Word of the day

May 23, 2019

Eremocene – the age of loneliness;  a time for and all about our one species alone.


Sowell says

May 23, 2019


Rural round-up

May 23, 2019

We can create a future others will envy – Jacqueline Rowarth:

Jacqueline Rowarth calls on smart-thinking Kiwis to be more innovative – not only to develop New Zealand’s eco-future but also to create an environment and economy in balance.

“New Zealand is the best deliverer of prosperity in the world – the best at turning its resources and the skills of its people into prosperity.” – Legatum Global Prosperity Index, 2016

In 2016 the Legatum Global Prosperity Index ranked New Zealand No 1 of 149 countries with the words: “New Zealand is the best deliverer of prosperity in the world – the best at turning its resources and the skills of its people into prosperity.”

In 2016 we were No 1 in the economic ranks and 13th in the environment. In 2018 we were second overall, 14th in the economy and fourth in environment.

This change in rankings is indicative of the classic ‘environment versus economy’ debate. . .

The science and technology of gene-edited food:

We need to be having conversations about the challenge of feeding the world’s burgeoning population.

Fonterra COO Global Consumer & Foodservice, Judith Swales says that across the world, science and new technologies are being used to delve into the viability and practicality of lab based and gene edited food. Gene-edited oil is being sold commercially for the first time in the United States and the first burger with a lab grown ‘meat’ patty due to go on sale in the UK.

The United Nations has estimated the world population at around 8 billion and expects it to be close to 10 billion by 2050 and more than 11 billion in 2100. Dairy is a great source of nutrition and has a key role in meeting this challenge though its expected complementary sources of protein will be needed. . . 

‘Compelling’ Nicola Blowey scoops four national dairy awards – Gerard Hutching:

Fairlie assistant herd manager Nicola Blowey has an abundance of ambition and confidence.

Recently awarded the prize of 2019 New Zealand dairy trainee of the year, the 25-year-old wants to own her own herd and eventually her own farm.

“I’m working towards my own herd and in future I’d like to have an interest in several dairy farming businesses so I can create progression to help other young people.”

They are the sort of high-reaching goals that resonate with Leonie and Kieran Guiney, owners of the 600-cow, 175 hectare property where Blowey works. . .

National Lamb Day

On February 15 in 1882, William Davidson and Thomas Brydone achieved the remarkable, by launching the first shipment of frozen sheep meat from Port Chalmers in Otago on the Dunedin, bound for London. 

The 5,000 carcasses arrived in London, 98 days later on 24th May, in excellent condition which was no easy feat back in those days and goes without saying not without incident. Prior to this, New Zealand mainly sold wool overseas as no-one believed it possible to have a thriving meat export business. Yet we are now looking at a $8.5 billion sheep and beef export industry.  . .

 

How wool is solving your sustainable fashion dilemma one fibre at a time :

Wool Week is upon us and if you’re not familiar with what that means and why we should be celebrating wool, then listen up.

Merino wool is Australia’s biggest fashion export, which is cause for celebration in itself, but it’s also 100 per cent natural, renewable and biodegradable. This year, Wool Week is backed by David Jones, with Australian model Jessica Gomes fronting the campaign.

Here at Vogue, we’re all about championing sustainable and circular fashion, which is why we’ve pulled together five reasons you should be celebrating wool not only this week, but every week. . . 

 

Matt McRae: Southland/Otago’s Young Farmer of the Year finalist:

Southland sheep and beef farmer Matt McRae is preparing to compete in this year’s FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final in Hawke’s Bay. It will be his last shot at taking out the prestigious title.

Matt McRae is one of the driving forces behind a family-owned agribusiness in Southland which is in expansion mode.

The addition of a new 320 hectare lease block in April, has enabled significant growth in sheep and cattle numbers.  . .


