of 1905.

1908  Simone de Beauvoir, French author, was born.

1913  Richard Nixon, 37th President of the United States, was born.

1916 World War I: The Battle of Gallipoli concluded with an Ottoman Empire victory when the last Allied forces were evacuated from the peninsula.

1916 Peter Twinn, English World War II code-breaker, was born.

1918 Battle of Bear Valley: The last battle of the American Indian Wars.

 Yaqui people, c1910
1920 Clive Dunn, British actor, was born.
Clive Dunn-1973.png

1923 Katherine Mansfield died.

Death of Katherine Mansfield

 1928  Judith Krantz, American author, was born.

1933 Wilbur Smith, Zambian-British novelist, was born.

1939 Susannah York, British actress, was born.

1941 Joan Baez, American singer and activist, was born.

1942 Lee Kun-hee, Korean industrialist, chairman of Samsung, was born.

1944  Jimmy Page, British musician and producer (Led Zeppelin), was born.

1948 Bill Cowsill, American singer (The Cowsills, was born.

1951  Crystal Gayle, American singer, was born.

1951 – The United Nations headquarters officially opened in New York City.

1953 Morris Gleitzman, British-Australian children’s author, was born.

1978 AJ McLean, American singer (Backstreet Boys), was born.

1980 Sergio García, Spanish golfer, was born.

SergioGarciaTPCChampion2008 1.jpg

2005  Rawhi Fattouh succeeded  Yasser Arafat as head of the Palestine Liberation Organization . 

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


November 15 in history

November 15, 2009

On November 15:

1515  Thomas Wolsey wass invested as a Cardinal.

1532 Spanish conquistadors under Hernando de Soto meet Inca leader Atahualpa for the first time outside Cajamarca.

1533  Francisco Pizarro arrived in Cuzco, the capital of the Inca Empire.

1708 William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born.

1769 Captain James Cook raised the British flag at Mercury Bay and claimed the area in the name of King George III.

1791 The first U.S Catholic college, Georgetown University, opened.

1854 the Suez Canal, linking the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, was given the royal concession.

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1861 The first issue of the Otago Daily Times was published.

1889 Brazil was declared a republic by Marechal Deodoro da Fonseca and Emperor Pedro II  was deposed in a military coup.

1891  Erwin Rommel, German field marshal, “The Desert Fox”, was born.

Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1973-012-43, Erwin Rommel.jpg

 Iskander Mirza, first President of Pakistan, was born.

1903  Stewie Dempster, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

1905 Mantovani, Italian-born composer, was born.

1926  The NBC radio network opened with 24 stations.

NBC logo.svg

1928  C. W. McCall, American singer, was born.

1932 Petula Clark, English singer, was born.

1942 Daniel Barenboim, Argentine-born conductor and pianist, was born.

1942 First flight of the Heinkel He 219.

1942  The Battle of Guadalcanal ends in a decisive Allied victory.

1945  Roger Donaldson, Australian- born New Zealand film producer/director.

1945  Anni-Frid “Frida” Lyngstad, Norwegian (By Birth) singer (ABBA) was born.

1960  The Polaris missile was test launched.

1966  Gemini 12 splashed down safely in the Atlantic Ocean.

Gemini 12 insignia.png

1971 Intel released the world’s first commercial single-chip microprocessor, the 4004.

1983  Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was founded. Recognised only by Turkey.

 1985 The Anglo-Irish Agreement was signed at Hillsborough Castle by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Irish Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald.

1988 The first Fairtrade label, Max Havelaar, was launched in the Netherlands.

1990 Space Shuttle Atlantis launched with flight STS-38.

Space Shuttle Atlantis

2002  – Hu Jintao became general secretary of the Communist Party of China.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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