Word of the day

April 18, 2015

Shibboleth  – a custom, principle, or belief distinguishing a particular class or group of people, especially a long-standing one regarded as outmoded or no longer important; a word or saying used by adherents of a party, sect, or belief and usually regarded by others as empty of real meaning.


Rural round-up

April 18, 2015

Criteria “too tough” on migrant workers – Federated Farmers – Tess McClure:

Farmers facing labour shortages say immigration criteria is “too tough” for migrant workers plugging the gap.

High numbers of farmers had approached Federated Farmers Southland with concerns about visas for their migrant worker employees, regional president Russell Macpherson said.

He said many workers were having trouble getting residency visas, despite calls from farmers to help keep their employees in-country.
 
“For some reason the people at immigration don’t think these jobs are important enough to grant them residency,” he said. “They’re doing work that New Zealanders clearly don’t want to do, so why are we making it so hard?”
 
While many migrant workers coming to New Zealand on work visas have high hopes of staying in the country and bringing their families over, less than a third are granted the chance of residency. . .

Shearing community mourns woolhandler:

The shearing community is mourning the loss of New Zealand woolhandling legend, Joanne Kumeroa, who has died after a three year battle with cancer.

The 45-year old had been living in Australia but returned home to Whanganui just before Christmas, and died yesterday.

Ms Kumeroa was regarded in shearing circles as a New Zealand icon, winning more World, Golden Shears and national wool-handling titles than any other competitor in her 24 year career.

Friends said she used her battle with cancer to raise women’s awareness of the disease. . .

Project to future-proof our biosecurity system:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has launched a new project which will further strengthen and future-proof New Zealand’s biosecurity system.

The project, Biosecurity 2025, will update and replace the founding document of New Zealand’s biosecurity system, the 2003 Biosecurity Strategy, with broad input from stakeholders, iwi and the New Zealand public.

“Government and industry have set a goal of doubling the value of our exports by 2025, and an effective biosecurity system is fundamental to achieving this,” says Mr Guy. . .

 

Peta’s mutilated lamb campaign sparks backlash (graphic content) – Rosanna Price:

The picture above has been captioned by PETA with: THIS is what most sheep used for wool look like after “shearing”.

But many people, including animal-activists and sheep shearers, disagree.

The image of an Australian musician holding the explicity graphic and mutilated body of a lamb was animal rights group PETA’s (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’) way of advertising their latest expose on sheep shearing. . .

Outstanding in her field:

Dairy Woman of the Year 2015 Katie Milne hopes to use her new profile for the wider good of New Zealand farming. 

Katie Milne hopes winning the Dairy Woman of the Year title will be a good platform to push messages about farming as “the rest of New Zealand do not understand us well”.

 “They need to understand us better so we can be allowed to grow our industry, and to do that New Zealand has got to back us,” Milne told Rural News. . .

Questions for Fonterra – Andrew Hoggard:

A lot of shareholders were disappointed with the interim results Fonterra announced last week.  Many feel they are not seeing a return on their investment.

I think we might be asking the wrong question.  It shouldn’t be about where’s the return on our investment, but rather where do we see the value of being part of a co-op.

At the moment the milk price we are paid is based on the Global Dairy Trade result.  It is averaged across the season – less manufacturing costs – in a very crude simplistic sense.  The reality is that all the other companies should be achieving this anyway with their products. . .

Field day for Waipā catchment:

An event organised by DairyNZ aims to advise famers and landowners on how best to manage their property in an environmentally sustainable way.

People in the Waipā River catchment are being encouraged attend the Kaniwhaniwha Stream field day, which will offer information on funding sources for environmental initiatives along with other resources.

Hosts Denis and Felicity Ahlers have worked with industry body DairyNZ to develop an environment-focused sustainable milk plan. They have also identified work that can qualify for council and Waikato River Authority funding. . .


