366 days of gratitude

February 25, 2016

Phone calls, emails, texts and a variety of social media make keeping in touch with friends and family much easier, and more instantaneous, than they’ve ever been.

But there’s still something about a handwritten note on paper or a card that comes in the post.

Today I’m grateful for hand-written correspondence, all the more so for its rarity nowadays.


Word of the day

February 25, 2016

Obrumpent – breaking; bursting.


Rural round-up

February 25, 2016

Tough dairy times all over the globe – Jim Dickrell

French dairy farmers are once again taking manure and spreading it on roads, five dairy farms a week are going out of business in Great Britain, and the New Zealand government told its farmers to “stand on their own two feet.”

In France, according to theInternational Business News, farmers have blockaded roads, entered supermarkets and filled shopping carts with cheap food imports and even hurled their farm boots at government buildings.

In response, the French government said it will cut social security taxes farmers are required to pay by $556 million this year. . .

Ruataniwha irrigation scheme promoter confirms preferred private investor close to selection – Pattrick Smellie:

A preferred private sector investor in the Ruataniwha water storage scheme is close to selection, says its primary backer, the Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Co.

HBRIC confirmed media reports earlier in the week that suggested a preferred private investor is about to start due diligence on the $275 million project, which would create a 93 million cubic metre reservoir to store water in the upper Makaroro river to improve river flows for agricultural use in the Tukituki River catchment.

Infratil-controlled Trustpower pulled the plug on its involvement in early 2014, followed by its other private backer, South Island iwi Ngai Tahu’s investment arm, before a board of inquiry process delayed resource consents for the dam while new environmental quality standards were set. . . 

SMART Watering campaign wraps up citing strong interest in water efficiency tools:

A pilot water efficiency campaign initiated by IrrigationNZ in four Canterbury districts this summer has concluded with evidence of strong interest in making water savings.

Home gardeners and lifestyle irrigators were the primary targets of the inaugural water efficiency campaign, which ran with the support of Timaru, Ashburton, Selwyn and Waimakariri District Councils, Environment Canterbury and inaugural industry partners Water Supply Products and RX Plastics.

The campaign launched in late November with the release of case studies illustrating how home gardeners and community projects can use irrigation tools and technologies to minimise water use and maximise productivity. . .

 

High prices, good growth cut cattle sales:

High beef prices and a surge in pasture growth has led to the cancellation of two cattle sales in Gisborne, a farmer and former stock agent says.

In January, two cattle sales were cancelled because there were not enough stock.

Barrie Gordon has worked in the cattle industry for more than 60 years and said only a few sales had been cancelled in the major cattle breeding region in all that time. . . 

PGG Wrightson posts 19% drop in first-half profit as farmers tighten spending – Tina Morrison:

PGG Wrightson posted a 19 percent drop in first-half profit as low dairy prices and fear of an El Nino drought contracted farmer spending at the rural services firm.

Profit fell to $16.1 million, or 2.1 cents a share, in the six months ended Dec. 31, from $19.7 million, or 2.6 cents, in the year earlier period, the Christchurch-based firm said in a statement. Revenue declined 4.8 percent to $623 million, while the cost of sales slid 6.9 percent to $462 million.

Farmers have tightened their wallets after milk processors like Fonterra Cooperative Group, the country’s largest, cut their farmgate milk payouts below the cost of production as a global oversupply lasts longer than anticipated. Fears of an El Nino drought heading into summer also kept farmers cautious with their spending. . . 

Dramatic improvement in forest industry safety record:

Following a spate of workplace deaths in 2013, New Zealand’s forestry industry has set a shining example in improved safety performance nationally over the past three years. Annual serious harm incident rates dropped in half over the past two years. The numbers dropped from 160 incidents in 2013, to 107 in 2014 and then to 79 in 2015.

Even more striking – the rate of serious harm in production forestry has dropped to less of one-third of the rate in 2008. This is based on annual forest harvest volumes lifting from less than 20 million cubic metres per annum to over 30 million in that period. . . .

Tree man scales new job at Taratahi –

Past competitive tree-climber and arborist Richard Wanhill has returned to his primary sector roots, he says, with his appointment as business development manager at Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre.

Mr Wanhill, who shifted to Wairarapa from the capital after originally hailing from Auckland, had worked as an arborist for about 15 years and also operated as a contract arboriculture and horticulture educator as a partner in a company named Thought Planters.

“I was teaching arboriculture mostly in New Zealand, Australia and Singapore and some in other places like Cambodia and Thailand. The competitive tree-climbing I’ve done has been only nationally in New Zealand, which is internationally recognised as one of the top tree-climbing countries in the world. . . 

 

Fonterra And Its Farmers Supporting Dairy Development:

Four Fonterra farmers will travel to Sri Lanka this year as part of a new farmer volunteer scheme to work with Sri Lankan dairy farmers.

Troy Doherty from Bay of Plenty, Tim Phillips from Waikato, Murray Douglas from Northland, and Marloes Levelink from West Otago, will spend a month at Fonterra’s new demonstration and training farm in Pannala, near Colombo.

