Word of the day

August 22, 2012

Moil– to drudge, labour, toil, or slave; work hard;to whirl or churn ceaselessly; twist; eddy; drudgery; confusion, turmoil.


Rural round-up

August 22, 2012

Award for Omakau farmer :

Omakau farmer Jan Manson has been awarded the 2012 Rabobank business development award for her project to reposition her farming operation for future expansion.   

Mrs Manson received the award at the executive developmen programme graduation dinner, which celebrated the latest business management thinking in agriculture. . .

Sheep, beef sectors look at training – Sally Rae:

A steering group is investigating the possibility of    copying in the South Island the residential training farm model, following concerns about the low level of skilled, work-ready employees in the sheep and beef sector.   

Sarah Barr, of Kyeburn, is co-ordinating a feasibility      project, on behalf of the Central South Island Residential  Training Farm steering group, including conducting a survey  to ascertain if there is an issue and, if so, how it can best  be addressed. . .

Fonterra wraps up record End-Of-Season export quarter:

Fonterra’s record end-of-season quarter has been the Co-operative’s biggest ever May, June and July – with 620,000 metric tonnes of dairy products loaded on ships for export to over 100 markets around the world.

Fonterra NZ Milk Products Managing Director Gary Romano says the Co-operative has shipped 36 per cent more than the same period last year.

“The record milk production in the 2011/12 season has meant Fonterra has exported more product at the end-of-season than ever before. Our teams have done a great job collecting the milk, processing it, packing it, storing it, selling it and shipping it.

“If we were to lay the containers we have shipped this year end-to-end they would stretch from the top of the Bombay hills to Christchurch – which is around 1000 kilometres,” he says. . .

Financial treat for rural schools – Rebecca Ryan:

Five Forks Primary and Omarama School received a financial surprise, thanks to their local farmers.

More than 200 rural schools throughout New Zealand received much-needed money for resources such as books and sports equipment.

Five Forks Primary and Omarama School received some of the more than $4300 distributed to schools from the Hatuma Growing Minds Fund.

Hatuma marketing and sales Aaron Topp said the fund was well received by rural schools.

More than $15,000 has been distributed to rural schools in the past three years. . .

US boot camp tune-up:

A WEEK of high-powered brainstorming was expected to heighten ideas of collaboration among 25 of New Zealand’s leading chief executives from the primary sector. With them was Primary Industry Minister David Carter.  

This august group has been tucked away at a ‘boot camp’ at Stanford University, near San Francisco. They represent the dairy, meat, seafood, horticulture and viticulture sectors.

No ‘industry good’ organisations are there but it does include the chief executives of MPI and NZ Trade and Enterprise. . .

Buffalo and rhino make big money:

MAKING SURE none of the rhinoceros herd is poached during the night isn’t something New Zealand farmers have to worry about but it is typical for an increasing number of South African farmers diversifying into the lucrative game breeding industry.  

After several years of rapid growth, there are now estimated to be more than 10,000 commercial game ranches in South Africa breeding rare species for hunting, meat and conservation purposes.

Kirstie Macmillan of Farm To Farm Tours recently returned from escorting a group of New Zealand farmers through South Africa, Victoria Falls and Botswana. . .

Australia and New Zealand Arrangement to combat illegal logging:

Australia and New Zealand have today strengthened their long standing cooperation on forestry issues by signing the Arrangement on Combating Illegal Logging and Promoting Sustainable Forest Management. The signed Arrangement illustrates a shared commitment to working together to address illegal logging and promote sustainable forest management.

Australia’s Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, and New Zealand Associate Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy, signed the Arrangement during forestry talks which included discussions relating to the progress of Australia’s Illegal Logging Prohibition Bill 2011. . .

Wise Nutrient Use Rewarded In Ballance Farm Environment Awards

Former fertiliser consultant Jim Galloway takes a scientific approach to the application of nutrients on his Nireaha dairy farm, west of Eketahuna.

Jim and his wife Lynette bought the farm in 2006 and are milking about 170 cows this season on a milking platform of 70ha (effective). The Galloways also own a nearby run-off, supplementing milk income by rearing extra dairy replacements and farming carryover cows.

Jim and Lynette are both Massey University graduates and Jim worked as a fertiliser consultant for nine years before going farming. This experience in the fertiliser industry is valuable when deciding the farm’s fertiliser policy. . .

Zespri keeping tabs on vine bacterial infection of gold varieties:

 Zespri International, which controls exports of the nation’s kiwifruit, is keeping tabs on the spread of vine bacteria disease Psa-V which is showing signs of infection in new gold varieties.

Listed kiwifruit packer and grower Satara Co-operative Group has warned its shareholders of the potential adverse impact Psa-V could have on its business. Pseudomonas syringae PV actinidiae is again showing clear evidence in orchard vines, Satara managing director Tom Wilson said in a statement to NZX. . .

Grape growers are on target for improved profitability

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has today released an analysis of viticulture production and profitability as part of its annual Farm Monitoring Report series. The report is based on models of a Marlborough and a Hawke’s Bay vineyard and an overview of the financial performance of typical vineyards, based on information gathered from a sample of growers and industry stakeholders.

Grape growers experienced significant erosion in profit last season, with unfavourable weather in both Marlborough and Hawke’s Bay leading to a 20 percent drop in average yields. . .

NZX confirms slump in 1H profit; Agri information stands out as bright spot:

New Zealand’s stock market operator, posted a 28 percent drop in first-half profit as revenue growth stalled and expenses rose, squeezing its earnings margin.

Profit was $3.25 million in the six months ended June 30, from $4.5 million a year earlier, the Wellington-based company said in a statement. Operating revenue rose 1 percent to $26.5 million.

The first-half results confirm NZX’s Agri information unit as the biggest source of revenue, growing 8 percent to $6.2 million in the latest period, driven by growth in subscriptions, while advertising revenue was little changed at $3.76 million. The company expects subscription growth to continue in the second half, when it typically enjoys the benefit of a seasonal pickup. . .

Long-term investment in NZ kiwiberry industry:

Freshmax NZ Ltd is the holder of the exclusive New Zealand master kiwiberry license, granted by Plant & Food Research (PFR) to commercialise four of their proprietary kiwiberry varieties. This month, Freshmax welcomes the decision by select growers to advance these varieties into commercial production in New Zealand.

Over the last few years global demand for kiwiberry has continued to rise on the back of a sustained increase in market share for berryfruit. Freshmax has recognized this exciting opportunity for New Zealand growers to benefit from increasing demand, through investment in kiwiberry production. . .

Skip the sheep can shake a leg again – Sally Rae:

First Tarras had Shrek – and now Tapui has Skip.   

And if Skip the Romney ewe was a cat, she would probably be down to about seven lives.   

Farmer John Dodd did not think the little triplet, born on a  cold and frosty night in rural North Otago, would survive its first night if left outside and took her home. . .


Greens want to keep milk price high

August 22, 2012

Remember how the Green Party was concerned about high milk prices in New Zealand and wanted something done to make it cheaper?

They’ve changed their tune now and want to keep Canadian milk prices artificially high.

They don’t say that explicitly but that’s what their oppositionto the Trans Pacific Partnership  which would remove agricultural regulations such as Canada’s supply management system for dairy, which aims to preserve farmers’ livelihoods would do.

These farmers’ livelihoods are being paid for through higher prices for dairy products paid for by tax payers and consumers.

A free trade deal which opens the Canadian market to dairy products from other countries – including New Zealand and their closest neighbour the USA – would improve the range and lower the prices for consumers.

It would make life more difficult for some Canadian dairy farmers just as removing subsidies in the 80s did for farmers here, but I don’t know a single farmer who wants the protection back.

Once  Canadian farmers adjust they’ll find they are much better off answering to the market rather than to politicians and bureaucrats and consumers. If they’re not they’ll follow market signals and swap to a different land use from which they can make a decent living without the need of protection or subsidies; or they’ll sell to someone who can cope with the real world.

As Anti Dismal says:

 . . . Some Canadian farmers can’t make a living without regulation and protection, so they should be doing something else. Also the farmer’s lifestyle is costing Canadian taxpayer a huge amount. De-regulation would remove much of these costs to the Canadian taxpayer.

Hasn’t Metiria noticed that New Zealand de-regulated its farming in the 1980s, and yes some farmers went under, but today farming is better and stronger then it ever was under the old protection and regulation regime. . .

Kiwiblog nails it:

. . . So the NZ Green Party is against NZ dairy farmers being able to have fair access into Canada!!! Their concern is to protect inefficient subsidized Canadian farmers, not to help NZ farmers export more milk. . .

. . . The Greens basically don’t like trade. They voted against the FTA with China which has seen us export an extra $12 billion to China since it was signed. They want Canada to keep up its tariffs of up to 300%.

As the most remote developed country in the world, trade is vital to our future. Yet, the Greens want to kill it off. . .

The Green party wanted New Zealand farmers to subsidise New Zealand consumers when the price of milk increased here. Now they want Canadian taxpayers and consumers to keep subsidising Canadian farmers and keep New Zealand produce out of that market.

Any subsidies or protection is unfair and expensive to taxpayers, consumers and other producers.

This is the party which says it promotes fair trade but it doesn’t accept that if it’s not free it’s not fair.


Turkeys make NZ look Mickey Mouse

August 22, 2012

If you listen to opponents to foreign investment in New Zealand you could be forgiven for thinking the Overseas Investment Office is merely a rubber stamp for anyone with a whim to buy land or  a business here.

It’s far from easy and from the applicant’s side the Wellington turkeys make New Zealand look Mickey Mouse:

THE IMAGE presented by the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) and the Crafar Farms situation made New Zealand look like “Mickey Mouse turkeys” to German company BayWa, says Geoff Hipkins, the new chief executive of Turners & Growers (T&G).  

As BayWa went through processes of buying the major shareholding in T&G, Hipkins says its impression of the OIO was of a huge government department “all-powerful and telling the world what to do”.

“They didn’t believe me when I said it is actually four people stuck in the bowels of the Land Transfer Department, snowed under because they had this issue re Crafar Farms; that’s why [BayWa’s] case had been delayed,” Hipkins told the HortNZ conference in Auckland.

“They all looked at me and virtually said to a man, ‘b****’. They couldn’t believe our foreign investment was controlled by such an august group.

“Then you throw in the Crafar farm situation, where you have the judiciary changing the rules of the game with five minutes to play. They couldn’t understand that situation. You try to explain that to people wanting to spend hundreds of billions in this country.

“We really looked like Mickey Mouse turkeys and that is the only way I can explain it. The question was asked, ‘Is it because we are German?’ That was quite literally the thought going through the BayWa executives’ minds.” . . .

A friend who manages a farming company owned by overseas interests tells me a similar story.

Getting approval for purchases – even if it is using money gained from selling another farm in New Zealand – is a long, complicated,  frustrating and very expensive process.

He says it wasn’t the fault of the people he was dealing with. They administer the law but they don’t make it and contrary to what the xenophobes would have us believe, successive governments have made it harder.


Who care’s what a soldier thinks?

August 22, 2012

In a cave in the mountains of Afghanistan three men sit looking at a computer screen.

“Heh, look at that,” the first one says, pointing at a news website. “We’re winning”

“Oh yes,” says the second, “The Opposition is calling for New Zealand troops to come home early and look at all those comments from people saying they should cut and run.”

“But look at this says the third, the Prime Minister is saying it’s not that easy.

He reads from the screen:

“It would take months, not days, for New Zealand to withdraw from the war-torn nation, Mr Key told TVNZ this morning.

“To leave early wouldn’t be sensible, it wouldn’t be practical and it wouldn’t be right.

“We made a commitment. I don’t think we are the type of country that cuts and runs.”

Mr Key said ministers had recently been considering options for an ”orderly withdrawal”.

The timing has not been affected by the loss of five soldiers in past few weeks, he said.

“But who’s listenign to him. They’ve got freedom of speech there,” the first man says. “People can say what they like and they’re are saying ‘bring ’em home’.”

“Yeah, makes you glad we don’t have that sort of freedom nonsense here,” the second man says.

“But what about this, look at what a soldier’s saying,” the third man says and reads out again:

As a former NZ infantry soldier and having deployed to Afghanistan I believe I can comment on this thread. This year alone I have lost 4 friends in Afghanistan, having served closely with 3 of them, most recently Corporal Tamatea. As sad as the situation is the consensus among all my mates still serving is that the last thing they want is to be withdrawn from theatre. As far as they’re concerned they have a job to do and a duty to uphold which they haven’t fulfilled. To them, 2013 is to soon to come out. All this talk about John Key having no respect? He went to the homes of my friends(Durrer and Malone) and offered his personal condolences then, remember he also has a family and an obligation to them. Ask anybody serving now and they’ll tell you that’s how they feel. On backing Labour because they would prefer that our troops were withdrawn sooner rather than later. We were sent in by labour in the first place, I served in Afghanistan under a Labour government. In summary, as soldiers they know the risks of deploying to such environments as Afghanistan, they know there is a chance they could pay the ultimate price. As a former infantryman I know that Luke would be happy that he died doing what he loved to do- soldiering. He was an excellent operator, with exceptional “soldier skills”. Today there are a lot of heavy hearts in the NZDF because of this tragedy. Mourn for them and their families, and pray that nothing else happens to the rest of our brave men and women serving there but know that they would all rather be there making a difference than here. All my currently serving friends want to deploy to do there part(some again).

“Who cares what a soldier thinks? the first man says.

“”Yeah, who cares about soldiers,” the second one grins. “We’ve got the people back home stirred up and worried. They’re frightened, we’re winning.”


August 22 in history

August 22, 2012

565  St. Columba reported seeing a monster in Loch Ness.

1138 Battle of the Standard between Scotland and England.

1485  The Battle of Bosworth Field, the death of Richard III and the end of the House of Plantagenet.

1559 Bartolomé Carranza, Spanish archbishop, was arrested for heresy.

1642 Charles I called the English Parliament traitors. The English Civil War began.

1654 Jacob Barsimson arrives in New Amsterdam – the first known Jewish immigrant to America.

1770  James Cook‘s expedition landed on the east coast of Australia.

1780 James Cook‘s ship HMS Resolution returned to England after Cook was killed in Hawaii.

1791  Beginning of the Haitian Slave Revolution in Saint-Domingue.

1798 French troops landed in Kilcummin harbour, County Mayo to aid Wolfe Tone’s United Irishmen’s Irish Rebellion.

1827 José de La Mar became President of Peru.

1831  Nat Turner’s slave rebellion commenced leading to the deaths of more than 50 whites and several hundred African Americans who are killed in retaliation for the uprising.

1849 The first air raid in history. Austria launched pilotless balloons against the Italian city of Venice.

1851 The first America’s Cup was won by the yacht America.

1862 Claude Debussy, French composer, was born (d. 1918).

1864  Twelve nations signed the First Geneva Convention. The Red Cross was formed.

1875 The Treaty of Saint Petersburg between Japan and Russia was ratified, providing for the exchange of Sakhalin for the Kuril Islands.

1893 Dorothy Parker, American writer, was born (d. 1967).

1901 Cadillac Motor Company was founded.

1902  Theodore Roosevelt became the first President of the United States to ride in an automobile.

1909 Julius J. Epstein, American screenwriter, was born (d. 2000).

1915 James Hillier, Co-inventor of the electron microscope, was born (d. 2007).

1922  Michael Collins, Commander-in-Chief of the Irish Free State Army was shot dead during an Anti-Treaty ambush at Béal na mBláth, County Cork, during the Irish Civil War.

1925 Honor Blackman, English actress, was born.

1926  Gold was discovered in Johannesburg.

1932 The BBC first experimented with television broadcasting.

1934  Bill Woodfull of Australia became the only cricket captain to twice regain The Ashes.

1934 – Norman Schwarzkopf, U.S. general, was born.

1934 – Sir Donald McIntyre, English bass-baritone, was born.

1935 E. Annie Proulx, American author, was born.

1939  Valerie Harper, American actress, was born.

1941 World War II: German troops reached Leningrad, leading to the siege of Leningrad.

1942  World War II: Brazil declared war on Germany and Italy.

1944 World War II: Romania wascaptured by the Soviet Union.

1949  Queen Charlotte earthquake: Canada’s largest earthquake since 1700.

1950  Althea Gibson became the first black competitor in international tennis.

1952 The penal colony on Devil’s Island was permanently closed.

1961  Roland Orzabal, British musician (Tears for Fears), was born.

1962 An attempt to assassinate French president Charles de Gaulle failed.

196  The NS Savannah, the world’s first nuclear-powered cargo ship, completed its maiden voyage.

1963  Joe Walker in an X-15 test plane reached an altitude of 106 km (66 mi).

1968 Pope Paul VI arrived in Bogotá –  the first visit of a pope to Latin America.

1969 New Zealand’s first Young Farmer of the Year contest was won by Gary Frazer.

First 'Young Farmer of the Year' chosen

1972 Rhodesia was expelled by the IOC for its racist policies.

1973 Howie Dorough, American singer (Backstreet Boys), was born.

1978 The Frente Sandinista de Liberacion – FSLN – occupied national palace in Nicaragua.

1989 The first ring of Neptune was discovered.

1996  Bill Clinton signed welfare reform into law, representing major shift in US welfare policy

2003  Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore was suspended after refusing to comply with a federal court order to remove a rock inscribed with the Ten Commandments from the lobby of the Alabama Supreme Court building.

2004   The Scream and Madonna, two paintings by Edvard Munch, were stolen at gunpoint from a museum in Oslo.

2007 – The Storm botnet, a botnet created by the Storm Worm, sent out a record 57 million e-mails in one day.

Sourced from NZ History Online & WIkipedia


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