Word of the day

July 15, 2012

Nonage – period of youth or immaturity; infancy or minority;  lack of requisite legal age.


5/10

July 15, 2012

Only 5/10 in the Herald’s Question Time – worst score yet.


4/10, 8/10

July 15, 2012

Only 4/10 in Stuff’s Biz Quiz and 8/10 in NBR’s Biz Quiz, with just one question in common.


Rural round-up

July 15, 2012

New NZ Infant formula using NZ food safety for Kiwi babies, to market in China:

New Zealand’s strong food safety and consumer demand for quality is the starting point for a new venture – selling New Zealand infant formula, developed for Kiwi babies, into the Chinese market.

In July Carrickmore Infant Formula is being launched in both New Zealand and China. This launch will highlight both New Zealand’s strict food safety laws and clean green reputation.

Carrickmore Nutrition Managing Director, Chris Claridge, said “There are Chinese-owned and a few New Zealand owned milk powder companies selling NZ originated Infant formulas however, the fact we’re selling formula made from fresh New Zealand milk to our children as well as those in the rest of the world, shows the confidence we have in our product.  . .

Blue Sky posts loss as export prices dive:

Blue Sky Meats, the Invercargill-based meat processor, has posted a full-year loss after export prices plummeted in the second half, squeezing margins for companies who started the season with “unrealistic” opening schedules for lamb.

The net loss was $449,149 in the 12 months ended March 31, from a profit of about $3.69 million a year earlier, the company said in a statement.

Sales rose about 13 per cent to $114.2m while expenses climbed 22 per cent to $114.8m.

“International market prices for almost all items that the company sells reduced at an alarming rate from November to March, against a background of EU financial challenges,” chairman Graham Cooney said. . .

Predicting river flows in ungauged river catchments,from New Zealand to the world– Waiology:

Our knowledge of the water cycle is imperfect – for example we don’t have data for all rivers across the landscape, and yet so often we want river flow information for resource and hazard management purposes. In the absence of direct data, then, we turn to models and seek to make hydrological predictions in these ungauged river basins.

Predictions in Ungauged Basins (PUB) is an IAHS initiative operating throughout the decade of 2003-2012, established with the primary aim of reducing uncertainty in hydrological predictions. It is a ‘grass-roots’ science movement intended to engage the interest of hydrologists around the world, and has grown to encompass an enormous variety of approaches and settings. . .

New Zealand gingerly navigates a global dairy crisis:

This year is shaping up as a bumpy one for the international dairy industry, with the worst U.S. drought since Ronald Reagan was president and thousands of European dairy farmers taking to the streets in protest.

“We seem to be staring down the barrel of a global dairy crisis, which could benefit New Zealand’s dairy farmers,” says Willy Leferink, Federated Farmers dairy chairperson.

“An act of nature in the United States and subsidies elsewhere are putting dairy farmers under the most unimaginable pressure. WeatherWatch’s Philip Duncan says half of the continental United States is now in drought. . .

Peel Forest Estate buys Winderemere Stud:

Peel Forest Estate, based in South Canterbury, has announced today that it has purchased the Pure Warnham and Warnham-Woburn breeding herd along with selected sires, semen, embryos and the Windermere name from the award winning Windermere Red Deer Stud near Hamilton.

Windermere stud has been specialising in breeding for superior velvet genetics for nearly twenty five years providing outstanding sires to the deer industry with a high degree of consistency and reliability. . .

Vidal Estate Winery wins Beef & Lamb Excellence People’s Choice Award:

The people have chosen – Vidal Estate Winery in Hastings has been named winner of the Hawkes Bay People’s Choice Award, recognising its excellence in beef and lamb cuisine.

Over 500 diners in Hawkes Bay have spent the past month scoring their beef or lamb dishes in their favourite Beef & Lamb Excellence Award restaurant in the region, with Vidal Estate Winery taking out top honours. . .

Rural sales ease as winter begins:

Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of NZ (“REINZ”) shows there were 13 more farm sales (+3.3%) for the three months ended June 2012 than for the three months ended June 2011. Overall, there were 406 farm sales in the three months to end of June 2012, compared with 467 farm sales in the three months to May 2012, an decrease of 61 sales (-13.1%). On a seasonally adjusted basis, after accounting for normal seasonal fluctuations, the number of sales fell by 6.8%.

1,413 farms were sold in the year to June 2012, 47.2% more than were sold in the year to June 2011.

The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to June 2012 was $17,565; a 12.8% increase on the $15,568 recorded for three months ended June 2011, and an increase of 3.1% on the $17,031 recorded for the three months to May 2012. . .

