Rural round-up

30/12/2017

Earlier crop worrying for winemakers – Louise Scott:

Gibbston winemakers say they also could be faced with a shortage of seasonal workers after hot weather conditions mean they are ahead of schedule for grape picking.

Grant Taylor, of Gibbston’s Valli Vineyard, has never seen such an early harvest in more than 25 years in the industry.

While perfect conditions will ensure a bumper crop, he worries labour could be an issue.

“It is a real concern that because things are early there won’t be enough pickers in the region. Usually we pick in April but I wouldn’t be surprised if we were picking at the middle of March.” . .

Milk once a day to avoid burn out – Christine Allen:

The co-ordinator of Northland’s Rural Support Trust is urging the region’s dairy farmers to reduce to once-a-day milking and plan for time off over the summer holidays to prevent burnout and stress later on in the year.

Northland Rural Support Trust co-ordinator Julie Jonker said those working in agriculture could often resist taking time off as, unlike many other business models, they can’t just “close the door and leave”.

Ms Jonker said that while most farmers took their large break later in the year, once cows were dried off, they still needed to plan for days, or half days, away from the farm as many had been working hard since calving earlier in the year. . .

Golden fleeces flow from progeny testing and elite breeding – John Ellicott:

On the Monaro, the quest for the golden fleece is no legend, it’s a woolgrowing victory fashioned over the decades, making finer wool but increasing fleece weights. Access to top stud stock, improved pastures and adapting shearing times has created the legend.

Steve Blyton from TWG Cooma has seen average microns for the Monaro reduce from 21 microns to about 18 microns due to “breeding being so good in the area”. Some growers have seen a 3 micron improvement in their flock fleeces with fleece weight gains. . .

NZ genetics sought after says South American expert Luis Balfour  –

Whitestone Boers stud owners Owen and Annette Booth, of Milton, recently hosted Argentinian genetic importer/exporter Luis Balfour on their Milton property. Southern Rural Life talked to Mr Balfour about his interest in New Zealand stock.

Argentinian genetic importer/exporter Luis Balfour says New Zealand pedigree stock is attractive to his clients in South America as New Zealand breeders provided the ”best package” of desired traits.

Mr Balfour has been involved with importing and exporting cattle between Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Canada, the US, Great Britain, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand for more than 30 years. . . 

Genetically modified insects next for agriculture – Chris Bennett:

Want to crash an insect population? Slip in a self-limiting gene and topple the family tree in two to three generations. The promise of biotech mosquitoes to combat the pest that spreads Zika, dengue and yellow fever grabs the headlines, but just off center stage, the same technology utilizing genetically engineered (GE) insects is being tested on U.S. farmland.

With the flick of a genetic switch, agriculture could turn the sex drive of an insect against itself. The arrival of GE insects in farming could usher in a new wave of pest management, based on species-specific tools targeting pest insects, and result in a significant reduction in broad-spectrum insecticide applications. GE insects may provide growers with a major new pest weapon if all goes according to plan. . . 


Tuesday’s answers

16/02/2010

Monday’s questions were:

1. What was the origin of the term proof in relation to alcohol content?

2. What does stick to one’s last  mean?

3. What are the two smallest countries, by area, in the world?

4. Who said, “New Zealand is a country of thirty thousand million sheep, three million of whom think they are human.”

5. Who is New Zealand’s Minister of Internal Affairs?

Andrei and Greavedodger got a clean sweep, David got three and a bonus for introducing me to the Ministers of Everything That’s Left Over; PDM got two and a bonus for wit for his first answer and honesty, though not diplomacy, with his third.

Tuesday’s answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »


January 8 in history

08/01/2010

On January 8:

1297  Monaco gained its independence.

 

 

 

 

1734  Premiere of George Frideric Handel’s Ariodante at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

1746 Second Jacobite Rising: Bonnie Prince Charlie occupied Stirling.

1790 George Washington delivered the first State of the Union Address in New York City.

 George Washington’s handwritten notes for the first State of the Union Address.

1835  The United States national debt was 0 for the only time.

The US Federal Debt from 1800 to 1999

1838 – Alfred Vail demonstrates a telegraph system using dots and dashes ( the forerunner of Morse code).

1862 Frank Nelson Doubleday, American publishe, was born.

 

1863 Geologist Julius von Haast led an exploratory expedition in search of a route from the east to the west coasts of the South Island.

Haast begins West Coast expedition

1867 African American men were granted the right to vote in Washington, D.C.

1867  Emily Greene Balch, American writer and pacifist, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was born.

 

1877 Crazy Horse  and his warriors fought their last battle with the United States Cavalry at Wolf Mountain (Montana Territory).

Crazy Horse and his band of Oglala on their way from Camp Sheridan to surrender to General Crook at Red Cloud Agency, Sunday, May 6, 1877 / Berghavy ; from sketches by Mr. Hottes.
1900  Dame Merlyn Myer, Australian philanthropist, was born.
1908 William Hartnell, British actor, was born.
1911 Gypsy Rose Lee, American actress and entertainer, was born.
1912 The African National Congress was founded.
ANC logo
1926  Abdul-Aziz ibn Saud becomes the King of Hejaz and renames it Saudi Arabia.
IbnSaud.jpg
1926 Soupy Sales, American comedian, was born.
6.8.08SoupySalesByLuigiNovi.jpg
1935 Elvis Presley, American singer, was born.
1937  Dame Shirley Bassey, Welsh singer, was born.
1941  Graham Chapman, British comedian, was born.
 Flyingcircus 2.jpg

 

 The Python team in 1969
Back row: Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam.
Front row: Terry Jones, John Cleese, Michael Palin

1946  Robby Krieger, American musician (The Doors), was born.

1947  David Bowie, English musician, was born.

1959Fidel Castro‘s Cuban Revolution was completed with the take over of Santiago de Cuba.

1959 Paul Hester, Australian drummer (Crowded House), was born.

1962 – The Harmelen train disaster killed 93 people in The Netherlands.

1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a “War on Poverty” in the United States.

1973 – Soviet space mission Luna 21 was launched.

File:Lunakod landing bus-Luna17.jpg

  • 1973 – Watergate scandal: The trial of seven men accused of illegal entry into Democratic Party headquarters at Watergate begins.
  • 1975  Ella Grasso becomes Governor of Connecticut, becoming the first woman to serve as a Governor in the United States other than by succeeding her husband.

    1994  Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov on Soyuz TM-18 left for the space station  Mir. He stayed on the space station until March 22, 1995, for a record 437 days in space.

    Valeri Polyakov.jpg

    2004 The RMS Queen Mary 2, the largest passenger ship ever built, was christened by her namesake’s granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II.

    Queen Mary II Einlaufen Hamburg Hafengeburtstag 2006 -2.jpg

    Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


    December 7 in history

    07/12/2009

    On December 7:

    521 Saint Columba, Irish Christian missionary to Scotland, was born.

    1732  The Royal Opera House opens at Covent Garden, London.

    1863 Richard Sears, American department store founder, was born.

    1888 Joyce Cary, Irish author, was born.

    1900 Max Planck discovered the law of black body emission.

    1921 Pramukh Swami Maharaj, Indian spiritual leader, was born.

    1923  Ted Knight, American actor, was born.

    1928 Noam Chomsky, American linguist and political writer was born.

     

    1930 W1XAV in Boston, Massachusetts broadcast video from the CBS radio orchestra program, The Fox Trappers. The broadcast included the first television commercial in the United States, an advertisement for I.J. Fox Furriers, who sponsored the radio show.

    1941 Attack on Pearl Harbor – The Imperial Japanese Navy attacked the US Pacific Fleet and its defending Army Air Forces and Marine air forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Because of the time difference due to the International Date Line, the events of December 8 occurred while the date was still December 7 to the east of this line.

    Attack on Pearl Harbor Japanese planes view.jpg

    1962 Prince Rainier III of Monaco revised the principality’s constitution, devolving some of his power to advisory and legislative councils.

    1963 The Bassett Road machine gun murders  took place.

    1970 The first ever general election on the basis of direct adult franchise was held in Pakistan for 313 National Assembly seats.

    1972  Apollo 17, the last Apollo moon mission, was launched. The crew took the photograph known as “The Blue Marble” as they leave the Earth.

    1975 Indonesia invaded East Timor.

    1988 Yasser Arafat recognised the right of Israel to exist.

    1995 The Galileo spacecraft arrives at Jupiter, a little more than six years after it was launched by Space Shuttle Atlantis during Mission STS-34.

    Galileo Preparations - GPN-2000-000672.jpg

    Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


    Neutron bomb or damp squib?

    29/10/2008

    Labour must be worried that the fallout from Winston Peters’ lobbying to appoint  Owen Glenn as honorary counsul to Monaco is reflecting badly on Helen Clark and endangering Labour’s chances of re-election.

    Bill Ralston  said:

    Over the past couple of weeks the polls showed an increasing trickle of voters dribbling back to NZ First as their memories of Peters’ embarrassments of the last few months began to fade in the glare of the election campaign. Their doubts will now be reawakened.

    It is a bitter blow for Labour and Helen Clark. They had been counting on NZ First just cresting the 5% MMP barrier and effectively slamming the door on Key’s chances of forming a government.

    The depth of their concern is evidenced by the release of their “neutron bomb”.

    It’s an attempt to link John Key to the H-fee white collar crime.

    But the Herald story is linked to one which quotes former Serious Fraud Office head Charles Sturt saying Key had nothing to do with the matter.

    That suggests it’s a damp squib.


    Peters pushed for Glenn to be consul

    28/10/2008

    TV 1 News has Ministry of Foreign Affairs papers which show Winston Peters pushed for Owen Glenn to be made honorary consul for Monaco.

    Foreign Affairs chief executive Simon Murdoch wrote to Peters’ senior officials in April 2007 saying Peters had requested to appoint an expat of his choice as the honorary consul in Monaco.

    The next day one of Peters’ senior advisors clarified that the name Peters put forward is Glenn’s.

    By the end of August last year Peters was frustrated with the lack of progress.

    He was pushing for New Zealand’s ambassador in France to meet Glenn over the posting, according to an email from the deputy secretary of Foreign Affairs.

    The papers were only released after the intervention of the Ombudsman.

    Guyon Espiner says that the documents show Peters lobbied hard for the appointment.

    Glenn said in September that Peters had supported his bid for the position but Peters has always denied that.


    Stop digging start apologising.

    21/07/2008

    The Herald uses its editorial to tell Winston Peters to stop digging. He should also start apologising.

    It was one thing to make a denial without checking all possible sources of his financial support, and flourish a silly sign to news cameras, but Mr Peters did not hear alarm bells even when the Herald discovered an email in which Mr Glenn asked a public relations adviser, “You are saying I should deny giving a donation to NZ First? When I did?”

    A wiser man would have run a quick check on all sources of funds related to his personal political activities and his party. Instead our Foreign Minister descended to baseless and disgraceful allegations of his own – against the integrity of this newspaper, its editor, and our fair-minded political editor, Audrey Young.

    Definitely not the actions of a wise man.

    We were not particularly surprised by that response. Mr Peters has made a career of bluff and bluster and convincing enough poor voters that the media is the enemy. But we have been surprised at his behaviour since he was forced on Friday to concede Audrey Young’s disclosures are true.

    At least, that is what he should have conceded. An honourable and decent public figure would acknowledged his error and apologised to her in the course of explaining himself. Mr Peters did neither. After his lawyer, Brian Henry, told him Mr Glenn had in fact contributed $100,000 to his legal costs in 2006, Mr Peters put out a statement that was not only devoid of apology or regret but attempted to give himself some wriggle room in semantics.

    This was not an honorable or decent statement.

    He did not make a donation to the NZ First Party,” he said of Mr Glenn, “he made a donation to a legal action he thought justified”. Later, at his party’s 15th anniversary conference, Mr Peters maintained this desperate distinction. “Not one cent went to NZ First and not one cent went to me,” he insisted. “A donation was made to a legal case which is a massive difference … “

    No, it is not. He brought a case against the election spending of the MP who captured his Tauranga seat. The law hears those actions in the name of individuals, not parties. Had the petition succeeded, the beneficiaries would have been Mr Peters, if the seat had been restored to him, and his party, since an electorate gives a party more secure representation in Parliament. Mr Glenn obviously believed he was contributing to NZ First and to all intents and purposes, he was.

    Indeed, it might disturb Mr Glenn to hear that the donation was technically not for a party’s legal action but for an individual MP’s, because that MP is the country’s Foreign Minister and the Monaco-based billionaire would like to be appointed our honorary consul there. It is a humble enough request from an expatriate who leads a multi-national logistics enterprise and has given millions to his country of birth, most recently to endow the new Auckland University business school that carries his name.

    Except that buying honary appointments isn’t supposed to happen in an open democracy.

    He was also the Labour Party’s largest donor at the last election, a connection noted when he was named in the New Year Honours. Labour weathered that news easily enough and NZ First could have done likewise, had Mr Peters not foolishly denied it. He has put himself in this hole and he would be smarter to stop digging.

    And start apologising. Sorry really isn’t that hard to say if you understand what you’ve done is wrong; refusing to say it suggests he either doesn’t understand or doesn’t care.


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