Word of the day


Misology – distrust or hatred of  argument, enlightenment, reason or reasoning.

Keep it simple


If you’re not looking forward to Christmas and enjoying preparations, it could be that you’re forgetting to keep it simple.

This post on Smile Project  provides a timely reminder that it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive:

Loving this one that the wonderful Kerry Hands shared from the fb page of The Natural Parent Magazine.

Rural round-up


MPI investigating palm kernel biosecurity-risk – Gerald Piddock:

The Ministry of Primary Industries is investigating claims by Federated Farmers that Malaysian-grown palm kernel expeller (PKE) could present a biosecurity risk to New Zealand.

The claims come after Federated Farmers grains executive vice-chairman David Clark and maize growers committee chairman Colin MacKinnon visited Malaysia in September to investigate the country’s palm industry.

“What we saw would be a complete breach of the import health standard if that palm kernel, when it was consolidated, formed part of a shipment coming to New Zealand,” Mr Clark said.

The pair were hosted on a plantation and shown around a mill where the PKE was processed. They attended a conference on PKE and spent time visiting the installations where PKE is stored and loaded onto container ships bound for New Zealand. . .

Farmlands CRT favour merger – Rebecca Harper:

Farmlands and Combined Rural Traders (CRT) directors are recommending in favour of a merger between the two farmer-owned rural supplies co-operatives.

The New Zealand Farmers Weekly revealed the two farmer-owned co-ops were in merger talks in early October.

The chairmen of the two co-ops, Don McFarlane (CRT) and Lachie Johnstone (Farmlands) confirmed exclusively to Farmers Weekly on Friday that a letter had been sent to shareholders that day saying the boards of each society were in favour of the merger. Directors had “agreed to take steps to merge the two societies together”. . .

Poor pasture quality costly – Gerald Piddock:

The poor quality of New Zealand pastures is one of the main reasons agricultural debt levels are so high, a leading soil scientist says.

Dairy cows are being presented too often with a nitrate-crude protein-rich pasture that does not provide them with enough energy, Graham Shepherd says.

It meant farmers brought in high levels of supplementary feed to give the rumen the energy required to process that type of pasture, he told farmers at a field day at Bryan and Jackie Clearwater’s farm near Geraldine. . .

Glyphos hit by grass resistance – Richard Rennie:

The discovery of glyphosate resistant ryegrass in Marlborough has sparked calls for compulsory labels on agri-chemicals highlighting resistance risks.

Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) CEO Nick Pyke officially confirmed the discovery at a field day in Hamilton on Thursday.

The discovery came during work for a Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) funded project on studying glyphosate resistance. It was identified in grasses from a vineyard after a call from a chemical company. . .

Really important to have social scientists working in agriculture – Pasture to Profit:

Social scientists are very active in agrifood.

That’s great! I welcome these intelligent minds working in both the agriculture & food space. Agrifood is about people. Dairy Farming is primarily about people. 
How people think, make decisions, work with each other, how we collectively live & work together is really important stuff. Yet mainstream agricultural science, farmers & farming largely ignore the social scientists & their work. I’ve just attended the Australia-NZ Agri-food Research Network conference held at Massey University. . .

Not a berry cherry Christmas?


We stayed on a Yorkshire cropping farm in June.

They finished planting potatoes when we were there, 10 weeks after they started. Last year the crop had been planted in 17 days.

The season hasn’t got any better:

Frost and ice have added to an already tense situation for potato growers in Britain as many battled against the elements to finish lifting.

Indications from the Potato Council said crop production was at its lowest since 1976, with yields down 25% from last year.

But farmers said a 50% loss was more likely.

And farmers across all sectors have struggled with the cold weather, especially in Scotland where up to 15cm of snow fell in some areas as temperatures sank as low as -7degC. . . .

A cold wet spring and early summer here have affected stone fruit and berries.

Cherries are expected to be in short supply for Christmas and berries could be too.

We’ve been getting strawberries from the North Island and I had my first raspberries of the season from Butlers near Waimate but North Otago berries still aren’t ripe.

But the temperature got to the mid 20s yesterday and the forecast is for warmer weather which is what’s needed if there are to be local berries for Christmas dinner.

Oamaru’s 150th birthday begins


It’s 150 years since Oamaru officially came into being and sesquicentennial celebrations began last week.

