365 days of gratitude

November 15, 2018

The seeds of friendship were sown when we were students.

It grew when we shared a flat.

These days we can go for months without seeing each other but strong friendships withstand that lack of contact.

When we meet each other, as we did today, it’s the depth and length of our friendship that matters, not how long since we saw each other and I’m very grateful for that.


Word of the day

November 15, 2018

Culaccino – a water ring, a mark left on a surface by the bottom of a wet glass or vessel; the dregs in a glass, or the remaining part of a substance in a vessel; the end of a lot or a salami.


Sowell says

November 15, 2018


Rural round-up

November 15, 2018

Wool cells used for new material – Sally Rae:

Deconstruction of coarse wool fibre to create new materials has been described as a ‘‘major breakthrough’’.

Researchers at Lincoln Agritech Ltd have broken down coarse wool — which  comprises about 75% of New Zealand’s wool clip — into its cellular components, creating new materials that are not wool but contain wool attributes.

The work was part of a $21 million seven-year research programme into new uses for coarse wool, co-funded by the Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand (WRONZ) and the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment. . . 

Fonterra must learn to be driven by profit not volume – Point of Order:

Fonterra chairman John Monaghan sought to cheer up the co-op’s farmer-shareholders by telling them at what was reported to be a “packed” annual meeting that “For a time this year, NZ farmers were paid this highest milk prices in the world.”

He insisted there has been a structural change in the co-op’s milk prices since Fonterra was formed. . . 

Using collaborative science to unlock our potential:

Enhancing the production and productivity of New Zealand’s primary sector, while maintaining and improving the quality of the country’s land and water for future generations. That’s the mission of the ‘Our Land and Water’ National Science Challenge.

National Science Challenges emerged from The Great New Zealand Science Project, which in 2012 invited New Zealanders to talk about the biggest science related issues for them.

The project resulted in 11 Challenges, set up by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment in early 2016.

They are designed to ensure that science investment focuses on areas that matter most to New Zealanders. . .

Luxury cashmere produced here in NZ – Sally Rae:

New Zealand’s fledgling cashmere industry, which has its roots in South Otago, has reached a significant milestone, as Sally Rae reports.

Production of the first pilot New Zealand-grown cashmere garments is being heralded as a milestone in the country’s fledgling cashmere industry.

In January, New Zealand Cashmere — formed by Clinton farmers David and Robyn Shaw — announced a partnership with Christchurch-based sustainable lifestyle fashion brand Untouched World and Wellington-based Woolyarns to commercialise a market for New Zealand-grown cashmere.

This week, Untouched World is launching a  retail store in Wanaka and those first garments will be on display. . . 

Dairy is not evil – Sudesh Kissun:

Irrigation New Zealand chief executive Andrew Curtis believes there will always be a place for dairy.

“I keep saying it: it’s not about too many cows, but how the land is managed,” he told Rural News. Curtis, who is leaving the helm of Irrigation NZ in March, says he knows some “very, very good” dairy farmers with good environmental footprints and some “very, very bad” dairy farmers with horrible footprints – and the same with good and bad cropping farmers.

“So, let’s stop going on about the land use thing because it’s all about land management practices,” says. . . 

Mycoplasma communication team needs to play with straight bat – Keith Woodford:

MPI is currently reporting a positive story about Mycoplasma bovis eradication. There is indeed good news to report. But in cricket terminology, the communication team needs to play with a straight bat.

I found myself to be a topic in MPI’s latest announcements. According to an anonymous MPI spokeswoman, I have made claims questioning the time of arrival that I have declined to back up, despite multiple requests. That is a falsehood. The MPI bat is not straight. I will return to that topic further down, but first the big picture.

Over the last six weeks, there have been four new infected farms detected and three new trending-positive (RP) farms. Some of these are large dairy farms and they have led to a new string of traces. Accordingly, active trace farms have increased from 208 to 245. There are also many hundreds of surveillance farms. . .

Waikato Innovation Park to build new spray dryer for growing sheep milk industry :

Plans are underway for a new spray dryer at Waikato Innovation Park to cater for the burgeoning sheep milk industry.

The $50 million dryer will sit alongside the Park’s existing dryer, but will have 2.4 times its capacity. It will be built by Tetra Pak with construction expected to start this month.

It is due to be on line by November 2019 and once completed, is expected to more than double employment at the plant from 17 to 35 staff. . . 

Novel plumbing for Massey research farm:

Massey University’s sheep and beef research farm is to begin nutrient leaching research using underground water and nutrient collection.

Keebles Farm (287ha), near Massey’s Manawatū campus, now has water collection under each paddock to allow all water to be collected and studied.

Deputy head of the School of Agriculture and Environment Professor Paul Kenyon says the farm will be the first to use a collection system of this type for sheep and beef research in New Zealand. . . 

A sensible decision to support safe crop protection options – Tim Burrack:

Their names almost make them sound like the villains in an old John Wayne movie: Palmer Amaranth, Tall Waterhemp, and Giant Ragweed.  