While in Sri Lanka they will work with local farmers and Fonterra supplier relationship officers on areas including animal nutrition, prevention and treatment of mastitis and how to run a farm as a business. . . 


Thursday’s quiz

February 25, 2016

While I’m blogging lighter the questions are up to you.

There’s no need to follow the five-question formula I used and anyone who stumps everyone will win a virtual berry salad.


Quote of the day

February 25, 2016

If we do not believe within ourselves this deeply rooted feeling that there is something higher than ourselves, we shall never find the strength to evolve into something higher.  ― Rudolf Steiner who was born on this day in 1861.


February 25 in history

February 25, 2016

138 The Emperor Hadrian adopted Antoninus Pius, effectively making him his successor.

1570 Pope Pius V excommunicated Queen Elizabeth I.

1778 José de San Martín, Argentine general and liberator of South America, was born  (d. 1850).

1793 George Washington held the first Cabint meeting as President of the United States.

1797 Colonel William Tate and his force of 1000-1500 soldiers surrendered after the Last Invasion of Britain.

1836 Samuel Colt received an American patent for the Colt revolver.

1841  Pierre-Auguste Renoir, French painter, graphic artist and sculptor, was born  (d. 1919).

1845 George Reid, fourth Prime Minister of Australia, was born (d. 1918).

1861 Rudolf Steiner, Austrian philosopher and educator, was born (d. 1925).

1870 Hiram Rhodes Revels becamethe first African American to sit in the U.S. Congress.

1873  Enrico Caruso, Italian tenor, was born  (d. 1921).

1890 Dame Myra Hess, English pianist, was born (d. 1965).

1890  Vyacheslav Molotov, Soviet politician, was born (d. 1986).

1901 Zeppo Marx, American actor, was born  (d. 1979).

1901 J.P. Morgan incorporated the United States Steel Corporation.

1908 Frank G. Slaughter, American novelist, was born (d. 2001).

1912 Marie-Adélaïde, the eldest of six daughters of Guillaume IV, becomes the first reigning Grand Duchess of Luxembourg.

1917 Anthony Burgess, English author, was born (d. 1993).

1919 Oregon placed a 1 cent per U.S. gallon tax on gasoline, becoming the first U.S. state to levy a fuel tax.

1921 Tbilisi, capital of the Democratic Republic of Georgia, was occupied by Bolshevist Russia.

1925 Glacier Bay National Monument (now Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve) was established in Alaska.

1928 Charles Jenkins Laboratories of Washington, D.C. became the first holder of a television license.

1932 Adolf Hitler obtained German citizenship by naturalisation, which allowed him to run in the 1932 election for Reichspräsident.

1933 The USS Ranger (CV-4) was launched, the first US Navy ship to be built solely as an aircraft carrier.

1935 Sally Jessy Raphaël, American talk show host, was born.

1941 February Strike: In occupied Amsterdam, a general strike was declared in response to increasing anti-Jewish measures instituted by the Nazis.

1943 48 Japanese prinsoners and one guard were killed in the Featherston Prinsoner of War riot.

49 killed in Featherston POW riot
1943 George Harrison, English musician (The Beatles), was born.
1945 Elkie Brooks, English singer, was born.

1945  Turkey declared war on Germany.

1946 Jean Todt, French executive director of Scuderia Ferrari, was born.

1947 State of Prussia ceased to exist.

1948 The Communist Party took control of government in Czechoslovakia.

1950 Néstor Kirchner, President of Argentina, was born  (d. 2010).

1951 The first Pan American Games were held in Buenos Aires.

1953 José María Aznar, former Prime Minister of Spain, was born.

1954 Gamal Abdul Nasser was made premier of Egypt.

1956 In his speech On the Personality Cult and its Consequences Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev denounced the cult of personality of Joseph Stalin.

1971 The first unit of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station, first commercial nuclear power station in Canada, went online.

1973 Julio Iglesias, Jr., Spanish singer, was born.

1976 – Simon O’Connor, MP for Tamaki, was born.

1980 The Suriname government was overthrown by a military coup initiated with the bombing of the police station from an army ship of the coast of the nation’s capital; Paramaribo.

1985 Benji Marshall, New Zealand rugby player, was born.

Benji Marshall (26 April 2009).jpg

1986 People Power Revolution: President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines fled after 20 years of rule; Corazon Aquino became the first Filipino woman president.

1991 Gulf War: An Iraqi Scud missile hit an American military barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia killing 28 U.S. Army Reservists from Pennsylvania.

1992 Khojaly massacre: about 613 civilians were killed by Armenian armed forces during the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.

1994 Mosque of Abraham massacre: In the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron Dr. Baruch Kappel Goldstein opened fire with an automatic rifle, killing 29 Palestinian worshippers and injuring 125 more before being subdued and beaten to death by survivors. Subsequent rioting kills 26 more Palestinians and 9 Israelis.

2009  BDR massacre in Pilkhana, Dhaka, Bangladesh. 74 People were killed, including more than 50 Army officials, by Bangladeshi Border Guards.

2015 – At least 310 people were killed in avalanches in northeastern Afghanistan.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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