Word of the day

March 11, 2015

Acrasial  – ill-mannered, ill-regulated; ill-tempered; lacking self-control;  intemperate.


Rural round-up

March 11, 2015

Federated Farmers receives threat to contaminate dairy infant formula product:

Federated Farmers has confirmed it has received a threat to sabotage New Zealand infant formula with the pesticide 1080.

The anonymous letter was received at Federated Farmers Wellington offices in late November.  It was addressed to the Chief Executive Graham Smith.

The letter was accompanied by an enclosed plastic bag containing a powder.

Federated Farmers gave the letter and bag to the Police. . .

Fonterra Acknowledges Threat Investigation:

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited acknowledges the announcement by the New Zealand Police and the New Zealand Government about an investigation into a criminal threat relating to the Government’s use of Sodium monofluoroacetate (1080) poison as pest control to protect the country’s native flora and fauna.

The Government said today that there was no health risk to consumers. It has assessed the likelihood of the threat being carried out as ‘extremely low’. For further information please go to: http://www.foodprotection.govt.nz

Fonterra Chief Executive Theo Spierings said the criminal threat targeted New Zealand and the entire dairy industry. . .

Westland says its products are safe:

Westland Milk Products, New Zealand’s second biggest dairy cooperative, says there is no evidence that the safety of its products has been compromised by a threat to contaminate infant and other dairy formula with sodium monoflouroacetate (1080).

CEO Rod Quin says, “We are very confident that our products are secure while within our manufacturing and distribution systems,” he says. . .

 

Synlait Milk confident in its food safety systems:

Synlait Milk is confident that its food safety systems and security standards protect the integrity of its products.

They have been specifically designed to protect against threats such as that announced today by the New Zealand Police and Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) said Managing Director Dr. John Penno.

“Food safety and product quality is our highest priority. Our standards and systems reflect this,” said Dr. Penno. . .

NZ infant formula among safest in world:

Mothers in New Zealand and around the world can be assured that infant formula sourced in New Zealand is among the safest available anywhere, says the Infant Nutrition Council.

Chief Executive Jan Carey deplored the anonymous threats made to Fonterra and Federated Farmers.

She says infant formula manufacturers and exporters in New Zealand have full confidence in the safety of their products and in the security of their manufacturing processes.

“These products made in New Zealand are safe and always have been safe.

“We are absolutely confident about the safety of infant formula manufacturing in New Zealand and the products sold in supermarkets. . .

Nominations Open for Beef + Lamb New Zealand Sheep Industry Awards 2015:

Nominations are now open for this annual event that champions the country’s top performing sheep farmers, breeders, and industry innovators.

The fourth Beef + Lamb New Zealand Sheep Industry Awards will take place in Invercargill on Wednesday 1 July 2015.

“It’s fitting that the New Zealand sheep industry recognises and rewards its top performers, and in doing so profiles the significant contribution it makes to the New Zealand economy,” says Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) chief executive, Dr Scott Champion.

“Productivity levels have improved dramatically over the past 20. Lambing percentages are 20 per cent higher than they were in 1995, and lamb carcase weights are up 28 per cent. . .

 Future of Farming – NZ Landcare Trust:

Former Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment and current Chair of WWF-NZ Dr Morgan Williams was the guest speaker at a recent Community Catchment Management Workshop organised by NZ Landcare Trust in Murchison. The programme also included presentations from community farming representatives, who highlighted the benefits and successes of community involvement within projects in this region.

Dr Williams began by voicing his support for the work rural communities are doing in sustainable catchment management projects, before outlining his perspectives on broader global and national issues shaping agriculture. . .

 

Career Changes Clean-up in Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Awards:

The three major winners in the 2015 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Industry Awards had all switched careers to dairy farming in recent years.

The 2015 Auckland/Hauraki Sharemilker/Equity Farmers of the Year, Evan and Jan Billington had been in the New Zealand Police and teaching until seven years ago, while the region’s Farm Manager of the Year, James Foote, had been a professional rugby player, and the 2015 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Trainee of the Year, Royce King, was a plumber and gas fitter. . .

 All-Rounder Wins Waikato Dairy Awards Title:

The 2015 Waikato Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year, Aaron Price, has it all – he’s a young, fit, professional, married man with a plan. He’s also persistent and great to have in the community.

Mr Price, aged 29 years, took out the major title at last night’s 2015 Waikato Dairy Industry Awards, with his win netting him $22,000 in prizes.

The other big winners at the region’s awards dinner held at the Claudelands Events Centre were Paul and Kate Manion, the 2015 Waikato Farm Managers of the Year, and Brett Steeghs, the Waikato Dairy Trainee of the Year. . .

