Word of the day

18/07/2014

Gallimaufry:  a hodgepodge; jumble; confused medley.

Hat tip:

Also the Labour Party.


Which Shakespeare character are you?

18/07/2014

Which Shakespeare character are you?

I’m Juliet:

From Romeo & Juliet. Like Juliet, you don’t pay attention to societal conventions when making big decisions like who you love. Your emotions get riled quickly and you often act before thinking, which occasionally gets you in trouble. Idealistic and romantic, you fall deep when you fall in love.

Hmm, guilty of at least some of this, though I take the final point as a strength.


Rural round-up

18/07/2014

New rules tough for everyone – Andrea Fox:

The jury is in on pollution crime against New Zealand’s waterways and lakes and no one – farmer, business, suburbanite, or city apartment dweller – will escape the verdict’s impact.

The National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014, released by the Government this month, is the latest decree on a matter considered to be of national significance.

Yes, farmers have been fencing off rivers and streams and managing effluent systems better for several years in the name of freshwater protection policy under the Resource Management Act. And they have made big improvements.

What is new is a change to that policy statement. It is going to be tough on farmers – but equally tough on urban NZ. . .

Top genetic selection produces biggest antlers – Heather Chalmers:

Producing deer with some of the biggest antlers in New Zealand takes careful genetic selection and a dollop of luck, says South Canterbury deer farmer Chris Petersen.

Just as others follow the breeding lines of thoroughbred racehorses, Petersen does the same for deer.

“I know all the top stags and hinds in New Zealand. I study them.”

Farming Highden Deer Park with his wife Debra at Sutherlands near Pleasant Point, his stags are highly regarded for their antlers, both for trophies and velvet. The 130 hectare rolling downlands farm carries 364 spikers and mixed-age stags, 122 mixed-age hinds and 55 18-month hinds, as well as this season’s progeny. Most stags are grown out to seven years old for the trophy market, with 27 out of 30 sold last year. . .

Stink over cattle compost – Shelly Robinson:

A North Canterbury business that composted cattle heads and ears for a gelatine factory was forced to stop taking the waste after complaints about the smell from neighbours.

T W Transport’s composting facility at Burnt Hill, Oxford, has been fined seven times by Environment Canterbury (ECan) for odour issues in breach of its resource consent.

Company director Ted Wills said it stopped taking the waste from Gelita NZ Ltd because of the complaints. “If there was a smell out our way, even among the farms spraying effluent on paddocks or silage, we still got the blame,” he said. . .

Fast, slow beef finishing assessed in Far North:

HAVING ALL animals on a farm growing at the same pace could result in big risks for drystock farmers, delegates at the final Finished in 20 Months beef seminar in Northland heard last month.

The three-year Beef + Lamb New Zealand project ran multiple studies to find techniques which would let farmers get beef cattle to finishing weights before their second winter, a key aim being to avoid having heavy animals on pugging prone clay soils when it gets wet.

But some in the trial have argued even 20 months is too long and target kill weights need to be hit at 15-16 months so they can be sold before Christmas and the subsequent slides in schedule prices. . .

Many markets for miscanthus:

FUEL, BEDDING, shelter, forage: super-tall perennial grass miscanthus could have markets as all of them, says Miscanthus New Zealand, a Te Awamutu-based company promoting the crop.

The grass is already fairly widely used in Europe and the United States as a bioenergy crop but was only introduced to New Zealand in 2010 with about 40ha now established in various crops and trials nationwide.

“It’s a triploid hybrid so it’s completely infertile,” says Miscanthus NZ managing director Peter Brown. . .

GFAR Partnering with EAT to create research network uniting agriculture and nutrition:

The Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) has entered into a strategic partnership with the EAT Stockholm Food Forum. GFAR provides a forum for experts and organizations around the world to share agricultural research and create positive change. EAT is an international network made up of experts on sustainable food, nutrition, and health. By teaming together, GFAR and EAT hope to lead an integrated approach to increasing the sustainability and nutritional value of food.

Dr. Gunhild Anker Stordalen, director of EAT, recently spoke about her organization and the reasons behind this new alliance. . .

Six key recommendations for ramily farming in North America:

In April, representatives from 35 organizations around the world gathered in Québec City to participate in the Dialogue on Family Farming in North America. Motivated by the United Nation’s designation of 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF), the dialogue included workshops, panel discussions, and question periods organized by UPA Développement International (UPA DI) and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). This week, a report was published summarizing the key presentations and findings from the event.

Canadian presenters spoke on a range of topics including the importance of women in small farming, and the challenges of farming profitably without formal training. . .


All I Do Is Farm

18/07/2014

You can read the background to the video on Peterson Farm Bros blog.

. . . All they do is farm. That’s what a lot of people think about farmers. “Yeah, they work hard and they are important and stuff, but they’re just farmers, right?”

There are thousands of professions out there, many of which are higher paying, more respected jobs. But where would all the people working in those jobs be without farmers? That’s right, they would be spending their time growing their own food. Today, the average farmer feeds over 155 people and the average American spends only about 6% of their income on their food, compared to 17% in 1960. Less expensive food has allowed for 98% of the population to spend all of their time doing something else besides raising their own food. How would you like it if you spent each day of your life growing your own food, instead of working at your current job and spending loads of time and money on family, leisure, and entertainment? So yes, all we do is farm, but without us farming, you all would be starving! (Or at least growing your own food!)

And not only do we farm, we farm no matter what! In heat, cold, sleet, rain, snow, weekends, holidays, and everything in between farmers are working hard to take care of animals, crops, and people! Thank a farmer!!! . . .


Friday’s answers

18/07/2014

Andrei and Rob posed Thursday’s questions.

It’s up to them to decide if they stumped us all and if so can claim an electronic batch of shortbread by leaving the answers below.

Gravedodger gets a bonus for culinary prowess and Farmerbraun gets one for extra information..

 


MH 17

18/07/2014

The deaths of nearly 300 people on Malaysian Airlines MH 17 is a tragedy.

It is worst for the family and friends of those who died.

It is also very bad for the airline although at this stage it appears the plane was shot down which is quite different from the mystery disappearance of MH 370.

We also need to remember this is a war zone where innocent people are killed every day.

 


Will the payout go down?

18/07/2014

When Fonterra announced its forecast payout for the 2014/15 season some thought it was optimistic.

After this week’s large drop in the GlobalDairyTrade price index and no encouraging signs for recovery in the short term a revised forecast for a lower payout is expected.

Federated Farmers is warning farmers to prepare for something less than the opening forecast of $7:

“The reality is that the world is having a near-perfect production season with Europe and the Americas having a blinder,” says Andrew Hoggard, Federated Farmers Dairy chair.

“The fall in GlobalDairyTrade reflects supply and demand.  With good weather, high milk prices and grain availability, global dairy production has ramped up.

“While GDT Prices may have come off there is no milk lake of yesteryear.  The world needs to grow a lot more than New Zealand’s annual production every year just to meet demand.

“In the short term, I would recommend dairy farmers start planning for payout forecasts being predicted by the banks of $6 to $6.25 kg/MS.  We need to remember $6 kg/MS is the practical breakeven for about twenty percent of the industry with high production costs.

“Be conservative by focussing on debt and prioritising productive investment.

“This volatility in the payout shows that when politicians start mouthing off about new taxes specifically for farmers, without a clear objective of what they could achieve aide from being affordable in one year, they miss the reality that good years usually alternate with bad years. . .

Many farmers used last season’s record payout to repay debt and the prudent budgeted for a reduced income this season.

Even so, a lower payout will mean farmers re-look at budgets and there will be less money to spend in rural communities and the wider economy.

However, while the payout will be lower than last season’s and almost certainly lower than the opening forecast, it is still expected to be at least at, if not better than the average for the last few years.

The outlook isn’t as optimistic as hoped but that’s no reason to be pessimistic about it, or dairying.


Gonna tell on you

18/07/2014

Quote of the day from Trans Tasman:

. . . Meanwhile Dotcom, is now promising to reveal all he knows about John Key just before the election. And it’s pretty damn big, he says. Oh yes. In political terms, this is a bit like the playground “gonna tell on you and my father is a policeman and my aunt is a wrestler and you’re gonna be REAL SORRY!” . . .

This reminds me of Labour’s desperate smear attempts before the 2008 election when they sent Mike WIlliams to Australia to dig the dirt.

He came up with egg on his own face and no dirt at all.

If Dotcom really has something on Key he’d spill it now which would give the opposition a strong foundaiton on which to build an all-out assault.

The only advantage in waiting is to keep himself in the headlines.


July 18 in history

18/07/2014

390 BC Roman-Gaulish Wars: Battle of the Allia – a Roman army was defeated by raiding Gauls, leading to the subsequent sacking of Rome.

64 Great fire of Rome: a fire began to burn in the merchant area of Rome.

1290  King Edward I of England issued the Edict of Expulsion, banishing all Jews (numbering about 16,000) from England; this was Tisha B’Av on the Hebrew calendar, a day that commemorates many Jewish calamities.

1334  The bishop of Florence blessed the first foundation stone for the new campanile (bell tower) of the Florence Cathedral, designed by the artist Giotto di Bondone.

1389  Kingdoms of France and England agreed to the Truce of Leulinghem,  inaugurating a 13 year peace; the longest period of sustained peace during the Hundred Years War.

1656  Polish-Lithuanian forces clashed with Sweden and its Brandenburg allies in the start of  the Battle of Warsaw.

1670 Giovanni Bononcini, Italian composer, was born (d. 1747).

1811 William Makepeace Thackeray, English author, was born (d. 1863).

1848   W. G. Grace, English cricketer, was born  (d. 1915).

1855 New Zealand’s first postage stamps were issued. The adhesive, non-perforated stamps for the prepayment of postage were the famous ‘Chalon Head’ design that portrayed a full-face likeness of Queen Victoria in her coronation robes.

NZ's first postage stamps go on sale

1857  Louis Faidherbe, French governor of Senegal, arrived to relieve French forces at Kayes, effectively ending El Hajj Umar Tall’s war against the French.

1862  First ascent of Dent Blanche, one of the highest summits in the Swiss Alps.

1863  American Civil War: Battle of Fort Wagner/Morris Island – the first formal African American military unit, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, failed in their assault on Confederate-held Battery Wagner.

1867 Margaret Brown, American activist, philanthropist, and RMS Titanic passenger, was born (d. 1932).

1870  The First Vatican Council decreed the dogma of papal infallibility.

1884 – Death of Ferdinand von Hochstetter, the Austrian geologist who was the first to describe and interpret many features of New Zealand geology.

1887 Vidkun Quisling, Norwegian soldier, politician and convicted traitor, was born  (d. 1945).

1908 Mildred Lisette Norman, American peace activist, earned the moniker Peace Pilgrim, was born  (d. 1981).

1909  Andrei Gromyko, Soviet diplomat and President, was born (d. 1989).

1909 – Mohammed Daoud Khan, President of Afghanistan, was born (d. 1978).

1914  The U.S. Congress formed the Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps, giving definite status to aircraft within the U.S. Army for the first time.

1918 Nelson Mandela, President of South Africa, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was born.

1923 Jerome H. Lemelson, American inventor, was born (d. 1997).

1925  Adolf Hitler published his personal manifesto Mein Kampf.

1936 In Spanish Morocco, military rebels attempted a coup d’état against the legitimacy of the Spanish government, this led to the Spanish Civil War.

1937 Hunter S. Thompson, American journalist and author, was born (d. 2005).

1942 Bobby Susser, American songwriter and record producer, was born.

1942  World War II: the Germans test flew the Messerschmitt Me-262 using only its jet engines for the first time.

1944  World War II: Hideki Tojo resigned as Prime Minister of Japan due to numerous setbacks in the war effort.

1950 Glenn Hughes, American singer (Village People), was born (d. 2001).

1957 Sir Nick Faldo, English golfer, was born.

1963 Martín Torrijos Espino, former President of Panama, was born.

1965  Russian satellite Zond 3 launched.

1966  Gemini 10 launched.

1968  The Intel Corporation was founded in Santa Clara, California.

1969  After a party on Chappaquiddick Island, Senator Ted Kennedy drove an Oldsmobile off a bridge and his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, died.

1971 Sarah McLeod, New Zealand actress, was born.

1976 Nadia Comăneci became the first person in Olympic Games history to score a perfect 10 in gymnastics at the 1976 Summer Olympics.

1982 – 268 campesinos were slain in the Plan de Sánchez massacre in Ríos Montt’s Guatemala.

1984  McDonald’s massacre James Oliver Huberty opened fire, killing 21 people and injuring 19 others before being shot dead by police.

1984  Beverly Lynn Burns became first female Boeing 747 airline captain.

1986 A tornado was broadcast live on KARE television when the station’s helicopter pilot made a chance encounter.

1992  The ten victims of the La Cantuta massacre disappeared from their university in Lima.

1994 The bombing of the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (Argentinian Jewish Communal Center) in Buenos Aires killed 85 people (mostly Jewish) and injures 300.

1995  The Soufriere Hills volcano erupted. Over the course of several years, it devastates the island, destroying the capital and forcing most of the population to flee.

1996  Storms provoked severe flooding on the Saguenay River.

1996  Battle of Mullaitivu. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam captured the Sri Lanka Army’s base, killing over 1200 Army soldiers.

2005  Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement, first public joint statement by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the then U.S. President George W. Bush.

2012 – At least 7 people were killed and 32 others injured after a bomb exploded on an Israeli tour bus at Burgas Airport, Bulgaria.

2013 – The Government of Detroit, with up to $20 billion in debt, filed for the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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