366 days of gratitude

March 16, 2016

When we were in San Francisco several years ago we stumbled on a book store on our way back to our hotel after dinner.

It had three floors of stock, comfortable leather chairs, a cafe and loos. I wondered if I’d died and gone to heaven.

I don’t remember it’s name but I still have the collection of Erma Bombeck books I bought there.

That was before the days of internet shopping and while I do use Fishpond, and find it very good for sourcing books no longer available in shops, I still prefer to buy from a shop.

My favourite bookshop closer to home is the University Bookshop in Dunedin and I can always rely on my local Paper Plus in Oamaru to give good service.

Today I’m grateful for bookshops.


Word of the day

March 16, 2016

Whit – a very small part; tiny or scarcely detectable amount; the smallest part or particle imaginable;  least bit; an iota; to make a shrill abrupt sound, as a bird’s chirp, the whistle of a flying bullet, etc.


Rural round-up

March 16, 2016

Whitestone blue wins silver in world champs – Sally Rae,

Whitestone Cheese has got the blues – but in a good way.

The Oamaru-based company has been awarded a silver medal in the blue vein division of the 2016 World Championship Cheese Contest in the United States, the world’s largest cheese, butter and yoghurt competition.

The contest, hosted by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, attracted a record 2948 entries from 25 countries. Judges came from all over the world and included Fonterra research technologist Andrew Legg. . . 

Bankers aren’t farmers – Offsetting Behaviour:

On Radio New Zealand this morning, Andrew Little argued the government should lean on the banks to prevent their foreclosing on dairy farms, warning of that foreigners might swoop in and buy distressed NZ farms. 

  • Banks do not want to run farms. If they foreclose, they have to find somebody to run the thing pending auction. There are cows that need to be fed. The bank or the receiver takes on all the health & safety, and animal welfare, liability. The most heavily leveraged ones are the ones that’d be first to go; those are the ones where the banks have the biggest stake, and where the banks would take the greatest share of the loss in a fire-sale. A receiver’s fees will include all the farm-running costs. . . 

Dairy industry needs to stay competitive – DairyNZ:

DairyNZ says it is time to look at how the dairy industry can stay competitive in the wake of a record low Farmgate Milk Price and mounting debt.

It is stepping up its support to farmers and is running workshops across the country this week focussing on sharemilkers and farm owners working with sharemilkers.

Chief executive Tim Mackle said Fonterra has done well since it formed in 2001, and the main challenge for farmers – compared to other tough years – was the mountain of debt that had grown.

“Ten percent of the highest indebted farms have 30 percent of the total dairy debt – that’s $11 to $12 billion or $10 million each. But that doesn’t mean all those farms are at risk,” says Dr Mackle. . . 

Dairy prices affecting over one fifth of NZ SMEs:

More than one-in-five small and medium enterprises across New Zealand are feeling the effects of falling dairy prices, according to leading accounting software developer MYOB.

A snapshot result from the latest Business Monitor research commissioned by MYOB and undertaken by Colmar Brunton, found that 21 per cent of the more than 1,000 SMEs surveyed stated their business’ revenues were negatively affected by the dairy price. Even more concerning is the 25 per cent of SMEs that said general consumer confidence has been directly hit.

Across the country, it means that approximately 100,000 businesses employing upwards of one million New Zealanders are facing reducing revenue because of the dairy downturn. MYOB General Manager James Scollay says that the results show a significant impact on the New Zealand economy. . .

Dairy farming: it’ll be survival of the fittest – Jamie Gray:

Bank analyst has confidence in the sector’s ability to adapt but says that some of those ill-prepared for the downturn will go to the wall, writes Jamie Gray.

The dairy sector may be in for a period of adjustment of an order not seen since the 1980s, when farmers were hit with high interest rates, a high New Zealand dollar, and the removal of subsidies, says Rabobank NZ’s head of country banking Hayley Moynihan.

As dairy farmers prepare to enter what may be their third season in a row of negative returns, Moynihan said there will be casualties, but she has confidence in the sector’s ability to cope. . . 

dairy graphic

Stellar vintage predicted for Hawke’s Bay winegrowers:

All signs are pointing towards 2016 being another stellar year for Hawke’s Bay winemakers.

Paul Ham, Managing Director of Alpha Domus Winery, says the 2016 vintage is shaping up to be one of the best yet.

As one of the first wineries in Hawke’s Bay to harvest their early Chardonnay grapes, Alpha Domus is in a unique position to assess the coming vintage. “We’re really excited about the remainder of the harvest,” says Mr Ham. “It’s been a superb season and the grapes are looking outstanding on the vine.” . . .

Quality of NZ wool clip leaves exporters scrambling to fill lower-grade fibre orders – Tina Morrison:

(BusinessDesk) – New Zealand wool exporters scrambling to fill orders for lower-grade wool have driven up the price of what are known as oddments in recent weeks because the season to date has delivered an unexpectedly high-quality clip.

Wool oddments are the shorter parts of the fleece, such as from the belly, second pieces, eye clips, necks and those parts stained or otherwise discoloured. They are often baled and sold separately, but a paucity of lower-quality wool has meant exporters are blending oddments with other higher wool grades to make up orders, said Malcolm Ching, an executive at New Zealand Wool Services International in Christchurch. . . 

China Resources buys stake in NZ’s biggest apple exporter – Jonathan Underhill:

(BusinessDesk) – China Resources Ng Fung has acquired 15.3 percent of Scales Corp, New Zealand’s biggest apple exporter, for about $55.9 million from Direct Capital Investments.

The Hong Kong-based company today entered into an arrangement to buy the shares at $2.60 apiece, with settlement on about March 21. Scales said it welcomed China Resources “as a significant minority shareholder, and as a party who can provide support to Scales in its ongoing initiatives in China.” . . 

Social Media Stars Win Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Awards:

The 2016 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Industry Awards winners are active among a growing group of dairy farmers turning to social media to support, share and gain information to help progress their dairy career.

At the region’s annual awards dinner held at the Indian Hall in Pukekohe last night, Brad Markham and Matthew Herbert were named 2016 Auckland/Hauraki Share Farmers of the Year, Hayden Kerr became the 2016 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Manager of the Year and James Doidge the 2016 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Trainee of the Year.

Mr Markham, Mr Herbert and Mr Kerr are all active and well-known among dairy farmers on Twitter. “We enjoy connecting with other farmers, in New Zealand and overseas, on social media platforms like Twitter,” Mr Markham and Mr Herbert say. “It can be a great way to share ideas. . . 

Accountants Get in Behind New Zealand Dairy Farmers:

NZ CA Limited announces Gold Sponsorship of 2016 Dairy Business of the Year

Improving farm profitability and developing resilient and sustainable farming systems are two of the key drivers behind NZ Chartered Accountants Limited’s (NZ CA) gold sponsorship of this year’s Dairy Business of the Year (DBOY).

Sue Merriman, NZ CA’s chairperson and also partner in Greymouth chartered accountants Marshall & Heaphy Limited, says, “The group is delighted to be a Gold Sponsor of the 2016 Dairy Business of the Year. With so many of our member firms located in provincial New Zealand and having dairy farm businesses as clients, it’s a logical move for the group to be involved in supporting and further developing these businesses. With the continuing slump in milk solid prices this year and the effect of this on farm businesses, it’s more important than ever that dairy farmers get good independent business advice from their chartered accountants. . . 

Fertiliser Company Takes Industry Lead to Identify Fertiliser Efficiency:

Fertiliser Company Hatuma Dicalcic Phosphate has taken an industry lead to identify fertiliser efficiencies for farmers

The company has invested over $1 million in research and is monitoring 12 sheep and beef farms totalling 16,500 hectares in the independent ‘Farming for the Future’ programme.

The programme set out to find how a lower nutrient input system can build both economic and environmental resilience within the farm gate. . . 

TECH Talks a highlight at national primary industry conference:

In two weeks Rotorua will be playing host to over 300 industry representatives from throughout the agriculture, horticulture and forestry sectors. MobileTECH 2016 is a two-day conference focusing on new technologies and innovations designed for our food and fibre industries.

As well as the New Zealand sector, MobileTECH has also attracted a solid contingent from across the Tasman. Some of Australia’s largest primary industry companies will be flying into Rotorua and joining the local industry for this event.

The strength of this programme, boosting over 36 speakers, is in bringing together under the one roof leaders from across a diverse range of primary industries with those who are developing, manufacturing and adopting these new technologies. . . 

 


GDT down 2.9%, sigh

March 16, 2016

The GlobalDairyTrade price index dropped 2.9% in this morning’s auction.

That’s particularly disappointing when predictions were it would go up but not surprising when the problem of supply outstripping demand is still there.

GDT17 316

 

gDt173 16

gdt17316


Quote of the day

March 16, 2016

It is easy to believe in freedom of speech for those with whom we agree. –  Leo McKern who was born on this day in 1920.

He may have been better known as Horace Rumpole, as which character he said“If I don’t like the way the times are moving, I shall refuse to accompany them.”


March 16 in history

March 16, 2016

597 BC – Babylonians captured Jerusalem, replace Jehoiachin withZedekiah as king.

37 Caligula became Roman Emperor after the death of his great uncle, Tiberius.

1190 Massacre of Jews at Clifford’s Tower, York.

1322 The Battle of Boroughbridge took place in the First War of Scottish Independence.

1521 Ferdinand Magellan reached the Philippines.

1621 Samoset, a Mohegan, visited the settlers of Plymouth Colony and greeted them, “Welcome, Englishmen! My name is Samoset.”

