Word of the day


Nemophilous – forest loving, fond of woods and groves; inhabiting woodlands.

Fonterra’s final payout $6.40


Fonterra’s final payout for last season is $6.40 for fully shared up farmers.

The result includes a lower Farmgate Milk Price of $6.08 per kilogram of milksolids (kgMS), down from $7.60 last year reflecting lower commodity prices and a strong New Zealand dollar. A dividend of 32 cents per share has been announced, with retentions of 10 cents per share[1].

Announcing the result, Chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden said the 2012 year had been one out of the box for dairy: “All around the world, we saw record dairy production which was mirrored back here in New Zealand.
“Global dairy demand held up reasonably well but this ocean of milk obviously impacted on global commodity prices, with the GlobalDairyTrade (GDT) index reaching its lowest value in 34 months in May.
“This contributed to a lower Farmgate Milk Price in the 2012 year, however, the impact of this decline on overall earnings for farmers has been eased a little by the much higher volumes of milk they produced.” 
Fonterra Chief Executive Theo Spierings said the Co-operative had posted a strong operating performance, with normalised earnings[2] of NZ$1.03 billion for the 2012 year, up 2 per cent on the prior year.
Profit before tax was up 9 per cent on the prior year and net profit after tax was $624 million, down 19 per cent, largely due to tax credits of $202 million in the prior year not repeated in the current year. Excluding those credits, Fonterra’s net profit after tax improved by 10 per cent. 
Results highlights compared to the prior year include: 
  • Record New Zealand milk flows, up 11 per cent to 1,493m kgMS in the current season
  • 11 per cent increase in export volumes to 2.32 million metric tonnes (MT)
  • Sales volumes increased 2 per cent to 3.94 million MT
  • Flat revenues of $19.8 billion
  • Higher operating cash flows of $1.4 billion, up $206 million
  • Balance sheet strengthened with economic gearing ratio[3] improving from 41.8 per cent to 39.1 per cent

There are no surprises there.

The outlook for the current season is volatile which reinforces the benefits of a co-operative which looks after the interests of suppliers.



Thursday’s quiz


It’s your turn to ask the questions again with an electronic bunch of freesias for anyone who manages to stump  everyone.

Following fashion folly on farm


Take a navy guernsey over a striped shirt with the collar turned up, add a denim skirt and top it all off with pearls or a fob chain and what have you got? The fashion magazine in which I read this description called in the country clone and was not impressed.

I’ve failed to master the art of stand up collars, don’t own a fob chain, am more likely to have a merino top than a shirt and prefer jeans to a skirt. But I have to admit the general affect is much the same as the one the fashion writer described so disparagingly.

I understand her lack of enthusiasm because the wool and denim ensemble gets more points for comfort than style. But that’s precisely why we country women choose it – although it’s predictable it’s also practical.

It may not be sufficiently stylish to claim the label classic but because this look is never in fashion it never goes out of fashion either. And while they may be a long way from the look of the moment on city streets the “country clone” clothes are well suited to a quick sprint across a paddock if the wearer is called on to lend a hand before she dashes off to town.

You may be able to opt for style if the nearest you’ll be getting to the great outdoors is a gentle stroll down a well paved foot path and you can favour fashion if you have nothing to pick up but the groceries. But when you might have to rescue an old ewe which has cast herself in the cattle stop before you leave your property and you know your shopping list will include sacks of grain, large containers of drench and grease-encrusted parts for the irrigator it pays to choose clothes that will cope.

Just how necessary it is to put function before fashion was brought home to me the day I decided I had the luxury of enough time to dress with care before going in to town. I had just put the finishing touches to my outfit when there was a knock at the door. It was the dog-dosing man looking for someone to help him. My farmer was away at a sale and I had no idea where the other men were but I knew which name went with which dog so there was no reason why I couldn’t act as doser’s assistant.

It may be possible to remain immaculate while catching and holding thousand-acre dogs but I’m not sure how. I’d taken the precaution of exchanging my high heels for gumboots but they didn’t protect my tights from a liberal splattering of mud. I also acquired a patina of dog hair on my skirt; the imprint of one of King’s very large paws on the front of my once-white blouse and the perfume with which I had sprayed myself lost its battle with what could best be described as “eau de kennel”.

Next time I had a yearn to dress up for town I ignored it and reached for my jumper and jeans.

I do enjoy donning smart clothes for those occasions when it’s necessary to play ladies. But following fashion is folly on the farm. When choosing an outfit for every day wear and going-to-town the question I ask myself is not whether it’s fashionable but how will it look with gumboots?

Water footprint next environmental measure


The importance of water as a scarce resource is being reflected in the next environmental measure – water footprints:

Water footprints seem to be taking over from carbon footprints at the Water New Zealand Conference in Rotorua today.

While the production of a cup of coffee consumes a startling 140 litres of water, a pair of leather shoes consumes 8,000, the production of a single litre of bio-ethanol can consume between 1,200 and 3,000 litres of water, Professor Torkil Jonch Clausen, Chair Programme Committee, World Water Week in Stockholm and Adviser to Sweden’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment told the Water New Zealand conference in Rotorua this morning.

Water footprints

Product Water consumed (litres)
1 cup of coffee 140
1 glass of milk 200
1 litre bio-ethanol 1200 – 3000
1 cotton tee shirt 2000
1 hamburger 2400
1 pair leather shoes 8000

His message to the conference was that water is an increasingly scarce world resource and those countries who are blessed with abundant supplies of water, like New Zealand, are very fortunate.

This might be good for New Zealand but no doubt the measure will be clouded by emotion rather than based on science, as carbon footprints are.

Conserving any resource is sensible but a water footprint is a blunt instrument. Using 140 litres for a cup of coffee in a desert could be more wasteful than using 8000 litres for leather shoes in a region where water is plentiful.

September 27 in history


489   Odoacer attacked Theodoric at the Battle of Verona, and was defeated again.

1331  The Battle of Płowce between the Kingdom of Poland and the Teutonic Order was fought.

1422  The Teutonic Knights signed the Treaty of Melno with the Kingdom of Poland and Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

1540  The Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) received its charter from Pope Paul III.

1590   Pope Urban VII died 13 days after being chosen as the Pope, making his reign the shortest papacy in history.

1605  The armies of Sweden were defeated by the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in the Battle of Kircholm.

1669 The Venetians surrender the fortress of Candia to the Ottomans, ending the 21-year long Siege of Candia.

1821  Mexico gained its independence from Spain.

1822 Jean-François Champollion announced that he had deciphered the Rosetta stone.

1825  The Stockton and Darlington Railway opened, and begins operation of the world’s first service of locomotive-hauled passenger trains.

1854  The steamship SS Arctic sank with 300 people on board. This marks the first great disaster in the Atlantic Ocean.

1903  Wreck of the Old 97, a train crash made famous by the song of the same name.

1905  The physics journal Annalen der Physik published Albert Einstein‘s paper “Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?”, introducing the equation E=mc².

1908  The first production of the Ford Model T car was built at the Piquette Plant in Detroit, Michigan.

1916  Iyasu was deposed as ruler of Ethiopia in a palace coup in favor of his aunt Zauditu.

1922  King Constantine I of Greece abdicated his throne in favor of his eldest son, King George II.

1930  Bobby Jones won the U.S. Amateur Championship to complete the Grand Slam of gol -the U.S. Open, British Open, U.S. Amateur, and British Amateur.

1937  Balinese Tiger declared extinct.

1938  Ocean liner Queen Elizabeth launched in Glasgow.

1940  World War II: The Tripartite Pact was signed in Berlin by Germany, Japan and Italy.

1941 The SS Patrick Henry was launched becoming the first of more than 2,700 Liberty ships.

1941 – Foundation of EAM (National Liberation Front) in Greece.

1942  Last day of the September Matanikau action on Guadalcanal as United States Marine Corps barely escaped after being surrounded by Japanese forces.

1942 – Alvin Stardust, English singer, was born.

1943 Randy Bachman, Canadian musician, was born.

1944 The Kassel Mission resulted in the largest loss by a USAAF group on any mission in World War II.

1947 Meat Loaf, ( Michael Lee Aday)American singer, was born.

1948 Michele Dotrice, English actress, was born.

1949  The first Plenary Session of the National People’s Congress approved the design of the Flag of the People’s Republic of China.

1953 Greg Ham, Australian musician and songwriter (Men at Work), was born.

1954  The nationwide debut of Tonight! (The Tonight Show) hosted by Steve Allen on NBC.

1956  USAF Captain Milburn G. Apt became the first man to exceed Mach 3 while flying the Bell X-2.

1958 Socttish author Irvine Welsh was born.

1959  Nearly 5000 people died on the main Japanese island of Honshū as the result of a typhoon.

1964  The Warren Commission released its report, concluding that Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, assassinated President John F. Kennedy.

1964  The British TSR-2 aircraft XR219 made its maiden flight from Boscombe Down in Wiltshire.

1968 – The stage musical Hair opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London.

1972 Gwyneth Paltrow, American actress, was born.

1974 William Sutch was charged with spying.

William Sutch charged with spying

1977  The 300 metre tall CKVR-TV transmission tower in Barrie, Ontario, was hit by a light aircraft in a fog, causing it to collapse. All aboard the aircraft were killed.

1983  Richard Stallman announced the GNU project to develop a free Unix-like operating system.

1986  Clifford Lee Burton of Metallica died in tour bus accident.

1988 The National League for Democracy, led by Aung San Suu Kyi was founded.

1993  The Sukhumi massacre  in Abkhazia.

1995  The Government of the United States unveiled the first of its redesigned bank notes with the $100 bill featuring a larger portrait of Benjamin Franklin slightly off-centre.

1996  In Afghanistan, the Taliban captured the capital city Kabul after driving out President Burhanuddin Rabbani and executing former leader Mohammad Najibullah.

1996 – The Julie N. tanker skip crashed into the Million Dollar Bridge in Portland, Maine spilling thousands of gallons of oil.

1998  Google was founded.

2003  Smart 1 satellite was launched.

2008 CNSA astronaut Zhai Zhigang became the first Chinese person to perform a spacewalk while flying on Shenzhou 7.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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