Spent the day working on weed identification. A short trip to the hills to explore the country. Started compiling another database for weeds etc specific to Central Otago. I will begin to populate the database with info. I have set a link to the Viticulture database file but need to write a script to open and close each file smoothly. I also need to include some more calculations for area measures etc. I will keep adding functions as I learn them but I want to build a nursery/proagation model as well. Then I will incorporate all the files together within one front page menu.
Tried to finish my assessment but ran out of time as we went to Bannockburn Road to start on new assessment project.
When is a weed not a weed……..really good lateral thinking making a resource out of a problem.
Fledgling firm turns pine pest into perfume
Last month some men in gumboots took a helicopter out to Sawpit Gully near Queenstown to process invasive trees into a highly sought-after product that could solve an environmental threat.
The product? Pine oil.
Wilding & Co, run by Michael Sly, Mathurin Molgat and Dave Turnbull, was founded with the aim of producing pine oil and byproducts by harvesting wild pines.
The firm is on the cusp of a global business breakthrough, leapfrogging traditional business models as the industry embraces the idea of using an abundant resource – invasive pine trees – that needs eradicating.
Wilding & Co has been selected as a finalist to pitch an investment portfolio to deep pockets at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Eco entrepreneurial competition in Texas next month, a kind of international Dragon’s Den for start-ups.
The entrepreneurs produce oil using a mobile chipper and steam still, equipment that fits on the back of a standard trailer but simply cannot produce the volume the market demands.
“Our oil is considered the best in the world.
“The bigger it gets, the more ecologically viable it gets. We’ve created a story beyond the traditional value of pine oil. We have a business in its infancy pitching to the biggest seller of our product in the world,” Molgat says.
Sly’s background is as a self-employed entrepreneur behind the Taramea perfume, and his family were among Wakatipu’s pioneering viticulturists.
The unique selling point is the way pine trees are used.
The best oil is produced from young trees before they start seeding cones, thereby stopping the spread of the pest species throughout the Wakatipu Basin and, potentially, other areas if the company can upscale.
Sly said the model was almost a reverse of a traditional business approach, with a plentiful replenishing resource, a pest species that needs eradicating, and a ready and willing market but no viable delivery method because the firm is so small.
“Generally, for the whole Southern Alps the objective is to have multiple mobile stills that can consume several tonnes of pine trees . . . travel to a single site to harvest in tandem or go out to different areas.
From a business perspective, they have a high-grade product ready for market, a production system and global interest from aromatherapy corporates but, crucially, they do not have the industrial scale to produce for the existing market.
To make pine oil, young trees are felled and chipped then the biomass is steam-distilled in a vacuum.
Under vacuum, the process can be done at a lower temperature, improving energy efficiency and the oil quality. The evaporate condenses and separates into oil and hydrosol, products used extensively by the cosmetic industry.
Wilding pines are classed as a noxious pest species and proliferate in the Wakatipu and Mackenzie basins.
– The Southland Times
this is a very cool article on mullien……thinking I might change my plant presentation!
Curling at Naseby…..I didnt attend due to illness
Thursday Proagation and vegetable presentation
Cow deaths linked to swedes
A mystery illness associated with swedes is killing Southland dairy cows.
DairyNZ has issued an advisory for southern dairy farmers after cows had become sick and in some cases died after grazing on swede crops.
DairyNZ Southland/South Otago regional leader Richard Kyte said in the advisory to farmers the issue was only with swede crops and appeared to be widespread throughout Southland.
Autopsies undertaken by local vet practices had, in some cases, shown severe liver damage and occasionally kidney damage, associated with the death.
Further blood testing on some affected animals – which included all ages and classes of stock – had shown significantly elevated liver enzymes and compromised kidney function.
In the reported cases, clinical signs had reduced once cows were removed from the swede crop, Kyte said.
DairyNZ is advising farmers and their staff, who are feeding swedes, to be extra vigilant and to look out for signs of photosensitivity, weight loss and ill thrift in their herds.
All cows including young stock and any animals being fed swedes off-farm should be checked.
If signs appeared, farmers should take cows off the crop and contact their vet.
Federated Farmers Southland dairy chairman Allan Baird said yesterday the situation was very concerning for the dairy industry.
The immediate need was to determine what the cause of the problem was, he said.
“It appears vets are still a little stumped. I imagine they are working to trace the movement of the cows whether they have come off one diet onto a another. Or whether difficult weather conditions in August also played a part.”
Dairy farmers had to report abnormal deaths to DairyNZ, Baird said.
Kyte said DairyNZ, veterinarians and other rural professionals were working together to better understand the cause and provide farmers with further responses.
DairyNZ suggested reducing the swede component of the diet to 50 per cent or less.
However, it was vital that farmers monitor the herd and reduce or eliminate the swede component of the animal’s diet if required.
Providing alternative feed before the next break of swedes is offered, may help reduce the incidence of clinical signs.
If cows were showing any of the above signs, contact your veterinarian for advice.
Weight loss. Down-cows that are unresponsive to normal metabolic intervention.
Photosensitivity. Signs of this include: – cows seeking shade (if available) – reddening of the udder and skin damage to white skin areas – restlessness shown by skin twitching; flicking of ears and tail; irritability; and stomping.
If symptoms appeared, animals should be removed from crop if possible and shade should be provided for any animal showing signs of photosensitivity.
– The Southland Times
Friday Was meant to go to the range with Wanye King but didn’t due to illness.