Rural round-up

October 12, 2012

Business skill vital for farming success – Ali Tocker:

Business skills are crucial to high-performing and profitable farms, new research from DairyNZ shows.

The research covered 150 dairy farms in Waikato and Canterbury, and identified the key characteristics of the top-performing farms.

It took the top quarter of farms surveyed, ranked on operating profit per hectare, and identified their common characteristics.

“It’s not animal husbandry, feed or people management – the biggest skill gap is in the business area,” DairyNZ economist Matthew Newman said. . .

Lamb prices hurting Americans – Gerald Piddock:

New Zealand farmers are not the only lamb producers facing tough times.

North American sheep farmers have had a 40 per cent drop in lamb prices with values now sitting where they were a decade ago, Beef+Lamb North American representative Andrew Burt said.

Mr Burt is back in New Zealand having recently taken up the role of Beef+Lamb’s chief economist.

US lamb producers were forecasting an over-supply of lamb for this coming season he said. . .

Alpaca breeders’ patience pays off – Peter Watson:

You need plenty of patience to breed quality alpacas.

New Zealand herds are invariably small and vary widely in quality, top animals are expensive to buy, females take almost a year to produce an offspring and twins are rare. . .

Apple orchardists on a roll south – Sandra Finny:

With little help from anyone outside of family, orchardists Peter and Danny Bennett are reaping the rewards after nearly six years of battling red tape to bring a lucrative apple growing franchise to South Canterbury.

The Bennetts, who own the established Waipopo Orchard near Temuka, are in expansion mode planting 50,000 apple trees on top of 40,000 they planted three years ago, which are already producing export crops to meet an insatiable demand for their trademark HoneyCrunch apples in US markets.

The apples are a point of difference with Southern hemisphere supply being market-led not producer-driven. . .

Unlocking the perfect sheep:

Imagine the perfect sheep; healthy, fertile, and high producing, with meat of unsurpassed eating quality and wool fit for high value markets. This is the sheep that will transform New Zealand’s sheep industry, providing higher returns to growers and elevating the fibre on which much of the New Zealand economy was built to new heights.

With assistance from the government’s Primary Growth Partnership (PGP), The New Zealand Merino Company (NZM) is investing in production science initiatives to unlock the potential of this perfect sheep, which will thrive across a range of geographic areas and combine great quality meat and wool traits in the same animal. . .

And an interesting infographic on the difference between natural cheese and processed cheese.


Friday’s answers

October 12, 2012

Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who said: “It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds”?

2. Richard Bach wrote a book about which bird?

3. It’s oiseau in French, uccello in Italian, pájaro in Spanish and manu in Maori, what is it in English?

4. Which bird is on the NZ $20 note?

5. Is a bird in the hand always better than two in the bush?

Points for answers:

Alwyn, Andrei, Gravedodger, and Grant all win an electronic bunch of asparagus with Whitestone Windsor Blue (to make delicious cheese and asparagus rolls).

Andrei and GD got bonuses for extra information.

Paul got four and a bonus for good try for #1.

PDM got four and a sigh for his misspent youth.

Were the questions too easy or are you all too clever?

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »


Who cares when the carers don’t?

October 12, 2012

The White Paper on Vulnerable children launched by Social Development Minister Paula Bennett yesterday contains more than 30 proposed initiatives to target the 20 to 30,000 children in need.

Proposals include:

  • New legislation to make Chief Executives of Social Development, Health, Justice, Police, Housing and Te Puni Kokiri jointly accountable for achieving results for all vulnerable children.
  • Regional Directors & Children’s Teams to coordinate individualised responses locally.
  • New Child Protect line to triage calls appropriately. Many people are concerned about children but don’t want to call Child, Youth and Family. This new line will be the first point of contact and ensure the right response.
  • Vulnerable Kid’s Information System to be put in place.
  • Comprehensive risk predictor tool to be developed alongside Auckland University to identify vulnerable children before they are abused and get them the help they need.
  • Ongoing support to families who take in a child to be provided by non-government organisations.
  • More specialist trained caregivers for high-needs and high-risk teens.
  • Review of Child, Youth and Family complaints process and parental leave provisions, with a view to extending these to families who take on a child permanently.
  • Screening of people working directly with children to be established through a legislated vetting process and we will encourage social workers to register with the Social Workers Registration Board.
  • Tough new restrictions for abusers through child abuse prevention orders to allow judges to stop child abusers from gaining access to children.
  • Child protection orders could mean that another baby born into a potentially abusive environment is removed from that parent’s care

State intrusion in the lives of its citizens requires caution and safeguards.

But when the people who should be caring for their children don’t, the right of the children to protection trumps that of the carers’ right to privacy and autonomy.


Conduct unbecoming

October 12, 2012

Getting arrested at a protest is good publicity for a cause.

But it’s bad publicity for an MP.

Hone Harawira won’t mind though.

The transition from protester to MP isn’t an easy one and he’ll regard bad publicity for conduct unbecoming to an MP as good publicity for him.

He’ll just have to hope his supporters don’t go beyond the headlines and ask why he’s opposed to replacing 150 old state houses with 260 new ones.


Call in the plumbers

October 12, 2012

If anyone ought to be able to keep a secret it’s someone in the Government Communications Security Bureau.

If anyone ought to be able to keep quiet about something learned from the GCSB it’s someone who aspires to be Prime Minister.

Which is worse, that someone in the GCSB is playing politics, that the Leader of the Opposition has “sources inside the GCSB” or that he goes public on what he’s learned and then isn’t able to verify it?

Whaleoil has the details and reckons it’s time for an inquiry.

He’s right.

When the GCSB starts leaking they also need to call in the forensic plumbers.

Update:

The Labour Party’s GCSB leak has been revealed.


October 12 in history

October 12, 2012

539 BC – The army of Cyrus the Great of Persia took Babylon.

1216 King John of England lost his crown jewels in The Wash.

1279  Nichiren, a Japanese Buddhist monk founder of Nichiren Buddhism, inscribed the Dai-Gohonzon.

1398  The Treaty of Salynas was signed between Grand Duke of Lithuania Vytautas the Great and the Teutonic Knights, who received Samogitia.

1492  Christopher Columbus‘s expedition landed on The Bahamas. The explorer believed he has reached South Asia.

1654  The Delft Explosion devastated the city, killing more than 100 people.

1692  The Salem Witch Trials were ended by a letter from Massachusetts Governor William Phips.

1773 America’s first insane asylum opened for ‘Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds’ in Virginia

1792  First celebration of Columbus Day in the USA held in New York

1793  The cornerstone of Old East, the oldest state university building in the United States, was laid on the campus of the University of North Carolina.

1810  First Oktoberfest: Bavarian royalty invited the citizens of Munich to join the celebration of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen.

1822  Pedro I of Brazil was proclaimed the emperor of the Brazil.

1823  Charles Macintosh, of Scotland, sold the first raincoat.

1866 Ramsay MacDonald, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom,was born (d. 1937).

1871  Criminal Tribes Act (CTA) enacted by British rule in India, which named over 160 local communities ‘Criminal Tribes’, i.e. hereditary criminals.

1872 Ralph Vaughan Williams, English composer, was born (d. 1958).

1892  The Pledge of Allegiance was first recited by students in many US public schools, as part of a celebration marking the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s voyage.

1901  President Theodore Roosevelt officially renamed the “Executive Mansion” the White House.

1915 World War I: British nurse Edith Cavell was executed by a German firing squad for helping Allied soldiers escape from Belgium.

1917 World War I: The First Battle of Passchendaele resulted in the largest single day loss of life in New Zealand history.

NZ's ‘blackest day’ at Passchendaele

1918 The arrival of the Niagra was blamed for introducing a deadly new influenza to New Zealand.

<em>Niagara</em>'s arrival blamed for flu pandemic

1918  A massive forest fire killed 453 people in Minnesota.

1928 An iron lung respirator was used for the first time at Children’s Hospital, Boston.

1933  The United States Army Disciplinary Barracks on Alcatraz Island, was acquired by the United States Department of Justice.

1935 Luciano Pavarotti, Italian tenor, was born (d. 2007).

1942 Melvin Franklin, American singer (The Temptations), was born (d. 1995).

1942 World War II: Japanese ships retreated after their defeat in the Battle of Cape Esperance with the Japanese commander, Aritomo Gotō dying from wounds suffered in the battle and two Japanese destroyers sunk by Allied air attack.

1945  World War II: Desmond Doss was the first conscientious objector to receive the U.S. Medal of Honor.

1948 Rick Parfitt, British musician (Status Quo), was born.

1953 “The Caine Mutiny Court Martial” opened at Plymouth Theatre, New York.

1960  Cold War: Nikita Khrushchev pounded his shoe on a desk at United Nationa General Assembly meeting to protest a Philippine assertion of Soviet Union colonial policy being conducted in Eastern Europe.

1960  Inejiro Asanuma, Chair of the Japanese Socialist Party, was assassinated by Otoya Yamaguchi, a 17-year-old.

1962 Columbus Day Storm struck the U.S. Pacific Northwest with record wind velocities; 46 dead and at least U.S. $230 million in damages.

1964 The Soviet Union launched the Voskhod 1 into Earth orbit as the first spacecraft with a multi-person crew and the first flight without space suits.

1968 Equatorial Guinea became independent from Spain.

1976 China announced that Hua Guofeng was the successor to the late Mao Zedong as chairman of Communist Party of China.

1979 The first in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy comedy science fiction series by Douglas Adams was published.

1979 The lowest recorded non-tornadic atmospheric pressure, 87.0 kPa (870 mbar or 25.69 inHg), occurred in the Western Pacific during Typhoon Tip.

1983 Japan’s former Prime Minister Tanaka Kakuei was found guilty of taking a $2 million bribe from Lockheed and was sentenced to 4 years in jail.

1984  Brighton hotel bombing: The Provisional Irish Republican Army attempted to assassinate Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet. Thatcher escaped but the bomb kills five people and wounded 31.

1988 Jaffna University Helidrop: Commandos of Indian Peace Keeping Force raided the Jaffna University campus to capture the LTTE chief and walked into a trap.

1988 Two officers of the Victoria Police were gunned down executional style in the Walsh Street police shootings.

1991  Askar Akayev, previously chosen President of Kyrgyzstan by republic’s Supreme Soviet was confirmed president in an uncontested poll.

1997  Sidi Daoud massacre in Algeria; 43 killed at a fake roadblock.

1999  Pervez Musharraf took power in Pakistan from Nawaz Sharif through a bloodless coup.

1999 – The Day of Six Billion: The proclaimed 6 billionth living human in the world is born.

2000 The USS Cole was badly damaged in Aden, Yemen, by two suicide bombers, killing 17 crew members and wounding at least 39.

2002 Terrorists detonated bombs in Paddy’s Pub and the Sari Club in Kuta, Bali, killing 202 and wounding over 300.

2005  The second Chinese human spaceflight Shenzhou 6 launched carrying Fèi Jùnlóng and Niè Hǎishèng for five days in orbit.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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