366 days of gratitude

February 16, 2016

My farmer had a sore throat a few days ago. I thought I’d escaped it but when I woke up this morning I found I hadn’t.

My first recourse for this ailment is pure manuka honey lozenges.

There is scientific evidence for the therapeutic properties of honey with the unique manuka factor. There’s also evidence for the placebo effect.

Whichever it is, my throat is feeling better and today I’m grateful for the manuka honey lozenges to which I’m giving the credit.

 


Word of the day

February 16, 2016

Igniparous – bringing forth fire.


Rural round-up

February 16, 2016

Surviving the dairy downturn – Keith Woodford:

In recent weeks the short term dairy outlook has turned from bad to awful. Fonterra’s recently revised milksolids price estimate of $4.15 for the current 1015/16 season has already been overtaken by events, and is once again looking decidedly optimistic.

I now see a figure of about $3.90 as being more likely, but still with plus or minus 40c around that. Even more important, no longer can we ignore the likelihood that dairy prices are going to stay low for at least the first half of the 2016/17 dairy season, and possibly for all of that season.

Most but not all of the farmers I have contact with are going to come through relatively unscathed. But that is not the case for those who have both high costs of production and high debt. We are now facing a situation which New Zealand farmers have not faced since the 1980s. . . 

Broker warns average dairy farmer may lose $140k this season – Edwin Mitson:

(BusinessDesk) – Financial broker OMF is warning the average New Zealand dairy farmer is likely to lose $140,760 this season, with next year looking just as grim.

In its monthly New Zealand dairy report OMF suggests there is a further risk that Fonterra Cooperative Group could lower payouts again, pointing to a potential milk price of $3.89 per kilogram of milk solids. Fonterra lowered prices on Jan. 28 to $4.15/kgMS. OMF estimates the current cost of production is $5.31/kgMS.

OMF said dairy farmers are likely to face a third season of weak prices, with many becoming increasingly reliant on credit lines and vulnerable to a shift in banks’ willingness to “extend and pretend” loans are going to be repaid. DairyNZ estimates 85 percent of dairy farmers will make a loss this season compared to 49 percent last season. . . 

Seafood exports reach $1.63 billion:

New Zealand seafood exports reached a record high of $1.63 billion last year, up over 6 per cent on 2014.

The growth was most pronounced in the final two months of the year, says Chief Executive Tim Pankhurst.

Up to the end of October export growth was tracking at about 3 per cent but increased demand in November and December pushed the growth to over 20 per cent for those two months and lifted total growth for the year to 6.6 per cent. . . 

Ex-deer farmers drawn back by strong returns:

Deer farmers who left the industry for brighter pastures in dairy are being drawn back by strong returns for venison and velvet, a south Canterbury deer farmer says.

Kris Orange farms 1600 weaner deer on 260 hectares in Geraldine, South Canterbury and 1000 hinds on a farm at Dunback, Otago.

He said venison prices were up more than $1 on last year’s returns, sitting at about $7.20kg, with expectations of strong growth in the next five to 10 years. . . 

Four finalists named for IrrigationNZ’s Innovation Award:

For the second time – IrrigationNZ has shortlisted four finalists for its ‘Innovation in Irrigation Award’ sponsored by Aqualinc – which will be presented at the organisation’s biennial conference in early April.

New technologies, products, practices or community collaborations that reflect innovation within the irrigation sector are the focus of the award, which is only presented every second year.

IrrigationNZ CEO Andrew Curtis says the external judging panel had struggled to keep the shortlist to the normal three, so four finalists have been chosen this year. . . 

Beef + Lamb New Zealand making global connections:

Beef + Lamb New Zealand teamed up with Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand Institute (LCBNZ) recently to host six chefs from China – winners of the global “Chef par Excellence” culinary competition.

The institute and Sealord New Zealand were the main sponsors and Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) was invited to arrange a day’s activity for the chefs.

B+LNZ General Manager Market Development Nick Beeby says the opportunity was too good to pass up, particularly given the group’s influential travel members. . . 

SealesWinslow mills receive quality stamp:

SealesWinslow has attained FeedSafeNZ accreditation across all of its mills, recognising the high quality of the animal feed products they make.

FeedSafeNZ is a quality stamp from the New Zealand Feed Manufacturers Association (NZFMA) for manufacturers and blenders, designed to enhance the quality assurance of stockfeed. . . 

Synlait Strengthens Senior Team to Drive Value Growth And Business Performance:

Three new senior management positions will add business development and process improvement capability to Synlait’s Senior Leadership Team.

Managing Director and CEO John Penno said the decision follows an assessment of business areas that require additional focus to ensure the company continues to deliver against its growth aspirations.

“Building our business development capability will significantly improve our ability to take advantage of emerging opportunities that will accelerate our growth,” said Mr Penno. . . 

 


Drug decisions should be medical not political

February 16, 2016

Helen Kelly has been denied consent to use a cannabis oil product to help control her pain and nausea.

