366 days of gratitude

June 30, 2016

Not too long ago toll calls were so expensive they were rarely made and reserved for matters of great moment.

Calling between countries was even more costly – unless as friends and I once did, you could find a phone box in London which enabled you to call New Zealand for a very few pennies.

Technological developments have brought great leaps in telecommunications, increasing the ease of calling and decreasing the cost.

A niece phoned me from France recently for no cost at all.

I haven’t found a company offering free overseas calls in New Zealand but Internet options like Skype and Facetime do the same thing at no extra cost, and enable you to not only hear but also see the person with whom you’re conversing.

I’m now in the happy position of being able to talk to family and friends anywhere in the world without counting the cost and I’m grateful for that.


Word of the day

June 30, 2016

Quercine – having the characteristics of, or resembling an oak.


Rural round-up

June 30, 2016

Farmers on the cusp of unprecedented change:

KPMG’s Ian Proudfoot says significant change is coming to New Zealand’s primary sector and “farmers that ignore it do it at their peril”.

Mr Proudfoot was speaking this morning at Federated Farmers’ National Conference Meat and Fibre AGM.

The world was on the cusp of a fourth industrial revolution and this would mean thinking more globally.

Kiwi farmers who could tell their unique story would prevail as the global consumer became more discerning about what they eat and where it came from.

“There is a fusion happening where digital, physical and biotechnological products will redefine how we live and farm,” he said. . . 

Abandoning challenge, not my way – Rick Powdrell:

There is one thing in life that never changes. The moment you overcome one challenge, there is sure to be another. Once in a while a challenge crops up that might be easier to abandon, but that’s not my way.

You guessed it, that last reference is to the New Zealand red meat industry.

At our February meeting we discussed our role going forward. The emphasis was on continued dialogue with key players, notably Beef + Lamb, the Meat Industry Association, Meat Industry Excellence Group and other parties keen to engage.

There have been plenty of people willing to engage, some notable for their commercial self-interest, and others to talk about specific elements within the industry. All have relevant ideas and the passion and desire to see the industry move forward. But until key players come together with a common goal, the quantum shift required will not occur. . . 

Address to Federated Farmers Dairy Industry Group –  Andrew Hoggard:

Good morning colleagues, observers, media, and of course all the keyboard warriors and trolls waiting in anticipation.

Another season has gone by and whilst there are some positive noises out there around potential market improvements, the prices we all face are still below the break even point for many of us. The expectation is that the financial implications of this downturn will see us in pain for a few years to come.

Much of the commentary over the past few days has been around the Brexit, and the fallout from it. One might ask, what this means for New Zealand Dairy? It really is all up in the air at the moment, our exports presently to the UK are pretty minimal. . .

Recipients of the Gordon Stephenson Trophy:

Richard and Dianne clearly share a deep passion for their family’s show piece farm on the edge of Auckland city. Their beef breeding and sheep breeding and finishing operation runs 4820 stock units on 331ha (effective) with a pine woodlot established on 18.5ha and 15.3ha of regenerating native bush.

Richard and Dianne, who have three adult sons, have farmed the flat to easy-rolling property since the late 1970s.

They are pragmatic about protecting the environment for future generations. All waterways have been fenced, and large areas of raupo act as sediment traps to capture nutrients. Biodiversity corridors link the upper catchment areas to the bush, and bush remnants have been planted with native species such as kauri, rimu and pohutukawa.

Whenuanui runs 300 Angus breeding cows and a Coopworth ewe flock. Mixed-age ewes lambed at 162 percent last year, with hoggets achieving an impressive 129 percent. All lambs are sold prime under the “Kaipara Lamb” brand. . . 

Call out to Young New Zealanders to share in success of the booming apple industry:

New Zealand’s world leading apple industry is putting a call out to school leavers and graduates across the country to come share in its success.

Pipfruit New Zealand’s new capability development manager Erin Simpson has been charged with growing and retaining young people into Zealand’s apple and pear industry.

“New Zealand apples are leading the world, the industry is dynamic, innovative, and going places and so can young New Zealanders,” said Mr Simpson . . 

Bayer Marlborough Young Viticulturist of the Year 2016 announced:

Congratulations to Brenton O’Riley who became the Bayer Marlborough Young Viticulturist of the Year 2016 on Friday 24 June.

O’Riley has worked at Giesen Wines for the last few years as Viticultural Technician and credits his time and experience there as helping him gain some of the high level knowledge and skills required to win the competition. He is due to start a new job at Pernod Ricard in a grower liaison role at the beginning of next month.

