Word of the day

October 6, 2017

Cagg – a  solemn vow or resolution used by private soldiers not to get drunk for a certain time.


Friday’s answers

October 6, 2017

Teletext and J Bloggs get my thanks for posing yesterday’s questions.

Should they have stumped us all, they can claim a virtual jar of dulce de leche by leaving the answers below.


Rural round-up

October 6, 2017

Methane, nitrous oxide levels can be reduced – Nicole Sharp:

Methane and nitrous oxide levels can be reduced on-farm and mitigation options are already available for farmers.

AgResearch science impact leader Robyn Dynes spoke to a group of rural professionals in Invercargill recently about what mitigation options were available to reduce greenhouse gases.

Methane is produced by cows when feed is digested by rumen microbes and 87%-92% of it is produced in the rumen.

Four options either available to farmers at present or being worked on would help reduce methane levels, Dr Dynes said. . . 

Focus goes on safety – Yvonne O’Hara:

Central Otago wool harvesting workers and contractors have contributed to an industry-first online health and safety education resource.

Members of the New Zealand Shearing Contractors Association’s ”Tahi Ngatahi” working party were in the region last week to hold three focus groups to ”flesh out” content for the series of short and sharp videos and other information for the online units.

The group hopes the resource will be launched in April or May next year. . . 

Westland shareholders back governance changes:

Westland Milk Products shareholders today strongly endorsed a package of changes designed to improve and update the co-operative’s governance.

Westland Chairman Pete Morrison said, “Shareholders at today’s Special General Meeting in Hokitika approved the changes with 93.5% percent in favour. This will ‘future proof’ the structure and tone of the governance of our co-operative, and better equip Westland for the opportunities and challenges ahead of us.”

Morrison said one of the key recommendations in the report, a programme to identify and upskill potential shareholder directors, was well received, with feedback from shareholders during the consultation and at the SGM emphasising that continuity and succession planning was important. . . 

Dairy sector strong as it gazes at uncertain future:

Trans Tasman Political Pulse

INSIGHTS ABOUT THE NEWS – The dairy sector may be facing a future filled with political uncertainty, but the Fonterra result shows it is working from a strong base with potential to grow further and strengthen the wider economy.

As reported in Trans Tasman’s sister publication The Main Report Farming Alert, Fonterra delivered a solid result, marked by foodservice sales growth into China. Its returns ensure farmers’ protability is back close to long-run averages of $990/ha, with a further lift of protability projected in the current season.

The dairy industry is a vital engine for the economy, but it needs solid Govt backing, particularly as it competes in global markets. Currently, 87% of all NZ dairy exports are restricted by quotas or tariffs of more than 10%. . . 

B+LNZ and MIA concerned by UK media reports of a EU-UK deal on WTO quotas:

Beef + Lamb New Zealand and the New Zealand Meat Industry Association are concerned by reports that the EU and UK have reached a “deal” to split the EU’s WTO tariff rate quotas following Brexit.

“Given the importance of the European Union and United Kingdom for New Zealand’s sheep and beef exports, stability and certainty is vital,” said James Parsons, Chairman of Beef + Lamb New Zealand. “The tariff rate quotas form part of the EU’s WTO commitments and are legally binding rights and obligations. . . 

PGG Wrightson Plants its Future Growth With Promapp:

A PGG Wrightson, a New Zealand Stock Exchange listed company and a leading provider of products, services and solutions to growers, farmers and processors, has announced that it is now deploying Promapp business process management software across its recently expanded Retail and Water division.

In a strategy designed to support the organisation’s ongoing focus on effective service delivery, business improvement and risk management, Promapp will provide the organisation’s staff with a centralised repository for storing and managing critical processes as well as an enhanced facility for reporting on the status of processes, improvement actions and risks. . . 

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Farmer – I”m more than you think: mechanic, meteorologist, scientist, machine operator, financial planner, agronomist, computer operator, animal caretaker, family.


OK there, not ok here?

October 6, 2017

The New Zealand superannuation fund has taken a stake in an Australian cattle stud:

 The New Zealand Superannuation Fund has made its first offshore farm investment, taking a stake in Australian beef stud Palgrove for an undisclosed amount.

The deal, which has received approval from the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board, will increase the fund’s rural land portfolio to 33 farms worth approximately $340 million, it said in a press release. In its 2016 annual report, the Fund said it owned 21 farms valued at $204 million. As at Aug. 31 this year, however, it had 1 percent of its $35.7 billion fund invested in rural farmland.

Chief investment officer Matt Whineray said Palgrove is a high quality, highly successful business that complemented the Fund’s existing investment portfolio. “We are pleased to make the fund’s first offshore investment under our rural land strategy. We continue to see rural land as an attractive long-term investment and a good diversifier for our portfolio,” he said.

Palgrove is based near Stanthorpe, Queensland, but has livestock and properties now spread across Queensland and New South Wales, according to its website. The stud currently runs about 5,000 head of registered cattle.

The Super Fund was set up in 2001 to help meet the country’s future pension needs. Its acquisition of rural land is driven by a desire to diversify its investments and to benefit from increased demand for meat and proteins as Asian countries become wealthier and favour a more western diet.

The business will continue to be run by the Bondfield family who founded it.

NZ Super Fund portfolio manager Neil Woods, said it intends to invest more in Palgrove to help it expand.

“The arrangement is we will grow the business through the purchase of land and the development of new technology to increase it size and value. We could invest another $100 million in this business in the medium term.”

He said Palgrove was a first step in rural investments in Australia and the fund was on the look out for other agriculture investments.

The stud’s founder David Bondfield said the fund had the right approach to investment in the sector.

“This partnership with NZSF gives the Palgrove business the capacity to grow its cattle numbers to meet increasing demand from our clients. It also enables us to accelerate genetic development.”

I know the Bondfields and admire their business. This should be a good investment for the super fund.

It is important for it to spread its risk and to invest both in New Zealand and overseas. I am also open to foreign investment here.

However, not everyone shares my views.

Some are vehemently opposed to foreign investment.

It would be interesting to know if that applies to both inwards and outwards investment.

If it doesn’t, how do they explain that it’s okay for us to invest there but not for people form other countries to invest here?


Quote of the day

October 6, 2017

Above all else, philosophy ought to aim for clarification – of the self, one’s place in the world, and the ways we make meaning. Philosophy, when practiced well, can be useful. It can enable us to grapple in productive ways with questions about the meaning of life and who I am and how I want to be in the world. – Peg O’Connor who celebrates her 52nd birthday today.


October 6 in history

October 6, 2017

105 BC Battle of Arausio: The Cimbri defeated the Roman army of Gnaeus Mallius Maximus.

69 BC Battle of Tigranocerta: Forces of the Roman Republic defeated the army of the Kingdom of Armenia led by King Tigranes the Great.

68 BC Battle of Artaxata: Lucullus defeated Tigranes the Great of Armenia.

1289 – Wenceslaus III of Bohemia, was born, (d. 1306).

1600  Jacopo Peri‘s Euridice, the earliest surviving opera, received its première performance in Florence, signifying the beginning of the Baroque Period.

1683  William Penn brought 13 German immigrant families to the colony of Pennsylvania, marking the first immigration of German people to America.

1744  – James McGill, Scottish-Canadian businessman and philanthropist, founded McGill University, was born (d. 1813).

1762  Seven Years’ War: conclusion of the Battle of Manila between Britain and Spain, which resulted in the British occupation of Manila for the rest of the war.

1769 Ship’s boy Nicholas Young received a gallon of rum and had Young Nick’s Head named in his honour for being the first aboard theEndeavourto spot land.

Young Nick sights land

1789  French Revolution: Louis XVI returned to Paris from Versailles after being confronted by the Parisian women.

1838 – Giuseppe Cesare Abba, Italian soldier, poet, and author, was born (d. 1910).

1849  The execution of the 13 Martyrs of Arad after the Hungarian war of independence.

1854 The Great fire of Newcastle and Gateshead started shortly after midnight, leading to 53 deaths and hundreds injured.

1884  The Naval War College of the United States Navy was founded in Newport, Rhode Island.

1889  Thomas Edison showed his first motion picture.

1903  The High Court of Australia sat for the first time.

1906  The Majlis of Iran convened for the first time.

1908 Austria annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina sparking a crisis.

1910 Barbara Castle, British politician, first woman to be First Secretary of State, was born (d. 2002).

1914 Thor Heyerdahl, Norwegian explorer was born  (d. 2002).

1914  – Joan Littlewood, English director and playwright, was born  (d. 2002).

1923 – Yaşar Kemal, Turkish journalist and author, was born (d. 2015).

1927  Opening of The Jazz Singer, the first prominent talking movie.

1928  Chiang Kai-Shek became Chairman of the Republic of China.

1930 Richie Benaud, Australian cricketer, was born.

1939 – Melvyn Bragg, English journalist, author, and academic, was born.

1939  World War II: The  Polish army was defeated.

1942 Britt Ekland, Swedish actress, was born.

1945 Billy Sianis and his pet billy goat were ejected from Wrigley Field during Game 4 of the 1945 World Series (see Curse of the Billy Goat).

1948 Gerry Adams, Northern Irish politician, was born.

1949 – Lonnie Johnson, American inventor, was born.

1949 – Penny Junor, English journalist and author, was born.

1956 – Kathleen Webb, American author and illustrator, was born.

1965 – Peg O’Connor, American philosopher and academic, was born.

1973  Egypt launched a coordinated attack against Israel to reclaim land lost in the Six Day War. The Ramadan War Yom Kippur War started at 2:05 pm that day.

1976  Cubana Flight 455 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean after two bombs, placed on board by terrorists with connections to the CIA, exploded. All 73 people on-board were killed.

1976 New Premier Hua Guofeng ordered the arrest of the Gang of Four and associates and ended the Cultural Revolution in China.

1976   Massacre of students gathering at Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand to protest the return of ex-dictator Thanom, by a coalition of right-wing paramilitary and government forces, triggering the return of the military to government.

1977  In Alicante, Spain, fascists attacked a group of MCPV militants and sympathisers, one MCPV sympathiser was killed.

1977 The first prototype of the MiG-29, designated 9-01, made its maiden flight.

1979 Pope John Paul II beaome the first pontiff to visit the White House.

1981 President of Egypt  Anwar al-Sadat was assassinated.

1985  PC Keith Blakelock was murdered as riots erupted in the Broadwater Farm suburb of London.

1987  Fiji became a republic.

1995 51 Pegasi was discovered to be the first major star apart from the Sun to have a planet (and extrasolar planet) orbiting around it.

2000 Yugoslav president Slobodan Milošević resigned.

2000  Argentine vice president Carlos Álvarez resigned.

2002  The French oil tanker Limburg was bombed off Yemen.

2007 Jason Lewis completed the first human-powered circumnavigation of the globe.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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