May 3 in history

May 3, 2016

1469 Niccolò Machiavelli, Italian historian and political author was born (d. 1527).

1491  Kongo monarch Nkuwu Nzinga was baptised by Portuguese missionaries, adopting the baptismal name of João I.

1494  Christopher Columbus first sighted what is now known as Jamaica.

1715 Edmund Halley’s total solar eclipse.

1768 Charles Tennant, Scottish chemist and industrialist, was born (d. 1838).

1791  The Constitution of May 3 (the first modern constitutionin Europe)  was proclaimed by the Sejm of Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

1802  Washington, D.C. was incorporated as a city.

1808  Finnish War: Sweden lost the fortress of Sveaborg to Russia.

1808 Peninsular War: The Madrid rebels were fired upon near Príncipe Pío hill.

1815 Neapolitan War: Joachim Murat, King of Naples was defeated by the Austrians at the Battle of Tolentino, the decisive engagement of the war.

1820 Missionary John Butler turned the first furrow at Kerikeri, becoming the first to use a European plough in New Zealand.

First European plough used in NZ

1830  The Canterbury and Whitstable Railway was opened – the first steam hauled passenger railway to issue season tickets and include a tunnel.

1837  The University of Athens was founded.

1844 Richard D’Oyly Carte, English theatrical impresario was born (d. 1901).

1849  The May Uprising in Dresden began – the last of the German revolutions of 1848.

1860 Charles XV of Sweden-Norway was crowned king of Sweden.

1867 The Hudson’s Bay Company gave up all claims to Vancouver Island.

1877  Labatt Park, the oldest continually operating baseball grounds in the world had its first game.

1887 Margaret Cruickshank became the first woman to be registered as a doctor in New Zealand.

NZ's first woman doctor registered

1898  Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel, was born (d. 1978).

1901 The Great Fire of 1901 began in Jacksonville, Florida.

1903  Bing Crosby, American singer and actor, was born  (d. 1977).

1913  Raja Harishchandra the first full-length Indian feature film was released.

1915 The poem In Flanders Fields was written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae.

1916 The leaders of the Easter Rising were executed in Dublin.

1919 Pete Seeger, American singer, was born (d.2014).

1920 A Bolshevik coup failsedin the Democratic Republic of Georgia.

1921 Sugar Ray Robinson, American boxer was born (d. 1989).

1921 Joe Ames, American singer, was born (d. 2007).

1926  Ann B. Davis, American actress Alice on The Brady Bunch, was born.

1928  Japanese atrocities in Jinan, China.

1929 – Charles Ewing Mackay, the disgraced former mayor of Whanganui, was shot dead by Berlin police during May Day riots in the German capital.

1933  Nellie Tayloe Ross became the first woman to head the United States Mint.

1933 James Brown, American singer and dancer, was born (d. 2006).

1934 Frankie Valli, American singer (The Four Seasons), was born.

1937  Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

1942  World War II: Japanese naval troops invaded Tulagi Island in the Solomon Islands during the first part of Operation Mo .

1945 World War II: Sinking of the prison ships Cap Arcona, Thielbek andDeutschland by the Royal Air Force in Lübeck Bay.

1946 International Military Tribunal for the Far East began in Tokyo with twenty-eight Japanese military and government officials accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

1947 New post-war Japanese constitution went into effect.

1948  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that covenants prohibiting the sale of real estate to blacks and other minorities were legally unenforceable.

1951  London’s Royal Festival Hall opened with the Festival of Britain.

1951 The United States Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees begin their closed door hearings into the dismissal of GeneralDouglas MacArthur by U.S. President Harry Truman.

1951 – The Kentucky Derby was televised for the first time.

1951 Christopher Cross, American musician, was born.

1952  Lieutenant Colonels Joseph O. Fletcher and William P. Benedictlanded a plane at the North Pole.

1960  The Off-Broadway musical comedy, The Fantasticks, opened in Greenwich Village, eventually becoming the longest-running musical of all time.

1960 – The Anne Frank House opened in Amsterdam.

1963 The police force in Birmingham, Alabama switches tactics and responded with violent force to stop the “Birmingham campaign” protesters.

1973 The Sears Tower in Chicago was topped out as the world’s tallest building.

1978  The first unsolicited bulk commercial e-mail (later  known as “spam“) was sent by a Digital Equipment Corporation marketing representative to every ARPANET address on the west coast of the United States.

1986  Twenty-one people were killed and forty-one are injured after a bomb exploded in an airliner (Flight UL512) at Colombo  airport in Sri Lanka.

1991 The Declaration of Windhoek was signed.

1999  Oklahoma City was slammed by an F5 tornado killing forty-two people, injuring 665, and causing $1 billion in damage. One of 66 from the1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak, this was the strongest tornado ever recorded with wind speeds of up to 318 mph.

2000  The sport of geocaching began, with the first cache placed and the coordinates from a GPS posted on Usenet.

2002 A military MiG-21 aircraft crashed into the Bank of Rajasthan in India, killing eight.

2003 –  New Hampshire’s famous Old Man of the Mountain collapsed.

2006 Armavia Flight 967 crashed into the Black Sea, killing 113 people on board, with no survivors.

2015  – Two gunmen launched an attempted attack on an anti-Islam event in Garland, Texas, which was held in response to the Charlie Hebdo shooting..

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Rural Round-up

May 2, 2016

EU ramps up dairy production again – Keith Woodford:

The EU has now released dairy production statistics for February 2016 and from a New Zealand perspective the news is all bad. Daily milk production has increased 6.5% from January to February. Some increase was expected – February is always higher than January on a daily basis – but the extent of the increase is a surprise.

The combined January and February production is up 7.4% from last year, and February production, once adjusted for the leap year, is up almost 10% on a daily basis from January last year.

There are some glimmers of hope in other parts of the world, and I will come to that later in this article. First, more about Europe. . . 

Silver Fern Farms’ response to requisition for shareholder meeting:

On 13 April, Silver Fern Farms received a requisition led by Mr John Shrimpton and Mr Blair Gallagher, representing a group of 80 shareholders. The requisition is for the Board of Silver Fern Farms to call a special meeting of shareholders to consider the following resolution:

“Resolution: as a Special Resolution:

That the shareholders of Silver Fern Farms Limited (the Company) hereby approve the proposed partnership of the Company with Shanghai Maling and the restructure described in the Notice of Meeting and Shareholder Information Pack dated 28 September 2015 by way of this special resolution of shareholders.” . . 

Quit humanising animal agriculture – Kellie for Ag:

There is a difference between human and humane. I think people are forgetting that very important difference.

The last few weeks I’ve been dealing with animal rights activist on my Facebook page and I was quite stunned at what they were saying to me. One of my ‘favorites’ was, “How would you like it if I raped your mother and killed your father and siblings?”.

This comment bothered me in more than just one way. First of all, don’t you dare threaten my family. Second, humans and cattle are not in the same ‘playing field’. Survival of the fittest isn’t about equal rights for everyone.

If animal rights activist had their way: . . .

Livestock broker tackles broncos – Sally Rae:

He’s a bronc riding, world-record setting “stick-throwing” stock agent.

At just 21, Madison Taylor has already represented New Zealand in two very diverse activities, pipe bands and rodeo.

Now living in the Hakataramea Valley, Mr Taylor works for South Island-based independent livestock broking firm Peter Walsh and Associates. ……….. 

Schools to help name biosecurity puppies:

The Ministry for Primary Industries has proudly welcomed six new biosecurity puppies and is giving New Zealand schools the chance to name one of them.

Working biosecurity detector dog Aria gave birth to the beagle puppies (three boys and three girls) in March. They are collectively called “G-litter”.

The floppy-eared puppies will undergo intensive training to work at New Zealand’s ports and airports where they will sniff out food, plants and other items that could pose biosecurity risk to New Zealand. . . 

Side event chance to connect:

Attend the South Island Dairy Event 2016 in Invercargill and invest in yourself and your business.

That’s the message from Side event committee chairwoman Heidi Williams, who wants dairy farmers to set aside June 20 to 22 for the dairy conference.

Organised by farmers, for farmers, the annual programme was designed to promote thinking and debate, and help like-minded farmers to network and find inspiration, she said. . . 


Word of the day

April 29, 2016

Veracious  – speaking or representing the truth; characterised by truthfulness; truthful, honest; accurate.


Tenacity

April 26, 2016

This tomato gets full marks for tenacity – self-seeded, poor soil, no fertiliser, full sun but no water apart from very occasional rain:

 

tenacity


Rural round-up

April 19, 2016

Genetics addicts – Anne Hardie:

Jesse Huffam and Renee Mason have managed a 110-cow herd through to 1600 cows, operated high-input systems as well as grass-based and their ultimate goal is to find a marginal sheep farm in a remote corner of the country that can be developed into a profitable business.

The Springs Junction couple scooped the West Coast-Top of South Share Farmer of the Year title, two years after being placed runners-up in the Waikato Farm Manager of the Year award.

And it would never have happened if Renee hadn’t got hooked on the Australian McLeod’s Daughters television series as a teenager, or Jesse hadn’t turned his back on dairying and followed a career path toward shepherding. . .

Escape to paradise – Anne Hardie:

The Haupiri Valley on the West Coast gets an impressive 4m of rain a year, yet Matt Birchfield prides himself on the pasture management for the 785 cows he manages in an environment surrounded by bush and mountains.  

The 36-year-old took out the 2016 West Coast-Top of the South Dairy Manager of the Year in his first attempt at the coveted title, which he entered for experience.  As production manager for farm owners Murray and Gaye Coats he is in charge of the herd, dairy and staff of what was a high-input farm before the payout drop lowered its inputs to palm kernel.  

Measuring pasture is a key aspect of the farm’s management which is collected by a pasture meter on the front of the Gator utility vehicle. . .

National farm sales drop in tough year – REINZ – Tim Fulton & Gerard Hutching:

Farm sales so far this year are down about 10 per cent on 2015, Real Estate Institute of New Zealand figures show.

Nationwide 383 farms were sold in the three months to March – down 42 on the same period last year.

Dairy farm sales were “dramatically down” but horticulture sales continue to rise, The Real Estate Institute (REINZ) said.

Only 48 dairy farms were sold compared to the 86 sold in the first quarter last year. . . 

Marlborough wine grower co-operative quietly confident for grape harvest – Mike Watson:

Bringing in the grapes is a nervous time for a co-operative’s growers, but there is nothing but smiles on their faces during a “dream” harvest.

Marlborough’s annual wine harvest is drawing to an end but there will be no let up until the last grape has been picked.

Working 24 hours around the clock have been harvesters, truck drivers, supervisors and growers for the past two to three weeks throughout the region. . . 

Profitable farms underpin rural communities – James Parsons:

When farmers do well, rural communities do well. I know this may be stating the obvious to many; however it is a topic worth exploring a little more deeply.

On 23rd March we held the Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) AGM at Waitangi. A good number of farmers turned out, with one couple travelling from as far afield as Gore. The Northern Farmer Council put together a great showcase of leading Northland farmers who had worked with B+LNZ as project farms over the last 10 years. By having a strong team around them, each had improved their business performance significantly. . . 

NZ beef, lamb and mutton prices fall in first half of exporting season – Jonathan Underhill:

 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand export beef, lamb and mutton prices fell in the first half of the current season, which tapered off after a strong start.

Prices for beef and veal fell 2.5 percent to $7,350 a tonne in the six months ended March 31, while the volume of exports fell 3.7 percent to 204,200 tonnes, said Beef + Lamb NZ. The price of lamb fell 4.2 percent to $8,500 a tonne as volume climbed 5.9 percent to 162,700 tonnes. Mutton prices fell 10 percent to $4,800 as volume rose 0.5 percent to 51,200 tonnes.

Beef + Lamb said the price decline would have been worse if not for a weaker kiwi dollar. . . 

Excellent environmental stewardship earns couple supreme title in 2016 Southland Ballance Farm Environment Awards:

Redcliff farmers Shane Gibbons and Bridget Speight are Supreme winners of the 2016 Southland Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

At a special Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA) ceremony on April 14 (2016), the couple also collected the Farm Stewardship Award in partnership with the QEII National Trust and New Zealand Farm Environment Trust, the Environment Southland Water Quality and Biodiversity Award and the WaterForce Integrated Management Award. . . .

 Farmers urged to remain on lookout for late-emerging velvetleaf:

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is urging farmers to remain vigilant in their management of the velvetleaf pest plant.

MPI’s Velvetleaf 2016 Response Manager, Carolyn Bleach, says the window of opportunity to control plants that haven’t yet seeded is narrowing and it’s very important farmers remain on the look- out.

“Farmers and landowners need to maintain a watchful eye until crops have been grazed, particularly as some late emerging plants have been found in crops that have already been inspected. . . 

Upgrade for farm menus:

Farmers are being offered extra environmental protection advice through an upgraded version of the hugely popular “farm menus” produced by Waikato Regional Council in co-operation with eight agriculture sector partners.

Since their launch in 2013, the first farm menus have been picked up by more than 4000 farmers and rural professionals in Waikato and elsewhere. They offer methods for reducing the impact of farming operations on water quality.

The initial menus – covering nitrogen, phosphorus, sediment or micro-organisms getting into waterways – had a focus on reducing nitrogen leaching. Now the outcome of further research means the upgraded menus have more options added for reducing phosphorus and sediment loss. . . 

Fonterra to Divest Share in Dairy Technical Services:

Fonterra Australia has today announced it has signed an agreement to divest its shareholding (36.02 per cent) in Dairy Technical Services (DTS) to a consortium comprising Bureau Veritas Singapore and AsureQuality Limited.

DTS was originally set up as a cooperative testing service company for dairy companies in Victoria, and its other shareholders are The Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Group, Murray Goulburn and AsureQuality. . . 


366 days of gratitude

April 16, 2016

A miniature black boy peach tree grew in my parent’s garden.

What it lacked in height was more than compensated for by both the quantity and quality of its fruit.

Each autumn we’d harvest dozens of sweet, juicy deep red-fleshed fruit.

Black boys aren’t easy to come by from commercial growers but friends who are spending the weekend with them have a tree in their garden and brought a large bag of fruit with them.

Sometimes today’s taste isn’t as delicious as yesterday’s memory, but these black boys are just as I remember them.

Today I’m grateful for a taste from childhood.


Quote of the day

April 15, 2016

Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind. Henry James who was born on this day in 1843.


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