Word of the day

April 8, 2019

Hist – an exclamation used to attract attention or call for silence.


Thatcher thinks

April 8, 2019


Rural round-up

April 8, 2019

View From the Paddock: No tolerating ag bullies – Brigig Price:

It seems 2019 will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. In terms of risk, agriculture has been continually challenged and even the best performers are not exempt.

Fires, floods, targeted legislation, biosecurity threats, trespass, theft and personal attack are at the forefront of many producers’ minds.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion but it should not translate into harm and distress caused to others. . .

Skills needed ambassador says :

Cameron Russell is living proof that the sheep industry has a lot to offer young people with the right attitude and a willingness to succeed.

At 26 years of age, he is married with a child and working as stock manager on Southland’s Diamond Peak Station.

Mr Russell has worked as a shepherd and then block manager on two high-profile properties where he has honed his practical skills and knowledge. . .

 

Gumboots on to monitor farm freshwater health – Yvonne O’Hara:

About a dozen people braved the cold and rain to stand in a creek to look its health, at Waitahuna last Wednesday.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand southern South Island extension manager Olivia Ross hosted three workshops last week, including two at Dipton and Waikaka.

Between 15 and 20 attended the first two.

”There is quite a high level of interest,” she said. . .

Taranaki teen desperate to get a foot in the farming door – Esther Taunton:

Braydon Langton just wants someone to give him a go.

The 16-year-old has been trying to get a sheep and beef farming job since leaving school a year ago but said despite a shortage of workers, farmers were unwilling to take a chance on a young person.

“I’ve probably asked about 20 or 30 people but as soon as they hear that I haven’t got two years experience or my own dogs, they don’t want to hear any more,” he said. . . 

‘Outstanding’ apple season blighted by a lack of workers willing to pick them – Skara Bohny:

The continuing trend of worryingly low numbers of fruit-pickers is marring an otherwise stellar apple season in Nelson Tasman.

The Lynch family orchard behind Fashion Food and the “world’s prettiest apples” had an “unprecedented” season, even with an extended drought and two wild-fire related evacuations.

Orchard manager Dan Lynch said his main concern was having enough workers for the entire harvest.  . . 

New agreement to protect citrus industry:

Biosecurity New Zealand and Citrus New Zealand have reached an agreement on how to prepare for and respond to future biosecurity threats.

Both parties signed a Sector Operational Agreement for Readiness and Response today (3 April) under the Government-Industry Agreement (GIA) partnership. They have committed to undertake a joint three-year programme of work to better protect the citrus industry from biosecurity threats.

“The GIA partnership enables us to work alongside industry to better understand the risks, and how we might deal with them if they reach our shores,” says Roger Smith, Head of Biosecurity NZ. . .

On the farm: What’s happening on farms and orchards around NZ:

In the past week Northland has had a good dollop of rain – between 60 and 80 millimetres in the east and less in the west. There is no length to the pasture but it is green. The kill schedule for prime beef has taken a sharp turn up-wards.

Around Pukekohe the heaviest rainfall for many weeks fell on Monday when 30 to 40 mm was recorded. The rain has given a significant boost to needy crops and the conversion of brown grass paddocks to green has been rapid. Our grower contact says the increase in the minimum wage rate will have a big effect on growers’ costs that will be difficult to recover in the market place and he believes it could be the tipping point for some producers to exit the industry. . . 

 


Science when it suits

April 8, 2019

Anyone who dares to challenge the politically accepted view on climate change  is told to accept the science.

But  during Question Time last week, Climate Change Minister James Shaw, showed again he is prepared to accept only the science that suits:

. . . Todd Muller: Does he stand by his statement made on 4 March during an interview on Q+A that when it comes to the application of GE technology in New Zealand, he—and I quote—”will be led by the science on it.”?

Hon JAMES SHAW: Yes.

Todd Muller: Does he agree with the former Prime Minister’s chief scientist, Sir Peter Gluckman, who said—and I quote—”I’ll go as far as to say that I cannot see a way that agriculture in New Zealand will be sustainable over the long run in the face of environmental change and consumer preferences without using gene editing.”?

Hon JAMES SHAW: No.

Todd Muller: Does he agree with the then Prime Minister’s chief scientist, Sir Peter Gluckman, who also said at the time—and I quote—”There is no way that we will get a reduction in methane production, and I can see no way that we will see an economic advantage for farmers as we shift to more plant-based foods, without using gene editing.”?

