Word of the day

March 17, 2015

Agrdsoecology Agrosoceology Agroecology an ecological approach to agriculture that views agricultural areas as ecosystems and is concerned with the ecological impact of agricultural practices;  scientific discipline that uses ecological theory to study, design, manage and evaluate agricultural systems that are productive but also resource conserving.


Rural round-up

March 17, 2015

‘Safety culture’ on farms preferred by farmers – Sally Rae:

Creating a compliance culture is not the answer to reducing the number of farm accidents, Beef and Lamb New Zealand chairman James Parsons says.

In his address to Beef and Lamb New Zealand’s annual meeting, held at LincolnFirst-Telford near Balclutha last week, Mr Parsons said the best people to assess risks and mitigate them were the farmers who managed them every day.

Including family in daily farming activities was a core farming value in action. . .

How to boost red meat earnings:

A new study of New Zealand’s red meat sector shows that savings of hundreds of millions, potentially billions of dollars can be made through industry rationalisation and consolidation.

The report, to be released in Wellington on the 17th March, ‘Red Meat Industry –Pathways to Long-Term Sustainability’ provides independent analysis of the industry, commissioned by Meat Industry Excellence (MIE), to help farmers and industry players make progress to reform the structure of the sector.

The report extrapolates various savings estimates from industry rationalisation and consolidation. It shows that more than $400 million in gains is available over five years just from the two big meat co-ops Silver Fern Farms and Alliance Group getting together.(Refer Table 19 from Report). . .

 

MIE Red Meat Sector report to be released – Allan Barber:

   Tuesday sees the public release of the Meat Industry Excellence industry study ‘Red Meat Sector – Pathways to Long-Term Sustainability’ at a launch function in Wellington. The study, funded with the assistance of a grant from Beef + Lamb New Zealand, was commissioned in the middle of last year; it was initially due for release by the end of October, but concerns about the robustness of the findings delayed the process.

According to MIE’s website the two main areas of work were: . . .

Facing up to pest invasions: A new reality

With Queensland fruit fly breaching the borders yet again, despite investment in quarantine processes, questions need to be asked whether some pest incursions are inevitable and if more should be invested in preparedness rather than prevention.

That’s according to Professor Philip Hulme, an expert in plant biosecurity at the Bio-Protection Research Centre at Lincoln University.

“Biosecurity has traditionally had a strong border focus, yet we have seen many examples recently of major pests slipping through; such as PSA, potato/tomato psyllid, and the great white cabbage butterfly. We also know that there are many pests on the horizon that will be difficult to prevent from establishing here, including myrtle rust and the brown marmorated stink bug.

NZ King Salmon may have to close farm:

New Zealand King Salmon says it may have to close one of its Marlborough farms for future summers after stock died from significantly warmer waters.

Average water temperatures at the company’s Waihinau Bay farm in the past few months have been some of the hottest on record for the area, averaging above the salmon’s ideal growing conditions. . .

Families central to club’s history – Sally Rae:

Ask Rick Aubrey why he keeps dog trialling and the answer is succinct: ”Too old to play footy, aren’t I?”

On a more serious note, it was the camaraderie involved and the ”buzz” he got from a good run that kept him involved in the sport. . .

NZ apple growers help transform India’s apple industry – Fiona Rotherham:

(BusinessDesk) – Pipfruit New Zealand, the pipfruit growers’ organisation, is working on a plan to help revitalise a key part of India’s declining apple industry with the long-term aim of having a tariff-free window for Kiwi apple exports

India’s apple industry is the fourth largest in the world by volume and the second largest by land area but grower returns are starting to decline as production drops because of ageing trees and pest and disease issues.

Pipfruit New Zealand is taking the lead on the World Bank project and along with the crown research institute Plant & Food Research, is now applying its expertise to a plan to rejuvenate apple growing in the state of Himachal Pradesh, one of India’s three main growing areas. . .


Grocery store commandments

March 17, 2015

Last month discussion with Simon Mercep on Critical Mass was sparked by the 10 commandments of the grocery store by Abbey Harris at Scary Mommy:

1. Thou shall not leave your cart in an empty parking spot. . .

2. Thou shall not walk down the center aisle of the parking lot. . .

3. Thou shall travel up and down the aisle like a civilized person. . . .

4. Thou shall obey the express line rules. . . .

5. Thou shalt not decide against the frozen pizza you picked up in the frozen foods section and then place it on the shelf next to the shampoo. . . .

6. Thou shall respect the invisible checkout line bubble of personal space. . . .

7. Thou shall treat the cashier with respect. . . .

8. Thou shall not stop at the exit to go over your receipt. . . .

9. Thou shall reconsider the self-checkout.  . .

10. Thou shall not stalk for a parking spot. . .

To which I would add:

11. Thou shalt ensure you and your trolley are not in the way of others, especially if you’ve stopped for a conversation.

12. Thou shalt move forward to allow the person behind you to start emptying her/his trolley as soon as you’ve emptied yours.

All of which comes down to minding your manners and being considerate of others.

If we all did that the supermarket and the world beyond it would be much better places.


