366 days of gratitude

May 18, 2016

A weekend at the National Party’s Mainland conference and three days sorting books for Rotary’s annual Bookarama has reinforced for me the importance of volunteers.

They’re the ones who form the civil society, defined as the aggregate of non-governmental organisations and institutions that manifest interests and will of citizens.

They’re the people who give their time, talents and often money in a myriad of ways to help others.

They’re the ones who believe we must all pay our rent on earth and act on that belief.

They’re the ones for whom I’m grateful today.


Word of the day

May 18, 2016

Mondegreen – a misunderstood or misinterpreted word or phrase resulting from a mishearing of the lyrics of a song;  a word or phrase that results from a mishearing of something said or sung;  a mishearing or misinterpretation of a phrase as a result of near-homophony, in a way that gives it a new meaning.


Rural round-up

May 18, 2016

NZ primary sector needs story to sell globally, trade envoy Petersen says – Fiona Rotherham:

(BusinessDesk) – New Zealand needs to develop a new primary sector story to help sell its products to the world, says Mike Petersen, New Zealand’s special agricultural trade envoy.

Speaking at today’s Dairy NZ Farmer Forum at Mystery Creek, Petersen said he has been “banging on” about this idea for some years without getting much traction.

“We need a coherent New Zealand story and we need it desperately to take out into the world,” he said. “We are behind the game at pulling this together to make the most of our opportunities.” . . .

Monsanto’s pesticide ‘unlikely to cause cancer’ :

The weed-killing pesticide glyphosate, made by Monsanto and widely used in agriculture and by gardeners, probably does not cause cancer, according to a new safety review by United Nations health, agriculture and food experts.

In a statement likely to intensify a row over its potential health impact, experts from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) said glyphosate is “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans” exposed to it through food.

It is mostly used on crops.

Having reviewed the scientific evidence, the joint WHO/FAO committee also said glyphosate is unlikely to be genotoxic in humans. . . .

Why Many Midwestern Farmers Are Pro-TPP – Kristofor Husted:

Turn on the TV and you can barely escape the acronym TPP.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a free trade deal between the U.S. and 11 other countries that’s currently being negotiated. Presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle are deriding the TPP, saying it’s a bum deal that will hurt the U.S. economy and especially low-wage workers.

But if you venture into the Midwest and ask a farmer about the TPP, you’re likely to get a different answer.

“This pending TPP trade negotiation, to me, is hugely important for agricultural commodities, but specifically for beef,” says Mike John, a cattle rancher in Huntsville, Mo. He’s one of many Midwest farmers and ranchers who are bucking the political trend to dog the TPP. . .  (Hat tip: Kiwiblog)

Māori land report shows potential in Northland:

Māori land owners in Northland have promising options for developing their land, according to a report commissioned by the Ministry for Primary Industries, Te Rūnanga-Ā-Iwi-O-Ngāpuhi and the Far North District Council.

“The report shows that in a 50km radius around Kaikohe there are nearly 4000 small parcels of unproductive land that have the potential to be developed for uses like horticulture and agriculture,” says Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.

The report highlights two case studies focusing on horticulture and pastoral land use scenarios that show the potential for many parts of Northland. . . 

Summit to Consider Farming Within Environmental Limits:

The 2016 New Zealand Primary Industry Summit will once again provide farm and business leaders with the opportunity to consider sustainability and environmental issues.

This years programme includes sessions that will tackle the hottest topics in the industry including the TPPA, sustainability, smart branding and marketing, and foreign investment. A highlight for those interested in sustainability will be a session delivered on day two by Fish & Game New Zealand’s Environmental Manager Corina Jordan entitled ‘Farming within environmental limits.’ . . 

Fonterra NZ, Australia milk collection drops in season to date – Tina Morrison

(BusinessDesk) – Fonterra Cooperative Group says milk collection is down in New Zealand and Australia, its two largest markets, in the first 11 months of the season during a period of weak dairy prices.

Milk collection across New Zealand fell 3.3 percent to 1.499 billion kilograms of milk solids in the season from June 1, 2015, through April 30, 2016, with all of the decline coming in the North Island while good weather conditions kept South Island production unchanged, Auckland-based Fonterra said in its Global Dairy Update. The 2015/16 season forecast has been revised to 1.558 billion kgMS, down 3 percent on the previous season, its said. . . 

Fonterra Confirms Early Final Dividend Payment:

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited today confirmed it will pay part of its forecast final dividend earlier, to support farmers during a time of extremely tight on-farm cash flows.

Chairman John Wilson said a solid performance during the nine months to 30 April in the current financial year enables the Co-operative to declare the 10 cents per share dividend today. Payment will be made on 7 June, bringing dividend payments so far this year to 30 cents per share.