Hon JAMES SHAW: No.

Todd Muller: When he said he would be—and I quote—”led by the science”, did he mean all science or just the science that fits his political narrative?

Hon JAMES SHAW: If the member looks at the previous supplementary questions, he’ll see that what Sir Peter Gluckman was saying is that he didn’t see any other ways than GE to achieve those outcomes. I do see other ways.

Todd Muller: What are the other ways of addressing agriculture emission reduction that he thinks the chief scientist has not captured in his assessment?

Hon JAMES SHAW: I can’t comment on what the former Chief Science Advisor included in his assessment, but if the member’s interested, I would advise him to read the report of the Biological Emissions Reference Group that the previous Government set up. It took a number of years looking at a range of options for how agricultural emissions could be reduced and found that, actually, with a high degree of confidence, agriculture would be able to reduce emissions by at least 10 percent by 2030, and found with a similarly high degree of confidence that it would be able to reduce it by at least 30 percent by 2050.

Todd Muller: A final supplementary: does he consider climate change to be a sufficiently serious global issue that all science and innovations, including GE, need to be considered, or does he just think it is a pick and choose menu?

Hon JAMES SHAW: Well, I think that policy makers always have options in front of them about what choices to make, but I certainly do believe that climate change is not just the greatest challenge of our time but, potentially, the greatest challenge of all time. . .

If he wants us to accept that climate change is such a challenge and take the need for action seriously, how can he shut the door on technology that could address at least some of the contributors?

Federated Farmers correctly points out his closed mind is unhelpful:

The Green Party’s apparent unwillingness to even have a discussion on the potential of genetic engineering to provide solutions to some of our most pressing environmental issues is extremely disappointing, Federated Farmers says.

“Terse answers from Climate Change Minister James Shaw to Parliamentary questions this week indicate the Greens find the GE topic too hot to handle. But discussions on pragmatic and science-based policies should not be held to ransom by merely trying to keep a vocal section of your political party’s membership happy,” Federated Farmers climate change spokesperson Andrew Hoggard says.

There have been plenty of media reports about a ryegrass developed by NZ AgResearch using gene editing. It can substantially reduce methane emissions from cattle which eat it. Under our current laws the grass cannot be grown in New Zealand, and field trials are having to take place in the United States. . . 

“Mr Shaw didn’t have to agree with Sir Peter Gluckman but we do hope he won’t be so quick to shut down discussion of GE’s potential in talks with groups such as Federated Farmers and others,” Andrew says.

“We’ve already had Green MP and Conservation Minister  tell Predator-free NZ not to pursue the option of GE technologies as an answer to eradication of possums, rats and other pests.

“Farmers are being called on to make deep cuts in emissions from their livestock. Just about the only way were going to be able to do that, without crippling the viability of many farms, are breakthrough technologies still being worked on.

“Federated Farmers’ position is that we should at least be open to the potential of GE, and we need to continue scientific and field research on its advantages and disadvantages, at the same time as having an open-minded and rational debate with all New Zealanders.”

James Shaw is playing to his political supporters and putting their opposition to GE, which is based far more on emotion than science, ahead of his ministerial responsibility.

In doing so he is denying New Zealanders tools which could reduce greenhouse gases and increase the pace of the journey towards a predator-free country, both of which ought to appeal to those of a green persuasion, but sadly not enough who are Greens.

It’s a pity they and the Minister, can’t, or won’t, accept the science that shows the very low risks and high potential benefits of GE.


Quote of the day

April 8, 2019

My faith has been tested, but I have never questioned it or wondered where God is. My faith is in my DNA and my upbringing. At those moments when it has been tested, my faith has been the thing that carried me through. –  Sir Michael Jones who celebrates his 54th birthday today.


April 8 in history

April 8, 2019

217  Roman Emperor Caracalla was assassinated (and succeeded) by his Praetorian Guard prefect, Marcus Opellius Macrinus.

1093 The new Winchester Cathedral was dedicated by Walkelin.

1139  Roger II of Sicily was excommunicated.

1149 Pope Eugene III took refuge in the castle of Ptolemy II of Tusculum.

1271 Sultan Baybars conquered the Krak of Chevaliers.

1513 Explorer Juan Ponce de León declared Florida a territory of Spain.

1730 Shearith Israel, the first synagogue in New York City, was dedicated.

1767  Ayutthaya kingdom fell to Burmese invaders.

1820 The Venus de Milo was discovered on the Aegean island of Melos.

1832 Black Hawk War: Around three-hundred United States 6th Infantry troops left St. Louis, Missouri to fight the Sauk Native Americans.

1864 American Civil War: Battle of Mansfield – Union forces were thwarted by the Confederate army at Mansfield, Louisiana.

1866 Italy and Prussia allied against Austrian Empire

1873 Julius Vogel became Premier of New Zealand.

Julius Vogel becomes Premier

1886 William Ewart Gladstone introduced the first Irish Home Rule Bill into the British House of Commons.

1892 Mary Pickford, Canadian actress, was born (d. 1979).

1895  The Supreme Court of the United States declared unapportioned income tax to be unconstitutional in Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co.

1904 The French Third Republic and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland signed the Entente cordiale.

1904 British mystic Aleister Crowley transcribed the first chapter of The Book of the Law.

1904  John Hicks, British economist, Bank of Sweden Prize winner, was born (d. 1989).

1904 Longacre Square in Midtown Manhattan was renamed Times Squareafter The New York Times.

1906 Auguste Deter, the first person to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, died.

1908 Harvard University voted to establish the Harvard Business School.

1913 The 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution, requiring direct election of Senators, became law.

1918  World War I: Actors Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin sold war bonds on the streets of New York City’s financial district.

1918 – Betty Ford, , 40th First Lady of the United States, was born (d. 2011).

1919  Ian Smith, Prime Minister of Rhodesia, was born (d. 2007).

1929  Indian Independence Movement: At the Delhi Central Assembly,Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt threw handouts and bombs to court arrest.

1935 The Works Progress Administration was formed when the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935 became law.

1938 Kofi Annan, Ghanaian United Nations Secretary General, was born.

1942 World War II: Siege of Leningrad – Soviet forces opened a much-needed railway link to Leningrad.

1942 – World War II: The Japanese took Bataan in the Philippines.

1943 President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in an attempt to check inflation, froze wages and prices, prohibited workers from changing jobs unless the war effort would be aided thereby, and barred rate increases by common carriers and public utilities.

1946 The last meeting of the League of Nations, was held.

1950 India and Pakistan signed the Liaquat-Nehru Pact.

1952  U.S. President Harry Truman called for the seizure of all domestic steel mills to prevent a nationwide strike.

1953 Mau Mau leader Jomo Kenyatta was convicted by Kenya’s British rulers.

1954  A Royal Canadian Air Force Canadair Harvard collided with a Trans-Canada Airlines Canadair North Star over Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, killing 37 people.

1955 Barbara Kingsolver, American novelist, was born.

1962 Izzy Stradlin, American musician (Guns N’ Roses), was born.

1965 Michael Jones, New Zealand rugby player and coach, was born.

1968 BOAC Flight 712 caught fire shortly after take off. As a result of her actions in the accident, Barbara Jane Harrison was awarded a posthumous George Cross, the only GC awarded to a woman in peacetime.

1970  Bahr el-Baqar incident Israeli airforce F4 Phantom II fighter bombers,  struck the single-floor school with five bombs and 2 air-to-ground missiles. 46  children were killed, and more than 50 wounded.

1975 Frank Robinson managed the Cleveland Indians in his first game as major league baseball’s first African American manager.

1985  Bhopal disaster: India filed suit against Union Carbide for the disaster which killed an estimated 2,000 and injured another 200,000.

1989  The Democratic Party was formed in South Africa from the merger of four parties.

1989 The two Greek Communist parties and smaller left-wing parties, merged to form the Coalition of the Left and Progress .

1990  New Democracy won the national election in Greece.

1992  Retired tennis champion Arthur Ashe announced that he had AIDS, acquired from blood transfusions during one of his two heart surgeries.

1999 Haryana Gana Parishad, a political party in the state of Haryana, merged with the Indian National Congress.

2004  Darfur conflict: The Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement was signed by the Sudanese government and two rebel groups.

2006 Shedden massacre: The bodies of eight men, all shot to death, were found in a field in Ontario, Canada.

2008 The construction of the world’s first building to integrate wind turbines was completed in Bahrain.

2013 – The Islamic State of Iraq entered the Syrian Civil War and begins by declaring a merger with the Al-Nusra Front under the name Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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