Rural round-up

Are capacity utilisation and processing costs part of the beef problem, and if so, what is the solution? – Keith Woodford:

I have previously analysed GHD’s data on capacity utilisation and processing costs in the sheep industry [SFF’s sheep processing dilemma]. These GHD data underpinned the major MIE recommendations in their recent report. However, whereas MIE focused on the need for amalgamations, I showed that the crucial evidence was the exposed position of Silver Fern Farms relative to other processors. The overall cost leader was Ovation, which lies outside the ‘Big Four’.

Here I analyse the beef processing costs to see if a similar story emerges.
The simple answer is that for beef, as with sheep, there are big differences between the industry cost leaders and the rest. Once again, Silver Fern Farms appears to be one of the laggards, but it is not there by itself. . .

Fonterra eyes $250m bond sale:

(BusinessDesk) – Fonterra Cooperative Group, the world’s biggest dairy exporter, may sell $250 million of six-year bonds in what would be its third security listed on the NZX debt market.

The Auckland-based dairy company would sell the bonds, expected to mature in October 2021, to New Zealand institutional and retail investors. Proceeds would be for general corporate purposes, it said.

Fonterra has $150 million of March 2016 bonds that carry a coupon of 6.83 percent and were last quoted at a yield of 3.9 percent and $35 million of perpetual notes that pay 5.59 percent annual interest.

Fonterra eyes rival farmers with agricultural funding fix  – Timothy Binsted:

Fonterra Australia chief executive Judith Swales says the dairy giant’s new Equity Partnership Trust should help the company win farmers from its competitors.

The trust could be ready to start making its first investments in dairy farms in about October this year, she said.

In November, the world’s biggest dairy exporter starting consulting its farmers about establishing an independent trust that would provide long-term equity capital to invest in farms supplying Fonterra. . .

 Precision Seafood Harvesting publishes first results on fish survival in new kiwi fishing technology (+Video):

The first set of results are in from two years of testing on New Zealand’s new Precision Seafood Harvesting method and scientists say already they can see that the survival rates for fish are better than expected.

The new way to fish is a potential replacement for traditional fishing methods. It is a large, flexible PVC liner with specifically sized holes along its length that allow undersized fish to escape before they are even brought on board a fishing vessel.

And the fish which are brought on board stay in great condition because they are still swimming in the liner when they are on the deck. That means they are less stressed and much less likely to be injured. . .

 

200th kiwi released in Maungataniwha Forest – Jesse Peach:

A conservation group in a remote part of Hawke’s Bay is celebrating a milestone achievement. It’s just released its 200th kiwi chick back into the wild.

The young kiwi Tanekaha, which means strong man, has been returned to the remote Maungataniwha Forest.

Tanekaha is the symbol of a saved kiwi population.

Simon hall, who owns the company Tasti Foods, bought the 6000-hectare block of bush in 2005. . .

Rangers rediscover rare plants:

Two native plants believed to be extinct have been rediscovered in the wild by Department of Conservation rangers.

The herbs were spotted by Department of Conservation rangers over the summer.

One of the two plants, Dysphania pusilla – or pygmy goosefoot – had not been seen for 56 years and was believed to be extinct.

But, this summer, abundant growth was found almost simultaneously in Canterbury’s McKenzie Basin and at Molesworth Station in south Marlborough. . .

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