Darren

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  • in reply to: Tui and Monsanto #35107

    Darren
    Participant

    Yates got back to me to confirm that Yates NZ are currently the distributor for Roundup in NZ in the retail (Lawn & Garden) market until 30 Sept 2013 at which point Tui Garden Products takes on the distribution. My questions about why Yates was not continuing to be the distributor were not addressed.

    As for the commercial sector, “Nufarm and Sinochem distribute Roundup herbicide brands in Australia and New Zealand.” http://www.monsanto.com/global/au/products/Pages/Roundup.aspx

    People interested in more reading about the company Tui is so proud and excited to be associated with might find this article from yesterday’s International Business Times of interest: http://www.ibtimes.com/monsanto-protection-act-5-terrifying-things-know-about-hr-933-provision-1156079

    The “Monsanto Protection Act” allows Monsanto to keep selling seeds, which can then go on to be planted, even if it is found to be harmful to consumers. Federal courts are barred from being able to halt the sale or planting of controversial genetically modified (aka GMO) or genetically engineered (GE) seeds, no matter what health issues may arise concerning GMOs in the future. This interesting piece of legislation co-written by Monsanto was tucked away inside a spending bill aimed at averting a government shutdown and ensuring that the federal government would continue to be able to pay its bills. Obama signed it into law on 26 March, 2013.

    in reply to: Tui and Monsanto #35065

    Darren
    Participant

    Good questions Joanna!
    I understand the current distributor is Yates. http://www.yates.co.nz/brand/roundup/ However I have not yet been able to verify this to my satisfaction. Yates have not yet replied to my phone messages or emails and information on this subject is very hard to find. Yates are owned by Duluxgroup, along with Watkins, hortico, and ratsack. http://www.duluxgroup.com.au/Our-Brands/default.aspx

    Was Tui previously regarded as quite “green”? Well I liked them, as I said in my OP they are a small NZ owned company based in the town I live in, so I preferred to support them where I could.

    What is worse about Tui doing the marketing than whoever does so now? Well I for one am saddened that as more information surfaces about Monsanto’s deceptions and the problems associated with Glyphosate use become better understood, Tui’s reputation as “A Friend In Your Garden For Over 100 Years” is going to be used to promote this product. Many people still assume it is as safe as they were told 30 years ago. Tui say that they “encourage our customers to make informed decisions about the products they choose to use” and good on them! So lets have some information so we can make those informed decisions. For example why does Yates page still say Roundup is “non-residual” when it has been proven to be residual?

    Another factor is not just the Glyphosate, but Monsanto. Concern is growing worldwide over their growing control over our food systems. Another question I have not been able to find a satisfactory answer to is why is the current distributor not continuing in this roll? Did they foresee a backlash and wanted to disassociate themselves from Monsanto? Why would Tui want their trusted brand name associated with the company pushing GMO and terminator genes, and rapidly buying up seed companies? https://www.msu.edu/~howardp/seedindustry.pdf

    in reply to: Tui and Monsanto #35055

    Darren
    Participant

    You’re right, that does make the situation more difficult. In this situation a chemical spray does sound like your best option. Even though the claims of its safety made by Monsanto have now been proven to be, shall we say FRASS, Glyphosate (N-(phosphonomethyl)glycine) is still generally considered less toxic than many of the herbicides it replaced.

    Monsanto claimed Glyphosate (N-(phosphonomethyl)glycine) was safer than salt. (I always had misgivings about that, because the advert showed a small bottle next to a large sack of salt weighing I would guess roughly 20kg. That much salt would kill several people!) But it turns out that Glyphosate’s inhibition of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes was overlooked as a component of its toxicity to mammals. CYP enzymes play crucial roles in biology, one of which is to detoxify xenobiotics. So glyphosate can enhance the damaging effects of other food borne chemical residues and environmental toxins. Negative impact on the body would be insidious and manifest slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body. (http://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/15/4/1416/pdf)

    Monsanto claimed it was biodegradable and would leave no soil residue. Again, they were mistaken. The Attorney General of New York ordered the company to pull those ads in 1996. The European Union classed it as “dangerous for the environment” and “toxic for aquatic organisms” and Monsanto was convicted in France of false advertising.