This is the second time O’Riley has won the Marlborough competition, previously in 2014, so he will be even more determined this year to win the National Final taking place locally at Villa Maria in August. . . 

Irish approach may be better than New Zealand’s–  Allan Barber:

The Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s (DAFM) 10 year strategy report named Foodwise 2025 contains a lot of the same features as MPI’s ambition to double agricultural exports over a similar timeframe.

As an agricultural producer Ireland also has many of the same characteristics as New Zealand: a rural economy based heavily on grass-fed production and produce from the sea, a small domestic market and heavy reliance on exports, an expanding dairy herd and an ageing farmer profile. The agri-food industry contributes a greater proportion of export revenue than non agri-food production which is equally true of New Zealand.

Obviously there are differences, notably the impact of the EU common agricultural policy on Irish farm incomes, the destination of exports, the lower efficiency and smaller scale of farms, and the variation of production volumes. . . 

NZ sheepmeat, tourism may be hardest hit by Brexit as pound weakens, market volatility jumps –  Jonathan Underhill:

(BusinessDesk) – New Zealand’s sheepmeat exports and tourists from the UK may be the hardest hit from the Brexit with the most immediate impact likely to be on British tourists suddenly finding the spending power of the pound against the kiwi is the weakest in almost three years.

The European Union is the biggest market for New Zealand sheepmeat, taking $1.4 billion of product last year and almost half of that 228,000 tonnes of quota is taken by the UK. Total red meat exports to the EU amount to $2 billion, making it the single most valuable market. However, the biggest impact for New Zealand would be the UK’s loss of zero-tariff access for its own sheepmeat into Europe, where it currently sends 90 percent of production, leaving more in its domestic market. . . 


Thursday’s quiz

June 30, 2016

You are welcome to pose the questions.

Anyone who stumps everyone will win a virtual jelly sponge.


Shouldn’t wait to be asked to apologise

June 30, 2016

Andrew Little maligned tax expert John Shewan when he was first appointed to examine New Zealand’s trust rules more than two months ago.

Last week Little retracted his statement. He didn’t say he  was sorry and did say he hadn’t been asked to apologise.

Shewan said that was misleading and he had asked Little for an apology because Little had dilly-dallied so long in setting the record straight.

Little shouldn’t have to have been asked to apologise for what he said.

He was wrong to make the unfounded accusation in the first place. He compounded that by waiting so long to admit he was wrong and compounded his error again by not apologising when he made the admission, regardless of whether or not an apology was requested.

His original attack was an attempt to discredit the government, just as his misguided and misinformed attack on Earl and Lani Hagaman who have now launched defamation proceedings against Little.

They too were caught in the political crossfire.

Personal attacks on politicians aren’t edifying but they are unfortunately accepted as a normal part of parliamentary discourse.

Politicians casting aspersions on people outside parliament is fortunately more unusual and even more unacceptable.

An MP who does that and is subsequently proven wrong should not only admit the mistake s/he should  apologise, and do so at the earliest opportunity.

Little’s refusal to apologise shows he isn’t sorry and therefore probably hasn’t learned from his mistake.


Quote of the day

June 30, 2016

When you bring an idealised relationship down to the level of an ordinary one it isn’t necessarily the ordinary one that suffers. ― Winston Graham who was born on this day in 1908.


June 30 in history

June 30, 2016

350 Roman usurper Nepotianus, of the Constantinian dynasty, was defeated and killed by troops of the usurper Magnentius.

1422  Battle of Arbedo between the duke of Milan and the Swiss cantons.

1520  The Spaniards were expelled from Tenochtitlan.

1559  King Henry II of France was seriously injured in a jousting match against Gabriel de Montgomery.

1651 The Deluge: Khmelnytsky Uprising – the Battle of Beresteczko ended with a Polish victory.

1688  The Immortal Seven issued the Invitation to William, continuing the struggle for English independence from Rome.

1758  Seven Years’ War: The Battle of Domstadtl.

1794 Native American forces under Blue Jacket attacked Fort Recovery.

1859  French acrobat Charles Blondin crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope.

1860  The 1860 Oxford evolution debate at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

1864 U.S. President Abraham Lincoln granted Yosemite Valley to California for “public use, resort and recreation”.

1882  Charles J. Guiteau was hanged for the assassination of President James Garfield.

1886 The first transcontinental train trip across Canada departs from Montreal.

1905 Albert Einstein published the article “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies”, in which he introduced special relativity.

1906  The United States Congress passed the Meat Inspection Act and Pure Food and Drug Act

1908 – Winston Graham, British writer, was born (d. 2003).

1908  The Tunguska explosion in SIberia – commonly believed to have been caused by the air burst of a large meteoroid or comet fragment at an altitude of 5–10 kilometres (3.1–6.2 mi) above the Earth’s surface.

1912  The Regina Cyclone hit Regina, Saskatchewan, killing 28.

1917 –  Susan Hayward, American actress, was born (d. 1975).

1917 – Lena Horne, American singer and actress (d. 2010)

1934  The Night of the Long Knives, Adolf Hitler’s violent purge of his political rivals took place.

1935  The Senegalese Socialist Party held its first congress.

1936  Emperor Haile Selassie of Abbysinia appealled for aid to the League of Nations against Mussolini’s invasion of his country.

1939 The first edition of the New Zealand Listener was published.

First issue of NZ Listener published

1941  World War II: Operation Barbarossa – Germany captured Lviv, Ukraine.

1943  Florence Ballard, American singer (The Supremes). was born (d. 1976).

1944 Glenn Shorrock, Australian singer-songwriter (Little River Band) was born.

1944  World War II: The Battle of Cherbourg ended with the fall of the strategically valuable port to American forces.

1950 Leonard Whiting, British actor, was born.

1953 Hal Lindes, British-American musician (Dire Straits) was born.

1953  The first Chevrolet Corvette rolled off the assembly line in Flint, Michigan.

1956 – A TWA Super Constellation and a United Airlines DC-7 (Flight 718)collided above the Grand Canyon killing all 128 on board the two planes.

1959  A United States Air Force F-100 Super Sabre from Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, crashed into a nearby elementary school, killing 11 students plus six residents from the local neighborhood.

1960 Murray Cook, Australian singer (The Wiggles) was born.

1960  Congo gained independence from Belgium.

1962 Julianne Regan, British singer and musician (All About Eve), was born.

1963  Ciaculli massacre: A car bomb, intended for Mafia boss Salvatore Greco “Ciaschiteddu”, killed seven police and military officers near Palermo.

1966  Mike Tyson, American boxer, was born.

1966  Marton Csokas, New Zealand actor, was born.

1968  Credo of the People of God by Pope Paul VI.

1969  Nigeria banned Red Cross aid to Biafra.

1971  The crew of the Soviet Soyuz 11 spacecraft were killed when their air supply escaped through a faulty valve.

1971 – Ohio ratified the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, lowering the voting age to 18, thereby putting the amendment into effect.

1972  The first leap second was added to the UTC time system.

1985 Thirty-nine American hostages from a hijacked TWA jetliner were freed in Beirut after being held for 17 days.

1986  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states can outlaw homosexual acts between consenting adults.

1987 The Royal Canadian Mint introduced the $1 coin, known as theLoonie.

1990 East and West Germany merged their economies.

1991 32 miners were killed when a coal mine fire in the Donbass region of the Ukraine released toxic gas.

1992 Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher joined the House of Lords as Baroness Thatcher.

1997  The United Kingdom transferred sovereignty over Hong Kong to China.

2007 A car crashed into Glasgow International Airport in an attempted terrorist attack.

2009 Yemenia Flight 626 crashed off the coast of Moroni, Comoros killing 152 people and leaving 1 survivor.

2013 – – 19 firefighters died controlling a wildfire in Yarnell, Arizona.

2015 – A Hercules C-130 military aircraft with 113 people on board crashed in a residential area in the Indonesian city of Medan, resulting in at least 116 deaths.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


366 days of gratitude

June 29, 2016

Elizabeth I was reputed to bathe once a month whether or not she needed it.

Whatever the truth of that story, daily baths or showers are a relatively recent phenomenon.

When my parents first married they lived in a two-room cottage where the bath also served as the legs of the kitchen table and was filled only a few times a week.

One of my flatmates grew up on a farm in drought-prone North Otago and didn’t know people showered daily until he was in a university hostel.

Nowadays personal hygiene standards are higher and most of us choose to bathe or shower at least once a day.

But baths and showers do more than cleanse us, they can be physically and emotionally therapeutic.

When our second son was admitted to hospital with what we feared was the same condition which killed his older brother, I would have a shower night and morning, cry my heart out then pull myself together to face the day or night ahead.

Even now, the contemplative time a hot shower affords, serve to wash away some of the cares of ordinary  life and I’m grateful for running water and the electricity which heats it for my daily shower and the cleansing and refreshment it provides.

 

 


Word of the day

June 29, 2016

Mésalliance  – a union between two people that is thought to be unsuitable or inappropriate; a marriage with a person who is considered socially inferior.


