Word of the day

June 21, 2019

Moonbroch –  a luminous ring around the moon which presages an approaching storm; one of the prehistoric circular stone towers found on the Orkney and Shetland islands and the Scottish mainland and usually consisting of double walls enclosing small apartments about a central court.


Rural round-up

June 21, 2019

FARMSTRONG: industry digests wellbeing lessons – Luke Chivers:

No one can be under pressure all the time, Farmstrong ambassador Sam Whitelock told farmers at Fieldays.

“Pressure is a good thing but only the right amount.”

“That right amount will change depending on what’s happening – whether you’re tired, you’re eating well or you’re sick.”

Whitelock, who grew up on a Manawatu farm, said locking in small improvements in lifestyle helps manage the ups and downs of farming.

“Rural wellness is a big deal right now. It’s growing in importance as demands and challenges increase on the rural community. . . 

Westland Milk shareholder Southern Pastures to abstain on Yili vote – Jamie Gray:

Westland Milk’s biggest shareholder, Southern Pastures, said it would abstain on the vote called to decide on whether the co-operative can be sold to China’s Yili.

Southern – an investment fund – said the move would allow West Coast farmer-shareholders to decide its future.

Hokitika-based Westland said in March that it had signed a conditional agreement for the sale of the co-op, which will see the Chinese dairy giant pay farmer-suppliers $3.41 a share. The deal is worth $588 million. . . 

Zespri signals profit growth, trims expected fruit and services payment – Gavin Evans

(BusinessDesk) – Kiwifruit marketer Zespri is forecasting annual profit growth of up to 7 percent.

The firm, which markets kiwifruit on behalf of 2,500 New Zealand growers and another 1,200 in Italy, Japan, Korea and France, is expecting net profit of $182-$192 million in the current year, including licence release income.

That is up from the $179.8 million net profit reported for the year ended March, which was a 77 percent increase from the year before as the firm shipped more fruit for better prices. Total trays sold climbed 21 percent to 167.2 million last year – 85 percent of which was New Zealand-grown green or gold kiwifruit. . . 

New lobby chairman: voice for farmers – David Hill:

 A new Federated Farmers dairy-farming leader hopes to be a voice for farmers.

Karl Dean was elected as the federation’s North Canterbury dairy chairman during the provincial annual meeting at Oxford in April, replacing Michael Woodward, who bought a farm in the North Island.

”It was sprung on me a little bit when Woody got a good opportunity up north.

”But I see it as a good way to get more involved and tackle some of the issues which are going to arise with climate change and make sure farmers are aware of the legislation, and that Feds are fighting it.’ . . 

Buy-back scheme must work for rural firearms owners:

The firearms buy-back process for what are now prohibited semi-automatic firearms must work for rural firearms owners, Federated Farmers says.

The process will require farmers to travel to collection points to hand over firearms and agree on the value of the surrendered firearm. A member survey showed that at least twenty percent of Feds members had a firearm impacted by the new regulations, and these owners will be looking for good access and a smooth process for the hand-over of firearms and payment of fair compensation.

“The sooner the details of the process, including the number and geographical spread of collection points/events, are clear the better,’’ Federated Farmers Rural Security Spokesperson Miles Anderson says. . . 

In farm children, I see virtues that one sees too rarely these days – Mitch Daniels:

Mitch Daniels, a Post contributing columnist, is president of Purdue University and a former governor of Indiana.

Along with the rise of women and the expansion of civil rights, the most important social transformation of America’s first quarter-millennium has been the triumph of modern agriculture over famine and the ceaseless, backbreaking effort simply to feed one’s self that had been the dominant fact of human life throughout history. Most of those who preceded us lived their entire lives on the farm. A little more than a century ago, a third of all Americans were farmers.

Successive revolutions in mechanization, horticulture and biotechnology have been an enormous blessing, enabling a tiny percentage of Americans — today fewer than 2 percent— to feed the rest of us and much of the world. Incalculable human talent has been liberated to invent all the other miracles we enjoy. We spend less of our income on food than any society ever. . .


That’s not how not to be a dickhead parent

June 21, 2019

Kate Forster gives her guide on how to not be a dickhead parent:

  1. Don’t be a Tiger Parent. Don’t demand they practise until they hate the thing they’re learning. Just because you didn’t get to learn the violin doesn’t mean they want to. They will hate it and you in equal parts in the future and hold it against you. Start saving for therapy now if you continue this.
  2. Don’t push them at school. Get them to pass and teach work ethic. My kid just passed her final year but focussed on her passions. She is now going to graduate with a double degree and is starting her Masters in what she loved since she was small.
  3. Don’t go away on holidays and leave them behind. They remember. This will come up in therapy. It’s called abandonment and it’s gonna bite you in the bum one day, hard. Real hard. Keep adding to the therapy fund if you keep doing this too often.

I’m not so sure about number 3 – most parents were couples before they were parents and there’s nothing wrong with a little time away without children providing they are well looked after in your absence and you also have holidays with children.

4. Don’t lecture your kids about not drinking when you drink every night in front of them.

Children learn more from watching what you do than listening to what you say.

But it was #5 to which I said a vehement no:

5. Don’t tell your kids to not try drugs. They will. You can’t stop them. Educate them about safe choices instead.

Taking it for granted your children will do something that is illegal, harmful, even potentially life destroying; and that could restrict career and travel choices, isn’t how not to be a dickhead parent.

Not all young people will take drugs. The best way to ensure they don’t is by your own example and by ensuring they know the dangers and consequences of taking illegal drugs and that they have the skills and confidence to make the right choices before they need to.

There is no 100% safe choice when it comes to taking drugs and a parent who lets their children think there is, is letting them down.


Farming vs filmmaking

June 21, 2019

James Cameron makes movies.

I haven’t, as far as I know, watched any, but the numbers of people who have and the money he has made from making them, suggest he’s very good at it.

He and his wife Suzy have chosen to buy farmland in New Zealand and convert it from pasture to organic vegetables, hemp, linseed and rye corn.

It’s their land they’re free to do what they want with it providing they don’t contravene district or regional plans in doing it.

They’re also free to tell us what they’re doing and why as they did on Sunday but I’d take them a lot more seriously when they criticise our farming and its contribution to climate change  if it wasn’t for the hypocrisy.

How does the benefit from pastoral farming compare with the benefits from the films he makes, what’s the real value of food production in contrast to entertainment and what are the carbon emissions from both filmmaking and the frequent flying the Camerons do between their homes in New Zealand and the United States?

In an open letter to Cameron, ASB rural economist Nathan Penny explains:

Pasture-based New Zealand dairy production is the most carbon efficient dairy farming system in the world. In fact, you can ship a glass of New Zealand milk to the next most efficient country (Ireland) and drink it there and it still has a lower carbon footprint than an equivalent Irish glass of milk.

• In addition, pasture-based New Zealand beef production is top dog in the global carbon efficiency stakes.

• You might have already heard that our agriculture produces around half of the country’s carbon emissions, and while that sounds like a lot, the New Zealand agriculture sector produces enough food for around 50 million people or 10 times our population. The question then becomes how carbon efficient New Zealand agriculture is – and that takes us back to points 1 and 2.

• We also know to take the sustainability claims of alternative food manufacturers such as Impossible Foods (meat) and Perfect Day (dairy) with a large grain of salt. For example, New Zealand dairy has a much lower carbon footprint than Perfect Day milk on a like for like nutrition basis.

• As you rightly pointed out on Sunday, farming is in our DNA and you also noted that New Zealand farmers have that good old number 8 wire mentality. But there’s another secret that you may not know about Kiwi farmers. That is, they’ve had to farm effectively subsidy-free since the 1980s. In this context, our farmers have had to get smart and quickly, finding efficiencies that other (subsidised) farmers globally don’t even know exist.

For these reasons, local Kiwi farmers think there is a place in the future for pasture-based New Zealand meat and dairy. And with global food demand set to surge around 70 per cent by 2050, we think the world needs all the food it can get!

Measuring carbon emissions in isolation is a very blunt instrument.

As Rabobank managing board member, Berry Marttin, told Farm2Fork, we need to take into account nutrient density.

If we compare the nutrient density and overall value to the world of New Zealand pastoral farming with filmmaking and flying there’s simply no contest.

Something else to consider:


Quote of the day

June 21, 2019

Increasingly prices are set by sellers to raise their prices without a loss of sales sufficient to wipe out the gain. – William Vickrey who was born on this day in 1914.


June 21 in history

June 21, 2019

524  Godomar, King of the Burgundians defeated the Franks at the Battle of Vézeronce.

1307  Külüg Khan enthroned as Khagan of the Mongols and Wuzong of the Yuan.

1528 Maria of Spain, Holy Roman Empire Empress, was born (d. 1603).

1582  The Incident at Honnō-ji  in Kyoto.

1621  Execution of 27 Czech noblemen on the Old Town Square in Prague as a consequence of the Battle of White Mountain.

1732 Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach, German composer, was born  (d. 1791).

1734  In Montreal, a slave known by the French name of Marie-Joseph Angélique was put to death, having been convicted of the arson that destroyed much of the city.

1749  Halifax, Nova Scotia, was founded.

1768   James Otis, Jr. offended the King and parliament in a speech to the Massachusetts General Court.

1788   New Hampshire ratified the Constitution of the United States and is admitted as the 9th state in the United States.

1791 Robert Napier, British engineer, was born  (d. 1876).

1798   Irish Rebellion of 1798: The British Army defeated Irish rebels at the Battle of Vinegar Hill.

1813   Peninsular War: Battle of Vitoria.

1824   Greek War of Independence: Egyptian forces captured Psara in the Aegean Sea.

1826   Maniots defeated Egyptians under Ibrahim Pasha in the Battle of Vergas.

1850 – Daniel Carter Beard, American author and illustrator, co-founded the Boy Scouts of America, was born  (d. 1941).

1854  First Victoria Cross won during bombardment of Bomarsund in the Aland Islands.

1864   Battle of Te Ranga;

Battle of Te Ranga

1877   The Molly Maguires, ten Irish immigrants, were hanged at the Schuylkill County and Carbon County, Pennsylvania prisons?

1895  The Kiel Canal was officially opened.

1898   The United States captured Guam from Spain.

1905 Jean-Paul Sartre, French philosopher and writer, Nobel Prize  laureate, was born (d. 1980).

1912  Mary McCarthy, American writer, was born  (d. 1989).

1912 – Vishnu Prabhakar, Indian author and playwright, was born (d. 2009).

1914 – William Vickrey, Canadian-American economist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate, was born (d. 1996).

1915  The U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Guinn v. United States 238 US 347 1915, striking down an Oklahoma law denying the right to vote to some citizens.

1918 – Josephine Webb, American engineer, was born.

1919  The Royal Canadian Mounted Police fired a volley into a crowd of unemployed war veterans, killing two, during the Winnipeg General Strike.

1919   Admiral Ludwig von Reuter scuttled the German fleet in Scapa Flow, Orkney. The nine sailors killed were the last casualties of World War I.

1921  Judy Holliday, American actress, was born  (d. 1965)

1921  Jane Russell, American actress, was born.

1925 – Giovanni Spadolini, Italian journalist and politician, 45th Prime Minister of Italy, was born (d. 1994).

1940  The first successful west-to-east navigation of Northwest Passagebegan at Vancouver, British Columbia

1942   World War II: Tobruk fell to Italian and German forces.

1942  World War II: A Japanese submarine surfaced near the Columbia River in Oregon, firing 17 shells at nearby Fort Stevens in one of only a handful of attacks by the Japanese against the United States mainland.

1944 Ray Davies, English musician (The Kinks), was born.

1945  World War II: The Battle of Okinawa ended.

1947  Joey Molland, English musician (Badfinger), was born.

1948 Ian McEwan, English writer, was born.

1948  Columbia Records introduced the long-playing record album in a public demonstration at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

1952 – Jeremy Coney, New Zealand-English cricketer and sportscaster, was born.

1952  Philippine School of Commerce, through a republic act, was converted to Philippine College of Commerce; later to be the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

1957  Ellen Louks Fairclough was sworn in as Canada’s first woman Cabinet Minister.

1964 The Beatles landed in New Zealand.

The Beatles land in NZ

1964  Three civil rights workers, Andrew GoodmanJames ChaneyandMickey Schwerner, were murdered in Neshoba County, Mississippi,, by members of the Ku Klux Klan?

1972 – Irene van Dyk, South African-New Zealand netball player, was born.

1973   In handing down the decision in Miller v. California 413 US 15, the Supreme Court of the United States established the Miller Test, which now governs obscenity in U.S. law.

1982 Prince William of Wales, British prince and heir, was born.

1982 John Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity for the attempted assassination of U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

2000   Section 28 (outlawing the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in the United Kingdom) was repealed in Scotland with a 99 to 17 vote.

2001  A federal grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia, indicted 13 Saudis and a Lebanese in the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 American servicemen.

2004   SpaceShipOne became the first privately funded spaceplane to achieve spaceflight.

2006   Pluto’s newly discovered moons were officially named Nix & Hydra.

2009 – Greenland assumed self-rule.

2012 – A boat carrying more than 200 refugees capsised in the Indian Ocean between Java and Christmas Island, killing 17 people and leaving 70 other missing,

2013  – A suicide bomber killed 15 and injured 20 in a Shi’ite mosque in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


%d bloggers like this: