Word of the day

February 2, 2013

Embonpoint – plumpness, stoutness; plump or fleshy part of the body, in particular a woman’s bosom.


Rural round-up

February 2, 2013

Low prices worry sheep farmers - Gerald Piddock:

Sheep prices rather than feed issues is the major cause for concern for South Canterbury sheep farmers midway through the 2012-2013 season.

Feed levels were good because of the periodic rain throughout the summer. While that was a positive, the returns farmers were receiving for their sheep was a big pill that was hard to swallow, South Canterbury Federated Farmers meat and fibre chairman Neil Campbell said.

“At least we’re not having to sell stock on a depressed store market,” he said. . .

Farmers fume at silence on power line route – Chris Gardner:

Waipa Networks is facing a backlash from angry landowners over its refusal to reveal where it plans to build a 110kv power line, which will cross three Waikato districts.

 Ray Milner, chief executive of the Te Awamutu-based network provider, refused to detail exactly where the company wants to erect the $20 million line when he spoke at Otorohanga District Council yesterday despite being told of landowners’ frustrations.

The line will start near Fonterra’s dairy factory on the outskirts of Te Awamutu and end near the Hangatiki intersection near Waitomo village. The distance by road is approximately 40km. . .

Farming lobby group denies organising geese cull – Paul Gorman:

Federated Farmers is distancing itself from last year’s bloody Lake Ellesmere cull in which Canada geese were bludgeoned to death with clubs and baseball bats.

Rotting carcasses were left floating in the lake after the controversial cull, raising fears of waterway pollution.

Federated Farmers high-country regional policy adviser Bob Douglas said this week that the organisation was not planning further culls of the pest bird.

Instead, it was working with people badly affected by the geese on their land to find a better solution. . .

Experts dump on dung beetle – Richard Rennie:

LEADING scientists and health experts believe there are major risks if dung beetles are released in New Zealand.

The beetles are in caged field trials in Northland after approval was granted by the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) for 11 species to be imported.

ERMA has since been disbanded and the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has taken over its role.

Championed by Landcare, the beetles are intended to assist rapid breakdown of animal waste, help reduce fly infestations resulting from dung presence, and possibly reduce the need for drench use. . .

Wheels may come off rural delivery – Richard Rennie

THE viability of rural mail contractors will be threatened if NZ Post pushes delivery services to only three times a week.

The state-owned enterprise is seeking to adjust the 1998 deed of understanding it has with the government on delivery conditions for standard letters and postal outlet services.

 NZ Post’s proposal document acknowledges rural New Zealand will be most affected by changes, particularly rural delivery contractors.

 One adjustment option the SOE has is to reduce mail services to three days a week . . .

High Value Harvest Underway:

New Zealand’s annual seed harvest is about to hit overdrive, and if last year’s official trade figures are any indication, there’s a surprising amount of money riding on the next few weeks.

Vegetable and forage seed exports were worth NZ$168million for the year ended 31 December 2012, up from NZ$138million the previous year, reports Statistics New Zealand.

Seed industry leaders have welcomed the result, especially considering the exchange rate, and are now eyeing up ways to grow the trade further while maintaining the rigorous standards that position New Zealand at the top end of a large, competitive global market. . .

Rabobank supports red meat sector collaboration program for greater farmer profitability:

Agricultural banking specialist Rabobank has welcomed the newly-announced red meat sector collaboration between industry and government to enhance the long-term profitability of New Zealand’s beef and lamb industries.

Rabobank New Zealand CEO Ben Russell said the bank was pleased to confirm its support as a participant in the proposed program. Rabobank notes the program is reliant on the forthcoming vote by farmers on Beef and Lamb New Zealand’s contribution. . .

Thorn Park Provides Highlights on Karaka Select Sale Day 2:

The momentum has continued right throughout Day 2 of New Zealand Bloodstock’s 2013 Select Yearling Sale today, with buyers reporting tough competition ringside.

By the close of play, 285 of the 611 Select Sale lots had sold for $12,809,000, with the average currently at $44,944 with the clearance rate strengthening slightly to 70%.

The top price was provided early in the day by Lot 707, the Thorn Park colt from Windsor Park Stud that was purchased for $140,000 by NZB as agent. The second foal of the Montjeu mare Kashira, he is from the family of dual Group 1 winners Military Plume and Monaco Consul.

Thorn Park colt Lot 718 fetched the second top price of the day. . .

Judging Underway in 2013 Dairy Awards:

Judging gets underway this week in the 2013 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards.

National convenor Chris Keeping says the judges will begin the process to determine the 2013 New Zealand Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year, New Zealand Farm Manager of the Year and New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year winners.

All entrants participate in the judging process that will select the 34 regional winners in the 12 regional competitions.

“Entrants had been invited to attend information evenings during the past couple of weeks to give them a bit of an idea of what to expect when judges visit on their farms – in the case of sharemilker/equity farmer and farm manager entrants – and what is expected of them. . .

Self-sufficient dairy farm placed on the market:

A well developed dairy farm on the north-east coast of the South Island has been placed on the market for sale.

The 187 hectare Mahunga Farm, 23 kilometres south of Kaikoura, is being marketed by Bayleys Real Estate as an attractive investment to an entry-level dairy farmer, or a group looking for a low-cost and low-output farm to draw healthy profits from. It is flat and well equipped with quality infrastructure. This farm has a sale price of $4.2million (plus GST if any).

Bayleys Canterbury salesperson Ruth Hodges said the current owners invested in Mahunga Farm with a long-term view – focusing on improving pasture quality and developing the farm into a low-input, profitable operation. . .


Saturday’s smiles

February 2, 2013

An agricultural salesman is visiting a farm with a view to flogging a new type of combine harvester.

“No, sorry son,” says the farmer, “my pig takes care of all the harvesting – I have no need for your fancy gizmo.”

“Could save you money in the long-term” tries the salesman.

“No, your combine would never match my pig’s productivity – you should see him go – swishing away with that scythe.” The salesman is intrigued about this pig and asks to see the animal.

The farmer leads the salesman to an enclosure. Standing within – tall and proud – is the most magnificent pig the salesman has ever seen. But the pig has a wooden leg.

“That is a very impressive pig, but why’s he got a wooden leg?” asks the salesman.

“This pig is more than ‘impressive’ – I’m sure he’s unique! Do you know he can also drive the tractor!?”

“Really? But why’s he got a wooden leg?” “He drives our children to school and back!! – even helps them with their homework!!”

“I’m impressed” admits the salesman, “but why the wooden leg?”

“This pig is also a leading authority on organic farming; thanks to him we’ve managed to branch out, and now our revenue is higher than that of any other farm in this county!! “

Yeah, yeah!! You’ve got one hell of a pig – I can see that by just looking at him – but why does it have a wooden leg!?” the salesman asks again.

“Did I mention the publishing deals? This pig’s just written a best seller and signed up the movie rights. He’s making us a fortune.”

“Amazing, truly amazing – but why ‘s he got a wooden leg?

The farmer looks admiringly at his pig and then turns to the salesman: “If you had a pig like this would you eat him all at one go?”


Summer like it used to be

February 2, 2013

Were summers really hotter in the 1960s and 70s?

Memory isn’t always reliable but when I look back I recall day after day of sunny weather.

Almost every weekend from Labour weekend to Easter my family would pack a picnic and head to water. Sometimes it was All Day Bay, but more often we went to the river – Gemmell’s Crossing or Clifton Falls.

Sometimes we’d have a mid-week bonus trip too, taking a picnic dinner to the river when Dad got home from work.

The last couple of weeks have been just like that.

met service jan 13

It’s great harvest weather but, as always one farmer’s dream is another’s nightmare, and many are facing drought.

while nothing beats water from the sky, irrigation ensures the grass grows when the weather doesn’t co-operate.

That is a major change from when I was growing up.

Then dry weather left the countryside parched and farmers with few options but to de-stock.

Now, thanks to extensive irrigation a good deal of North Otago is still green and growing.


Govt holds ace

February 2, 2013

The Opposition keeps telling the government to meddle with the exchange rate.

Trans Tasman points out the difficulty of doing that without causing other problems:

. . . Interest rates are at their lowest level in nearly 40 years, easing financial pressure on those with mortgages. The Govt holds an ace up its sleeve in the exchange-rate debate.

To critics who call for policies to lower the exchange rate, it can say “how would you do it: cut interest rates or raise them?”

Cuts in interest rates would increase inflationary pressure and push up house prices. Higher interest rates would attract even more speculative currency inflows, and lift the exchange rate higher. . .

Neither higher house prices nor higher interest rates would do anything to help make housing more affordable.


Saturday soapbox

February 2, 2013

This soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation.

You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, to muse or amuse.


February 2 in history

February 2, 2013

962 Pope John XII crowned Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor.

1032 Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor became King of Burgundy.

1536  Pedro de Mendoza founded Buenos Aires, Argentina.

1653  New Amsterdam (later renamed The City of New York) was incorporated.

1709 Alexander Selkirk was rescued after being shipwrecked on a desert island, inspiring the book Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe.

1790 The U.S. Supreme Court convened for the first time.

1812 Russia established a fur trading colony at Fort Ross, California.

1829  William Stanley, inventor and engineer, was born (d. 1909).

1848 Mexican-American War: The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed.

1848 California Gold Rush: The first ship with Chinese emigrants arrives in San Francisco, California.

1876 The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs of Major League Baseball was formed.

1880 The first electric streetlight was installed in Wabash, Indiana.

1882 James Joyce, Irish author, was born (d. 1941).

1882 The Knights of Columbus were formed in New Haven, Connecticut.

1887 In Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania the first Groundhog Day was observed.

1899 The Australian Premiers’ Conference decided to locate Australia’s capital (Canberra) between Sydney and Melbourne.

1901 Queen Victoria’s funeral took place.

1905 Ayn Rand, Russian-born American author and philosopher, was born (d 1982).

1913 Grand Central Station opened in New York City.

1922 Ulysses by James Joyce was published.

1925 Serum run to Nome: Dog sleds reached Nome, Alaska with diphtheria serum, inspiring the Iditarod race.

1925 – The Charlevoix-Kamouraska earthquake struck northeastern North America.

1931 – Les Dawson, British comedian, was born (d. 1993).

1933 Adolf Hitler dissolved the German Parliament.

1934 The Export-Import Bank of the United States was incorporated.

1935 Leonarde Keeler tested the first polygraph machine.

1940 David Jason, English actor, was born.

1940  Frank Sinatra debuted with the Tommy Dorsey orchestra.

1946 The Proclamation of Hungarian Republic was made.

1947 Farrah Fawcett, American actress, was born (d. 2009).

1948 Al McKay, American guitarist and songwriter (Earth, Wind & Fire), was born.

1957 Iskander Mirza of Pakistan laid the foundation-stone of the Guddu Barrage.

1967 The American Basketball Association was formed.

1971 Idi Amin replaced President Milton Obote as leader of Uganda.

1974 The men’s 1500-metre final at the 1974 Christchurch Commonwealth Games was called the greatest middle distance race of all time. Tanzanian Filbert Bayi won in a new world record time of 3 minutes 32.16 seconds. New Zealand’s emerging middle distance star John Walker came second, also breaking the existing world record. The remarkable feature of this race was the fact that the third, fourth (New Zealander Rod Dixon) and fifth place getters ran the fourth, fifth, and seventh fastest 1500m times to that date. The national records of five countries – Tanzania, Kenya, Australia, Great Britain and New Zealand – were all broken in this race.

‘The greatest middle distance race of all time’

1974 The F-16 Fighting Falcon flew for the first time.

1976 The Groundhog Day gale hits the north-eastern United States and south-eastern Canada.

1987 The Philippines made a new constitution.

1989 Soviet war in Afghanistan: The last Soviet Union armored column left Kabul.

1989 Satellite television service Sky Television plc launched.

1990  F.W. de Klerk allowed the African National Congress to function legally and promised to release Nelson Mandela.

1998 A Cebu Pacific Flight 387 DC-9-32 crashed into a mountain near Cagayan de Oro, Philippines, killing 104.

2002 Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange married Máxima Zorreguieta.

2007 Four tornadoes hit Central Florida, killing 21 people.

2007 – Widespread flooding in Jakarta, began, eventually killing 54 and causing more than US$400 million in damages.

2009  – The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe devalued the Zimbabwean dollar for the third and final time, making Z$1 trillion now only Z$1 of the new currency (this is equivalent to Z$10 septillion before the first devaluation).

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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