Word of the day

April 5, 2013

Truckle – a small barrel-shaped cheese, esp. cheddar; small wheel or roller; a caster; to yield or bend obsequiously to the will of another; to act in a subservient manner; submit or behave obsequiously; to be servile or submissive.


Rural round-up

April 5, 2013

Senior Aussie PGG Wrigthson exec to head Landcorp:

 (BusinessDesk) – PGG Wrightson’s Steve Carden, who heads up its Australian seeds unit, will leave the country’s biggest rural supplies firm to take up the reins at New Zealand government-owned Landcorp Farming in July.

The Wrightson general manager will take up the chief executive role being left vacant by long-standing Landcorp boss Chris Kelly, the company said in a statement.

Carden has been with Wrightson since 2008, and responsible for the Australian seeds business since 2010, overseeing the acquisition and integration of a number of businesses while confronting some challenging climatic and market conditions. . .

Collaborative water management delivers water solutions in North Canterbury – David Eder and Ian Whitehouse:

In July 2013 the Hurunui-Waiau Zone Committee will notch up three years of work. It was set up as part of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy – a collaborative process for finding local solutions to water issues within an environmentally sustainable framework.

In July 2010 the committee’s daunting task was to sort out water storage in the Hurunui catchment and set water quality limits.

We held dozens of committee meetings, public meetings involving more than 300 people, and received written feedback from more than 120 people before finalising our zone implementation programme of recommendations.

Working collaboratively empowered us to reach consensus decisions on local water issues that are acceptable to a wide range of people. The ZIP now guides local government work programmes and policy to achieve the agreed goals of the Strategy. . .

 

TAF scheme could benefit independent processors:

Massey University’s professor of agribusiness thinks Fonterra’s Trading Among Farmers (TAF) system will play into the hands of independent dairy processors, including Chinese companies, setting up new milk powder plants in New Zealand.

Two Chinese companies have been cleared by the Overseas Investment Office to establish plants in South Canterbury and northern Waikato processing milk for infant formulas.

Hamish Gow does not think they will have a problem finding a supply of milk from local farmers. . .

South Canterbury farmer welcomes Chinese investment:

A dairy farmer who sold part of his land for a new Chinese owned milk powder factory to be built in South Canterbury says it will be a huge economic boost for the region.

Aad van Leeuwen had a 12.5% shareholding in the Oceania Dairy company – which has just been bought out by the Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group, after it got Overseas Investment Office approval. . .

Westland Milk Products’ new nutritional plant enters commercial production:

Westland Milk Products, New Zealand’s second largest dairy cooperative, has made a bold strategic step into the international high-value paediatric nutrition market with the commissioning of a state-of-the-art nutritionals plant at Hokitika.

The new multi-million dollar plant commenced commercial production in February and already has committed customers, taking Westland from being a well-respected dairy ingredient supplier to an exciting new entrant in the infant nutrition sector. . .

Happy, Profitable, Sustainable Dairy Business Wins Top Prize in Waikato Ballance Farm Environment Awards:

Walton farmers Grant Wills and Karen Preston have scooped a string of awards in the 2013 Waikato Ballance Farm Environment Awards, including the highly coveted Supreme title.

Judges said decision making on the couple’s 244ha (215ha effective) dairy farm ‘Tremeer’ focuses on profitability while caring for the people, the cows and the environment.

Grant and Karen were announced winners of the Supreme Award at a Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA) ceremony on April 3. They also collected the Ballance Agri-Nutrients – Nutrient Management Award, the LIC Dairy Farm Award, the Hill Laboratories Harvest Award, the Massey University Discovery Award and the Meridian Energy Excellence Award. . .

Adding a hole lot of value to a piece of pine – Peter Kerr:

We all know that we’d prefer to export more than just a log of pine to overseas markets.

At the same time, the NZ Inc desire to add value to our raw commodities such as trees is almost tiresome through over-use.

So, it is a pleasure to be able to highlight a company and person doing something different and in their case, making a better pine pole. 

Now TTT Products (and no, I’d never heard of them either until going through a recent exercise to maximise the return from a 20 year old four hectare block of pines that I’m involved with) isn’t a small firm. Its North Island headquarters at Tuakau covers 20ha, specialising in creating pine poles of many different sorts.

Search begins for the 2013 Young Horticulturist of the Year:

The future of New Zealand’s horticulture industry could easily be in the hands of the finalists in the 2013 Young Horticulturist of the Year. Professor Jacqueline Rowarth says that the life skills that the contestants learn through the competition sets them on the path to future leadership.

This statement launches the search for the 2013 Young Horticulturist of the Year, and for up to 7 finalists to line up in the grand final in November.

Finalists (30 years and under) compete for a prize pool of over $40,000 that includes a $7,500 travel and accommodation package, and a $5,500 Massey University study scholarship and travel. While the prizes are tempting, it is the development opportunities that are the real reward for finalists in the Young Horticulturist of the Year competition. . .

Green Meadows Beef Continues To Grow Demand. Export- Quality, 100% Grass-Fed Beef Now Available In Wellington & New Plymouth:

Green Meadows Beef, 100% grass-fed, free-range, export–quality Angus beef from South Taranaki, has responded to increased demand for their beef by making it available in two North Island food stores. Moore Wilson in Wellington and Fresha in New Plymouth are now both stocking a wide variety of Green Meadows Beef, from Scotch Fillet and Rump Steaks to Premium Beef Mince.

Moore Wilson will publicly launch Green Meadows Beef at an in-store tasting event on Sunday, 7 April from 10:00am to 2:00pm. Wellington chef, Liam Brash, who has worked at The Savoy in London, will be cooking up a variety of gourmet bite-sized beef treats for the public to try. Green Meadows Beef Directors, Michael and Nick Carey, will be on hand to answer questions about the different cuts of beef and the Green Meadows Beef way of farming. . .


Books better than forecast

April 5, 2013

The government books are in a better state than expected:

Higher than forecast tax revenue continues to underpin an improvement in the Government’s finances, compared to the Half-Year Update in December, Finance Minister Bill English says.

The operating deficit before gains and losses for the eight months to 28 February was $3 billion, or $556 million smaller than the $3.6 billion deficit forecast in December.

“The other pleasing aspect of the financial statements is that government spending remains under control,” Mr English says. “That is important as we remain on track to surplus in 2014/15.

“It will remain important beyond then, because we will need to build up sufficient surpluses to provide choices around repaying debt and investing more in priority public services.”

Overall, core Crown tax revenue was $719 million higher than forecast at $37.6 billion for the eight months. Source deductions were $266 million above forecast due to a higher effective tax rate paid by those in the workforce, and tax from other individuals came in $326 million above forecast.

Compared with the eight months to February 2012, tax revenue has increased by $2.2 billion, mainly reflecting wage growth, higher effective tax rates and a rise in GST receipts due to growth in nominal consumption and residential investment.

Core Crown expenses were $370 million below forecast, reflecting broad-based spending control and delays in Treaty of Waitangi settlements.

Higher than expected net gains from Government investment funds delivered a $4.3 billion operating surplus for the eight months, which was significantly better than the $481 million forecast operating deficit.

There is still along way to go but the changes the government has made has New Zealand heading in the right direction again.

Had we had a Labour/Green government after the 2008 and 2011 elections the books would be in a far worse state..

New Zealand was in recession before the global financial crisis because of the Labour led government’s high tax, high spending and debt-fuelled consumption.

The policies it and its potential coalition partner, the Green Party, have championed since the 2008 election show no understanding of what contributed to our problems and the changes needed to solve them.

They’ve opposed every move National has made to reduce spending and promote sustainable, export-led growth.

