Prandicle – a light meal; snack.
Farmer morale is low, despite record highs for commodity prices last year, farmers say.
But the sheer amount of challenges “coming down the line”, from regulation like the zero carbon bill and freshwater management policies, to restricted lending from banks has resulted in low farmer confidence and morale, Canterbury dairy farmer Jessie Chan-Dorman said.
“Yes, it’s a really good milk price, but most of us will be paying down debt and consolidating. There won’t be the growth we’ve seen in previous years.” . .
The country’s biggest dairy region is facing the first signs of a “green drought” after a spell of limited rain for the last couple of weeks.
With summer weather finally in full force temperatures are expected to rise and soil moisture levels plummet throughout Waikato and Northland, NIWA say.
While much of the region still has green paddocks, Northern Waikato and Coromandel/Peninsula have entered very dry to extremely dry conditions.
Waikato Federated Farmers president Andrew McGiven said it’s not unusual for this time of year, but if it continues into late February farmers will be concerned. . .
Hailes a meat man to the bone – Neal Wallace:
Danny Hailes has had plenty of variety in his 27-year career with Alliance but it now reaches a new level with his elevation to livestock and shareholder services manager. He talks to Neal Wallace.
WHEN Danny Hailes looks back over his meat industry career he quotes one statistic he says reveals much about the capability of New Zealand sheep and beef farmers.
In 2004 Hailes managed the company’s newly bought and renovated Dannevirke plant where the average weight of lambs processed that season was 15.5kg.
Seven years later in his last year managing the Pukeuri plant north of Oamaru the average weight of lambs processed was over 18kg. . .
2020 the year of ‘New-Gen’ ag – Dr Jacqueline Rowarth:
Could 2020 be the year of New Zealand ‘generative agriculture’?
A new thought for the New Year – New Zealand ‘generative agriculture’… or New-gen, for short.
New-gen captures New Zealand’s approach to the soil-plant-animal-environment continuum that makes up agriculture: animals have been moved in herds or flocks around the farm or station, enabling them to graze the pasture at its optimum quantity and quality and return dung and urine to the soil in situ. Earthworms have been introduced to enhance organic matter incorporation into the soil and water has been applied in some areas to overcome drought. The result is that organic matter has been maintained or increased.
Efficiencies developed over the past 100 years have been based on science, informed by research, and honed by farmers. . .
Rabobank climbs rural loans ladder – Nigel Stirling:
Rabobank has leapfrogged ASB to become the country’s third largest rural lender in yet another sign the Australian banks are backing off lending to farmers.
The Dutch bank had $10.7b on loan to farmers at the end of September, behind ANZ with $17.4b and the BNZ with $14.1b, official figures show.
ASB, which is culling jobs at its rural lending division as it sets itself for a slow-down in lending growth, slipped to fourth place with $10.6b of rural loans. Westpac rounded out the top five with loans of $8.6b.
The switch in rankings follows a strong period of lending growth for Rabobank at the same time as three of the four Australian-owned banks throttled back their lending to the sector. . .
Veganism may not save the world but healthier animals could – Jeff Simmons:
At this month’s Golden Globes, the meal got almost as much attention as the movies with award-winner Joaquin Phoenix and other celebrities touting veganism as a path to saving the planet. The event’s meatless menu created a lot of buzz and critics gave the effort mixed reviews.
I’m a big proponent of reducing our impact on the environment and I applaud people who want to be part of real change. We face big challenges and it will take all of us working together. If there’s one thing I can absolutely agree with Joaquin on, it’s that we should be talking about animals and their impact on our world. But his storyline is missing the bigger picture. Let’s make sure the facts don’t hit the cutting room floor. . .
Labour’s year of delivery was a slogan without a plan, slick words without substance, nothing more than rhetoric with no intention to act and no follow-through.
But the government’s failure to deliver is delivering more people on benefits which Mike Yardley points out betrays Labour’s posturing on wellbeing.
As election year dawns, one of the biggest credibility challenges this government faces is their failure to combat some of our biggest social ills. Hence the catch cry that Labour is soft on crime, gangs and soft welfare. With all these stats heading in the wrong direction, they are complicit.
The MSD’s latest quarterly update on benefit numbers is a sobering read. You’ll recall what grabbed the headlines last week was that total benefit numbers are up five per cent year on year. And Jobseeker Support benefit numbers have jumped ten per cent.
But it gets worse.
In the two years since Labour took power, there are now 15,000 more children being raised in benefit dependent homes.
That’s 15,000 more children at greater risk of poor nutrition, poor health, less likelihood of educational success and a greater likelihood of being a victim of, or committing a, crime.
And there are 7,000 more young people parked up on the dole, compared to two years ago. So much for Mana in Mahi. . .
Rapidly expanding welfare is Labour’s record. It flies in the face of all of the posturing on well-being. Hard metrics don’t lie. Entrenching dependence and sapping the will to work by surrendering on sanctions and failing to enforce work-test obligations is simply indefensible.
Instead of delivering houses to the homeless and better prospects for the poor, the government is delivering more unemployment and the misery that accompanies it.
Autoethnography – a form of qualitative research in which an author uses self-reflection and writing to explore anecdotal and personal experience and connect this autobiographical story to wider cultural, political, and social meanings and understandings; an approach to research that puts the self at the center of cultural analysis; the ethnography of one’s own group; the use of personal narrative in ethnographic writing.
Hat tip: Kiwiblog
Land values slide – Gerald Piddock:
Dairy land values will slide over the next five years as farming is put under increased economic and environmental pressure, Rabobank says.
Tighter credit, reduced foreign capital and pending environmental change will all lead to softer dairy land prices in the short to medium term, Rabobank’s Afloat But Drifting Backwards – A Look at Dairy Land Values Over the Next Five Years report says.
And an erosion of farmgate milk prices could put more stress on dairy land prices, author and dairy analyst Emma Higgins said.
The bank forecasts an average farmgate milk price of $6.25/kg milksolids for the five years – above the 10-year average but below recent prices. . .
Cutting agricultural subsidies that distort trade and production is a vital step in tackling world hunger and climate change challenges, Federated Farmers says.
“We’re right behind the messages on further reform of WTO rules on subsidies that the Cairns Group of major exporting countries put to world leaders in Davos this week,” Feds President Katie Milne said
“New Zealand farmers are positive proof that reducing domestic subsidies drives innovation and food production efficiency, and ultimately delivers for the consumer in terms of quality, choice and prices, as well as for the environment. Our meat and milk have one of the lowest carbon footprints per kilogram of product in the world.” . .
Renewed call for easier trade in agriculture welcomed in NZ – Eric Frykberg:
A veteran trade lobby group emerged from hibernation in Switzerland last week to renew the call for easier trade in agriculture.
The 19-nation Cairns Group made its plea after ministers met on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos last week.
The 33-year-old Cairns Group helped establish the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in the 1990s.
But it went off the radar, after a later effort, the so-called Doha Round of trade talks, faltered. . .
Federated Farmers is warning a ban on live exports would cut off an income stream to thousands of New Zealand farmers.
The government launched a review into the practice of exporting livestock in June last year, after New Zealand and Australian cattle died when being shipped to Sri Lanka last year.
The review is focused on cattle, deer, goat and sheep exports. A consolation document prepared by the Ministry for Primary Industries puts forward four options, which range from improving current systems to a total ban on the practice.
Public consultation on the review closed this week, with more than 3500 submissions being lodged with the ministry. . .
Obstacles remain to a free trade deal with the EU – Sam Sachdeva :
Bold talk of an FTA between New Zealand and the European Union by the end of 2019 proved misplaced – and wrapping up talks in 2020 may also be a stretch unless major hurdles are overcome
By the end of 2019, Jacinda Ardern’s so-called “year of delivery” was as much about what her Government had failed to deliver as what it had, and near the top of the ‘not achieved’ list was a free trade deal with the European Union.
In fairness, Ardern was not alone in hoping a deal with the EU could be wrapped up swiftly. . .
Maranoa Kangaroo Co-op offers graziers payment for roos- Sally Cripps:
A bold move in the kangaroo harvesting industry has been unveiled by the Maranoa Kangaroo Harvesters and Growers Cooperative.
The group based at Mitchell has resolved to introduce a 10c/kg payment to graziers for kangaroos harvested on their property from February 1, subject to conditions.
Among them are that both the grazier and the harvester must be members of the cooperative, a one-off $50 fee, and that the grazier must not apply for or use a Damage Mitigation Permit. . .