1660 The Long Parliament disbanded.

1689 The 23rd Regiment of Foot or Royal Welch Fusiliers was founded.

1774 Captain Matthew Flinders, English explorer, was born (d. 1814).

1789 Georg Simon Ohm, German physicist, was born (d. 1854).

1792 King Gustav III of Sweden was shot. He died on March 29.

1802  The Army Corps of Engineers was established to found and operate the United States Military Academy at West Point.

1812  Battle of Badajoz (March 16 – April 6) – British and Portuguese forces besieged and defeated French garrison during Peninsular War.

1815 Prince Willem of the House of Orange-Nassau proclaimed himself King of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, the first constitutional monarch in the Netherlands.

1818 Second Battle of Cancha Rayada – Spanish forced defeat Chileans under José de San Martín.

1839 – John Butler Yeats, Northern Irish artist (d. 1922).

1865 The Battle of Averasborough began as Confederate forces suffer irreplaceable casualties in the final months of the American Civil War.

1872 The Wanderers F.C. won the first FA Cup, the oldest football competition in the world, beating Royal Engineers A.F.C. 1-0 at The Oval in Kennington , London.

1900  Sir Arthur Evans purchased the land around the ruins of Knossos, the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete.

1912 Lawrence Oates, an ill member of Scott’s South Pole expedition left the tent saying, “I am just going outside and may be some time.”

1920 Leo McKern, Australian actor, was born (d. 2002).

1924 In accordance with the Treaty of Rome, Fiume became annexed as part of Italy.

1926  Robert Goddard launched the first liquid-fueled rocket, at Auburn, Massachusetts.

1926 Jerry Lewis, American comedian, was born.

1935 Adolf Hitler ordered Germany to rearm herself in violation of the Versailles Treaty. Conscription was reintroduced to form the Wehrmacht.

1939 Hitler proclaimed Bohemia and Moravia a German protectorate.

1939 Marriage of Princess Fawzia of Egypt to Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran.

1940 Jockey Y-fronts were first sold in New Zealand shops.

Jockey Y-fronts hit NZ shops

1942 The first V-2 rocket test launched. It exploded at lift-off.

1945 The Battle of Iwo Jima ended but small pockets of Japanese resistance persisted.

1945 – Ninety percent of Würzburg, Germany was destroyed in only 20 minutes by British bombers. 5,000 were killed.

1948 Michael Bruce, American musician (Alice Cooper), was born.

1950   Czechoslovakia‘s ministry of foreign affairs asks nuncios of Vaticanto leave the country.

1952  In Cilaos, Réunion, 1,870 millimetres (74 in) of rain fell in one day, setting a new world record.

1958  The Ford Motor Company produced its 50 millionth automobile, theThunderbird, averaging almost a million cars a year since the company’s founding.

1959 EUROAVIA, the European Association of Aerospace students was founded, the first initiative towards European cooperation in Aerospace.

1962 A Flying Tiger Line Super Constellation disappeared in the western Pacific Ocean, with 107 missing.

1963 Kevin Smith, New Zealand actor, was born.

1963  Mount Agung erupted on Bali killing 11,000.

1966 Launch of Gemini 8, the 12th manned American space flight and first space docking with the Agena Target Vehicle.

1968 Vietnam War: In the My Lai massacre, between 350 and 500 Vietnamese villagers were killed by American troops.

1968 – General Motors produced its 100 millionth automobile, theOldsmobile Toronado.

1976 – British Prime Minister Harold Wilson resigned, citing personal reasons.

1977 – Assassination of Kamal Jumblatt the main leader of the anti-government forces in the Lebanese Civil War.

1978  Former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro was kidnapped and later killed by his captors.

1978 – Supertanker Amoco Cadiz split in two after running aground on the Portsall Rocks, three miles off the coast of Brittany, resulting in the 5th-largest oil spill in history.

1983 Demolition of the radio tower Ismaning, the last wooden radio tower in Germany.

1984 William Buckley, the CIA station chief in Beirut, Lebanon, was kidnapped by Islamic fundamentalists and later died in captivity.

1985 Associated Press newsman Terry Anderson was taken hostage in Beirut.

1988  Iran-Contra Affair: Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North and Vice AdmiralJohn Poindexter were indicted on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States.

1995 Mississippi formally ratified the Thirteenth Amendment, becoming the last state to approve the abolition of slavery. The Thirteenth Amendment was officially ratified in 1865.

1997 Sandline affair: On Bougainville Island, soldiers of commander Jerry Singirok arrested Tim Spicer and his mercenaries of the Sandline International.

1998  Pope John Paul II asked God for forgiveness for the inactivity and silence of some Roman Catholics during the Holocaust.

1999 – NZHistory.net.nz was launched.

NZHistory.net.nz launched

2003 – The largest coordinated worldwide vigil took place, as part of the global protests against Iraq war.

2005 –  Israel officially handed over Jericho to Palestinian control.

2014 – Crimea voted in a controversial referendum to secede from Ukraine to join Russia.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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