Housing cows not the only way to increase production –  Wayne McNee:

The recent visit by Professor Aalt Dijkhuizen, the president of Topsector Agri and Food in the Netherlands, raised some interested points about how New Zealand dairy farmers can learn from their Dutch counterparts.

But there was a flaw in his argument – profitability and efficiency did not seem to feature highly.

The two go hand in hand here. Profit is the ultimate goal for New Zealand dairy farmers, regardless of the system or technology utilised.

The best way to make a profit is by breeding animals that will efficiently, and repeatedly, convert feed into quality, high-value milk. . .

 Fledgling agri-food course whetting student appetites:

A new multi-disciplinary degree course taking food production beyond the farm gate and onto the world stage is experiencing 150 per cent growth in new enrolment numbers in only the second year it has been offered at Lincoln University.

Developed to meet the needs of an industry decrying a lack of graduates prepared for careers in the agri-food supply chain the Bachelor of Agribusiness and Food Marketing degree (B.AFM) has gone from 20 students in 2014 to 50 students this year.

It is one of the success stories at Lincoln University’s Te Waihora campus which has seen good growth in new student enrolments in 2015, both for New Zealand and international students. . .

Moving stock? Think about your Theileria risks:

Industry body DairyNZ is warning farmers to assess the risks to their herds from the tick-borne disease Theileria if they are moving stock this autumn and winter.
.
DairyNZ veterinarian and technical policy advisor, Nita Harding, says stock out at grazing such as heifers that will be coming onto the farm could pose a risk, or be at risk of Theileria, depending on the situation on farm.

Nita says farmers can help the industry and veterinarians manage and prevent the spread of the disease if they are moving cattle between Theileria zones this season. . .

Giesen stamps mark in China:

Giesen Wines is earning a growing following in China, where it has been exporting for the past five years.

Its wines recently won acclaim at China’s largest and most prestigious wine competition, CWSA (China Wines & Spirits Awards), which brings together winemakers from all over the world to compete in a blind tasting. Giesen’s haul included a trophy, two double golds, five golds, and it was named the CWSA Marlborough Winery of the Year.

General manager Kyle Skene said Giesen’s total wine portfolio is exported to China, including Giesen Estate, The Brothers (Reserve) and Single Vineyard series. Its wines are sold across 12 Chinese cities and seven provinces. . . .


Surplus for 7 months

March 11, 2015

The government books are showing a surplus:

The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) for the seven months to January was a surplus of $77 million, driven by higher than expected tax revenue and lower than expected operating expenses, Finance Minister Bill English says.

“This is the first time the Government’s books have shown a part-year surplus since 2009. Although it is too early to say whether we will have a surplus for the full 2014/15 year, this result demonstrates the strides we have made in improving the Government’s finances,” Mr English says.

The OBEGAL outturn was $712 million better than the $635 million deficit forecast by the Treasury in the Half-Year Update (HYEFU) in December, but was still $120 million below Treasury’s Budget 2014 forecast, undertaken at the start of the fiscal year.

Corporate tax was $158 million, or 3.2 per cent above the HYEFU forecast and source deductions were $146 million, or 1.0 per cent above forecast.

“Although corporate tax and source deductions were both ahead of forecast for the seven months to January, these latest figures underscore the difficulty in forecasting the difference between two large numbers,” Mr English says.

“We won’t know until the final accounts are published in October whether we will achieve a surplus for the whole year. The variance of both tax and expenditure from forecasts reinforces that message.”

Core Crown expenses for the first half of the financial year were $249 million lower than forecast at HYEFU.

“The Government is continuing to responsibly manage its finances. Core Crown expenditure for 2014/15 is forecast to be $4.1 billion lower than forecasts made when we first set the surplus target back in 2011,” Mr English says.

This is on-track to an annual surplus.

Whether or not that is reached this financial year or next it is a significant achievement and good reflection on the government’s careful management.

It has turned around the decade of deficits forecast in Labour’s last year in government and has been achieved in spite of the financial turmoil and natural disasters the government had to face.


Ideals before infants

March 11, 2015

The threat to lace infant formula with 1080 could be a hoax.

But it could be real.

There are eco-terrorists.

They are the rabid greens (and please note the small g) who would put their ideals before infants, the ones who put people’s place in the world well below that of anything and everything they consider natural.

They are the ones who would think nothing of terrifying parents and sabotaging our dairy trade. Given their antipathy towards dairying, they’d probably consider damaging it a win.

What the people behind this bizarre blackmail attempt don’t understand is that 1080 is the only tool we have to control the pests which endanger our native flora and fauna and carry diseases, including TB, which can endanger domestic animals and people.

