Word of the day

May 16, 2017

Erstwhile – former, previous; long ago; formerly; of times past.

It does not mean respected, as  Adolf Fiinkensein found out, and I too have erred in thinking.


Rural round-up

May 16, 2017

Three Years On and more progress by dairy farmers:

Greenie groups who seek to bolster their fundraising campaigns by using dairy farmers as their favourite target need to read the Water Accord report released today.

Federated Farmers Dairy Industry chairman Andrew Hoggard says the Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord ‘Three Years On’ report underlines how seriously dairy farmers take their environmental responsibilities.

“None of us are claiming we’re perfect, or that there is no problem with dairy’s impact on waterways. But the latest report shows the strenuous and ongoing efforts the vast majority of dairy farmers are making to lessen their environmental footprint,” Mr Hoggard says.

The level of compliance for dairy effluent systems is at its highest ever, at a shade under 95 percent. . .

Latest Water Accord update shows good environmental progress by farmers:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has welcomed the latest progress report of the Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord project, showing dairy farmers have now fenced off over 97 per cent of waterways.

“The Water Accord is a voluntary project led by the industry to improve farming practices and water quality. This Year Three update shows a range of targets have been achieved, including stock exclusion from 26,197 km of measured waterways which is the equivalent of Auckland to Chicago and back again,” says Mr Guy.

“99.4 per cent of regular stock crossing points on dairy farms now have bridges or culverts to protect local water quality, and over 10 million dollars has been spent on environmental stewardship and farmer support programmes. . . 

Climate change report indicates challenges for NZ agriculture – Allan Barber:

GLOBE-NZ, a group of 35 MPs from all the main parties, has released a report by UK firm Vivid Economics which lays out various scenarios for New Zealand to meet the target of zero emissions by 2050. Business New Zealand and the Sustainable Business Council have both welcomed the cross party initiative, saying it gives confidence there will be collective and coordinated action towards meeting the target. It will also help to achieve commitments under the 2030 Paris climate change agreement to reduce emissions to 20% below the 2005 level.

The report, Net Zero in New Zealand, acknowledges this country’s unique characteristics: a significant amount of renewable energy, large share of land sector emissions (i.e. methane from sheep and cattle) and a large forestry sector. . . 

Waikato farmers launch innovative health and safety app:

Waikato farmers have developed an innovative app that aims help farmers meet their health and safety obligations and streamline communication to those who come to farm.

Husband and wife Horsham Downs dairy farmers Megan Owen and Jason Ham teamed up with Hamilton-based tech company Bridge Point to create the cloud-based app Orange Cross, which launched in late 2016.

Orange Cross will be showcased at the Innovation Centre at Fieldays from June 14-17. . . 

Feds’ keen to improve awareness with stock management on roads:

Federated Farmers is looking forward to working with Marlborough District Council on building more awareness and good practices around stock movement on local roads.

This follows a recent review of the council’s Traffic Bylaw which found current guidelines as being sufficiently “practical and enforceable”.

“It’s very pleasing to see the council have taken on board our feedback and listened to the local community,” says Sharon Parkes, Federated Farmers’ Marlborough Provincial President.

“Many farmers rely on the ability to use public roads in rural areas to move stock between different parts of their farming operations, while clear, workable bylaws assist everyone in their application and use. . . 

Forestry Training and Success Celebrated in the South:

Last Friday saw an outstanding turnout by local forestry companies, contractors and transport operators from throughout the lower South Island of New Zealand. The function was the 2017 Southern Wood Council Forestry Awards.

The Council, representing all major forest owners and most of the major wood processing companies in Otago and Southland ran the 2017 Awards programme in conjunction with the country’s industry training organisation, Competenz. . . 

High producing contract vineyard placed on the market for sale:

A boutique highly productive vineyard supplying grapes to one New Zealand’s largest contract winemakers has been placed on the market for sale.

Zaccarat Vineyard in Renwick on the outskirts of Blenheim consists of some eight hectares of grape plantings – encompassing 6.55 hectares of sauvignon blanc vines and 1.43 hectares of pinot noir. . . 


Dairying making good progress on protecting waterways

May 16, 2017

Dairy farmers have made significant progress on their commitment to protecting dairy waterways, according to a new progress report on the Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord ‘Three Years On’.

The independently audited report shows that 97 percent of dairy cattle are fenced off from waterways on farms. That equals 26,197km of measured Accord waterways excluded from dairy cattle or the equivalent of 12 trips by road from Cape Reinga to Bluff.

National levels of significant non-compliance for dairy effluent systems on farms have dropped to their lowest ever, at 5.2 percent (down from 7 percent in 2013-14).

Eighty-three percent of farmers (compared to 56 percent in 2013-14) are now getting nitrogen information to help them farm more responsibly – with 9,517 nutrient budgets processed last year. The nitrogen management programme collects data to show nitrogen loss on-farm. This enables farmers to make improvements to their farm systems to reduce nitrogen loss and improve efficiency of use.

More than 99 percent of 44,386 regular stock crossing points on dairy farms now have bridges or culverts to protect local water quality.

DairyNZ CEO Dr Tim Mackle, says it’s heartening to see what farmers have achieved in the past three years.  “I acknowledge that there is still some work to do, but dairy farmers are making a positive difference.

The decline in water quality occurred over time and will take time to reverse but most dairy farmers are making significant, and expensive, efforts to protect and enhance waterways.

“They have made great strides since the Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord was launched in 2013. Dairy farmers made a commitment to good management practices and the actions they have taken, both large and small, are reflected in these results. The really special thing is that they have made this commitment voluntarily, and I take my hat off to them”, says Dr Mackle.

Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand executive director Kimberly Crewther says that since the Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord was launched in 2013, the industry has made significant progress on meeting it’s environmental commitments.

“The annual process of independent auditing of results gives a high degree of assurance that real progress is occurring against targets”, she says.

This is good progress on a long journey. Farmers have done a lot but there’s still more to be done to clean up waterways by both rural and urban people.

You can read more about the Water Accord here.


Quote of the day

May 16, 2017

I still remember asking my high school guidance teacher for permission to take a second year of algebra instead of a fifth year of Latin. She looked down her nose at me and sneered, ‘What lady would take mathematics instead of Latin?’ –  Nancy Roman who celebrates her 92nd birthday today.


May 16 in history

May 16, 2017

218 – Julia Maesa, aunt of the assassinated Caracalla, was banished to her home in Syria by the self-proclaimed emperor Macrinus and declared her 14-year old grandson Elagabalus, emperor of Rome.

1204  Baldwin IX, Count of Flanders was crowned as the first Emperor of the Latin Empire.

1527 The Florentines drove out the Medici for a second time and Florencere-established itself as a republic.

1532  Sir Thomas More resigned as Lord Chancellor of England.

1568 Mary, Queen of Scots, fled to England.

1770 14-year old Marie Antoinette married 15-year-old Louis-Auguste.

1771  The Battle of Alamance between local militia and a group of rebels called “The Regulators.

1777 Lachlan McIntosh and Button Gwinnett shot each other during a duel.

1811  Peninsular War – The allies Spain, Portugal and Britain, defeated the French at the Battle of Albuera.

1815  The Governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie, officially named the town of Blackheath in the upper Blue Mountains.

1822 Greek War of Independence: The Turks captured the Greek town of Souli.

1836  Edgar Allan Poe married his 13-year-old cousin Virginia.

1843  The first major wagon train heading for the Pacific Northwest set out on the Oregon Trail with one thousand pioneers from Elm Grove, Missouri.

1846 – Six soldiers were killed and two more Europeans were mortally wounded when Ngāti Haua-te-rangi leader Te Mamaku attacked the British post at Boulcott’s Farm in the Hutt Valley.

1866 The U.S. Congress eliminated the half dime coin and replaces it with the five cent piece, or nickel.

1866  Charles Elmer Hires invented root beer.

1868  President Andrew Johnson was acquitted in his impeachment trial by one vote in the United States Senate.

1874  A flood on the Mill River in Massachusetts destroyed much of four villages and kills 139 people.

1877  May 16, 187  political crisis in France.

1905 Henry Fonda, American actor, was born (d. 1982).

1910 The United States Congress authorised the creation of the United States Bureau of Mines.

1914  The first ever Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final wass played. Brooklyn Field Club defeated Brooklyn Celtic 2-1.

1916 Ephraim Katzir, 4th President of Israel, was born (d. 2009.

1918 The Sedition Act of 1918 was passed by the U.S. Congress, making criticism of the government an imprisonable offense.

1919 Liberace, American pianist,was born (d. 1987).

1919 A naval Curtiss aircraft NC-4 commanded by Albert Cushing Read left Trepassey, Newfoundland, for Lisbon via the Azores on the first transatlantic flight.

1920   Pope Benedict XV canonised Joan of Arc.

1925 – Nancy Roman, American astronomer, was born.

1929 The first Academy Awards were handed out.

1943  Holocaust: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising ended.

1948  Chaim Weizmann was elected the first President of Israel.

1951 Christian Lacroix, French fashion designer, was born.

1951  The first regularly scheduled transatlantic flights began between John F Kennedy International Airport  and Heathrow operated by El Al Israel Airlines.

1953 Pierce Brosnan, Irish actor, was born.

1960 Nikita Khrushchev demanded an apology from U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower for U-2 spy plane flights over the Soviet Union, ending a Big Four summit in Paris.

1960 Theodore Maiman operated the first optical laser, at Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu.

1965 The Campbell Soup Company introduced SpaghettiOs under its Franco-American brand.

1966 Janet Jackson, American singer, was born.

1966 The Communist Party of China issued the ‘May 16 Notice‘, marking the beginning of the Cultural Revolution.

1969 Venera program: Venera 5, a Soviet space probe, landed on Venus.

1970 Gabriela Sabatini, Argentine tennis player, was born.

1970 Danielle Spencer, Australian singer and actress, was born.

1974 Josip Broz Tito was re-elected president of Yugoslavia.

1975  India annexed Sikkim after the mountain state holds a referendum in which the popular vote was in favour of merging with India.

1975  Junko Tabei became the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

1982 The All Whites won 2-0 against Australia  on the way to the World Cup in Spain.

All Whites beat Australia on road to Spain

1983 Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement rebelled against the Sudanese government.

1986  The Seville Statement on Violence was adopted by an international meeting of scientists, convened by the Spanish National Commission for UNESCO.

1988 A report by United States’ Surgeon General C. Everett Koop stated that the addictive properties of nicotine were similar to those of heroin and cocaine.

1992  STS-49: Space Shuttle Endeavour lands safely after a successful maiden voyage.

2003  Casablanca terrorist attacks: 33 civilians killed and more than 100 people injured.

2004 The Day of Mourning at Bykivnia forest, just outside of Kiev to commemorate that here during 1930s and early 1940s communist Bolsheviks executed over 100,000 Ukrainian civilians.

2005 Kuwait permitted women’s suffrage in a 35-23 National Assemblyvote.

2007 – Nicolas Sarkozy took office as President of France.

2011 – STS-134 (ISS assembly flight ULF6), launched from the Kennedy Space Centre on the 25th and final flight for Space Shuttle Endeavour.

2014 – Twelve people were killed in two explosions in the Gikomba market area of the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.

2015 – A passenger train collided with a tractor and trailer on a level crossing at Ibbenbüren, Germany. Two people were killed and 40 were injured.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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