365 days of gratitude

September 12, 2018

These primulas self-seeded from half a dozen plants and started flowering weeks ago when most other flowers were still asleep.

Today I’m grateful for nature’s bounty.


Word of the day

September 12, 2018

Tauwhirotanga – caring, kindness, compassion.

(It’s Maori Language Week).


Rural round-up

September 12, 2018

Methane narrative changes with less need for drastic action – Keith Woodford:

The recent note on methane emissions  put out by Parliamentary Commissioner Simon Upton in late August, and underpinned by a contracted research report written by Dr Andy Reisinger from the Government-funded New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre (NZAGRC), will change the methane narrative. History will look back at Upton’s note as a fundamental contribution that moved the methane debate towards a logic-based science-informed position.

The key message is that short-lived gases such as methane do need to be considered differently than long-lived gases. That does not mean that they are unimportant. But lumping them together with long-lived carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide has led down false pathways . . 

Good to be ‘out there listening’ – Sally Rae:

Federated Farmers’ new chief executive Terry Copeland freely admits he is not a practical person.

Growing up, he was an “urban kid” with no connection to the primary industries, Mr Copeland (50) said. In fact, he had a music degree.

But he had huge respect and admiration for New Zealand’s farming sector and bemoaned how little the country’s food producers were  celebrated, the lack of acknowledgement being “appalling”.

One thing he said he did love was learning and — six weeks into the new role at the helm of the rural lobby group — he had been enjoying attending cluster meetings around the country. . .

Lamb losses likely after heavy rain in Wairarapa :

Stormy weather could not have come at a worst time for Wairarapa farmers, who are in the thick of lambing season.

From rural Masterton to Castlepoint, and down to the South Wairarapa coast, rain has interrupted lambing, with many farmers recording deaths already, along with saturated paddocks causing slips.

PGG Wrightson area livestock manager Steve Wilkinson said the past few days of rain were “a real shame“. . .

 

Access free-for-all grates with farmers:

Common courtesy and sound workplace and biosecurity safety practice is thrown out the window with proposed new employment laws reported back to Parliament this week, Federated Farmers says.

“There’s been little or no fuss with current laws that enable union representatives to enter a farm or any other workplace to talk to workers after liaising with the owner or manager about a suitable time,” Feds employment spokesman Chris Lewis says. . .

LambEx shows kiwis the future – Annette Scott:

Home from the 2018 LambEx conference in Perth, Beef + Lamb New Zealand-sponsored sheep industry ambassadors Katey Craig and David Ingham are firing hot.

The young generation farmers are excited to share their lessons with fellow farmers and looking forward to being a part of their home country hosting LambEx 2019.

While in Australia the pair also visited several farms to study new systems on a road trip from Melbourne to Adelaide. . .

A&P President: young people crucial – David Hill:

He might be the youngest show president, but Tim Black says attracting even younger people is essential to ensuring the future of A&P shows.

Mr Black, aged 44, is the Canterbury A&P Association’s youngest show president.

He is keen to promote wool and encourage more young people to get involved as he looks ahead to the rebranded New Zealand Agricultural Show in November.

”It’s been a great thing for me to be involved in and I would like to see a lot more young people involved. . .

50-Year Plan Needed for Farming Confidence

New Zealand farmers need to take a long-term view if they are to meet the freight train of compliance requirements and other changes heading their way.

Recent farming confidence surveys show a decline in confidence from the rural sector, with Federated Farmers’ results revealing regulation and compliance remain top worries for farmers, along with uncertainty around the future of water regulations under the Government.

Bridgit Hawkins, ReGen CEO, says the farming sector is coming under increasing pressure and the confidence survey results echo what she hears on the farm. . . .

NZ wineries look to continue their stellar performance in the Sydney International Wine Competition – entries for 39th Competition set to close on 21 September:

Entry to the 39th Sydney International Wine Competition – the only international wine show that judges all its finalists in combination with appropriate food – is set to close on 21 September.

After a record year of production in many wine regions, entries to the Sydney International have been flowing in from all districts in Australia and New Zealand and from major wine producers in Europe. Entries to the Competition are capped at a total of 2000 wines to ensure the most rigorous judging process. . .


12/9 or 9/11

September 12, 2018

It was the 12th of September (12/9) in New Zealand, September 11(9/11) in the USA.

Whatever the date, it is one of a handful in living memory that most people will know and recall where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news of the terror attacks in the USA. .

I woke to hear my farmer saying “It’s falling.”