Fonterra opening forecast $6.25 – $7.25 per kgMS

May 23, 2019

Fonterra has announced an opening forecast price of $6.25 – $7.25 per kgMS:

Key third-quarter financial performance numbers:

    • Sales volumes: 16.6 billion LME, up 4%
    • Revenue: $15 billion, up 1%
    • Gross margin: $2.2 billion, down 3%
    • Normalised operating expenses: $1.8 billion, down $73 million
    • Normalised EBIT: $522 million, down 9%
    • Capital expenditure: $419 million, down 28%
  • Revised forecast earnings per share range: 10-15 cents from 15-25 cents per share
  • 2018/19 forecast Farmgate Milk Price range: $6.30 – $6.40 per kgMS
  • Opening 2019/20 forecast Farmgate Milk Price range: $6.25 – $7.25 per kgMS
  • 2019/20 Advance Rate Schedule has been set off $6.75 per kgMS

A dollar range in the forecast is a wide one but its an uncertain world and it’s better to be clear about that.

Fonterra Chief Executive Miles Hurrell said that good progress is being made on the strategy review and reiterated that the benefits from those changes will take time to flow through into the Co-op’s financial performance. . .

Farmers and unit holders can expect to see some fluctuation in our earnings over the next couple of years and there will be one-off transactions and adjustments (some positive, some negative) as we reset the business and deliver on our new strategy.

“We are committed to keeping people updated as we make progress. Today’s update is:

    • We are commencing a strategic review of our two wholly-owned farm-hubs in China
    • We have agreed with our partner Nestle to review options for the future ownership of our Dairy Partners Americas (DPA) Brazil joint venture, including a potential sale of respective stakes
    • We are closing our Dennington site in Australia.

“These decisions relate to our new strategic direction – in particular, prioritising our New Zealand milk supply and simplifying our global portfolio, which, as we have said previously, requires us to review every part of business to ensure it meets the needs of the Co-op today.”

Changes had to be made and the new board and management are making them.


OIO favours forestry over farming

May 23, 2019

A newsletter from 50 Shades of Green points out that Overseas Investment Office rules favour forestry over farming:

The unfair advantage.
Did you know, the threshold for farm sales approval is different for farms selling to farmers than it is for farms selling to forestry investors?Forestry doesn’t have to meet the jobs criteria.  Double whammy again, taking out valuable land and jobs at the same time, impacting local communities and displacing jobs.  Sheep + Beef estimate 7  jobs are displaced for 1 forestry job.
We  don’t think the general public is aware of the indications of 5 million hectares of pine trees, what that looks like in 40, 50 years time, and much of  it, with sink initiatives,  not likely to be harvested

 

It is ironic that Shane Jones the self-proclaimed savior of the regions who has the $3 billion provincial slush fund to throw around to create jobs, is also the Minister promoting the billion trees policy which will kill them.

The Paris Accord states that climate change policy should not conflict with food production but Alan Emerson writes that trees are being planted at the expense of food:

Every now and then we hear some idiot describing agriculture as being a sunset industry despite the fact we contribute 79.3% of the country’s wealth.

What we should be discussing is New Zealand becoming a sunset economy because it will be if the Government’s ad hoc response to climate change continues along the line it’s going.

For the record, I accept the climate is changing, human activity has done it and we need to do something to fix it.

What I don’t accept is all the Wellington centric crazy fixes that are, in the main, anti-farmer and without the benefit of solid science and economic calculations grounded in reality.

NZ won’t survive without agriculture.

It is still agriculture which earns most of our export income.

Its carbon footprint per kilogram of product is one of the lowest in the world and we’re producing a lot more with less input than we’ve ever done.

If you take nutrient density into account New Zealand farm produce stacks up even better.

In addition, as Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Simon Upton said, pines are fine for mitigating methane emissions but not for carbon dioxide.

The people who criticize anyone who won’t accept the science on climate change won’t accept this science, nor will they accept the science on gene-editing that could help us reduce methane emissions.

So, why are we planting a billion trees?

Another question is where are we planting them? In Wairarapa we’ve recently lost seven good farms to forestry and that is a major issue.

At Pongaroa they’ve lost between 6000 and 8000 hectares to forestry.

It was interesting to read in last week’s Farmers Weekly Rabobank believes farm forestry will become more appealing. Sustainability analyst Blake Holgate said Government incentives make forestry a more appealing land use option at the cost of food production.

He also said forestry provides opportunity to generate income from area that has been unproductive.

I agree with both statements but was somewhat amazed by comments from Forest Owners Association president Peter Weir who claimed millions of hectares of land for forestry isn’t available. He suggested very little land is being bought for forestry, which I disagree with.

Simply put, my position is there is a lot of marginal land that could go into trees and provide extra income for farmers. That’s good.

Good, productive land and entire farms going into forestry at the expense of food production is bad.

The discussion takes me back to the Muldoon government in the 1970s with its Land Development Encouragement Loans.

Money was available to farmers to clear native bush with the aim of improving NZ Inc’s performance.

So 940,000 hectares were cleared and a massive amount of biodiversity was lost but much of it has since reverted and some has been planted in pines.

Some areas should never have been cleared in the first place and it makes both environmental and financial sense to replant them in trees.

But planting trees on land best suited to producing food will come at a high economic and social cost for no real environmental gain.

Simply, the subsidy didn’t work.

Now we have a subsidy to plant trees, millions of them.

Subsidies are an evil from the past and distort the market. They have no future in a modern economy.

While I applaud Regional Development Minister Shane Jones’ aim of revitalising the regions I believe his forestry initiative will achieve exactly the opposite.

He needs to change advisers.

Let’s look at the facts.

According to the NZ Forestry Bulletin Jones’ billion trees mean 50,000 hectares a year is taken out of production.

To achieve the Productivity Commission’s goals, however, would require 100,000 hectares to be taken out of production each and every year for three decades – a total of three million hectares.

That’s almost a third of our total farmland and it won’t be marginal but productive, food-producing country.

Wairarapa farmer and ram breeder Derek Daniell has done his sums.

For a start every thousand hectares of sheep and beef farms employs seven people each and every year. The same amount of forestry supports one.

That is six jobs lost for every farm that is converted to forestry.

What will that do to provincial NZ?

One retired meat company director told me the removal of stock for trees on the North Island’s east coast would mean the closure of one meat processing works.

What will that do to the provinces?

An economist suggested the value to the country of a hectare of sheep and beef is about $55,000.

At Pongaroa, taking the lowest figure of land out of production, that would mean a loss to their economy of $330m.

What will that loss achieve for the provinces?

Then we have trees harvested every 25-30 years. That’s a long time to wait for a pay cheque.

The money in the interim will be from carbon farming but according Upton that isn’t sustainable.

Further, what is to stop some political party changing the ETS, as has happened.

Relying on political whim for your pay cheque doesn’t spin my wheels.

When it comes to pollution and carbon footprints Daniell points to the cities and not the provinces

The problem is that even with the best of intentions from Jones that instead of forestry boosting the provincial economy it will destroy it.

The madness needs to stop.

You can read more from 50 Shades of Green and subscribe to their newsletter here.


Quote of the day

May 23, 2019

Holding anger is a poison…It eats you from inside…We think that by hating someone we hurt them…But hatred is a curved blade…and the harm we do to others…we also do to ourselves. – Mitch Albom who celebrates his 61st birthday today.


May 23 in history

May 23, 2019

844 – Battle of Clavijo: The Apostle Saint James the Greater is said to have miraculously appeared to a force of outnumbered Spanish rebels and aided them against the forces of the Emir of Cordoba.

1430 Siege of Compiègne: Joan of Arc was captured by the Burgundians while leading an army to relieve Compiègne.

1498 Girolamo Savonarola was burned at the stake in Florence on the orders of Pope Alexander VI.

1533 The marriage of King Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon was declared null and void.

1568 The Netherlands declared their independence from Spain.

1568  Dutch rebels led by Louis of Nassau, brother of William I of Orange, defeated Jean de Ligne, Duke of Aremberg and his loyalist troops in theBattle of Heiligerlee, opening the Eighty Years’ War.

1618 The Second Defenestration of Prague precipitated the Thirty Years’ War.

1701  After being convicted of piracy and of murdering William Moore, Captain William Kidd was hanged.

1706 Battle of Ramillies: John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough, defeated a French army under Marshal Villeroi.

1805 Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned King of Italy with the Iron Crown of Lombardy in the Cathedral of Milan.

1810 Margaret Fuller, American journalist and feminist, was born  (d. 1850).

1813  Simón Bolívar entered Mérida, leading the invasion of Venezuela, and was proclaimed El Libertador (“The Liberator”).

1820 James Buchanan Eads, American engineer and inventor, was born  (d. 1887).

1829 Accordion patent granted to Cyrill Demian.

1844  Declaration of the Báb: a merchant of Shiraz announced that he was a Prophet and founded a religious movement. He is considered to be a forerunner of the Bahá’í Faith, and Bahá’ís celebrate the day as a holy day.

1846 Mexican-American War: President Mariano Paredes of Mexico unofficially declared war on the United States.

1855 Isabella Ford, English socialist, feminist, trade unionist and writer, was born (d. 1924).

1861 – The first major gold rush in Otago started after Tasmanian Gabriel Read found gold ‘shining like the stars in Orion on a dark, frosty night’ near the Tuapeka River.

1863 Organisation of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Battle Creek, Michigan.

1863  The Siege of Port Hudson.

1863  American Civil War: Sergeant William Harvey Carney became the first African American to be awarded the Medal of Honor, for his heroism in the Assault on the Battery Wagner.

1873  The Canadian Parliament established the North West Mounted Police, the forerunner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

1875 Alfred P. Sloan, American long-time president and chairman of General Motors, was born  (d. 1966).

1907  The unicameral Parliament of Finland gathered for its first plenary session.

1911 The New York Public Library was dedicated.

1915  World War I: Italy joined the Allies after they declared war on Austria-Hungary.

1923  Launch of Belgium’s SABENA airline.

1928 Nigel Davenport, English actor, was born (d. 2013).

1929 The first talking cartoon of Mickey Mouse, “The Karnival Kid“, was released.

1933 Joan Collins, English actress, was born.

1934  American bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde were ambushed by police and killed in Black Lake, Louisiana.

1934 The Auto-Lite Strike culminated in the “Battle of Toledo”, a five-day melée between 1,300 troops of the Ohio National Guard and 6,000 picketers.

1939  The U.S. Navy submarine USS Squalus sank  during a test dive, causing the death of 24 sailors and two civilian technicians.

1945 World War II:  Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS, committed suicide while in Allied custody.

1945  World War II: The Flensburg government under Reichspräsident Karl Dönitz was dissolved when its members are captured and arrested by British forces at Flensburg in Northern Germany.

1949 Alan Garcia, President of Peru, was born.

1949  The Federal Republic of Germany was established and the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany was proclaimed.

1951 Tibetans signed the Seventeen Point Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet with China.

1956 Mark Shaw, New Zealand rugby footballer, was born.

1958  Explorer 1 ceased transmission.

1958 – Mitch Albom, American journalist, author, and screenwriter, was born.

1966   Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu, the first Maori Queen,  was crowned.

Coronation of first Māori Queen

1967 Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran and blockaded the port of Eilat at the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping, laying the foundations for the Six Day War.

1995  Oklahoma City bombing: The remains of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building were imploded.

1995  The first version of the Java programming language was released.

1998 The Good Friday Agreement was accepted in a referendum in Northern Ireland with 75% voting yes.

2002  The “55 parties ca;use”of the  Kyoto protocol was reached after its ratification by Iceland.

2004 Part of Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport‘s Terminal 2E collapsed, killing four people and injuring three others.

2005 The fastest roller coaster in the world, Kingda Ka opened at Six Flags Great Adventure.

2006  Alaskan stratovolcano Mount Cleveland erupted.

2008  The International Court of Justice (ICJ) awarded Middle Rocks to Malaysia and Pedra Branca (Pulau Batu Puteh) to Singapore, ending a 29-year territorial dispute between the two countries.

2010 – Jamaican police began a manhunt for drug lord Christopher “Dudus” Coke, after the United States requested his extradition, leading tothree days of violence during which at least 73 bystanders were killed.

2013 – The Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River collapsed in Mount Vernon, Washington.

2014 – Seven people, including the perpetrator,were killed and another 13 injured in a killing spree near the campus of University of California, Santa Barbara.

2015 – At least 46 people were killed as a result of floods caused by a tornado in Texas and Oklahoma.

2016 – Eight bombings were carried out by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in Jableh and Tartus, coastline cities in Syria. 184 people were killed and at least 200 people injured.

2017 – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao, following the Maute’s attack in Marawi.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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