Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: Fact and fantasy

628 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 20 21 22 23 24 26 Newer→ Last

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Pinus envy and all that jazz...

    ...both endemic to the Monterey area

    NZ and especially John Key and crew appear to have serious wood for all things US (I see he - the anointed one - is holidaying in Palm Springs, Florida this year - maybe his Hawaii home is a really a timeshare... much like his approach to political life)

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4555 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Attachment

    Serious wood - and wasps.

    The giant Moreton Bay fig at Pahi on the North arm of the Kaipara, about 3 weeks ago.

    2013 marks the 20th anniversary of the first recorded appearance of this Australian banyan's unique pollinator wasp in NZ. After 120-plus years of decorative sterility these vegetable elephants are producing viable offspring and colonising the Northern forest canopy. And they're possum-proof.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3326 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    traders and dealers...

    Serious wood

    Figuratively speaking that is literally a hyper bole....
    ...or is it just an exaggerated stamen?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4555 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Hope springs eternal . . .
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/8127171/Farmers-likely-to-benefit-from-Chinese-purchase

    Notice the acknowledgement that NZ could easily produce the same or greater quantity of milk with fewer cows(resulting in less pollution and better animal welfare; possibly a slight improvement in working conditions for dairy-slaves as well).

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 346 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green,

    Farmer Green sees that the entry of NON Co-operative dairy companies to the NZ raw milk market is the real big game changer.
    If non co-op companies pay the same or higher raw -milk price directly to farmers , then the Fonterra farmers are effectively receiving no return for their compulsory investment in Fonterra Co-op shares.
    Fonterra will (if it is to remain a co-op) have no option but to raise the dividend payment WITHOUT dropping the raw -milk component of its payout to its farmers .
    The only way to do this will be to add more value i.e. to change the product mix away from commodities.

    The other game changer will be if the new non co-op companies elect to produce all year round (why wouldn't you go for maximum utilisation of a several hundred million dollar investment in plant?).
    This will allow the new companies to minimise the proportion of their production emerging as low- value commodities , and to raise their raw -milk payout further, in the process encouraging further defections from Fonterra.

    Game on!

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 346 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    "exaggerated stamen"?

    Farmer Green thinks that a closet cloaca might be a more apt analogy.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 346 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Farmer Green regards the NZ Forest Dept decision to go with Pinus radiata rather than Cupresssus macrocarpa (or lusitanica) as one of our worst national decisions.
    The necessity for copper , chrome and arsenic treatment of pine means that we went up a dead end .
    Just imagine if we had put all that development work into any of the cypresses , including C. leylandii.
    Of course forest monoculture was always a stupid idea , but we didn;t have to shoot ourselves in the foot TWICE.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 346 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Farmer Green,

    The other game changer will be if the new non co-op companies elect to produce all year round (why wouldn’t you go for maximum utilisation of a several hundred million dollar investment in plant?).

    From what I've read (in Chinese - the Chinese media, for all its faults, seems to report these things faster than the NZ media) Yili plans to use the Oceania Dairy plant to produce milk powder as that way they can use all the milk without having to change NZ's seasonal milk production system. I guess once it's powder the milk has a sufficiently long shelf life that it can be shipped over to China then warehoused and gradually fed onto the supermarket shelves, so there can be a constant year-round supply of powder to the consumers, while their NZ$214 million investment runs at max capacity part of the year, and sits idle in the off season. Doesn't look too good for South Canterbury's labour force.

    Also, in your Stuff article what grabbed my eye is this:

    Also New Zealand has got a fantastic reputation when it comes to food safety . . . I dare say second to none . . . and these people are looking for very safe food because the Chinese don't trust their own food because of the melamine scandal and a couple of other things

    Ummm... yeah... NZ has a fantastic reputation for the time being. NZ also seems to have some dodgy operators in the milk powder export industry who could easily ruin NZ's reputation.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 1964 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    dodgy operators in the milk powder export

    Not sure what you are referring to there. The NZ Food Safety Authority is not to be trifled with. And they're heavy.
    Perhaps you mean the Asian NZers who buy tins of powder at the supermarket and export them?

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 346 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Farmer Green,

    Not sure what you are referring to there.

    More than once this year NZ or allegedly NZ milk powder has failed AQSIQ inspection. At least once also in Hong Kong. I've seen products of Sutton Group caught twice - though to be fair to Sutton Group it's not clear whether they actually produced Ioland or not, but even so, their neither confirm nor deny does not help.

    Those who buy up tins of powder at the supermarket and post them back to friends and family are, as I understand it, breaking the law, but I don't class them as dodgy operators because I trust the NZFSA to make sure what's on NZ supermarket shelves is up to scratch.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 1964 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green,

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 346 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Farmer Green,

    A South Waikato farmer, who asked not to be named, said staff with Saudi experience were particularly sought after as they were familiar with working on huge operations using modern machinery and world-class standards.

    As Saudi Arabia has a much greater reliance than NZ on foreign labour to perform 'menial' jobs, those with sought-after Saudi experience are unlikely to be Saudis.

    Additionally, there was the pull of "earning $14 per hour as opposed to $14 per day"

    Is $14 per day the going rate in Saudi?

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3326 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Is $14 per day the going rate in Saudi?

    FG thinks that was in reference to the Phillipines, the subject of the preceding paragraph.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 346 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Farmer Green,

    Whatever the Saudis pay their dairy workers, they're unlikely to be doing it for much longer.

    Saudi large-scale agriculture is a doomed extractive industry. In the mid-90s local wheat production, watered by deep-drilled aquifers in the desert, was so far in excess of their claimed goal of self-sufficiency that a shipload turned up in Australia. Since then the dream has evaporated, although it hasn't stopped the tendency of economists to interfere in areas beyond their competence.

    As we know from local conditions in areas like Canterbury, dairying is vastly more demanding of water resources than wheat growing. All the Saudis are doing with dairying is replacing one unsustainable scheme with an even more unrealistic one. Hopefully we won't be importing their destructive fantasies along with their trained workforce.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3326 posts Report Reply

  • Robert Urquhart,

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2009 • 140 posts Report Reply

  • Robert Urquhart, in reply to Robert Urquhart,

    ... Except at some point the link has started 403ing. Oh well.

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2009 • 140 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Farmer Green,

    FG thinks that was in reference to the Phillipines, the subject of the preceding paragraph.

    In Otago, the local Roman Catholic churches have been vivfied- there are masses
    conducted in Tagalog etc. It's hard to get numbers on Phillipino/a people but there are more than a few now involved in dairy farming-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh,

    There's some stuff that actually makes sense in this piece, like:

    "Their view is they have to do something about their electricity consumption so they're looking to offshore effectively some of the processing cost of some of their industries. So they're looking and saying well, maybe we should invest.

    "New Zealand has renewable energy, maybe we should invest there. If it's competitive it also reduces the amount of stuff we're bringing into China."

    But then there's the worrying stuff, too:

    The more likely opportunities for significant growth and new jobs were in high-value foods and further intensification of agriculture,

    If "further intensification of agriculture" is just another "more cows more milk!" or "bugger drought prone! more irrigation!" then please, no. If, on the other hand, he intends to hire people like our Farmer Green with ideas on how to improve the economy without cowshitting all over our own backyard, then ok. But with this government, I'm not inclined to optimism.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 1964 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    if it makes sense for the Chinese to invest in developing NZ primary Products - then it makes more sense for NZ to do this, No?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10857599

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1174 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    maybe his Hawaii home is a really a timeshare… much like his approach to political life

    Early candidate for quip of the year.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2191 posts Report Reply

  • st ephen, in reply to Farmer Green,

    Farmer Green regards the NZ Forest Dept decision to go with Pinus radiata rather than Cupresssus macrocarpa (or lusitanica) as one of our worst national decisions.

    More accurate to say that by planting species other than radiata pine, NZ lost out on billions of dollars worth of revenue. Radiata wasn't even in the top ten by 1913, with plantings of larch alone outnumbering it by 100 to 1. Long after commercial investors had switched to almost 100% radiata, the State persisted with other species (stopping only when Treasury imposed a ROI hurdle). A bit harsh to blame the dominance of radiata on the NZFS then.

    dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 193 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to st ephen,

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 346 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It seems that you believe too much of what you read. The science of climate continues to develop, and there is no reason for despair.

    Actually, recent news suggests there is cause to be very, very concerned.

    For those who have been able to maintain an open mind on the science of climate.

    While you were sleeping:-
    http://joannenova.com.au/2013/01/skeptic-win-uk-met-office-quietly-drops-prediction-by-20-hopes-no-one-notices/#comments

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 346 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Farmer Green,

    an open mind

    where all intelligence drips out of it

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16278 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Sacha,

    where all intelligence drips out of it

    Joanne Nova’s degree specialities?
    *microbiology & bacteriology*
    O- and host for a kids’science programme-


    Of course I’d prefer her to climatologists & metrologists – it just stands to reason
    doesnt it Farmer Green?

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 20 21 22 23 24 26 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.