Word of the day

May 15, 2015

Steven – dream, vision.


Rural round-up

May 15, 2015

Is life down on the farm about to change forever? – James Stewart:

Farmers deal with change all the time. We become obsessed with sun, rain and everything in between which is what happens when your whole livelihood depends on the natural elements. This is part of the volatile world we deal with. All you need to do is throw in commodities and exchange rates and it can make for an extremely challenging environment. This is an accepted fact of life for a farmer.

To add to the abyss of unknown, farmers are anxious about what the health and safety reform will bring and the new challenges that lay on the horizon. We all want to come home from work alive. Unfortunately this will not always happen as you just can’t eliminate all of the risk out of farming.

My own personal experience of a fatality on my own farm still haunts me to this day. Going through a police and OSH investigation was nothing compared to the emotion of meeting the parents the following day to try and explain what may have happened. I take every practical step to prevent accidents happening, but the world we live in is not perfect and accidents happen. . .

One in four dairy farmers in negative cashflow this season, Wheeler says – Paul McBeth:

(BusinessDesk) – Another year of sagging dairy prices would be a concern for New Zealand’s economy and especially for the 25 percent of farmers currently carrying debts above 65 percent of the value of their assets and currently trading in negative equity, says Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler.

Expanding at a parliamentary hearing on this morning’s release of the central bank’s six monthly financial stability report, which imposed new macro-prudential restrictions on lending on Auckland housing, Wheeler said “another year of low prices, that would be a worry for the economy, no question, and also that would be a worry for farmers in terms of their debt capacity.” . . .

Step up, Foterra told – Sally Rae:

Fonterra’s strategy needs to start delivering or its market share will shrink further, Federated Farmers Otago dairy chairman Stephen Crawford says.

The results of small Waikato-based dairy co-operative Tatua and West Coast-based Westland Milk Products’ might well ”far exceed” Fonterra, so it might eventually need to front up and stop blaming volatility, which was experienced by all players in the market, Mr Crawford said in his report to Federated Farmers Otago’s annual meeting in Dunedin yesterday. . . 

 

Horowhenua vegetable growers hit by wet weather again – Gerard Hutching:

Vegetable growers in Kapiti and Horowhenua have been hit by wet weather for the second year in a row.

Woodhaven Garden grower John Clarke, based in Levin, said it was shaping up to be as difficult a season as last year, when autumn had been the wettest he had seen in 31 years of growing.

“It’s starting to trend the same way. It has certainly impacted on what we’ve been able to plant. One day recently we had a hit of 125 millimetres [of rain] and the day before 50mm,” Clarke said.

Metservice figures show 157mm has fallen in the Levin region over the past month. It forecasts rain to continue for the next 10 days, with little prospect  of sunshine. . .

Taranaki rural crime issues reach the top – Sue O’Dowd:

Taranaki farmers who highlighted rural crime have been invited to be part of a national committee looking at a rural policing strategy. 

An inaugural meeting in Wellington on Wednesday among representatives of police, Federated Farmers, Ministry for Primary Industries, Neighbourhood Support, Community Patrols and Rural Women NZ aimed to formulate a consistent approach to rural crime prevention throughout the country. 

Co-ordinator of community policing Alasdair Macmillan, of Wellington, has been working for months on increasing the awareness of what he calls “rural crash and crime”. 

“I came across this group in Taranaki,” he said. “These guys are up and running. What have they got? Do we need some tips from them?” . . .

Fonterra expansion take mozzarella to the world:

Work is complete on a new mozzarella plant at Fonterra’s Clandeboye site, doubling production of the world-famous cheese and creating enough mozzarella to top more than 300 million pizzas a year.

Work is complete on a new mozzarella plant at Fonterra’s Clandeboye site, doubling production of the world-famous cheese and creating enough mozzarella to top more than 300 million pizzas a year.

The mozzarella – one of the Co-operative’s most sought after cheeses – is destined for global pizza and pasta restaurant chains across China, Asia and the Middle East. . .

Rural Equities accepts Webster takeover offer for stake in Tandou – Jonathan Underhill:

(BusinessDesk) – Rural Equities, the farming group majority-owned by the Cushing family, will sell its 6.4 percent stake in ASX-listed Tandou into a takeover offer from Australian agricultural and water company Webster.

Webster’s shares have jumped 26 percent on the ASX this year and the stock is rated a ‘strong buy’ based on a Reuters survey of analysts.

Webster is Australia’s biggest vertically integrated producers of walnuts, accounting for more than 90 percent of the nation’s export crop. It has been on an acquisition spree, buying water entitlements and more than 45,000 hectares of land known as the Kooba aggregation for A$116 million in December and making an A$124 million offer for Bengerang, a large-scale NSW cotton farmer with its own portfolio of water entitlements. . .

Mainman insecticide application approved:

An Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) decision-making committee has approved with controls an application from ISK New Zealand Limited to manufacture or import the insecticide Mainman, which contains the new pesticide active ingredient flonacamid.

Mainman is intended to be used for the control of aphids and psyllids on potatoes and possibly other specific pests associated with horticultural crops. The application is for Mainman to be used by commercial growers and contractors on vegetable crops. . .

 


Friday’s answers

May 15, 2015

Andrei and  J Bloggs posed the questions for which they get my thanks and a virtual batch of shortbread if they managed to stump us all.

It can be collected by leaving the answers below.


Sheep numbers lowest since 1943

May 15, 2015

New Zealand had just 29.8 million sheep at the end of June last year – the lowest number for more than 70 years.

 “The number of sheep fell by 3 percent from 2013. The last time the sheep number was below 30 million was back in 1943,” agriculture statistics manager Neil Kelly said.

At 30 June 2014, the number of dairy cattle had increased 3 percent, while the total number of beef cattle declined slightly. The total number of dairy cattle was just under 6.7 million, with increases of 67,000 dairy cattle in the North Island and 148,000 in the South Island.

“These increases came mainly from the key dairy regions of  Waikato, Canterbury, and Southland,” Mr Kelly said.

In 2014 the number of deer fell below 1 million for the first time, decreasing by 70,000 (7 percent). The number of deer peaked at 1.8 million in 2004, but this has been falling since 2009.

New Zealand had 660 hectares planted in cherries at 30 June 2014, up 7 percent since 2012. The main export markets for cherries were Taiwan, China, and Thailand.

The 2014 Agricultural Production Survey involved farmers and foresters in New Zealand. It covered land use, animal farming (livestock), arable crops, horticultural crops, forestry, and farming practices (including fertiliser and cultivation). The survey was conducted in partnership with the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Three decades ago we had more than 20 sheep per person – 70 million sheep and just three million people. Now the human population is more than four million we’ve fewer than 10 sheep each.

However, the peak sheep number was based on subsidies not markets. A lot of what we produced couldn’t be sold.

Now we produce what the markets want and although the the numbers in the national herd have dropped, yield per animal has increased. We’re we’re producing much more meat per sheep and able to sell it all.


Quote of the day

May 15, 2015

The Labour Party was showing itself “open for business” last week when it played host at Parliament to assorted business and lobby groups. Political commentators saw it as a move by Labour leader Andrew Little to re-establish the party’s economic credentials, elsewhere visible in the party’s push to remind electors how the Clark-Cullen Govt ran surpluses (in contrast with the Key Govt’s record of seven deficits in a row). The perception is Little is trying to shift Labour back to the centre, after its swing leftwards under previous leaders, but so far there is little evidence of the intellectual horsepower being applied to how policy can be shaped to give substance to the change in direction.

For long enough the belief has been the pendulum will start swinging back towards Labour, and MPs need only to sit still before they can enjoy again the fruits of office. In the eyes of the majority of NZ voters the unpalatable truth facing Labour lies in being electorally shackled to the Green Party, whose policies on so many issues appear designed to shrink the economy.

Labour’s chances of presenting itself as an alternative Govt which could be more effective in raising the rate of economic growth and lifting living standards are limited so long as it is seen as being unable to govern without the support of a coalition partner which wants to impose a cap on dairying, shut down fossil fuel production, and bring in new taxes (on carbon, and on capital gains). Little’s pre-budget speech this week will have done little to shore up the fall in his ratings. – Trans Tasman.


May 15 in history

May 15, 2015

1252  Pope Innocent IV issued the papal bull ad exstirpanda, which authorised but also limited, the torture of heretics in the Medieval Inquisition.

1514  Jodocus Badius Ascensius published Christiern Pedersen‘s Latin version of Saxo’s Gesta Danorum, the oldest known version of that work.

1525 The battle of Frankenhausen ended the Peasants’ War.

1536  Anne Boleyn stood trial on charges of treason, adultery and incest; she was condemned to death by a specially-selected jury.

1567  Mary, Queen of Scots, married  James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, her third husband.

1602  Bartholomew Gosnold became the first European to see Cape Cod.

1618 Johannes Kepler confirmed his previously rejected discovery of the third law of planetary motion.

1648  The Treaty of Westphalia was signed.

1701  The War of the Spanish Succession began.

1718   James Puckle, a London lawyer, patented the world’s first machine gun.

1755 Laredo, Texas was established by the Spaniards.

1756 The Seven Years’ War began when Great Britain declares war on France.

1776  American Revolution: the Virginia Convention instructed its Continental Congress delegation to propose a resolution of independence from Great Britain.

1791  Maximilien Robespierre proposed the Self-denying Ordinance.

1792 War of the First Coalition: France declaresdwar on Kingdom of Sardinia.

1793 Diego Marín Aguilera flew a glider for “about 360 meters”, at a height of 5-6 meters, during one of the first attempted flights.

1796  First Coalition: Napoleon entered Milan in triumph.

1800 George III survived two assassination attempts in one day.

1811  Paraguay declared independence from Spain.

1817  Opening of the first private mental health hospital in the United States, the Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason (now Friends Hospital) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1836 Francis Baily observed “Baily’s beads” during an annular eclipse.

1849 Troops of the Two Sicilies took Palermo and crushed the republican government of Sicily.

1850  The Bloody Island Massacre:  a large number of Pomo Indians in Lake County were slaughtered by a regiment of the United States Cavalry, led by Nathaniel Lyon.

1851  Rama IV was crowned King of Thailand.

1857 – Williamina Fleming, Scottish-American astronomer, was born (d. 1911).

1858 Opening of the  Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.

1859 Pierre Curie, French physicist, Nobel Prize laureate, was born  (d. 1906).

1862 President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill into law creating the United States Bureau of Agriculture.

1863 – Frank Hornby, English businessman and politician, who invented Meccano, was born, (d. 1936)

1864  American Civil War: Battle of Resaca, Georgia ended.

1864  American Civil War: Battle of New Market, – students from the Virginia Military Institute fought alongside the Confederate Army to force Union General Franz Sigel out of the Shenandoah Valley.

1869 Woman’s suffrage:, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton formed the National Woman’s Suffrage Association.

1891  Rerum Novarum, the first document of the Catholic Social Teaching tradition, was published by Pope Leo XIII.

1897  The Greek army retreated with heavy losses in the Greco-Turkish War.

1901 – First conviction in New Zealand for a motoring offence: Nicholas Oates appeared in the Christchurch Magistrates Court charged with driving ‘a motor car within the city at a speed greater than four miles an hour’ (6.5 km/hr) on Lincoln Road.

1905  The Russian minelayer Amur laid a minefield about 15 miles off Port Arthur and sank Japan’s battleship Hatsuse, 15,000 tons, with 496 crew.

1905 – Las Vegas, Nevada, was founded when 110 acres (0.4 km²), in what later would become downtown, were auctioned.

1910 The last time a major earthquake happened on the Elsinore Fault Zone.

1911  The United States Supreme Court declared Standard Oil to be an “unreasonable” monopoly under the Sherman Antitrust Act and ordered the company to be broken up.

1918 The Finnish Civil War ended.

1919 – The Winnipeg General Strike begins. By 11:00 a.m., almost the whole working population of Winnipeg, Manitoba had walked off the job.

1919  Greek invasion of Izmir. During the invasion, the Greek army kills or wounds 350 Turks.

1920 Wanganui mayor  Charles Mackay shot poet and returned soldier Walter D’Arcy Cresswell who alleged that Mackay had made homosexual overtures to him.

Wanganui mayor shoots poet

1920 Council of Lithuania adjourned as the newly elected Constituent Assembly of Lithuania met for the first time in Kaunas.

1928 Mickey Mouse premiered in his first cartoon, Plane Crazy.

1929  A fire at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio killed 123.

1932  The May 15 Incident: in an attempted Coup d’état, the Prime Minister of Japan Inukai Tsuyoshi was killed.

1934 Kārlis Ulmanis established an authoritarian government in Latvia.

1935 The Moscow Metro was opened to public.

1936  Amy Johnson arrived back in England after a record-breaking return flight to Cape Town.

1937 Madeleine Albright, U.S. Secretary of State, was born.

1940  World War II: After fierce fighting, the poorly trained and equipped Dutch troops surrendered to Germany, marking the beginning of five years of occupation.

1940 – McDonald’s opened its first restaurant in San Bernardino, California.

1942 World War II: in the United States, a bill creating the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) was signed into law.

1943 Joseph Stalin dissolved the Comintern (or Third International).

1945 World War II: The final skirmish in Europe was fought near Prevalje, Slovenia.

1948   Egypt, Transjordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia invaded the territory partitioned for the Arab state by the British Mandate of Palestine  starting the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

1948 Brian Eno, British musician and record producer, was born.

1951 The Polish cultural attache in Paris, Czesław Miłosz, asked the French government for political asylum.

1953 Mike Oldfield, British composer, was born.

1955  The Austrian Independence Treaty was signed.

1955 – The first ascent of Makalu, the world’s fifth highest mountain.

1957  At Malden Island  Britain tested its first hydrogen bomb in Operation Grapple. The device failed to detonate properly.

1958  The Soviet Union launched Sputnik 3.

1960  The Soviet Union launched Sputnik 4.

1962 – Lisa Curry-Kenny, Australian Ironwoman, was born.

1963 Project Mercury: The launch of the final Mercury mission, Mercury-Atlas 9 with astronaut L. Gordon Cooper on board. He beccame the first American to spend more than a day in space.

1964 – Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark, was born.

1966 Prime Minister Nguyen Cao Ky of South Vietnam’s ruling junta launched a military attack on the forces of General Ton That Dinh, forcing him to abandon his command.

1969 People’s Park: California Governor Ronald Reagan had an impromptu student park owned by University of California at Berkeley fenced off from student anti-war protestors, sparking a riot called Bloody Thursday.

1970  President Richard Nixon appointed Anna Mae Hays and Elizabeth P. Hoisington the first female United States Army Generals.

1970  Philip Lafayette Gibbs and James Earl Green were killed at Jackson State Universit by police during student protests.

1972  The island of Okinawa, under U.S. military governance since its conquest in 1945, reverts to Japanese control.

1972 Arthur Bremer shot and paralysed Alabama Governor George Wallace while he was campaigning to be become President.

1974  Ma’alot massacre: In an Arabterrorist attack and hostage taking at an Israeli school, 31 people were killed, including 22 schoolchildren.

1987  The Soviet Union launched the Polyus prototype orbital weapons platform. It fails to reach orbit.

1988  Soviet war in Afghanistan: After more than eight years of fighting, the Red Army began its withdrawal from Afghanistan.

1990 Portrait of Doctor Gachetby Vincent van Gogh was sold for a record $82.5 million, the most expensive painting at the time.

1991  Edith Cresson became France’s first female prime minister.

1997 The United States government acknowledged the existence of the “Secret War” in Laos and dedicated the Laos Memorial in honor of Hmong and other “Secret War” veterans.

2008 California became the second U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage after the state’s own Supreme Court ruled a previous ban unconstitutional.

2010 – Jessica Watson became the youngest person to sail, non-stop and unassisted around the world solo.

2013 – An upsurge in violence in Iraq left more than 389 people dead over three days.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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