Word of the day

07/08/2011

Tardy – delaying or delayed beyond the right, scheduled or expected time; late; slow in action or response; sluggish.


4/10

07/08/2011

Oh dear, my geography needs some work – only 4/10 in the Herald’s travel quiz.


Rural round-up

07/08/2011

Landcare genetic scientist names recipient of entrepreneurship award – Esther G0h:

A genetic scientist has won the inaugural Women in Science Entrepreneurship Award, receiving $50,000 of venture development advice and access to an international advisory board with experience in science commercialisation.

Dr Dianne Gleeson, a director of DNA diagnostic facility EcoGene, says the award will encourage more women at top levels of the industry, where they are underrepresented.

“There is growing commercial demand for scientific services and women can make a valuable contribution to the development of the industry in New Zealand and overseas,” she said . . .

Managing irrigation compliance – Sally Rae:

For the North Otago Irrigation Company, environmental management is a “fundamental part” of its business.

“We need to embrace our environmental requirements and push towards full compliance. There’s no other option,” the company’s environmental co-ordinator, Jodi Leckie, said . . .

Quick call sees woman go country for long haul – Sally Rae:

When Nicole Amery returns to the bright lights of Auckland, she feels like a “possum in the headlights”.

The city no longer has any appeal for the young woman, who was brought up in a non-rural family on Waiheke Island.

A split-second decision to head south to Telford to undertake an equine course, rather than study design, turned out to be life-changing . . .

Better lamb crop this year – Gerald Piddock:

Signs are looking good for a bumper lamb crop in Central Canterbury as the first of the new season’s arrivals hit the ground on coastal farms and lifestyle blocks.

South Canterbury scanner Brian Bell has been scanning ewes every day for the past month. He is just over halfway through his assignments and, with about another six weeks to go.

Results were 5-10 per cent up on last year and farmers were reasonably happy, he said . . .

Arable farming shows positive signs – MAF:

Cropping farmers expect strong global commodity prices and increasing demand for dairy support to underpin a significant increase in returns over the coming year.

Many arable farmers had a profitable season last year, but there is increasing interest in converting some of their land to dairy which is still performing more strongly. . .

Meat supplies ready for World Cup – Hugh Stringleman:

Concerns that hungry Rugby World Cup visitors and rabid All Blacks fans will run short of good New Zealand red meat have eased, according to local market operators.

An extraordinary autumn and winter of grass growth have brought forward finished cattle, lambs and deer, while the high NZ dollar has helped the local market compete with export returns.

Because of the pick-up in the flow of prime cattle, the local market price has “come off the peak” and now sits at $4.25/kg, said Fred Hellaby, principal of the largest Auckland meat processor, Wilson Hellabys.

It is unusual for that indicator to go down heading into the seasonal period of shortest prime beef supply, not including the added Rugby World Cup demand . . .

Merinos go multi-purpose – Hugh Stringleman:

Substantial increases in prices are being offered to farmers by New Zealand Merino in two and three-year contracts for fine wool, soon to be followed by Merino meat contracts at attractive prices. The higher contract terms flowed on from the extraordinary increases in market prices for wool and lamb during the past 12 months, said NZ Merino chief executive John Brakenridge.

For him, after 15 years of unrelenting effort to create premium markets for Merino products, the latest surge repositions the sheep as a multi-purpose animal.

It was also a wonderful springboard for the $36 million Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) with the government, which was the first of its kind, signed in May 2010 . . .

Climate debate pits farmers against science – Jon Morgan:

Despite the best efforts of the Government and its officials, the opposition among farmers to the emissions trading scheme refuses to fade away.

Many would like to see the debate ended with the acceptance that the legislation – and the belief behind it that climate change is man-made – is indisputable.

But in the farming media the debate rages on. There, it is one- sided, with only the rare brave person willing to stand against an overwhelming opposition.

And, on the surface, the farmers have a point. Their animals’ burps and farts are to be taxed. Put like that, it is laughable . . .

Caring pasture based dairy farmers encourage biodiversity – Pasture to Profit:

Biodiversity on pasture based dairy farms is seriously important. If dairyfarmers are seen by the public to be caring for the environment & making a special effort to protect the biodiversity, this too is a major PR with our consumers. There are very strong arguments for farmers to protect biodiversity as well as enjoying it for its own sake. The farms are both our homes & our work places.

Ben & Jerry the ice cream makers have established the “Caring Dairy” Program with Sustainable Indicators. Most pasture based dairyfarmers would embrace this program & agree fully with the targets . . .  

