Word of the day

December 20, 2017

Zabernism – abusive misuse of military power or authority; bullying.


Rural round-up

December 20, 2017

Six suspected suicides of farmers ‘tragic’ – Alexa Cook:

A group representing young farmers says a spate of suicides over the past few weeks is tragic – but not surprising – after a really stressful year for the sector.

New Zealand Young Farmers chief executive Terry Copeland said it’s been a really tough time for the farming community and there have been six suspected suicides in recent weeks.

“My understanding is that there were four young men in Canterbury last week that had taken their own lives.

“But also I’ve heard two in the Waikato as well, and one of them in the Waikato was one of our young farmer members … it’s tragic,” he said. . . 

Federated Farmers president’s message to workers after sudden deaths in rural communities

Farming groups are pleading with stressed workers to speak up if they need support in the wake of a series of deaths of young men across the country.

The Herald on Sunday understands four farmers died suddenly in the past few weeks, including a Hamilton City Young Farmer member, and a popular rodeo competitor in Canterbury. Both were aged in their 20s.

The coroner’s office has confirmed one of the deaths is before coroner Michael Robb.

Federated Farmers president Katie Milne broke down in tears while speaking to the Herald on Sunday, saying she was becoming increasingly desperate to remind farmers that help was available if they needed it. . . 

The faces of disease-fearing farmers: Mycoplasma bovis meeting spills out of Southland hall – Dave Nicoll:

Farmers spilled out of a Winton hall as hundreds of them gathered at a meeting, concerned about the discovery of Mycoplasma bovis in Southland.

The Memorial Hall was packed to capacity with people standing, and even spilling outside as they waited to hear what the Ministry for Primary Industries had to say about the containment of the disease.

Ministry director of response Geoff Gwyn said the response team was working to identify where in Southland infected cattle had been moving, in an effort to contain the disease. . . 

Japan’s Itoham Yonekyu buys 100% of Anzco Foods as part of Asia growth strategy – Sophie Boot:

 (BusinessDesk) – Japanese-listed Itoham Yonekyu Holdings has received Overseas Investment Office approval to increase its shareholding of Anzco Foods to 100 percent, from the 65 percent it already owned.

Anzco was New Zealand’s second-largest meat company and fifth-largest exporter in 2016, with turnover of $1.5 billion and 3,000 employees. It was already 83.3 percent overseas owned, with 16.8 percent of the company held by Japanese marine products company Nippon Suisan Kaisha, known as Nissui, and the remaining 18.2 percent owned by the company’s chair Graeme Harrison and management. Harrison will step down at the company’s next annual meeting in March, having signalled his plans for retirement in 2015. . . 

What do we do? Agriculture in the age of synthetic food – William Ray:

Meatless meats and milkless milks seem to be just over the horizon and with many companies aiming to undercut the price of the ‘real’ stuff there’s the potential for a real threat to the New Zealand economy.

In this special episode of Our Changing World, William Ray investigates.

“We’ve got chicken or beef!” yells comedian Ben Hurley from an ad in my Facebook feed (cue sound effects for clucking chickens and mooing cattle).

“Wow, that’s absolutely delicious!” gushes a smiling stranger, which is the only polite response when someone hands you a free taco and pushes a microphone into your face.

Now the big reveal: “Do you know what… that’s 100 percent plant based!” (cue record scratch sound effect). . . 

Social licence and NZ aquaculture:

Research from the Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge has found that personal relationships go a long way towards aquaculture companies gaining/maintaining community acceptance and social licence to operate.

Interviews with aquaculture, fishing and enviro community groups have revealed that social licence to operate (SLO) is easily lost – or absent – if a company’s relationship is purely transactional; ie if links with the local community are solely business-related.

“Relational relationships, where one or more employees have personal as well as professional relationships with community, go a very long way to gaining and maintaining SLO,” said Peter Edwards, a co-author of the paper and a Political Scientist at Scion. “In other words, these employees are part of community life.” . . 

Director election for Beef + Lamb New Zealand Northern North Island electoral district:

A Director election will be held for Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s Northern North Island electoral district after three nominations were received.

Martin Coup of Aria, Murray Jagger of Whangarei and Ross Wallis of Raglan will stand as candidates to replace current Northern North Island director and chairman James Parsons, who announced last month he was not seeking re-election. . . 


EU should butt out of milk market

December 20, 2017

The GlobalDairyTrade price index dropped 3.9% this morning.

The simple explanation is that supply is greater than demand.

The inbalance is aggravated by the EU putting 22,500t of skimmed milk powder from public intervention stocks on the market.

That’s the milk powder that the EU stockpiled when the global price for dairy products plummeted a few seasons ago.

Whether it’s coincidence that the price has dropped as the market is flooded with this extra milk powder, or whether it’s the cause, it would be much better if the EU kept out of the market.

Interfering when the price drops shields farmers from the price signals which would lead them to reduce costs which in turn would lead to producing less milk.

That prolongs downturns and risks another when the milk powder is eventually put on the market.

Farmers and consumers would all benefit if the EU butted out of the milk market and let production adjust to price signals.

 

 


Zero chance of zero carbon

December 20, 2017

Federated Farmers Climate Change spokesperson Andrew Hoggard  says it’s impossible to get methane emissions from a cow down to zero:

“It’s a biological system, it’s not going to happen. I guess the key thing is we’ve got to remember the global context her and that New Zealand’s food producers here are one of the most efficient in the world at producing food for the least amount of carbon.”

 

Hoggard was responding to news the government is aiming to get New Zealand’s net carbon emissions down to zero by 2050.

That doesn’t mean animal emissions would have to get to zero. In theory it could be achieved by off-setting those emissions but David Farrar points out at Kiwiblog:

 The reality is that achieving zero net emissions will be incredibly costly and painful. It will involve massive trade offs.

New Zealand’s emissions from farming are unusually high for the developed world because we produce so much food.

Most of that food is exported. Other countries will have much lower emissions from farm animals but they eat the food we produce and if we produce less of it other less efficient farmers will produce more.

Emissions here would reduce but global emissions would rise.

What those calling for a reduction in stock, especially cattle, also forget is that the food we produce and export is what largely pays for the goods and services which we need to retain first world status.

Cue, this cartoon by Tom Scott from 2008:


Quote of the day

December 20, 2017

It is a simple but sometimes forgotten truth that the greatest enemy to present joy and high hopes is the cultivation of retrospective bitterness.  –  Sir Robert Menzies who was born on this day in 1894.

He also said:

We took the name ‘Liberal’ because we were determined to be a progressive party, willing to make experiments, in no sense reactionary but believing in the individual, his rights, and his enterprise, and rejecting the socialist panacea.


December 20 in history

December 20, 2017

69 – Vespasian, formerly a general under Nero, entered Rome to claim the title of emperor.

217 – The papacy of Zephyrinus ended. Callixtus I was elected as the sixteenth pope, but was opposed by the theologian Hippolytus who accused him of laxity and of being a Modalist, one who denies any distinction between the three persons of the Trinity.

1192  Richard the Lion-Heart was captured and imprisoned by Leopold V ofAustria on his way home to England after signing a treaty with Saladinending the Third crusade.

1522 – Suleiman the Magnificent accepted the surrender of the surviving Knights of Rhodes, who were allowed to evacuate. They eventually settled on Malta and became known as the Knights of Malta.

1803 – The Louisiana Purchase was completed at a ceremony in New Orleans.

1832 – New Zealand’s first cricket match took place on the foreshore at Horotutu.

New Zealand’s first cricket match

1865 – Elsie De Wolfe, American socialite and interior decorator, was born  (d. 1950).

1868 Harvey Firestone, American automobile pioneer, was born (d. 1938).

1894  Sir Robert Menzies, 12th Prime Minister of Australia was born (d. 1978).

1898 – Konstantinos Dovas, Greek general and politician, 156th Prime Minister of Greece, was born (d. 1973).

1901  Robert Van de Graaff, American physicist and inventor, was born  (d. 1967).

1907  Paul Francis Webster, songwriter, was born  (d. 1984).

1913 The Great Strike of 1913, which began in late October when Wellington waterside workers stopped work, ended when the United Federation of Labour (UFL) conceded defeat.

Waterfront strike ends

1927  Kim Young-sam, first civilian President of South Korea after a series of dictatorships, was born.

1944  Bobby Colomby, American musician (Blood, Sweat & Tears), was born.

1945 Peter Criss, American drummer and singer (Kiss), was born.

1948 Alan Parsons, British music producer and artist, was born.

1951 The EBR-1 in Arco, Idaho becomes the first nuclear power plant to generate electricy.  The electricity powered four light bulbs.

1955 – Cardiff was proclaimed the capital city of Wales.

1957  Billy Bragg, English singer and songwriter, was born.

1973 Spanish Prime Minister, Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco, was assassinated by a car bomb attack in Madrid.

1984 The Summit tunnel fire, the largest underground fire in history, as a freight train carrying over 1 million litres of petrol derails near the town of Todmorden in the Pennines.

1987 History’s worst peacetime sea disaster, when the passenger ferryDoña Paz sank after colliding with the oil tanker Vector 1 in the Tablas Strait in the Philippines  killing an estimated 4,000 people (1,749 official).

1988 The United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances was signed in Vienna

1989  United States invasion of Panama: The United States sent troops into Panama to overthrow government of Manuel Noriega.

1995  NATO began peacekeeping in Bosnia.

1996 NeXT merged with Apple Computer, starting the path to Mac OS X.

1999 Macau was handed over to the People’s Republic of China by Portugal.

2007  Queen Elizabeth II became the oldest ever monarch of the United Kingdom, surpassing Queen Victoria, who lived for 81 years, 7 months and 29 days.

2007 – The painting Portrait of Suzanne Bloch (1904), by Pablo Picasso, was stolen from the São Paulo Museum of Art, along with O Lavrador de Café, by the major Brazilian modernist painter Candido Portinari.

2013  – China successfully launched the Bolivian Túpac Katari 1 from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre.

2014  – Two police officers of the New York City Police Department were shot and killed, allegedly in retaliation against the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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