Rural round-up

May 15, 2011

Devastation on the Hawkes Bay Coast – Karl du Fresne posts:

The coastal strip of Central Hawke’s Bay that was devastated by a freak storm recently is very familiar to me. In my childhood and teenage years, the line of sandy beaches that stretches from Kairakau in the north to Porangahau in the south was something of a summer playground.

One of my earliest memories is of a summer holiday in the shearers’ quarters on the sheep station at Kairakau, which were made available to my family out of gratitude for my father’s work in supervising the building of the electricity transmission line that connected the area to the national grid. Most remote properties on that coast had previously depended on generators.

Frankenmilk – Witty Knitter wrties at SkepticLawyer:

From China, the intriguing news that scientists have genetically modified cows to produce milk with human proteins in it. This is not the same things as genetically modifying cows to ‘produce human milk’, as it has been reported.

To me, this is a truly bizarre story. Presumably, this project was the result of several appalling events that have been reported (and maybe more we haven’t heard about) in which babies have become seriously ill and even died from drinking formulas that their parents believed would be nutritious: here, here and here, for example. This makes the comments of Prof Campbell at the end of the first article linked above (asking why people would put poison into food) a little disingenuous. . .

Prime lambs just shy of $200 – Farmers Weekly reports:

Heavy prime lambs fell just shy of the $200 mark as values lifted up to $4/head at Temuka while store lambs also lifted in the market by $2-$4/head, PGG Wrightson livestock representative Rod Sands reported.
Good heavy lambs made from $158 to $$199 and heavy butcher ewes made up to $220. Forward store lambs fetched up to $125. Bull and beef cow prices rose 10-15c/kgLW.
At Tinwald heavy lambs made $190 and store lambs to $120.
The sheep market caught “lamb fever” at Frankton, Allied Farmers agents reported with prime lambs going to $175. . .

Farm award adds to excellent year: Helen de Reus writes:

Third-generation Hillend farmer Stuart Hallum will receive his New Zealand Century Farm Award at Lawrence tonight.

The 65-year-old farms sheep and cattle at Hillend with his wife, Annette, and is now semi-retired. . .

Passion for trials undimmed – Sally Rae reports fro the South Island dog trails:

Geoff Allison has been dog-trialling for more than half a century and his passion for the sport is still as strong as ever.

Born in South Otago, Mr Allison (67) was 9 when his family shifted to South Canterbury.

He started trialling when he was 15, following in the footsteps of his father. . .

X-factor apparent in dogs’ monikers – Sally Rae again:

 It’s all in a name. Forget the usual dog monikers of Bill, Queen and Jess at the South Island sheep dog trial championships – Greg Metherell has been more creative.

Mr Metherell, from Kenmore Station, at Otekaieke, has a huntaway dog simply called X. . .

Major merger sees birth of $50m animal feed firm – Tim Cronshaw writes:

 A national animal feed business with a starting point revenue of $50 million will arise from major fertiliser co-operative Ballance Agri-Nutrients buying into a partnership with Mid Canterbury and Morrinsville firms.

Ballance will own the majority share with 51 per cent of Seales Winslow with the Carr family’s Winslow Feeds and Nutrition, from Ashburton, holding 24.5 per cent and a similar-sized share taken by feed mill firm Seales Ltd. . .

A place fit for man, beast, frogs and kids – Jon Morgan writes:

When Ray and Lyn Craig entered dairying 20 years ago they wrote a list of goals. At the top, along with a production target long since surpassed, was to own an “aesthetically pleasing” farm.

They have their wish. Their 550-cow farm on the outskirts of Carterton is criss-crossed with streams and drains, all planted with willows, flaxes and a variety of other natives. Three small wetlands have also been created and their flaxes, toetoe and other natives are home to tui, kingfishers, herons and an assortment of ducks.

So impressed were the judges in the Greater Wellington region’s Ballance Farm Environment Awards that they awarded the couple the supreme title and remarked that the riparian plantings were among the best they had seen on a dairy farm. . .


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