365 days of gratitude

July 13, 2018

Patience is a virtue, possess it if you can.

It’s seldom found in women and never in a man.

My mother used to recite this to me when I was demonstrating impatience.

All these years later in an age of instant gratification, it can be harder than ever to exercise patience.

But it is no less necessary and today I’m grateful that my mother’s words came back to me in time to change what would have been impatience into several deep breaths.


Word of the day

July 13, 2018

Bravura –  the display or show of great daring; impressive technical skill and brilliance shown in a performance or activity; a musical passage requiring exceptional agility and technical skill in execution; florid brilliant style.


Rural round-up

July 13, 2018

Blue Sky Meats may adopt small-is-beautiful branding as point of difference to big-budgeted rivals, CEO says – Jonathan Underhill

(BusinessDesk) – Blue Sky Meats, which sells chilled and frozen meats under two B2B brands, is on track to roll-out direct to consumer products in 2019 and is market-testing a strategy that may try to make a virtue out of being a minnow.

Sales rose 7 percent to $104.5 million in the year ended March 31 while expenses were little changed at $100.8 million, resulting in pre-tax earnings of $3.7 million from a loss of $2.6 million a year earlier, according to its annual report released at the weekend. . .

NZ Institute of Forestry proposes new national forest policy – Margreet Dietz:

(BusinessDesk) – The New Zealand Institute of Forestry proposed the introduction of a new national policy for the industry at the sector’s annual conference in an effort to help the government “develop sound long-term strategies for forestry development.”

David Evison, president of the NZ Institute of Forestry, presented the document, titled Forest Policy for New Zealand, to Forestry Minister Shane Jones, who formally opened the conference today, the group said in a statement. . .

Maize sector buoyant after strong growing season:

Levels of confidence are returning to New Zealand’s maize sector, with a healthy rise in average yields and prices remaining firm at around $400/tonne.

Reuben Carter, Federated Farmers Arable Industry Group Vice-Chairperson (Maize/Forage), said most growers enjoyed excellent growing weather and harvest conditions in 2018 and this is reflected in the latest AIMI survey. Data from 77 survey farms, scaled up for a national picture, show an average maize grain yield of 12.8 t/ha, compared to 10 t/ha in 2017, and 20.6t maize silage dry matter/ha (18.5t in 2017). . .

Nominations open for 2018 agribusiness leadership awards:

Nominations have opened for this year’s Rabobank Leadership Awards, recognising outstanding individual achievement in, and contribution to, New Zealand and Australia’s food, beverage and agribusiness industries. . .

Workplace safety gets top billing in forest workplaces:

In August a major national forest safety conference – Forest Safety & Technology 2018 – will show how well forest workers have embraced new techniques for integrated workplace safety. (https://forestsafety.events)

“The engagement with loggers and tree-planters by Fiona Ewing’s team at the Forest Industry Safety Council (FISC) has been outstanding,” says Forest Industry Engineering Association spokesman, Gordon Thomson. “In planning our case studies for this year’s conference, we found plenty of examples of people taking the things that FISC have been promoting and putting them into practice,” he adds. . .

Hawke’s Bay to host 2019 FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final:

Hawke’s Bay is set to host the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final for the first time in 16 years.

It’s been confirmed Hastings and Napier will play host to the national final of the iconic contest in July 2019.

The announcement was made at this year’s grand final in Invercargill on Saturday night. . .

Seeka markets Northland horticultural orchards:

 Seeka Limited has released its information memorandum to market nine horticultural properties in Northland. The properties are proposed to be sold by tender with orchard management and postharvest supply contracts back to Seeka. The land holdings include the six properties recently purchased by Seeka from Turners and Growers Horticulture Limited and in total covered 288 title hectares. Varieties grown on the properties include kiwifruit [Zespri SunGold, ENZAGold, EnzaRed and Hayward] along with avocados and lemons. There is significant bareland suitable for horticulture development. . .