I thought he meant the share market until I opened my eyes and watched in horror as the planes flew into the towers, wondering if it was real.

It was and it changed the world.


1080 or death to natives

September 12, 2018

Doc, Federated Farmers, Ospri, Royal Forest & Bird and WWF-NZ are countering the emotion against 1080 with facts:

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is fully committed to the use of 1080 to protect our forests and native wildlife in the face of the current campaign of misinformation and is joined by other agencies in standing up for the use of this pesticide.

New Zealand’s native wildlife is in crisis. The flocks of native birds that used to fill our forests have been killed and replaced by vast populations of rats, possums, stoats and other introduced predators. This is not the future most New Zealanders want.

These animals also carry diseases which pose a danger to people, pets and farm animals.

DOC, OSPRI (TBfree NZ), Federated Farmers, Forest & Bird and WWF-NZ all agree that 1080 is an effective, safe and valuable tool in the fight to protect New Zealand’s forests and native birds, bats, insects and lizards.

The agencies above, along with community groups and volunteers, invest huge amounts of time and effort to protect out native taonga from predation. There are multiple tools and technologies used to control predators of which 1080 is one. 1080 is a highly effective toxin and a necessary tool to help protect our native species.

We use a range of methods including the latest self-setting traps and there is significant research being undertaken into pest control technologies. However, Forest and Bird volunteer trappers agree they could never cover the vast and inaccessible areas that aerial 1080 operations can. Biodegradable aerial 1080 is the most effective tool we have for suppressing rats, possums and stoats in one operation over large, difficult to access wilderness areas—where most of our native wildlife lives.

Huge areas of native bush is inaccessible by foot and the only way currently available to kill pests where trapping is impossible is 1080.

Scientific and technological advances, including genetic modification, might provide alternatives in the future but there are no viable alternatives now.

These organisations use or advocate for 1080 because it is backed by years of rigorous testing, review and research by scientists from Landcare Research, Universities, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), Ministry of Health and the independent Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.

In 2011, the former Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Jan Wright wrote a comprehensive report on 1080 and the current Parliamentary Commissioner, Dr Simon Upton, stands by Dr Wright’s analysis and recommendations.

The results are clear that where 1080 is used, our birds and native wildlife start to flourish.

We understand that some New Zealanders have genuine concerns and fears about 1080 in relation to the environment, water, animal welfare and wild food sources. We urge them to seek out www.1080thefacts.co.nz that addresses these issues.

New Zealanders have a choice: use 1080 to protect our native species over large-scale wilderness areas or end up with collapsing and denuded forests and our native species restricted to pest-free islands and fenced sanctuaries.

https://www.doc.govt.nz/standupfor1080

Lou Sanson, Director-General, Department of Conservation

Chris Allen, Board Member, Federated Farmers

Barry Harris, Chair, OSPRI

Kevin Hague, Chief Executive, Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society

Livia Esterhazy, Chief Executive, WWF-NZ

Predator Free 2050 is an ambitious goal which will need a range of pest control measures to achieve, including some not yet invented or feasible.

Until science and technology come up with effective alternatives, the choice is 1080 or death to native birds, bats, insects and lizards, and the destruction of native fauna.


Quote of the day

September 12, 2018

You don’t have guarantees in this world. You’ve got to take chances. – Muriel Siebert 


September 12 in history

September 12, 2018

1213 Albigensian Crusade: Simon de Montfort, 5th Earl of Leicester, defeated Peter II of Aragon at the Battle of Muret.

1575 Henry Hudson, English explorer, was born (d. 1611).

1683  Austro-Ottoman War: Battle of Vienna – several European armies joined forces to defeat the Ottoman Empire.

1812 – Richard March Hoe, American engineer and businessman, invented the Rotary printing press, was born (d. 1886).

1814 Battle of North Point: an American detachment halted the British land advance to Baltimore in the War of 1812.

1818 – Richard Jordan Gatling, American inventor, invented the Gatling gun, was born (d. 1903).

1846 Elizabeth Barrett eloped with Robert Browning.

1847  Mexican-American War: the Battle of Chapultepec began.

1848  Switzerland became a Federal state.

1852  H. H. Asquith, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1928).

1857 The SS Central America sank drowning a total of 426 passengers and crew, including Captain William Lewis Herndon. The ship was carrying 13–15 tons of gold from the San Francisco Gold Rush.

1880 – H. L. Mencken, American journalist and critic, ws born (d. 1956).