“While the milk supply and demand imbalance continues to impact global milk prices and our forecast Farmgate Milk Price, the business is delivering on strategy and has maintained the good performance levels seen in the first six months of the financial year. . . 

Drop in number of farms on the market:

Farm sale prices held steady in April, but the number of farms on the market is falling, says the Real Estate Institute.

New data showed there were 16 percent fewer sales for the three months ended April this year, than for the same three months last year.

But the median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to April was $30,000, up nearly 5 percent on the same period last year. . . 

 

image

Hat tip: Utopia

 


Global problem requires global solutions

May 18, 2016

The Green Party continues its blinkered approach to the environment with its call to include agriculture in the Emissions Trading Scheme:

The call comes in the wake of a study, part funded by the New Zealand Government,1 showing that global warming pollution from agriculture must be cut significantly to keep global temperatures below a 2° rise, and that currently not nearly enough is being done to achieve this.

“National needs to stop making excuses and set a deadline to end the growing levels of climate-damaging pollution from agriculture,” said Green Party primary industries spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

“The National Government has repeatedly refused to push the agricultural sector to reduce climate damaging pollution, despite this being a requirement for the energy sector, transport providers and nearly every other New Zealander.

Wrong.

The government was the prime mover behind the establishment of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural GHGs which is using international collaboration to find  solutions. It’s also working with farmers who are paying for research into methods to reduce emissions without the financial and social costs that the Green’s solution would impose, not just on farmers but the wider economy.

“All New Zealanders, including farmers, want to preserve a safe and stable climate for future generations. That means facing reality, and committing to an end to pollution-intensive farming. . . 

Facing reality means accepting that global problems require global solutions.

That means understanding that reducing food production here would increase emissions because production would increase in other countries with far less efficient farming methods than those employed by most New Zealand farmers.

It also means accepting good science which could show that genetic modification is one of the solutions.

AgResearch scientists have developed a genetically modified ryegrass that cuts greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30% but biotechnology experts warn regulations could delay its use.

Though it has several environmental benefits and could boost production it faces regulatory hurdles here because it has been genetically engineered.

The scientists have shown in the laboratory the ryegrass, called High Metabolisable Energy (HME), can reduce methane emissions from animals by 15% to 30% while modelling suggests a reduction in nitrous oxide of up to 20%.

It has also shown resilience to dry weather and can increase milk production by up to 12%.

Environmentalists have berated agriculture for not reducing greenhouse gas emissions but if laboratory results are replicated in the field, HME could reignite the GM debate.

UN research shows New Zealand farmers can cut climate damaging pollution with current technology, by as much as 17 percent. The Government shouldn’t be pinning all its hopes on a silver bullet solution to agricultural pollution.

“Leading dairy farmers are showing they can increase profit and cut pollution by optimising stocking rates and by shifting production to high-value, low-impact organic dairy farming. We need all farmers to follow suit,” said Ms Sage.

Of course reducing stock would reduce emissions here but it would at best do nothing to reduce world-wide emissions and would almost certainly lead to an increase as less efficient producers elsewhere increased their production.

The Green solution would reduce food production and lead to increases in both the price of food, which would impact hardest on the poor, and emissions.

Farmers are doing all they can to reduce emissions globally rather than the smoke and mirrors approach of cuts here replaced by increases there the Green Party is promoting.


GDT up 2.6%

May 18, 2016

The GlobalDairyTrade price index had a welcome 2.6% increase in this morning’s auction, albeit on small volumes.

GdT18.516

gDT185.16

gdt18516

 

 


Quote of the day

May 18, 2016

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.Bertrand Russell who was born on this day in 1872.


May 18 in history

May 18, 2016

1048 Omar Khayyám, Persian mathematician, poet and philosopher, was born (d. 1131).

1152  Henry II of England married Eleanor of Aquitaine.

1268  The Principality of Antioch, a crusader state, fell to the Mamluk Sultan Baibars in the Battle of Antioch.

1302 Bruges Matins, the nocturnal massacre of the French garrison in Bruges by members of the local Flemish militia.

1498 Vasco da Gama reached the port of Calicut, India.

1593  Playwright Thomas Kyd‘s accusations of heresy led to an arrest warrant for Christopher Marlowe.

1652 Rhode Island passed the first law in North America making slavery illegal.

1765  Fire destroyed a large part of Montreal.

1783  First United Empire Loyalists reached Parrtown, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada after leaving the United States.

1803  Napoleonic Wars: The United Kingdom revoked the Treaty of Amiensand declared war on France.

1804 Napoleon Bonaparte was proclaimed Emperor of the French by the French Senate.

1811  Battle of Las Piedras: The first great military triumph of the revolution of the Río de la Plata in Uruguay led by Jose Artigas.

