Word of the day


Nihilarian – one who does useless work, had a meaningless job or deals with unimportant things.

18% increase in Fonterra’s 1/h profit


Fonterra has made a strong start to the financial year with an 18% increase in it’s first half profit.

Highlights include:


  • Total sales volume growth of 51 per cent;
  • Revenue up 7 per cent;
  • Record milk collections, up 10 per cent for season to date;
  • Net profit after tax up 18 per cent;
  • Normalised earnings2 before interest and tax up 8 per cent;
  • Earnings per share up 14 per cent;
  • An interim dividend of 12 cents per share, up from 8 cents per share in the same period in 2011

The company confirmed the forecast payout before  retentions at $6.75 – $6.85 for a fully shared up farmer.

Thursday’s quiz


1. Who said: “In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.”?

2. It’s automne in French, autunno in Italian, otoño in Spanish and tokerau in Maori, what is it in English?

3. What does a philematologist study?

4. Who are the chief executives of the Department of Conservation and Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry?

5. How would you play a piece of music if it had the instruction adagio?

Happy stat of the day


Some good news from jail:

Corrections Minister Anne Tolley says the number of prisoners testing positive for drugs has reached a record low.

Latest figures, for the eight months up to the end of February, show that only 4.3 per cent of prisoners returned a positive result after random tests for drugs.

“These figures are fantastic, and show that our significant investment in addiction treatment and prison security is paying off,” says Mrs Tolley.

“We have come a long way since testing first began in 1998, when over a third of prisoners tested positive for drugs.

“In 2007/08, 13 per cent of prisoners tested positive and by last year this had fallen to seven per cent, so we are well on track to achieve our lowest-ever yearly results.

“If we want to stop prisoners from reoffending we have to break their addictions.

“We are doing this by cutting off the supply of drugs and contraband, and increasing access to drug treatment. This is also making prisons safer places for staff.

“Since 2008, we have doubled the number of prisoners able to attend specialist drug treatment units, and introduced new laws that increase search powers for Corrections officers and provide new offences relating to contraband. . . “

Alcohol and drug abuse and addiction are significant contributing factors in the crimes which lead many people to prison.

Treating addictions among a captive audience is a logical way to reduce reoffending.


Lilvestock tax loophole closed


The government has closed a loophole in the livestock tax rules which enabled farmers to get an unintended tax break.

Finance Minister Bill English and Revenue Minister Peter Dunne said:.

 . . . the current rules were too loose and allowed some farmers switching between the two main livestock valuation methods to receive an unfair tax advantage over those farmers who applied the rules as they were intended.

The Government has changed the rules so that those who elect to use the ‘herd scheme’ cannot change to the alternative ‘national standard cost scheme’, except in narrow circumstances. . .

. . . Mr English said the Government’s decision to move quickly to change the rules was driven by concerns about fairness for all taxpayers.

“The Government’s intention to make the tax system fairer was made clear in the previous two Budgets and, in the case of livestock taxation, was specifically signalled as part of Budget 2011,” Mr English said.

“Allowing some farmers to switch out of the herd scheme – at a time of high livestock values – would have left other taxpayers exposed to an estimated loss of $275 million over the next six years. That is simply unfair.”

Some people were gaming the system and it’s hard to argue with the changes.

Farming for Profit field day


Beef and Lamb NZ is holding a Farming for Profit field day in North Otago today.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand farming for profit programmes share  information and monitor the progress of a whole community rather than an  individual farm.

This programme will enable us to work harder on your behalf. It’s all  about coming up with local solutions for local needs, so you have the  practical tools you need to help you improve your farm business.

Thursday 29 March: Beef + Lamb New   Zealand North + East Otago Farming for Profit Field Day Funded by farmer levies

Where; Glencoe farm, Herbert. End ofMt Misery Road, turn-off SH1 about 5km south of Herbert (by the Mill House). Will be signposted.

When: 1.15-5pm

What: Looking at lamb finishing on one of Grant and Ele Ludemann’s properties. We will cover, breeds, targets, feeding and selling for profit.

Speakers on the farm tour will include Grant Ludemann, Jarron Farmer, David Stevens, AgResearch, Mark Crawford, Ravensdown. BBQ to finish afternoon.

Contact: Graeme Pringle , facilitator 03 4183188, cadb2@ihug.co.nz

March 29 in history


1461 Battle of Towton – Edward of York defeated Queen Margaret to become King Edward IV of England.

1549 Salvador da Bahia, the first capital of Brazil, was founded.

1632 Treaty of Saint-Germain was signed, returning Quebec to French control after the English had seized it in 1629.

1638 Swedish colonists established the first settlement in Delaware, naming it New Sweden.

1790 John Tyler, 10th President of the United States, was born  (d. 1862).

1792 King Gustav III of Sweden died after being shot in the back at a midnight masquerade ball 13 days earlier.

1799 New York passed a law aimed at gradually abolishing slavery in the state.

1799 Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1869).

1806 Construction was authorised of the Great National Pike, better known as the Cumberland Road, the first United States federal highway.

1809 King Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden abdicated after a coup d’état.

1809 At the Diet of Porvoo, Finland’s four Estates pledged allegiance to Alexander I of Russia, commencing the secession of the Grand Duchy of Finland from Sweden.

1831 Great Bosnian uprising: Bosniak rebel against Turkey.

1847 Mexican-American War: United States forces led by General Winfield Scott took Veracruz after a siege.

1849 The United Kingdom annexed the Punjab.

1857 Sepoy Mangal Pandey of the 34th Regiment, Bengal Native Infantry revolted against the British rule in India and inspired a long-drawn War of Independence of 1857 also known as the Sepoy Mutiny.

1865 American Civil War: The Battle of Appomattox Court House began.

1867 Queen Victoria gave Royal Assent to the British North America Act which established the Dominion of Canada on July 1.

1870 Pavlos Melas, Greek officer who organized and participated in the Greek Struggle for Macedonia, was born  (d. 1904).

1871 The Royal Albert Hall was opened by Queen Victoria.

1879 Anglo-Zulu War: Battle of Kambula: British forces defeated 20,000 Zulus.

1882 The Knights of Columbus were established.

1886 Dr John Pemberton brewed the first batch of Coca-Cola in a backyard in Atlanta, Georgia.

1900 John McEwen, eighteenth Prime Minister of Australia, was born  (d. 1980).

1902 William Walton, English composer, was born  (d. 1983).

1911 The M1911 .45 ACP pistol became the official U.S. Army side arm.

1916 Eugene McCarthy, American politician, was born (d. 2005).

1930 Heinrich Brüning was appointed German Reichskanzler.

1936 In Germany, Adolf Hitler received 99% of the votes in a referendum to ratify Germany’s illegal reoccupation of the Rhineland, receiving 44.5 million votes out of 45.5 million registered voters.

1941 World War II: British Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy forces defeated those of the Italian Regia Marina off the Peloponnesus coast of Greece in the Battle of Cape Matapan.

1942 Nazi sabotage hoax – career criminal Sydney Ross met the minister of national service, Robert Semple, in Wellington and claimed he had been approached by a German agent to join a sabotage cell and that Nazi agents had landed by submarine and were living at Ngongotaha, Rotorua. Ross was taken to see Prime Minister Peter Fraser, who referred the matter to Major Kenneth Folkes, a British intelligence officer brought to New Zealand to set up the Security Intelligence Bureau.

1942 The Bombing of Lübeck was the first major success for the RAF Bomber Command against Germany and a German city.

1943 Eric Idle, English actor, writer, and composer, was born.

1943 Sir John Major, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born.

1943 Vangelis, Greek musician and composer, was born .

1945  Last day of V-1 flying bomb attacks on England.

1957 The New York, Ontario and Western Railway made its final run.

1961 The Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, allowing residents of Washington, D.C. to vote in presidential elections.

1963 Elle Macpherson, Australian model, was born.

1968 Lucy Lawless, New Zealand actress and singer, was born.

1971 – A Los Angeles, California jury recommended the death penalty for Charles Manson and three female followers.

1973 Vietnam War: The last United States combat soldiers left South Vietnam.

1974 NASA’s Mariner 10 became the first spaceprobe to fly by Mercury.

1982 The Telegu Desam Party (India’s regional political party) was established by N. T. Rama Rao.

1982 – The Canada Act 1982 (U.K.) received the Royal Assent from Queen Elizabeth II, setting the stage for the Queen of Canada to proclaim the Constitution Act, 1982.

1987 WrestleMania III set a world indoor attendance record at the Pontiac Silverdome with 93,173 fans.

1993 Catherine Callbeck became premier of Prince Edward Island and Canada’s first female to be elected in a general election as a premier.

1999 The Dow Jones Industrial Average closesdabove the 10,000 mark (10,006.78) for the first time ever, during the height of the internet boom.

2004 Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia joined NATO as full members.

2004 The Republic of Ireland became the first country in the world to ban smoking in all work places, including bars and restaurants.

2008-  35 Countries & more 370 cities joined Earth Hour for the first time.

2010 – Two female suicide bombers hit the Moscow Metro system at the peak of the morning rush hour, killing 40.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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