Word of the day

January 6, 2014

Cultellation –  the solution of a problem by dealing with it piecemeal; the process of transferring the exact point of a surveyed point from a high level to a lower level by sinking a sharp pointed marking pin.


Rural round-up

January 6, 2014

Top 10 reasons being a farmer rocks – Fastline:

In case you ever need a reminder as to why you have the best job in the world as a Farmer, check out our list we put together! Think we forgot one? Let us know in the comments with your favorite part of being a Farmer.

10.Outdoors – there’s nothing like the smell of fresh air, or even better, the smell of fresh cut hay!

9.Fun Equipment – What other job do you get to drive large tractors, combines, sprayers or anything else?

8. Weather – You always know the weather, even when you don’t want to.

7. You’re your own boss – Well besides mother nature – but she’s another story. . .

New proposals for red meat industry – Stephen Bell:

Copying Uruguay’s meat industry and Anzac alliance and a north-south hemisphere collaboration are among “pick and mix” proposals Federated Farmers has put up for reform of the red meat section.

Uruguay’s system involves its National Meat Institute (Instituto Nacional de Carnes or INAC) being responsible for all meat processing including beef, sheep, poultry, swine, rabbits, horses, goats and game.

“We promote, co-ordinate and monitor the whole process from production and processing to marketing, storage and transportation,” Inac chairman Luis Alfredo Fratti Silveira says. . .

Diagnosing mycotoxicosis a challenge – Anne Boswell:

Leading animal nutrition consultant and researcher Dr Lucy Waldron says one of the biggest challenges when dealing with mycotoxicosis in farm animals is simply making a diagnosis.

Dr Waldron, who has been involved with mycotoxin research in grazing animals since 2002, said there were many challenges facing practitioners seeking to make field diagnosis, including the non-specific nature of many of the symptoms, and that mycotoxins almost never present as single toxins.

Mycotoxins are substances naturally produced by moulds and fungi that are normally present as some form of defence for the organism. . . .

 Farming a passion for Massey’s top student – Collette Devlin:

A Southland student who won the top agriculture student award at Massey University plans to continue his studies to research water quality for sheep and beef farmers.

Cameron Black, 21, who completed a bachelor of agricultural science at Manawatu, was awarded the accolade for his high academic achievement and was also judged by staff and his peers to have made the largest contribution to the wellbeing and reputation of their fellow students in agriculture.

Mr Black will now complete an honours degree in agricultural science, which will focus on a soil agronomy research project for sheep and beef farmers in hill country. . .

Constable survives his first wacky race – Jo McKenzie-McLean:

The experience of bolting down a racetrack with nothing to hold on to but a saddle was almost like confronting an armed offender, a Queenstown constable says.

Constable Feleki Urhle was a reluctant participant in the Double Banking Race at the Glenorchy Races on Saturday, where thousands turned out for the annual 10-race event run by the Lakeside Rugby Club.

The day includes the long-standing tradition for the most junior-ranking police officer on duty to ride with seasoned jockey Callum Grimmer – also a St John Ambulance paramedic.

Mr Urhle said his only experience on a horse had been a slow-paced trek ride about 10 years ago.

“So to ride behind someone, not in a saddle and without my feet in stirrups bolting down a track was pretty freaky stuff. It compares to confronting an armed offender almost.” . . .

Year in review – July – Rebecca Harper:

Heavy snow in the South Island caused sleepless nights for many farmers as they battled to get feed and water to stranded stock and free those trapped by the snow.

Precision agriculture propelled Canterbury arable farmers Craige and Roz Mackenzie to the top of the class for sustainability, proving intensive land use can be sustainable, in taking out the 2013 Ballance Farm Environment Award. . .

Year in review – August – Rebecca Harper:

Fonterra directors said they intended to even out dividends paid on milk supply shares and listed fund units by looking beyond the current year’s earnings expectations and to give more market commentary.

The aim was to provide a longer-term view on any potential volatility in earnings.

Silver Fern Farms started to collect the blood protein from bobby calves processed at its Fairton plant in a bid to add value to a co-product and fruit and berry grower Julian Raine was named as the new president of Horticulture New Zealand at its annual conference. . .