Rural round-up

June 29, 2016

Out of town and out of touch:

Hawke’s Bay farmer Hugh Ritchie said today if Greenpeace acutally understood the big environmental issues facing New Zealand, such as climate change, it wouldn’t need to interfere in a local water storage project like Ruataniwha.

“Hawke’s Bay people can decide what’s best for their community without the influence of this misguided and uninformed green lobby. These out-of-town protesters need to realize robust public process has been followed and the scheme has been intensely scrutinized.

“Ruataniwha has been through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) process. Individuals and groups have had ample opportunity to voice concerns and these have been accessed for merit. This same EPA process saw an end to Wellington Basin Reserve’s proposed flyover. The EPA delivers robust, objective decisions on environmental matters, and ensures compliance with rules. Its decision must be respected. . . 

Debbie Hewitt can vote on Ruataniwha dam despite ‘pecuniary interest’ – Simon Hendery:

The auditor-general has ruled a Hawke’s Bay regional councillor can continue voting on the Ruataniwha dam, despite finding she is likely to have a pecuniary interest in decisions the council makes about the project.

Debbie Hewitt represents Central Hawke’s Bay, the area where the council is planning to build the Ruataniwha irrigation scheme.

Through a family trust, she has an ownership interest in 19 hectares of land in an area that would be irrigated by the scheme. The Office of the Auditor-General said it was “uncertain” how much she would gain financially if the scheme went ahead, but it believed her interest in it was greater than that of the general public. . . .

If you buy health and safety advice, make sure it’s the right advice:

Good health and safety practice is not something you can just buy off the shelf, and farmers need to build health and safety into everyday activity on farm.

WorkSafe’s Agriculture Programme Manager, Al McCone, says while many farmers will want to get consultants in to give them expert advice, there is no single product or document that is a silver bullet for farm safety.

Farmers should only employ competent and qualified professional health and safety advisors. “When selecting a new contractor or buying stock, farmers do their homework,” says Mr McCone. “They shop around, look online, ask other farmers and make a decision based on sound information. The same should apply to buying health and safety advice and resources. . . 

Big bounce in farmer confidence – Rabobank: Rural Confidence Survey

Results at a Glance

 Overall farmer confidence has improved considerably from the previous quarter

 Farmers’ expectations for their own business performance also rose, with big lifts recorded among dairy farmers and sheep and beef farmers

 Horticulturalists’ expectations for their own businesses remain at elevated levels with more than half surveyed expecting their farm business performance to improve in the next 12 months

 Investment intentions were at their highest level in more than a year, with one quarter of survey participants expecting to increase their farm business investment in the coming year . . 

Spring Sheep Milk Company Finalist in World Dairy Innovation Awards:

 New Zealand company, within its first year of operation, has been named as a finalist in two categories in theWorld Dairy Innovation Awards; Best Ice Cream or Frozen Yoghurt and Best Dairy Packaging Design.

Spring Sheep Milk Co is the only fully New Zealand owned large scale sheep dairy operation and the attraction for forming the company was to create a model to bring the goodness of New Zealand sheep milk products to the world says Chief Executive Officer Scottie Chapman

“Consumers are looking for quality alternatives to traditional dairy and sheep milk offers a premium alternative thanks to its sensational taste. It is richer and creamier than traditional cows milk. Sheep milk has been used in Europe for centuries as a gastronomic indulgence, renowned for quality cheeses and is now a rapidly growing category worldwide.” . . 

Companies Office confirms no evidence that Silver Fern Farms’ board acted in anything other than good faith and in best interests of the company:

• Companies Office completes consideration of complaint from Rt Hon Peters

• Has “not identified any evidence of a breach of s 138A of the Companies Act 1993”

• Follows announcement from the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) confirming FMA does “not have any reason to believe the [Notice of Meeting and Shareholder] Information Pack was misleading or deceptive.” . . 

Murray Goulburn announces 2017 farmgate milk price, sees only ‘modest’ recovery – Tina Morrison

(BusinessDesk) – Murray Goulburn Cooperative, Australia’s dominant milk processor, announced its forecast farmgate milk price for the coming year, saying it expects only a modest recovery in prices in the second half of the year.

The company forecast a farmgate milk price of A$4.80 per kilogram of milk solids for the season ending June 30, 2017, compared with an expected payment of between A$4.75 to A$5.00 in the current year. It announced a 2017 net opening farmgate milk price of A$4.31/kgMS after repayment of a 14 Australian cents/kgMS milk supply support package. . . 

Traditional crop knowledge preserved in Tongan  book :

The author of a new book documenting traditional methods of growing yam says the book has preserved indigenous crop planting knowledge that’s valuable for Pacific farmers.

