Word of the day

May 3, 2016

Sprauncy – smart or showy in appearance; dapper.


Rural round-up

May 3, 2016

Rattling Fonterra’s governance is not enough – Keith Woodford:

Late last year, Fonterra’s farmers rattled the cage by voting for a change in governance rules. However, the voting majority was insufficient to change the rules. Fonterra’s Board has now responded with its own proposals for new governance structures.

To me, the new proposals look like a continuing meander towards corporatisation, without recognition of the special features of a huge co-operative conglomerate like Fonterra.

The proposal last year, led by former Fonterra directors Greg Gent and Colin Armer, was to reduce the number of directors. But would a smaller number of directors really make a difference? And what would it do in terms of further disconnecting the Board from the grassroots? . . 

Rabobank Agribusiness Monthly (NZ) – April 2016:

The Agribusiness Monthly provides timely information and analysis on agricultural conditions, commodity price updates and commentary on the latest sectoral trends and developments.

Key Highlights:

• Dairy – Global commodity prices continue to stumble along a market floor largely determined by the level of EU intervention support—and the ceiling for this support has just been approved higher. . . 

Time to plan ahead for droughts – Dan Satherley:

Improving water storage will be key to getting farmers through future droughts, according to one agribusiness expert.

Failing that, it might be time for beef, sheep and dairy to rethink their business model.

North Canterbury is into its second year of drought, with rainfall over the past few months only a third what it normally is. . . 

Kiwi-Owned Organic Rice Company Number One in South America:

Organic Latin America, an organic rice processing and distribution company in South America owned by kiwi company Ceres Organics and international partners, has risen to be the largest organic rice exporter out of South America in just five years.

Organic Latin America was founded five years ago by Ceres Organics and Thai, Danish, and Argentinian companies in order to provide South American organic rice growers with access to international markets.

Organic Latin America worked with growers in the Northern parts of Argentina and in Southern Brazil to help them improve processing systems and supply markets all over the world. . .

Fonterra says season-to-date milk collection down 3% in NZ, down 1% in Australia – Jonathan Underhill:

(BusinessDesk) – Fonterra Cooperative Group says milk collection is down in both New Zealand and Australia in the first 10 months of the season, reflecting destocking in its home market in the face of low milk prices and unfavourable weather across the Tasman.

Milk collection across New Zealand fell 3 percent to 1.39 billion kilograms of milk solids in the 10 months ended March 31, with all of the decline coming in the North Island and no change in the south. . . 

New PGP Investment Advisory Panel Chair announced:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has welcomed John Parker as the new Chair of the Primary Growth Partnership’s independent Investment Advisory Panel (IAP).

Mr Parker is a primary industry and governance specialist, and assumes his role as IAP Chair from 1 May 2016.  He replaces Joanna Perry whose tenure as Chair finishes on 30 April after nearly seven years on the IAP, including almost three as its Chair.

“IAP members use their expertise and judgement to advise on decisions about the investment of PGP funds, and to help ensure these investments achieve the aims of economic growth and sustainability,” says Mr Guy.

“Mr Parker has extensive experience in both governance and in the primary industries and he understands what is required to grow value in the sector. . . 

Northland Farmer gets top foodies on side:

A local specialist pork and beef producer has won a nationwide competition to have some of the country’s top experts help promote the business.

Amanda Hellier and her husband Wayne farm in Motutangi under the name Farm Gate Produce. They have been named as one of four winners of the Sustainable Business Network’s Good Food Boost competition. The family business produces Free Range pork cuts, sausages, salami and Chorizo and supplies it ‘from gate to plate’. . . 

Considering more days in milk?:

After a tough season many dairy farmers may be considering extending the milking period of their cows to create more cashflow.

For farmers in a position to do so, keeping cows in milk for an extended period can make strong commercial sense. A dry cow by contrast still incurs feed and grazing costs but without a corresponding milk income.

SealesWinslow Consultant Animal Nutrition Specialist, Paul Sharp, says that farmers weighing the costs and benefits of extending the milking period have several things to consider.  . . .

Waikato forum to unlock secrets to $3/kg MS farm systems:

Dairy farmer Gary Rowlands says running his farm at a cost of under $3/kg milksolids (MS) is thanks to a simple system.

Gary and wife Debra’s farm is among the 10-15 percent of New Zealand farmers who operate below $3/kg MS FWE (farm working expenses).

The Rowlands put their $2.21/kg MS FWE system down to simple farming – including an all-grass focus, basic machinery, doing their fertiliser application/silage/topping themselves and looking after their cows well.

“It’s a simple system. We just do the basics well and don’t spend if we don’t have to,” says Gary. “Every aspect comes into it.” . . 

Federated Farmers welcomes New Zealand Fire Services merger:

Federated Farmers welcomes the Government’s announcement today that funding of $303 million will be used over four years to combine rural and urban fire services.

Federated Farmers rural fire spokesperson Anders Crofoot says the creation of the new organisation – Fire and Emergency New Zealand – will mean a more efficient delivery and a better service provided by one organisation. It also recognises the services other than fire which rural fire has often provided for many years, even though it was unfunded and outside their mandate.

“The government is showing a strong commitment to transition and we welcome the additional money to build capabilities in rural fire and supporting our rural volunteers,” he said. . . 

Westpac NZ seeks more agriculture market share despite dairy downturn – By Fiona Rotherham:

 (BusinessDesk) – Westpac New Zealand says it wants to lift its market share of agricultural lending over time to 20 percent from the current 12.6 percent.

The Australian-owned bank today reported a steady performance in its New Zealand unit with cash earnings of $445 million for the six months ending Mar. 31, up 2 percent on a year ago.

Overall lending rose 8 percent with a 9 percent lift in business lending to $26.6 billion. Its agricultural portfolio totals $8.1 billion, up from $7.3 billion a year ago with dairy accounting for more than two-thirds of that. Its market share in agricultural lending rose from 12.3 percent in the previous half to 12.6 percent, which chief financial officer Jason Clifton said went mainly to existing rather than new dairy operations. . . 

Water Accord demonstrates the importance of using qualified advisers:

The release of the Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord this week highlights the important role of talented people in delivering improvements in the environmental performance of dairy farming.

The report notes that the training and certification of nutrient management advisers hit a major milestone in the 2014/15 year with a total of 100 rural professionals completing the requirements for and achieving certification in the Nutrient Management Adviser Certification Programme (NMACP). This was accomplished with the ongoing support and commitment of the Fertiliser Association of New Zealand and its member companies, Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd and Ravensdown Ltd. One of the Accord targets was that 50% of Fertiliser Association member company advisers would be certified by 31 May 2014, which was comfortably achieved. . . 

Contractors must do their bit:

Agricultural contractors around the country must play their part in helping to prevent the spread of the invasive weed velvetleaf, says Rural Contractors NZ (RCNZ) president Steve Levet.

Mr Levet is reminding contractors about the importance of biosecurity and machinery hygiene practices on, and between farms, in controlling the spread velvetleaf and says rural contractors have an important role to play in this.

“Contractors need to be conscious of the potential of spreading velvetleaf when moving between properties, or between areas of the same property, and to take responsibility in managing these risks,” he says. . . 

Wool Industry Reacts to New Health and Safety Regulations:

The National Council of New Zealand Wool Interests Inc comprises associations and organisations involved in the domestic and international trading of greasy and scoured wool. The Council acts as the New Zealand member of the International Wool Textile Organisation, which represents the interests of the wool textile trade at the global level.

The National Council and its members are committed to providing a safe working environment throughout the wool industry. Increasing concerns relating to bales weighing over 200kg (which are estimated to cover approximately 6% of the national clip) have prompted the Council to address the issue. Bales weighing in excess of 200kg can contribute to workplace accidents and throughout the industry provide a significant problem during dumping and shipping. These bales have been assessed as hazards during transport and handling, with changes deemed necessary to comply with tougher Occupational Health and Safety laws being introduced in New Zealand. . . 


KiwiDaze

May 3, 2016

A new video documenting 25 year old Kiwi plumber Logan Dodds’ ultimate New Zealand OE is set to inspire young New Zealanders to get out and explore their backyard.

Air New Zealand has supported Logan Dodds and his friend Trent Nattrass to experience all New Zealand has to offer – the end result KiwiDaze – an epic four minute video showcasing their adventures and jaw dropping scenery throughout the country over six weeks of summer. . .


Quote of the day

May 3, 2016

Those who don’t know how to weep with their whole heart, don’t know how to laugh either. Golda Meir who was born on this day in 1898.

She also said: One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present.

And:

We do not rejoice in victories. We rejoice when a new kind of cotton is grown and when strawberries bloom in Israel.


May 3 in history

May 3, 2016

1469 Niccolò Machiavelli, Italian historian and political author was born (d. 1527).

1491  Kongo monarch Nkuwu Nzinga was baptised by Portuguese missionaries, adopting the baptismal name of João I.

1494  Christopher Columbus first sighted what is now known as Jamaica.

1715 Edmund Halley’s total solar eclipse.

1768 Charles Tennant, Scottish chemist and industrialist, was born (d. 1838).

1791  The Constitution of May 3 (the first modern constitutionin Europe)  was proclaimed by the Sejm of Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

1802  Washington, D.C. was incorporated as a city.

1808  Finnish War: Sweden lost the fortress of Sveaborg to Russia.

1808 Peninsular War: The Madrid rebels were fired upon near Príncipe Pío hill.

1815 Neapolitan War: Joachim Murat, King of Naples was defeated by the Austrians at the Battle of Tolentino, the decisive engagement of the war.

1820 Missionary John Butler turned the first furrow at Kerikeri, becoming the first to use a European plough in New Zealand.

First European plough used in NZ

1830  The Canterbury and Whitstable Railway was opened – the first steam hauled passenger railway to issue season tickets and include a tunnel.

1837  The University of Athens was founded.

1844 Richard D’Oyly Carte, English theatrical impresario was born (d. 1901).

1849  The May Uprising in Dresden began – the last of the German revolutions of 1848.

1860 Charles XV of Sweden-Norway was crowned king of Sweden.

1867 The Hudson’s Bay Company gave up all claims to Vancouver Island.

1877  Labatt Park, the oldest continually operating baseball grounds in the world had its first game.

1887 Margaret Cruickshank became the first woman to be registered as a doctor in New Zealand.

NZ's first woman doctor registered

1898  Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel, was born (d. 1978).

1901 The Great Fire of 1901 began in Jacksonville, Florida.

1903  Bing Crosby, American singer and actor, was born  (d. 1977).

1913  Raja Harishchandra the first full-length Indian feature film was released.

1915 The poem In Flanders Fields was written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae.

1916 The leaders of the Easter Rising were executed in Dublin.

1919 Pete Seeger, American singer, was born (d.2014).

1920 A Bolshevik coup failsedin the Democratic Republic of Georgia.

1921 Sugar Ray Robinson, American boxer was born (d. 1989).

1921 Joe Ames, American singer, was born (d. 2007).

1926  Ann B. Davis, American actress Alice on The Brady Bunch, was born.

1928  Japanese atrocities in Jinan, China.

1929 – Charles Ewing Mackay, the disgraced former mayor of Whanganui, was shot dead by Berlin police during May Day riots in the German capital.

1933  Nellie Tayloe Ross became the first woman to head the United States Mint.

1933 James Brown, American singer and dancer, was born (d. 2006).

1934 Frankie Valli, American singer (The Four Seasons), was born.

1937  Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

1942  World War II: Japanese naval troops invaded Tulagi Island in the Solomon Islands during the first part of Operation Mo .

1945 World War II: Sinking of the prison ships Cap Arcona, Thielbek andDeutschland by the Royal Air Force in Lübeck Bay.

1946 International Military Tribunal for the Far East began in Tokyo with twenty-eight Japanese military and government officials accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

1947 New post-war Japanese constitution went into effect.

1948  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that covenants prohibiting the sale of real estate to blacks and other minorities were legally unenforceable.

1951  London’s Royal Festival Hall opened with the Festival of Britain.

1951 The United States Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees begin their closed door hearings into the dismissal of GeneralDouglas MacArthur by U.S. President Harry Truman.

1951 – The Kentucky Derby was televised for the first time.

1951 Christopher Cross, American musician, was born.

1952  Lieutenant Colonels Joseph O. Fletcher and William P. Benedictlanded a plane at the North Pole.

1960  The Off-Broadway musical comedy, The Fantasticks, opened in Greenwich Village, eventually becoming the longest-running musical of all time.

1960 – The Anne Frank House opened in Amsterdam.

1963 The police force in Birmingham, Alabama switches tactics and responded with violent force to stop the “Birmingham campaign” protesters.

1973 The Sears Tower in Chicago was topped out as the world’s tallest building.

1978  The first unsolicited bulk commercial e-mail (later  known as “spam“) was sent by a Digital Equipment Corporation marketing representative to every ARPANET address on the west coast of the United States.

1986  Twenty-one people were killed and forty-one are injured after a bomb exploded in an airliner (Flight UL512) at Colombo  airport in Sri Lanka.

1991 The Declaration of Windhoek was signed.

1999  Oklahoma City was slammed by an F5 tornado killing forty-two people, injuring 665, and causing $1 billion in damage. One of 66 from the1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak, this was the strongest tornado ever recorded with wind speeds of up to 318 mph.

2000  The sport of geocaching began, with the first cache placed and the coordinates from a GPS posted on Usenet.

2002 A military MiG-21 aircraft crashed into the Bank of Rajasthan in India, killing eight.

2003 –  New Hampshire’s famous Old Man of the Mountain collapsed.

2006 Armavia Flight 967 crashed into the Black Sea, killing 113 people on board, with no survivors.

2015  – Two gunmen launched an attempted attack on an anti-Islam event in Garland, Texas, which was held in response to the Charlie Hebdo shooting..

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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