And just for you Rodeo Fans out there......

8 Seconds......One hell of a ride

The Tuesday morning from some whacked Comedy Show

What's your plan?

The Cats have taken over the photo uploader!

It happened after a long weekend. Tuesday before last to be exact. I've been so busy me and the blogs haven't been haven't been on a one to one basis all that much sorry guys I haven't been over. You're all wonderful friends and I really appreciate and care about all of you. So where was I? Oh yes the insane Tuesday morning. Most normal people have alarm clocks to wake them up. I had three at 6 am. Two kittens playing inside our big old U.S. made General Electric Dryer were making a hell of a racket. Then E.T the Turkey peeping at the top of its lungs and on top of everything else the Terrorist doing her mooing from the paddock where she had been banished to as loud as she could. Yeah yeah I'm getting up mutter growl complain then stagger out to the kitchen and make a coffee so I can actually function.

The kids get up the kittens are let out and the older cats let in. Fine. Breakfast eaten. Kids sent to school everything opened up including the doors. We have a flyscreen on the ranchslider to keep the chickens out..but not on the front door....Zoned out making yet another coffee after cleaning out the turkey's cage and the kittens litter box I hear the Terrorist mooing again except...it was inside the house? Turned around to find the Terrorist had walked through the front door and was stood there with both front legs on top of Sasha's horse feed. Oh no....and right behind the Terrorist in a bid to increase his species was Micah the Guts. Cattle stick, lead rope and lots of unpleasant words the Terrorist was shoved out of the house, Guts walloped and a dilemma as in how to get Guts put back behind a fence wire that was actually working? By then Maggie had discovered the joys of Whiskers cat biscuits and was hard at work in the kitchen helping herself. Since Guts was sooo in love with the Terrorist I managed to open up the top wire and walk them both through. Guts found himself stuck behind a live fence and the Terrorist found herself tied up to a tree behind the house. Get back inside booted Maggie out who by now had eaten all of the cat biscuits and was promptly attacked by two itteh bitteh kittehs on the hunt for the hooman's legs..What a morning groan.

On a sadder note...E.T the Turkey passed away last Saturday morning. Also to our friends in Australia our families' heart goes out to all of you and to the victims of the tragic bush fires in Victoria.

Ocean hunting one of the cats



Clover Root Weevil spreads further South

The pasture pest known as clover root weevil has spread into Otago. An AgResearch entomologist based at the Institute’s Invermay Campus, Colin Ferguson, a week ago, discovered a low density population on a sheep farm near Clinton in South Otago. This is the furthest south it has been found since it was first detected in Waikato in 1996.

He says although it was just a matter of time for the weevil to spread further down south, it’s nevertheless disappointing to see it has finally arrived in Otago. Mr Ferguson says although the newly discovered population is low density, it is bound to be more widespread than just one farm with possible larger populations elsewhere in the area. “The discovery was made on a sheep farm, but there are many dairy farms in the area and dairy farms tend to better support CRW populations,” he says.

He says the investigation into this new discovery is still in early stages and no decision has been made on how to control it. “There is a possibility of releasing the CRW parasitoid at some stage, but first we have to identify a suitable population to act as a carrier.” He says farmers in the area are naturally concerned but keen to work together on finding ways to control the pest.

He says it is important to also find out where else in South Otago the weevil may be present. Farmers in South Otago and even Southland (Clinton is close to the Southland border) are being urged to inspect their clover for any signs of weevils. If they find any weevils or unusual damage to clover leaves, they are urged to get into contact with Colin Ferguson on colin.ferguson@agresearch.co.nz. Information to help identify the weevil and a web page to help report new infestations is also available at www.agresearch.co.nz/crw/

Clover root weevil knocked clover production as it spread through pastures following its discovery in the Waikato in 1996. By 2005 it has spread throughout the North Island. But, it was only detected in the South Island in 2006 in Christchurch as well as near Nelson in Richmond and Rai Valley.

AgResearch entomologist, Dr Pip Gerard, says the impact of the weevil varies from farm to farm. Good pasture management helps maintain healthy and productive clover, in particular keeping pasture well grazed in spring and ensuring sufficient cover in summer to protect the stolons from sunburn. A pamphlet on clover root weevil management, which has been compiled with input from North Island farmers affected by the problem, could be helpful to farmers in the south, she says. This pamphlet is also available through Colin Ferguson at Invermay.

A biological control programme was initiated in 1998 and a parasitoid wasp from Ireland has been released in many areas of the North Island as well as at Richmond and Rai Valley. This biocontrol programme has been strongly supported by Dairy NZ, Meat & Wool NZ, and the Foundation for Research Science & Technology ever since it began. The CRW parasitoid has readily established at nearly all of its release sites, including those around Nelson, and is proving to be helpful in most areas in keeping the CRW populations under control.

Meanwhile the leader of AgResearch’s Biosecurity Group at Lincoln, Dr Craig Phillips, says additional CRW have recently been detected by his group in new locations elsewhere in the South Island including Takaka, Blenheim and Ashburton. It has also been found in a variety of new sites around Christchurch.

With a few exceptions, such as at Richmond and Rai Valley, CRW populations in the South Island have so far only reached low densities and have not yet caused severe pasture damage, but entomologists warn that the populations may still be building up.

Craig Phillips says given the propensity of CRW adults to fly in warm, dry conditions the current localised and patchy distributions of the pest are likely to spread at increasing rates, particularly in Marlborough and Canterbury.

Can you stay on for 8 seconds? He couldn't


And then there was the local Rodeo Club Games

This was cool. Heck I wanted to nab a horse and give it go. The flag race was seriously awesome. Two riders against each other going full bore down to the very end flag grabbing it then go hell for leather and drop it in the barrel at the other end. The kids especially had loads of fun. This is what I do miss about showing is the fun side and why is there a kitten on my head?