2009-01-30

Life was supposed to be all nicely planned out - not



Several years ago I moved to this crazy farm. Then it had no cattle,horses, chickens,cats or fences. As for a garden well that didn't exist much either. Now I grow weeds, and some poor excuses for tomato plants I should have planted several weeks ago, but forgot all about them. I used to have a nice garden - until the cows destroyed it that was. I vowed I would never have cats here either.....excuse the native birds. What native birds? With several hundred possums eating the trees and the nests with them. That excuse went out the window early in early 2007. The reason two little four month old kittens who needed or home very badly or it could be the needle. So softy here brought them home and Dream and Emerald have stayed here ever since. The mice and the rats have been greatly reduced. Last winter we only had four mice come inside instead of the usual winter plague where the baseball bat, the traps and the poison had to be laid on full force or end up over run by small, cute furry little rodents that are also disease carrying little pests. Trying to watch TV meant being armed with the baseball bat and bopping the mice off. I had a very good batting average by the end of winter of 2006. The four that got in in 2007 all were caught in the traps. 2008 we had a couple get inside and the traps took care of them. Dream and Emerald took care of the rest. So here we are raving about mice,cats,baseball bats and other wierd things as usual.

Which comes to the next thing as in last Thursday......Mum and I headed off to the Bunnings Warehouse in Whangarei and got some bits and pieces for the gardens. Had lunch then headed back to Maungaturoto where I had to stop in and get some worming tablets for Dream and Emerald. As everyone knows I now have two more cats as in Double Trouble Dream Team Sasquatch and Yowie. They won't be leaving either. At the vets were yet more kittens...oh no....... So I took photos of them with the intention of blogging them later.....
Three very cute kittens were in the large display cage so I decided to take a photo of each little kitten...I took the shot of the first little black and white kitten when a big round pair of eyes appeared....and got in the photo.....by then my Mum was staring longingly at the little cute fluffy kitten that was sound asleep beside the eyes. Sadly she shook her head deciding no she wouldn't and off we went home. The afternoon rolled on I did some farm work and Mum went and got some more plants then dropped in to show me. She had fallen in love with the fluffy kitten but...well I said to her what was the difference having another cat on the farm since I already had four here and one more wouldn't make any difference. Hate to say this she came home with two. The eyes...now named Buffy after Mum's last cat and the little fluffy kitten has been named Katie.

Well folks that's what happened last Thursday now six cats live on the farm. Yet more to blog about but this post is long enough. Had one interesting week. The paper has been put to bed gone to print yesterday and will be out sometime next Monday. I was totalled all of today. And yesterday..as in January 29th I turned 45. Do I feel old? No just nuttier and crazier. Thanks Amy, Lisa and Jen for your birthday wishes. I did have a great day yesterday - just a very long one involving that publication I chose to edit. Fonterra Payout has dropped down so a few farmer friends I know will be redoing their farm budgets for the next season. Petrol has shot way up the excuse this time the increase in the price of refined oil and the Kiwi Dollar weakening. Yeah right. Greedy oil companies just wanting more profits you mean. That's my rant for the night. Blog visiting is now mandatory since I haven't been over all week. Life got in the way or the paper did that is....

2009-01-28

Fonterra revised payo, ‘tough but manageable for farm businesses’

Fonterra revised payout, ‘tough but manageable for farm businesses’

“The detail behind the latest revised forecast payout figure of $5.10 per kilogram of milksolids (kgMS), for the 2008/09 season, means it will be tough but manageable for well run farm businesses,” says Lachlan McKenzie, Federated Farmers Dairy chairman.

“This comes at a time when there is a glimmer of light appearing at the end of the tunnel for other commodities and the revised payout is still the third best payout this decade. While the revised payout will be tough on some farm businesses, the majority are well managed and moderately geared. The fundamentals for dairy remain extremely good so while this revision is disappointing, it is not a calamity.

“While Fonterra’s revision to its forecast payout since last September has slashed export receipts and the income of New Zealand’s dairy farmers by around $1.8 billion, this has coincided with an implosion in commodities generally.

“The devil for supplier shareholders comes with them effectively bankrolling Fonterra for some five months, in the case of the advance payout and six months, for the value return component.

“The first part of the value return component, due in April, has been folded into one payout, which now comes in October. Given the current forecast for this component, a large chunk of the half billion dollars farmers would have budgeted for in April has now gone.

“The second unpleasant surprise comes with incremental payouts being delayed until the end of the season in June. Each month, dairy farmers receive a baseline payout of $4.05 with an increment on top of moving towards the final payout. This increment would have formed part of farmer budgets but this has been pushed back into June onwards

“The interest costs for farmers bankrolling Fonterra will mean the effective payout in the hand for farmers will be less than the $5.10 figure estimated.

“This is not just unprecedented, it will require some farmers to immediately call their banks to arrange or extend overdraft facilities. This will impact the economy at many levels.

“In light of our concerns over banks farming farmers with business overdraft rates, the Federation will be writing to the regulators. Clearly, liquidity will be essential for farmers who will now have to undertake major revisions of farm budgets.

“It is also to the Board’s credit that Fonterra seems to have listened to Federated Farmers call for them to under promise and over deliver on the revised payout, if current market conditions do not deteriorate. If being a small word, however, with a very large meaning,” Mr McKenzie concluded.

Related Article from the New Zealand Herald

Economy takes $1bn dairy hit

The payout to dairy farmers has fallen dramatically.

The payout to dairy farmers has fallen dramatically.

Wednesday Jan 28, 2009

New Zealand's economy has been dealt a blow, with confirmation our largest exporter and biggest corporate, the dairy giant Fonterra will again cut its farmer payout, costing the country a billion dollars.

The co-operative today announced that the forecast dairy payout for the 2008-2009 year has been cut to $5.10 per kg - a reduction of 90 cents on the previous forecast of $6 per kg of milksolids.

That reduction will slice more than a billion dollars off many dairy incomes and therefore out of the New Zealand economy.

In December Fonterra chairman Henry van der Heyden warned that a continuing fall in international commodity prices, fluctuations in the New Zealand dollar, and the worsening effects of the global financial meltdown meant a cut was increasingly likely.

Economists were forecasting a figure today of between $5 and $5.50 per kg.

Based on last season's collection of 1.19 billion kg of milksolids a 90c cut means a loss to the economy of more than $1bn.

Fonterra's available payout last season was a record $7.90 per kg. Originally Fonterra was expecting to payout $7 per kilo this season. A fall to $5.10 means an expected $2.28 billion injection into New Zealand's economy will not happen.

The Fonterra Shareholders' Council, which represents the interests of the farmers to the co-operatives board, issued a news release saying it was "disappointed by the magnitude of the drop" in the forecast payout.

Council chairman Blue Read said although the Fonterra had signalled that global financial and market conditions were putting pressure on payout, the 90 cent drop announced today would still have surprised many Fonterra farmers.

"After a record payout last year, we went into the season with a payout forecast of $7.00 per kilogram of milksolids. We are now confronted by a reduction of more than 25 per cent in our farm revenues for the season.

"Dairy farmers are used to fluctuating forecast adjustments and the uncertainty this creates but in this environment we would like to see more timely updates.

"These are challenging times and like many New Zealanders, Fonterra farmers are feeling the pinch," said Read.

Asked what proportion of Fonterra's farmers would be put under financial stress by the fall in payout, chief executive Andrew Ferrier said he couldn't give a specific number, "but Kiwi dairy farmers are incredibly resilient and they know how to tighten things up when prices go down, so obviously the vast majority of farmers will be able to ride this out.."

Chairman van der Heyden said cashflows would be stressed by the reduction.

"Look this $5.10 is going to put a good number of farmers' cashflows under significant pressure. Make no bones about that and I understand that."

"But at the same time, Andrew's [Ferrier's] point about farmers is that they are resilient and that's why we're giving the message as clearly as we can. But there are one or two little things starting to head in the direction in favour of the farmers as well."

Interest rates were coming down and the first signs of farmer input costs coming down - including fertiliser and fuel, were now being seen.
"But I do want to stress that this will put a good number of farmers' cashflows under pressure."

Asked if the payout would have been higher had it not been for the EU's re-introduction of subsidies for its dairy farmers, Ferrier said it was hard to say by how much.

"I don't know if we'll ever know if it would have been higher.
If the subsides are not a material impact on the market, we could be above $5.10."

The market, said Ferrier, "anticipates these things" and there had been a material drop in prices in the past few weeks, following the EU move.


CHRIS DANIELS/HERALD ONLINE

Fonterra company video: Milk payout drops



2009-01-27

Why we shouldn't play with wild animals like pets

Sometimes I read stories like the one below, and wonder why people either end up badly injured or dead. In this case it was a tiger in Thailand behaving as any predatory animal would behave. Perhaps I'm out of line here but personally I don't believe any wild animals should be used for entertainment in any form. They are wild simple as that. One thing for a zoo, a game park, a reserve or a specialised breeding facility to preserve and increase endangered species, but I don't agree that anyone should be allowed to have direct contact. The tiger was sedated that in itself was wrong to begin with. Have a read and let me know what you think. I believe in conservation and the preservation of species - I don't believe in abuse for commercial gain. It's wrong and it should be stopped.

Article as follows from the New Zealand Herald Website

NZ aid worker mauled in Thai tiger enclosure

4:00AM Tuesday Jan 27, 2009
By Vaimoana Tapaleao
Ruth Corlett with Pancake the tiger just before the attack. Photo / Supplied

Ruth Corlett with Pancake the tiger just before the attack. Photo / Supplied

A New Zealand woman is in hospital after being mauled by a tiger in Thailand.

Ruth Corlett, 45, was at an enclosure on Sunday with her family when the female tiger jumped at her and bit her leg.

Mrs Corlett was rushed to hospital, where she received 54 stitches on the wound.

Thai media reported that Mrs Corlett touched the year-old tiger's head before it jumped at her in the Khumsu Chiang Mai Tiger Centre.

Mrs Corlett travelled to Thailand with her husband and three children in 2007 to work with an organisation that runs orphanages, emergency relief and development programmes on the Thai border.

Her husband, Stuart Corlett, said last night that his wife was still in hospital and was doing "okay".

"It was just at one of those tiger places where people are allowed to play with the tigers," he said. "She was near one of them and the thing just jumped up and bit her in the leg. But she's okay now."

The owners of the tiger enclosure have offered to pay for all of Mrs Corlett's medical expenses.

A staff member at the enclosure said the tiger that attacked Mrs Corlett - named Pancake - was usually very friendly and had been trained to stay with humans.

"Pancake has never bitten anyone before, despite being played with by tourists very often," the staff member said.

"The [New Zealand] woman touched the tiger on its head and suddenly the sleeve of her arm, or the cloth of her shirt, got into the eye of the tiger and the tiger got irritated."

Local Thai media reported that Mr Corlett is looking to sue the Chiang Mai tiger enclosure, but the Herald could not confirm this last night.

Staff at the centre have said that the case has not been filed with police.

And the latest update to this story below

Husband tells of horror tiger attack on aid worker wife
Updated 6:10PM Tuesday Jan 27, 2009
By Andrew Koubaridis
Ruth Corlett with Pancake the tiger just before the attack. Photo / Supplied

Ruth Corlett with Pancake the tiger just before the attack. Photo / Supplied


A New Zealand aid worker has told of watching a tiger bite his wife in the leg and then attempt to drag her away.

The incident happened at a tiger enclosure in Thailand that allows people to pat tigers that have been domesticated and trained.

Stuart Corlett and his wife Ruth were at the Khumsu Chiang Mai Tiger Centre with their three children on Sunday when a female tiger called Pancake suddenly clamped down on Mrs Corlett's leg, just missing her femoral artery.

She had crouched beside the tiger, posing for a photograph, when the trainer told her to stand up.

"The tiger jumped up and bit her in the leg. It narrowly missed her femoral artery - the bite was two inches away. If it had severed that artery she would have had minutes to live," Mr Corlett said.

She is recovering at home from the ordeal. The family have lived in Thailand for nine years and work for a relief agency that helps refugees on Thailand's border.

Mr Corlett said reports that his wife had touched the tiger on the top of its head and that her sleeve caught the tiger's eye were wrong.

"The trainer hit the tiger on the head with a stick just before the bite."

He added that photographs showed his wife wasn't even wearing a long-sleeved shirt so that couldn't have caught the tiger's eye.

A friend of the couple, Auckland teacher Daniel Charman, tried to pull the tigers jaws open but couldn't and the tiger attempted to drag Mrs Corlett away.

"He grabbed hold of [Mr Charman's] leg so it couldn't drag her away. The trainer whacked it on the nose then turned and left. They [staff] said he was going to warn others but in my opinion he was fearful for his own safety."

The tiger let go of Mrs Corlett's leg and she was left bleeding on the ground.

"Daniel picked her up and threw her over his shoulder and they got out of the enclosure."

Mr Corlett said staff at the centre were ill-equipped to deal with a medical emergency.

There was no first aid kit and they were told the only medical officer was on a day off.

She was eventually taken to hospital in the back of a staff member's Toyota Corolla suffering from shock and barely conscious. Her wound required 54 stitches.

Mr Corlett told the Herald last night he was told by a tour guide the tigers were probably sedated.

"My opinion is the tiger was coming out of a sedated state and was confused and probably grumpy."

The couple have spoken to their lawyer and hope to settle out of court. They want Mrs Corlett's medical expenses paid but would only settle if the tiger centre sets up a safety committee and has a clear policy manual.

Related Reading: Timeline Track of a Bengal Tiger on Of Cats


Tiger-taming teacher also involved in canyon tragedy

4:00AM Saturday Jan 31, 2009
By Andrew Koubaridis

The Auckland teacher who intervened in a tiger attack was one of the heroes of the Elim School canyoning tragedy.

Daniel Charman watched in horror last weekend as his friend Ruth Corlett was bitten on the leg by a tiger at a Thai tourist venue that allows people to get close to tigers which are supposedly domesticated and trained.

But moments after Mrs Corlett posed for a photograph with a tiger it leapt up and mauled her leg before trying to drag her away.

"It raised its head and looked over at Ruth ... then it just lunged," Mr Charman told the Weekend Herald yesterday.

As the tiger tried to pull her away, Mrs Corlett grabbed hold of his leg. "I'm a big guy and I never thought I'd say it, but it's nice to be big - my weight probably kept us both from being dragged away," he said.

The tiger was still clamped down on Mrs Corlett's leg so he reached out and grabbed its head.

"Looking back, it seems a bit thick but I tried to grapple this tiger's mouth open. I wasn't really yanking it open but sort of tried to prise its [mouth] open."

He acted because no one else seemed to be doing anything to save Mrs Corlett.

"It was one of those moments where everyone was doing nothing. I didn't see anyone do anything, they were just backing away. There were no screams or yells or anything." The trainer did return and hit the tiger on the head, making it release Mrs Corlett.

"Maybe again it was just an instinct thing but it was just that they [centre staff] were so unprepared that I looked at Ruth's leg and I knew from her groans that this was heavy stuff. I told her to get on my shoulders and we got out of the enclosure."

She was taken to hospital where she needed 54 stitches to close the wound.

Mr Charman said he couldn't believe he had found himself in another dangerous situation so soon after the Elim Christian School tragedy at Mangatepopo.

Sourced from the New Zealand Herald Website






I need ......less madness?


Gosh I haven't blogged for five or six days!!!!! Madness here as I write. Micah is out the..censored so and so. Jumped the spring gate most likely so I'll be up the hill briefly to sort the sod out. Typical bull has to find somewhere greener...Here's a photo I took yesterday at a one day event I went to. Be back in a little while....