Quote of the day

March 17, 2015

. . .  I’ve never disliked religion. I think it has some purpose in our evolution. I don’t have much truck with the ‘religion is the cause of most of our wars’ school of thought, because in fact that’s manifestly done by mad, manipulative and power hungry men who cloak their ambition in God. – Terry Pratchett

Hat tip: Rob Hosking


March 17 in history

March 17, 2015

45 BC Julius Caesar defeated the Pompeian forces of Titus Labienus and Pompey the Younger in the Battle of Munda.

180 Marcus Aurelius died leaving Commodus as the sole emperor of the Roman Empire.

624 Led by Muhammad, the Muslims of Medina defeated the Quraysh of Mecca in the Battle of Badr.

1337 Edward, the Black Prince was made Duke of Cornwall, the first Duchy made in England.

1473 King James IV of Scotland was born (d. 1513).

1756 Saint Patrick’s Day was celebrated in New York City for the first time (at the Crown and Thistle Tavern).

1776 American Revolution: British forces evacuated Boston, Massachusetts after George Washington and Henry Knox placed artillery overlooking the city.

1780 American Revolution: George Washington granted the Continental Army a holiday “as an act of solidarity with the Irish in their fight for independence”.

1805 The Italian Republic, with Napoleon as president, became the Kingdom of Italy, with Napoleon as King.

1834 Gottlieb Daimler, German engineer and inventor was born (d. 1900).

1845 The rubber band was patented.

1846 Kate Greenaway, English children’s author and illustrator, was born (d. 1901).

1860 The opening shots of the first Taranaki War were fired when imperial troops attacked a pa built by the Te Ati Awa chief Te Rangitake at Te Kohia.

First Taranaki war erupts at Waitara

1861 The Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946) was proclaimed.

1864 Joseph Baptista Indian Home Rule founder was born  (d. 1930).

1880 Lawrence Oates, English army officer and Antarctic explorer, was born (d. 1912).

1905 – The only surviving Maungatautari Bank cheque was issued.

1919 Nat King Cole, American singer, was born (d. 1965).

1920 Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Founding Leader of Bangladesh, was born (d. 1975).

1938 Rudolf Nureyev, Russian-born dancer and choreographer, was born (d. 1993).

1938 Zola Taylor, American singer (The Platters), was born  (d. 2007).

1939 Battle of Nanchang between the Kuomintang and Japan started.

1941 The National Gallery of Art in Washington DC was officially opened by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

1941 Paul Kantner, American musician (Jefferson Airplane) was born.

1942 The first Jews from the Lviv Ghetto were gassed at the Belzec death camp (eastern Poland).

1945 The Ludendorff Bridge in Remagen, Germany collapsed, ten days after its capture.

1947 First flight of the B-45 Tornado strategic bomber.

1948 Benelux, France and the United Kingdom signed the Treaty of Brussels.

1950  Researchers at the University of California announced the creation of element 98, which they named “Californium.”

1951 Scott Gorham, American musician (Thin Lizzy) was born.

1954 Lesley-Anne Down, English actress, was born.

1957 A plane crash in Cebu killed Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay and 24 others.

1958 The United States launched the Vanguard 1 satellite.

1959 Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, fled Tibet for India.

1960 U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Security Council directive on the anti-Cuban covert action programme that led to the Bay of Pigs Invasion.

1966  Off the coast of Spain, the Alvin submarine found a missing American hydrogen bomb.

1967 Billy Corgan, American musician (Smashing Pumpkins), was born.

1969 Alexander McQueen, British fashion designer, was born (d. 2010).

1969 Golda Meir became the first female Prime Minister of Israel.

1970 My Lai Massacre: The United States Army charged 14 officers with suppressing information related to the incident.

1973 The Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph Burst of Joy was taken, depicting a former prisoner of war being reunited with his family.

1976 Stephen Gately, Irish singer, musician, and actor (Boyzone) was born (d. 2009).

1979 The Penmanshiel Tunnel collapsed during engineering works, killing two workers.

1988 A Colombian Boeing 727 jetliner, Avianca Flight 410, crashed into a mountainside near the Venezuelan border killing 143.

1988 Eritrean War of Independence: The Nadew Command, an Ethiopian army corps in Eritrea, was attacked on three sides by military units of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front in the opening action of the Battle of Afabet.

1992 Israeli Embassy attack in Buenos Aires: Suicide car bomb attack killed 29 and injured 242.

2000 More than 800 members of the Ugandan cult Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God died in a mass murder and suicide orchestrated by leaders of the cult.

2003 Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Robin Cook, resigned from the British Cabinet over his disagreement with government plans for the war with Iraq.

2004 –  Unrest in Kosovo: More than 22 killed, 200 wounded, and the destruction of 35 Serbian Orthodox shrines in Kosovo and two mosques in Belgrade and Nis.

2008 – Governor of New York Eliot Spitzer resigned after a scandal involving a high-end prostitute. Lieutenant Governor David Paterson became New York State governor.

2011 – Libyan civil war: The United Nations Security Council adopted United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, authorising a military intervention by member states to protect civilians in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.

2013 – The largest meteorite (since NASA started observing the moon in 2005) hit the moon.

Sourced from NZ History and Wikipedia.


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