Word of the day

March 9, 2013

Hent – to take hold of by force; seize; grasp; anything that has been grasped, especially by the mind.


Rural round-up

March 9, 2013

Teaching Farm Wins Top Award in East Coast Ballance Farm Environment Awards:

A well-known Hawke’s Bay station and training farm has taken out the Supreme title in the 2013 East Coast Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

Smedley Station and Cadet Training Farm also collected several category awards at a special Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA) ceremony on March 7, 2013.

Managed by Terry and Judy Walters, the 5054ha (3186ha effective) sheep, beef and deer farm near Tikokino, northwest of Waipukurau, is home to 22 cadets who are presented with a wide range of learning opportunities during the two years they live and work on the property.

BFEA judges said the intensely scrutinised station sets and achieves high benchmarks.

 “As a working farm Smedley not only practises profitable and sustainable management, it also teaches this ethos to tomorrow’s agricultural leaders.” . . .

Environmentally conscious couple asked to teach others:

An environmentally-conscious farming family in Waikato is being brought on board by Fonterra as part of a project to restore signifcant waterways around the country.

Andrew and Jennifer Hayes farm an 88 hectare dairy farm between two peat lakes – Kaituna and Komakorau (co-mark-a-row), at Horsham Downs in Waikato.

The Hayes have won environment awards for their guardianship of those lakes and Fonterra has asked them to share their knowledge with fellow farmers. . .

Survey Reveals Huge Pasture Investment:

In the past four years New Zealand farmers have sown enough new proprietary pasture seed to cover more than 1.5 million ha of land, new data shows.

“That’s the equivalent of just over 6600 average sized dairy farms,” says Thomas Chin, general manager of the New Zealand Plant Breeding and Research Association (NZPBRA).

Based on tonnages of seed sold for the four years ending 31 December 2012, the data is a NZ first and reveals the ‘colossal’ potential and effect of proprietary plant varieties on NZ farms.

“What this clearly shows is that farmers are using well-bred, well researched, proven plant genetics to get the best out of their land, and their animals,” Chin says. . .

Brown paddock recovery plan – growing grass after the dry:

 Livestock management may have been farmers’ number one priority during recent dry weeks – and rightly so – but now it’s time to think about pastures too.

“We realise you need to look after livestock, however pasture is what’s going to fuel your recovery after rain, and it will be your main feed for the next 12 months,” says senior agronomist Graham Kerr.

“Continued dry conditions in the last three weeks have dramatically changed the pasture situation on many farms, and pasture renewal programmes need to change likewise.”

The best practice in this type of year is to assess all pastures on the farm, and divide paddocks into three categories. This information can then be turned into proactive pasture renewal and pasture management plans. . .

Ambitious Young Winners in Auckland Hauraki Dairy Awards:

At just 28, the 2013 Auckland Hauraki Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year, James Courtman, is young, ambitious and already successful.

Mr Courtman won the title and $14,000 in cash and prizes at the region’s Dairy Industry Awards dinner at the TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre in Manukau last night.

“I entered the awards for the first time to challenge myself, to develop better goals, and to try and win!” he said. In February he contested the regional Young Farmers Competition final, winning the AGMARDT agri-business challenge. . .

Last chance for Aorangi Young Farmer:

Next weekend will be Phil Campbell’s last chance at a Grand Final in the ANZ Young Farmer Contest. At 31, the last year for eligibility, the sheep, beef and cropping farmer will be the oldest competitor in the Aorangi Regional Final being held at the Methven Showgrounds and Heritage Centre, Saturday 16 March.

Eight competitors will be vying for a spot at the Grand Final in Auckland 16-18 May and their share of a considerable prize pack worth $13,000 thanks to ANZ, AGMARDT, Lincoln University Scholarship, Ravensdown, Silver Fern Farms, Honda, and Husqvarna. . .

Cavalier Congratulates Speed Shearers:

The Golden Shears ‘Big Bang’ speed shearing event shows that New Zealand’s reputation for world class shearing is in good hands, says Cavalier Woolscourers Ltd (CWS).

The ‘Big Bang’ is part of the annual Golden Shears programme of events, and sees world class speed shearers compete in Senior and Open grades.

“CWS congratulates Brett Roberts – who topped a Seniors field of 29 contestants with a time of just 34.5 seconds – and Digger Balme, whose 28.92 seconds saw him triumph in the Open section,” said Nigel Hales, CEO of Cavalier Wool Scourers. . .

Wool prices continue firming:

New Zealand Wool Services International Limited’s General Manager, Mr John Dawson reports that the combined North and South Island auction offering of 24,400 bales saw a 91 percent clearance and a firm to dearer market across the board.

The weighted indicator for the main trading currencies was practically unchanged compared to the last sale on 28th February, firming by 0.23 percent.

Mr Dawson advises that the Fine Crossbred Fleece was generally slightly dearer with the shear types firm to 2 percent stronger. . .


Saturday’s smiles

March 9, 2013

A bagpiper player was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man.

He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper’s cemetery in the back country. the piper wasn’t famliar with the area, got lost getting there and being a bloke, didn’t stop to ask for directions.

He finally arrived an hour late. The funeral director and hearse had gone,  there were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch.

He felt awful and apologised to the men for being late. He went to the side of the grave and looked down and didn’t know what else to do, so started to play.

The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. The piper played with his heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. He played like he’d never played before for the homeless man.

And as he played ‘Amazing Grace,’ the workers began to weep. They wept, the piper wept, they all wept together. When  the piper finished he packed up his  bagpipes and started for his car. Though his head hung low, his heart was full.

As he opened the door to my car, he heard one of the workers say, “I never saw anything like that before and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for twenty years.”


Drought pin to prick dollar balloon

March 9, 2013

Quote of the day:

. . . Right now our dollar is a balloon and drought declarations ought to be the sharp pin. Given the droughts of 2007-9 cost New Zealand $2.8 billion and were tipping points for the last recession, investors buying the Kiwi ignore reality at their peril. Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers president.

He was writing on the impact of the drought which ANZ puts it at $1 billion and counting.


Which manufacturing crisis?

March 9, 2013

The Labour/Green/NZ First/Mana opposition has been doing its best to manufacture a crisis about a manufacturing crisis.

Which crisis it is they’re concerned about is unclear because manufacturing here kept growing in the December quarter despite falls in sheep and dairy industries.

Total manufacturing volumes rose for the December 2012 quarter, despite a small fall in meat and dairy product manufacturing, Statistics New Zealand said today.

After adjusting for price changes and seasonal variations, the volume of total manufacturing sales rose 1.5 percent, while the meat and dairy manufacturing sales volume fell 1.1 percent.

“While still an increase, this is something of a reversal from the previous quarter, when high meat and dairy manufacturing sales more than compensated for falls in other manufacturing industries,” industry and labour statistics manager Blair Cardno said.

“This quarter, seven of the other 12 manufacturing industries contributed to the overall increase.”

The largest increases this quarter were:

  • metal product manufacturing, up 5.4 percent
  • petroleum and coal product manufacturing, up 6.4 percent.

These two industries partly recovered from decreases in recent quarters.

The trend for the manufacturing sales volume, which gives a longer-term picture of movements, has been rising since late 2011.

In current prices, the total manufacturing sales value was flat, up just $1 million to a seasonally adjusted $22.8 billion.

Other figures support the case for optimism.

Doug Steel, economist at Bank of New Zealand, said the increase in volumes continued the trend of the past three quarters, though “prices were not all that flash.”

“The rundown in stocks give you a bit of optimism for 2013 if demand does strengthen on construction,” he said.

The official government figures come the same day as a New Zealand Manufacturers’ and Exporters’ Association survey showed an increase in export sales in January compared to a year earlier.

The NZMEA has been a vocal critic of the government and Reserve Bank for not providing more support for local firms competing with cheap imported rivals and reduced competitiveness abroad due to the strength of the currency.

Last month, the Bank of New Zealand-Business NZ performance of manufacturing index showed the sector grew at its fastest pace in eight months in January, with the strongest growth in Canterbury/Westland probably reflecting demand for building materials.

Some sectors aren’t doing so well, some are doing better.

That’s normal and while a decline in a sector and job losses are hard for those involved they’re not symptoms of a crisis.


Saturday soapbox

March 9, 2013

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation.

You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, to muse or amuse.

:) kindest, Boris<


March 9 in history

March 9, 2013

141 BC Liu Che, posthumously known as Emperor Wu of Han, assumed the throne over the Han Dynasty of China.

1230 AD – Bulgarian tsar Ivan Asen II defeated Theodore of Epirus in the Battle of Klokotnitsa.

1276  Augsburg became an Imperial Free City.

1500 The fleet of Pedro Alvares Cabral left Lisbon for the Indies.

1566 David Rizzio, the private secretary to Mary, Queen of Scots was murdered.

1765 After a campaign by the writer Voltaire, judges in Paris posthumously exonerated Jean Calas of murdering his son. Calas had been tortured and executed in 1762 on the charge, though his son may have actually committed suicide.

1796 Napoléon Bonaparte married his first wife, Joséphine de Beauharnais.

1841 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that captive Africans who had seized control of the ship carrying them had been taken into slavery illegally.

1842 Giuseppe Verdi‘s third opera Nabucco receives its première performance in Milan.

1847 Mexican-American War: The first large-scale amphibious assault in U.S. history was launched in the Siege of Veracruz

1862  The USS Monitor and CSS Virginia fought to a draw in the Battle of Hampton Roads, the first fight between two ironclad warships.

1892 Vita Sackville-West, English writer and gardener, was born  (d. 1962).

1896 Prime Minister Francesco Crispi resigned following the Italian defeat at the Battle of Adowa.

1910  Westmoreland County Coal Strike, involving 15,000 coal miners began.

1916 Pancho Villa led nearly 500 Mexican raiders in an attack against Columbus, New Mexico.

1918 Mickey Spillane, American writer, was born (d. 2006).

1925  Pink’s War: The first Royal Air Force operation conducted independently of the British Army or Royal Navy began.

1933 President Franklin D. Roosevelt submitted the Emergency Banking Act to the Congress, the first of his New Deal policies.

1934 Yuri Gagarin, Soviet cosmonaut and the first human in space, was born (d. 1968).

1947 Keri Hulme, New Zealand writer, was born.

BonePeople.JPG

1954 Bobby Sands, IRA member, was born (d. 1981).

1956 Soviet military suppressesed mass demonstrations in the Georgian SSR, reacting to Khrushchev’s de-Stalinization policy.

1956, Opononi George or Opo, also known as the ‘gay dolphin’, died.

Death of Opo the friendly dolphin

1957 A magnitude 8.3 earthquake in the Andreanof Islands, Alaska triggered a Pacific-wide tsunami causing extensive damage to Hawaii and Oahu.

1959 The Barbie doll made its debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York.

1963 David Pogue, Technology columnist and musician, was born.

1967 Trans World Airlines Flight 553, a Douglas DC-9-15, crashed in a field in Concord Township, Ohio following a mid-air collision with a Beechcraft Baron, killing 26.

1976 – Forty-two people died in the 1976 Cavalese cable-car disaster, the worst cable-car accident to date.

1977 The Hanafi Muslim Siege: In a thirty-nine hour standoff, armed Hanafi Muslims seized three Washington, D.C., buildings, killing two and taking 149 hostage.

1989 A strike forced financially-troubled Eastern Air Lines into bankruptcy.

1990 Dr. Antonia Novello was sworn in as Surgeon General of the United States, becoming the first female and Hispanic American to serve in that position.

1991 Massive demonstrations were held against Slobodan Milošević in Belgrade. Two people were killed.

1997  Observers in China, Mongolia and eastern Siberia were treated to a rare double feature as an eclipse permitted Comet Hale-Bopp to be seen during the day.

2010 – The first same-sex marriages in Washington, D.C., took place.

2011 – Space Shuttle Discovery made its final landing after 39 flights.

2012 – Polish mountaineers Adam Bielecki and Janusz Gołąb make the first winter ascent of Gasherbrum I.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


%d bloggers like this: