366 days of gratitude

February 29, 2016

Our crib in Wanaka came with an old peach tree which produces fruit that tastes as peaches should – sweet and juicy.

I picked some when I was there at the weekend, enough for us and some to share.

Today I’m grateful for a tree that produces peaches that taste like peaches and in abundance.


Word of the day

February 29, 2016

Prothalamion – song or poem written in celebration of a forthcoming marriage or wedding.


Rural round-up

February 29, 2016

How one rural woman escaped an abusive marriage – Jemma Brackebush:

A woman who continued to farm after ending her abusive marriage has spoken out in the hope it may help others in similar situations.

 Police say just three in 10 women will report domestic abuse, while seven will remain silent.

Claire* farms in the central North Island and said domestic violence in rural communities was a taboo subject that people turned their backs on.

Claire was happily married, living the dream on the farm she had always wanted to own.

Within 18 months of the relationship beginning their first baby came along and her husband’s three children from a previous marriage joined them at the farm. . . 

Course gives firm sense of direction – Sally Rae:

Sometimes it’s about taking those first steps.

When North Otago dairy farmer, vet and mother-of-two Nicola Neal completed the two-day First Steps programme in 2014, it gave her a firm sense of direction.

The programme, developed by the Agri-Women’s Development Trust, is specifically designed to help rural women understand and realise their potential. . . 

A social media champion emerges for young rural mothers – Pat Deavoll:

Young mothers living in the rural backblocks have a new champion.

Twenty-six-year-old mother-of-two and wife of a deer farmer, Chanelle O’Sullivan, saw a need for a support mechanism for young mums, often from an urban background, who found themselves ensconced in the countryside because of their husband or partners’ jobs. 

“These girls are often isolated and unsupported,” O’Sullivan says. “I wanted to create a means for them to interact, hence I took over the  Farming Mums NZ Facebook page three years ago. I thought it was a worthwhile resource for women who could otherwise feel isolated in the country.”  . . 

A journey from good to great:

The clincher for Manawatu dairy farmer  to change his farm business for the better was seeing a previously enthusiastic young employee struggling under pressure.  

“I walked into the staffroom one day and saw one of our great employees who had started six months previously sitting at the table. This young man, who came to us fit and eager, had changed for the worse. And this was just from trying to be a normal man – working long hours and still maintaining a normal and enjoyable life outside of dairy farming. I realised something had to change.”  

As an owner of a 1000-cow farm in Bulls, Manawatu, Stuart Taylor has a team of six to seven staff.  Integral to his business is creating a community of good, productive people, with individual roles reflecting what they want out of a career and an opportunity to get to where they want to be. . .

Seeka Kiwifruit lifts annual profit 35% on increased volumes – By Tina Morrison:

(BusinessDesk) – Seeka Kiwifruit Industries, the largest kiwifruit grower in Australia and New Zealand, increased annual profit 35 percent as volumes recover from the impact of the Psa-V vine disease and it received insurance money from a fire at its largest packhouse facility.

Profit rose to $4.3 million, or 27 cents per share, in the 12 months ended Dec. 31, from $3.2 million, or 22 cents, the year earlier, the Te Puke-based company said in a statement. That’s ahead of its forecast of between $2.96 million and $3.53 million, which reflected uncertainty around insurance claims related to the fire. It received $5.46 million in insurance proceeds from the fire, although not all claims were finalised or accepted by the insurers at year end. Revenue rose 23 percent to $142.1 million. . . 

Hawke’s Bay’s Apple Exporters Partner up to Open the Region’s Largest Single Rooms Coolstore:

Two of Hawke’s Bay’s biggest apple exporters have teamed up to store apples, today opening the regions largest single rooms coolstore.

Bostock New Zealand and Mr Apple have officially opened their new 8600m2 coolstore near Flaxmere, which has the capacity to store 30,000 bins.

Bostock New Zealand Owner, John Bostock says it’s very exciting to be opening a state of the art facility, which has the technology and innovation to provide customers with full traceability from the Hawke’s Bay orchards to consumers across the world. . . 

New coolstore offers fruit traceability:

Two of Hawke’s Bay’s biggest apple exporters have opened the region’s largest single rooms coolstore.

Bostock New Zealand and Mr Apple have officially opened their new 8600 square metre coolstore near Flaxmere, which has the capacity to store 30,000 bins.

Bostock New Zealand owner John Bostock said the state of the art facility had the technology and innovation to provide customers with full traceability from the Hawke’s Bay orchards to consumers across the world. . . 


Act out-greening Greens

February 29, 2016

Act leader and sole MP David Seymour’s first shot at the party’s conference this weekend was to pot the Greens for hypocrisy for having the highest expenditure on flights.

The figures come from the fourth quarter parliamentary expense reports.  It excludes ministers who have a much heavier workload, for example the Ministers of Health and Education must visit hospitals and schools, and are reported separately.

In October, November, and December the average Green MP spent $8,562 on air travel.  By comparison the average Labour MP spent $7,790, the average National MP $5,933 and the average New Zealand First MP $6713. . .

“These are the MPs who regularly tell us that climate change is the crisis of our time and we must reduce our emissions.

“It is also extraordinary that they do not even have to serve electorates, as the Greens are all list MPs and have not won an electorate since 1999.  As an Auckland electorate MP I have to see constituents on Monday and be in Parliament on Tuesday, and back in the electorate Friday, practically every week.

“As list MPs the Greens have far more potential to minimise their carbon footprint by flying less, but not only have they not done so, they are the most frequent flyers.

“Co-leader James Shaw loves to tell the story about how, as a consultant, he helped companies reduce their use of air travel.  The Green Party must be his toughest client.”

He then went on to out-green them with proposal to sell  Landcorp and put the proceeds into a Sanctuary Trust for applicants who wish to operate inland sanctuaries for native wildlife.

“Landcorp is a business the Government should never have owned and which is responsible for considerable dairy conversion and deforestation.  

“The new Trust’s grants would be conditional upon the applicant reaching targets for predator exclusion, biodiversity, and community participation.  

“The model is not so very different from what ACT has done with Partnership Schools.  Invite social entrepreneurship, measure performance according to agreed targets, and get out of the way.

“Over 100 years, Sanctuary Trust would radically transform the abundance of New Zealand’s most endangered species.” . . .

Utopia has a graph showing Landcorp’s dividends paid and cash injections received from government since 2007.

As cash cows go, Landcorp has had $2.25 million more in capital injections from taxpayers than it returned to them in dividends since 2007.

image

 Source: data released by the New Zealand Treasury under the Official Information Act.

The $1.5 billion asset is a very poor investment for the taxpayer.

Keeping some of the farms as a land bank for treaty settlements has merit.

But the rest could be sold, gradually so as not to flood the market.

Using some of the proceeds for environmental projects such as Seymour proposes and some for investing in agricultural training and infrastructure, for example irrigation development, would be much better use of the money.

Concern for the environment is not the preserve of the political left.

There is a significant constituency of people who are green but not Green.

They want sound environmental policies without the radical left social and economic agenda. Some of those support National’s Blue Greens but some let their green leanings blind them to the red social and economic policies of the Greens.

Seymour is targeting them and in doing so attempting to grow the centre right share of the vote.

That’s clever politics.

He’s out-greening the Greens with environmental policy that makes economic sense.


Quote of the day

February 29, 2016

I never wanted to set the world on fire. So I never had to burn any bridges behind me. – Dinah Shore who was born on this day in 1916.


February 29 in history

February 29, 2016

1468 – Pope Paul III  was born(d. 1549)

1504 – Christopher Columbus used his knowledge of a lunar eclipse that night to convince Native Americans to provide him with supplies.

1692 –  John Byrom, English poet was born (d. 1763)

1704 – Queen Anne’s War: French forces and Native Americans stagd araid on Deerfield, Massachusetts, killing 56 villagers and taking more than 100 captive.

1712 – February 29 was followed by February 30 in Sweden, in a move to abolish the Swedish calendar for a return to the Old style.

1720 – Queen Ulrika Eleonora of Sweden abdicated in favour of her husband, who became King Frederick I.

1796 – The Jay Treaty between the United States and Great Britain came into force, facilitating ten years of peaceful trade between the two nations.

1812 – Sir James Wilson, Premier of Tasmania, was born (d. 1880)

1840 – John Philip Holland, Irish inventor (submarine) was born (d. 1914)

1852 – George Maximilianovich, 6th Duke of Leuchtenberg, Russian nobleman, was born (d. 1912)

1864 – American Civil War: Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid failed – plans to free 15,000 Union soldiers being held near Richmond, Virginia were thwarted.

1892 – St. Petersburg, Florida was incorporated.

1896 – Morarji Desai, Prime Minister of India (d. 1995)

1904 – Jimmy Dorsey, American bandleader was born (d. 1957).

1904 – Wolfe+585, Senior (alleged date), German-born American typesetter who had the longest personal name ever used, was born, (death year unknown).

1916 – Dinah Shore, American singer and actress (d. 1994)

1916 – Child labour: In South Carolina, the minimum working age for factory, mill, and mine workers was raised from twelve to fourteen years old.

1924 – Sir David Beattie, New Zealand Governor-General was born (d. 2001)

Sir David and Lady Beattie

1932 – Time magazine featured eccentric American politician William “Alfalfa” Murray on its cover after Murray stated his intention to run for President of the United States.

1936 – Baby Snooks, played by Fanny Brice, debuted on the radio programme The Ziegfeld Follies of the Air.

1940 – For her role as Mammy in Gone with the Wind, Hattie McDanielbecame the first African American to win an Academy Award.

1940Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople was born.

1940 – Finland initiated Winter War peace negotiations

1940 – In a ceremony held in Berkeley, California, because of the war, physicist Ernest Lawrence received the 1939 Nobel Prize in Physics from Sweden’s Consul General in San Francisco.

1944 – World War II: The Admiralty Islands were invaded in Operation Brewer led by American General Douglas MacArthur.

1952 – The island of Heligoland was restored to German authority.

1956 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced to the nation that he was running for a second term.

1960 – An earthquake in Morocco killed over 3,000 people and nearly destroyed Agadir in the southern part of the country.

1960 – Family Circus made its debut.

1964 – Opening of first road to Maungapohatu.

1964 – In Sydney, Australian swimmer Dawn Fraser set a new world record in the 100-meter freestyle swimming competition (58.9 seconds).

1972 – Vietnam War Vietnamisation – South Korea withdrew 11,000 of its 48,000 troops from Vietnam.

1972 – Hank Aaron became the first player in the history of Major League Baseball to sign a $200,000 contract.

1980 – Gordie Howe of the then Hartford Whalers made NHL history as he scores his 800th goal.

1984 – Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau announced he would retire as soon as the Liberals could elect another leader.

1988 – South African archbishop Desmond Tutu was arrested along with 100 clergymen during a five-day anti-apartheid demonstration in Cape Town.

1988 – Svend Robinson became the first member of the Canadian House of Commons to come out as gay.

1996 – Faucett Flight 251 crashed in the Andes, killing 123 people.

2004 – Jean-Bertrand Aristide was removed as President of Haiti following a coup.

2008 – The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence decided to withdraw Prince Harry from a tour of Afghanistan “immediately” after a leak led to his deployment being reported by foreign media.

2008 – Misha Defonseca admitted to fabricating her memoir, Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust Years, in which she claimed to have lived with a pack of wolves in the woods during the Holocaust.

2012 – Tokyo Skytree construction was completed, the tallest tower in the world, 634 meters high, and second tallest (man-made) structure on Earth, next to Burj Khalifa.

Sourced from NZ History Online and Wikipedia


366 days of gratitude

February 28, 2016

Having a discussion with someone who shares your views is comfortable.

Having a discussion with someone who doesn’t can be challenging but also useful if it either confirms your opinion or changes it.

Today I’m grateful for challenging discussions.


Word of the day

February 28, 2016

Plum – any of several shrubs or small trees of the genus Prunus of the rose family,especially the cultivated species P. domestica and P. salicina, bearing smooth-skinned, fleshy, edible fruit with a single stone; the fruit of any of these trees; dark purple to deep reddish purple; an especially desirable position, assignment, or reward; something of a superior or desirable kind; something given in return for a service or accomplishment; make plump, fatten; to make soft and springy; satisfy one’s hunger by eating one’s full;  fill (a person) up with false information; completely.


Centre on Wheels

February 28, 2016

center on wheels StoryPeople print by Brian Andreas

I spent a long time trying to find my center until I looked closely one night & found it had wheels & moved easily in the slightest breeze, so now I spend less time sitting and more time sailing.

Center on Wheels  ©2015 Brian Andreas – posted with permission.

You can sign up at Story People for email delivery of a daily dose of whimsy like this.


10/10

February 28, 2016

10/10 in the Herald’s politics quiz.


Sunday soapbox

February 28, 2016

Sunday’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 abuse.

Project Happiness's photo.

The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence.


February 28 in history

February 28, 2016

20 BC coronation ceremony of Liu Bang as Emperor Gaozu of Han takes place, initiating four centuries of the Han Dynasty‘s rule over China.

870 The Fourth Council of Constantinople closed.

1261 Margaret of Scotland, queen of Norway, was born  (d. 1283).

1638 The Scottish National Covenant was signed in Edinburgh.

1710  In the Battle of Helsingborg, 14,000 Danish invaders under Jørgen Rantzau were decisively defeated by an equally sized Swedish force underMagnus Stenbock.

1784 John Wesley chartered the Methodist Church.

1787 The charter establishing the institution now known as the University of Pittsburgh was granted.

1824 Blondin, French tightrope walker, was born  (d. 1897).

1827  The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad was incorporated, becoming the first railroad in America offering commercial transportation of both people and freight.

1838 Robert Nelson, leader of the Patriotes, proclaimed the independence of Lower Canada (today Québec).

1844 A gun on USS Princeton exploded while the boat was on a Potomac River cruise, killing eight people, including two United States Cabinet members.

1849 Regular steamboat service from the west to the east coast of the United States began with the arrival of the SS California in San Francisco Bay, 4 months 21 days after leaving New York Harbour.

1865 Wilfred Grenfell, medical missionary, was born  (d. 1940).

1870 The Bulgarian Exarchate was established by decree of Sultan Abd-ul-Aziz of the Ottoman Empire.

1883 The first vaudeville theatre opened in Boston, Massachusetts.

1897 Queen Ranavalona III, the last monarch of Madagascar, was deposed by a French military force.

1900 The Second Boer War: The 118-day “Siege of Ladysmith” was lifted.

1912 Clara Petacci, Italian mistress of Benito Mussolini, was born  (d. 1945).

1914 The Autonomous Republic of Northern Epirus was proclaimed inGjirokastër, by the Greeks living in southern Albania.

1922 The United Kingdom accepted the independence of Egypt.

1925 Harry H Corbett, English actor, was born  (d. 1982).

1928  C.V. Raman discovered Raman effect.

1933 Gleichschaltung: The Reichstag Fire Decree was passed in Germany a day after the Reichstag fire.

1935 DuPont scientist Wallace Carothers invented Nylon.

1939 The first issue of Serbian weekly magazine Politikin zabavnik was published.

1939 – The erroneous word “Dord” was discovered in the Webster’s New International Dictionary, Second Edition, prompting an investigation.

1942 Brian Jones, English musician (The Rolling Stones), was born  (d. 1969).

1942 The heavy cruiser USS Houston (CA-30) was sunk in the Battle of Sunda Strait with 693 crew members killed.

1943 Charles Bernstein, American composer, was born.

1945 New Zealand soldier David Russell was executed by a Nazi firing squad in Italy.

Kiwi soldier faces Nazi firing squad

1946 Robin Cook, British politician, was born.

1947 228 Incident: In Taiwan, civil disorder is put down with the loss of 30,000 civilian lives.

1953 Paul Krugman, American economist, Nobel laureate, was born.

1957 Cindy Wilson, American singer (The B-52′s), was born.

1958 A school bus in Floyd County, Kentucky hits a wrecker truck and plunged down an embankment into the rain-swollen Levisa Fork River. The driver and 26 children died in what remains the worst school bus accidentin U.S. history.

1970 Daniel Handler, American writer, better known as Lemony Snicket, was born.

1972 The Asama-Sanso incident ended in Japan.

1972 The United States and People’s Republic of China signed theShanghai Communiqué.

1974 Moana Mackey, New Zealand politician, was born.

1975 A major tube train crash at Moorgate station, London killed 43 people.

1985 The Provisional Irish Republican Army carried out a mortar attack on the Royal Ulster Constabulary police station at Newry, killing nine officers in the highest loss of life for the RUC on a single day.

1986 Olof Palme, Prime Minister of Sweden  was assassinated in Stockholm.

1991 The first Gulf War ended.

1993 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents raided the Branch Davidian church in Waco, Texas with a warrant to arrest the group’s leaderDavid Koresh. Four BATF agents and five Davidians die in the initial raid, starting a 51-day standoff.

1995 Denver International Airport officially opened in Denver, Colorado to replace Stapleton International Airport

1997 – The North Hollywood shootout took place.

1998 – First flight of RQ-4 Global Hawk, the first unmanned aerial vehiclecertified to file its own flight plans and fly regularly in U.S. civilian airspace.

1998 – Kosovo War: Serbian police begin the offensive against the Kosovo Liberation Army in Kosovo.

2001 – The Nisqually Earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter Scale hits the Nisqually Valley and the Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia area of the U.S. state of Washington.

2001 – Six passengers and four railway staff are killed and a further 82 people suffer serious injuries in the Selby rail crash.

200 More than 1 million Taiwanese participating in the 228 Hand-in-Hand Rally formed a 500-kilometre (300-mile) long human chain to commemorate the 228 Incident in 1947.

2005 Lebanon‘s pro-Syrian prime minister, Omar Karami, resigned amid large anti-Syria street demonstrations in Beirut.

2005 A suicide bombing at a police recruiting centre in Al Hillah, Iraq killed 127.

2007  Jupiter flyby of the New Horizons Pluto-observer spacecraft.

2013 – Pope Benedict XVI resigned as the pope of the Catholic Church becoming the first pope to do so since 1415.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


366 days of gratitude

February 27, 2016

Yesterday a funeral, today a wedding.

The bride was Columbian. Her parents don’t speak English and as a surprise for them I conducted the service in both Spanish and English.

In the introduction I said that it didn’t matter if everyone didn’t understand every word, we all spoke the international language of friendship, family, laughter and love.

Today I’m grateful for celebrations and those international languages.


Word of the day

February 27, 2016

Astonied – deprived briefly of the power to act; dazed, stunned; filled with consternation or dismay; astonished; bewildered.


Saturday’s smiles

February 27, 2016

A visitor from the United Kingdom was chatting with her American friend and was jokingly explaining about the red, white and blue in the Union Jack.

“Our flag symbolises our taxes,” she said. “We get red when we talk about them, white when we get our tax bill, and blue after we pay them.”

“That’s the same with us,” the American said, “only we see stars, too.”


Saturday soapbox

February 27, 2016

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 abuse.
Mesmerizing Quotes's photo.

Discussion is always better than argument. Because argument is to find out who is right. Discussion is to find out what is right.


February 27 in history

February 27, 2016

1560 The Treaty of Berwick, which expelled the French from Scotland, was signed by England and the Congregation of Scotland.

1594 Henry IV was crowned King of France.

1617 Sweden and Russia signed the Treaty of Stolbovo, ending the Ingrian War and shutting Russia out of the Baltic Sea.

1626 Yuan Chonghuan was appointed Governor of Liaodong, after he led the Chinese into a great victory against the Manchurians.

1700 William Dampier was the first European to discover the island of New Britain.

1797 The Bank of England issued the first one-pound and two-pound notes.

1807 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, American poet, was born  (d. 1882).

1812 Poet Lord Byron gave his first address as a member of the House of Lords, in defense of Luddite violence against Industrialism in his home county of Nottinghamshire.

1844 The Dominican Republic gained independence from Haiti.

1900 British military leaders received an unconditional notice of surrender from Boer General Piet Cronje at the Battle of Paardeberg.

1900 The British Labour Party was founded.

1902 John Steinbeck, American writer, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1968).

1912 Lawrence Durrell, British writer, was born (d. 1990).

1921 The International Working Union of Socialist Parties was founded in Vienna.

1922 A challenge to the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, allowing women the right to vote, was rebuffed by the Supreme Court of the United States in Leser v. Garnett.

1930 Joanne Woodward, American actress, was born.

1932  Elizabeth Taylor, British-American actress, was born  (d.2011).

1933 Reichstag fire: Germany’s parliament building in Berlin was set on fire.

1934 Ralph Nader, American author, activist and political figure, was born.

1939 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that sit-down strikes violated property owners’ rights and were therefore illegal.

1940  Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben discovered carbon-14

1942 During the Battle of the Java Sea, an allied strike force was defeated by a Japanese task force in the Java Sea.

1943 The Smith Mine #3 in Bearcreek, Montana, exploded, killing 74 men.

1943 – The Rosenstrasse protest started in Berlin.

1945 Lebanon declared Independence.

1951 The Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution, limiting Presidents to two terms, was ratified.

1951 Troops were sent on to Wellington and Auckland wharves to load and unload ships during the waterfront dispute.

Troops deployed in waterfront dispute

1961 The first congress of the Spanish Trade Union Organisation was inaugurated.

1963 The Dominican Republic got its first democratically elected president,Juan Bosch, since the end of the dictatorship led by Rafael Trujillo.

1964 The government of Italy asked for help to keep the Leaning Tower of Pisa from toppling over.

1967 Dominica gained independence from the United Kingdom.

1973  The American Indian Movement occupied Wounded Knee, South Dakota.

1974 – People magazine was published for the first time.

1976 The formerly Spanish territory of Western Sahara, under the auspices of the Polisario Front declared independence as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.

1986 The United States Senate allowed its debates to be televised on a trial basis.

1989 Venezuela was rocked by the Caracazo riots.

1991 Gulf War: U.S. President George H. W. Bush announced that “Kuwait is liberated”.

1999 Olusegun Obasanjo became Nigeria‘s first elected president since mid-1983.

2002 Ryanair Flight 296 caught fire at London Stansted Airport.

2002 – Godhra train burning: a Muslim mob killed 59 Hindu pilgrims returning from Ayodhya;

2003 Rowan Williams was enthroned as the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury.

2004 A bombing of a Superferry by Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines’ worst terrorist attack killed 116.

2007 The general strike against Lansana Conté in Guinea ended.

2007 – The Chinese Correction: the Shanghai Stock Exchange fell 9%, the largest drop in 10 years.

2010 – Central Chile was struck by an 8.8 magnitude earthquake.

2012 – A section of a nine-story apartment building in the city of Astrakhan, Russia, collapsed in a natural gas explosion, killing ten people and injuring at least 12 others.

2013 – At least 19 people were killed when a fire broke out at an illegal market in Kolkata, India.

2013 – Five people (including the perpetrator) were killed and five others injured in a shooting at a factory in Menznau, Switzerland.

2015 – A gunman killed seven people then himself in a series of shootings in Tyrone, Missouri.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


366 days of gratitude

February 26, 2016

A good man was farewelled today.

He was born in 1923, grew up on a farm through the Depression and made pocket money by collecting birds eggs and catching rabbits with his pet ferret.

He was a farmer, horseman and a stockman.

He was a Christian who lived his faith in his values, his words and deeds.

He was an active volunteer in his community. His service included decades on the  A&P committee and retired from a regular helper with Riding for the Disabled only when he could no longer stand.

He was a loved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

He was a truly good man and I am grateful for him and other like him who leave the world a better place.


Word of the day

February 26, 2016

Abjure – solemnly renounce; recant, repudiate, retract; turn away from; swear off.


Rural round-up

February 26, 2016

A Fonterra thought experiment: where to from here? – Keith Woodford:

Since the turn of the century, New Zealand dairying has been growing rapidly. Currently, the industry produces about 75% more milk than back in 2000. However, the world of New Zealand dairying is now changing and the growth tide has turned.

The forces of change are both economic and environmental.

In the short term, it will be economic factors that determine production. This year we are already seeing North Island but not South Island production decline. There is a strong likelihood that overall production will decline further next year as many farmers try to manage their cash flows by reducing cow numbers and bring support stock back on-farm. . . 

Dairy Industry’s $38b debt problem:

The future of the dairy industry in this country is looking depressing as farm debt reaches $38 billion, an agribusiness consultant says.

Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy has met with three major banks to discuss the dairy debt, as a Federated Farmers poll last week found more than one in 10 are now under pressure from banks over their mortgages.

Mr Guy said the banks told him they would be standing by struggling dairy farmers, and he believed the medium- to long-term outlook for the sector was incredibly rosy.

But agribusiness consultant Alison Dewes was not so sure. . . 

Hastings Orchardists Claim Top Title in East Coast Ballance Farm Environment Awards:

Resilient, innovative and hard-working growers Graham and Marian Hirst are Supreme winners of the 2016 East Coast Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

At a Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA) ceremony on February 25, the couple also collected the CB Norwood Distributors Ltd Agri-Business Management Award, East Coast Farming for the Future Award (as sponsored by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and the Gisborne District Council), Massey University Innovation Award and the PGG Wrightson People In Agriculture Award.

BFEA judges said the Hirsts have committed themselves “in good and bad times” to their business and industry, describing them as “a hard-working couple using their individual strengths to create a strong team that balances innovation with production strengths”. . . 

Agcarm President Mark Christie to the Agcarm Summer Conference:

I’ve mentioned data protection in every speech to every Agcarm conference I’ve ever spoken to since I became President of Agcarm.

So I can’t break with a well-established tradition now. In fact, the four years of me standing in front of you discussing data protection is just the tip of the iceberg. Agcarm has persisted in trying to rectify New Zealand’s dismal data protection regime for well over a decade now.

To demonstrate how far we’ve come and the tenacity Agcarm has had over this issue, I will read to you an excerpt from an Agcarm newsletter to members dating back to August 2001: . . .

Novel approach to get farmers to trust their gut:

Lincoln University researcher Dr Peter Nuthall has a question for farmers.

“How many times do you find yourself thinking about how can you make your farm more successful?”

His answer lies in developing your ability to understand or know something based on your well- informed intuition.

Dr Nuthall says farms are run on intuition every day: every farmer makes a myriad of decisions based on it.

“Successful farm management is totally dependent on the quality of the farmer’s inherent intuition.” . . 

South Island Wool Sale Firms:

New Zealand Wool Services International Limited’s C.E.O, Mr John Dawson reports that apart from Lambs Fleece, the market lifted generally 1 to 4 percent compared to the sale on 18th February.

Of the 8,600 bales on offer 89 percent sold.

The weighted currency indicator firmed 0.61 percent having little impact.

Mr Dawson advises that emerging new business and shipping requirements for older contracts combined to lift the market for the selection of mainly good style wools. . . 


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