A clean sweep in the NBR’s Biz Quiz.

Word of the day


Distracted – having the attention diverted; suffering conflicting emotions; distraught.

Thursday’s quiz


Having one of those fortnights this week and don’t have time to set a quiz.

Instead,you’re welcome to ask  the questions and there will be an electronic batch of Anzac biscuits for anyone who stumps everyone,

Rural round-up


Push to reduce workplace injuries on farms:

Farm workers have spoken of their horrendous accidents at the      launch of an initiative to reduce the “unacceptable” number      of workplace injuries on New Zealand farms.   

 Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson released the Agriculture      Sector Action Plan at Parliament today.   

 The plan targets four areas that account for half of all      injuries and deaths in the agriculture sector – use of      agriculture machinery, mental health and wellbeing of      workers, slips and falls, and animal handling. . .

Lawrence farmer top farm-forester – Sally Rae:

When Dennis Larsen bought his Lawrence farm in 1980,    there were no trees – just “a bit of scrub”.   

More than 30 years later, the 611ha sheep and beef property boasts 92ha of forestry .  . .

Farm-foresters called heroes – Sally Rae:

“You’re my heroes.” That is what Prof Henrik Moller, from the      Centre for Sustainability: Agriculture, Food, Energy,      Environment (CSAFE) at the University of Otago told those      attending the New Zealand Farm Forestry Association’s recent      conference.   

The 56th annual conference, which was hosted by the South and      Mid Otago branches, was based at Telford, Balclutha.   

With the theme Taking Care of Our Water, it included field      trips to Mid Otago, Lawrence and South Otago.

A once a day milking system needs a different mind-set? – Pasture to Profit:

I wonder if OAD (Once a Day) Milking farmers should be farming like TAD farmers (Twice a Day Milking)?  After all they are completely different farming systems. Or are they really different?

This is potentially a very interesting debate. Should all pasture based farmers farm in the same way or are the systems sufficiently different that they should develop different methods & different objectives? Organic dairy farms have developed different systems & objectives from conventional farms. So should OAD farmers farm as TAD farmers or develop a completely different system? It’s early days so let’s debate the issue. . .
Canadian dairy regulation – a model for Australia? – Dr Jon Hauser:
In the last commentary I discussed the issue of global food security. The view expressed was that this is a legitimate concern of many sovereign nations. In many (but not all) cases, dairy industry regulatory systems have been put in place to address this concern – to ensure that there is a viable agricultural industry with sufficient capacity to meet the population’s needs, and to guard against the strategic risks of droughts, floods, pestilence, trade and physical wars.

The Dairy Industry Restructure Package is now a thing of the past and Australia has almost completely dismantled government regulation and support for the dairy industry. Since this happened: milk production has contracted by 20%; private processors have gained control of the industry; factories are closing; family farms are disappearing; regulations are more complex; cost and quality improvement is essential. 

Was deregulation a good thing for Australia? To provide a point of comparison I thought it might be interesting to look at Canada where, despite raging debate, pressure to deregulate has been vehemently and successfully resisted by the dairy industry. . .

Action plan to reduce farm injuries announced:

Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson has launched a new action plan to bring down the “unacceptable” number of workplace injuries in the agriculture sector.

The Agriculture Sector Action Plan targets four priority areas that account for at least half of all injuries and deaths in the sector, including:

• use of agricultural vehicles and machinery • the physical and mental health/wellbeing of agricultural workers • slips, trips and falls, and • animal handling.

Agriculture has one of the highest rates of workplace injury, disease and fatalities each year – double the average rate across all sectors. Provisional figures show that 15 agricultural workers were killed last year alone. . .

Winter blocks can be at more risk of nitrate leaching:
Winter blocks can be at more risk of nitrate leaching

Greg Costello of Ravensdown looks at practical steps to reduce nitrate leaching

It’s a familiar picture of winter grazing. Groups of cows feeding on narrow ‘breaks’ of winter forage crops. What’s not so obvious is the potential for nitrogen (N) losses from these activities. Wet, cold soils, pugging and winter rain increases the risk of nitrate leaching and emissions of nitrate oxide from the multitude of urine patches deposited. . .

Taking it to the limit


A bank glitch left people without pay for the second time in a couple of weeks.

That’s resulted in stories of people left without cash and nothing in their accounts for automatic payments.

It’s understandable that people on low incomes live from pay day to pay day but some of the stories of woe show people earning a lot more take their spending to the limit too.




Lack of money or learning?


The Christchurch Health and Development Study, by Otago University has found that poverty doesn’t lead to increased rates of crime or mental health problems in later life.

The study’s leader, David Fergusson, says low income appears at first glance clearly associated with crime and mental health problems.