They continue to promote polices which would take the country back to higher taxes, higher spending and lower growth showing they are still far better fitted for opposition than government.


Disunity among unity seekers

April 5, 2013

The Meat Industry Excellence Group is seeking unity among farmers and within the industry but can’t get it in its own ranks.

Gerry Eckhoff has resigned from the newly formed Meat Industry Excellence Group, citing concerns about the direction the group was taking. . .

Mr Eckhoff said he had watched, over the years, various groups and individuals attempt a measure of reform of the industry.

Most sought to engage with the processors at an early stage to build some sort of working relationship, but he believed it was ”so important” to ascertain the farmer support base first before any engagement.

He also believed the the dynamics of the power and control within the wider industry needed to change in favour of the producer/supplier before any meaningful dialogue and change could occur.

Mr Eckhoff emphasised he was not trying to ”get at” any individual, nor was it a personal attack but rather a question of style and approach. He hoped the group would be successful. . .

This is a symptom of the difficulties the group faces.

The meat industry is made up of many different individual players with different views and agendas.

That the group seeking unity isn’t united illustrates the difficulty of attempting to unify the industry.


Summer’s gone

April 5, 2013

Spring and early summer rain combined with irrigation has allowed us to enjoy the long, sunny summer without the worries of drought afflicting other areas.

But we’ve had a sudden end to the golden weather.

The 8mls of welcome rain on Wednesday night brought a sprinkling of snow to the Kakanui Range and today’s forecast high is only 12 degrees.

Remind me again why daylight saving extends this far into autumn?


Short week

April 5, 2013

“Don’t you love short weeks when it feels like Thursday on Friday?” he asked.

“Short weeks are good,” she said. “But short years when I find myself in April with a to-do list that hasn’t got past February aren’t nearly as much fun.”

 


April 5 in history

April 5, 2013

456 St. Patrick returned to Ireland as a missionary bishop.

1242 During a battle of the ice of Lake Peipus, Russian forces, led by Alexander Nevsky, rebuffed an invasion attempt by the Teutonic Knights.

1254  Willen van Rubroeck, a Flemish Franciscan, meets the Mongolian Khan Möngke

1566 Two-hundred Dutch noblemen, led by Hendrik van Brederode, forced themselves into the presence of Margaret of Parma and present the Petition of Compromise, denouncing the Spanish Inquisition in the Netherlands.

1609 – Daimyo (Lord) of the Satsuma Domain in southern Kyūshū, Japan, completed his successful invasion of the Ryūkyū Kingdom in Okinawa.

1614 Pocahontas married English colonist John Rolfe.

1621 The Mayflower set sail from Plymouth, Massachusetts on a return trip to Great Britain.

1649 – Elihu Yale, American benefactor of Yale University, was born  (d. 1721).

1722 The Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen discovered Easter Island.

1792  U.S. President George Washington exercised his authority to veto a bill, the first time this power is used in the United States.

1804 High Possil Meteorite: The first recorded meteorite in Scotland fell in Possil.

1818 In the Battle of Maipú, Chile’s independence movement – led by Bernardo O’Higgins and José de San Martín – won a decisive victory over Spain, leaving 2,000 Spaniards and 1,000 Chilean patriots dead.

1827 Joseph Lister, English surgeon, was born (d. 1912).

1837 Algernon Charles Swinburne, English poet, was born (d. 1909).

1862 American Civil War: The Battle of Yorktown started.

1871 – NZ’s first overseas diplomatic post was created with Isaac Featherston’s appointment as agent-general in London.

1874 Birkenhead Park, the first civic public park,opened in Birkenhead.

1879  Chile declared war on Bolivia and Peru, starting the War of the Pacific.

1897  The Greco-Turkish War, also called “Thirty Days’ War”, was declared between Greece and the Ottoman Empire.

1900 Spencer Tracy, American actor, was born  (d. 1967).

1904 The first international rugby league match was played between England and an Other Nationalities team (Welsh & Scottish players) in Central Park, Wigan.

1908 Bette Davis, American actress, was born  (d. 1989).

1916 Gregory Peck, American actor, was born (d. 2003).

1920 Arthur Hailey, American writer, was born (d. 2004)

1923 Firestone Tire and Rubber Company began production of balloon-tyres.

1928 Tony Williams, American singer (The Platters), was born. (d. 1992)

1929 Nigel Hawthorne, British actor, was born (d. 2001).

1930  In an act of civil disobedience, Mohandas Gandhi broke British law after marching to the sea and making salt.

1932 Champion race horse Phar Lap died.

Death of Phar Lap

1932  Alcohol prohibition in Finland ended. Alcohol sales begin in Alko liquor stores.

1932 – Dominion of Newfoundland: 10,000 rioters seized the Colonial Building leading to the end of self-government.

1933  U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 6102 “forbidding the Hoarding of Gold Coin, Gold Bullion, and Gold Certificates” by U.S. citizens.

1936 Tupelo-Gainesville tornado outbreak: An F5 tornado killed 233 in Tupelo, Mississippi.

1937 Colin Powell, U.S. Army General, 12th Chairman of the Joint Cheifs of Staff; and 65th Secretary of State, was born.

1937 Allan R. Thieme, American inventor, was born.

1942 World War II: The Japanese Navy attacked Colombo. Royal Navy Cruisers HMS Cornwall and HMS Dorsetshire were sunk southwest of the island.

1944 World War II: 270 inhabitants of the Greek town of Kleisoura were executed by the Germans.

1945 Cold War: Yugoslav leader Josip “Tito” Broz signed an agreement with the USSR to allow “temporary entry of Soviet troops into Yugoslav territory.”

1946 Jane Asher, British actress, was born.

1946 Soviet troops left the Danish  island of Bornholm after an 11 month occupation.

1949 Fireside Theater debuted on television.

1949 – A fire in a hospital in Effingham, Illinois, killed 77 people and leads to nationwide fire code improvements in the United States.

1950 Agnetha Fältskog, Swedish singer (ABBA), was born.

1955 Winston Churchill resigned as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom amid indications of failing health.

1956 Fidel Castro declared himself at war with the President of Cuba.

1956  In Sri Lanka, the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna won the general elections in a landslide and S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike was sworn in as the Prime Minister.

1957 In India, Communists won the first elections in united Kerala and E.M.S. Namboodiripad was sworn in as the first chief minister.

1958 Ripple Rock, an underwater threat to navigation in the Seymour Narrows in Canada was destroyed in one of the largest non-nuclear controlled explosions of the time.

1966 Mike McCready, American musician (Pearl Jam), was born.

1969 Vietnam War: Massive antiwar demonstrations occured in many U.S. cities.

1971 In Sri Lanka, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna launched insurrection against the United Front government of Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranaike.

1976 The April Fifth Movement led to the Tiananmen incident.

1986 Three people were killed in the bombing of the La Belle Discothèque in West Berlin.

1991 An ASA EMB 120 crashed in Brunswick, Georgia, killing all 23 aboard.

1992 Several hundred-thousand abortion rights demonstrators marched in Washington, D.C.

1992 Alberto Fujimori,  president of Peru, dissolved the Peruvian congress by military force.

1992 The Siege of Sarajevo began when Serb paramilitaries murder peace protesters Suada Dilberovic and Olga Sucic on the Vrbanja Bridge.

1998 The Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge linking Shikoku with Honshū and costing about $3.8 billion, opened to traffic, becoming the largest suspension bridge in the world.

1999 Two Libyans suspected of bringing down Pan Am flight 103 in 1988 were handed over for eventual trial in the Netherlands.

2009 North Korea launched its controversial Kwangmyŏngsŏng-2 rocket.

2010 – Twenty-nine coal miners were killed in an explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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