Word of the day

March 24, 2013

Persiflage – frivolous, flippant or bantering talk; a frivolous manner of treating any subject, whether serious or otherwise; light raillery; light and slightly contemptuous mockery or banter.


Rural round-up

March 24, 2013

Biological control agents vary in results:

A review of the history of the biological control agents introduced to combat weeds in New Zealand has found some have produced incredible results.

Others, however, were next to useless.

Dr Max Suckling is science group leader of biosecurity at Plant and Food Research and his latest work has taken a look at the benefits of biological control introduction in the country.

He says while the success of the different biological controls introduced varies greatly – some have been game changers. . .

Willow and poplar feed stock during drought:

A North Island farm forester is urging drought-afflicted farmers who have run out of feed for their stock to take a leaf out of his book and feed them foliage from trees.

Manawatu Whanganui Regional Council has highlighted the benefits of willows and poplars in particular as a source of nutritious supplementary feed. . .

Seven-Time Entrants Win Hawkes Bay/Wairarapa Awards:

Pahiatua farmers Shaun and Kate Mitchell can finally claim the 2013 Hawkes Bay/Wairarapa Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year title after entering seven times and placing runners-up last year.

The couple won $16,400 in cash and prizes at the region’s Dairy Industry Awards dinner at Copthorne Solway, in Masterton, last night. The other big winners were Bart and Tineke Gysbertsen, the 2013 Hawkes Bay/Wairarapa Farm Managers of the Year, and Ken Ahradsen, the Dairy Trainee of the Year.

The Mitchells say they have entered the awards multiple times due to the benefits of the feedback they have received. “It’s helped us to get a better understanding of our business and goals. The awards has also brought us out of our comfort zone and given us an opportunity to meet and interact with like-minded people.” . .

and now it’s the dairy industry awards – RivettingKate Taylor:

Guess where I have been tonight….. Masterton – watching the Hawke’s Bay Wairarapa Dairy Industry Awards (and taking the photos). . .

Contest Makes Dairy Awards Winner Better Farmer:

Entering the 2013 Manawatu/Rangitikei/Horowhenua Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year contest has made its winner, Richard McIntyre, better at what he does.

Mr McIntyre, who won $13,500 in cash and prizes, says he entered the Dairy Industry Awards to have his farm business analysed, with weaknesses highlighted and solutions found. “Essentially, it makes us better at what we do.”

The other big winners were Michael and Raewyn Hills, the 2013 Manawatu/Rangitikei/Horowhenua Farm Managers of the Year and Nic Verhoek, the Dairy Trainee of the Year. All winners are farming at Feilding and were announced at the region’s awards dinner held at Awapuni Racecourse, near Palmerston North, last night . .

“Extreme Barbecue” A Recipe For Market Success:

Combine New Zealand lamb with 40 keen foodies, a celebrity chef, some heavy-duty barbecue equipment, spectacular alpine scenery… and a forecast for snow. What have you got? Winter Grillcamp – a Beef + Lamb New Zealand promotion in Germany.

The event last week launched the farmer organisation’s new season PR programme in Northern Europe. It targeted two key market groups: upwardly mobile young men and women with a keen interest in cooking healthy but delicious food.

“Hosting a barbecue in zero temperatures at the top of Germany’s highest mountain may seem extreme, but we wanted to do something out of the ordinary,” says Nick Beeby, Beef + Lamb New Zealand Market Manager, Emerging Markets. . .

More drought pics – RivettingKate Taylor:

These were taken before we had 57mm of rain on Monday and Tuesday.

Friends up at Te Pohue had only 11mm.

It may have rained but the fat lady has seriously left the stage. . .

2013 a dream vintage so far for Bay wine industry:

The superlatives are coming thick and fast as the Hawke’s Bay wine industry gets underway with the 2013 grape harvest, with many believing this could be the “vintage of the century”.

“It’s a dream vintage,” says Tony Bish, chief winemaker for Sacred Hill and chairman of Gimblett Gravels Winegrower Association. “It’s been an awesome season, one we don’t get often enough. The fruit is early, ripe and clean; everything we would want.”

For Peter Gough, senior winemaker and viticulturist with Ngatarawa the lack of stress has meant there is a buoyancy of spirit across the industry this year. “There is no disease pressure so we aren’t picking because we have to, it’s when we want, based on flavour. It’s a winemaker’s dream.” . . .


NZ grass going global

March 24, 2013

A grass developed by AgResearch is going global in efforts to reduce bird strikes at airports.

An ingenious Kiwi solution to the billion dollar bird strike problem is getting ready to go global after impressing airport experts from around the world.

Bird strikes at airports cost the aviation industry an estimated US$1.2 billion annually in both damage to airplanes and deterrence measures.

AgResearch scientists have developed a tool to help airport managers control the problem, a grass containing a special novel endophyte that naturally deters wildlife and insects.

The endophyte is a natural fungus that grows between plant cells in many ryegrasses and tall fescues. It makes the grasses unpalatable to both insects and animals without harming them, and therefore deters both insect eating and herbivorous birds such as ducks and geese. Initial reports have shown that it can reduce the number of birds in sewn areas by 70-80 percent.

The discovery was patented and commercialised by AgResearch company Grasslanz Technology and is being marketed by PGG Wrightson Turf. . .

Sam Livesey, Business Analyst at Grasslanz Technology in Lincoln says that the technology has huge potential, and this is a good opportunity to open a worldwide market.

“The endophyte technology we’ve pioneered here could have worldwide applications in aviation, sports fields, parks, golf courses and orchards in temperate environments,” he says.

Two endophytes branded as ‘Avanex Unique Endophyte Technology’ have been introduced into two turf grasses: Jackal, a tall fescue for the aviation industry and Colosseum, a perennial ryegrass used in sports and amenity turf areas. The Avanex products could also prove profitable for arable farmers in New Zealand who grow the premium grasses for seed.

Trials at New Zealand airports have shown a significant reduction in bird numbers on areas sown with the endophytic grass, reducing the risk of bird strike at take-off and landing.

Mark Shaw, who heads the promotion and sales of Avanex for PGG Wrighton Turf says that they’re bringing together airport and turf consultants from around the world to show them how effective use of this grass can provide solutions around habitat management on airports and reduce the use of insecticides in public spaces.

“This is the only deterrent grass in the world at the moment, and it is one of the few permanent deterrents that can be used at the airport. Basically, we’ve made a restaurant that the birds don’t want to eat at, so they’ll go somewhere better.

“We’re aiming to speed up the adoption of avian deterrent grass technology by providing accredited consultants in which airports can have confidence, and influential academics and regulators will be able to speak confidently on the product,” he says.

The group has been taking part in seminars at the AgResearch Lincoln campus, and will be shown the grass in action at Christchurch, Wellington, Hamilton and Auckland Airports as well as sports grounds. . . .

Friends who grow sunflower and canary seed on a large scale accept that they will lose a percentage of their crop to birds each year.

Orchardists, berry fruit and grape growers also have bird problems which these grasses have the potential to counter.

But the biggest market is likely to be airports and if successful this will be another example where agricultural research produces results which have a wider application in other industries.


More than 400,000 pre-register for MRP shares

March 24, 2013

Around 440,000 people have pre-registered for Mighty River Power shares.

Minister of State-Owned Enterprises Tony Ryall said that the number of New Zealanders who pre-registered was extremely pleasing.

“Pre-registration is not a commitment to buy shares, and someone pre-registering their interest may decide to not apply for shares in Mighty River Power. However, it was a goal of the Government to achieve widespread awareness of the opportunity, and I believe we have achieved this.” . . .

This doesn’t mean 440,000 individuals have pre-registered.

People could register more than once by using their own names and also those of their companies; others might pre-register in the names of their children.

Not all of those who have pre-registered will support the partial sale of state assets. Some might be doing so in order to do their bit to keep the shares in New Zealand ownership.

But even so, this shows a very healthy interest in buying the shares that augurs well for the float.


Sunday soapbox

March 24, 2013

Sunday’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.

 

| @[254893377855596:274:Medical Library] |


March 24 in history

March 24, 2013

1401 Turko-Mongol emperor Timur sacked Damascus.

1603 James VI of Scotland also became James I King of England.

1731 Naturalization of Hieronimus de Salis Parliamentary Act was passed.

1765 The Britain passed the Quartering Act that required the Thirteen Colonies to house British troops.

1770 Kidnap victim, Ngati Kahu leader Ranginui, died on board the French ship Saint Jean Baptiste.

Ngati Kahu kidnap victim dies at sea on French ship

1820 Fanny Crosby, American hymnist, was born (d. 1915).

1832 In Hiram, Ohio a group of men beat, tarred and feathered Mormon leader Joseph Smith, Jr..

1834 William Morris, English writer and designer, was born (d. 1896).

1837 Canada gave African men the right to vote.

1878  HMS Eurydice sank, killing more than 300.

1882 Robert Koch announced the discovery of the bacterium responsible for tuberculosis (mycobacterium tuberculosis).

1886 Athenagoras I, Greek Patriarch of Constantinople, was born.

1900 New York City Mayor Robert Anderson Van Wyck broke ground for a new underground “Rapid Transit Railroad” that would link Manhattan and Brooklyn.

1907 The first issue of the Georgian Bolshevik newspaper Dro was published.

1923 Greece became a republic.

1930 Steve McQueen, American actor, was born (d. 1980).

1934 U.S. Congress passed the Tydings-McDuffie Act allowing the Philippines to become a self-governing commonwealth.

1944 Ardeatine Massacre: German troops killed 335 Italian civilians in Rome.

1944  In an event later dramatized in the movie The Great Escape, 76 prisoners begin breaking out of Stalag Luft III.

1947  Christine Gregoire, 22nd governor of Washington, was born.

1949 Nick Lowe, British musician, was born.

1951 Tommy Hilfiger, American fashion designer, was born.

1959 The Party of the African Federation (PFA) was launched by Léopold Sédar Senghor and Modibo Keita.

1965 NASA spacecraft Ranger 9, equipped to convert its signals into a form suitable for showing on domestic television, brought images of the Moon into ordinary homes before crash landing.

1970 Sharon Corr, Irish musician (The Corrs), was born.

1972 The United Kingdom imposed “Direct Rule” over Northern Ireland.

1973 Kenyan track runner Kip Keino defeated Jim Ryun at the first-ever professional track meet in Los Angeles, California.

1976 Argentina’s military forces deposed president Isabel Perón and start the National Reorganization Process.

1976 A general strike took place in the People’s Republic of Congo

1980 Archbishop Óscar Romero was killed while celebrating Mass in San Salvador.

1986 The Loscoe gas explosion ledto new UK laws on landfill gas migration and gas protection on landfill sites.

1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill: In Prince William Sound in Alaska, the Exxon Valdez spilt 240,000 barrels (42,000 m³) of petroleum after running aground.

1990 Keisha Castle-Hughes, Australian/New Zealand actress, was born.

1998 Jonesboro massacre: two students, ages 11 and 13, fired upon teachers and students at Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Arkansas; five people were killed and ten were wounded.

1998 A tornado swept through Dantan in India killing 250 people and injuring 3000 others.

1999 Kosovo War: NATO commenced air bombardment against Yugoslavia, marking the first time NATO has attacked a sovereign country.

1999 – Mont Blanc Tunnel Fire: 39 people died when a Belgian transport truck carrying flour and margarine caught fire in the Mont Blanc Tunnel.

2003 The Arab League voted 21-1 in favor of a resolution demanding the immediate and unconditional removal of US and British soldiers from Iraq.

2008 Bhutan officially became a democracy, with its first ever general election.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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