Word of the day

November 19, 2014

Draff – dregs or refuse; the residue of husks after fermentation of the grain used in brewing, used as a food for cattle.


Rural round-up

November 19, 2014

Peony growers’ business blooming – Sally Rae:

When Rodger and Cindy Whitson decided to get into the cut flower industry back in 2000, they started with a bare paddock and no horticultural knowledge.

They trialled gentians, viburnum and peonies before deciding peonies were best suited to their property, near Mosgiel.

Peony plant numbers have since swelled from 2000 to about 10,000, with plans for more plantings. . .

 Profitable harvest of Jersey Bennes – Sally Brooker:

North Otago’s most famous produce is being harvested for the new season.

Rows of Jersey Benne potatoes are coming out of paddocks in the Totara area just south of Oamaru, renowned for the tarry, fertile soils that produce exceptional early spuds.

A workforce boosted by tertiary and secondary students as they finish their exams is picking and packing the Jersey Bennes.

Organic horticulturist Marty Quennell said his harvest started early this year – the week before Labour Weekend. That meant he had the market to himself for the first three weeks, when a premium price was being paid. With others growers now getting going, the price would drop back, he said. . .

NZ tractor sales set to match records this year on buoyant farming – Tina Morrison:

 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand tractor sales are expected to match record highs for the modern farming era this year, as farming incomes are boosted by high milk prices and good growing conditions.

Sales of tractors of at least 40 horsepower, the most common measure for farm tractors, have reached 2,536 in the first nine months of this year and are expected to climb by year’s end to match the 3,515 total for 2005, the highest level since the Tractor and Machinery Association began gathering the data in 1990. Some 60 percent of the nation’s farm tractor sales are estimated to relate to the dairy industry.

Farmers had more cash this year to buy farm equipment such as tractors after Fonterra Cooperative Group paid out a record $8.40 per kilogram of milk solids and the agriculture sector generally benefited from good growing conditions which meant farmers could boost production without having to divert funds into areas such as extra stock feed. . . .

 Ambitious predator-free plan launched:

A group of prominent individuals and private businesses has joined forces with the Department of Conservation in a plan to eradicate all pests from mainland New Zealand.

The Predator Free New Zealand Trust unveiled its vision of an Aotearoa free of rats, stoats and possums at the Place To Live conference in Whanganui today.

Trust chairman Devon McLean said that the secret weapon in the battle against pests would be the thousands of New Zealanders already dedicated to controlling predators.

China-Australia FTA milks NZ’s – Nigel Stirling:

Australia’s new trade agreement with China could give it an edge in milk powder exports unless New Zealand can invoke a clause in its own agreement to get similar tariff concessions.

The two countries yesterday announced the end of ten years of talks for a free trade agreement which Australia says is superior to NZ’s 2008 deal which allowed for the full elimination of tariffs on dairy products by 2019.

Australia’s deal allows for the elimination of tariffs on dairy products within eleven years, but crucially does not include the use of special safeguards by China to protect its farmers from surges of imported skim milk powder from Australia. . .

A2 Milk to list on ASX in 1Q 2015 – Suze Metherell:

(BusinessDesk) – A2 Milk Co, the milk marketing company, is planning to list on the Australian stock exchange next year, where it has 9 percent of the fresh milk market sold in grocery stores.

The Auckland-based company doesn’t plan to raise any new capital in a float on the ASX and will keep its New Zealand incorporation and NZX listing, it said in a statement. It has hired Goldman Sachs New Zealand and DLA Piper Australia to manage the listing, and hopes to join the Australian bourse in the first quarter of 2015.

In August, managing director Geoffrey Babidge called the Australian market A2’s “big cash generator”, and said it will bankroll its push into new markets. The company reported annual sales rose 17 percent to $111 million in the year ended June 30, of which 96 percent came from Australian sales. A2 reported a drop in annual profit to $10,000 from $4.1 million a year earlier, as the strength of the kiwi dollar against its Australian counterpart weighed on sales. . .

Ballance helps farmers better weather the weather:

Ballance Agri-Nutrients has joined forces with NIWA to bring advanced hi-resolution weather, climate and environmental forecasts to farmers via the co-operative’s Ag Hub online farm management system.

Announcing the partnership, Ballance General Manager AgInformation Graeme Martin said farm profitability and sustainability are increasingly affected by variable weather patterns, growing conditions and the availability of water.

“Farmers are looking for the best possible support to make operational decisions. NIWA’s advanced forecasting systems and its national climate station network are at the leading edge of weather and environmental information. . .


No sex please, he’s Paddington

November 19, 2014

Michael Bond, the author of the Paddington Bear books is upset that UK censors warned parents the new film based on his beloved bear contains sexual “innuendo” and “bad language”.

Censors at the British Board of Film Classification have given the Paddington movie a Parental Guidance (PG) certificate because it features “dangerous behaviour, mild threat, innuendo, infrequent mild bad language”.

The news has upset Michael Bond, the writer behind the original book series, and he fears he may be in for a nasty surprise when he eventually sees the film based on his creation. . .

Censors issued the guidelines based on a scene in the film in which a villain “threatens to kill and stuff” Paddington Bear and a comical moment when a man dressed as a woman is flirted with by another man. . .

If that’s all it is, it’s pretty mild but if it’s not suitable for children of all ages I have a lot of sympathy for Bond.

The books were delightful and innocent, surely it wouldn’t be too hard for the film to be that way too.

Sex sells but so do good stories and it should be possible to be true to the spirit of book, including its innocence,  in taking it from the page to the screen.


