Word of the day

June 14, 2019

Boosh – a red felt hat, similar to a fez, usually with a silk tassel at the top and sometimes worn as the inner part of a turban.


Thatcher thinks

June 14, 2019


Rural round-up

June 14, 2019

Progress persists amidst disruption – Hugh Stringleman:

The growing focus on food as medicine is driving massive change in the agri-food industry, KPMG agri-food senior manager Emma Wheeler says.

Writing in the 2019 Agribusiness Agenda she said the health and wellness decade has begun and is bringing disruption through innovation and technological transformation.

Consumer needs and demands underpin the pace of change. . .

‘Hyper farm’ to aid land decision-making:

Agresearch has teamed up with Dunedin tech company Animation Research Ltd to help farmers see the future.

The partnership is part of a research programme – the New Zealand Bioeconomy in the Digital Age (NZBIDA) – which has been designed to enable transformational change to the country’s agricultural sector and supply chains.

As one strand of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment-funded programme, Dr Seth Laurenson and Dr Remy Lasseur are designing a “hyper farm” using ARL’s world-renowned visualisation technology.

It helped landowners to see what their properties would look like as a result of any changes as well as understand how changes would affect water quality, finances, carbon sequestration and biodiversity among other factors. . .

Feds finds useful policy ideas in National’s paper:

Federated Farmers is heartened that workforce issues are identified as a hot topic in the National Party’s ‘Primary Sector Discussion Document’, released today.

National is proposing better promotion of primary sector careers and increased vocational training opportunities. It is also floating the idea of an Agriculture Visa for migrant workers and nine-month dairy farm placements under an expanded RSE (Recognised Seasonal Employer) scheme.

“Picking up on serious and persistent sector concerns, National also says it wants feedback on how to make Immigration NZ more responsive and accessible to employers facing labour shortages,” Federated Farmers Dairy chair and immigration spokesperson Chris Lewis says. . . 

Fonterra and farm leaders gripe at O’Connor’s DIRA decision – Greenpeace is even more grouchy – Point of Order:

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor didn’t win too many new friends  (and may have lost some) with his  decision  on the review of  the  Dairy Industry Restructuring  Act, the  2001  legislation  which set up  Fonterra  supposedly to   become  a  “ national  champion”.   

We  all know  how  that  has turned out.

So   what were the reactions to  O’Connor’s  latest  move to improve the  legislation  which initially had the  objective of  “promoting  the efficiency  of  NZ  dairy markets”?. .. 

New appointed director for Horticulture New Zealand Board:

Horticulture New Zealand’s Board has appointed Dr Bruce Campbell, of Tai Tokerau Northland, as an appointed director.

Dr Campbell is experienced in governance, innovation, talent development and the future development of a wide range of horticulture sectors and was, until 2018, the Chief Operating Officer at Plant & Food Research. He has a particular interest in building partnerships with Māori to create new food businesses and also in growing career pathways to get talented people into horticulture. . .

Large rise in meat and dairy manufacturing:

The largest rise for five years in volumes of meat and dairy products drove manufacturing up for the second quarter in a row, Stats NZ said.

After adjusting for seasonal effects, the volume of total manufacturing sales rose 2.0 percent in the March 2019 quarter, after a 2.4 percent rise in the December 2018 quarter. It was led by a strong 11 percent rise in meat and dairy products manufacturing. . .

Helping New Zealand farmers take care of our land:

New Zealand’s green reputation is one of this country’s strongest selling points, but how to manage the relationship between farming and the environment is complex and controversial.

How do we support New Zealand farmers transition to a more environmentally friendly and economically sustainable future?

The clamour to act urgently on climate change is adding pressure on farmers to manage environmental sustainability, but farmers often have to make trade-offs between what they want to develop and what’s affordable. . .

 


Push pause til cost benefit known

June 14, 2019

50 Shades of Green is urging the government to pause the carbon zero legislation until a cost benefit analysis is done:

As it stands experts believe it will cost a lot and achieve little.

Conservation group 50 shades of green is asking the government to immediately hit the pause button, check the policy settings and have a full cost benefit analysis.

50 shades of green spokesperson, Mike Butterick said that the legislation as it stood was a recipe for financial and environmental disaster.

“The legislation is estimated to cost the economy up to $12 billion a year or $8000 for every household,” Mike Butterick said. “Try finding another $160 a week to support political ideology when you’re on the minimum wage[1].

“The way the government is trying to mitigate its carbon emissions is nothing more than a band aid which will achieve nothing long term.

“It is incredibly short sighted by our current politicians. Their legacy for future generations will be tarnished.

“50 shades of green want to work to mitigate the effects of climate change but the Zero Carbon Bill won’t do it. It’s not just the opinion of the group but also that of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.

“Time now for a pause and a move towards a lasting and long term solution,” Mike Butterick said.

Government incentives are distorting the market, incentivising sales for forestry over farming:

The median price of forestry farms across New Zealand has increased by 45% over the last year from $6,487 per hectare to $9,394 per hectare according to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) source of the most complete and accurate real estate data in New Zealand.

This increase may be largely the result of the Government incentives to plant trees making forestry land more desirable and leading to increased sales of sheep and beef farms.
Interestingly, the North Island is seeing a greater impact on forestry prices than the South Island.

Bindi Norwell, Chief Executive at REINZ says: “Over the last few months there has been a growing voice from the rural community that the Government’s incentives towards planting trees are favouring forestry sales and leading to increasing sales of beef and sheep farms. With the price of forestry farms across New Zealand increasing by 45% when compared to the same time last year, the data tends to suggest that the rural community is correct in its assertions. . .

They are also correct about the detrimental impact on rural communities:

Wairoa Mayor Craig Little is nervous.

In the last eight months 10,000ha, 7% of his district’s remaining pasture land, has been sold for forestry and he estimates it will cost 60 direct and indirect livestock farming jobs while creating 15.

Little’s primary concern is the impact on local communities and services but also on the district’s largest employer, Affco’s Wairoa meat works, which gets a third of its stock locally.

“More forestry planting threatens our sheep and beef industry, our local economy and the district’s largest employer.” . .

Little says the pace of land use change worries him and his community and is the unintended consequence of Government incentives for its Billion Trees programme.

The land use change cannot be considered a gradual redistribution of land use as claimed by Forestry New Zealand chief executive Julie Collins in the Farmers Weekly last week, he said.

“For us it is an alarming rate.

“If they keep going at that rate we’ll have no farmland left.”

A briefing paper Little prepared for a meeting this week with Government ministers says 2017 agricultural census figures show 1000ha of forestry directly and indirectly employs 1.5 people. For the same area of sheep and beef farming the figure is 7.6 people.

While supporting the Billion Trees programme Little says the scale and scope of forestry planting poses a catastrophic risk to rural communities like Wairoa. . .

There is a place for forestry but it’s not on productive farmland which threatens food production, export income and the jobs and social fabric for which they provide a foundation.

Tararua Mayor Tracey Collis fears the cumulative impact of fewer children at schools, the loss of volunteers and the impact on local retailers as people leave the area when trees replace livestock.

Collis respects the right of landowners to sell to whoever they wish but the speed of change has surprised her.

In the 2017-18 year four Tararua farms were sold to forestry but in 2018-19 it was 12.

“It’s a large increase very, very quickly.”

Forest companies are buying land with easy access and better quality soils, which is not consistent with the Government mantra of right tree, right place, right time. . .

It’s also not consistent with the Paris Accord which states that climate change mitigation measures should not come at the expense of food production.

If you care about this issue please sign 50 Shades of Green’s petition asking that legislation which incentivises the blanket afforestation of farmland be rejected.

 


Quote of the day

June 14, 2019

So much has been said and sung of beautiful young girls, why doesn’t somebody wake up to the beauty of old women. Harriet Beecher Stowe who was born on this day in 1811.


June 14 in history

June 14, 2019

1158 – Munich was founded by Henry the Lion on the banks of the river Isar.

1216 – First Barons’ War: Prince Louis of France captured the city of Winchester and soon conquered over half of the Kingdom of England.

1276 – While taking exile in Fuzhou in southern China, away from the advancing Mongol invaders, the remnants of the Song Dynasty court held the coronation ceremony for the young prince Zhao Shi, making himEmperor Duanzong of Song.

1287 Kublai Khan defeated the force of Nayan and other traditionalist Borjigin princes in East Mongolia and Manchuria.

1381 Richard II met leaders of Peasants’ Revolt on Blackheath. The Tower of London was stormed by rebels who entered without resistance.

1645 English Civil War: Battle of Naseby – 12,000 Royalist forces were beaten by 15,000 Parliamentarian soldiers.

1775 American Revolutionary War: the Continental Army was established by the Continental Congress, marking the birth of the United States Army.

1777 The Stars and Stripes was adopted by Congress as the Flag of the United States.

1789 Mutiny on the BountyBounty mutiny survivors including CaptainWilliam Bligh and 18 others reached Timor after a nearly 7,400 km (4,000-mile) journey in an open boat.

1789 – Whiskey distilled from maize was first produced by American clergyman the Rev Elijah Craig. It was named Bourbon because Rev Craig lived in Bourbon County, Kentucky.

1800 The French Army of First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Marengo in Northern Italy and re-conquered Italy.

1807 Emperor Napoleon I’s French Grande Armee defeated the Russian Army at the Battle of Friedland ending the War of the Fourth Coalition.

1811 Harriet Beecher Stowe, American author, was born (d. 1896).

1821 Badi VII, king of Sennar, surrendered his throne and realm to Ismail Pasha, general of the Ottoman Empire, ending the existence of that Sudanese kingdom.

1822 Charles Babbage proposed a difference engine in a paper to the Royal Astronomical Society entitled “Note on the application of machinery to the computation of astronomical and mathematical tables”.

1839 Henley Royal Regatta: the village of Henley staged its first Regatta.

1846 Bear Flag Revolt began – Anglo settlers in Sonoma, California, started a rebellion against Mexico and proclaimed the California Republic.

1863 American Civil War: Battle of Second Winchester – a Union garrison was defeated by the Army of Northern Virginia.

1863 Second Assault on the Confederate works at the Siege of Port Hudson during the American Civil War.

1864 Alois Alzheimer, German physician, was born (d. 1915).

1872 Trade unions were legalised in Canada.

1900 Hawaii became a United States territory.

1900 The Reichstag approved a second law that allowed the expansion of the German navy.

1907 Nicolas Bentley, British writer and illustrator, was born (d. 1978).

1907 Norway gave women the  right to vote.

1909 Burl Ives, American musician, was born (d. 1995).

1919 John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown left St. John’s, Newfoundland on the first nonstop transatlantic flight

1928 Ernesto “Che” Guevara, Marxist Revolutionary, was born (d. 1967).

1929 Cy Coleman, American composer, was born (d. 2004).

1937 – U. S. House of Representatives passed the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act.

1936 Renaldo “Obie” Benson, singer (The Four Tops), was born (d. 2005).

1938 Action Comics issue one was released, introducing Superman.

1940 World War II: Paris fell under German occupation, and Allied forces retreat.

1940 The Soviet Union presented an ultimatum to Lithuania resulting in Lithuanian loss of independence

1940 A group of 728 Polish political prisoners from Tarnów become the first inmates of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

1941 June deportation, the first major wave of Soviet mass deportations and murder of Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians, began.

1942 Anne Frank began to keep a diary.

1946 Donald Trump, American businessman and entrepreneur, was born.

1949 – Alan White, British drummer (Yes), was born.

1950 Rowan Williams, 104th Archbishop of Canterbury, was born.

1951 UNIVAC I was dedicated by U.S. Census Bureau.

1952 The keel was laid for the nuclear submarine USS Nautilus.

1954 U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill into law that places the words “under God” into the United States’ Pledge of Allegiance.

1959 A group of Dominican exiles with leftist tendencies that departed from Cuba landed in the Dominican Republic with the intent of deposingRafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina. All but four were killed and/or executed by Trujillo’s army

1961 Boy George, British singer (Culture Club), was born,

1962 – The European Space Research Organisation was established in Paris.

1966 The Vatican announced the abolition of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (index of prohibited books), which was originally instituted in 1557.

1967 Mariner 5 was launched toward Venus.

1976 The trial began at Oxford Crown Court of Donald Neilson, the killer known as the Black Panther.

1982 The Falklands War ended: Argentine forces in the capital Stanley unconditionally surrendered to British forces.

1984 Robert Muldoon called a snap election.

Muldoon calls snap election

1985 TWA Flight 847 was hijacked by Hezbollah shortly after take-off from Athens.

1990 Miners from Jiu Valley were called to Bucharest by President Ion Iliescu to quell demonstrations in University Square by anti-government protesters.

2001 China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan form the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

2002 – Near-Earth asteroid 2002 MN missed the Earth by 75,000 miles (121,000 km), about one-third of the distance between the Earth and the Moon.

2014 – A Ukraine military Ilyushin Il-76 airlifter was shot down, killing all 49 people on board.

2015 – A wildfire near Willow, Alaska in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough burned over 6,500 acres.

2017 –  A fire in a high-rise apartment building in North Kensington left at least 80 people dead and another 74 injured.

2017 -Republican member of Congress and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana was shot while practicing for charity baseball.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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