Rural round-up

March 18, 2018

Camp manager returns to roots – Philip Chandler:

Managing Camp Glenorchy, which officially opened on Tuesday, is like coming full circle for Peter Kerr.

The 58-year-old’s stellar hotel career had its humble beginnings in Queenstown.

Dunedin-raised, he got to know the resort because his parents had a holiday home in Hallenstein St.

He had plans to go farming after leaving school, but a car accident – not his worst, as it turned out – put paid to that.

After two months in hospital he shifted to Queenstown and to subsidise his skiing, which he had fallen in love with, started working at the Frankton Motor Hotel as a trainee manager. . . 

$160m Kiwi cannabis export deal to US – Madison Reidy:

New Zealand’s only large scale medicinal cannabis grower has inked a $160 million conditional deal to supply a United States manufacturer. 

Under the deal Ruatoria-based Hikurangi Cannabis will send three tonnes of cannabidiol extracts, THC extracts and whole cannabis flowers to Seattle-based cannabis brokerage company Rhizo Sciences next year and up to 12 tonnes by 2021.

Hikurangi has a crop of 5000 plants. Rhizo also has suppliers in Africa, Europe, Australia and North America. . . 

Rabbit hunt postponed due to rabbit virus release

Alexandra’s annual Great Easter Bunny Hunt has been postponed so the newly released K5 rabbit virus has time to work.

The first batches of the virus were released in Central Otago this week at two sites monitored by Landcare Research.

Hunt convener Dave Ramsay, of the Alexandra Lions’ Club, said because there were so many rabbits in the district, the organising committee decided it was necessary to support the introduction of the virus by not holding the hunt, which attracts hundreds of people from across the country.

“We made the decision to see this thing [the virus] work,” Mr Ramsay said.. . 

Old season wool overflow is selling well – Alan Williams:

Large volumes of last season’s crossbred wool are coming out of storage as farmers decide it’s time to meet the market.

That wind-change in sentiment has put pressure on auction values in February and March, but prices, while still low, have crept up slightly at some of the Napier and Christchurch sales, PGG Wrightson South Island sales manager Dave Burridge said.

The older wool has been coming to market along with the latest wool shorn over the same two months and volumes have been about 15% to 20% higher than usual for this time of year and well ahead of the levels forecast by brokers, forcing meetings to work out how to cope with the extra.” . . 

Farm tick coming – Stephen Bell:

An assurance programme to guarantee New Zealand farm products’ environmental and sustainability credentials to the world is being developed by the Ministry of Primary Industries, Labour MP Kieran McAnulty told the Future Farming conference in Palmerston North.

And from now on all Government decisions, no matter what portfolios they relate to, will have to pass a rural-proofing test to assess their impact on provincial people and their communites, McAnulty, speaking of behalf of Agriculture, Biosecurity and Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor, said.

The Government is also reviewing the Biosecuruity Act and plans to enhance the protection of the primary sector by allocating enough resources to protect the country from future incursions. . . 

Manawatū farmer unveils gumboot cleaning device at Central Districts Field Days – Sam Kilmister:

There’s a famous New Zealand folk song that asks “if it weren’t for your gumboots, where would ya be?”. 

It’s a question that Manawatū farmer Ivan Wildbore could put his own spin on as punters stopped by his site at the Central Districts Field Days in Feilding on Friday – if it weren’t for clean gumboots, where would you be? 

The Feilding entrepeneur unveiled the Yuk-Off at the agricultural expo this week, a boot washer he designed that even Fred Dagg would be proud of.  . . 


Easter Bunny hunt bags half last year’s

April 21, 2014

The annual Great Easter Bunny Hunt bagged only half the rabbits shot last year:

Hunters who converged on Central Otago for the annual Great Easter Bunny Hunt were down on their luck this long weekend.

Together they bagged 7700 bunnies – less than half of last year’s total.

Organisers say a shortage of farm blocks to shoot on meant 20 teams had to be balloted out of the competition.

Many farmers whose land is usually used for the shoot chose to head to the nearby Warbirds Over Wanaka event instead – and less land meant fewer hunters were allowed into the event.

“There’s so much going on in Central Otago this weekend we really struggled to get a lot of people on board,” says convenor Dave Ramsay.

Hunters worked through the night to bag as many rabbits as possible, before bringing their spoils back to base for counting the next morning.

The winning team for 2014 was Ben Cummings and The Wabbit Warriors, who shot 769 rabbits in just 24 hours. . .

Half last year tally isn’t a sign that rabbits are under control, it’s a reflection on fewer shooting blocks available.

Over the mountains in North Otago we’ve been waging war on rabbits all summer and still it’s not unusual to look out the kitchen window and see them nibbling the lawn.


Putting the numbers into perspective

August 8, 2011

The principles of running an economy aren’t very different from those of running a household with a lot more zeros.

But all those zeros are difficult to grasp. US financial writer Dave Ramsay put the big numbers into perspective:

“If the US Government was a family, they would be making $58,000 a year, they spend $75,000 a year, and are $327,000 in credit card debt. They are currently proposing BIG spending cuts to reduce their spending to $72,000 a year. These are the actual proportions of the federal budget and debt, reduced to a level that we can understand.”

Wilkins Micawber reckoned overspending one’s annual income by just five pence resulted in misery for an individual.

Continuing to overspend a country’s income by much bigger numbers will eventually result in misery for many more people.

All political parties have a duty to ensure that we don’t keep on spending more than we’re earning. That’s why National is determined to get the government’s books back into surplus as soon as possible.

Parties of the left don’t appear to understand the importance of this and are still promoting policies which will increase taxes and spending and make little or no attempt to cut costs.

What they’re proposing is like a household adding to the mortgage and credit card debt to buy luxuries. The impact of that might not be noticed in the short term. But the medium long term result will be misery and those who will be most miserable will be the poorest who have fewer of their own resources on which to fallback.

Hat Tip for the Ramsay quote: Lambcut at Roarprawn


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