The book ‘Tokanga ko e Mo’ui’anga’ has been published in the Tongan language and was launched in Auckland by author Sione Tu’itahi.

Mr Tu’itahi based the book on the experience of the late Kiteau Tatafu, an award-winning farmer in Tonga. . . 

 


Quote of the day

June 29, 2016

Only he can understand what a farm is, what a country is, who shall have sacrificed part of himself to his farm or country, fought to save it, struggled to make it beautiful. Only then will the love of farm or country fill his heart. Antoine de Saint-Exupery who was born on this day in 1900.


June 29 in history

June 29, 2016

1149 Raymond of Antioch was defeated and killed at the Battle of Inab by Nur ad-Din Zangi.

1194  Sverre was crowned King of Norway.

1444 Skanderbeg defeated an Ottoman invasion force at Torvioll.

1534  Jacques Cartier made the European discovery of Prince Edward Island.

1613 The Globe Theatre in London  burned to the ground.

1644 Charles I defeated a Parliamentarian detachment at the Battle of Cropredy Bridge, the last battle won by an English King on English soil.

1659  Battle of Konotop: Ukrainian armies of Ivan Vyhovsky defeatedthe Russians, led by Prince Trubetskoy.

1749  New Governor Charles de la Ralière Des Herbiers arrives at Isle Royale (Cape Breton Island).

1786  Alexander Macdonell and more than five hundred Roman Catholic highlanders left Scotland to settle in Glengarry County, Ontario.

1850  Coal was discovered on Vancouver Island.

1850   Autocephaly officially granted by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople to the Church of Greece.

1861 William James Mayo, American physician, was born (d. 1939).

1864  Ninety-nine people were killed in Canada’s worst railway disaster near St-Hilaire, Quebec.

1874  Greek politician Charilaos Trikoupis published a manifesto in the Athens daily Kairoi entitled “Who’s to Blame?” in which he laid out his complaints against King George.

1880  France annexed Tahiti.

1895  Doukhobors burned their weapons as a protest against conscription by the Tsarist Russian government.

1900 Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, French writer, was born (d. 1944).

1901 Nelson Eddy, American singer and actor, was born (d. 1967).

1914  Jina Guseva attempted to assassinate Grigori Rasputin.

1916  Sir Roger Casement, Irish Nationalist and British diplomat was sentenced to death for his part in the Easter Rising.

1922  France granted 1 km² at Vimy Ridge “freely, and for all time, to the Government of Canada, the free use of the land exempt from all taxes.”

1925 Canada House opened in London.

1926  Arthur Meighen returned to office as Prime Minister of Canada.

1927  First test of Wallace Turnbull’s Controllable pitch propeller.

1928 The Outerbridge Crossing and Goethals Bridge in Staten Island, New York opened.

1937  Joseph-Armand Bombardier of Canada received a patent for sprocket and track traction system used in snow vehicles.

1943 Little Eva, American singer, was born  (d. 2003).

1945  Carpathian Ruthenia was annexed by Soviet Union.

1972  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled the death penalty could constitute “cruel and unusual punishment”.

1974 Isabel Perón was sworn in as the first female President of Argentina.

1976 Bret McKenzie, New Zealand musician, (Flight of the Conchords) was born.

1976  The Seychelles became independent from the United Kingdom.

1990 Dr Penny Jamieson became the first woman in the world to be appointed an Anglican bishop.

World's first female Anglican bishop appointed

1995  Space Shuttle program: STS-71 Mission Atlantis docks with theRussian space station Mir for the first time.

1995  The Sampoong Department Store collapsed in Seoul, killing 501 and injuring 937.

2002  Naval clashes between South Korea and North Korea led to the death of six South Korean sailors and sinking of a North Korean vessel.

2006  Hamdan v. Rumsfeld: The U.S. Supreme Court rules that President George W. Bush’s plan to try Guantanamo Bay detainees in military tribunals violated U.S. and international law.

2007  Two car bombs were found in the heart of London at Piccadilly Circus.

2007 – Apple Inc. released its first mobile phone, the iPhone.

2012 – A derecho struck the eastern United States, leaving at least 22 people dead and millions without power.

2014 – The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant self-declared its caliphate in Syria and northern Iraq.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


366 days of gratitude

June 28, 2016

If it weren’t for my gumboots was one of Fred Dagg’s contributions to New Zealand’s cultural history, albeit that the song originally came from Britain, where they call the footwear Wellingtons.

The basic model tends to be a bit sloppy and cause undue wear on socks. These days you can get more upmarket styles, including those with neoprene inners which hold your feet firm, doing less damage to socks and keeping  your feet warmer.

But whatever you call them they are very useful if you’re working in mucky conditions or when your inner child prompts you to jump in puddles and I’m grateful for them.


Word of the day

June 28, 2016

Snowclone – a verbal formula that is adapted for reuse by changing only a few words so that the allusion to the original phrase remains clear; cliché adapted to a new use;  phrase or sentence made by substituting one or more words in a cliché, existing set phrase, or well-known sentence; type of cliché which uses an old idiom formulaically in a new context.


Rural round-up

June 28, 2016

Sir William Gallagher Named Exporters Champion & Gallagher Named Exporter of the Year:

Gallagher is continuing to gain recognition for its commitment to international markets, picking up two prestigious awards at the 2016 Air New Zealand Cargo ExportNZ Awards tonight.

In recognition of his vision, determination and success, Gallagher Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sir William Gallagher, was named Exporters Champion for exemplary services to export, and the Gallagher business was named Exporter of the Year (total sales over $25 million).

Recognised as one of New Zealand’s most astute businessmen, Sir William has grown Gallagher into one of the largest and most successful private companies in New Zealand, employing almost 800 people domestically, another 400 globally and with annual revenues of more than $200 million. . . 

Rabobank Global Beef Quarterly Q2 2016: Volatility Challenges Beef Markets:

The Rabobank global beef index ticked up in Q1 2016 after declining for much of 2015. However it shows signs of dropping again as softening prices in the US and Canada battle strengthening prices in Australia and Brazil, according to the Rabobank Global Beef Quarterly Q2 2016.

“Volatility is a key theme across most markets at the moment“, says Angus Gidley-Baird, Senior Animal Protein Analyst at Rabobank. “A range of factors are creating a degree of uncertainty, including the economy and exchange rates influencing Brazil, seasonal conditions impacting Australia, the economy impacting China, and market volatility impacting the US”. . . 

New cuts help keep venison on menus:

Venison exporters and Deer Industry NZ (DINZ) are promoting new cuts to chefs to increase returns from the whole deer carcass and to help keep venison on restaurant menus.

Venison production to April this year was down 20% on the same period last year, driven by herd rebuilding, with the hind kill down 25%. On 13 June the average stag venison schedule stood at $7.55 a kilogram, versus $6.67 a year before, an increase of 13%, despite a steady firming of the Kiwi against the US dollar and Euro in recent months. . . 

Bega first Aussie dairy producer to downgrade new season milk price forecast – Fiona Rotherham

(BusinessDesk) – Australian-listed dairy company Bega Cheese has released an opening farmgate milk price for the 2016/2017 season of A$5 per kilogram of milk solids, claiming analysts are not expecting an improvement in dairy commodity returns until the first half of next year.

Fonterra Cooperative Group and Australia’s biggest dairy processor Murray Goulburn are yet to announce their opening forecast for the new season in Australia though last month Fonterra set an early price of $4.25 for New Zealand suppliers. That was up 35 cents on the forecast milk price for the 2015/2016 season. Murray Goulburn said it would release its opening forecast after a board meeting at the end of this month. . . 

War on Weeds Dirty Dozen revealed:

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has announced this year’s Dirty Dozen plants as part of the ongoing War on Weeds.

“This year we are going to have a baker’s dozen of weeds – with enemy number one the wilding conifer,” Ms Barry says.

“Wildings now cover approximately 1.8 million hectares of land and are advancing at around 5 per cent a year. They transform entire landscapes, ruin native ecosystems and take over productive land indiscriminately.

“Budget 2016 committed an extra $16 million over the next four years to control their spread and by working with regional councils, landowners and community groups we believe we can stem their advance.” . . 

Stricter rules for quarantine facilities:

Stricter new rules for approved quarantine facilities will reduce the chance of unwanted pests or diseases arriving in New Zealand from imported goods, says the Ministry for Primary Industries.

MPI released new rules earlier this month for New Zealand-based “transitional facilities”, which are used by importers to hold goods before they are checked for contaminants such as hitchhiking bugs or reptiles.

“The changes will see a major biosecurity shake-up for these facilities, particularly in the areas of training and auditing requirements,” says Paul Hallett, MPI Manager, Biosecurity and Environment. . . 

Tegal crows over year of plump sales:

Chicken processor Tegel’s strong local sales and record export earnings have led it to turn in a better full-year profit than forecast in its first year as a listed company.

The company, which listed on the New Zealand and Australian exchanges last month, reported a net profit of $11.3 million for the 12 months to late April.

That compares with a profit of $8.7m the year before and a forecast of $10m when it listed last month. . . 


Quote of the day

June 28, 2016

It is unnatural for a majority to rule, for a majority can seldom be organized and united for specific action, and a minority can. – Jean-Jacques Rousseau who was born on this day in 1712.


June 28 in history

June 28, 2016

1098  Fighters of the First Crusade defeated Kerbogha of Mosul.

1389  Ottomans defeated Serbian army in the bloody Battle of Kosovo, opening the way for the Ottoman conquest of Southeastern Europe.

1491 Henry VIII was born  (d. 1547).

1519  Charles V elected emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

1577 Peter Paul Rubens, Flemish painter, was born (d. 1640).

1635 Guadeloupe became a French colony.

1651  Battle of Beresteczko between Poles and Ukrainians started.

1703 John Wesley, English founder of Methodism, was born (d. 1791).

1712 Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Swiss philosopher, was born (d. 1778).

1776  American Revolutionary War: Carolina Day – commemorates the defense of Fort Moultrie during the Battle of Sullivan’s Island.

1776  American Revolutionary War: Thomas Hickey, Continental Army private and bodyguard to General George Washington, was hanged for mutiny and sedition.

1778 – American Revolutionary War: Battle of Monmouth fought between the American Continental Army under George Washington and the British Army led by Sir Henry Clinton.

1807  Second British invasion of the Río de la Plata; John Whitelock landed at Ensenada on an attempt to recapture Buenos Aires and was defeated by the fierce resistance of the locals.

1838  The coronation of Queen Victoria.

1841 The Théâtre de l’Académie Royale de Musique in Paris premiered the ballet Giselle.

1859  First conformation dog show is held in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

1865  The Army of the Potomac was disbanded.

1880  Ned Kelly the Australian bushranger was  captured at Glenrowan.

1881 Secret treaty between Austria and Serbia.

1882  Anglo-French Convention of 1882 signed marking territorial boundaries between Guinea and Sierra Leone.

1895  El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua formed the Central American Union.

1896  An explosion in the Newton Coal Company’s Twin Shaft Mine in Pittston City, resulted in a massive cave-in that killed 58 miners.

1902 Richard Rodgers, American composer, was born (d. 1979).

1902  The U.S. Congress passed the Spooner Act, authorising President Theodore Roosevelt to acquire rights from Colombia for the Panama Canal.

1904  The SS Norge ran aground and sank.

1909 Eric Ambler, English writer, was born (d. 1998).

1914  Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria and his wife Sophie were assassinated in Sarajevo by young Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip, the casus belli of World War I.

1919  The Treaty of Versailles was signed in Paris, formally ending World War I between Belgium, Britain, France, Italy, the United States and allies on the one side and Germany and Austria Hungary on the other side.

1922  The Irish Civil War began with the shelling of the Four Courts in Dublin by Free State forces.

1926 Mel Brooks, American filmmaker, was born.

1928  Harold Evans, English journalist and writer; editor of The Sunday Times, was born.

1936  The Japanese puppet state of Mengjiang was formed in northern China.

1940 Romania ceded Bessarabia (current-day Moldova) to the Soviet Union.

1948  Cominform circulated the “Resolution on the situation in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia”; Yugoslavia was expelled from the Communist bloc.

1948  Boxer Dick Turpin beat Vince Hawkins to become the first black British boxing champion in the modern era.

1950  Seoul was captured by troops from North Korea.

1954  A. A. Gill, British writer and columnist, was born.

1956  Protests and demonstrations in Poznań.

1964  Malcom X formed the Organization of Afro-American Unity.

1967  Israel annexed East Jerusalem.

1969  Stonewall riots began in New York City.

1971 Louise Bagshawe, British novelist and politician, was born.

1973 HMNZS Otago sailed for the Mururoa nuclear test zone.

1973  Elections were held for the Northern Ireland Assembly, which led to power-sharing between unionists and nationalists in Northern Ireland for the first time.

1976  The Angolan court sentenced US and UK mercenaries to death sentences and prison terms in the Luanda Trial.

1978  The United States Supreme Court, in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke barred quota systems in college admissions.

1981  A powerful bomb exploded in Tehran, killing 73 officials of Islamic Republic Party.

1983  The Mianus River Bridge collapsed killing 3 drivers in their vehicles.

1986  ¡A Luchar! held its first congress in Bogotá.

1990  Paperback Software International Ltd. found guilty by a U.S. court of copyright violation for copying the appearance and menu system of Lotus 1-2-3 in its competing spreadsheet program.