The ministry responded this morning, saying it was deferring the application because it did not contain enough information, she said.

“Basically they’ve said my doctor hasn’t described enough how the current drugs I’m taking are not working,” she said.

“He’s described all the drugs I’m taking and he’s a senior oncologist and he said, ‘I’m seeking permission to give her cannabis’, but … they’re second-guessing him.”

An earlier report quotes associate Health Minsiter Peter Dunne saying health officials hadn’t been able to get the information they needed:

“My understanding is they have made a number of attempts to do so … but to date, no such information has been provided,” he said.

“For that reason, they can’t formulate a recommendation to me on the application and I can’t reach a decision on their recommendation.”

How can a politician and health officials make a better informed decision than the doctor who is treating the patient?

Unlike some decisions on medicine this isn’t about funding.

I don’t understand why it is a political decision and not a medical one.

 


Quote of the day

February 16, 2016

Empathize with stupidity and you’re halfway to thinking like an idiot ― Iain Banks who celebrates his 62nd birthday today.


February 16 in history

February 16, 2016

1032 Emperor Yingzong, of China, was born  (d. 1067).

1646  Battle of Great Torrington, Devon – the last major battle of the firstEnglish Civil War.

1770 Captain James Cook sighted what he called Banks Island but later discovered was a peninsula.

James Cook sights Banks 'Island'

1804  First Barbary War: Stephen Decatur led a raid to burn the pirate-held frigate USS Philadelphia (1799).

1838 Weenen Massacre: Hundreds of Voortrekkers along the Blaukraans River, Natal were killed by Zulus.

1852 Studebaker Brothers wagon company, precursor of the automobile manufacturer, is established.

1859 The French Government passed a law to set the A-note above middle C to a frequency of 435 Hz, in an attempt to standardize the pitch.

1899 President Félix Faure of France died in office.

1899 – Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur Iceland‘s first football club was founded.

1918 The Council of Lithuania unanimously adopted the Act of Independence, declaring Lithuania an independent state.

1923 – Howard Carter unsealed the burial chamber of PharohTutankhamun.

1926 Margot Frank, German-born Dutch Jewish holocaust victim, was born (d. 1945).

1931 – Otis Blackwell, American singer-songwriter and pianist, was born (d. 2002).

1934 – Austrian Civil War ended with the defeat of the Social Democrats and the Republican Schutzbund.

1934 – Commission of Government was sworn in as form of direct rule for the Dominion of Newfoundland.

1935 – Sonny Bono, American actor, singer, and politician, was born (d. 1998).

1936 – Elections brought the Popular Front to power in Spain.

1937 – Wallace H. Carothers received a patent for nylon.

1940 Altmark Incident: The German tanker Altmark was boarded by sailors from the British destroyer HMS Cossack. 299 British prisoners were freed.

1941  – Kim Jong-il, North Korean leader, was born (d. 2011).

1946 – Ian Lavender, English actor, was born.

1947 – Canadians were granted Canadian citizenship after 80 years of being British subjects. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King became the first Canadian citizen.

1954 – Iain Banks, Scottish author, was born.

1956 Vincent Ward, New Zealand director and screenwriter, was born.

1957 The “Toddlers’ Truce“, a controversial television close down between 6.00pm and 7.00pm was abolished in the United Kingdom.

1959 John McEnroe, American tennis player, was born.

1959 Fidel Castro becomes Premier of Cuba after dictator Fulgencio Batista was overthrown on January 1.

1960 Pete Willis, English guitarist (Def Leppard), was born.

1961 Andy Taylor, English musician (Duran Duran, The Power Station), was born.

1961 – Explorer program: Explorer 9 (S-56a) was launched.

1968 – In Haleyville, Alabama, the first 9-1-1 emergency telephone system went into service.

1973  Cathy Freeman, Australian athlete, was born.

1978 – The first computer bulletin board system was created (CBBS in Chicago, Illinois).

1983 – The Ash Wednesday bushfires in Victoria and South Australia claimed the lives of 75 people.

1985 – The founding of Hezbollah.

1986 – The Soviet liner Mikhail Lermontov ran aground in the Marlborough Sounds.

1987 – The trial of John Demjanjuk, accused of being a Nazi guard dubbed “Ivan the Terrible” in Treblinka extermination camp, started in Jerusalem.

1991 – Nicaraguan Contras leader Enrique Bermúdez was assassinated in Managua.

1999 – Across Europe Kurdish rebels took over embassies and hold hostages after Turkey arrested one of their rebel leaders, Abdullah Öcalan.

2005 – The Kyoto Protocol came into force, following its ratification by Russia.

2005 – The National Hockey League cancelled the entire 2004-2005 regular season and playoffs, becoming the first major sports league in North America to do so over a labour dispute.

2006 – The last Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) was decommissioned by the United States Army.

2013 – A bomb blast at a market in Hazara Town in Quetta, Pakistan, killed more than 80 people and injures 190 others.

2015 – A CSX train crashed in Mount Carbon, West Virginia, resulting in large fires.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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