Rural round-up

Optimism prevails despite tough year – Allan Barber at Barbers Meaty Issues writes:

The noises coming from the three meat companies that have declared an annual result to September 2010 are optimistic, although tempered by the knowledge there’s less livestock around this year and farmers need to achieve better profits. The companies with the most reason to be happy are Alliance and AFFCO who have both posted solid profits and reduced debt, as well as increasing their share of EU lamb quota.

Chicory and plantain downunder in New Zealand – Pasture to Profit posts:

I’m in very dry New Zealand awaiting the arrival of my French Discussion group from Brittany.(very impressed with the exciting range of milk products in the supermarkets..much bigger range than when I last visited NZ).

NZ has had very little rain (unlike the poor farming souls in Queensland Australia who are getting floods that are up to 15metres high!!) so since November the dairy farms have struggled for grass.This photo is of Neil & Barbara McLeans farm just north of Hamilton in the Waikato..the cows are getting some pasture plus Barkant turnips. . .

The global dairy industry – who’s to know? Dr Jon Hauser at Xcheque writes:

At a meeting with a client earlier this week I was issued with a “Please Explain”. As something of a market skeptic I have been banging on about EU and US milk production growth and that this was all likely to end in tears. I was looking good up to the end of December – US butter and cheese prices had dropped from October to December, the corresponding futures were ordinary and the EU market was flatlining – the correction was underway.

Then in the first week of January the Fonterra Auction went north and the US dairy futures market followed soon after . . .

Giving up not an option – Sandra Taylor writes in Country Wide:

Determination and tenacity are qualities Bryan Harris has in spades.

Which is just as well, as without them Harris Meats would never have grown beyond a butcher’s shop on the main street of the small North Canterbury town of Cheviot to be the highly regarded abattoir, processing and retailing business it is today. . .

Western Waikato wordsmith Mike Bland in Country Wide:

Waikato farmer Wallace Knight has been playing with words since he was “old enough to pick up a raddle”.

Now living on a 60ha drystock block just outside Te Kowhai, west of Hamilton, Knight has just issued his first book, called Friar Tuck is a Spoonerism.

Laced with humour, the book is a collection of poems written in the past 40 years. It has a distinct rural flavour and while most of the poems are about people not places, much of the inspiration came from the western Waikato district where Knight was  raised. . .

9 Responses to Rural round-up

  1. Richard says:

    Interesting article in the ODT about wool
    Ele, what is your view on the issue? It seems to me that wool like meat is riven by rivalry.


  2. homepaddock says:

    Richard, I agree with what Neal is saying in that article. We’ve signed up to WPC.

    I think co-operatives work for farmers and that we need to differentiate NZ wool from the rest of the world’s.

    NZ wool used to attract a premium. That it doesn’t anymore is an indictment on those who’ve failed to market it properly in recent years.

    Many of them are the ones who are attacking WPC.I think they’re doing it to protect their patch which, unlike a co-operative, isn’t necessarily in the best interests of the wool growers.


  3. Richard says:

    Yes, I agree with your last para. The main opposition is from the Wool Export Council, who appear to be made up of middle-men. But WEC have a more informative website than WPC on the issue. Seamless (I hate the word) from producer to consumer is the answer and co-ops are the best vehicle


  4. gravedodger says:

    As one involved in the attempt to wrest the control of wool marketing from ticket clippers, aggregating marketers, middlemen and other entrenched non consumers/users and producers of raw wool and wool products who were just basically commodity traders in the 70s, I watch with bemused interest at these latest attempts to move wool other than merino away from a cost factor back to a profitable adjunct to the sheep industry.
    Back then those who believed wool producers had to rearrange the marketing so that the link between producers and end users had to be a lineal and streamlined one to arrest the declining returns. That is where the link between Merino growers and product motivated entities such as Ice Breaker are showing promise.
    Our big error in the attempt was to allow those vested interests and the very conservative mainly larger producers opposed to moving away from the auction system,to link the co-operative concept the reformers wanted to employ, with socialism as those looking to form the wool co-op attempted to force all wool into the co-op with compulsory acquisition by changing the status of “The Wool Board” and the legislation that came out of the regulations introduced during the 39/45 war.
    I firmly believe that the auction system creates the market at the lowest possible value unless scarcity and or panic drives purchasers. Why don’t Ford GM Toyota etc dispose of their production at auction, because they need to market at a level that maintains profitable production, duh.
    They succeeded and many of those favoring the status quo unseated some of the farmer appointed Wool Board members and they dominated the elected members of the electoral college, who formed the link between the Board and Federated Farmers, during subsequent elections.
    IMHO the opportunity to develop the necessary link between producers and end users and marketers of finished products that could have ensured wool produced matched the requirements of those products and could have reduced the proliferation of very poor wools that have come from the composite breeding for more efficient meat production.
    Romney and Perendale wools are both very consistent for type quality and supply volume whereas the introduction of Finn, East Fresian, Texal, Dorset and other down breeds have created devastation of general wool quality while advancing meat production and raised fertility rates.


  5. Richard says:

    GD thanks for that -very interesting for a lay person like me


  6. homepaddock says:

    “very interesting for a lay person like me”

    And for a slightly less lay person like me.


  7. Richard says:

    GD ought to write a book on this and other farming issues.


  8. homepaddock says:

    Good idea, Richard.It would be a very interesting read.


  9. Richard says:

    Are you there GD?


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