    The United States EPA has twice caught scientists deliberately falsifying test results at research laboratories hired by Monsanto to study glyphosate. (and this is the company that Tui is “very proud and excited” to associated with?)

    And that’s just the “active ingredient” of Glyphosate. The so-called “inert ingredients” mixed with it have issues of their own.

    However, even taking all that into account, you aren’t growing food crops on the sprayed area, and if you take suitable PPE precautions and don’t contaminate any waterways it should be ok.

    But maybe next time you spray roundup or the Glyphosate sprays from other companies you could also spray another area with 50% budget vinegar with a bit of dishwash mixed in and see how that works for you?

    in reply to: Tui and Monsanto #35045

    Darren
    Participant

    Hi meganwishart, that sounds like a great project! While glyphosate is not the worst herbicide on the market, evidence is showing that monsanto’s claims for its safety were not entirely correct: http://joemohrtoons.com/2010/04/28/monsanto-they-made-good-wmds-i-bet-they-make-healthy-food/

    Have you considered a chicken tractor? It clears the ground, removes weeds and pests, while also turning and fertilising the area ready for the planting. Eggs are a nice bonus! 😉 Geoff Lawton uses a chicken tractor to clear land before he plants his food forests.
    http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-agriculture/using-chickens-plant-food-forest.html

    I use a similar but much more modest system to clear ground for my 2×1 garden beds. 😉

    otherwise this might interest you
    http://www.garden-counselor-lawn-care.com/vinegar-weed-killer.html

    in reply to: Tui and Monsanto #35037

    Darren
    Participant

    This is what Tui had to say on their facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/TuiGarden

    We at Tui Products encourage our customers to make informed decisions about the products they choose to use. The purpose of this note is to share some facts about our business, which customers can take into consideration when selecting which products best suit their home and garden needs and preferences.

    We do not delete comments, with the exception of those that contain profanity.

    To confirm:

    From October 2013, Tui Products will take over the New Zealand distribution of a small number of Roundup products (for home and garden use) which have been sold in New Zealand since the 1970s.
    It is a simple change of hands from the products’ current New Zealand distributor, and our role is solely as the new distributor.
    Roundup is demanded by thousands of New Zealand gardeners, farmers, industry workers and other commercial operators. Objections to Monsanto (the manufacturer of Roundup) should be taken up directly with that company. We cannot speak on their behalf. Contact: http://www.monsanto.com.
    Tui Products’ association begins and ends with the distribution of the same Roundup home and garden products that have been on Kiwi shelves for more than 40 years.
    Tui Products strives to offer a range of products to suit all home gardeners’ needs and preferences and we encourage our customers to practice their freedom of choice. It distributes more than 500 product lines, including 200 under the Tui brand name.
    Tui Products is a private New Zealand-owned company with a 100-year history, employing 70 local staff.

    in reply to: Monarch Health 2013 Monitoring Kits #33538

    Darren
    Participant

    Yes they send kits to NZ, I have had them before. They prefer ‘wild’ monarchs to raised ones. Our southern hemisphere season is out of synch with theirs, but I queried if that was a problem before I got the first kit and they didn’t think it was a problem.

    in reply to: Preventing bird strike on windows #33455

    Darren
    Participant

    You can also purchase them from Project Kereru:

    http://www.projectkereru.org.nz/preventing-window-strike

    The decals come in packets of 4 or 5 depending on which design you choose. The butterfly, hummingbird, snowflake and mapleleaf have 4 decals per pack and the new leaf medley design has 5. The newest one – a hawk design has two decals per pack.

    Decals are $15 per packet plus postage which is normally $2.40 1 -2 packets or $5.00 for 3 or more. Courier is $6.55.

    You can pay by internet banking/bank deposit :
    PROJECT KERERU Account number: Kiwibank – 38-9007-0424202-00 .

