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Paewai Rebound Record

The Dannevirke coal mining machine loose powder paewai rebound cancelled two years ago the world record from eleventh hours to offer star in another record hit in the sultry Kingdom Wuhrer Pa Schaede down.

Paewai triumphed with the top individual score of 618 as a Pio Pio-based gang set an eight-hour world five-stand strongwool lamb shearing record of 2910.

Achieved at the Puketiti Station woolshed, about 25 minutes west of the King Country township of Pio Pio, the gang smashed the previous record of 2638 set in December 2013 by a Waikaretu-based gang which included Takapau shearer Richard Welch.

Two years ago, Paewai and fellow central and southern Hawke's Bay shearers Cam Ferguson and Adam Brausch were denied an attempt at a three-stand record when judges ruled just the night before it was to take place that the lambs did not carry sufficient head wool.

There were no similar issues with Tuesday's record, a pre-record shear of 20 lambs before the judges on Monday producing 20.8kg of wool, comfortably more than the average requirement of 0.9kg a lamb.

Paewai joins an illustrious group of Hawke's Bay shearers already in the World Sheep Shearing Records Society's books. They are headed by Flaxmere's Dion King and South Island-based Porangahau shearer Rod Sutton, who hold the premier nine-hour strongwool records for lambs and ewes.

Others are Hastings-based world champion Rowland Smith and brother Doug, who hold a two-stand ewes record for eight hours set at Waitara Station, north of Te Pohu; Napier shearer John Kirkpatrick, who headed a four-stand record in Southland in February 2013; and Rowland Smith's wife, Ingrid, and her mother, Marg Baynes, who set a women's record in 2009.

Rural Women honour

Liz Evans was recognised for her services to rural women in the Queen's New Year's Honours list, having been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM).

Evans, a national life member and former national president of Rural Women New Zealand, says she sees the award as both a personal recognition and recognition of Rural Women as an organisation.

"My association with Rural Women New Zealand has been a long and interesting journey over 40 years. Over that time the same issues have come up: advocacy for better services, or not losing services, in rural, to the anxiety about membership. It's a testament to the organisation that it's kept going and will keep going."

Fast track needed

Water restrictions for irrigation look set to follow a similar pattern to the 2012-13 summer, says IrrigationNZ, when drought conditions in the North and South Island wiped more than $1billion from the economy.

"This summer once again highlights the need to fast track alpine-fed water storage infrastructure in both the South and North Islands," says IrrigationNZ chief executive Andrew Curtis. "We have modernised and improved our irrigation distribution systems but have failed to invest in alpine water storage - to our detriment. Certainty of water supply allows investment in irrigation technologies that greatly improve nutrient management and production."

Illness investigated

DairyNZ has completed an analysis of the blood and autopsy samples it collected from dairy cows becoming ill after grazing on swedes in Southland.

DairyNZ regional team leader for Southland/South Otago, Richard Kyte, says the findings indicate the cows had liver damage.

"The findings appear to be consistent with known liver damage associated with cows grazing brassica forage crops, except the visible signs of illness seemed to be more severe," he says.

"While the study did not allow comparison between swede varieties, the findings indicate that cows experienced liver damage after grazing swede varieties other than the HT (herbicide tolerant) variety, regardless of whether there were visible signs of illness."

The damage is similar to that seen in outbreaks of facial eczema.

"All brassica varieties produce a range of sulphur-containing substances (pre-toxins) such as glucosinolates and SMCO (S-methylcysteine sulphoxide) which are not toxic in themselves. Brassica pre-toxins are changed during rumen digestion into toxic agents such as nitriles. Nitriles are known to cause liver damage in rats."

Levels of glucosinolates and SMCO in plants can be affected by plant growth conditions and are generally highest in mature plants and flower-heads.

"However, we have to be careful about drawing any major conclusions from these findings. The analysis is based on samples collected at a single point in time towards the end of the period when the illness was evident. They were not collected over the whole swede grazing period."

Investigators are now analysing data from a survey of 120 farmers and their

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