Word of the day

November 14, 2017

 Dandiprat – An insignificant or contemptible person; a person of small or childish mind; a silly, finicky, or puerile person; a small boy; a diminutive person; a dwarf, pygmy, or midget; an English coin worth threepence.


Rural round-up

November 14, 2017

Landpro director gets time away – Sally Rae:

Otago’s Solis Norton and Kate Scott were recently named among the latest crop of Nuffield scholars. They talk to agribusiness reporter Sally Rae about their work and the adventure that lies ahead.

Kate Scott quips that Landpro — the Central Otago-based planning and surveying company she jointly founded a decade ago — is “taking over the world, one small regional town at a time”.

From a staff of one to about 30 now, the business expanded  incrementally as its reputation grew, with more people and disciplines added, and there were long-term goals to maintain that growth.

An office was established in Cromwell 10 years ago and there were now also offices in Gore and New Plymouth. . . 

Passionate about energy – Sally Rae:

“It will be an adventure.”

So says Solis Norton, of Port Chalmers, who has been named a 2018 Nuffield scholar, along with Simon Cook (Te Puke), Andy Elliot (Nelson), Turi McFarlane (Banks Peninsula) and Kate Scott (Central Otago).

He expected it would be a  very busy time but  was looking forward to making the most of the opportunity.

Dr Norton grew up in Dunedin’s Northeast Valley and went to Massey University, where he completed a bachelor in agricultural science degree in 1996, a masters degree in applied science and then a PhD in the epidemiology of Johne’s disease in New Zealand dairy herds. . . 

North Island leaders up for Australasian agri-business award:

Three diverse and inspirational young agribusiness leaders have been selected from across Australasia as finalists for the 2018 Zanda McDonald Award.
The award, regarded as a prestigious badge of honour for the industry, recognises agriculture’s most innovative young professionals from both sides of the Tasman.

Lisa Kendall, 25, hails from Auckland, and is owner/operator of Nuture Farming Ltd, a business she established to provide agricultural services to people in and around her home city. She was a Grand Finalist in the 2017 FMG Young Farmer of the Year, and took out the People’s Choice Award, the AgriGrowth Challenge and the Community Footprint Award. Kendall plays an active role in schools, encouraging urban students to consider the career opportunities in agriculture. She is also vice-chair of the Franklin Young Farmers Club. . . 

Joint efforts on water quality – Rebecca Nadge:

The Otago Regional Council is working with Central Otago farmers in a bid to monitor and improve water quality in the area.

At a meeting in Omakau last week, local farmers discussed the strategy with ORC environmental resource scientist Rachel Ozanne and environmental officer Melanie Heather.

The plan involves ongoing testing of water at Thompson’s Creek in a cross-section of three tributaries, as well as regular monitoring in Waipiata and Bannockburn.
Ms Ozanne said the project would continue until May, with testing carried out on a fortnightly basis. . . 

Strong interest shown for Future Farm programme:

Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s search for a “Future Farm” is in its final stages and farmers are being urged to get in touch if they’re interested in being part of this unique programme.

B+LNZ is seeking to lease a hill country sheep and beef property with around 6,000 stock units for the Future Farm, which will trial new technologies and farm systems. . .

TPP agreement safeguards New Zealand’s export sector:

Federated Farmers congratulates Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the coalition government for recognising the importance of free trade to New Zealand.

Following a frenetic few days of negotiations at the APEC summit in Vietnam, the New Zealand Trade delegation has succeeded in brokering agreement with 11 countries from the Asia-Pacific region- to move the deal forward.

Federated Farmers thanks all the Ministers and officials involved for their dedication and resolve. . . 

CPTPP important to maintain competitiveness:

The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) is welcoming the progress made towards realisation of a TPP agreement (now referred to as CPTPP).

“Timely implementation of the CPTPP market access arrangements is necessary to ensure New Zealand exporters do not end up at a tariff disadvantage into one of our largest dairy markets” says DCANZ Executive Director Kimberly Crewther

The trade dynamic for dairy in the trans-pacific region has evolved in recent months with the European Union and Japan concluding negotiation of an FTA agreement which delivers market access gains to European dairy exporters similar to those agreed for New Zealand under TPP.  . . 

Cultivate With Care After Big Wet – Bala Tikkisetty

Following the wettest winter on record, farmers are currently cultivating their paddocks for pasture or crop rotation.

As they do so, it’s important to be aware of and manage the associated environmental risks.

Sediment and nutrients from farming operations, along with erosion generally, are some of the most important causes of reduced water quality and cultivation increases the potential for problems. . . 

Argentina is saying hello to the world again – Pedro

We’re saying hello to the world again.

That’s the simplest way to understand last month’s elections in Argentina, in which the party of reform-minded President Mauricio Macri made important legislative gains, picking up seats in both chambers of our Congress.

 

As a farmer in Argentina, I’m pleased by this political victory—but I’m even more encouraged by what it means for my country’s general direction.

For too long, we’ve faced inward rather than outward. Although Argentina grows a huge amount of food and depends on global trade for its prosperity, we have behaved as if none of this mattered. The previous government slapped huge export taxes on farm products and didn’t consider the consequences. We stepped away from the world market.

This wasn’t my decision, but rather the decision of former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, the head of the Peronist Party. When she took office a decade ago, export taxes were already high—and she worked to raise them even more.

The American President Ronald Reagan once made a wise observation: “If you want less of something, tax it.” . .

Vietnamese farmers flourish in the Northern Territory to become Top End’s top growers – Kirsty O’Brien:

Michael Quatch arrived in Australia as a refugee of the Vietnam War. Now he is one of the most successful growers in the Northern Territory.

During picking season, work starts well before sunrise and does not end, but Mr Quatch is not complaining — he snags a few hours of rest here and there as he works hard to get the fresh produce from his farm at Lake Bennet in the Top End onto supermarket shelves.

The 45-year-old is the biggest hydroponic farmer in the Northern Territory, running 16 hectares of shaded cropping mainly producing tomatoes and cucumbers.

But Mr Quatch had to overcome obstacles difficult to fathom when you first meet this jovial, optimistic farmer. . . 

 


Anti-GMO handicaps progress

November 14, 2017

Given the strength of arguments against the use of alm oil, you’d think a product using an  oil made from algae would be popular, but the company which developed it struck problems:

When green cleaning company Ecover announced the launch of a new laundry liquid containing an oil made from algae, as an alternative to the palm oil used in most detergents, it wasn’t prepared for the backlash.

The problem? The algae producing the oil were genetically modified. “We put everything on hold,” says Tom Domen, global head of long-term innovation at Ecover, following reactions to the 2014 product trial.

Environmental groups Friends of the Earth and Grain were among 17 organisations to sign an open letter calling on the company to “reconsider the false solution of using ingredients derived from the new genetic engineering”.

For Ecover it was a lesson learned. “We had quite detailed conversations with all our stakeholders,” says Domen, “for which the main outcome was that we were a bit clearer on how we would go about deciding on responsible innovation … and what the principles for use are when going off with more controversial technologies.” . . 

This is one of many examples where science is no match for environmental activism based on emotion.

It is possible to use genetic engineering responsibly and it’s irresponsible to damn a product out of hand because it’s used GE .

Radical environmentalists want stock reduced in number or even eliminated altoegether to reduce greenhouse emissions but won’t consider the possible of GE technology which would have the same environmental outcome without culling animals.

Ignorance has led to many environmental problems and ignorance based on arguments lacking any scientific basis are preventing some solutions.

Caution over new developments is prudent, refusal to countenance them at all lets science lose to emotion.

 

 


Quote of the day

November 14, 2017

Sometimes the right response to evil is an appeal to powerful and effective social organization – an appeal to civilization itself. – P.J. O’Rourke who turns 70 today.


November 14 in history

November 14, 2017

1533 – Conquistadors from Spain under the leadership of Francisco Pizarroarrived in Cajamarca, Inca empire.

1770 – James Bruce discovered what he believed to be the source of the Nile.

1805 Fanny Mendelssohn, German composer and pianist, was born (d. 1847).

1840 Claude Monet, French painter, was born (d. 1926).

1878 – Julie Manet, French painter, was born (d. 1966).

1889 – Pioneering female journalist Nellie Bly (aka Elizabeth Cochrane) began a successful attempt to travel around the world in less than 80 days.

1896 – Mamie Eisenhower, First Lady of the United States was born, (d. 1979)

1908 Joseph McCarthy, U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, was born  (d. 1957).

1910 – Aviator Eugene Ely performed the first take off from a ship in Hampton Roads, Virginia when he took off from a makeshift deck on theUSS Birmingham in a Curtiss pusher.

1918 – Czechoslovakia became a republic.

1919 Veronica Lake, American actress, was born (d. 1973).

1921 – The Communist Party of Spain was founded.

1921 – Brian Keith, American actor, was born. (d. 1997).

1922 – The BBC began radio service.

1922 – Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Egyptian UN Secretary-General, was born

1923 – Kentaro Suzuki completed his ascent of Mount Iizuna.

1935 King Hussein of Jordan was born (d. 1999).

1940 – Coventry was heavily bombed by Luftwaffe bombers. Coventry Cathedral was almost completely destroyed.

1941 – World War II: The aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal sank after torpedo damage from U-81 sustained on November 13.

1947 P. J. O’Rourke, American writer, was born.

1948 Prince Charles was born.

1952 – The first regular UK singles chart published by the New Musical Express.

1954 – Lieutenant General Sir Jerry Mateparae, Governor General of New Zealand, was born.

1954 – Condoleezza Rice, former United States Secretary of State, was born.

1957 – The Apalachin Meeting outside Binghamton, New York was raided by law enforcement, and many high level Mafia figures were arrested.

1959 Paul McGann, British actor, was born

1965 – Vietnam War: The Battle of the Ia Drang began – the first major engagement between regular American and North Vietnamese forces.

1967 – The Congress of Colombia, in commemoration of the 150 years of the death of Policarpa Salavarrieta, declared this day as “Day of the Colombian Woman”.

1969 – NASA launched Apollo 12, the second manned mission to the surface of the Moon.

1970 – Soviet Union enters ICAO, making Russian the fourth official language of organisation.

1970 – Southern Airways Flight 932 crashed in the mountains near Huntington, West Virginia, killing 75, including members of the Marshall University football team.

1971 Adam Gilchrist, Australian cricketer, was born.

1971 – Enthronment of Pope Shenouda III as Pope of Alexandria.

1973 – The passage of the Social Security Amendment Act introduced theDomestic Purposes Benefit to New Zealand’s social welfare system.

DPB legislation introduced

1973 – Princess Anne married Captain Mark Phillips, in Westminster Abbey.

1975 – Spain abandoned Western Sahara.

1982 – Lech Wałęsa, the leader of Poland’s outlawed Solidarity movement, was released after 11 months of internment.

1984 – Zamboanga City mayor Cesar Climaco, a prominent critic of the government of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, was assassinated in his home city.

1990 – After German reunification, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Poland sign a treaty confirming the Oder-Neisse line as the border between Germany and Poland.

1991 – Cambodian Prince Norodom Sihanouk returned to Phnom Penh after 13 years of exile.

1991 – In Royal Oak, Michigan, a fired United States Postal Service employee went on a shooting rampage, killing four and wounding five before committing suicide.

1995 – A budget standoff between Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Congress forced the federal government to temporarily close national parks and museums and to run most government offices with skeleton staffs.

2001 – War in Afghanistan: Afghan Northern Alliance fighters took over Kabul.

2002 – Argentina defaulted on an $805 million World Bank payment.

2003 – Astronomers Michael E. Brown, Chad Trujillo, and David L. Rabinowitz discovered 90377 Sedna, a Trans-Neptunian object.

2008 – – The first G-20 economic summit opened in Washington, D.C.

2007 – The last direct-current electrical distribution system in the United States was shut down in New York City by Con Edison.

2010 –Germany’s Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull Racing won Formula One’s Drivers Championship to become the sport’s youngest champion.

2012 – Israel launched a major military operation in the Gaza Strip, as hostilities with Hamas escalated.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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