Dairy development helping environment – Gerald Piddock:
A controversial dairying development near Omarama is leading the way with its environmental practices.
It is still early days but the structure, fertility, health and depth of Little Ben dairy farm’s soil has significantly improved over the past three years.
Farmers saw the progress the farm had made at a field day last week.
The 470ha farm operates as a partnership between Richard Gloag and Merv McCabe. . . .
PGG Wrightson managing director to step down in August – Tina Morrison:
PGG Wrightson managing director George Gould will step down from New Zealand’s biggest rural technology and services firm after helping refocus the company.
Mr Gould previously headed Pyne Gould Guinness and was appointed to the top job at the larger company in February 2011 to help stabilise it as it exited non-core activities.
He will leave on August 31, the Christchurch-based company says in a statement today. . .
In 1995, John Brakenridge had an acute case of ‘new guy’.
He’d been hired by the board of Canterbury-based wool marketer New Zealand Merino to breathe fresh air into a stale sector.
But the high country heartlanders were wary.
‘Which part of the South Island are you from?’ they asked the bloke who grew up in Auckland. ‘You look a bit young, don’t you?’ they said to the 34-year-old. ‘How long have you been in the wool industry?’ It was his first day.
Although he had a track record in the primary sector, serving as marketing manager for produce company Cedenco Foods in the late 1980s and partnering with the New Zealand Dairy Board in the Middle East, he was unmistakably a wool industry outsider. . .
So close on second go – Jill Galloway:
Cam Brown says he will always be known as the guy who was second in the grand final of the Young Farmer Contest.
He was one of seven regional winners who won a place in the final. He was the winner of the Manawatu-Taranaki final.
Brown is competitive. He likes to do everything correctly and win.
“I lost by five points. I thought afterwards about places I could have made up those points. But I knew I’d given it my best shot in the contest.” . . .
Westland Milk Products has announced a pay-out prediction for the 2013-14 season of $6.60 to $7 per kilo of milk solids (kgMS), an increase of 60 to 70 cents on the current season, with an opening advance (payable 20 September) of $4.80 per kgMS for all milk collected from 1 August 2013.
The Hokitika-based dairy cooperative also confirmed the forecast pay-out for this season of $6 to $6.30 per kgMS excluding retentions. The advance rate payable 20 June 2013 has been approved at $5.20 per kgMS.
Chief Executive Rod Quin says the forward view for the dairy market is relatively strong, even with the recent decline from the highs of six weeks ago. The strong outlook is being driven by ongoing firm demand and the expected shortfall of milk supply from key exporting markets. . .
After a harsh drought and massive feed costs, dairy farmers needed good news and Fonterra Cooperative Group may have just delivered it.
“The forecast farmgate milk price of $7 per kilogram of milksolids (kg/MS) for 2013/14 is going to get a lot of attention,” says Willy Leferink, Federated Farmers Dairy Chairperson.
“Boy oh boy did we need some morale raising good news. In plain-English, it means that farmers could get about 0.58 cents per litre for milk they will produce between June and May 2014.
“While a $7 kg/MS milkprice forecast sounds amazing, the public deserve to know this is forecast revenue and revenue is not profit. To get to profit, you need to take off the farm’s working expenses, tax obligations and pay back the bank manager; a big expense being right there. . .
Fonterra Shareholders’ Council Chairman, Ian Brown, said it was encouraging for Farmers to see Fonterra take an aggressive stance in its Milk Price forecasting for next season.
The Fonterra Board of Directors today announced an opening Farmgate Milk Price forecast of $7.00 per kg/MS for the 2013/14 season, including a $5.00 advance.
Ian Brown: “This is great news for our Farmer Shareholders and reinforces the good position our Co-operative is in.
“Having a strong forecast Milk Price and advance puts Farmers in a healthier position and provides them greater flexibility in running their farms. . .
Ballance Agri-Nutrients is showcasing the connection between great soil and premium produce, with quality producers of beef, vegetables, apples and wine featuring at their Fieldays site this year.
Ballance General Manager Sales, Andrew Reid, explains that soil is an integral part of the success of our farmers.
“In fact the whole New Zealand economy starts with those three inches of topsoil which support our rural production sector,” says Mr Reid.
Mr Reid says that premium producers have one thing in common – respect for the soil and the ability to work with it. . . .