365 days of gratitude

May 11, 2018

The hot summer and wet autumn have had a very positive affect on my garden.

Lemon and feijoa trees are fruiting as they never have before.

Today I picked some to give away and there’s still plenty left.

Tonight I’m grateful for the abundance of fruit in my garden.

P.S.

I thought I didn’t like feijoas but was served feijoa sorbet at Cucina, one of Oamaru’s gourmet gems, this evening and it was delicious.

A friend who rang while I was picking the fruit this morning recommended feijoa and apple crumble too.


Word of the day

May 11, 2018

Obstreperous –  clamorous, or boisterous; attended by, or making, a loud and tumultuous noise; noisy and difficult to control; aggressive, defiant; resisting control or restraint in a difficult manner; unruly.


Rural round-up

May 11, 2018

Urea plant upgrade hangs in the Ballance – Rebecca Howard:

The ban on new offshore gas exploration is another spanner in the works for a major upgrade of New Zealand’s only ammonia-urea production plant.

Fertiliser cooperative Ballance Agri-Nutrients has been planning a $1 billion rebuild of its urea plant at Kapuni for several years, but has been stymied by cost increases, low urea prices and the withdrawal of a cornerstone investment partner. Now it says the government’s decision to end new offshore exploration permits is another risk factor for the project.

Natural gas from the nearby Maui gas field is a feedstock for the Kapuni plant, which produces about a third of New Zealand’s total urea needs. Urea is the most widely used fertiliser for dairy farms and is also used to produce resins for wood manufacturing.  . . 

New dairy season to “hit a six” – with shaky start possible for but strong finish anticipated:

The 2018/19 dairy season is expected to “hit a six”, with a shaky start possible, but a strong finish anticipated, resulting in a third season with a “milk price starting with a six”, according to a new industry report.

In its recently-released dairy seasonal update A hit for six in 2018/19 – New Zealand dairy farmers face a triple treat, agribusiness banking specialist Rabobank says New Zealand dairy farmers have enjoyed a period of profitability with milk prices above breakeven – and the upcoming season will see this run continue. . . 

Hinds Young Farmer member in the running for national award:

The chair of Hinds Young Farmers is receiving national recognition for her hard work in the dairy industry.

Cheyenne Wilson is a finalist for the 2018 Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award for Dairy.

The 25-year-old is an assistant manager for Nathan and Erin Christian on Lochan Mor farm near Ashburton. . .

Whanganui’s Mac Hole Drillers a one-woman operation for Renee Matthews-Cooper – Sue Dudman:

When Renee Matthews-Cooper turned up in her truck at one job, she was asked when her man would be arriving to do the work.

She’s frequently asked by male farmers if she’s okay and what they can do to help her. But Matthews-Cooper is in her element operating her hole drilling business by herself.

Matthews-Cooper and her father, Ted Matthews, bought a purpose-built mobile rig last year and set up Mac Hole Drillers, offering offal hole, soak hole and post hole digging services. It is a subsidiary of Matthews’ business Balgownie Truck & Cranes. . . 

Struggle Street stories don’t cut it for dairy farmer determined to stay afloat – Lyn Webster:

Maybe I am tired from the end of the season. Bar a short break at Christmas, I have milked every day since the payout dropped to $3.90 a kilogram of milk solids a couple of years ago, leaving me skint.

But you know what? I have actually enjoyed it.

Now thankfully the milk price is $6/kg, and there is hope of survival. I just have to keep on milking those cows and paying that lease.

I have little time for stories of people on Struggle Street – hard but true. . . 

Robotics Plus signs global deal for robotic apple packers:

Robotics Plus, a New Zealand agricultural robotics and automation company, today announced it has signed an agency and distribution agreement with GlobalPac Technologies which will see the company’s revolutionary robotic apple packers go global. The deal, which will initially target the US, Australian and New Zealand markets, is fuelling a period of accelerated growth for Robotics Plus as industry demand for its innovation grows.

GlobalPac Technologies is a joint venture between United States company Van Doren Sales and New Zealand-owned Jenkins Group. . . 

 

 


Friday’s answers

May 11, 2018

Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who said: The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.?

2. Name three of the seven heavenly virtues.

3. It’s verdad in Spanish, pono in Maori and what in English?

4. Who wrote Paradise Lost?

5. In recognition of New Zealand Music Month, what’s your favourite NZ song?

Teletext wins a virtual box of chocolates for a clean sweep.

