365 days of gratitude

January 15, 2018

Today’s been another scorcher.

Without irrigation North Otago would have been in drought weeks ago.

With it, farms are still able to grow pasture and crops.

Moisture lost through evapotranspiration will be greater than the amount delivered by irrigation on days like this.

But cooler overnight temperatures allow more water to be applied than is lost and I’m very grateful for that.


Word of the day

January 15, 2018

Belvedere – a summer house or open-sided gallery, typically at rooftop level, commanding a fine view;  a building, or architectural feature of a building, designed and situated to look out upon a pleasing scene;  roofed structure, especially a small pavilion or tower on top of a building, situated so as to command a wide view.


Rural round-up

January 15, 2018

Cattle categories removed from A&P show –  David Loughrey:

This year’s Otago-Taieri A&P Show will be without cattle categories, as shows across the South take precautions against Mycoplasma bovis.

Kelly Allison said the decision not to have cattle at the January 27 show was made last week in  light of the spread of the bacterial infection, to guard against its transmission.

Mr Allison is on the Otago-Taieri A&P Show committee and on the executive of the Royal Agricultural Society of New Zealand.

“I think it’s a very small chance that a cow would transfer it to another cow,” he said. . . 

A radical rethink of NZ’s largest farm is on the table – Emily Heyward & Paula Hulburt:

New Zealand’s largest farm or massive public park? You decide.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is open to a radical rethink of the historic Molesworth Station, the rolling high-country farm linking Marlborough to North Canterbury.

The farming lease at the 180,000-hectare cattle ranch – about the size of Stewart Island – expires in 2020, and the public could help shape its future. . . 

Third generation dairy farmers turn to hemp – Alexander Robertson:

Forget about white gold and our massive dairy industry, green gold could be the new king of the crop.

As the hemp industry opens up in New Zealand, a Rangitikei family is giving hemp a shot as they try get off the herd and diversify their dairy farm in hemp and pumpkin for the first year.

The Welch family have farmed the same land for more than 90 years over three generations.

However, for this family there’s many sides to the dairy industry with ethical challenges. . . 

Blueberry season over earlier than usual in warmer weather – Jill Galloway:

The blueberry season has come and gone early in Manawatū because of warm weather.

Co-owner of Blueacres​ in Pohangina Valley, Gloria Hall said they usually had a season which lasted through January.

But she said every year was different, and last year the wet winter and spring, followed by a dry December brought the berries on early. . . 

Why you need a good merino base layer – Ross Collicutt:

When I was young, we went skiing regularly. We could afford to go skiing, but didn’t have the greatest gear. We’d go with school, with parents, with anyone that was going to the hill. Skiing was great fun, but we’d be shivering by the end of the day.

Getting so cold your lips are blue is fine when you can just grab a hot chocolate in the lodge to warm up. Out snowshoeing in the winter or on a long backpacking trip, getting too cold could have more serious consequences.

Base layers are the most important part of your outdoor clothing system. Yes, it sounds nerdy, but that system is made up of three layers: the outer shell for rain and snow protection, the middle insulation layer, and the-all important base layer on the inside. A merino wool base layer is the best. Here’s why. . . 


How much will Molesworth cost?

January 15, 2018

The Department of Conservation is consulting on the Molesworth Station management plan.

Molesworth is an iconic high-country station. It is owned by the public of New Zealand and managed by DOC on your behalf.

The Station became a recreation reserve in 2005. It has many values, including heritage, conservation, cultural and recreation.

Managing Molesworth

Molesworth is currently managed as a working high-country station through a farming lease and grazing licence to Landcorp. The farming lease expires in 2020.

A management plan for Molesworth was approved in 2013. Its intention was to transition Molesworth from its traditional focus on farming to include more recreation and conservation activities.

The plan puts restrictions on public access in order to meet farming requirements. It may be necessary to manage recreational activity to protect conservation goals for natural, cultural and historic reasons, and to protect the recreational experience of other users.

DOC sees potential in working collaboratively with others on landscape-scale restoration in Molesworth. It is a biodiversity hotspot for a wide range of dryland animal and plant species. It also faces challenges from pests and significant weed problems such as wilding conifers. . . 

We were on Molesworth a few years ago and horrified by the spread of wilding pines. The spread of hieracium was also a visible problem.

DOC wants people’s thoughts on

  • how Molesworth is currently managed
  • how you think the range of values on Molesworth should be managed into the future
  • future opportunities or improvements to the way Molesworth is managed.

You’ll find the survey here.

Molesworth’s values include heritage, conservation, cultural and recreation.

Farming fits with heritage, conservation and cultural values and doesn’t have to exclude recreation. It also generates income, although that doesn’t mean it makes a profit for either Landcorp which leases the property, or DOC.

Profit, or loss, is something which isn’t addressed in the survey. What will implementing the plan for Molesworth cost and who will pay for it?

Recreation and conservation values are important but how much income, if any, will they generate?

Grazing helps curb weeds and farm staff can help control rabbits, possums and other pests which threaten native flora and fauna as part of their daily work.

If conservation and recreation replace farming, there won’t be an automatic return to nature as it was before the settlers came. Introduced weeds and pests will flourish with no stock and farm workers to control them.

The tussock has been disappearing from the top of the Lindis Pass since DOC took over the management land after the farm released it under tenure review. That is because hieracium is flourishing as fertility drops and no stock graze it before seed heads form. Without a comprehensive, and expensive, weed control plan, Molesworth will face a similar issue with introduced weeds.

Another potential problem is an increase in the risk of fire with growth uncontrolled by stock and more recreational visitors.

Molesworth is considered an iconic high country station.

Farming doesn’t have to be inconsistent with recreation and conservation.

Furthermore it could generate income to offset some of the costs, lessen the fire danger and contribute more to weed and pest control.

 


Quote of the day

January 15, 2018

A wise man is superior to any insults which can be put upon him, and the best reply to unseemly behavior is patience and moderation. – Molière who was born on this day in 1622.


January 15 in history

January 15, 2018

588 BC – Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon laid siege to Jerusalem under Zedekiah’s reign.

69 – Otho seized power in Rome, proclaiming himself Emperor of Rome, but rules for only three months before committing suicide.

1493 – Christopher Columbus set sail for Spain from Hispaniola, ending his first voyage to the New World.

1559 Elizabeth I was crowned queen of England in Westminster Abbey.

1622  Molière(Jean-Baptiste Poquelin) French playwright, was born (d. 1673).

1759 The British Museum opened.

1842 Blessed Mary McKillop, Australian  saint, was born (d. 1909)

1870  A political cartoon for the first time symbolised the United StatesDemocratic Party with a donkey (“A Live Jackass Kicking a Dead Lion” byThomas Nast for Harper’s Weekly).

1889 The Coca-Cola Company, then known as the Pemberton Medicine Company, was originally incorporated in Atlanta.

1892 James Naismith published the rules of basketball.

1893  Ivor Novello, Welsh composer and actor, was born (d. 1951).

1902  King Saud of Saudi Arabia, was born (d. 1969).

1906 Aristotle Onassis, Greek shipping magnate, was born  (d. 1975).

1909 Jean Bugatti, German-born automobile designer, was born  (d. 1939).

1913  Lloyd Bridges, American actor, was born (d. 1998).

1914 Hugh Trevor-Roper, English historian, was born (d. 2003).

1919  Maurice Herzog, French mountaineer, first to ascend an 8000m peak, Annapurna in 1950, was born (d. 2012).

1919 – Boston Molasses Disaster: A large molasses tank in Boston burst and a wave of molasses poured through the streets, killing 21 people and injuring 150 others.

1929 Martin Luther King, Jr., American civil rights leader, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born (d. 1968).

1936 The first building to be completely covered in glass was completed in Toledo, Ohio ( built for the Owens-Illinois Glass Company).

1943 – The world’s largest office building, The Pentagon, was dedicated in Arlington, Virginia.

1966  The government of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa in Nigeria was overthrown in a military coup d’état.

1969 The Soviet Union launched Soyuz 5.

1970 After a 32-month fight for independence from NigeriaBiafrasurrendered.

1970 United States Vice-President Spiro Agnew’s three-day visit to New Zealand sparked some of the most violent anti-Vietnam War demonstrations seen in this country.

Anti-Vietnam War protestors greet US Vice President

1970 – Muammar al-Qaddafi was proclaimed premier of Libya.

1973 Citing progress in peace negotiations, President Richard Nixon announced the suspension of offensive action in North Vietnam.

1977  The Kälvesta air disaster killed 22 people, the worst air crash in Sweden‘s history.

1986 The Living Seas opened at EPCOT Center in Walt Disney World, Florida.

1991  The United Nations’ deadline for the withdrawal of Iraqi forces from occupied Kuwait expired, preparing the way for the start of Operation Desert Storm.

1992  The international community recognised the independence ofSlovenia and Croatia from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

1993  Salvatore Riina, the Mafia boss known as ‘The Beast’, was arrested in Sicily after three decades as a fugitive.

2001 Wikipedia, a free Wiki content encyclopedia, went online.

2005 – ESA’s SMART-1 lunar orbiter discovered elements including calcium, aluminum, silicon, iron, and other surface elements on the moon.

2009 US Airways Flight 1549 made an emergency landing into the Hudson River shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport in New York City. All passengers and crew members survived.

2013 – A train carrying Egyptian Army recruits derailed near Giza, Greater Cairo, killing 19 and injuring 120 others.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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