 

 


Liking that they like us

January 6, 2014

We were in Canada a couple of weeks ago when a local asked us where we lived.

My farmer said New Zealand, the local said, where in New Zealand?

He said, near Oamaru.

Another young woman walking past overheard and said, “Oamaru, that’s where the penguins are, I loved Oamaru.”

It’s lovely when people like your place, it’s even better when they tell the world as Dustin Main did:

If you’re a small town that isn’t marked on the road map with a giant star to draw in the tourists, you have your work cut out for you.  However, if you’re a town in New Zealand, you probably have an imaginative idea to draw people in.  In Nelson, they have the “World of Wearable Art and Classic Cars Musuem” (really).  In Oamaru, they have Steampunk HQ.

If you’re unfamiliar with the idea of “steampunk,” you can think of it as a mix between the old Victorian steam-powered era, mixed with a polished futuristic style.  It’s part sci-fi, part fantasy.

Steampunk HQ is what you get when you gather a bunch of artists in one small town who like to weld large pieces of metal together to make some cool art.  That art manifests itself as runaway steam-powered trains about to launch off of the tracks, blimps taking to the skies, and a skeleton riding a crazy tractor.  And that’s just the start of it. . .

You can read more about Steampunk here and  here.

And more about the penguins here.


Saving species nearly killed it

January 6, 2014

Saving the black robin from extinction is a conservation success story but saving the species nearly killed it:

. . .  it’s also an example of good intentions leading to unintended consequences.

In those early years, when the team was still carefully managing the birds, they noticed that many females laid their eggs on the rims of their nests, rather than the centre. Precarious positions aside, these “rim eggs” were never incubated and never hatched. With the species’ fate hanging in the balance, every egg was precious. The team repositioned the ones on the rims.

Without this move, it’s unclear if the species would have made its dramatic recovery. But it also saddled the robins with a difficult legacy.

Melanie Massaro from Charles Sturt University in Australia has now shown that rim-laying had a strong genetic basis. Under normal circumstances, natural selection would have quickly weeded out the alleles (versions of a gene) behind the behaviour, because any female who carried them would lay doomed eggs. By saving those eggs, the conservationists inadvertently gave the rim-layers a pass, turning their maladaptive behaviour into a neutral one. They allowed for “survival for the not-so-fit”. . .

Once conservationists left the birds to their own devices natural selection triumphed again and the population of rim-layers dropped from 50% to 10%.

The goal of conservation isn’t just to save a species temporarily, but to create a wild population that can sustain itself without our help. The black robin shows just how difficult this goal can be. The team saved the bird, but their practices threatened to leave it incapable of breeding on its own. That would have been no use: conservation programmes are laborious and expensive, and can’t go on forever. . .

It’s not just conservation programmes which are laborious and expensive, and can’t go on forever. . .

Many welfare programmes are too.

Some people will need permanent assistance but welfare for those who need only temporary support should be an aid to independence not a permanent crutch.


5000 trees and counting

January 6, 2014

The Australasian Antarctic Expedition had pledged to plant 800 kauri trees in Northland to offset the carbon emissions.

That was before their research vessel Akademik Shokalskiygot stuck in ice and they needed a helicopter to rescue them when the ice breaker sent to rescue them got stuck and  another ice breaker sent to rescue the first ice breaker also got stuck in ice.

It will now take a forest to cover the carbon footprint of the rescue.

. . . The expedition had pledged to plant about 800 kauri trees in Northland to cover its carbon footprint. Environmentalists believe planting trees helps to offset the impact of burning fuels such as diesel.

But former Act Party leader and Herald on Sunday columnist Rodney Hide said that would have to increase to about 5000 trees to make up for the fossil fuels burned in the rescue.

Expedition leader Chris Turney said more trees would be needed than earlier estimated but he was yet to work out how many. . .

He will also have to work out why they got stuck 60 kilometres short of their destination when the 1911-to-1913 voyage of Australian explorer Douglas Mawson they were retracing made it to shore.


Better right than rushed

January 6, 2014

The government isn’t going to meet it’s deadline of completing all Treaty or Waitangi settlements by the end of this year.

. . . Instead, the Government has quietly pushed that out to 2017.

But Mr Key says they are doing much better than Labour, which he claims would have taken 40 years to get it done.

“We’re not going to make it in 2014,” says Mr Key. “We basically argued the case it was a goal. We’re going to get very close, but my guess is it will probably take to 2017 to finish everything off.”

But in admitting that, the Government’s attacking Labour, saying during its nine years in office, it made 15 treaty settlements. In National’s five years, it’s done 41.

“For whatever reason, there wasn’t a lot done in the nine years under Labour,” says Chris Finlayson, Minister for Treaty Negotiations. . .

It’s estimated there are around 58 more settlements to be reached, and negotiations with many are underway.

Mr Key says it would cost taxpayers more if it kept to the 2014 target.

“If you’re settling because you’ve got your arm up your back, you’re actually spending a lot more money than is prudent to do so,” he says. . . .

It’s better to get the settlements right than to rush them.

Those Iwi which have already settled are seeing big gains for themselves as they move from grievance to growth.

That’s good not just for them but the country in both economic and social terms.

Photo: Best of 2013: Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson signs 8 Treaty Settlement Deeds, marking 41 settlements since 2008.


January 6 in history

January 6, 2014

1367 – Richard II of England, was born (d. 1400).

1412  Joan of Arc, Roman Catholic Saint and national heroine of France, was born -legendary date, some scholars think it was January 7-  (d. 1431).

1494  The first Mass in the New World was celebrated at La Isabela, Hispaniola.

1540 King Henry VIII of England married Anne of Cleves.

1714 Percivall Pott, English physician, was born. He was one of the founders of orthopedy, and the first scientist to demonstrate that a cancer may be caused by an environmental carcinogen (d. 1788).

1721 The Committee of Inquiry on the South Sea Bubble published its findings.

1781 In the Battle of Jersey, the British defeated the last attempt by France to invade Jersey.

1838 Samuel Morse first successfully tested the electrical telegraph.

1878 Carl Sandburg, American poet and historian, was born  (d. 1967).

1883 Khalil Gibran, Lebanese writer, was born (d. 1931).

1893 The Washington National Cathedral was chartered by Congress.

1907 Maria Montessori opened her first school and daycare centre for working class children in Rome.

1923 Norman Kirk, New Zealander Prime Minister, was born  (d. 1974).

1929 – Mother Teresa arrived in Calcutta to begin a her work amongst India’s poorest people.

1930The first diesel-engined automobile trip was completed (from Indianapolis, Indiana, to New York City).

1931 Thomas Edison submitted his last patent application.

1934 Harry M. Miller, New Zealand-born Australian entrepreneur, was born.

1936 The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the 1933 Agricultural Adjustment Act was unconstitutional in the case United States v. Butler et al.

1941 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered his Four Freedoms Speech in the State of the Union Address.

1942 Pan American Airlines became the first commercial airline to schedule a flight around the world.

1946  Syd Barrett, English guitarist, singer and songwriter Pink Floyd, was born  (d. 2006).

1953 Godfrey Bowen set a world record by shearing  456 full-wool ewes in nine hours.

Godfrey Bowen sets world sheep-shearing record

1953 Malcolm Young, Scottish-born Australian guitarist (AC/DC), was born.

1955 Rowan Atkinson, English comedian and actor, was born.

1959 Kapil Dev, Indian cricketer, was born.

1960   Nigella Lawson, English chef and writer, was born.

1964 Mark O’Toole, English bass guitarist (Frankie Goes to Hollywood), was born.

1965 Bjorn Lomborg, Danish mathematician, environmentalist and author, was born.

1974  In response to the 1973 energy crisis, daylight saving time commenced nearly four months early in the United States.

1978 The Crown of St. Stephen (also known as the Holy Crown of Hungary) ws returned to Hungary from the United States, where it was held after World War II.

1995 A chemical fire in an apartment complex in Manila, Philippines, led to the discovery of plans for Project Bojinka, a mass-terrorist attack.

2010 – The Ady Gil, a ship owned by Sea Shepherd, was sunk during a skirmish with the Japanese Whaling Fleet’s Shōnan Maru.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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