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »


M bovis far worse than expected

May 11, 2018

The spread of Mycoplasma bovis is worse than has been expected:

The tracking of cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis shows that more farms than previously expected are likely to be affected by the disease, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor.

“While we always expected to find more properties, officials tell me that the numbers will likely exceed their earlier modelling. That modelling work is continuing and we will have a clearer picture in the next couple of weeks. 

“MPI is continuing an intense programme of work with farming sector groups about the next best steps in the response – including containment and phased eradication.

“Testing to date shows all infected properties are connected in some way.   

“The tracing of Mycoplasma bovis is made harder by the poor use of the national animal tracing system (NAIT).  . . 

Problems with the system and with compliance must be addressed.

Had all cattle been registered through NAIT the tracking of stock from farms with the disease would have been much faster.

A cull of 22,000 cows is currently under way, with nearly half, 11,000 animals, destroyed.

“That cull is necessary to reduce the disease’s spread through the national herd. I know farmers whose properties are under control restrictions face a difficult time. I’m working hard to ensure the Government and sector make the best possible decision with the best possible information regarding Mycoplasma bovis. I expect that decision will come in the next few weeks. 

“Farmers should ensure any compensation claims they make related to Mycoplasma bovis are accurate, as it makes the process quicker. MPI and Dairy NZ have boosted the number of people working directly with farmers to assist in that process.  

“As of close of play Wednesday 9 May, 38 farms were active infected places and another 40 were under Restricted Place Notice (i.e. considered highly likely to become infected). Nearly 1700 properties are of interest because of risk events such as animal movements, the supply of milk for animal feed or because they are adjacent to infected properties,” says Damien O’Connor.

Tracking potentially infected stock has been complicated by the black market in calf sales.

A black market in cattle sales and a lack of compliance with the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) regime by farmers is hampering the Ministry for Primary Industries’ efforts to respond to Mycoplasma bovis, which is now New Zealand’s largest animal surveillance issue.

“We do have, unfortunately, quite a black market of cows sold for cash,” Geoff Gwyn, director of readiness and response at the Ministry for Primary Industries, told the primary production committee at the parliament today. “We’re looking at bank records, taking affidavits.”

The Ministry must treat this very seriously.

The black market might be being used to avoid tax, which is serious enough, hampering tracking is more so.

Anything which makes tracing stock is bad enough for a disease like M bovis, it would be much worse if it was Foot and Mouth.

Gwyn and other MPI officials were giving a briefing on the disease to the select committee. Head of Biosecurity New Zealand Roger Smith said it had been “a very challenging incursion response” because of the level of non-authorised stock movements and modern farm practices which meant cows were frequently moved to where the grass was best.

It was also a challenge because unlike a disease such as foot and mouth, there could be little outward sign of infection, and may display as a secondary illness such as mastitis or pneumonia, he said. “It’s a very difficult disease to find. You could have perfectly healthy animals that showed no signs” of the disease. Definitive testing took 60 days unless the animal was dissected. “You have to take the head off the animal.”

Poor records, cash sales and difficulty in identifying the disease have made containing it more difficult.

The increase in the number of infected herds – 129 properties were under some restriction last week, now there are 299 – will make compensation even more expensive.

It will also make it more likely that the Ministry will give up on eradication and look at management and containment instead.

The bovine toll is rising steeply, so are stress levels among farmers which is not helped by delays and uncertainty over compensation for those whose herds have been culled.


Quote of the day

May 11, 2018

Perhaps an eccentric is just off centre – ex-centric. But that contradicts a belief of mine that we’ve got to be centrifugal. Margaret Rutherford who was born on this day in 1892.


May 11 in history

May 11, 2018

330 Byzantium was renamed Nova Roma during a dedication ceremony, but was more popularly referred to as Constantinople.

1310 In France, fifty-four members of the Knights Templar were burned at the stake as heretics.

1647 Peter Stuyvesant arrived in New Amsterdam to replace Willem Kieft as Director-General of New Netherland, the Dutch colonial settlement in present-day New York City.

1745 War of Austrian Succession: Battle of Fontenoy –French forces defeated an AngloDutch-Hanoverian army.

1792 Captain Robert Gray became the first documented European to sail into the Columbia River.

1799– John Lowell, Jr., American businessman and philanthropist, founded Lowell Institute (d. 1836) was born (d. 1836).

1812 Prime Minister Spencer Perceval was assassinated by John Bellingham in the lobby of the House of Commons.

1813 William LawsonGregory Blaxland and William Wentworth led an expedition westwards from Sydney. Their route opened up inland Australia for continued expansion throughout the 19th century.

1820 Launch of HMS Beagle, the ship that took Charles Darwin on his scientific voyage.

1838 – Isabelle Bogelot, French philanthropist was born (d. 1923).

1852 Charles W. Fairbanks, 26th United States Vice President was born (d. 1918).

1857 – Indian Rebellion of 1857: Indian rebels seized Delhi from the British..

1862 American Civil War: The ironclad CSS Virginia was scuttled in the James River.

1867 Luxembourg gained its independence.

1875  Harriet Quimby, American aviator, was born (d. 1912).

1888 Irving Berlin, American composer, was born (d. 1989).

1891 The Ōtsu Incident : Tsarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich of Imperial Russia (Nicholas II) was critically injured by the sword attack by a Japanese policeman Tsuda Sanzō.

1892  Margaret Rutherford, English actress, was born (d. 1972).

1894 Pullman Strike: Four thousand Pullman Palace Car Company workers went on a wildcat strike in Illinois.

1904 Salvador Dalí, Spanish painter was born (d. 1989).

1907 – Rose Ausländer, Ukrainian-English poet and author, was born (d. 1988).

1907 A derailment outside Lompoc, California killed 32 Shriners when their chartered train derails at a switch near Surf Depot.

1910 An act of the U.S. Congress establishes Glacier National Park in Montana.

1918 The Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus was officially established.

1924 Mercedes-Benz was formed by Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz merging their two companies.

1927 The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was founded.

1938 – Johnny Devlin, New Zealand-Australian singer-songwriter, was born.

1942  William Faulkner’s collections of short stories, Go Down, Moses, was published.

1943  World War II: American troops invaded Attu Island.

1943 – Nancy Greene, Canadian skier and politician, was born.

1944 World War II: The Allies started a major offensive against the Axis Powers on the Gustav Line.

1944 – John Benaud, Australian cricketer, was born.

1945 Captain Charles Upham was presented with the VC and Bar.

Upham presented with VC and Bar

1945  World War II: The aircraft carrier USS Bunker Hill, was hit by two kamikazes, killing 346 of her crew.

1946 UMNO (United Malays National Organisation) was created.

1949  Siam officially changed its name to Thailand for the second time.

1950 – Jeremy Paxman, English journalist and author, was born.

1953  The 1953 Waco tornado outbreak: An F5 tornado hit downtown Waco, Texas, killing 114.

1960 In Buenos Aires four Israeli Mossad agents captured fugitive Nazi Adolf Eichmann, living under the assumed name Ricardo Klement.

1960 – The first contraceptive pill was made available on the market.

1967 – Andreas Papandreou, Greek economist and socialist politician, was imprisoned in Athens by the Greek military junta.

1970 The Lubbock Tornado a F5 tornado hits Lubbock, Texas, killing 26 and causing $250 million in damage.

1984 A transit of Earth from Mars took place.

1985  Fifty-six spectators died when a flash fire struck the Valley Parade football ground during a match in Bradford, England.

1987  Klaus Barbie went on trial in Lyon for war crimes committed during World War II.

1987 The first heart-lung transplant took place, performed by Dr. Bruce Reitz, of Stanford University School of Medicine.

1995 More than 170 countries decide to extend the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty indefinitely and without conditions.

1996  A fire started by improperly handled oxygen canisters in the cargo hold of Atlanta-bound ValuJet Flight 592 caused the Douglas DC-9 to crash in the Florida Everglades killing all 110 on board.

1997 IBM Deep Blue, a chess-playing supercomputer, defeated Garry Kasparov in the last game of the rematch, becoming the first computer to beat a world-champion chess player in a classic match format.

1998 India conducted three underground nuclear tests in Pokhran, including a thermonuclear device.

2000 Effective date of Canada’s first modern-day treaty – The Nisga’a Final Agreement.

2000 – Second Chechen War: Chechen separatists ambushed Russian paramilitary forces in the Republic of Ingushetia.

2010 – David Cameron became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom following talks between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats to form the UK’s first coalition government since World War 2 after elections produced a hung parliament.

2013 – At least 46 people were killed by a pair of car bombs in Reyhanlı, Turkey.

2014 – 15 people were killed and 46 injured in Kinshasa in a stampede caused by tear gas being thrown into the stand by police officers attempting to defuse a hostile incident.

2016 – More than 110 people were killed in an ISIL bombing in Baghdad.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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