But he says poverty is also connected with a lack of parental care, and that is what seems to be the real culprit in these adverse effects.

Poor parenting isn’t confined to poor people but the study, which has observed the development of about 990 people from birth over 30 years, did show a link between family income and the child’s later educational success and earning power.

But is the cause a lack of money or lack of learning? Is it being poor or the fact that poorer people are likely to have less education – and sometimes less regard for education – that handicaps their children?

This doesn’t apply to all poor people, some understand that education is the key to a better life and work hard to ensure their children have opportunities they didn’t have.

But some parents don’t recognise, or don’t care about, the importance of education and don’t give their children the help and encouragement they need to succeed.

That could be a contributing factor to their poverty and the poorer chances for their children in which case education could be at least part of the answer.

There’s more on the study here.

April 26 in history


570 Muhammed, founder of Islam, was born according to the Shi’a sect. Other sources suggest April 20; (d. 632) .

1336 Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch) ascended  Mont Ventoux.

1478 The Pazzi attacked Lorenzo de’ Medici and killed his brother Giuliano during High Mass in the Duomo of Florence.

1607  English colonists of the Jamestown settlement made landfall at Cape Henry, Virginia.

1802 Napoleon Bonaparte signed a general amnesty to allow all but about 1,000 of the most notorious émigrés of the French Revolution to return to France, as part of a reconciliary gesture with the factions of the Ancien Regime and to eventually consolidate his own rule.

1805 United States Marines captured Derne, Tripoli, under the command of First Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon.

1856 Sir Joseph Ward, 17th Prime Minister of New Zealand (d. 1930), was born  (d. 1930), .

1865  American Civil War: Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered his army to General William Tecumseh Sherman at the Bennett Place near Durham, North Carolina.

1865 Union cavalry troopers cornered and shot dead John Wilkes Booth, assassin of President Lincoln.

1879 Owen Willans Richardson, British physicist, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1959).

1888 Anita Loos, American writer was born, (d. 1981).

1889 Ludwig Wittgenstein, Austrian-born philosopher, was born (d. 1951).

1894 Rudolf Hess, Nazi official was born (d. 1987).

1900 Charles Richter, American geophysicist was born (d. 1985).

1916 Morris West, Australian writer was born  (d. 1999).

1925  Paul von Hindenburg defeated Wilhelm Marx in the second round of the German presidential election to become the first directly elected head of state of the Weimar Republic.

1933 Carol Burnett, American comedian, was born.

1933 The Gestapo, the official secret police force of Nazi Germany, was established.

1937  Spanish Civil War: Guernica, was bombed by German Luftwaffe.

1943 The Union Steam Ship Company freighter Limerick was topedoed in the Tasman.

NZ ship torpedoed in Tasman

1945 World War II: Battle of Bautzen – last successful German tank-offensive of the war and last noteworthy victory of the Wehrmacht.

1946 Father Divine, a controversial religious leader who claimed to be God, married the much-younger Edna Rose Ritchings, a celebrated anniversary in the International Peace Mission movement.

1954 The Geneva Conference, an effort to restore peace in Indochina and Korea, began.

1956 First container ship left Port Newark,  for Houston.

1956 Koo Stark, American actress, was born.

1960 Roger Taylor, English musician (Duran Duran), was born.

1962 NASA’s Ranger 4 spacecraft crashed into the Moon.

1963 Amendments to the constitution transformed Libya into one national unity and allowed for female participation in elections.

1964 Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form Tanzania.

1965 A Rolling Stones concert in London, Ontario was shut down by police after 15 minutes due to rioting.

1966  An earthquake of magnitude 7.5 destroyed Tashkent.

1966  A new government was formed in the Republic of Congo, led by Ambroise Noumazalaye.

1970 The Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization entered into force

1982 57 people were killed by former police officer Woo Bum-kon in a shooting spree in Gyeongsangnam-do, South Korea.

1982 Jon Lee, British singer (S Club), was born.

1986 A nuclear reactor accident occured at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

1991 Seventy tornadoes broke out in the central United States.

1994 – A China Airlines Airbus A300-600R crashed at Nagoya Airport, Japan killing all but seven passengers, with a death toll amounting to 264. See also China Airlines flight 140.

1994  Physicists announced first evidence of the top quark subatomic particle.

2002 Robert Steinhäuser infiltrated and kills 17 at Gutenberg-Gymnasium in Erfurt, Germany before dying of a self-inflicted gunshot.

2005 – Under international pressure, Syria withdrew the last of its 14,000 troop military garrison in Lebanon, ending its 29-year military domination of that country.

2005 Civil unions came into effect in New Zealand.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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