Fruit and wine growers under pressure – MAF:

Many orchardists and winegrowers are feeling the pressure of lack of profitability or threat of disease.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has released the kiwifruit, pipfruit and winegrowing analyses as part of its annual Farm Monitoring Report series. The reports provide models and an overview of the financial performance of typical orchards and vineyards, based on information gathered from a sample of growers and industry stakeholders. . .

Tough times for pip fruit growers – Jon Morgan:

The pipfruit industry is in serious financial strife, according to a senior industry figure.

John McCliskie, a Nelson grower and exporter and former chairman of the Apple and Pear Board and past chairman of the World Apple and Pear Association, told the Pipfruit NZ conference that bankers and international customers were starting to question the industry’s viability.

He told the growers, who were meeting in Havelock North yesterday, that they must change the industry’s strategy and alter the way they marketed their fruit . . .

Let’s give farming another kick – RivettingKate taylor:

So now’s it’s dangerous for me to bring my kids up on a farm? FOR GOODNESS SAKE (picture half a dozen strong words combined with a slow shake of the head and a grim mouth to match).

This story was on the radio this morning and it has now caught my attention on stuff.co.nz. According to the story, children raised on livestock farms have a greater risk of developing blood cancers later in life . . .

Reacting to the same story: Breaking news: farmers’ children don’t live forever – Andrei:

 Children of livestock farmers ‘face cancer risk’
 
Is there anything of usable value in this, probably not . . . 

The true nature of nature – Bruce Wills:

Some 80 years ago, pioneers started experimenting with artificial insemination to improve our livestock.  A big challenge they faced was how to get this time sensitive ‘product’ out to farms before couriers were commonplace.  Someone suggested carrier pigeons, but there were some obvious flaws.  Not every pigeon makes it to the right place on time and to our native hawk or Kahu, a pigeon is ‘meals on wings’. 

While times have moved on, the end result of this breeding refinement is now appearing on the nation’s farms. It’s the first sign of spring and some 150 days after the rams were let out in April, I’m now counting down the final four weeks.  Since calving comes around 283 days after last December’s mating, September is shaping up to be a busy month at my Hawke’s Bay farm, Trelinnoe. . .  

LIC set to pay record dividend – Owen Hembry:

NZAX-listed animal and farm improvement company LIC will pay a record dividend in a result chairman Stuart Bay says reflects the vibrancy of the farming industry.

Revenue at the dairy farmer co-operative for the year to May was up 21.4 per cent on the previous year at $165.6 million, with record underlying net earnings of $17.1 million, up 87.9 per cent.

The result would give farmer shareholders a record net dividend of $13.6 million, the company said . .

Ballance shareholders receive bumper rebate – Owen Hembry:

Fertiliser company Ballance Agri-Nutrients will pay a record rebate to it shareholders.

Operating profit for the year ended May 31 was $85.9 million, compared to $20.7 million the previous year. A record total average payment to shareholders of $50.29 a tonne included a rebate of $46 a tonne on fertiliser purchased and an imputed dividend of 10 cents a share, resulting in a total distribution of $49 million, the company said. . .

Federated farmers Waikato provincial president James Houghton takes issue with that in playing fast and loose with co-operation:

The news that fertiliser cooperative Ballance Agri-Nutrients is planning to pay a record rebate back to its shareholder farmers such as myself, was met with a few expletives around my area last week.

In the corporate world an $85.9 million operating profit, especially when up from $20.7 million the previous year would be great news.

In a co-operative though, it looks plain greedy. . .


6/10

07/08/2011

6/10 in Stuff’s Biz Quiz.


It’s national roast day

07/08/2011

When I was a child every Sunday was roast day.

The meat was almost always mutton served with gravy and mint sauce and accompanied by roast potatoes, carrots and other vegetables in season. My favourite was swede and I dreaded early spring when it we had to eat broad beans.

Left over cold meat provided the filling for sandwiches for school lunches for the next couple of days. That was definitely preferable to the alternative of grinding it up and topping it with mashed potato for shepherds pie.

Ah how things have changed. Sunday dinners in our house are no longer the set pieces they were in my childhood and we rarely have roasts unless we’re feeding visitors. Even then we’re more likely to barbeque a boneless leg of lamb than roast it.

That’s probably the norm now which is no doubt why someone felt the need to make today national roast day.

To my farmer’s disappointment, we won’t be taking part.

UPDATE: Credo Quia Absurdum Est shows much more enthiusiasm for the celebration.


Mana vs Maori

07/08/2011

The announcement that the Mana Party will contest all seven Maori seats wasn’t surprising.

Attempts to repair the gulf that separates Mana from the Maori Party failed after the Te Tai Tokerau by-election making this decision inevitable.

The likely beneficiary of vote splitting between these two parties is Labour which might win back at least one of the Maori seats.

The party will also contest as many general seats as it can and no doubt there will be people who are wooed by this:

The party has outlined its key draft policies: abolishing GST, compulsory te reo in schools and establishing an independent Treaty of Waitangi commissioner to oversee historic claims . . .

However, it takes several thousand votes to win general seats.

Would it be too much to hope there wouldn’t be that many in each electorate who would be taken in by the economic lunacy of removing GST, especially when some who are might vote for New Zealand First instead?


August 7 in history

07/08/2011

322 BC  Battle of Crannon between Athens and Macedon.

936  Coronation of King Otto I of Germany.

1420  Construction of the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore began in Florence.

1427   The Visconti of Milan’s fleet was destroyed by the Venetians on the Po River.

1461   The Ming Dynasty military general Cao Qin staged a coup against the Tianshun Emperor. 

1606   The first documented performance of Macbeth, at the Great Hall at Hampton Court. 

1679  The brigantine Le Griffon, commissioned by René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, was towed to the south-eastern end of the Niagara River, to become the first ship to sail the upper Great Lakes. 

1714  The Battle of Gangut: the first important victory of the Russian Navy.

1782  George Washington ordered the creation of the Badge of Military Merit to honour soldiers wounded in battle. (later renamed  Purple Heart). 

1794  U.S. President George Washington invoked the Militia Law of 1792 to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania.

 

1819  Simón Bolívar triumphed over Spain in the Battle of Boyacá.

 

1876 Mata Hari, Dutch spy, was born (d. 1917).

 

1879 The opening of the Poor Man’s Palace in Manchester.

1890  Anna Månsdotter became the last woman in Sweden to be executed, for the 1889 Yngsjö murder. 

1908 The first train to travel the length of the North Island main trunk line, the ‘Parliament Special’ left Wellington.

First train runs length of main trunk line

1926 Stan Freberg, American voice comedian, was born.

 

1927  The Peace Bridge opened between Fort Erie, Ontario and Buffalo, New York.

 

1930  The last lynching in the Northern United States, Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith, were killed.

1933 The Simele massacre: The Iraqi Government slaughtersed over 3,000 Assyrians in the village of Sumail. 

1936 Joy Cowley, New Zealand author, was born.

1942  B.J. Thomas, American singer, was born.

1942  The Battle of Guadalcanal began – United States Marines initiated the first American offensive of the war with landings on Guadalcanal and Tulagi. 

1944  IBM dedicated the first program-controlled calculator, the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (known best as the Harvard Mark I). 

1947 Thor Heyerdahl’s balsa wood raft the Kon-Tiki, smashed into the reef at Raroia  in the Tuamotu Islands after a 101-day, 7,000 kilometres (4,300 mi) journey across the Pacific Ocean in an attempt to prove that pre-historic peoples could have travelled from South America.

 

1948  Greg Chappell, Australian cricketer and coach, was born. 

1955 Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering, the precursor to Sony, sold its first transistor radios in Japan. 

1958 Bruce Dickinson, English singer (Iron Maiden), was born.

 

1959 – Explorer 6 launched from the Atlantic Missile Range in Cape Canaveral. 

1960 Jacquie O’Sullivan, British singer (Bananarama), was born.

 

1960  Côte d’Ivoire became independent.

1964 John Birmingham, Australian author, was born.

 

1964  U.S. Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution giving US President Lyndon B. Johnson broad war powers to deal with North Vietnamese attacks on American forces.

1965 The first party between Ken Kesey‘s Merry Pranksters and motorcycle gang the Hells Angels introducing psychedelics to the gang world and forever linking the hippie movement to the Hell’s Angels.

1966 Race riots in Lansing, Michigan.

1974  Philippe Petit performed a high wire act between the twin towers of the World Trade Centere 1,368 feet (417 m) in the air.

 

1978  U.S. President Jimmy Carter declared a federal emergency at Love Canal.

1979  Several tornadoes struck the city of Woodstock, Ontario, Canada and the surrounding communities.

1981 The Washington Starceased all operations after 128 years of publication.

1985 Takao Doi, Mamoru Mohri and Chiaki Mukai were chosen to be Japan’s first astronauts.

1988 Rioting in New York City’s Tompkins Square Park.

1998  The United States embassy bombings in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi killed approximately 212 people. 

1999  Second Chechen War began.

2008  Georgia launched a military offensive against South Ossetia to counter the alleged Russian invasion, starting the South Ossetia War.

Sourced from NZ History Online & W ikipedia


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