Environment Commissioner Jan Wright’s report into 1080 accepted that it should not be banned:

 Dr Wright recommends against a moratorium on 1080 citing the damage that would be done to native forests and animals if such a ban went ahead.

“Possums, rats and stoats are chewing up our forests to the point that we are only a generation away from seeing regional extinctions of kiwis and other native species where no pest control is carried out.

“There are other pest control methods that are more suitable than 1080 in certain circumstances but on much of our conservation land there is currently nothing else that will effectively kill possums, rats and stoats.

“While there may be an alternative to 1080 one day, if we want to keep our  forests for future generations we simply cannot afford to stop using 1080. Time is not a luxury we have.

“So many of our native forests, birds, reptiles and insects are unlike those found anywhere else in the world and form a distinct part of our identity. It would be a travesty to allow these to disappear.” . . .

It is not used lightly but there are places where other methods of extermination are impossible.

Real greenies understand that and condone its use because, while far from perfect, it is better than allowing pests destroy forests and the native wild life which lives there.

How ironic if the people behind this bizarre blackmail attempt are serious and don’t understand that banning 1080 would do far more harm than the poison does.

 


March 11 in history

March 11, 2015

1387 Battle of Castagnaro: English condottiero Sir John Hawkwood led Padova to victory in a factional clash with Verona.

1649 The Frondeurs and the French government signed the Peace of Rueil.

1702 The Daily Courant, the UK’s first national daily newspaper was published for the first time.

1708 Queen Anne withheld Royal Assent from the Scottish Militia Bill, the last time a British monarch vetoed legislation.

1824 The United States War Department created the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

1845 Hone Heke cut down the British flag pole for the fourth time. He and Kawiti were leading figures in the attack which resulted in the the fall of Kororareka.

The fall of Kororareka

1848 Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine and Robert Baldwin became the first Prime Ministers of the Province of Canada to be democratically elected under a system of responsible government.

1851 The first performance of Rigoletto, written by Verdi.

1864 The Great Sheffield Flood: The largest man-made disaster ever to befall England killed more than 250 people.

1867  The first performance of Don Carlo written by Verdi.

1872 Construction of the Seven Sisters Colliery, South Wales, started; located on one of the richest coal sources in Britain.

1888 The Great Blizzard of 1888 began along the eastern seaboard of the United States, shutting down commerce and killing more than 400.

1903 Ronald Syme, New Zealand classicist and historian, was born (d. 1989).

1915 J. C. R. Licklider, American computer scientist and Internet pioneer, was born (d. 1990).

1916 Harold Wilson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born. (d. 1995)

1916  Ezra Jack Keats, children’s  author, was born (d. 1983).

1917   Baghdad fell to the Anglo-Indian forces commanded by General Stanley Maude.

1927 Samuel Roxy Rothafel opened the Roxy Theatre in New York.

1931 Rupert Murdoch, Australian-born entrepreneur, was born.

1941  President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Lend-Lease Act into law, allowing American-built war supplies to be shipped to the Allies on loan.

1945 The Imperial Japanese Navy attempted a large-scale kamikaze attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet anchored at Ulithi atoll in Operation Tan No. 2.

1952 Douglas Adams, English writer, was born.

1958 Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer, interim President of Iraq, was born.

1977 The 1977 Hanafi Muslim Siege: more than 130 hostages held in Washington, D.C., by Hanafi Muslims are set free after ambassadors from three Islamic nations join negotiations.

1978 Coastal Road massacre: At least 37 were killed and more than 70 are wounded when Al Fatah hijack an Israeli bus, prompting Israel’s Operation Litani.

1985 Mikhail Gorbachev became the Soviet Union’s leader.

1990 Lithuania declared itself independent from the Soviet Union.

1990 Patricio Aylwin was sworn-in as the first democratically elected Chilean president since 1970.

1993 Janet Reno was confirmed by the United States Senate and sworn-in the next day, becoming the first female Attorney General of the United States.

1999 – Infosys becomes the first Indian company listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

2004  Simultaneous explosions on rush hour trains in Madrid  killed 191 people.

2006 Michelle Bachelet was inaugurated as first female president of Chile.

2009 Winnenden school shooting – 17 people were killed at a school in Germany.

2011 – An earthquake measuring 9.0 in magnitude strikes 130 km (81 mi) east of Sendai, Japan, triggering a tsunami killing thousands of people. This event also triggered the second largest nuclear accident in history, and one of only two events to be classified as a Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale.

2012 – A US soldier killed 16 civilians in the Panjwayi District of Afghanistan near Kandahar.

2014 – Russia annexed Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Leading to the 2014 Crimean crisis and 2014–15 Russian military intervention in Ukraine.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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