GDT drops 3.1%

November 19, 2014

GlobalDairyTrade’s price index dropped 3.1% in this morning’s auction.

The volume traded was also down.

gdt19.11

gdt191114


Little majority really Little minority

November 19, 2014

Labour’s undemocratic constitution means some members are more equal than others.

Some, for example, get more than one vote.

A member who is also a member of an affiliate union gets two votes and one who is also an MP gets three.

That means that while the party’s new leader Andrew Little won 50.52% of the votes they came from fewer than 50% of the voters.

When some members are more equal than others, getting more than half the votes isn’t the same as getting the support of more than half the voters.

This is a case not of a Little majority as a Little minority, the exact size of which depends on how many of his supporters had two or three votes.

He has won the leadership on the strength of the unequal power in the party which gives some members more than one vote.

That makes the base from which he has to build party unity even smaller.

One of his other challenges is to restore internal discipline and the behaviour of some MPs at the press conference wasn’t a good start:


November 19 in history

November 19, 2014

1095 – The Council of Clermont, called by Pope Urban II to discuss sending the First Crusade to the Holy Land, began.

1493 – Christopher Columbus went ashore on an island he first saw the day before. He named it San Juan Bautista (later renamed Puerto Rico).

1600 King Charles I of England was born (d. 1649).

1794 – The United States and Great Britain signed Jay’s Treaty, which attempts to resolve some of the lingering problems left over from the American Revolutionary War.

1805 Ferdinand de Lesseps, French diplomat and Suez Canal engineer, was born (d. 1894).

1816 – Warsaw University was established.

1847 – The Montreal and Lachine Railway, was opened.

1863 – American Civil War: U.S. President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address at the dedication of the military cemetery ceremony at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

1881 – A meteorite landed near the village of Grossliebenthal, southwest of Odessa, Ukraine.

1905 Tommy Dorsey, American bandleader, was born (d. 1956).

1916 – Samuel Goldwyn and Edgar Selwyn established Goldwyn Pictures.

1917 Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India was born (d. 1984).

1930 – Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow committed their first of a large series of robberies and other criminal acts.

1933 Larry King, American TV personality, was born.

1941 – World War II: Battle between HMAS Sydney and HSK Kormoran. The two ships sank each other off the coast of Western Australia, with the loss of 645 Australians and about 77 German seamen.

1942 – World War II: Battle of Stalingrad – Soviet Union forces under General Georgy Zhukov launched the Operation Uranus counterattacks at Stalingrad, turning the tide of the battle in the USSR’s favor.

1943 – Holocaust: Nazis liquidated Janowska concentration camp in Lemberg (Lviv), western Ukraine, murdering at least 6,000 Jews after a failed uprising and mass escape attempt.

1944 – World War II: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced the 6th War Loan Drive, aimed at selling $14 billion USD in war bonds to help pay for the war effort.

1950 – US General Dwight D. Eisenhower became supreme commander of NATO-Europe.

1954 – Télé Monte Carlo, Europe’s oldest private television channel, was launched by Prince Rainier III.

1955 – National Review published its first issue.

1959 – The Ford Motor Company announced the discontinuation of the unpopular Edsel.

1961 Meg Ryan, American actress, was born.

1962 Jodie Foster, American actress, was born.

1967 – The establishment of TVB, the first wireless commercial television station in Hong Kong.

1969 – Apollo 12 astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean landed at Oceanus Procellarum (the “Ocean of Storms”) and become the third and fourth humans to walk on the Moon.

1969 – Football player Pelé scored his 1,000th goal.

1977 – Egyptian President Anwar Sadat became the first Arab leader to officially visit Israel.

1977 – Transportes Aéreos Portugueses Boeing 727 crashed in Madeira Islands, killing 130.

1979 – Iran hostage crisis: Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ordered the release of 13 female and black American hostages being held at the US Embassy in Tehran.

1984 – San Juanico Disaster: A series of explosions at the PEMEX petroleum storage facility at San Juan Ixhuatepec in Mexico City started a major fire and killed about 500 people.

1985 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev met for the first time.

1985 – Pennzoil won a $10.53 billion USD judgment against Texaco, in the largest civil verdict in the history of the United States, stemming from Texaco executing a contract to buy Getty Oil after Pennzoil had entered into an unsigned, yet still binding, buyout contract with Getty.

1988 – Serbian communist representative and future Serbian and Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic publicly declared that Serbia was under attack from Albanian separatists in Kosovoas well as internal treachery within Yugoslavia and a foreign conspiracy to destroy Serbia and Yugoslavia.

1990 – Pop group Milli Vanilli was stripped of its Grammy Award because the duo did not sing at all on the Girl You Know It’s True album. Session musicians had provided all the vocals.

1992 The Fred Hollows Foundation was established in New Zealand.

Fred Hollows Foundation launched in NZ

1994 – In Great Britain, the first National Lottery draw was held. A £1 ticket gave a one-in-14-million chance of correctly guessing the winning six out of 49 numbers.

1996 – Lt. Gen. Maurice Baril of Canada arrived in Africa to lead a multi-national policing force in Zaire.

1998 – Lewinsky scandal: The United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee began impeachment hearings against U.S. President Bill Clinton.

1998 – Vincent van Gogh‘s Portrait of the Artist Without Beard sells at auction for $US71.5 million.

1999 – Shenzhou 1: China launched its first Shenzhou spacecraft.

2010 – An explosion in the Pike River mine trapped 29 men.

2013  – A double suicide bombing at the Iranian embassy in Beirut killed 23 people and injures 160 others.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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