North Otago farmer Blair Smith finds little sign of life among policymakers.

Either I’m becoming even less tolerant of fools as I age, or the world has gone crazy. I suspect it’s a bit of both. The 6pm news is now more like watching a badly directed episode of The Muppet Show.

Our coalition Government loves poor people so much that they seem hell bent on creating more. I’m sure that the recipe for dragging a country out of a major economic crisis doesn’t include stifling businesses, choking innovation and cutting off your key industries at the knees.

There has been no proof of life on any policies, with Labour’s economic plan based on the heroic feat of a new public holiday. Wow, I’m pretty sure the 190,000 people that have lost their careers since lockdown would be happy to have a job, let alone a holiday.

I could point out that given society’s opposition to colonial leaders, the monarchy and religious connotations; they will be more than happy to forgo regional anniversaries, Queen’s Birthday and Easter as paid holidays.

There is a total inability to utilise both sides of the brain when making a decision, with zero carbon, zero accountability and zero common sense the latest fad.

Parker’s new water plan regulations will result in poorer environmental outcomes, at a massive cost to our export earnings. I hope people in South Auckland are ready to pay $5/litre for their milk, $30/kg for their beef mince and 30% more for their power and fuel. Not sure how these clowns think we are going to increase primary industry returns to the tune of $44 billion by 2030.

On a positive note, I’m bloody glad to be a sheep and beef farmer in a country that is the most efficient in the world at producing pasture raised protein, without a subsidy in sight.

We have two young guys working with us that are keen to learn and are motivated, and we can’t afford to lose that youthful enthusiasm out of our industry.

Being stud breeders we constantly have to look forward a decade or so to make sure we are producing sheep and beef genetics that will help the industry move even further up the efficiency curve.

With nil drench for nearly three decades now, a ewe that needs to produce her weight in weaned lambs each and every year and the ability to thrive in both the driest and wettest of years. Bring it on.

I think people underestimate the cost that some sheep breeds have when you factor in lack of worm resilience (disguised by hefty capsule use), foot rot and shitehouse wool.

We are really proud of our wool and pleased that while the industry is crying the price of wool down with depressing headlines, we (and our ram clients) continue to focus on producing the best fleece possible.

Once you let quality go, you don’t get it back. We were stoked to have a photographer at our hogget shearing last week, commissioned by a forward-thinking insurance company to promote the use of NZ wool carpets, insulation and furnishing in house contents. A big thanks also from the industry to Amy Blaikie and Georgie McGregor for the work that they continue to lead promoting NZ Wool products online.

Good old mother nature seems hell-bent on challenging us, with an underwhelming 225mm of rain so far this year. Bloody glad we have Perendale ewes that have come out of winter looking fit yet fat and ready for lambing, with the Angus stud cows finished cleaning up the back tussock blocks - and at the time of writing we are 70% of the way through calving in only 12 days.

Unfortunately our tailing will land about the week after the election we are all dreading. Most farmers look forward to this event on the calendar but those unfortunate enough to join the Newhaven Farms tailing crew, will be aware that Jane missed the memo that any conversation in the tailing pen is to be based around two topics only. Politics will never make the list.

Jane did however suggest last year that we get a daily guest speaker along to liven things up. This has proven easy to arrange with a number of politicians knowing they will have spare time on their hands post-election. I’m looking forward to seeing how Parker, Peters, Jones and Shaw escape without being castrated by Jane, although going by their lack of performance over the past three years, it appears someone has already beaten her to it.