Dairy prices up, dollar down


The trade weighted index increased by 3.1% in this morning’s GlobalDairyTrade auction.

GDT Trade Weighted Index Changes

GDT Trade Weighted Index Changes


The price of anhydrous milk fat rose by 4%; buttermilk powder was up 4.1%; cheddar increased 1.8%; milk protein concentrate was down .2%; rennet casein was down .8%; skim milk powder was up 1% and the price of whole milk powder increased by 5.8%.

The price of whole milk powder has the most influence on the payout.

Usually when the milk price increases the dollar goes up too but today it has gone down a little after Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler talked about intervening in the currency market.


Word of the day


Tutelary –  being or serving as a protector, guardian, or patron; or relating to protection or a guardian; having the guardianship of someone or something.

Word of the day


Rebarbative – unattractive and objectionable; tending to irritate; repellent.

Scarecrows gathering


North Otago A&P Association’s 150th show takes place this weekend and the scarecrows are gathering to promote it.

This is Dr James Hairy-Ett B. VSc., one of many scarecrows decorating Oamaru’s main street.


Rural round-up


Fonterra plays down reports of Chinese officials destroying NZ milk powder – Paul McBeth:

Fonterra Cooperative Group, the world’s biggest dairy exporter, is playing down reports that China’s quarantine administration destroyed three different New Zealand brands of milk powder as being nothing out of the ordinary and part of a regular review.

No Fonterra product was involved.

The kiwi dollar shed half a US cent amid headlines the Chinese agency destroyed the New Zealand powder, just weeks after a global scare about traces of the DCD nitrate inhibiter being present in locally produced milk. Units in the Fonterra Shareholders Fund were unchanged at $7.13 today. . .

Agriculture course boosts school – David Bruce:

Waitaki Boys’ High School is returning to its roots with a major investment to boost its agricultural courses.

Rector Paul Jackson sees it as one of the keys to increasing the school roll.

”I want Waitaki Boys’ to again be a school of farming excellence,” he said.

The school last week began the first stage with an investment of about $60,000, virtually all raised through donations and in-kind contributions, to irrigate its farm – about 16ha of paddocks north and south of the school. . .

Green light for Wools of New Zealand as it reaches first threshold:

Wools of New Zealand announced today that it has achieved the minimum threshold of $5 million necessary to proceed with establishing a 100% strong wool grower-owned sales and marketing company.

Achieved one week ahead of the 25 February offer close, the company is now positioned to pursue its commercial, market pull strategy, putting Wools of New Zealand’s brands and market connections to work and further developing its technical and marketing capability for the benefit of its grower shareholders.

This milestone has been reached through the continued support of growers who recognise the need to invest beyond the farm gate. This includes investors in Wools of New Zealand who have converted some of their loans to the Wools of New Zealand Trust into shares in Wools of New Zealand, demonstrating their commitment and confidence in the proposition and their desire to see the company thrive under grower ownership. . .

Federated Farmers asks meat companies how parties can work together – Allan Barber:

Last week Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers’ Meat & Fibre chair, sent a letter to the chairmen and CEOs of the five major sheep meat processors and exporters. The letter asked them to suggest how the parties could work together for the good of the industry.

So far one company, AFFCO, has replied formally, but no doubt others will respond in due course. Maxwell sees this as an age of ‘collaborative governance’ in which farmers and meat companies must go forward together instead of fighting each other. She says there’s nothing to be gained by rattling the cage to no purpose and the intention of the letter is to start the conversation between the parties.

The last twelve months have been seriously stressful, if not disastrous for the meat industry. A year ago the companies were paying an unsustainable $8 a kilo slaughter weight or around $150 per lamb, but the market price and exchange rate combined had already sent this into serious loss making territory for the processors. Just how serious was confirmed by the published annual results from Alliance and Silver Fern Farms, although Blue Sky Meats’ result for the period ended 31 March gave a good indication. . .

Think before letting dogs breed – Anna Holland:

EIGHTEEN YEARS ago I retired from shepherding; I had been hitting my head against a brick wall for too many years. It had been a frustrating occupation met with much resistance. Slowly it is changing and now there are some very capable women being given the opportunity to work the land.

