Word of the day

May 16, 2018

Fen – a low and marshy or frequently flooded area of land; the flat low-lying areas of eastern England, mainly in Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, and Norfolk, formerly marshland but largely drained for agriculture since the 17th century; wetland with alkaline, neutral, or only slightly acid peaty soil; low land covered wholly or partially with water; boggy land; a marsh.


Rural round-up

May 16, 2018

Outbreak response criticised – Sally Rae:

The Ministry for Primary Industries has not been ”up to the job” when it comes to dealing with the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak, Federated Farmers national board member Miles Anderson believes.

Speaking at Otago Federated Farmers’ annual meeting in Balclutha yesterday, Mr Anderson said he was a ”bit disappointed” in MPI’s response.

Once the outbreak was dealt with, industry needed to have a debriefing with MPI and work out how improvements could be made. ”It’s currently not acceptable the way it’s going,” he said.

There were people with neighbouring properties that were infected who had not been informed, while there were other farmers who had cattle of interest to MPI who were unaware of that.

Communication needed to be worked on initially, Mr Anderson said. . .

Mycoplasma bovis: the ground has shifted with a megathrust – Keith Woodford:

Events of recent days demonstrate that eradication of Mycoplasma bovis from New Zealand is no longer a realistic option. The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) is scrambling to get its messaging together. New strategies are now needed.

As I write this on 13 May, the MPI website still refers in its text material to 38 infected properties. But the latest version of the infection map from MPI tells a very different story (see below).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is apparent from comments by BioSecurity NZ Chief Roger Smith to a Parliamentary Committee on 10 May, that the sudden growth in infected and suspected infected properties has come as a big surprise. That may well be so to the Wellington officials, but it will be much less of a surprise to those who have been working closer to the cows. . .

Guy Trafford says although MPI are slow to accept it, containment of MPB is the future with a long-term eradication plan as was used with TB. That will change dairying:

There is consensus from every-one, except perhaps MPI, is that the mycoplasma bovis has bolted and probably had some time ago.

This whole episode has been hampered by things not working as well as they should have. Somehow the disease got in when it shouldn’t have been able.

NAIT was shown to be very deficient from farmers using it through to MPI administrating it.

The testing processes despite earlier assurances still appears not to be able to provide the accuracy required to be able to make decision that affect whole families lives and livelihoods. . . 

Hunt on for rogue Northland wallaby – Andrew McRae:

High-tech surveillance equipment and two tracking dogs have been called in after a wallaby was spotted in South Hokianga.

Staff from Northland Regional Council and the Department of Conservation (DOC) and Te Roroa iwi members are scouring about 500 hectares of farmland and native bush.

Council biosecurity manager Kane McElrea said a person had seen a wallaby on at least two separate occasions at their Waimamaku property in recent months, but did not initially appreciate the potential significance of the sightings. . .

Browns win gold for sustainability:

Matamata farmers Edward (Wynn) and Tracy Brown are the inaugural winners of the Fonterra Farm Source Responsible Dairying Award.

The award was presented at the NZ Dairy Industry Awards (NZDIA) in Invercargill last Saturday.

The Browns are considered leaders within the dairy industry, in all areas of sustainability, business and farm management, as well as in the way they give back to the industry and community. . . 

Duncans scoop Share Farmer of the Year title –  Sudesh Kissun:

Northland farmers Daniel and Gina Duncan are the 2018 Share Farmers of the Year. 

The former registered land valuers are 50:50 sharemilkers for the Pouto Topu A Trust. The 460ha property on the Pouto Peninsula,at the northern head of Kaipara Harbour, milks 1020 cows.

The Duncans finished top in three of the nine judging categories, winning the PrimaryITO Interview Award, Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award and Westpac Business Performance Award at the awards night in Invercargill. . .

Call for extra focus on tax treatments – Yvonne O’Hara:

Farming employers and employees are being urged to talk more about tax and benefit allowances, Federated Farmers manager general policy Nick Clark says.

Inland Revenue is consulting on the question of what the tax treatments should be for allowances paid and benefits provided to farm workers, and people have until Friday to make a submission.

Mr Clark said benefits allowances covered things such as boarding school fees, while reimbursement allowances were given for things such as wet weather gear and dogs. . . 


Reassuring or warning?

May 16, 2018

Jacinda Ardern made public a letter she wrote to her deputy explaining what will happen when he’s acting Prime Minister while she’s on maternity leave.

She said she did this because of the public interest in the matter.

It looks like it was supposed to reassure us all she’ll still be in control.

It could also be taken to be a warning to her deputy.

His body language in the video at Newshub suggests he’s not particularly happy about that.

The text of the letter is here


Quote of the day

May 16, 2018

I still remember asking my high school guidance teacher for permission to take a second year of algebra instead of a fifth year of Latin. She looked down her nose at me and sneered, ‘What lady would take mathematics instead of Latin?’ – Nancy Roman who celebrates her 93rd birthday today.


May 16 in history

May 16, 2018

218 – Julia Maesa, aunt of the assassinated Caracalla, was banished to her home in Syria by the self-proclaimed emperor Macrinus and declared her 14-year old grandson Elagabalus, emperor of Rome.

1204  Baldwin IX, Count of Flanders was crowned as the first Emperor of the Latin Empire.

1527 The Florentines drove out the Medici for a second time and Florencere-established itself as a republic.

1532  Sir Thomas More resigned as Lord Chancellor of England.

1568 Mary, Queen of Scots, fled to England.

1770 14-year old Marie Antoinette married 15-year-old Louis-Auguste.

1771  The Battle of Alamance between local militia and a group of rebels called “The Regulators.

1777 Lachlan McIntosh and Button Gwinnett shot each other during a duel.

1811  Peninsular War – The allies Spain, Portugal and Britain, defeated the French at the Battle of Albuera.

1815  The Governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie, officially named the town of Blackheath in the upper Blue Mountains.

1822 Greek War of Independence: The Turks captured the Greek town of Souli.

1836  Edgar Allan Poe married his 13-year-old cousin Virginia.

1843  The first major wagon train heading for the Pacific Northwest set out on the Oregon Trail with one thousand pioneers from Elm Grove, Missouri.

1846 – Six soldiers were killed and two more Europeans were mortally wounded when Ngāti Haua-te-rangi leader Te Mamaku attacked the British post at Boulcott’s Farm in the Hutt Valley.

1866 The U.S. Congress eliminated the half dime coin and replaces it with the five cent piece, or nickel.

1866  Charles Elmer Hires invented root beer.

1868  President Andrew Johnson was acquitted in his impeachment trial by one vote in the United States Senate.

1874  A flood on the Mill River in Massachusetts destroyed much of four villages and kills 139 people.

1877  May 16, 187  political crisis in France.

1905 Henry Fonda, American actor, was born (d. 1982).

1910 The United States Congress authorised the creation of the United States Bureau of Mines.

1914  The first ever Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final wass played. Brooklyn Field Club defeated Brooklyn Celtic 2-1.

1916 Ephraim Katzir, 4th President of Israel, was born (d. 2009.

1918 The Sedition Act of 1918 was passed by the U.S. Congress, making criticism of the government an imprisonable offense.

1919 Liberace, American pianist,was born (d. 1987).

1919 A naval Curtiss aircraft NC-4 commanded by Albert Cushing Readleft Trepassey, Newfoundland, for Lisbon via the Azores on the first transatlantic flight.

1920   Pope Benedict XV canonised Joan of Arc.

1925 – Nancy Roman, American astronomer, was born.

1929 The first Academy Awards were handed out.

1943  Holocaust: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising ended.

1948  Chaim Weizmann was elected the first President of Israel.

1951 Christian Lacroix, French fashion designer, was born.

1951  The first regularly scheduled transatlantic flights began between John F Kennedy International Airport  and Heathrow operated by El Al Israel Airlines.

1953 Pierce Brosnan, Irish actor, was born.

1960 Nikita Khrushchev demanded an apology from U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower for U-2 spy plane flights over the Soviet Union, ending a Big Four summit in Paris.

1960 Theodore Maiman operated the first optical laser, at Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu.

1965 The Campbell Soup Company introduced SpaghettiOs under its Franco-American brand.

1966 Janet Jackson, American singer, was born.

1966 The Communist Party of China issued the ‘May 16 Notice‘, marking the beginning of the Cultural Revolution.

1969 Venera program: Venera 5, a Soviet space probe, landed on Venus.

1970 Gabriela Sabatini, Argentine tennis player, was born.

1970 Danielle Spencer, Australian singer and actress, was born.

1974 Josip Broz Tito was re-elected president of Yugoslavia.

1975  India annexed Sikkim after the mountain state holds a referendum in which the popular vote was in favour of merging with India.

1975  Junko Tabei became the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

1981 The All Whites won 2-0 against Australia  on the way to the World Cup in Spain.

All Whites beat Australia on road to Spain

1983 Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement rebelled against the Sudanese government.

1986  The Seville Statement on Violence was adopted by an international meeting of scientists, convened by the Spanish National Commission for UNESCO.

1988 A report by United States’ Surgeon General C. Everett Koop stated that the addictive properties of nicotine were similar to those of heroin and cocaine.

1992  STS-49Space Shuttle Endeavour lands safely after a successful maiden voyage.

2003  Casablanca terrorist attacks: 33 civilians killed and more than 100 people injured.

2004 The Day of Mourning at Bykivnia forest, just outside of Kiev to commemorate that here during 1930s and early 1940s communist Bolsheviks executed over 100,000 Ukrainian civilians.

2005 Kuwait permitted women’s suffrage in a 35-23 National Assemblyvote.

2007 – Nicolas Sarkozy took office as President of France.

2011 – STS-134 (ISS assembly flight ULF6), launched from the Kennedy Space Centre on the 25th and final flight for Space Shuttle Endeavour.

2014 – Twelve people were killed in two explosions in the Gikomba market area of the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.

2015 – A passenger train collided with a tractor and trailer on a level crossing at Ibbenbüren, Germany. Two people were killed and 40 were injured.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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