    More information about the decals…. they are certainly not a guarantee against birds hitting windows but they go a very very long way to preventing it. Many people have told me they are happy with them and I have also had reports from people saying that they have seen birds flying straight towards the windows and veering off as they got closer. It was very much an experiment for me when I first started importing them -it saddens me at the number of kereru that I care for each year that have suffered an impact injury/hit windows – over 70% of them – from Otago alone.

    I have learnt over the years that there are mainly two types of situations where window strike occurs the most…..

    a) if the birds perceive a line of flight through your house – if they can see right through your house with window facing each other or corner windows

    b) highly reflective windows (sometimes certain types of double-glazing is reflective I think?????) or large trees are reflected in the glass – which is unavoidable at times (and in no way would I ever suggest trees are chopped down!).

    Both these situations can be helped by the Decals. Birds have much much better eyesight than we do – approximately 12 x better – so although the decals are relatively small, they appear massive to the birds. They appear like a small patch of frosted glass to us but are highly visible to birds as they have a component that reflects UV light and glow like a stoplight to them (invisible to us). The Decals are placed on the OUTSIDE of the windows – they are around 8cm in diameter and WindowAlert recommend one per square metre of glass (if the windows are highly reflective you may need more than this)- they are however fairly unobtrusive and the more sunlight on the windows the less you see them.

    The decals have a coating that brilliantly reflects ultraviolet light. Like any product, man-made or natural, the decals will degrade when exposed to the elements. Sunlight, inclement weather, and higher elevations will all result in faster degradation of the decals. Depending upon these variables, Window Alert recommend decals should be replaced every 6 to 9 months.

    HOWEVER, the extremes in weather in America are a lot different to the weather in NZ and most people I have dealt with have had longer use (approx. 12 months)

    Nik

    Project Kereru
    Dedicated to the rehabilitation and release of the New Zealand Native Pigeon

    in reply to: What are the gold spots on a Monarch chrysalis made of? #31601

    Darren
    Participant

    Probably an optical effect caused by multiple slit interference, common in butterfly wings. Good article here
    http://www.webexhibits.org/causesofcolor/15A.html

    in reply to: Book Review: Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver #31600

    Darren
    Participant

    And only $12 from book depository. http://tinyurl.com/afcujgt

    in reply to: Predator help #31589

    Darren
    Participant

    I thought most weevils were herbivores, and generally have quite a ‘snouty’ sort of look?

    Whereas shield bugs are recognisable by their distinctive five part shape that gives them their name Pentatomidae.

    in reply to: Predator help #31573

    Darren
    Participant

    I did an image search for pentatomidae nymphs http://tinyurl.com/cfkmws2

    Say’s stink bug (Chlorochroa sayi) looks kind of similar? Good pictures of the nymphs and adults halfway down this page
    http://waynesword.palomar.edu/anzabugs1.htm

    in reply to: Predator help #31571

    Darren
    Participant

    They look like nymphs of some species of predatory stink bug. It might be easier to identify the exact species if you can keep some alive to adulthood and document the various stages, for example: http://flic.kr/p/4yfCZr

    You could also try the Enviromental Health Officer at your council 06 835 7579

    in reply to: Is it just mine or yours too? #31547

    Darren
    Participant

    Actually this might be the problem…
    https://www.monarch.org.nz/favicon.ico
    404 – File or directory not found.
    The resource you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailabl

    in reply to: Is it just mine or yours too? #31546

    Darren
    Participant

    Can you see a favicon on this site? http://www.make-a-favicon.com/

    If not try this addon for firefox: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/favicon-restorer/?src=api

    For chrome in Windows try to delete or rename the Favicons file located at C:\Users\your_user_name\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default

    in reply to: Testing New Website #31505

    Darren
    Participant

    Hi Ana, I can now see my topics in firefox 17. Thanks. Good to see you go the latin1 to utf-8 sorted as well. its nice to see somebody who knows what they are doing looking after the website 😉


    Darren
    Participant

    I haven’t noticed any difference in germinating the seeds. Gomphocarpus fruticosus and G. physocarpus will also hybridise and produce plants with characteristics intermediate between the two.

    in reply to: Testing New Website #31395

    Darren
    Participant

    Hi Ana, thats what I see with chrome, but with firefox the page is blank.

    It seems I was mistaken, I can post simple text with firefox/ubuntu, but the content of some of my complex posts is generating strange errors. I’ll switch to email.

    thanks Darren

    in reply to: Testing New Website #31375

    Darren
    Participant

    I cannot post at all using firefox 17.0.1 with ubuntu 12.04

    in reply to: Testing New Website #31372

    Darren
    Participant

    When viewing profile, pages showing “topics created” and “Forum Replies Created”
    eg https://www.monarch.org.nz/forum/users/darreng/topics/

    are blank with Firefox 17.0.1 on WinXPSP3
    works correctly on Chrome 23.0.1271.97 m on WinXPSP3

    in reply to: What constitutes a member? #31193

    Darren
    Participant

    Some forum software allows all sorts of options: Avatars, emoticons, friends and enemies lists, signatures, prestige rankings, preview your posting, and so forth.

    BBPress describes itself as “Simple and elegant forum software from the creators of WordPress.

    Elegant? I think so. I use many different forums, and I have to say that I don’t find any of them as easy on the eye as this one.

    Simple? Perhaps that’s a relative term. I haven’t had an opportunity to peer inside the workings of other forum software like I have bbpress, but if bbpress is “simple” then I hate to think what the others are like! But “simple” is a two edged sword. Simple to set up and run is great, but missing features that would be very useful isn’t.

    in reply to: Inside a chrysalis – interesting article #31033

    Darren
    Participant

    “The telltale gold spots on the outside of a chrysalis are ports of entry for oxygen”

    hehe, I still remember “the mystery of the gold spots” from one of your talks Jacqui!

    in reply to: change of name? #31026

    Darren
    Participant

    Like Terry, I think changing the name but keeping the same acronym is a masterpiece of ingenuity and kudos to the person who spotted that!

    Would the website stay https://www.monarch.org.nz?
    http://www.nzbutterflies.org.nz doesn’t seem to fit the new name.
    I note that http://www.mbnzt.org.nz currently appears unowned.
    Or perhaps use the http://www.mb.org.nz name?

    in reply to: Aphids and companion planting #30973

    Darren
    Participant

    According to what I’ve read, A.colemani is very good at scouting out even small colonies of aphids. The mummies don’t need sustenance, and that is how you can buy them. So yes, those old branches with mummies could be useful.

    However like ladybirds, A.colemani are better as a preventative: they can’t really keep up with a swarm of aphids popping out new aphids as fast as they can clone them.

    The length of the life-cycle of A.colemani is temperature dependant, but interestingly the mummy stage is near the end. An infected aphid can keep moving and feeding for days, so those “a few live aphids” you mentioned are probably on their way to becoming mummies as well.

    The bad news is that there are hyper-parasite wasps which prey on A.colemani! The mummy looks similar, but A.colemani leave a clean round exit hole, while the hyper-parasite leaves a messy hole. That isn’t very helpful since its a bit late once the hyper-parasite has left, and with my eyesight I don’t think I’d be able to tell the difference anyway. But either way its fatal to the aphid.

    in reply to: Aphids and companion planting #30969

    Darren
    Participant

    No worries Sally.

    Jacqui, Ladybird beetle eggs look like this:
    http://media-1.web.britannica.com/eb-media/90/91390-004-E473AA3D.jpg

    Aphids that have been parasitised by our friend Aphidius colemani (Viereck, 1912) look like this:
    http://www.insectimages.org/images/768×512/5381061.jpg

    in reply to: Swan plants needed – Orewa/North Shore #30964

    Darren
    Participant

    you cannot satisfactorily use pumpkin as a substitute feed for Monarch caterpillars. They will eat it, so it could be used as a stop-gap measure if you run out of feed until you can find some more hostplant. Very late instar larvae will pupate normally on it, but having said that, they might also have pupated normally being fed nothing. https://www.monarch.org.nz/forum/topic/pumpkin-problems#post-17171

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 751 total)