1992  The Constitution of Estonia was signed into law.

1994  Members of the Aum Shinrikyo cult released sarin gas attack at Matsumoto, 7 persons killed, 660 injured.

1996  The Constitution of Ukraine was signed into law.

1997 Mike Tyson vs Evander Holyfield II – Tyson was disqualified in the 3rd round for biting a piece from Holyfield’s ear.

2004  Sovereign power was handed to the interim government of Iraq by the Coalition Provisional Authority, ending the U.S.-led rule of that nation.

2005 War in Afghanistan: Three U.S. Navy SEALs and 16 American Special Operations Forces soldiers were killed during Operation Red Wing, a failed counter-insurgent mission in Kunar province.

2009 – Honduran president Manuel Zelaya was ousted by a local military coup following a failed request to hold a referendum to rewrite the Honduran Constitution. This was the start of the 2009 Honduran political crisis.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


366 days of gratitude

June 27, 2016

What’s the time?

This is a question that some can answer by noting where the sun is.

Most of us need more help than that and these days we’ve got plenty of time pieces to choose from – most ovens have a clock, as do computers and mobile phones.

Younger people might rely on their phones but older one probably wear a watch.

Digital clocks have their place but I still like being able to glance from a distance and see where the hands of an analogue clock are.

Either and both help me keep track of my day, albeit than sometimes my time is more of the ish variety than on the dot, and many times a day I’m grateful for a clock.


Word of the day

June 27, 2016

Ossify  – to become rigid or inflexible in habits, attitudes, opinions or views; cease developing; stagnate; become or to cause something to become unable to change; convert into or cause to harden like bone.


Rural round-up

June 27, 2016

Brexit has major implications for the New Zealand sheep and beef industry:

“We are concerned about the future of New Zealand’s sheep and beef exports to the UK and the EU following the UK’s vote to leave the EU,” says Beef + Lamb New Zealand and the Meat Industry Association of New Zealand.

“Our sheep and beef trade to both the UK and EU are inextricably linked through quota access and both are likely to be affected,” said Sam McIvor, CEO of Beef + Lamb New Zealand.

The EU is New Zealand’s most valuable market for red meat and associated co-products, accounting for over NZ$2 billion in trade last year. . . 

Banks put heat on meat co-ops – Neal Wallace:

Banks appear to be running out of patience with meat company debt, asking both co-operatives to reduce their level of borrowing.

Both Silver Fern Farms and Alliance Group have confirmed they have been told by their banks to reduce seasonal and core debt, but Alliance chairman Murray Taggart said his board had decided to do that anyway.  

Late last month Alliance chief executive David Surveyor told shareholders at the Alliance Pure South Conference banks had sent a strong message to the co-operative to reduce debt. . . 

Changing world will suit our red meat sector – Allan Barber:

When sheep and beef farmers are questioning whether they will ever receive the returns they need, there is potentially considerable hope for the future. The changing demographics and spheres of global influence indicate a substantial change in the relative economic power of the markets with which we trade.

The ANZ Bank’s June report focuses on new horizons in Asia, highlighting the top six countries we already trade with, representing 80% of New Zealand’s bilateral trade with Asia, and a second division of up and coming prospects. The report’s focus on Asia means our trade with the rest of the world is excluded from the analysis, but it provides a timely reminder of the opportunities available in markets not previously seen as easy or possible to develop.

These opportunities are further underlined by the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership negotiations held recently in Auckland involving 16 Asian countries which importantly include India. . . 

Dairy cow cull eases – Alan Williams:

Dairy cow cull numbers are finally reducing after spending most of the processing season in line with the high tallies of last year.  

Most people expected the cull to end early in the season but the numbers have only been falling since the end of May, week 33 of the killing season.

Going in to that week the tallies were down only 0.3% on the same time last year, at about 800,000; then the week itself was down 7% on last year and the companies have indicated the trend has continued. . . 

Silver Fern Farms seeks extension on Chinese deal :

Meat processing company Silver Fern Farms is seeking a time extension for official approval of its controversial deal with a Chinese company.

It also wants to defer a special meeting called by unhappy shareholders.

The joint venture with China’s biggest meat processor, Shanghai Maling, was approved by a majority of shareholders last October but still needs government and Overseas Investment Office approval. . .

Vineyards in growth mode – Sally Rae:

New Zealand’s vineyard area could expand by as much as 7000ha during the next five years, an almost 20% boost to the present producing area.

The expansion was under way, with an estimated 1800ha of grapes in the ground coming into production by the 2018 vintage, ANZ’s latest Agri Focus report said.

Marlborough would remain the epicentre of the sector at 65%-70% of the growing area, with the next largest areas being Hawke’s Bay, Otago and Gisborne. . .


%d bloggers like this: