Alacritous – quick and eager; brisk; speedy; cheerful readiness, promptness, or willingness.
When sheep and beef farmers in New Zealand grumpily ponder their forecast returns for 2016-17, they may be able to take some comfort from the precarious state of farmers in Europe, particularly the UK where they are facing even more uncertainty of income.
Private Eye’s Bio-Waste Spreader column contrasts the rhetoric of the Environment Minister saying farm subsidies must be abolished post Brexit with a report by her own Ministry, Defra, which finds British farmers would be unable to keep going without them. In the 2014/15 year dairy farms were the most profitable averaging GB Pounds 12,700, whereas cropping farms made GBP 100, lowland livestock farms (most like our sheep and beef) lost GBP 10,900 and grain growers did even worse. These profits or losses came before farmers paid themselves any wages or drawings. . .
In recent weeks there has been an exchange of views about PPCS’s acrimonious takeover of Richmond in 2003. Keith Cooper, ex CEO of the renamed Silver Fern Farms, emerged from anonymity in Middlemarch to castigate the appointment of Sam Robinson to the board of Silver Fern Farms as the Shanghai Maling representative. He was critical of Richmond’s rejection of the original approach by PPCS to buy the Freesia Investments shares from the Meat Board in the mid-1990s and Robinson’s role as Richmond’s chairman.
Farmer, SFF shareholder and columnist Steve Wyn-Harris took Keith to task on the grounds of selective memory of what actually happened during the bitter but ultimately successful campaign by PPCS to buy Richmond. I must confess my recollection of events, without being in any way personally involved, is closer to Steve’s perspective than Keith’s and I still remember clearly Ron Clarke’s superb last column on the topic just before he died which was an eloquent attack on what he considered PPCS’s underhand approach. At the time Justice William Young referred to the company’s “gross commercial misconduct.” . .
Quake ends dairy farmer’s season – Nigel Malthus:
Don Galletly’s Loch Ness dairy farm on the Emu Plain, near Waiau, remains the only one in North Canterbury unable to milk since the November 14 quake.
While farms either side were back up and operating within a few days, Galletly’s rotary shed is deemed a write-off.
“Three-quarters of the season is down the drain for us,” he told Rural News. . .
Patriotism means we should eat more lamb – Jamie Mackay:
. . On the subject of one-man crusades, last week on my radio show I launched my 2017 tilt at a windmill. In fairness, past crusades have had mixed results. While I failed to bring back rucking, I proudly and vicariously claimed some reflected glory when Fonterra, to its eternal credit, brought back milk in schools.
I also like to think I played a small part in the media publicity which aided a much-deserved knighthood for David Fagan. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
So what’s 2017’s on-air crusade? I reckon we should be like the Ockers in the West Island and make it a patriotic pastime to eat lamb on our national day. And if we can’t agree to do that because, let’s face it, we don’t agree on much on Waitangi Day, maybe we could all eat lamb on what I’d like to be our national day, April 25. . . .
Farming is like any other job. Only you punch in at age 5 and never punch out.
Otago rivers are fine for swimming, except for the Kakanui where the cause of poor water quality, once again, is seagulls.
Water quality in Otago has been good so far this summer, Otago Regional Council (ORC) seasonal recreational water quality testing shows.
Three sites have had alert/amber warnings at certain times since the summer round of testing began at the beginning of December, but readings for those sites at other times and for all other sites have been considered safe for swimming. . .
This summer the Kakanui River at Clifton Falls Bridge is the only site to have its most recent reading in the amber/alert range, recording 510 parts of E. coli per 100ml of water on December 28.
ORC duty director Scott MacLean said there was a large colony of nesting gulls at the site, in rugged terrain, about 5km above the Clifton Falls bridge.
“Unfortunately, these nesting gull colonies are likely to continue to cause high E. coli concentrations in the upper Kakanui River, particularly during the breeding season.”
The gulls are natives and can’t be culled, but why can’t something be done, after the breeding season, to deter them from returning next year?
If farming, and particularly dairying, was responsible, the usual suspects masquerading as environmental warriors would be calling for action but they have been silent on this.
They have also been silent on the appalling state of Auckland waterways which are unsafe for swimming.
Whenever Auckland gets more than 5mm of rain, rainwater flows into the shared stormwater pipes and flushes raw sewage into streams or straight into the harbour.
These overflows happen at least 12 times a year.
Newsflash, Auckland gets a lot of rain – and the equivalent of four Olympic swimming pools of raw sewage pour into our waterways every single time.
It’s appalling. And the problem is not new. . .
No business, farming or otherwise, would be able to continue to pollute in this way, why are councils and why aren’t the usual suspects protesting?
We are continually told in the most emotive terms about the health problems with dairy and irrigation but I’d venture to suggest those issues would be absolutely minimal when compared with raw sewerage.
I ask again; where are the protesters?
The ongoing problem of raw sewerage continuing unabated for the next 18 years is infinitely worse than anything our farming industry can do.
I went to the Greenpeace website believing I must have missed something but no. There was a headline telling me to stop seismic blasting. Maybe that causes sewerage to go into harbours and on beaches.
There was also a rant about a bank presumably funding forest destruction. I can see the logic there, destroy the forest, build houses and pollute beaches.
Greenpeace also wants the Huntly coal power plant shut down. Maybe it was polluting the Waikato River.
What irritated me most though was a mealy-mouthed release about the shocking vandalising of a North Otago farmer’s irrigation equipment.
Paradoxically, Greenpeace claimed to be a peaceful protester but could understand the vandalism as being “a sign of overwhelming public frustration about polluted rivers”.
Show me the science. . .
We are told ad nauseum about farming’s supposed threat to our clean, green image. There’s an appalling lack of science behind the accusations but the anti-farming rants are extreme.
Correspondingly, we have the country’s largest city with far more people than all the provinces combined pumping raw sewerage into the supposed pristine beaches of Auckland.
Where are the environmental protesters?
The Green Party, always willing to castigate farming and generally show indecent haste in the process, hasn’t said anything about the crap-covered beaches of Auckland.
On its website it accused National of plundering our fisheries, claimed the recent extreme weather was a sign of things to come and pontificated, naively in my view, that a fresh start was needed for European Union trade agreements.
There was nothing I could find about the scandalous pollution of our pristine Auckland beaches and the compromising of our clean, green image.
Again if they can slag off farmers for whatever reason they will do it with alacrity no matter what the facts may be.
When it comes to our largest city they seem cowed by the number of voters there. . .
A recent meeting between Irrigation New Zealand and Greenpeace failed to resolve differences because the environmental group needs a polarising issue to preserve its Auckland funding base, Irrigation chief executive Andrew Curtis says.
Greenpeace gave scant acknowledgement of the role of irrigation or that farmers were reducing their environmental footprint.
The group’s true agenda was laid bare soon after the meeting in a press release that was understanding of Auckland dumping millions of cubic metres of raw sewage into the harbour each year while again admonishing the dairy industry.
Curtis said it showed Greenpeace was a fundraising body determined to protect its Auckland funding base.
“That point was highlighted by the press release this week about Auckland sewage flowing into the harbour which said it was a concern but not majorly because the Auckland Council recognised it is an issue.
“Contrast that with its view of dairy farming and the irrigation industry, which is that there is no acknowledgement they have an issue and are doing nothing to improve the water quality. . .
Clean water is a fundamental necessity for human health.
It is an issue for both rural and urban New Zealand.
Farmers have collectively spent many millions of dollars cleaning up their acts to safeguard waterways.
Regional councils take their responsibilities to monitor farms very seriously. They have the right to prosecute farmers and have done so not only for polluting waterways but for pollution which could reach a waterway even if it hasn’t.
Yet city councils are given not just years but decades to bring their sewer and waste water systems up to 21st century standards.
If farmers were causing even a fraction of the problems that Auckland faces, protesters would be strident.
Their silence on the city pollution and slower than snails’-pace action on improving it is deafening.
I sing from the heart… I sing the words of a song and really feel them, from the top of my head to the tip of my toes… I sing as though my life depends on it, and if I ever stop doing that then I’ll stop living – Mario Lanza who was born on this day in 1921.
1606 Guy Fawkes was executed for his plotting against Parliament.
1673 Louis de Montfort, French catholic priest and saint, was born (d. 1716).
1747 The first venereal diseases clinic opened at London Lock Hospital.
1797 Franz Schubert, Austrian composer, was born (d. 1828).
1814 Gervasio Antonio de Posadas became Supreme Director of Argentina.
1849 Corn Laws were abolished in the United Kingdom (following legislation in 1846).
1865 Henri Desgrange, Founder of the Tour-de-France, was born (d. 1940).
1872 Zane Grey, American Western writer, was born.(1939)
1876 The United States ordered all Native Americans to move into reservations.
1881 Anna Pavlova, Russian ballerina was born (d. 1931).
1884 Theodor Heuss, 1st President of Germany (Bundespräsident), was born (d. 1963).
1918 A series of accidental collisions on a misty Scottish night led to the loss of two Royal Navy submarines with over a hundred lives, and damage to another five British warships.
1919 The Battle of George Square took place in Glasgow.
1919 Jackie Robinson, American baseball player, first black player in Major League Baseball, was born (d. 1972).
1921 New Zealand’s first regular air mail service began with a flight by the Canterbury Aviation Company from Christchurch to Ashburton and Timaru.
1921 Carol Channing, American actress and singer, was born.
1921 Mario Lanza, American singer was born (d. 1959).
1923 Norman Mailer, American writer and journalist, was born (d. 2007).
1929 The Soviet Union exiled Leon Trotsky.
1938 – Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, was born.
1943 German Field Marshall Friedrich Paulus surrendered to the Soviets at Stalingrad, followed 2 days later by the remainder of his Sixth Army, ending one of World War II’s fiercest battles.
1944 – Connie Booth, American-English actress and psychotherapist, was born.
1945 US Army private Eddie Slovik was executed for desertion, the first such execution of a US soldier since the Civil War.
1946 Terry Kath, American musician (Chicago), was born (d. 1978).
1946 Yugoslavia‘s new constitution, modelling the Soviet Union, established six constituent republics (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia).
1951 Harry Wayne Casey, American singer and musician (KC and the Sunshine Band), was born.
1953 A North Sea flood caused over 1,800 deaths in the Netherlands.
1956 John Lydon aka Johnny Rotten, English singer (Sex Pistols, Public Image Ltd.), was born.
1958 Explorer 1 – The first successful launch of an American satellite into orbit.
1960 – Željko Šturanović, Montenegrin politician, 31st Prime Minister of Montenegro, was born (d. 2014).
1966 The Soviet Union launched the unmanned Luna 9 spacecraft as part of the Luna programme.
1968 – Nauru became independent from Australia.
1971 – The Winter Soldier Investigation, organised by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War to publicise war crimes and atrocities by Americans and allies in Vietnam, began in Detroit.
1990 The first McDonald’s in the Soviet Union opened in Moscow.
1996 An explosives-filled truck rams into the gates of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in Colombo killing at least 86 and injuring 1,400.
2000 Alaska Airlines flight 261 MD-83, experiencing horizontal stabilizer problems, crashes in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Point Mugu, California, killing all 88 persons aboard.
2001 In the Netherlands a Scottish court convicted a Libyan and acquitted another for their part in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 which crashed into Lockerbie in 1988.
2003 The Waterfall rail accident near Waterfall, New South Wales.
2009 – At least 113 people were killed and over 200 injured following an oil spillage ignition in Molo, Kenya.
2013 – An explosion at the Pemex Executive Tower in Mexico City killed at least 33 people and injured more than 100.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.