365 days of gratitude

January 24, 2018

The ag-sag of the 80s was more than character-building for those who went through it.

In North Otago sudden cutting of subsidies, combined with successive droughts to make farming particularly difficult.

But 30 years on, farmers have not just learned to live without subsidies, they’re farming better because they have to rely on their own judgement and hard work rather than political whim.

I’m grateful for that in general and particularly so now that it looks like the Trans Pacific Partnership will finally succeed.


Word of the day

January 24, 2018

Abrook – to brook; endure; withstand.


Rural round-up

January 24, 2018

 M. bovis action group formed – Sally Rae:

A Mycoplasma bovis action group has been formed in Southland by farmers, veterinarians and other industry stakeholders.

The aim of MASS (Mycoplasma bovis Action & Support Southland) was to provide a voice for those in the region and also assist the farming community in understanding and dealing with the outbreak of the bacterial cattle disease, spokesman Bevan Collie said in a statement.

Since first detected on a Van Leeuwen Dairy Group property in the Waimate district in July last year, the number of confirmed properties has risen to 17 and includes farms in Southland. . . 

Southland could be milking it :

A new report estimates that the sheep milking industry in Southland could be worth $124 million for the region by 2040.

That would be 1.5 percent of the region’s GDP.

The Institute of Economic Research report, commissioned by the Southland Regional Development Strategy, says this target is achievable.

Read the full report (PDF, 1,347KB) . . 

New spray dryer planned at Waikato Innovation Park as sheep milk ramps up – Rebecca Howard:

(BusinessDesk) – A new $45 million food spray dryer is being planned for Food Waikato as demand from the sheep milk industry ramps up, says Waikato Innovation Park chief executive Stuart Gordon.

Food Waikato, which is located at Waikato Innovation Park, currently has one open access development spray dryer, which came online five years ago and is now running at capacity. According to Gordon, the existing dryer processes about 900,000 litres of sheep milk each year and that is expected to double in the 2019/2020 season. . . 

Workers plan to send tractors home – Yvonne O’Hara:

A group of Vanuatuan orchard workers based in Ettrick are hoping to repaint two British Leyland tractors and take them home.

Group spokesman Lele Petelo said they had been given one of the British Leyland 270 tractors last year by Roxburgh East orchardist Sid Birtles, and the other was donated by Melrose Orchard owner Peter Vernon a couple of weeks ago.

Ettrick vehicle restorer Alistair Stevenson donated his time to repair and restore one of the engines and Mr Vernon bought the necessary parts for them. The men intend to work on the vehicles during their time off. . .

East Coast to hold first FMG Young Farmer of the Year regional final:

A former competitive snowboarder, a stud bull breeder and an award-winning shepherd are set to face off in the East Coast Regional Final of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year.

It’s the first of seven regional finals being held from Kerikeri to Winton to decide contestants for the grand final of the prestigious competition in Invercargill in July. . . 

Top farmland investments earn 17pc despite seasonal setbacks – Andrew Marshall:

Last year’s whacky weather mix of extreme temperatures and rainfall frustrations, plus a weaker cattle market, have taken a toll on the returns of some of Australia’s top farming enterprises, as monitored by the national farmland index.

But returns of almost 17 per cent on the capital value of 60 properties tracked by the index are still pretty impressive.

In fact, the result ranks almost 200 per cent ahead of a similar index of earnings from US agricultural investments. . . 


Can’t grow trees in thin air

January 24, 2018

Forestry Minister Shane Jones admitted to the AM Show that he’s struggling to find enough land to plant the billion trees he promised:

The Government in this context is not going to go into the business of buying land.

“There is a lot of land out there – [but] the farmers are leery [and] the Māori often find it difficult to agree, as you’re seeing in Waitangi.”

The Government will only boost the current 50 million trees bring planted annually by 10 percent this year, Mr Jones says. That would bring the total to 55 million – well short of the target.

“It’s not realistic to say it can be done exclusively by the Government,” Mr Jones says, adding it was “always a target for the industry”.

The billion trees was supposed to be policy, National MPs Simon Bridges and Nick Smith say it looks more like a mirage.

We learnt on Friday that Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is now hoping to plant just five million extra trees this year,” Regional Development Spokesperson Mr Bridges says.

“At 5 million trees a year, it would take 200 years to achieve a billion trees. I know Mr Jones is not the hardest worker but stretching a ten year target out to 200 years would be an impressive under-achievement even for him.”

Forestry Spokesperson Nick Smith says this back down on the flagship forestry policy is hugely embarrassing and damaging to the Government’s economic and environmental credibility.

“The Government initially promised 100 million extra trees per year. This was then cut in half by including 50 million trees already being planted each year. The latest back down further reduces the new planting planned for this year to only five million,” Mr Smith says.

“The new target for 2018 is now no different from what is already happening. An average of 55 million trees were planted each year over the last seven years, increasing to 62.5 million in 2016, the last year of full data. The Minister’s new promise of 55 million trees being planted this year is barely any promise at all.”

Mr Bridges says this change in target is on top of plans to change the overseas investment rules so the values of forest investments drop significantly. That will only decrease forest plantings.

“We are three months in and not a single tree has been planted – so the Government is around 24 million trees behind target already. . .

You can’t plant trees in thin air.

There might be some land in the conservation estate that would be suitable for planting and there might be some land on Landcorp farms where forestry is an option.

But even with that, the government hasn’t got enough land for all the trees it’s promised nor has it the money to buy more for forestry.

That leaves the bulk of the planting up to farmers and other private individuals and businesses who for very good reason are wary about putting their money into enterprises based on a government policy which looks more like a mirage than a sound investment.

 


Quote of the day

January 24, 2018

But in Australia a model child is – I say it not without thankfulness – an unknown quantity.
It may be that the miasmas of naughtiness develop best in the sunny brilliancy of our atmosphere. It may be that the land and the people are so young-hearted together, and the children’s spirits are not crushed and saddened by the shadow of long years’ sorrowful history.
There is a lurking sparkle of joyousness and rebellion and mischief in nature here, and therefore in children. –   Ethel Turner  who was born on this day in 1872


January 24 in history

January 24, 2018

41 Gaius Caesar (Caligula), known for his eccentricity and cruel despotism, was assassinated by his disgruntled Praetorian Guards. Claudius succeeded his nephew.

76 – Hadrian, Roman Emperor, was born (d. 138).

1670  William Congreve, English playwright, was born (d. 1729).

1679 – King Charles II disbanded Parliament.

1742 – Charles VII Albert became Holy Roman Emperor.

1848 – California Gold Rush: James W. Marshall found gold at Sutter’s Mill near Sacramento.

1857 The University of Calcutta was formally founded as the first full-fledged university in south Asia.

1859  Political union of Moldavia and WallachiaAlexandru Ioan Cuza was elected as ruler.

1862  Bucharest proclaimed capital of Romania.

1862 – Edith Wharton, American author and poet, was born (d. 1937).

1864 Marguerite Durand, French feminist leader, was born (d. 1936).

1865 General Cameron left Wanganui with 1200 Imperial troops to invadesouthern Taranaki.
Imperial forces invade South Taranaki

1872 Ethel Turner, Australian author, was born (d. 1958).

1916 – In Brushaber v. Union Pacific Railroad, the Supreme Court of the United States declared the federal income tax constitutional.

1920 – Doris Haddock, American political activist, was born (d. 2010).

1924 –Petrograd, formerly Saint Petersburg, was renamed Leningrad.

1928 Desmond Morris, British anthropologist, was born.

1930 – Bernard Matthews, British poultry industry figure , was born (d. 2010).

1941 Neil Diamond, American singer, was born.

1952 Vincent Massey was sworn in as the first Canadian-born Governor-General of Canada.

1957 Adrian Edmondson, English comedian, was born.

1961 – 1961 Goldsboro B-52 crash: A bomber carrying two H-bombs broke up in mid-air over North Carolina. One weapon nearly detonated.

1972 Japanese Sgt. Shoichi Yokoi was found hiding in a Guam jungle, where he had been since the end of World War II.

1977 Massacre of Atocha in Madrid, during the Spanish transition to democracy.

1978 Soviet satellite Cosmos 954, with a nuclear reactor on board, burnt up in Earth’s atmosphere, scattering radioactive debris over Canada’s Northwest Territories.

1980 – The ambassador of the Soviet Union, Vsevolod Sofinsky, was ordered to leave New Zealand for giving money to the pro-Soviet Socialist Unity Party.

Soviet ambassador expelled

1984 The first Apple Macintosh went on sale.

1986 Voyager 2 passed within 81,500 km (50,680 miles) of Uranus.

2003 The United States Department of Homeland Security officially began operation.

2009 – The storm Klaus made landfall near Bordeaux. It subsequently caused 26 deaths as well as extensive disruptions to public transport and power supplies.

2011 – At least 35 died and 180 injured in a bombing at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport.

2014 – Three bombs exploded in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, killing about 7 people and injuring over 100 others.

2014 – The Philippines and the Bangsamoro agreed to a peace deal that would help end the 45-year conflict.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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