1888 Maurice Chevalier, French singer and actor, was born (d. 1972).
1889 – Ugo Pasquale Mifsud, Maltese politician, 3rd Prime Minister of Malta, was born (d. 1942).

1897  Tirah Campaign: Battle of Saragarhi.

1897 – Irène Joliot-Curie, French chemist and physicist, Nobel Prize laureate, was born (d. 1956).

1898 – Alma Moodie, Australian violinist and educator, was born (d. 1943).

1902  – Marya Zaturenska, Ukrainian-American poet and author, was born (d. 1982).

1906 The Newport Transporter Bridge was opened by Viscount Tredegar.

1907 – Louis MacNeice, Irish poet and playwright, was born (d. 1963).

1910 Premiere performance of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 in Munich (with a chorus of 852 singers and an orchestra of 171 players).

1913 Jesse Owens, American athlete, was born (d. 1980).

1914 – Forty three miners were killed in an explosion at Huntly.

Forty-three miners killed in explosion at Huntly

1919  Adolf Hitler joined the German Workers Party.

1928 – Muriel Siebert, American businesswoman and philanthropist, was born (d. 2013).

1930  Wilfred Rhodes ended his 1110-game first-class career by taking 5 for 95 for H.D.G. Leveson Gower’s XI against the Australians.

1931 – Ian Holm, English actor, was born.

1933  Leó Szilárd, waiting for a red light conceived the idea of the nuclear chain reaction.

1940   An explosion at the Hercules Powder Company plant in Kenvil, New Jersey killed 51 people and injured over 200.

1942  RMS Laconia, carrying civilians, Allied soldiers and Italian POWs was torpedoed off the coast of West Africa and sankwith a heavy loss of life.

1942 First day of the Battle of Edson’s Ridge during the Guadalcanal campaign.

1943  – Michael Ondaatje, Sri Lankan-Canadian author and poet, was born.

1943  Benito Mussolini was rescued from house arrest on the Gran Sasso in Abruzzi, by German commando forces led by Otto Skorzeny.

1948 Invasion of the State of Hyderabad by the Indian Army on the day after the Pakistani leader Jinnah’s death.

1952 Gerry Beckley, American musician (America), was born.

1952 Strange occurrences, including a monster sighting,  in Flatwoods, West Virginia.

1958  Jack Kilby demonstrated the first integrated circuit.

1959  Premiere of Bonanza, the first regularly-scheduled TV programme presented in color.

1964 Canyonlands National Park was designated as a National Par

1966  Gemini 11, the penultimate mission of NASA’s Gemini programme.

1974  Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia was deposed following a military coup by the Derg, ending a reign of 58 years.

1977 South African anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko was killed in police custody.

1979 Indonesia was hit by an earthquake that measures 8.1 on the Richter scale.

1980 Military coup in Turkey.

1981 Flour bombs ended the rugby test between the All Blacks and Springboks at Eden Park.

'Flour-bomb test' ends Springbok tour

1983  A Wells Fargo depot in West Hartfor,was robbed of approximately US$7 million by Los Macheteros.

1988  Hurricane Gilbert devastated Jamaica.

1990 The two German states and the Four Powers signed the Treaty on the Final Settlement With Respect to Germany in Moscow, paving the way for German re-unification.

1992  NASA launched Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-47 which marked the 50th shuttle mission. On board were Mae Carol Jemison, the first African-American woman in space, Mamoru Mohri, the first Japanese citizen to fly in a US spaceship, and Mark Lee and Jan Davis, the first married couple in space.

1992 Abimael Guzmán, leader of the Shining Path, was captured by Peruvian special forces.

1994 Frank Eugene Corder crashed a single-engine Cessna 150 into the White House’s south lawn, striking the West wing and killing himself.

2001  Ansett Australia, Australia’s first commercial interstate airline, collapsed due to increased strain on the international airline industry, leaving 10,000 people unemployed.

2003 – In Fallujah, US forces mistakenly shot and killed eight Iraqi police officers.

2005  Hong Kong Disneyland opened.

2007 Former Philippine President Joseph Estrada was convicted of the crime of plunder.

2008 The 2008 Chatsworth train collision between a Metrolink commuter train and a Pacific Union Freight Train killed 25 people.

2011 – The 9/11 Memorial Museum opened to the public.

2014  – Oscar Pistorius was found guilty of the culpable homicide of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

2015 – A series of explosions involving propane triggering nearby illegally stored mining detonators in the Indian town of Petlawad in the state of Madhya Pradesh killed at least 105 people with over 150 injured.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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