Word of the day


 Tohubohu – chaos,  confusion, disorder; empty and formless.

Rural round-up


New Environmental Planning Resource for Sheep And Beef Farmers – B+LNZ:

Beef + Lamb New Zealand will today launch a refreshed version of its Land and Environment Planning Toolkit, a resource to help sheep and beef farmers manage land and environmental issues on their farms.

The toolkit is being launched by the Minister for the Environment, Hon Amy Adams at an event in Christchurch.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Chief Executive, Dr Scott Champion said New Zealand sheep and beef farmers had long recognised the importance of caring for the environment, particularly where families have been in the business of farming for generations. They understand the need to maintain and improve the natural resources of their farms for future generations. . .

The environmental sheep & beef farmer:

Federated Farmers has welcomed Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s refreshed Land and Environment Planning Toolkit, having attended its launch in Christchurch today.

“Federated Farmers believes it is vital to have the tools and means that make a real difference. The toolkit will not only help us to do better but also shows how seriously farmers take the environment,” says Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre chairperson.

“Being farmers we aren’t big on spin but we are big on actions.
“As a toolkit for meat and fibre farmers, it will help differentiate extensive farming systems from low-land intensive farming too. . .

Horticulture NZ supports economic impact evidence:


Horticulture New Zealand is backing the submission of new evidence to the Environment Court on the much debated Manawatu-Whanganui regional plan.

The horticulture body is one of a number of farmer and grower organisations that strongly oppose the court’s ruling on the One Plan released earlier this year.

The court has backed the council’s proposal to impose nutrient caps on intensive farming and vegetable-growing operations to protect waterways from nitrogen pollution. . .

Farmers and growers say it will threaten their livelihoods. . .


The south Taranaki farmers who lost 120 cows from still unknown causes have been inundated with offers of help and support, including replacement livestock.

The cows, which made up about a quarter of the farmers’ herd, died suddenly earlier this month, after their water troughs were topped up using a portable tank.

Within 30 minutes, cows began falling to the ground. Vets were called immediately, but there was little they could do as some of the cows died quickly. . .

NZ farmer confidence stages mild recovery yet remains in negative territory


Results at a Glance

• Farmer confidence improved slightly yet remains in negative territory for the fourth consecutive quarter

• Global economic outlook diminishes farmers’ expectations of their own business performance

• Dry seasonal conditions are concerning for New Zealand farmers

• Sheep and beef farmers the most pessimistic . . .

New Zealand Seafood Industry Welcomes NZ And US Food Safety Agreement


The New Zealand seafood industry today welcomed the joint agreement between United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) recognising each other’s food safety systems as comparable to each other.

“The agreement is a vote of confidence in New Zealand’s food safety system and in the high quality of New Zealand’s seafood products,” says , Acting Chief Executive of Seafood New Zealand.

Ms Campbell says the agreement will mean greater commercial certainty for the seafood industry, as well as providing US consumers with even more confidence in New Zealand seafood. . .

Who’s most emotionally challenged?


A Gallup survey of 152 countries compared how people feel about their lives.

Singapore ranks as the world’s most emotionless society, behind Georgia, Lithuania, and Russia. Singaporeans are unlikely to report feelings of anger, physical pain, or other negative emotions. They’re not laughing a lot, either. “If you measure Singapore by the traditional indicators, they look like one of the best-run countries in the world,” says Jon Clifton, a Gallup partner in Washington. “But if you look at everything that makes life worth living, they’re not doing so well.”

Those polled were asked to evaluate their lives on a scale of zero to 10.

Questions asked included:

* Were you well rested yesterday?

* Were you treated with respect all day yesterday?

* Did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday?

* Did you experience the following feelings yesterday – enjoyment, physical pain, worry, pain stress, anger?

­Danes are the most satisfied and people from Togo in West Africa are the least. No surprises, too, when Gallup asked people to say whether life would be better or worse five years from now. The award for most pessimistic goes to the inhabitants of Greece, ground zero of the euro debt crisis. Last year, the people most likely to report feeling stress, anger, sadness, worry, or pain were Iraqis. The most emotional nation? The Philippines.


Farming Show going urban


The Farming Show will be broadcast in Wellington and Auckland next year:

The country’s longest-running, daily, dedicated, farming radio programme broadcast between Midday and 1pm, Monday to Friday on Radio Sport will be heard on 1332AM in Auckland and 1503AM in Wellington.

“Making the programme available in both cities will open up Farming Show content to an even wider audience. There are many Aucklanders and Wellingtonians who have a rural association of some type and would find value in hearing the latest rural news, comment and opinion”, said Jamie Mackay, Farming Show host.

The Farming Show will now be heard in 25 markets from Northland to Southland as well as on the website launched earlier this year at http://www.farmingshow.com and on iPhone and Android, so farmers can keep up with the latest from the Farmingshow via their smartphone.

The Farming Show hour has some of the most expensive advertising spots on radio because it has a high target audience.

It started on Hokanui Gold in Southland, spread to provincial NewsTalk  ZB stations and has been on Radio Sport in bigger cities except Wellington and Auckland for the past few years.

Radio Sport listeners weren’t all enamoured of the programme at first but they must have grown to like it and the Radio Network must be confident it can win over listeners, and attract advertisers, in the big metropolitan markets.

I interviewed Jamie about his life and the show for ATS News (pages 14 and 15).



Fonterra milk price manual okay – Com Com


The Commerce Commission’s first statutory review of Fonterra’s milk price manual has given it qualified approval:

Our conclusion is that, to the extent we are able to assess it, Fonterra’s manual is not inconsistent with the purpose of the DIRA milk monitoring regime. There are a couple of elements that we consider are not fully consistent with the efficiency aspect of the purpose, but they only have a minor impact,” said Sue Begg, Commerce Commission Deputy Chair.

Ms Begg said there were a number of caveats to the Commission’s conclusion.

“In particular there are three matters about which we are unable to form a view in our report, and which we consider to be potentially material,” she said. “We will examine these matters again in our second, separate but related, review in September 2013. In that review we will look at how Fonterra has applied the milk price manual to calculate the milk price.”

The three matters of potential concern are the regions where plants are assumed to be added, the calculation of milk collection costs, and the treatment of assets that are no longer required.”

“There are also other matters about which the manual is not specific. We will not be able to form a view on these until the September review.”

“Parts of Fonterra’s milk price manual states general principles or high level rules. While these are not in themselves inconsistent with the purpose, they could be implemented in a manner that is,” said Ms Begg.”

The full report is here.

Open Mic


Would you like an occasional opportunity to discuss an issue that I don’t?

If so here’s your chance, consider this an open mic.

The response will determine if it becomes a regular event, an occasional one or gets filed in the good-ideas-that-weren’t bin.

(No pressure 🙂 )

December 16 in history


1431  Henry VI of Englandwas crowned King of France at Notre Dame in Paris.

1485  Catherine of Aragon, Queen of England, was born (d. 1536).

1497  Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope, the point where Bartolomeu Dias had previously turned back to Portugal.

1653  Oliver Cromwell became Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland.

1707  Last recorded eruption of Mount Fuji in Japan.

1770  Ludwig van Beethoven, German composer was born  (d. 1827).

1773  Boston Tea Party – Members of the Sons of Liberty disguised as Mohawks dump crates of tea into Boston harbor as a protest against the Tea Act.

1775 Jane Austen, English writer, was born (d. 1817).

1787  – Mary Russell Mitford, English writer, was born  (d. 1855)

1790  King Léopold I of Belgium, was born (d. 1865).

1850 The Charlotte-Jane and the Randolph brought the first settlers to Lyttelton.

1882   Sir Jack Hobbs, English cricketer, was born (d. 1963).

1883 Max Linder, French pioneer of silent film, was born (d. 1925).

1888  King Alexander I of Yugoslavia, was born  (d. 1934).

1893  Antonín Dvořák‘s Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, “From The New World” was given its world première at Carnegie Hall.

1899  Sir Noel Coward, English playwright, actor and composer, was born  (d. 1973).

1905  Piet Hein, Danish mathematician and inventor was born (d. 1996).

1905 A great rugby rivalry was born when a last-minute try to All Black Bob Deans was disallowed, handing the Welsh victory.

All Black's 'non-try' hands Wales historic win

1907 The Great White Fleet (US Naval Battle fleet) began its circumnavigation of the world.

1915  – Turk Murphy, American trombonist, was born (d. 1987).

1917  Sir Arthur C. Clarke, English writer, was born (d. 2008).

1920 The Haiyuan earthquake, magnitude 8.5, in  Gansu province killed an estimated 200,000.

1938  Adolf Hitler instituted the Cross of Honor of the German Mother.

1943 Tony Hicks, English guitarist (The Hollies), was born.

1944 The Battle of the Bulge began with the surprise offensive of three German armies through the Ardennes forest.

1946 Benny Andersson, Swedish musician, singer and songwriter (ABBA), was born.

1947 Ben Cross, English actor, was born.

1947  William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain built the first practical point-contact transistor.

1949 Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget, later knons as SAAB, was founded in Sweden.

1952 Joel Garner, Barbadian West Indies cricketer, was born.

1955 – Prince Lorenz of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este, was born.

1960  1960 New York air disaster: While approaching New York’s Idlewild Airport, a United Airlines Douglas DC-8 collided with a TWA Lockheed Super Constellation in a blinding snowstorm over Staten Island, killing 134.

1971 Bangladesh War of Independence and Indo-Pakistani War of 1971: The surrender of the Pakistan army brings an end to both conflicts.

1971 – Independence Day of the State of Bahrain from British Protectorate Status.

1972  Angela Bloomfield, New Zealand actress, was born.

1991 Independence of The Republic of Kazakhstan.

1997  Dennō Senshi Porygonan episode of Pokémon, was aired in Japan, inducing seizures in hundreds of Japanese children.

2003  President George W. Bush signed the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 into law. The law established the United States’ first national standards for the sending of commercial e-mail.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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