Since then I have tried my hand at other things. My passion for working dogs never waned and I still bred the odd litter of pups, and in the last few years I trained a number of young dogs to the point of being ready to join someone’s team. . .

Effluent results improving, but farmers could do better – NRC

Northland’s dairy farmers have received qualified praise for their increased compliance with farm dairy effluent resource standards but there’s still plenty of room for improvement, those doing the monitoring say.

The latest Northland Regional Council monitoring figures for the 2012/13 milking season show almost 80 percent of the region’s 978 dairy farms were either fully compliant with their resource consent conditions and or rules, or had only minor non-compliance.

Operations Director Tony Phipps says particularly pleasing for the council was a thirty percent drop in significant non-compliance, which fell to nearly 200 farms compared with close to 300 farms reported twelve months earlier.

He says in recent years many of the region’s farmers have invested heavily in improvements to their effluent disposal systems and it’s pleasing to see that outlay starting to pay off. . . .

Down to the wire at Waikato/Bay of Plenty regional final

Tim van de Molen is the second Grand Finalist in 2013 after he won the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Regional Final for the ANZ Young Farmer Contest on Saturday, February 16 in Hamilton at St Paul’s Collegiate School.

It was a very tight race throughout the competition, the final result came down to just one question.
Van de Molen had his work cut out for him narrowly taking the win by just two points ahead of competitor Dwayne Cowin. Josh Cozens and James Bryan were not far behind, placing third and fourth respectively. . .

Comvita flags 15% fall in FY profit on honey costs, supply shortages:

Comvita, which produces health products from manuka honey and olive leaves, expects a 15 percent fall in annual profit because of expensive honey, supply shortages and tough trading conditions in the UK and Australia.

The Te Puke-based company expects net profit of $7 million in the year ending March 31, down from $8.2 million a year earlier which it had been expecting to beat, Comvita said in a statement.

Sales are forecast to rise 4 percent to about $100 million. The profit warning comes after increases in wholesale honey prices of up to 50 percent, and weak consumer confidence in Australia and the UK, which made it hard to pass on rising costs. . .

QEII Trust under pressure


The QE II National Trust which helps private landowners protect areas with high conservation values is under pressure:

About a tenth of New Zealand’s farming businesses are now protecting land under QEII covenants.

Chairman James Guild says that’s putting pressure on the limited funding which the trust has available to run the scheme and help with costs such as fencing.

He says the number of farmers and other rural landowners with sites of environmental, ecological or cultural significance already under covenant or approved, has doubled in the past 10 years to more than 4000.

Mr Guild says about 10% of farming businesses now have covenants in place which protect 120,000 hectares of land. . . .

The Trust is becoming a victim of its own success.

It has a very good name among farmers and QEII covenants are usually the preferred choice for landowners who want to protect special areas on their property without losing ownership or control.

Critisicm but no alternatives


The Opposition has been quick to criticise Hekia Parata’s proposals for education in Canterbury but have offered no alternatives.

Labour leader, David Shearer doesn’t even seem to understand the issue:

David Shearer: Does he not concede that closing schools in Christchurch following a natural disaster, where kids require and rely on stability and security from their schools, is manifestly different from closing schools under the Labour Government?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: This is the logic that the Leader of the Opposition is wanting New Zealanders to believe: that on the back of a catastrophic earthquake in Christchurch that has dramatically changed the demographic patterns of where Cantabrians live, where there is huge damage to the schools involved and where the land is substantially damaged, nothing should happen. . .

Some schools have had extensive damage, others have lost large numbers of pupils.

Leaving the schools open wouldn’t be in the best interests of the pupils nor would it be best use of public money.

The opposition might think damaged buildings and under utilised facilities isn’t a problem but the government does and has a $1 billion dollar programme of investment to solve it.

Regions rebounding


The latest ANZ quarterly regional survey provides good news:

For the first time in eight years all 14 regions in New Zealand reported growth in economic activity in the December quarter, according to the ANZ Bank’ quarterly regional trends survey.

In terms of annual economic activity growth it was the first time in two years that all of the regions in the country had seen positive annual growth. . .

The rate of increase in Canterbury’s economy is twice that of the second-placed Nelson- Marlborough. The nationwide measure of regional economic activity increased 2.5 percent in the 2012 calendar year. The previous time the nationwide growth was this strong was just prior to the 2010 Canterbury earthquake, when the economy was recovering from the downturn induced by the Global Financial Crisis.”

Edwards said the North Island economy grew 1.9 percent in the twelve months to December 2012, while the South Island, led by Canterbury, recorded annual economic growth of 4.9 percent. . .

There is a growing sense of optimism in the south, helped by the Christchurch rebuild and a reasonable season on farms.

The ODT reports that tourist operators are finding the market tough, at least in part because of the reduction in people coming into Christchurch which has always been an important gateway to the South Island.

However, anecdotal evidence contradicts that.

A friend tried 10 hotels in Queenstown last week and was unable to find a spare bed. We were in Wanaka last Thursday and the first three restaurants we tried were booked out and friends said visitors from overseas reported accommodation at capacity everywhere they stopped on the West Coast.

We might not be out of the woods yet, but the trees do seem to be thinning.



“You’re very quiet,” he said.

“Only on the outside,” she said. “Inside there’s so much noise I thought it better to keep my mouth shut in case it hurt someone’s ears.”

February 20 in history


1472 Orkney and Shetland were left by Norway to Scotland, due to a dowry payment.

1547 Edward VI was crowned King of England.

1792 The Postal Service Act, establishing the United States Post Office Department, was signed by President George Washington.

1810 Andreas Hofer, Tirolean patriot and leader of rebellion against Napoleon’s forces, was executed.

1835 Concepción, Chile was destroyed by an earthquake.

1872 New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art opened.

1873 The University of California opened its first medical school.

1887 Vincent Massey, Governor-General of Canada, was born (d. 1967).

1901 – The legislature of Hawaii Territory convenes for the first time.

1906 Gale Gordon, American television and radio actor, was born  (d. 1995).

1909 Publication of the Futurist Manifesto in the French journal Le Figaro.

1913 King O’Malley drove in the first survey peg to mark commencement of work on the construction of Canberra.

1924 Gloria Vanderbilt, American socialite and clothing designer, was born.

1925 Robert Altman, American film director, was born (d. 2006).

1927 Ibrahim Ferrer, Cuban musician (Buena Vista Social Club) was born, (d. 2005)

1927 – Sidney Poitier, American actor, was born.

1935 Caroline Mikkelsen became the first woman to set foot in Antarctica.

1941  Buffy Sainte-Marie, Canadian singer, was born.

1942 Lieutenant Edward O’Hare became America’s first World War II flying ace.

1943 – The Parícutin volcano in Mexico erupted.

1950  Walter Becker, American guitarist (Steely Dan), was born.

1951 Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born.

1952 Emmett Ashford became the first African-American umpire in organised baseball.

1954 Yvette Williams won a gold medal for the long jump at the Olympics.

Yvette Williams sets world long jump record

1962 Mercury programme:  John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth, making three orbits in 4 hours, 55 minutes.

1965  Ranger 8 crashed into the moon after a successful mission of photographing possible landing sites for the Apollo programme astronauts.

1976 The Southeast Asia Treaty Organisation disbanded.

1989 An IRA bomb destroeds a section of a British Army barracks in Ternhill, England

1991  A gigantic statue of Albania’s long-time dictator, Enver Hoxha, was brought down in the Albanian capital Tirana, by mobs of angry protesters.

1998 American figure skater Tara Lipinski became the youngest gold-medalist at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.

2002 In Reqa Al-Gharbiya, Egypt, a fire on a train injurds over 65 and killed at least 370.

2003 During a Great White concert in West Warwick, Rhode Island, a pyrotechnics display sets the club ablaze, killing 100 and injuring over 200 others.

2005 Spain became the first country to vote in a referendum on ratification of the proposed Constitution of the European Union, passing it by a substantial margin, but on a low turnout.

2010  – Heavy rain caused floods and mudslides,  on Madeira Island leaving at least 43 dead in the worst disaster on the history of the archipelago.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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