NZIF Forester of the Year:

The New Zealand Institute of Forestry Forester of the Year Award for 2012 was presented to Mr Brett Gilmore, a Registered Forester from Napier at the Institute’s annual conference in Christchurch last week.

Announcing the recipient of this prestigious award, President of the Institute, Dr Andrew McEwen, noted that the award recognises leadership, excellence and personal integrity. Consideration is given to the nominee’s contribution to New Zealand’s economic, social and environmental development, the use of innovation and new technologies or the creation of a new product or business of significance to forestry. Further consideration is given to professional and academic achievements, broad community involvement, cultural and other achievements. . .


Mobile wallets already in developing countries

July 15, 2012

A successful trial of NFC (Near Field Communications) technology has brought mobile wallets closer to New Zealand.

They are already operating in developing countries.

A Rabobank executive who called on our hosts when we were on a farmstay in Holland last month told us Rabo has introduced mobile banking technology in at least two developing African countries.

People can transfer money from their account to another or receive payments via their mobile phones. If they don’t have a bank account, a text message gives them a code which enables them to get money from a cash machine.

This system is only used for relatively small amounts because just like an ordinary wallet, electronic ones can be lost or stolen.

But being able to make transactions through their phones is making a huge difference to the lives and businesses of people who until now might have had to walk for a day or more to get to a bank.

I use credit cards or EFTPOS for bigger purchases but prefer cash for smaller ones. However, I’ve noticed a lot of people, especially younger ones, use cards for even tiny transactions.

Mobile wallets are another step towards a cashless society and one in which the developing world is leading the way.


It’s the market that matters

July 15, 2012

Quote of the day:

. . . It’s not the market’s job to consume milk as and when the farmer produces it. It’s the farmer’s job to produce milk when the market needs it. . . Dr Jon Hauser

In New Zealand, as in Australia about which Dr Hauser writes, milk supply is mostly seasonal.

That is less of a problem here when most of our milk is turned into milk powder, butter or cheese and exported. In most other countries most milk is consumed domestically in fresh liquid form and demand is relatively constant regardless of any peaks or troughs in production.

But regardless of what happens to the milk, the underlying principle is the same – it is up to producers to meet the market in terms of quantity, quality and price.

This is a concept which European and British farmers who have been protected from the market by subsidies are struggling to grasp:

Up to 2,000 dairy farmers are expected in Westminster today to protest at cuts to the price they’re paid for their milk. Last year, dairy farmers received a little under 29p for every litre they sold: this is set to fall to less than 25p. Since it costs about 30p to produce a litre of milk, the cuts constitute yet another catastrophe for a benighted domestic industry, and may put many thousands of dairy farmers out of business. “There has been an unprecedented outcry of anger and frustration among farmers,” says the National Farmers’ Union. “We are united in our demand for an immediate reversal” of the cuts.

Prices for farmers have stalled over the last 15 years: in 1997 they were receiving 25p for a litre of milk, while feed costs alone have doubled since 2010. Half of Britain’s dairy farmers went out of business between 2000 and 2010. Like the pig farmers who only save themselves from going out of business by growing their own feed, dairy farmers will likely attempt to make up the shortfall by reducing staff, which will of course have corollary impact. . .

Welcome to the real world, where, as Tim Worstall observes supply and demand rule:

. . . We’re in a rigged market because of the EU. That’s one cause.

But far more importantly, we’ve the standard interaction of supply and demand. Dairy farming is becoming more efficient: as farming has been doing since the Neolithic. That rising food production is what has enabled civilisation to develop. More milk is being produced from less land with fewer cows. It really is not a surprise that prices paid to producers are falling in real terms.

The effect of this is to bankrupt some producers and force them out of production. Which is, harsh though it may sound, exactly what needs to happen. Production is becoming more efficient thus we need fewer producers. . .

A Yorkshire farmer we visited last month said that message was the one good thing to come out of the foot and mouth epidemic.

All his cows were killed and before he replaced his herd he went through the figures. He realised that dairying didn’t stack up for him and rather than buying more cows he increased the amount of crop he grows.

The market matters. Rather than wasting their energy on protesting to politicians, farmers should be working out how to meet it.


July 15 in history

July 15, 2012

1099 First Crusade: Christian soldiers took the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem  after the final assault of a difficult siege.

1207 John of England expelled Canterbury monks for supporting Archbishop of Canterbury Stephen Langton.

1240  A Novgorodian army led by Alexander Nevsky defeated the Swedes in the Battle of the Neva.

1381  John Ball, a leader in the Peasants’ Revolt, was hanged, drawn and quartered in the presence of Richard II of England.

1410  Battle of Grunwald: allied forces of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania defeated the army of the Teutonic Order.

1573 Inigo Jones, English architect, was born (d. 1652).

1606 Rembrandt, Dutch artist, was born (d. 1669).

1685  James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth was executed at Tower Hill  after his defeat at the Battle of Sedgemoor.

1741 Alexei Chirikov sighted land in Southeast Alaska and sent men ashore in a longboat, making them the first Europeans to visit Alaska.

1779 Clement Clarke Moore, American educator, author, and poet, was born  (d. 1863).

1789 Gilbert du Motier, marquis de La Fayette, was named by acclamation colonel-general of the new National Guard of Paris.

1799  The Rosetta Stone was found in the Egyptian village of Rosetta by French Captain Pierre-François Bouchard during Napoleon’s Egyptian Campaign.

1806  Pike expedition: United States Army Lieutenant Zebulon Pike began an expedition from Fort Belle Fountaine to explore the west.

1815  Napoléon Bonaparte surrendered aboard HMS Bellerophon.

1823 A fire destroyed the ancient Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls in Rome.

1838 Ralph Waldo Emerson delivered the Divinity School Address at Harvard Divinity School, discounting Biblical miracles and declaring Jesus a great man, but not God. The Protestant community reacted with outrage.

1850  Mother Cabrini, Italian-born Catholic saint, was born  (d. 1917).

1870 Reconstruction era of the United States: Georgia became the last of the former Confederate states to be readmitted to the Union.

1870 Rupert’s Land and the North-Western Territory were transferred to Canada from the Hudson’s Bay Company, and the province of Manitoba and the North-West Territories were established from these  territories.

1870 The Kingdom of Prussia and the Second French Empire started the Franco-Prussian War.

1888  The stratovolcano Mount Bandai erupted killing approximately 500 people.

1905 Dorothy Fields, American librettist and lyricist, was born (d. 1974).

1906 Rudolf “Rudi” Uhlenhaut, German automotive engineer and test driver (Mercedes Benz), was born  (d. 1989).

1911 Edward Shackleton, English explorer, ws born  (d. 1994).

1914 Akhtar Hameed Khan, pioneer of Microcredit in developing countries, was born (d. 1999).

1914 Hammond Innes, English writer, was born (d. 1998).

1916  In Seattle, Washington, William Boeing and George Conrad Westervelt incorporated Pacific Aero Products (later renamed Boeing).

1918 World War I: the Second Battle of the Marne began near the River Marne with a German attack.

1918 – Joan Roberts, American actress, was born.

1919   Iris Murdoch, Irish writer, was born (d. 1999).

1920 The Polish Parliament establishes Autonomous Silesian Voivodeship before the Polish-German plebiscite.

1926  Leopoldo Galtieri, Argentine dictator, was born (d. 2003).

1927  Massacre of July 15, 1927: 89 protesters were killed by the Austrian police in Vienna.

1929  First weekly radio broadcast of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir radio show, Music and the Spoken Word.

1931 Clive Cussler, American author, was born.

1933 Jack Lovelock’s set a world record for a mile run at Princeton University, beating the old record for the mile, held by Jules Ladoumegue, by almost two seconds. It was dubbed the ‘greatest mile of all time’ by Time Magazine.

Lovelock smashes world mile record

1934 Continental Airlines commenced operations.

1943 Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Irish astrophysicist, was born.

1946 Linda Ronstadt, American singer, was born.

1946  Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan of Brunei, was born.

1947 Peter Banks, British guitarist (Yes), was born.

1954 First flight of the Boeing 367-80, prototype for both the Boeing 707 and C-135 series.

1955 Eighteen Nobel laureates signed the Mainau Declaration against nuclear weapons, later co-signed by thirty-four others.

1956 Marky Ramone, American musician (Ramones), was born.

1959  The steel strike of 1959 began, leading to significant importation of foreign steel for the first time in United States history.

1974  In Nicosia, Greek-sponsored nationalists launched a coup d’état, deposing President Makarios and installing Nikos Sampson as Cypriot president.

1979 U.S.President Jimmy Carter gave his famous “malaise” speech, where he characterised the greatest threat to the country as “this crisis in the growing doubt about the meaning of our own lives and in the loss of a unity of purpose for our nation.”

1983 The Orly airport attack in Paris left 8 people dead and 55 injured.

1996  A Belgian Air Force C-130 Hercules carrying the Royal Netherlands Army marching band crashed on landing at Eindhoven Airport.

2002  Anti-Terrorism Court of Pakistan handed down the death sentence to British born Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and life terms to three others suspected of murdering Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

2003  AOL Time Warner disbanded Netscape Communications Corporation. The Mozilla Foundation was established on the same day.

2009 – Caspian Airlines Flight 7908 crashed in northwestern Iran, killing all 153 aboard.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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