1812  John Bellingham was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging for the assassination of British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval.

1843  The Disruption in Edinburgh of the Free Church of Scotland from the Church of Scotland.

1848  Opening of the first German National Assembly(Nationalversammlung) in Frankfurt.

1860  Abraham Lincoln won the Republican Party nomination over William H. Seward.

1863  American Civil War: The Siege of Vicksburg began.

1868 – Nicholas II of Russia, was born (d. 1918).

1872 – Bertrand Russell, Welsh mathematician, historian, and philosopher, Nobel Prize laureate was born (d. 1970).

1896  The United States Supreme Court ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson thatseparate but equal is constitutional.

1896 – Khodynka Tragedy: A mass panic on Khodynka Field in Moscow during the festivities of the coronation of  Tsar Nicholas II resulted in the deaths of 1,389 people.

1897  Dracula,  by Irish author Bram Stoker was published.

1897  Frank Capra, American film producer, director, and writer, was born  (d. 1991).

1900  The United Kingdom proclaimed a protectorate over Tonga.

1910  The Earth passed through the tail of Comet Halley.

1912 – Perry Como, American singer, was born (d. 2001).

1917 World War I: The Selective Service Act of 1917 was passed, giving the President of the United States the power of conscription.

1919  – Margot Fonteyn, English ballet dancer, was born  (d. 1991).

1920 Pope John Paul II was born (d. 2005).

1926 Evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson disappeared while visiting a Venice, California beach.

1927  The Bath School Disaster: Forty-five people were killed by bombs planted by a disgruntled school-board member in Michigan.

1933 New Deal: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an act creating theTennessee Valley Authority.

1937 New Zealand nurses René Shadbolt, Isobel Dodds, and Millicent Sharples were detained at Auckland police station before leaving for the Spanish Civil War as recruits for the Spanish Medical Aid Committee.

NZ nurses detained on way to Spanish Civil War

1944  World War II: Battle of Monte Cassino – Conclusion after seven days of the fourth battle as German paratroopers (Fallschirmjäger) evacuated Monte Cassino.

1944  Deportation of Crimean Tatars by the Soviet Union  government.

1948  The First Legislative Yuan of the Republic of China officially convened in Nanking.

1949 Rick Wakeman, English composer and musician (Yes) was born.

1949 – Bill Wallace, Canadian musician (The Guess Who) was born.

1953  Jackie Cochran became the first woman to break the sound barrier.

1955  Operation Passage to Freedom, the evacuation of 310,000 Vietnamese civilians, soldiers and non-Vietnamese members of the French Army from communist North Vietnam to South Vietnam following the end of the First Indochina War, ended.

1956 First  ascent of Lhotse 8,516 metres, by a Swiss team.

1958 An F-104 Starfighter set a world speed record of 2,259.82 km/h (1,404.19 mph).

1959 Launching of the National Liberation Committee of Côte d’Ivoire in Conakry, Guinea.

1966 Koroki Te Rata Mahuta Tawhiao Potatau Te Wherowhero, the fifth Maori monarch heading the Kingitanga movement, died.

Death of Maori King Koroki

1969  Apollo 10 was launched.

1974 Nuclear test: Under project Smiling Buddha, India successfully detonated its first nuclear weapon becoming the sixth nation to do so.

1974 – Completion of the Warsaw radio mast, the tallest construction ever built at the time.

1980 Eruption of Mount St. Helens: killing 57 people and causing $3 billion in damage.

1980 Gwangju Massacre: Students in Gwangju, South Korea began demonstrations, calling for democratic reforms.

1983  In Ireland, the government launched a crackdown, with the leading Dublin pirate Radio Nova  put off the air.

1990 In France, a modified TGV train achieved a new rail world speed record of 515.3km/h (320.2 mph).

1991 Northern Somalia declared independence from the rest of Somalia as the Republic of Somaliland but is unrecognised by the international community.

1993  EU-riots in Nørrebro, Copenhagen caused by the approval of the four Danish exceptions in the Maastricht Treaty referendum. Police opened fire against civilians for the first time since World War II and injured 11 demonstrators.

1998 United States v. Microsoft: The United States Department of Justice and 20 U.S. states filed an antitrust case against Microsoft.

2006 The post Loktantra Andolan government passed a landmark bill curtailing the power of the monarchy and making Nepal a secular country.

2009  Sri Lankan Civil War: The LTTE were defeated by the Sri Lankan government, ending almost 26 years of fighting between the two sides.

2011 – 22 people were killed when Sol Líneas Aéreas Flight 5428 crashed in southern Argentina.

2012 – Facebook, Inc. began selling stock to the public and trading on theNASDAQ.

2015 – At least 78 people died in a landslides caused by heavy rains in the Colombian town of Salgar.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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