Saturday’s smiles

April 18, 2015

“What if soy milk is just regular milk introducing itself in Spanish?”

soymilk

(Soy means I am in Spanish, as in soy Ele means I am Ele).

Hat tip – Huffington Post where you’ll find nine more food jokes.


Passport power

April 18, 2015

The Passport Power Index has ranked countries by the number of other countries their passport holders can visit without visas.

New Zealand ranks 8th with 139 countries to visit visa-free.

The USAa and UK are first with 147.

France, Germany and South Korea come second with 145.

Sweden and Italy are next with 144.

Denmark, Finland, Singapore, Japan, Luxumbourg and The Ntherlands are 4th with 143.

Switzerland follows with 142 then it’s Norway, Spain, Belgium, Portugal and Ireland with 141.

In seventh place are Malaysia, Greece, Austria and Canada with 140.

New Zealand is by itself then in ninth place with 138 are the Czech Republic, Hingary and Australia.

At the bottom in 80th place are  South Sudan,  Solomon Islands, Palestinian Territories, Sao Tome and Principe and Myanmar [Burma] with 28.


Lower milk price good in long run

April 18, 2015

Dairy farmers aren’t enjoying the lower prices that have followed a drop in demand for milk, but they could be good in the long run:

Low dairy prices will benefit the New Zealand dairy industry in the long term, Lincoln University Agribusiness and Food Marketing Programme Director Nic Lees says.

“The low prices are the best thing that can happen as it will limit the European expansion.”

He says a cost war is going on between New Zealand and Europe at the moment.

“Quotas have come off production in Europe so they are expanding production. This is similar to what is happening in oil with expanding production due to shale gas,” Mr Lees says.

“Ireland, for example, is planning to increase milk production by 50 per cent.”

A Dutch dairy farmer who visited us last year had begun increasing his cow numbers in preparation for the end of quotas.

He says New Zealand is the Saudi Arabia of milk — “We can be the lowest cost producer, but need to focus on grass based production to weather the storm”.

“Grass will always be the lowest cost source of feed and New Zealand has the most efficient grass- based dairy system in the world.

“Ireland can grow grass too but currently they utilise less than half what they grow. The large housed dairy operations in Europe are also only profitable at high milk prices,’’ Mr Lees says.

“We need to focus on what we are good at, which is grass.”

Higher prices encouraged farmers to use more expensive feeding systems but our climate and soils give us a natural advantage in growing grass.

The halcyon days may be gone for a while though.

“We are unlikely to see high prices again soon.

“It is going to be a slow recovery of price and dairy farmers need to be able to be profitable at $5/kgMS or they won’t survive.”

He says the average milk price over the last 10 years was around $5.50/kg MS.

“It is likely that this will be similar over the next decade as well. What we are seeing though is greater volatility. This is going to continue so farmers need to have systems that are still profitable when the price is low. The most resilient system is the low input grass based system.”

As an economy we also need to see the opportunities in other areas, he adds.

“For example there have been record high returns for beef in the first six months of this season, with the average per tonne value up 28 per cent. Beef is a great story with China needing to increase its beef imports by up to 20 per cent a year for the next five years to meet its surging demand for protein.”

Lamb also has good prospects, Mr Lees says, and there are other opportunities, such as can be seen with the growing sheep dairy industry.

Lower dairy prices will take the heat out of land prices.

They’ll also make conventional sheep and beef farming more attractive and there is potential for more sheep milk production.

 


Saturday soapbox

April 18, 2015

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse but not to abuse.
A user's photo.

What was your first car?

 Mine was a mustardy orangey coloured mini.


April 18 in history

April 18, 2015

1025 Bolesław Chrobry was crowned in Gniezno, becoming the first King of Poland.

1480 Lucrezia Borgia, Florentine ruler and daughter of Pope Alexander VI, was born  (d. 1519) .

1506 The cornerstone of the current St. Peter’s Basilica was laid.

1518  Bona Sforza was crowned as queen consort of Poland.

1738 Real Academia de la Historia (“Royal Academy of History”) founded in Madrid.

1775  American Revolution: The British advancement by sea began; Paul Revere and other riders warned the countryside of the troop movements.

1783 Fighting ceased in the American Revolution, eight years to the day since it began.

1797 The Battle of Neuwied – French victory against the Austrians.

1831 The University of Alabama was founded.

1847 A Maori raid on the Gilfillan farm at Matarawa, near Wanganui, left four family members dead.

Gilfillan killings near Wanganui

1848 American victory at the battle of Cerro Gordo opened the way for invasion of Mexico.

1880 An F4 tornado struck Marshfield, Missouri, killing 99 people and injuring 100.

1881  Billy the Kid escaped from the Lincoln County jail.

1889 Jessie Street, Australian suffragette, feminist, and human rights activist, was born (d. 1970) .

1899 The St. Andrew’s Ambulance Association was granted a Royal Charter by Queen Victoria.

1902  Quetzaltenango, second largest city of Guatemala, was destroyed by Earthquake.

1906 The 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire destroyed much of San Francisco.

1906 – The Los Angeles Times story on the Azusa Street Revival launched Pentecostalism as a worldwide movement.

1909 Joan of Arc was beatified in Rome.

1912  The Cunard liner RMS Carpathia brought 705 survivors from the RMS Titanic to New York City.

1915 Joy Gresham Lewis, American writer, wife of C. S. Lewis, was born (d. 1960) .

1915 French pilot Roland Garros was shot down and glided to a landing on the German side of the lines.

1923 Yankee Stadium, “The House that Ruth Built,” opened.

1924 Simon & Schuster published the first Crossword puzzle book.

1930 BBC Radio infamously announced that there was no news on that day.

1930 Clive Revill, New Zealand born actor, was born.

1940 Mike Vickers, British guitarist and saxophonist was born.

1942 World War II: The Doolittle Raid – Tokyo, Yokohama, Kobe and Nagoya bombed.

1942 – Pierre Laval became Prime Minister of Vichy France.

1943 World War II: Operation Vengeance, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was killed when his aircraft was shot down by U.S. fighters over Bougainville Island.

1945 More than 1,000 bombers attacked the small island of Heligoland, Germany.

1946 Hayley Mills, English actress, was born.

1946 The League of Nations was dissolved.

1949  The Republic of Ireland Act came into force.

1954 Gamal Abdal Nasser seized power in Egypt.

1955 Twenty-nine nations met at Bandung, Indonesia, for the first Asian-African Conference.

1958 A United States federal court ruled that poet Ezra Pound was to be released from an insane asylum.

1961 CONCP was founded in Casablanca as a united front of African movements opposing Portuguese colonial rule.

1971 David Tennant, Scottish actor, was born

1974 The prime Minister of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto inaugurated Lahore Dry port.

1980 – The Republic of Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) came into being, with Canaan Banana as the first President.

1983 – A suicide bomber destroyed the United States embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 63 people.

1988 The United States launched Operation Praying Mantis against Iranian naval forces in the largest naval battle since World War II.

1992 – General Abdul Rashid Dostum revolted against President Mohammad Najibullah of Afghanistan and allied with Ahmed Shah Massoud to capture Kabul.

1993 – President of Pakistan, Ghulam Ishaq Khan dissolved the National Assembly and dismissed the Cabinet.

1996 In Lebanon, at least 106 civilians are killed when the Israel Defence Forces shelled the UN compound at Quana where more than 800 civilians had taken refuge.

2007  The Supreme Court of the United States upheld the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act in a 5-4 decision.

2007 – A series of bombings, two of them suicides,  in Baghdad, killed 198 and injured 251.

2013 – A suicide bombing in a Baghdad cafe killed 27 people and injured another 65.

2014 – 16 people were killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest.

 

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


%d bloggers like this: