Word of the day

April 20, 2013

Galvanic – of, pertaining to, or producing a direct current of electricity, especially when produced chemically; sudden and dramatic; affecting or affected as if by an electric shock; having an electric effect : intensely exciting; startling; shocking; stimulating; energizing.


Rural round-up

April 20, 2013

World record for Canterbury merino farmer – Tim Cronshaw:

Canterbury merino farmer Anna Emmerson has beaten the Australians at their own game by winning the Loro Piana Challenge Cup in Hong Kong with a world record bale of the finest merino wool.

She broke her own record of 10.9 microns set in 2010 with an ultra-fine bale in the competition held in Paris.

In the past, winning bales have made around $200,000, paid by the family owned clothing and fabric maker Loro Piana, led by Italian brothers Pier Luigi Loro Piana and Sergio Loro Piana.

The business does not disclose the amount paid other than that a premium was offered above its market value if it breaks a record. . .

First Australian for Kellogg leaders’ programme:

Lincoln University’s Kellogg Rural Leaders Programme has extended its welcome, with the course accepting its first Australian participant this year.

 The programme has welcomed Mary Johnson as the first Australian to join the course and also the youngest applicant in its 34-year history.

“I found out about the programme through my line of work at Cattle Council Australia and then through the Australian Beef Industry Foundation,” says Johnson.
“I did some of my own research and found that the Kellogg programme is all over the world, so I jumped at the opportunity.” . .

Partnership offers promise of profit – Tim Cronshaw:

Meat companies cannot afford to suffer more financial losses after losing $200 million last season, and farmers must commit stock to one company to ensure a healthy red- meat industry, says Lincoln University agribusiness professor Keith Woodford.

He told 600 farmers at a Christchurch meeting of the new Meat Industry Excellence (MIE) group on Wednesday that they had to work in partnership with the rest of the industry, because the combative approach was not working.

A sustainable industry, in which everyone made money, was the end game, he said. This would be challenging and require some restructuring. . .

Australians push for Korean FTA:

AUSTRALIAN BEEF farmers are pushing the Gillard Government to restart free trade agreement talks with South Korea. Industry leaders visited Seoul this month seeking to resume talks with the South Koreans.

The National Farmers Union says Australian beef producers stand to miss out on A$1.4 billion in exports to Korea unless a FTA is in place soon. It says the threat to other exports like wheat (A$350 million) and dairy (A$100 million) is also high.

FTA talks between Australia and South Korea stalled after the Australian cabinet banned even starting talks which require settling any type of investor-state dispute (allowing companies unhappy with their treatment in another country to seek arbitration in an agreed third jurisdiction). . .

Farmer protests fail to sway government

Protest meetings in Victoria and South Australia, further planned demonstrations and a direct meeting have all left Federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig unmoved.

Farmer Power representatives met with Minister Ludwig last month at a meeting hosted by the Victorian Farmers Federation. The United Dairy Farmers of Victoria also attended.

The group asked for cash assistance to help farmers address cash flow problems. . .

Southern Clams Plans to Diversify with Bluff Oysters in Otago Harbour:

Within twelve months, Dunedin restaurants, could be serving live oysters on the shell straight from Otago Harbour. The plan is the brainchild of Southern Clams who have identified a unique opportunity to diversify their shellfish operations by utilising the certified growing waters of Otago Harbour.

In a consent application to the Otago Regional Council, tabled today, Southern Clams is proposing to take two year old oysters, which have been farmed by New Zealand’s Bluff Oyster Company (NZBO) in Bluff Harbour, and re-lay them in Otago Harbour for up to four weeks, until they meet statutory regulations for commercial harvest. . .


Boston bombing suspect arrested

April 20, 2013

Police have arrested a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing.

Law enforcement officials told CNN that authorities have confirmed the man in custody is 19-year-old Dzhokar Tsarnaev, who escaped an overnight shootout with police that left his older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev — the other man wanted in the bombings — dead.

The younger Tsarnaev was in need of undisclosed medical care, the officials said. . .


Saturday’s smiles

April 20, 2013
A motorcycle mechanic was removing a cylinder head from the motor of a BMWR75 when he spotted a well-known cardiologist in his shop.
The doctor was waiting for the service manager to take a look at his car when the mechanic shouted across the garage,”Hey Doc, want to take a look at this?”
The cardiologist, a bit surprised walked over to where the mechanic was working on the motorcycle.
The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag and asked, “So Doc, look at this engine.
I opened its heart, took the valves out, repaired or replaced anything damaged, and then put everything back in, and when I finished, it worked just like new. So how is it that I make £24,000 a year and you make £1.7 million …when you and I are basically doing the same work?”
The cardiologist paused, leaned over and whispered to the mechanic, “Try doing it with the engine running”.
Hat tip: Baker and Associates’ Ag Letter – a weekly newsletter full of matters of interest to anyone interested in farming, and at least one joke. Subscription details here.

Cheese good as gold

April 20, 2013

Demand for dairy products is outstripping supply which is pushing up prices.

Cheese is now such a good investment in Britain a pension fund is banking on it.

A giant mountain of maturing cheddar cheese is to be used as security for a pension fund.

Twenty million kilos of Cathedral City cheddar will now back up pension funds of workers at Dairy Crest, one of the UK’s biggest cheesemakers.

Some 20,000 pallets of the cheese, nearly half the company’s total stock, have been pledged to the pension fund trustees.

The cheese is made in Cornwall, but matured in a warehouse in Warwickshire.

It is kept on the shelves there for 12 months.

In the event of the pension fund running into financial trouble, the trustees will now be able to sell blocks of cheddar to make up the shortfall. . .

If the value of cheddar is so good a pension fund is banking on it, does that mean cheese is now as good as gold?

Hat tip: SkepticLawyer


LabourGreens steal from us all

April 20, 2013

JB Were says the LabourGreen power plan will sap energy from the local market:

The Labour/Greens announcement on electricity sector reform concerns us on two fronts: firstly, the move to a state buyer of power risks being a retrograde step for the New Zealand economy. Secondly, we believe it will prove damaging for New Zealand capital markets, and comes at an unfortunate time given the significant progress made here since 2010. We detail these two concerns below: . . .

The damage to capital markets has already started.

Share prices in energy companies  fell yesterday in the wake of the LabourGreen plan to power us back to the socialist seventies.

TrustPower, which is 50.7 percent owned by Infratil, fell 5 percent to $7.18, leading decliners as fallout from the opposition parties’ plan to centralise buying of electricity and split generators from their retail arms weighed on utilities.

Contact Energy fell 2.8 percent to $5.31 and lines company Vector slid 2.1 percent to $2.82. Infratil dropped 1.3 percent to $2.30. . .

Those shares aren’t just owned by the wealthy the left hate.

They’re also owned by people of modest means who have worked hard and put something away for a rainy day.

They’re also owned by community trusts and other philanthropic organisations which fund charitable projects.

They’re also owned by insurance companies, including ACC.

They’re also owned by Kiwisaver and the Superannuation Fund.

The LabourGreen power plan is in sabotaging the value of investments is stealing from us all.


Saturday soapbox

April 20, 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.

Photo: Hitchens' Razor


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