Regresa a Mi

April 14, 2010

Happy birthday David Miller – 37 today.

Bach’s Air on G String

April 14, 2010

Happy birthday Julian Lloyd Webber, 59 today.

One’s on the Way

April 14, 2010

Happy birthday Loretta Lynn – 76 today.

I can’t decide if this is comedy or tragedy.

From junk to funk

April 14, 2010

 The challenge was to turn junk into funk for the Harvest Home at Totara Estate.

Sixty six people responded and such was the enthusiasm for the creativity displayed it was decided the  steamjunk exhibits deserved a wider audience.

The display opens at the Oamaru Opera House today.

The inspiration for the steamjunk competition came from the success of the steampunk exhibition at the Forrestor Gallery last year.

Apropos of that, the League of Victorian Imagineers  is planning a Steampunk Gala Ball & Fashion Show on June 5th.

US dairy head calls for balance

April 14, 2010

Jerry Kozak, head of the USA’s Milk Producers’ Federation is calling for a move away from the dairy product price support programme (DPPSP).

. . . is the dairy product price support program the best use of federal resources to establish a safety net to help farmers cope with periods of low prices? Is it effective? I believe, the answer today on both counts, is no.

He says the DPPSP reduces total demand for US dairy products, dampens the ability to export and encourages foreign imports; acts as a disincentive to product innovation; supports dairy farmers elsewhere at the expense of US dairy farmers; it isn’t effectively managed to fulfil its objectives and the price levels it seeks to achieve aren’t relevant to farmers in 2010.

For all of these reasons, what NMPF is now focused upon is a transitional process that shifts the resources previously invested in the dairy product price support program, to the income protection program that I have discussed previously.

In summary, discontinuing the DPPSP would eventually result in higher milk prices for U.S. dairy farmers. By focusing on indemnifying against poor margins, rather than on a milk price target that is clearly inadequate, we can create a more relevant safety net that allows for quicker price adjustments, reduced imports and greater exports. As a result of our DPPSP, the U.S. has become the world’s balancing plant. As time marches on, so, too, must our approach to helping farmers.

He’s not suggesting an end to subsidies but it is an acceptance that the current subsidies don’t work which has been welcomed by Fonterra and Federated Farmers.

There is still a long way to go, however.

My geographically challenged post yesterday on US trade protection reminded Off Setting Behaviour of  a Washington Post story on how the dairy industry crushed  Hein Hettinga, an innovator who bested the price-control system.

It’s four year’s old and long – five pages – but an instructive, if depressing read, on the dangers of protection.


April 14, 2010

Oh dear – I wasn’t concentrating when compling the history posts this week – only 4/10 in the NZ History Online quiz.


April 14, 2010

12/15 in this week’s Dominion Post politics quiz.

The bomb scare had escaped me altogether.

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