Word of the day

September 6, 2017

úht-cearu – sorrow at dawn; the worries that gather as one lies sleepless before dawn; early morning care.

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Rural round-up

September 6, 2017

Ag-tech edge requires boldness – Conor English:

Just as the axe handle allowed the human race to prevail, New Zealand needs to put its mind to discovering the next combination of technologies that is going to keep our country at the forefront of ag and food technology.

That is going to take capital, risk, and some out-of-the-box thinking.  There is much to do if we want to lead the race, writes Conor English.

The axe handle was incredibly important for the human race.

By combining three previously separate elements — a stone, a stick and string — humans invented a tool that gave them leverage and strength to better hunt animals that were faster and stronger than us. . . 

New technologies helping clean up NZ’s waterways:

New Zealand farmers and companies are starting to use Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, data analytics and automation to decrease impact on New Zealand rivers, a leading national tech expert says.

In countries, right across the world the IoT devices are being used to help clean up water, New Zealand IoT Alliance executive director Kriv Naicker says.

Irrigation is by far the largest use of water in New Zealand, making up 65.9 percent of water use between 2013 and 2014, the Ministry for the Environment says. . . 

Farmers becoming ‘lepers’ due to cattle disease scare – Gerard Hutching:

South Canterbury and Otago beef farmers are unwitting victims of the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis even though testing so far has shown their livestock are free of any traces of the disease.

A farmer who rears calves as dairy support told Stuff he had a contract worth $100,000 for 200 calves cancelled as soon as the buyer heard the animals were being tested.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has indicated these farmers will not be eligible for compensation. . . 

Provisional tax relief at last – Chris Cunliffe:

Provisional tax has long been difficult to get right and expensive to get wrong.

But not anymore: the much-maligned old rules have been put out to pasture.

These assumed farmers and growers could correctly forecast their income tax liability ahead of time, but if their prediction was not spot-on they got slapped by Inland Revenue’s steep interest on top of the underpaid amount.

Now new rules provide greater certainty about payments and reduce compliance costs for businesses who calculate their payments using the standard method. This method means you base your payments on 105% of last year’s income tax liability (or 110% of the previous year’s liability if your return has not been filed). Most taxpayers pay provisional tax this way. . . 

Dunedin produces mastitis diagnostics – Sally Rae:

A Dunedin-based startup has produced a diagnostic test kit to help farmers deal with the costly problem of bovine mastitis.

Mastitis, which is inflammation of the udder, is a major financial burden to the dairy industry, both in New Zealand and globally.

It was predominantly treated using antibiotics and mastitis treatment was the largest single use for animal health antibiotics.

On average, it was estimated to cost about $60,000 a year for an 800-cow herd, and the industry, as a whole, about $280 million.

Mastaplex founder Dr Olaf Bork has been developing products for treating mastitis at the Bayer Centre for Animal Health, before patenting his own research and founding the startup company. . . 

Wet flattens milk curve – Hugh Stringleman:

The extraordinary number of wet days over winter has raised the worry of a repeat spring milk production plateau rather than peak.

Soils in almost all dairying districts were saturated and fine weather was needed to kick-start spring grass growth and milk production.

Dairy farmers in northern provinces had almost completed the extended winter pasture feeding rotation when cows were break-fed the saved autumn pasture growth for 90 days. . . 

Major increase in community conservation funding:

Conservation work in New Zealand will be supercharged by substantially increasing the amount of money available to hard-working volunteer groups, National Party Conservation Spokesperson Maggie Barry says.

“We have a beautiful natural environment, and the efforts of local communities are crucial to protecting our landscape and native species for future generations,” Ms Barry says.

To support these groups, National will more than double the amount of funding available through the Department of Conservation Community Fund, from $4.6 million to $10 million a year. . . 

Spring farm sales upturn expected – Alan Williams:

Winter calving and lambing preparations and rainfall impacts have slowed the rural real estate market but prices have remained firm.

With an increased milk payout and higher beef prices “a quiet air of confidence or perhaps relief is quietly growing with the rural sector”, Real Estate Institute rural spokesman Brian Peacocke said.

Sales for the three months to the end of July were down by 76 to 392 compared to the end of June when there were 459 sales. In the July period last year there were 468 sales. . . 

New Zealand King Salmon fy17 result and dividend exceed expectations:

A combination of operational achievements and a successful market positioning strategy underpins strong growth for New Zealand King Salmon Investments Ltd which today reported its full year result for the twelve months to 30 June 2017 (FY17). The Board affirms the Company’s full year FY18 forecast as presented in its Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) dated 23 September 2016, prepared for its Initial Public Offering (IPO).

Key highlights include:

• Net profit after tax of $22.8 million, up 778% on the comparable twelve month period to 30 June 2016 (FY16) and 125% ahead of the Prospective Financial Information forecast (PFI) . . 

Fieldays reveals post-event survey results and theme for 50th anniversary in 2018

Results from a recent visitor and exhibitor survey has New Zealand Agricultural Fieldays celebrating another successful year as preparations begin for their 50th anniversary event in 2018.

In the survey, 96 per cent of visitors rated their experience of Fieldays 2017 as “good” to “excellent” and 92 per cent of exhibitors said they would exhibit again.

The iconic event, billed as the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere, saw a record 133,588 people through the gates – its highest visitor number yet. . . 


Labour’s plan too tight to work

September 6, 2017

The varied opinions on the size of the hole in Labour’s budget remind me of the one-liner if you lay every economist in the world end to end you’d still not reach a conclusion.

However, while there is debate on the size of the hole, there is agreement that Labour’s fiscal plan is too tight to work.

Pattrick Smellie writes:

Labour’s numbers are nothing like as compromised or wrong as Joyce claimed, but it requires some heroic assumptions about Labour’s ability to control all spending outside health and education to believe the numbers it’s published.

In other words, Joyce has claimed a worst case scenario. Robertson is claiming best case.

On that basis, it’s entirely reasonable to split the difference in the interests of trying to explain what’s at stake here, and to conclude that Labour’s forecasts will turn out to be anything between $4b and $6b short of its published fiscal plan, should it form a government after September 23.

If Labour turns out to be a spendthrift government, then Joyce’s alleged $11.7b miscalculation could prove to be too little.

Alternatively, if Labour turns out to be an unexpectedly tight-fisted government in a time of endless forecast Budget surpluses, its spending under-estimation might be far less than my punt of a $4b to $6b shortfall. . .

Looking at Labour’s record, its  policies and the threat of more taxes, could anyone have any confidence that it would be tight-fisted?

It has fought tooth and nail against every single efficiency National has introduced over the last nine years. It can’t be trusted to ntroduce more efficiencies.

Even if the leopard changed its spots it is irresponsible to leave nothing in the kitty for inevitable expensive eventualities.

We’ve had natural and financial disasters in the last few years, only fools would bet on no more in the next few.


Quote of the day

September 6, 2017

Sometimes the dreams that come true are the dreams you never even knew you had.  – Alice Sebold who celebrates her 54th birthday today.


September 6 in history

September 6, 2017

394  Battle of the Frigidus: The Christian Roman Emperor Theodosiu Idefeated and killed the pagan usurper Eugenius and his Frankish magister militum Arbogast.

1522 The Victoria, the only surviving ship of Ferdinand Magellan’s expedition, returned to Sanlúcar de Barrameda in Spain, becoming the first ship to circumnavigate the world.

1620  The Pilgrims sailed from Plymouth on the Mayflower to settle in North America.

1628 Puritans settled Salem.

1634 Thirty Years’ War: In the Battle of Nördlingen the Catholic Imperial army defeated Protestant armies of Sweden and Germany.

1669 The siege of Candia ended with the Venetian fortress surrendering to the Ottomans.

1729 Moses Mendelssohn, German philosopher, was born (d. 1786).

1757 Marquis de Lafayette, French soldier and statesman, was born (d. 1834).

1781 The Battle of Groton Heights resulted a British victory.

1800 Catharine Beecher, American educator, was born (d. 1878).

1847  Henry David Thoreau left Walden Pond and moved in with Ralph Waldo Emerson and his family.

1860 Jane Addams, American social worker, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born (d. 1935).

1870  Louisa Ann Swain of Laramie, Wyoming became the first woman in the United States to cast a vote legally.

1885 Eastern Rumelia declared its union with Bulgaria.

1888  Charles Turner became the first bowler to take 250 wickets in an English season.

1901 Anarchist Leon Czolgosz shot and fatally wounded US PresidentWilliam McKinley.

1919 Wilson Greatbatch, American inventor (cardiac pacemaker), was born (d. 2011).

1930 Argentine president Hipólito Yrigoyen was deposed in a military coup.

1937  Spanish Civil War: The start of the Battle of El Mazuco.

1939 World War II: The Battle of Barking Creek.

1939 – Susumu Tonegawa, Japanese biologist and immunologist, Nobel Prize laureate, was born.

1940 – Jackie Trent, English-Spanish singer-songwriter and actress, was born (d. 2015).

1940 King Carol II of Romania abdicated and was succeeded by his sonMichael.

1943 Roger Waters, British musician (Pink Floyd), was born.

1943 The Monterrey Institute of Technology, was founded in Monterrey, Mexico.

1948 New Zealand citizenship was established.

New Zealand citizenship established

1948  Juliana became Queen of the Netherlands.

1949 – Allied military authorities relinquished control of former Nazi Germany assets back to German control.

1955 Istanbul Pogrom: Istanbul’s Greek and Armenian minority were the target of a government-sponsored pogrom.

1957 José Sócrates, Prime Minister of Portugal, was born.

1963 Alice Sebold, American novelist, was born.

1965  India retaliated following Pakistan’s failed Operation Grand Slam which resulted in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965.

1966 The architect of Apartheid, Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd, was stabbed to death during a parliamentary meeting.

1968  Swaziland became independent.

1970 Two passenger jets bound from Europe to New York were simultaneously hijacked by Palestinian terrorist members of PFLP and taken to Dawson’s Field in Jordan.

1972  Munich Massacre: 9 Israeli athletes and a German policeman taken hostage at the Munich Olympic Games by the Palestinian “Black September” terrorist group died  at the hands of the kidnappers during a failed rescue attempt.

1976   Soviet air force pilot Lt. Viktor Belenko landed a MiG-25 jet fighter on the island of Hokkaidō and requests political asylum in the United States.

1985  Midwest Express Airlines Flight 105, a Douglas DC-9 crashed just after takeoff from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, killing 31.

1986 In Istanbul, two terrorists from Abu Nidal’s organisation killed 22 and wounded six inside the Neve Shalom synagogue during Shabbat services.

1991 – The name Saint Petersburg was restored to Russia’s second largest city, which had been renamed Leningrad in 1924.

1997 Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales which was watched by a television audience of more than 2.5 billion.

2008 – Turkish President Abdullah Gül attended an association football match in Armenia after an invitation by Armenian President Serzh Sarkisyan; he is the first Turkish head of state to visit the country.

2009 – The ro-ro ferry SuperFerry 9 sank off the Zamboanga Peninsula in the Philippines with 971 persons aboard; all but ten were rescued.

2012 – 61 people died and 48 others were injured after a fishing boat capsized off the Izmir Province coast of Turkey, near the Greek Aegean islands.

Sourced from NZ History & Wikipedia


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