Word of the day

April 14, 2013

Exigency – the state or quality of requiring much effort or immediate action; demanding immediate action or remedy; a pressing or urgent situation; that which is required in a particular situation.


Rural round-up

April 14, 2013

Zanda Award of agricultural leadership:

The Platinum Primary Producers Group (PPP) announced at its Brisbane conference they will establish an annual award in memory of Australian cattle icon Zanda McDonald.

McDonald was a founding member of the PPP Group, a forum where top agricultural leaders in dairy, sheep and beef industries from across Australasia unite to speak candidly about what is happening in agriculture.

PPP Group chairman and Wairarapa farmer Shane McManaway who established the PPP Group dedicated the conference to McDonald.

He said the Zanda McDonald Award for Excellence in Agriculture will select a winner from Australasia based on the qualities that McDonald possessed – leadership, courage, innovation, inspiration, and dedication and commitment to the agriculture industry. . .

Agriculture drives labour productivity since 2008 recession:

During 2008–11, labour productivity in the agriculture industry increased 3.4 percent a year, Statistics New Zealand said today. Agriculture was the main contributor to labour productivity in the measured sector, which increased 0.5 percent.

“Agriculture output has increased across the 2008 to 2011 period, showing a recovery from the severe drought of 2008,” national accounts manager Rachael Milicich said. “Throughout this period, labour inputs have shown little change, resulting in rising labour productivity for the industry.”

Other industries that made a significant contribution to labour productivity were finance and insurance services, up 2.7 percent, and information media and telecommunications, up 4.3 percent. . .

New appointment to NZ Meat Board:

Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy has today announced the appointment of international trade specialist George Rutherford to the New Zealand Meat Board.

The 10-member Meat Board is a statutory body which works to get the best possible ongoing returns from New Zealand’s quota markets.

“Mr Rutherford has dedicated most of his 37-year career to furthering New Zealand’s agricultural trade interests. He has served extensively with the Ministry for Primary Industries and its predecessors.

“Mr Rutherford is a former lead negotiator for New Zealand at the World Trade Organisation, and has played a significant role in trade negotiations with China and the Asia Pacific Region. He has particular expertise on European Union issues, and in the resolution of trade disputes. . .

Co-op or company – dairy firms cover the range – Jamie Gray:

Fonterra’s not-so-little brother, Westland Milk, has no plans to substantially alter the co-operative model under which it operates, and it appears its farmer members like it that way.

Westland, one of New Zealand’s top 100 businesses with turnover of more than $530 million, processes about 4 per cent of the country’s dairy supply.

Since the advent of Trading Among Farmers (TAF), there’s been a trickle of Fonterra farmers – mostly from Canterbury – coming over to Westland. . .

Innovator plugs agri-tech careers – Ben Chapman-Smith:

Young people need to start considering New Zealand’s thriving but often overlooked agricultural technology sector as a viable, well-paid career option, says Waikato-based innovator Gallagher.

The animal management company has long been one of New Zealand’s most well-known brands among farmers and has ranked in the top 10 of the TIN100 survey of New Zealand’s leading technology companies for the past three years.

Currently celebrating its 75th year, the firm’s electric fence, animal weighing, and electronic identification systems can be found on farms all over the world.

Yet many Kiwis failed to recognise the importance of agri-tech to the national economy, both as a creator of jobs and an improver of farm efficiency, said Matt Macfie, international business development manager. . .

Big dry shows risk of investing in agriculture – Iona McCarthy:

Capital growth has always been an important factor in successful dairy farm investment, but it would be unwise for investors to assume land prices always go up.

The drought ravaging many parts of the country is just one example of the business risks farmers need to consider when buying dairy land.

Accounting for such risks is essential and purchase decisions should really be made on the ability of the farm to generate an income stream, rather than a reliance on future capital growth. . .

 


Packets of seeds

April 14, 2013

These are little packets of light &...

From Story People by Brian Andreas.


Why welfare reform matters

April 14, 2013


Free trade is fair trade

April 14, 2013

Federated Farmers’ president Bruce Wills explains that everyone benefits from free trade:

. . . Trade has been good for China and it has been great for New Zealand.

This is not lost on the World Farmers Organisation, which will be discussing a potential breakthrough policy on international trade.

A strong and viable global agricultural sector is essential if the world’s population is to be assured of stable and secure supplies of food.

Farming globally is vital for employment, economic development and to ensure that our precious but finite land and water resources are looked after. 

Our hope is that the World Farmers Organisation will commit to ambitious trade policy objectives.

Farmers need a fair, transparent and predictable trading environment but international trade itself needs to be guided by some fundamental principles. Federated Farmers, having recently met with our Nepalese colleagues, knows full-well the special needs of the least developed countries have to be taken into account. 

The biggest problem farming runs into are trade barriers.

Through the TPP we have hope that for New Zealand at least, we can negotiate these barriers away.

Anything less would be a disastrous cop-out.

For developing farm systems, there are initiatives like “Aid for Trade,” which has seen over US$200 billion mobilised in funding since 2005; US$60 billion of that for the least-developed. This sounds impressive until you consider that over the same period of time, the United States and Europe have between them paid out some $500 billion in agricultural subsidies to their farmers.

The easiest solution is perhaps less ‘Aid for Trade’ but free trade.  These give emerging economies market access instead of blockages that creates the need for aid funding.

We know from first hand experience that trade is an important way of ensuring efficient resource use.

Trade helps to even out demand and supply helping to meet the world’s need for food. Providing farmers everywhere with increased market opportunities helps to improve incomes, prosperity and economic growth.

That benefits not only rural communities but all communities.

Subsidies and trade barriers are unfair to those who pay for them directly and those who have to compete unfairly because of them.

Free trade is fair trade, if trade isn’t free, it isn’t fair either.

 


Sunday soapbox

April 14, 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.

Seven dangers to human virtue..


April 14 in history

April 14, 2013

43 BC  Battle of Forum Gallorum: Mark Antony, besieging Julius Caesar’s assassin Decimus Junius Brutus in Mutina, defeated the forces of the consul Pansa, who was killed.

69 Vitellius, commander of the Rhine armies, defeated Emperor Otho in the Battle of Bedriacum and seizes the throne.

1028  Henry III, son of Conrad, was elected king of the Germans.

1205 Battle of Adrianople between Bulgarians and Crusaders.

1294 Temür, grandson of Kublai, is elected Khagan of the Mongols and Emperor of the Yuan Dynasty with the reigning titles Oljeitu and Chengzong.

1341 Sacking of Saluzzo  by Italian-Angevine troops under Manfred V of Saluzzo.

1434 The foundation stone of Cathedral of  St. Peter and St. Paul in Nantes was laid.

1471 The Yorkists under Edward IV defeated the Lancastrians under Warwick at the battle of Barnet; the Earl of Warwick was killed and Edward IV resumed the throne.

1699  Birth of Khalsa  the brotherhood of the Sikh religion, in Northern India in accordance with the Nanakshahi calendar.

1775 The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage  – the first abolitionist society in North America – was organized in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush.

1828  Noah Webster copyrighted the first edition of his dictionary.

1846 The Donner Party of pioneers left Springfield, Illinois, for California, on what became a year-long journey of hardship, cannibalism, and survival.

1849 Hungary declared itself independent of Austria with Lajos Kossuth as its leader.

1860 The first Pony Express rider reached Sacramento, California.

1864 Battle of Dybbøl: A Prussian-Austrian army defeated Denmark and gained control of Schleswig. Denmark surrendered the province in the following peace settlement.

1865   Abraham Lincoln was shot in Ford’s Theatre by John Wilkes Booth.

1865 U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward and his family were attacked in their home by Lewis Powell.

1866 Anne Sullivan, Helen Keller’s teacher, was born (d. 1936).

1881 The Four Dead in Five Seconds Gunfight erupted in El Paso, Texas.

1890 The Pan-American Union was founded by the First International Conference of American States.

1894 Thomas Edison demonstrated the kinetoscope, a device for peep-show viewing using photographs that flip in sequence.

1904 Sir John Gielgud, English actor, was born (d. 2000).

1912  The British passenger liner RMS Titanic hit an iceberg at 11.40pm in the North Atlantic, and sankthe following morning with the loss of 1,517 lives.

1915 The Turks invaded Armenia.

1927 The first Volvo car premiered in Gothenburg.

1927 Alan MacDiarmid, New Zealand chemist, Nobel laureate, was born  (d. 2007).

1931 Spanish Cortes Generales deposed King Alfonso XIII and proclaimed the 2nd Spanish Republic.

1932 A crowd of about 1500 rioted in Queen Street.

Unemployed riots rock Queen Street

1935 Black Sunday Storm, the worst dust storm of the U.S. Dust Bowl.

1935 Loretta Lynn, American singer/songwriter, was born.

1941 Julie Christie, British actress, was born.

1941 World War II: The Ustashe, a Croatian far-right organisation was put in charge of the Independent State of Croatia by the Axis Power after the Operation 25 invasion.

1941 Rommel attacked Tobruk.

1944 Bombay Explosion: A massive explosion in Bombay harbour killsed300 caused economic damage valued then at 20 million pounds.

1945 Osijek, Croatia, was liberated from fascist occupation.

1945 – Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi, 8th Prime Minister of Samoa, was born.

1945 Ritchie Blackmore, English guitarist (Deep Purple), was born.

1951 Julian Lloyd Webber, English cellist, was born.

1956 In Chicago videotape was first demonstrated.

1958 The Soviet satellite Sputnik 2 fell from orbit after a mission duration of 162 days.

1961 Robert Carlyle, British actor, was born.

1969  Academy Award for Best Actress was a tie between Katharine Hepburn and Barbra Streisand.

1973 David Miller, American tenor (Il Divo), was born.

1978: Thousands of Georgians demonstrated in Tbilisi against Soviet attempts to change the constitutional status of the Georgian language.

1981 The first operational space shuttle, Columbia (OV-102) completed its first test flight.

1986 In retaliation for the April 5 bombing in West Berlin that killed two U.S. servicemen, U.S. president Ronald Reagan ordered major bombing raids against Libya, killing 60 people.

1986 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) hailstones fell on the Gopalganj district of Bangladesh, killing 92 – these were the heaviest hailstones ever recorded.

1988 The USS Samuel B. Roberts struck a mine in the Persian Gulf during Operation Earnest Will.

1988  The Soviet Union signed an agreement pledging to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.

1994 In a U.S. friendly fire incident during Operation Provide Comfort in northern Iraq, two United States Air Force aircraft mistakenly shoot-down two United States Army helicopters, killing 26 people.

1999  NATO mistakenly bombed a convoy of ethnic Albanian refugees.

1999 A severe hailstorm struck Sydney causing A$2.3 billion in insured damages, the most costly natural disaster in Australian history.

2002 Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez returned to office two days after being ousted and arrested by the country’s military.

2003 The Human Genome Project was completed with 99% of the human genome sequenced to an accuracy of 99.99%.

2003 U.S. troops in Baghdad captured Abu Abbas, leader of the Palestinian group that killed an American on the hijacked cruise liner the MS Achille Lauro in 1985.

2005 The Oregon Supreme Court nullified marriage licenses issued to gay couples a year earlier by Multnomah County.

2007 At least 200,000 demonstrators in Ankara protested against the possible candidacy of incumbent Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

2010 – Nearly 2,700 people were killed in a magnitude 6.9 earthquake in Yushu, Qinghai, China.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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