Word of the day


Lactivorous – feeding, living or subsisting on milk.

Fonterra forecast profit up, payout stable


Fonterra has announced a 10 cents per share increase in its forecast profit and payout, before retentions for the current season.

The updated forecast Payout range before retentions is $8.00-$8.10, which would be a new record for the Co-operative.

At the same time, Fonterra announced a lower opening forecast Payout for the 2011/12 season commencing 1 June 2011, reflecting an outlook for a higher average exchange rate and potentially moderating commodity prices. The opening forecast Payout range before retentions is $7.15-$7.25, including an opening forecast Milk Price of $6.75 per kilogram of milksolids (kgMS) and forecast Distributable Profit range of 40-50 cents per share.

The Co-operative has also set the Fair Value Share (FVS) price for the 2011/12 season at $4.52, the same level as in the current season.

The previous record payout was  $7.90, before retentions, and $7.66 cash basis, in the 2007/08 season.

Farmers who let this go to their heads got their fingers well and truly burned the following year when the forecast payout dropped and costs increased during the season. Even conservative budgeters had difficulties with few doing much better than breaking-even which explains why few paid tax that year.

The company is taking a more cautious approach to the forecast for the coming season although it is still a very good starting price and the company’s highest so far.

The updated forecast Payout range for this year combines an unchanged forecast Milk Price of $7.50 per kgMS and a forecast Distributable Profit range of $690-$830 million, equating to 50-60 cents per share – 10 cents higher than the previous forecast in February 2011. The target range for the Dividend (to be paid out of Distributable Profit) is unchanged at 25-30 cents per share.

As a consequence, Fonterra forecasts that a 100 per cent share-backed farmer will earn on average in the range $8.00-$8.10 before retentions (up 10 cents on the previous forecast), and $7.75-$7.80 on a cash basis (unchanged from the previous forecast).

The increased retention means the direct return to farmers remains the same.

However, this is still a forecast , the final payout will be announced in September.

Smart marketing for launch


The first issue of  Primary which was launched yesterday includes The Farm 40 who are:

 . . . the most influential players in New Zealand agribusiness. Selected by a panel of experts led by Massey University’s Professor Jacqueline Rowarth, The Farm 40 contains some surprises and controversy and is a must-read for everyone. You might not agree with some of the choices, but then that’s what lists are for; to spark discussion and debate.

That’s a good idea to generate interest in the first issue, everyone in agribusiness is going to want to know who’s on the list.

The magazine has also used smart marketing in its distribution:

Primary is being mailed over 12,000 individually-identified, high-net-worth farmers. In addition, this issue is being distributed to another 1,500 customers of sponsors Bank of New Zealand, Audi, Bayer, Farmside, Mercury Energy, and the aforementioned PGG Wrightson.

That’s a big enough group to engender interest and discussion but small enough to leave out plenty who won’t want to admit to having been left out and therefore will want to buy a copy of the magazine.

Lisa Harper wins Enterprsing Rural Women Award


Lisa Harper of Sherington Grange is the 2011 winner of Rural Women NZ’s Enterprising Rural Women Award.

The business provides accommodation, food and activities, including cheese making and fishing  on a 400 acre working farm in Marlborough.

Runner-ups were  sisters Maria-Fe Rohrlach and Bernadine Guilleux. Their business, Nestling produces organis merino and cotton baby wraps and slings.

This is the third year Rural Women has run the awards. It’s a wonderful initiative which not only rewards the winners but highlights the achievements of rural businesswomen.

Labour does favour for National and farmers


Labour’s promise to force farmers into the Emissions Trading Scheme in 2013 has done both the National Party and farmers a favour.

It’s good for National because it’s further proof that Labour has declared open season on farmers. That will make it much easier to get support for the blue team not just from farmers but also from those who work for, service and supply them and anyone else who understands the importance of the primary sector in this country.

Just how damaging the policy would be is spelt out by Beef + Lamb NZ:

Including livestock emissions in the ETS, in isolation from every other country in the world would be economic suicide for New Zealand and could spell the end of the sheep and beef sector in this country, Beef + Lamb New Zealand is warning the Labour Party.

Responding to Labour’s election year announcement that it would bring agriculture into the emissions trading scheme in 2013 and use the money to fund research and development tax credits, B+LNZ Chairman, Mike Petersen said the policy would penalise an $8 billion sector that is heavily supporting New Zealand’s export led recovery.

“At a time when a strong export sector is even more vital to New Zealand’s economy, we have Labour harking back to old ideas and their previously held view that farming is a sunset industry.

“What is most insulting is the proposal to use the emissions tax to fund R&D credits when the pastoral sector is already contributing significantly to climate change research and in fact is the only sector which has set up its own consortium (Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Consortium) to do so.

“What Labour seems to be proposing is to use the pastoral sector’s money to fund research for other industries that have not invested in climate change science.

“If that isn’t irksome enough for sheep and beef farmers, Labour seems to have completely forgotten that the sheep and beef sector has reduced its GHG emission levels significantly below Kyoto Protocol requirements and has so far produced carbon credits worth over $800 million dollars which have been pocketed by the Government.”

Bringing in livestock emissions would impose unsustainable additional costs on sheep and beef farmers, already under assault from massive farm input price inflation that has reached a staggering 41% over the previous 10 years, Petersen said.

“And let’s be clear, farmers are already in the ETS – they pay it on fuel and energy just like every other New Zealander. They are also investing in mitigation technologies but until there are viable tools for sheep and beef farmers to use to mitigate emissions on farm, it’s crazy to penalise them when no other country in the world is putting on-farm emissions into an ETS,” Petersen said.

Sheep and beef farmers through B+LNZ are funding the Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium and with other sector organisations have invested $37 million since 2002. The Consortium is developing solutions for methane and nitrous oxide mitigation.

“Labour’s policy is effectively imposing cost on the sheep and beef sector which will make us uncompetitive in global markets. B+LNZ estimates of the cost to sheep and beef farmers under the Labour legislation was over $40,000 per farm at a carbon cost of $25.00 per tonne.

“In turn, this will ruin an iconic export industry, destroy our vibrant rural communities and, most ironically, lead to increases in global emissions when carbon efficient livestock production in New Zealand is replaced by comparably inefficient farming in other countries,” Petersen said.

If Labour’s policy is so bad, why is it good for farmers? 

Because it’s reinforced the government’s position that animal emissions won’t be taxed under the ETS unless other countries do it too  and there’s almost no chance of that happening in the next couple of years, if at all.

New Zealand’s agricultural sector won’t face the cost of the emissions trading scheme in 2015 unless other countries come to the party, Prime Minister John Key says.

The Prime Minister told reporters at his weekly post-Cabinet press conference New Zealand can’t “throw our biggest export earner to the wolves” by bringing agriculture under the ETS without other countries doing their part.

The government will only include agricultural emissions if farmers have a“reasonable chance” of competing internationally.

The sector was given a holiday from inclusion until 2015, though that’s only if a review, due in July, recommends requiring agricultural emissions be covered by the scheme.

“The test is whether other countries join them,” Key said.“We don’t live in some magical little world, where New Zealand can impose whatever costs it wants and say that that has no impact on our ability of our exporters to compete.

“We have the only unsubsidised agricultural sector in the world, and you don’t see our farmers moaning about that, and nor do you see any political will to change that.”

Labour isn’t suggesting bringing livestock into the ETS to reduce emissions. Its primary motivation isn’t environmental, it’s to raise more taxes.

The anti-farmer rhetoric in the past week suggests it has a secondary motivation to punish primary producers for political reasons and drive a wedge between town and country.

In doing so it will produce a gap which National is willing and able to fill.

Who pays for higher minimum wage?


Duncan Garner describes Labour’s decision to increase the minimum wage to $15  an hour as good politics but bad policy.

How can any policy which comes at so high a price be good for anything?

Employers pay wages but the costs of forcing a higher minimum wage on them don’t stop there.

Other employees pay because paying more for some leaves less for others unless it is at least matched by an increase in productivity and profit.

All employees pay the price of less security of job tenure when the cost of labour increases without regard for the profitability of the business.

Business owners and shareholders pay the price of less security of income for the same reason.

Prospective employees pay – in particular the young and any others who find it more difficult to get work if employers have to pay them more than their work is worth.

The country pays the price of higher unemployment, more business failures and less tax as a result of that.

Consumers pay more for ggoods and services if the price of producing them icnreases, that fuels inflation and we all pay the price of that.

Politicians can’t make sustainable increases to wages by decree, that can only be done by employers.

Politicians can make sustainable increases to workers’ take-home pay by reducing taxes but Labour wouldn’t do that.

May 24 in history


15 BC  Julius Caesar Germanicus, Roman commander, was born (d. 19).


1218 The Fifth Crusade left Acre for Egypt.

Capturing Damiate.jpg
1276  Magnus Ladulås was crowned King of Sweden in Uppsala Cathedral.


1487  Lambert Simnel was crowned as “King Edward VI” at Dublin.

1595  Nomenclator of Leiden University Library appeared, the first printed catalog of an institutional library.


1621  The Protestant Union was formally dissolved.

1626  Peter Minuit bought Manhattan.

1689  The English Parliament passes the Act of Toleration protecting Protestants.

1738  John Wesley was converted, essentially launching the Methodist movement; the day is celebrated annually by Methodists as Aldersgate Day.

1798 Irish Rebellion of 1798 led by the United Irishmen against British rule began.

Vinegar hill.jpg

1819 Queen Victoria  was born (d. 1901).

Photograph of Queen Victoria, 1887.

1822  Battle of Pichincha: Antonio José de Sucre secured the independence of the Presidency of Quito.


1830  ”Mary Had a Little Lamb” by Sarah Josepha Hale was published.