Yesterday Waitaki District Mayor Alec Familton was given a pipe band escort to the Farmers Market where he read the Ordinance and Proclamation which established the Oamaru Town Board in 1862.


Oamaru Life has a fuller report  and much better photos.

Tomorrow a five-day birthday party starts and a variety of other events are planned for the next 12 months.

Start of end for battery cages


The phasing out of battery cages for layer hens is too slow for animal welfare groups but people in the industry have concerns about the viability of their businesses.

Budgeting groups are also concerned that eggs will be come more expensive.

If battery cages are inhumane business viability and cost have to come second.

New Zealand has a very good record for animal welfare and that must apply to everything we farm, whether or not it’s exported.

The ODT discusses the issue here and visits Mainland Poultry at Waikouaiti which uses a colony system.

December 17 in history


942 Assassination of William I of Normandy.

1398 – Sultan Nasir-u Din Mehmud‘s armies in Delhi were defeated by Timur.

1531 – Pope Clement VII established a parallel body to the Inquisition in Lisbon, Portugal.

1538  Pope Paul III excommunicated Henry VIII.

1577  Francis Drake set sail from Plymouth on a secret mission to explore the Pacific Coast of the Americas for Queen Elizabeth I.

1583 – Cologne War: Forces under Ernest of Bavaria defeated the troops under Gebhard Truchsess von Waldburg at the Siege of Godesberg.

1586 – Emperor Go-Yozei became Emperor of Japan.

1600 – Marriage of Henry IV of France and Marie de’ Medici.

1637 – Shimabara Rebellion: Japanese peasants led by Amakusa Shiro rose against daimyo Matsukura Shigeharu.

1773 At Wharehunga Bay, Queen Charlotte Sound, 10 men who were with James Cook’s navigator Tobias Furneaux died at the hands of Ngati Kuia and Rangitane, led by their chief, Kahura.

Ten crew of Cook's ship <em> Adventure </em>  killed and eaten

1819  Simón Bolívar declared the independence of the Republic of Gran Colombia in Angostura (now Ciudad Bolívar in Venezuela).

1834 The Dublin and Kingstown Railway, the first public railway in Ireland opened.

1865 First performance of the Unfinished Symphony by Franz Schubert.

1889 New Zealand’s Eifel tower opened at the South Seas Exhibition.

New Zealand’s own Eiffel Tower opens

1904 Paul Cadmus, American artist, was born (d. 1999).

1915 André Claveau, French singer, was born (d. 2003).

1918 Culmination of the Darwin Rebellion as some 1000 demonstrators march on Government House in Darwin.

1935 First flight of the Douglas DC-3 airplane.

1936  Tommy Steele, English singer and actor, was born.
1937 Kerry Packer, Australian businessman, was born (d. 2005).
1938  Peter Snell, New Zealand runner, was born.
Peter Snell and Murray Halberg win Olympic gold
1939  Battle of the River Plate – The Admiral Graf Spee was scuttled by Captain Hans Langsdorff outside Montevideo.

Graf Spee at Spithead.jpg

1944 Major Major, No. 1 Dog, 2NZEF, and member/mascot of 19 Battalion since 1939, died of sickness in Italy. He was buried with full military honours at Rimini.

Major Major, mascot of 19 Battalion, dies of sickness

1947  First flight of the Boeing B-47 Stratojet strategic bomber.

1961 Sara Dallin, English singer (Bananarama), was born.

1967  Prime Minister of Australia Harold Holt disappearsed while swimming near Portsea, Victoria and was presumed drowned.

1969 The SALT I (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks) began.

1969  Project Blue Book: The United States Air Force closed its study of UFOs, stating that sightings were generated as a result of “A mild form of mass hysteria, Individuals who fabricate such reports to perpetrate a hoax or seek publicity, psychopathological persons, and misidentification of various conventional objects.”

1983 The IRA bombed Harrods Department Store killing six people.

1989 Pilot episode of The Simpsons aired in the United States.

2003  SpaceShipOne flight 11P, piloted by Brian Binnie, made its first supersonic flight.

2005 – Jigme Singye Wangchuck abdicated the throne as King of Bhutan.

2009 – MV Danny F II sank off the coast of Lebanon, resulting in the deaths of 44 people and over 28,000 animals.

2010 – Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire. This act became the catalyst for the Tunisian Revolution and the wider Arab Spring.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

%d bloggers like this: