Word of the day

April 8, 2015

Spermologer – a picker-up of trivia, of current news, a gossip monger.


Rural round-up

April 8, 2015

Are capacity utilisation and processing costs part of the beef problem, and if so, what is the solution? – Keith Woodford:

I have previously analysed GHD’s data on capacity utilisation and processing costs in the sheep industry [SFF’s sheep processing dilemma]. These GHD data underpinned the major MIE recommendations in their recent report. However, whereas MIE focused on the need for amalgamations, I showed that the crucial evidence was the exposed position of Silver Fern Farms relative to other processors. The overall cost leader was Ovation, which lies outside the ‘Big Four’.

Here I analyse the beef processing costs to see if a similar story emerges.
The simple answer is that for beef, as with sheep, there are big differences between the industry cost leaders and the rest. Once again, Silver Fern Farms appears to be one of the laggards, but it is not there by itself. . .

Fonterra eyes $250m bond sale:

(BusinessDesk) – Fonterra Cooperative Group, the world’s biggest dairy exporter, may sell $250 million of six-year bonds in what would be its third security listed on the NZX debt market.

The Auckland-based dairy company would sell the bonds, expected to mature in October 2021, to New Zealand institutional and retail investors. Proceeds would be for general corporate purposes, it said.

Fonterra has $150 million of March 2016 bonds that carry a coupon of 6.83 percent and were last quoted at a yield of 3.9 percent and $35 million of perpetual notes that pay 5.59 percent annual interest.

Fonterra eyes rival farmers with agricultural funding fix  – Timothy Binsted:

Fonterra Australia chief executive Judith Swales says the dairy giant’s new Equity Partnership Trust should help the company win farmers from its competitors.

The trust could be ready to start making its first investments in dairy farms in about October this year, she said.

In November, the world’s biggest dairy exporter starting consulting its farmers about establishing an independent trust that would provide long-term equity capital to invest in farms supplying Fonterra. . .

 Precision Seafood Harvesting publishes first results on fish survival in new kiwi fishing technology (+Video):

The first set of results are in from two years of testing on New Zealand’s new Precision Seafood Harvesting method and scientists say already they can see that the survival rates for fish are better than expected.

The new way to fish is a potential replacement for traditional fishing methods. It is a large, flexible PVC liner with specifically sized holes along its length that allow undersized fish to escape before they are even brought on board a fishing vessel.

And the fish which are brought on board stay in great condition because they are still swimming in the liner when they are on the deck. That means they are less stressed and much less likely to be injured. . .

 

200th kiwi released in Maungataniwha Forest – Jesse Peach:

A conservation group in a remote part of Hawke’s Bay is celebrating a milestone achievement. It’s just released its 200th kiwi chick back into the wild.

The young kiwi Tanekaha, which means strong man, has been returned to the remote Maungataniwha Forest.

Tanekaha is the symbol of a saved kiwi population.

Simon hall, who owns the company Tasti Foods, bought the 6000-hectare block of bush in 2005. . .

Rangers rediscover rare plants:

Two native plants believed to be extinct have been rediscovered in the wild by Department of Conservation rangers.

The herbs were spotted by Department of Conservation rangers over the summer.

One of the two plants, Dysphania pusilla – or pygmy goosefoot – had not been seen for 56 years and was believed to be extinct.

But, this summer, abundant growth was found almost simultaneously in Canterbury’s McKenzie Basin and at Molesworth Station in south Marlborough. . .


Europe’s getting greener

April 8, 2015

Hat tip: Utopia who thinks that there must have been a mass kidnapping of environmental activists or otherwise they’d be dancing in the streets to celebrate the greening of Europe under capitalism and freedom.


Quote of the day

April 8, 2015

 . . . Dunedin, Invercargill, Timaru and Nelson are seen as very affordable places for first-home buyers, but the consistent drift north of jobs and government services, in particular, make it difficult for young people to find work.

To find work, many go to Auckland or Christchurch, and the problem continues.

Dunedin has a median house price of $281,500 and Invercargill’s price is $210,000. If more could be done to encourage people to live and work in the South – say through a regional development policy – some of Auckland’s housing problems will disappear. . .  – ODT editorial

Andrei commented a few days ago on the family and other ties which bind people to familiar places.

That is a valid point.

But it doesn’t apply to everyone and moving for most of those for whom it does would still be far easier than it was for the immigrants who came here in past centuries from far further than the distance between Auckland and Dunedin.


April 8 in history

April 8, 2015

217  Roman Emperor Caracalla was assassinated (and succeeded) by his Praetorian Guard prefect, Marcus Opellius Macrinus.

1093 The new Winchester Cathedral was dedicated by Walkelin.

1139  Roger II of Sicily was excommunicated.

1149 Pope Eugene III took refuge in the castle of Ptolemy II of Tusculum.

1271 Sultan Baybars conquered the Krak of Chevaliers.

1513 Explorer Juan Ponce de León declared Florida a territory of Spain.

1730 Shearith Israel, the first synagogue in New York City, was dedicated.

1767  Ayutthaya kingdom fell to Burmese invaders.

1820 The Venus de Milo was discovered on the Aegean island of Melos.

1832 Black Hawk War: Around three-hundred United States 6th Infantry troops left St. Louis, Missouri to fight the Sauk Native Americans.

1864 American Civil War: Battle of Mansfield – Union forces were thwarted by the Confederate army at Mansfield, Louisiana.

1866 Italy and Prussia allied against Austrian Empire

1873 Julius Vogel became Premier of New Zealand.

Julius Vogel becomes Premier

1886 William Ewart Gladstone introduced the first Irish Home Rule Bill into the British House of Commons.

1892 Mary Pickford, Canadian actress, was born (d. 1979).

1895  The Supreme Court of the United States declared unapportioned income tax to be unconstitutional in Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co.

1904 The French Third Republic and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland signed the Entente cordiale.

1904 British mystic Aleister Crowley transcribed the first chapter of The Book of the Law.

1904  John Hicks, British economist, Bank of Sweden Prize winner, was born (d. 1989).

1904 Longacre Square in Midtown Manhattan was renamed Times Square after The New York Times.

1906 Auguste Deter, the first person to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, died.

1908 Harvard University voted to establish the Harvard Business School.

1913 The 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution, requiring direct election of Senators, became law.

1918  World War I: Actors Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin sold war bonds on the streets of New York City’s financial district.

1919  Ian Smith, Prime Minister of Rhodesia, was born (d. 2007).

1929  Indian Independence Movement: At the Delhi Central Assembly, Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt threw handouts and bombs to court arrest.

1935 The Works Progress Administration was formed when the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935 became law.

1938 Kofi Annan, Ghanaian United Nations Secretary General, was born.

1942 World War II: Siege of Leningrad – Soviet forces opened a much-needed railway link to Leningrad.

1942 – World War II: The Japanese took Bataan in the Philippines.

1943 President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in an attempt to check inflation, froze wages and prices, prohibited workers from changing jobs unless the war effort would be aided thereby, and barred rate increases by common carriers and public utilities.

1946 The last meeting of the League of Nations, was held.

1950 India and Pakistan signed the Liaquat-Nehru Pact.

1952  U.S. President Harry Truman called for the seizure of all domestic steel mills to prevent a nationwide strike.

1953 Mau Mau leader Jomo Kenyatta was convicted by Kenya’s British rulers.

1954  A Royal Canadian Air Force Canadair Harvard collided with a Trans-Canada Airlines Canadair North Star over Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, killing 37 people.

1955 Barbara Kingsolver, American novelist, was born.

1962 Izzy Stradlin, American musician (Guns N’ Roses), was born.

1965 Michael Jones, New Zealand rugby player and coach, was born.

1968 BOAC Flight 712 caught fire shortly after take off. As a result of her actions in the accident, Barbara Jane Harrison was awarded a posthumous George Cross, the only GC awarded to a woman in peacetime.

1970  Bahr el-Baqar incident Israeli airforce F4 Phantom II fighter bombers,  struck the single-floor school with five bombs and 2 air-to-ground missiles. 46  children were killed, and more than 50 wounded.

1975 Frank Robinson managed the Cleveland Indians in his first game as major league baseball’s first African American manager.

1985  Bhopal disaster: India filed suit against Union Carbide for the disaster which killed an estimated 2,000 and injured another 200,000.

1989  The Democratic Party was formed in South Africa from the merger of four parties.

1989 The two Greek Communist parties and smaller left-wing parties, merged to form the Coalition of the Left and Progress .

1990  New Democracy won the national election in Greece.

1992  Retired tennis champion Arthur Ashe announced that he had AIDS, acquired from blood transfusions during one of his two heart surgeries.

1999 Haryana Gana Parishad, a political party in the state of Haryana, merged with the Indian National Congress.

2004  Darfur conflict: The Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement was signed by the Sudanese government and two rebel groups.

2006 Shedden massacre: The bodies of eight men, all shot to death, were found in a field in Ontario, Canada.

2008 The construction of the world’s first building to integrate wind turbines was completed in Bahrain.

2013 – The Islamic State of Iraq entered the Syrian Civil War and begins by declaring a merger with the Al-Nusra Front under the name Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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