Mary had a little lamb 2 - WW Denslow - Project Gutenberg etext 18546.jpg

1830  The first revenue trains in the United States began service on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad between Baltimore, Maryland and Ellicott’s Mills, Maryland.


1832  The First Kingdom of Greece was declared in the London Conference.

1844  Samuel F. B. Morse sent the message “What hath God wrought” (a Bible quotation, Numbers 23:23) from the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the United States Capitol to his assistant, Alfred Vail, in Baltimore, Maryland.



1846 Mexican-American War: General Zachary Taylor captured Monterrey.

1854 New Zealand’s parliament sat for the first time in Auckland, with 37 MPs.

Parliament's first sitting in Auckland

 1856  John Brown and his men murdered five slavery supporters at Pottawatomie Creek, Kansas.


1861 American Civil War: Union troop occupied Alexandria, Virginia.

1870 Jan Christiaan Smuts, Prime Minister of South Africa, was born (d. 1950).

1883 The Brooklyn Bridge  was opened to traffic after 14 years of construction.


1887 Edward “Mick” Mannock, Irish WWI flying ace was born (d. 1918).


1895  Henry Irving became the first person from the theatre to be knighted.

1900 Second Boer War: The United Kingdom annexed the Orange Free State.

1901  Seventy-eight miners died in the Caerphilly pit disaster in South Wales.

1915  World War I: Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary.

1921  The trial of Sacco and Vanzetti opened.


1930  Amy Johnson landed in Darwin, Northern Territory, becoming the first woman to fly from England to Australia.


1935  The first night game in Major League Baseball history was played in Cincinnati, Ohio, with the Cincinnati Reds beating the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 at Crosley Field.

1940  Igor Sikorsky performed the first successful single-rotor helicopter flight.

1941 Bob Dylan, American singer and songwriter, was born.

1941  World War II: In the Battle of the Atlantic, the German Battleship Bismarck sank the then pride of the Royal Navy, HMS Hood, killing all but three crewmen.

Bundesarchiv Bild 193-04-1-26, Schlachtschiff Bismarck.jpg

1943  Josef Mengele became chief medical officer of the Auschwitz concentration camp.


1945 Priscilla Presley, American actress, was born.

1956 Conclusion of the Sixth Buddhist Council on Vesak Day, marking the 2,500 year anniversary after the Lord Buddha’s Parinibbāna.


1956 The first Eurovision Song Contest was held in Lugano, Switzerland.


1958 United Press International was formed through a merger of the United Press and the International News Service.


1960 Kristin Scott Thomas, English actress, was born.


1960 Guy Fletcher, British keyboardist (Dire Straits), was born.

1960  Cordón Caulle began to erupt.


1961  American civil rights movement: Freedom Riders  were arrested in Jackson, Mississippi for “disturbing the peace” after disembarking from their bus.

1961  Cyprus entered the Council of Europe.

1962 Project Mercury: American astronaut Scott Carpenter orbited earth three times in the Aurora 7 space capsule.


1967  Egypt imposed a blockade and siege of the Red Sea coast of Israel.

1968  FLQ separatists bombed the U.S. consulate in Quebec City.

Bandera FLQ.svg

1970  The drilling of the Kola Superdeep Borehole began in the Soviet Union.


1973  Earl Jellicoe resigned as Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the Lords.

1976  The London to Washington, D.C. Concorde service began.

1980  The International Court of Justice called for the release of United States embassy hostagesin Tehran. 

1982  Liberation of Khorramshahr, Iranians recapture of the port city of Khorramshahr from the Iraqis during the Iran–Iraq War.

Khorramshahr POWs crop.jpg

1988  Section 28 of the United Kingdom’s ocal Government Act of 1988, a controversial amendment stating that a local authority cannot intentionally promote homosexuality, was enacted.

1989  Sonia Sutcliffe, wife of the Yorkshire Ripper, was awarded  £600,000 in damages (later reduced to £60,000 on appeal) after winning a libel action against Private Eye.

1990  A car carrying American Earth First! activists Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney exploded in Oakland, California, critically injuring both.

1991  Eritrea gained its independence from Ethiopia.

1991  Israel conducted Operation Solomon, evacuating Ethiopian Jews to Israel.

1992 The last Thai dictator,  General Suchinda Kraprayoon, resigned following pro-democracy protests.

1994  Four men convicted of bombing the World Trade Center in New York in 1993 were each sentenced to 240 years in prison.

2000  Israeli troops withdrew from southern Lebanon after 22 years of occupation.

2001 Fifteen-year-old Sherpa Temba Tsheri became  the youngest person to climb to the top of Mount Everest.

2001  The Versailles wedding hall disaster in Jerusalem, killed 23 and injured over 200 in Israel’s worst-ever civil disaster.

2002  Russia and the United States signed the Moscow Treaty.


2004  North Korea banned mobile phones.

Sourced from NZ History Online and Wikipedia.

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