FROM THE RIDGE: Depending too much on one market is risky

In the year ending March 2018 New Zealand exported goods worth $15 billion to China and $14b to Australia, making them our biggest export trading partners.

The China exports included $4b of dairy products, $3b of logs and wood and $2b of meat products.

FROM THE RIDGE: Forget facts, hearts and minds are crucial

This time of the year is farming awards season.

Tonight, I’m off to the Hawke’s Bay Primary Sector Awards, which are one of the biggest non-dairy farming awards in the country. I think more than 350 folk attend. 

FROM THE RIDGE: Small things go deep in tragedy response

The 44 minutes of appalling hatred and evil by one individual will have profound and long-lasting impacts on the families, friends, community, Christchurch and this country for a long, long time into the future.

FROM THE RIDGE: Fert tax sets uncomfortable precedent

The recommendations from the Tax Working Group came out a couple of weeks ago.

Possibly the worst kept secret or else unsurprising recommendations were the result. And the resulting furore and objections was equally unsurprising.

FROM THE RIDGE: Economic suicide and absolute madness

I attended a small function in Napier where European Union Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Phil Hogan spoke.

He and his delegation were briefly in the country negotiating with our own officials over a trade deal between the EU and New Zealand, which sounds promising. Later, when I asked when this might happen, he said it could be early in 2020.

FROM THE RIDGE: Bungling service Sparks venting of spleen

I'm going to vent my spleen.

But first, this term deserves some consideration.

In European medicine from medieval times until the 19th century it was believed the spleen was the source of anger and, therefore, anger could be expelled by venting the spleen.

FROM THE RIDGE: Farmers are content despite lack of thumpers

It's been a funny type of season but no one is complaining in this part of the world.

August was benign for lambing and calving then that nasty early September storm hit the North Island’s east coast and a big dent was put into folk’s lambing percentages.

FROM THE RIDGE: Killer fungus can help human health

The sound of cicada song is such an integral part of summer proper that their chirping becomes a backdrop to the day and often just becomes part of the background.

But I like them a lot and suspect most others do as well.