In reality, they’re among the worst invaders in a farmer’s soybean fields—prolific weeds that rob our food crops of moisture and nutrients, depress our yields, and resist many forms of herbicide. 

To fight them, we need the best technology available—and on October 31, the Environmental Protection Agency tossed us a lifeline.  . . 


Sustainability stool wobbly

November 15, 2018

Environmental gains from reducing carbon emissions will come at a high financial and social cost:

Becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2050 could result in a 16% drop in production from sheep and beef farms as livestock is replaced by trees to sequester carbon.

The Productivity Commission’s report, Low Emissions Economy, said up to 17% of sheep and beef farmland Otago, Canterbury and Manawatu-Wanganui will convert to forestry as part of plans to plant the 2.8 million hectares of new forestry needed for New Zealand to be carbon neutral.

A shift to horticulture and forestry could reduce the dairy area in Taranaki by between 35% and 57% and Waikato by 8% and 22%.

Commission chairman Murray Sherwin acknowledged such a change will affect rural communities. . . 

The financial and social impacts will be huge.

While some jobs will be created, more will be lost and people who work on sheep and beef farms and in businesses which service and supply them may not be willing, or able, to work in horticulture and forestry.

Sherwin said that degree of land use change up to 2050 is comparable to the shift to dairying since the 1990s and the Government will have to manage the social and financial fallout.

“It is a shift in land use, a shift in the nature of rural communities and a shift in the workforce.”

The report is designed to shape thought on the issue rather than be a prescriptive tool.

“It is in a form to shape your thinking rather than anything you could say was a highly accurate, predictive tool.”

That aside, he acknowledged such a reduction in sheep and beef productivity is not to be sneezed at but, as has previously occurred, productivity improvements could temper any decline and returns can be improved by better marketing. . . 

The impact could be as drastic as that of the ag-sag of the 80s when subsidies were cut over night.

The result is a much stronger farming sector but getting there came at a significant cost in both financial and social terms.

Beef + Lamb NZ’s chief insight officer Jeremy Baker says farmers are rightly questioning the commission’s tree planting proposal.

“A lot has been done already and I don’t know if there is much of this so-called unproductive land left.

“I’m not sure how they came up with that figure. It’s a lot of land.”

Baker said farmers feet they are not given credit for reductions in greenhouse gases, which have declined much quicker than other sectors.

Methane emissions are 30% below 1990 levels, achieved while growing production and returns. They also own 1.4m hectares of regenerating native bush and 180,000ha of plantation forest.

“The sheep and beef sector has done its bit and will play its part again but it has to be economically rational and environmentally sensible and everyone else has to come along too.”

National’s agricultural spokesman Nathan Guy says rural people have been forgotten in the commission’s report and the NZ First billion-tree policy, which risks gutting rural communities of people, jobs and services.

He described maps he has seen of proposed tree planting in Rangitikei District as bloody scary.

“Effectively there would be a whole lot of sheep and beef production gone.

“The Government seems hell bent on being carbon neutral by 2050 at all costs and I am concerned at the on-farm production losses and losing our competition edge.”

Guy said farmers will plant more trees if the sequestering value of riparian planting, shelter belts and native bush is counted.

He is confident the Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium will discover a methane reducing bolus but that is only part of the solution to reduce greenhouse gases.

Science will play a part. It could play an even bigger part if the illogical opposition to genetic modification could be overcome.

But politics and emotion too often trump science.

In this case politics dictates that New Zealand should reduce stock numbers without taking into account of what will replace the food that we don’t produce if sheep and cattle are replaced by trees.

Most of that meat is exported and if beef and lamb no longer produced here are replaced by meat from less efficient producers elsewhere the global environmental cost will be added to the local financial and social costs.

Sustainability is supposed to be like a stool with three evenly balanced legs – environmental, social and financial.

Failing to take all the consequences of radical changes to primary production into account will make all the legs unstable.

That will make the sustainability stool very wobbly with high environmental, social and financial costs.

 


Quote of the day

November 15, 2018

Anti-Semitism has no historical, political and certainly no philosophical origins. Anti-Semitism is a disease. – Daniel Barenboim who celebrates his 76th birthday today,


November 15 in history

November 15, 2018

655 – Battle of Winwaed: Penda of Mercia was defeated by Oswiu of Northumbria.

1315 – Battle of Morgarten the Schweizer Eidgenossenschaft ambushed the army of Leopold I.

1515 – Thomas Wolsey was invested as a Cardinal.

1532 – Commanded by Francisco Pizarro, Spanish conquistadors under Hernando de Soto met Inca leader Atahualpa for the first time outside Cajamarca.

1533 – Francisco Pizarro arrived in Cuzco, the capital of the Inca Empire.

1708 William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1778).

1777 – American Revolutionary War: After 16 months of debate the Continental Congress approved the Articles of Confederation.

1791 – The first U.S Catholic college, Georgetown University, opened its doors.

1849 – Mary E. Byrd, American astronomer and educator, was born (d. 1934).

1854 – The Suez Canal, linking the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, was given the necessary royal concession.

1859 – The first modern revival of the Olympic Games in Athens.