Turkey: overview of the world’s seventh-largest agricultural producer:

Agriculture comprises around 23% of the Turkish economy. Approximately 3.5 million farmers look after 20 million ha of productive land. Average farm size is around 60 decare [a unit of surface measure equal to 10 acres, or 1000 square meters: equivalent to 0.2471 acre]

Agriculture comprises around 23% of the Turkish economy. Approximately 3.5 million farmers look after 20 million ha of productive land. Average farm size is around 60 decare [a unit of surface measure equal to 10 acres, or 1000 square meters: equivalent to 0.2471 acre]

Wheat is the most widely grown commodity, but milk is the most valuable. “If your most valuable product is wheat, that’s a sign that you’re an ‘old’ agricultural country,” says İsmail Ugural, an agricultural media commentator. “The country has entered a more modern phase now.” . .


No logical answer to why?

July 13, 2018

On a morning walk I came across a lamb with one leg caught under a fence.

The paddock it had been in had plenty of feed.

The grass in the one it had tried to move to was definitely not greener, nor was it more plentiful.

The paddock it had been in was full of other lambs.

The one it had tried to move to had none.

I wondered why a herd animal would leave its mates and lush grass to seek less green and more lonely pastures elsewhere.

Then I saw these two tweets and realised sometimes the question why  has no logical answer.


Co-ops work for farmers

July 13, 2018

The co-operative model is credited with making New Zealand farmers the best paid in the world.

New Zealand farmers are getting paid much more than their counterparts overseas and it’s all thanks to the co-op model, says a corporate farmer and former Fonterra director.

Corporate farmer Earl Rattray, a former Fonterra director with farming interests in NZ and overseas, says the co-op model is working wonders for New Zealand farmers, who get paid much more for their milk than farmers in the other big milk producing and exporting countries.

Rattray points out that with Fonterra’s forecast milk price of $7/kgMS for this season, NZ farmers are getting about US41c/L for milk. Farmers in the US get 34c/L, in Europe US37c/L and in Australia US34c/L.

“It’s a good example of the co-op working well for farmers; it’s a milk price no one can argue with,” he told Dairy News. “Around the world, farmers are arguing about the milk price, wondering why theirs is going down, while in NZ its going up.

But in NZ, no one can argue with the Fonterra milk price because it is set from externally verifiable prices, set by the market every two weeks at auction. “NZ farmers can see what their milk is earning; it means it’s a milk price Fonterra has to pay farmers before it makes a profit and that puts us in a unique position.” . . 

People outside the industry argue for Fonterra to be divided into two but farmers are adamant they must retain ownership of the whole supply chain to ensure they get paid well for their milk.

There are plenty of overseas models which show farmers getting squeezed by milk companies they supply but don’t own.

Not all milk companies in New Zealand are co-operatives but Fonterra also has a protective influence on them too. They know they have to offer a similar price to Fonterra’s to keep their suppliers.

COOP News says co-operatives can make New Zealand the world’s most sustainable nation:

Craig Presland, chief executive of Co-operative Business New Zealand, said:The United Nations has recognised New Zealand as one of the most co-operative economies in the world. Our co-ops and mutuals generate almost one fifth of this country’s GDP, employ over 50,000 people and serve almost one-in-three Kiwis as members.

Cooperative Business New Zealand supports and promotes the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, as we recognise that the co-operative business model is the most closely aligned towards supporting the UN in meeting these goals by 2030.”

According to Mr Presland, many of New Zealand’s co-operatives, particularly those from the agri-producer sector, are now investing heavily in achieving true environmental sustainability.

Last year, dairy giant Fonterra committed to restoring 50 key freshwater catchments. Its farmers have spent over NZ$1bn on environmental initiatives between 2012 and 2017, and fenced off more than 98% of significant waterways on farms.

Mr Presland added: “Ballance Agri-Nutrients and Ravensdown utilise satellite-controlled technologies to ensure the right amount of fertiliser is applied on the right pastures and at the right time. Agri-producer co-operatives work to maintain the longevity of the land where they grow crops through sustainable farming practices including responsible irrigation.

“Other initiatives from our agri-producer co-operatives include lowering greenhouse gas emissions through innovation and infrastructure, co-generation of energy including less use of fossil fuels, and the more efficient use of energy. Co-ops are also minimising waste from farm to consumer including the recycling of packaging and the introduction of farm environment plans that focus on reducing the impact of farming and manufacturing on the environment.” . .

Co-ops work for farmers and the environment.


Quote of the day

July 13, 2018

If you put down a good, solid foundation and build one room after another, pretty soon you have a house. You build in your speedwork, your pace and increase your ability to run races and think races out. Then it’s possible to run the way we do. – Rod Dixon who celebrates his 68th birthday today.


July 13 in history

July 13, 2018

100 BC  Julius Caesar, Dictator of the Roman Republic, was born  (d. 44 BC).

1174   William I of Scotland, a key rebel in the Revolt of 1173–1174, was captured by forces loyal to Henry II.

1558 Battle of Gravelines: Spanish forces led by Count Lamoral of Egmont defeated the French forces of Marshal Paul des Thermes.

1573  Eighty Years’ War: The Siege of Haarlem ends after seven months.

1643  English Civil War: Battle of Roundway Down –  Henry Wilmot, 1st Earl of Rochester, commanding the Royalist forces, won a crushing victory over the Parliamentarian Sir William Waller.

1787  The Continental Congress enacted the Northwest Ordinanceestablishing governing rules for the Northwest Territory establishing  procedures for the admission of new states and limiting the expansion of slavery.

1794  Battle of the Vosges between French forces and those of Prussia and Austria.

1821 Nathan Bedford Forrest, American Confederate cavalry officer, and founder of the original Ku Klux Klan, was born  (d. 1877).

1830 The General Assembly’s Institution, now the Scottish Church College, was founded by Alexander Duff and Raja Ram Mohan Roy, in Calcutta.

1854  In the Battle of Guaymas, Mexico, General Jose Maria Yanezstopped the French invasion led by Count Gaston de Raousset Boulbon.

1863 – Margaret Murray, Anglo-Indian Egyptologist, archaeologist, anthropologist, historian, and folklorist, was born. (d. 1963).

1863 New York Draft Riots: Opponents of conscription began three days of rioting.

1878 Treaty of Berlin: The European powers redraw the map of the Balkans. Serbia, Montenegro and Romania became completely independent of the Ottoman empire.

1916 Vivian Walsh became the first New Zealander to obtain an aviator’s certificate, following the establishment in October 1915 of the New Zealand Flying School at Orakei.

Vivian Walsh obtains New Zealand’s first pilot’s certificate

1918 – Marcia Brown, American author and illustrator, was born (d. 2015).

1919 The British airship R34 landed in Norfolk, completing the first airship return journey across the Atlantic in 182 hours of flight.

1923  The Hollywood Sign was officially dedicated in the hills above Hollywood. It originally read “Hollywoodland ” but the four last letters were dropped after renovation in 1949.

1927  – Simone Veil, French lawyer and politician, 12th President of the European Parliament, was born.

1928 Bob Crane, American actor, was born  (d. 1978).

1941  World War II: Montenegrins started popular uprising against the Axis Powers (Trinaestojulski ustanak).

1942 – Harrison Ford, American Actor, was born.

1942 – Roger McGuinn, American musician (The Byrds), was born.

1950 – Rod Dixon, New Zealand runner, was born.

1950 Ma Ying-jeou, President  of China, former mayor of Taipei, former chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT), was born.

1960  Ian Hislop, British writer, editor of Private Eye, was born.

1973  Alexander Butterfield revealed the existence of the Nixon tapes to the special Senate committee investigating the Watergate break in.

1985  The Live Aid benefit concerts  in several places including London, Philadelphia, Sydney and Moscow.

1985 – United States Vice President George H.W. Bush became the Acting President for the day when President Ronald Reagan underwent surgery.

2003 – French DGSE personnel abort an operation to rescue Íngrid Betancourt from FARC rebels in Colombia, causing a political scandal when details are leaked to the press.

2011 – Mumbai was rocked by three bomb blasts during the evening rush hour, killing 26 and injuring 130.

2013 – Typhoon Soulik killed at least 9 people and affected more than 160 million in East China and Taiwan.

2014 – World Cup Final took place at the Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro.

2016 – Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron resigned, and was succeeded by Theresa May.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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