1861 The first issue of the Otago Daily Times was published.

First issue of <em>Otago Daily Times</em> published

1864 – American Civil War: Union General William Tecumseh Sherman burned Atlanta, Georgia and started Sherman’s March to the Sea.

1889 – Brazil was declared a republic by Marechal Deodoro da Fonseca and Emperor Pedro II was deposed in a military coup.

1891 Erwin Rommel, German field marshal, “The Desert Fox”, was born (d. 1941 1944).

1903 – Stewie Dempster, New Zealand cricketer, was born (d. 1974).

1905 Mantovani, Italian-born composer, was born (d. 1980).

1916  – Nita Barrow, Barbadian nurse and politician, 7th Governor-General of Barbados, was born (d. 1995).

1920 – First assembly of the League of Nations was held in Geneva.

1923 – The German Rentenmark is introduced in Germany to counterInflation in the Weimar Republic.

1926 – The NBC radio network opened with 24 stations.

1932 Petula Clark, English singer, was born.

1935 – Manuel L. Quezon was inaugurated as the second president of the Philippines.

1939 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt laid the cornerstone of theJefferson Memorial.

1942 Daniel Barenboim, Argentine-born conductor and pianist, was born.

1942 – First flight of the Heinkel He 219.

1942 – The Battle of Guadalcanal ended in a decisive Allied victory.

1943 – Holocaust: German SS leader Heinrich Himmler ordered thatGypsies be put “on the same level as Jews and placed in concentration camps”.

1945 – Roger Donaldson, Australian- born New Zealand film producer/director, was born.

1945 Anni-Frid “Frida” Lyngstad, Norwegian-born singer (ABBA) was born.

1948 – Louis Stephen St. Laurent succeeded William Lyon Mackenzie King as Prime Minister of Canada.

1949 – Nathuram Godse and Narayan Apte were executed for assassinating Mahatma Gandhi.

1951 – Greek resistance leader Nikos Beloyannis and 11 resistance members, were sentenced to death.

1966 – Gemini 12 splashed down safely in the Atlantic Ocean.

1966 – Pan Am Flight 708 crashed near Berlin, killing the three people on board.

1967 – The only fatality of the X-15 program occurs during the 191st flight when Air Force test pilot Michael J. Adams lost control of his aircraft which was destroyed mid-air over the Mojave Desert.

1968 – The US Air Force launched Operation Commando Hunt, a large-scale bombing campaign against the Ho Chi Minh trail.

1969 – The Soviet submarine K-19 collided with the American submarineUSS Gato in the Barents Sea.

1969 – 250,000-500,000 protesters staged a peaceful demonstrationagainst the Vietnam War, including a symbolic “March Against Death”.

1969 – In Columbus, Ohio, Dave Thomas opened the first Wendy’s restaurant.

1971 – Intel released world’s first commercial single-chip microprocessor, the 4004.

1976 – René Lévesque and the Parti Québécois took power to become the first Quebec government of the 20th century clearly in favour of independence.

1978 – A chartered Douglas DC-8 crashed near Colombo, Sri Lanka, killing 183.

1979 – A package from the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski began smoking in the cargo hold of a flight from Chicago to Washington, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing.

1983 – Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was founded. Recognised only by Turkey.

1985 – A research assistant was injured when a package from the Unabomber addressed to a University of Michigan professor exploded.

1985 – The Anglo-Irish Agreement was signed at Hillsborough Castle by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Irish Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald.

1987 – Continental Airlines Flight 1713, a Douglas DC-9-14 jetliner, crashed in a snowstorm at Denver, Colorado Stapleton International Airport, killing 28 occupants, while 54 survive the crash.

1987 – In Braşov, Romania, workers rebelled against the communist regime of Nicolae Ceaușescu.

1988 – In the Soviet Union, the unmanned Shuttle Buran was launched on her first and last space flight.

1988 – Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: An independent State of Palestine was proclaimed by the Palestinian National Council.

1988 – The first Fairtrade label, Max Havelaar, was launched in the Netherlands.

1989 – Sachin Tendulkar made his debut as an international cricketer.

1990 – Space Shuttle Atlantis launched with flight STS-38.

2000 – A chartered Antonov An-24 crashed after takeoff from Luanda, Angola killing more than 40 people.

2003 – The first day of the 2003 Istanbul Bombings, in which two car bombs, targeting two synagogues, explode, killing 25 people and wounding about 300.

2005 – Boeing formally launched the stretched Boeing 747-8 variant with orders from Cargolux and Nippon Cargo Airlines.

206 – Al Jazeera English launched worldwide..

2007 – Cyclone Sidr hit Bangladesh, killing an estimated 5000 people and destroyed the world’s largest mangrove forest, Sundarbans.

2012 – Xi Jinping became General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and a new 7-members Politburo Standing Committee is inaugurated.

2012 – Four people were killed and 16 others injured in the Midland train wreck after a Union Pacific train struck a parade float in Midland, Texas.

2016 – Hong Kong High Court banned elected politicians Yau Wai-ching and Baggio Leung from the city’s Parliament.[1]

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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