Rural round-up

Feds president leads by example – Amanda Vaisigano:

Bronwyn Muir’s measurement of success is that her influence moves the farming industry towards a more collaborative, sustainable, profitable, and optimistic future.

The Taranaki Provincial President, dairy farmer and Director of OnFarmSafety New Zealand has spent a lifetime in farming and is passionate about supporting the rural industry.

The success of her business OnFarmSafety NZ has seen her win and be nominated for a number of awards, including most recently at the 2015 Taranaki Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards. . .

Estimates for Fonterra’s farmer payout tumble amid weak dairy prices – Tina Morrison:

(BusinessDesk) – Forecasts for Fonterra Cooperative Group’s payout to New Zealand farmers this season have tumbled below the company’s estimate following the third consecutive decline in prices on the GlobalDairyTrade platform.

Four of six analysts surveyed by BusinessDesk pulled back their estimates for the payout today, after whole milk powder prices declined 11 percent at last night’s GDT auction, taking the total decline over the past three sessions to 22 percent. Estimates for the payout now range between $4.25-$4.60 per kilogram of milk solids, pulling the top end of the range down from $5.30/kgMS. Fonterra is set to review its current forecast of $4.60/kgMS in early December. . . 

Freedom Foods sells remaining stake in milk marketer a2 Milk for A$64 mln – Fiona Rotherham:

(BusinessDesk) – A2 Milk Co’s cornerstone shareholder, Freedom Foods Group, has sold its remaining 10.4 percent stake in the milk marketing company for A$64 million, taking advantage of a surge in the share price.

Sydney-based Freedom Foods sold its remaining shares for 85 Australian cents apiece and will reinvest the proceeds in other investments including a buy-out of oat-based cereal and snack manufacturer Popina and construction of a new UHT processing facility. . . 

How now, New Zealand cow?:

New Zealand’s five million milking cows are doing a great job of efficiently producing milk, according to the latest 2014-15 dairy statistics  released today.

New Zealand cows are producing more milk with more milksolids than 10 years ago.

A cow’s annual average production contained 377 kilograms of milksolids (8.9%) in 2014-15, which is what New Zealand’s dairy farmers are paid for, compared to 308 kilograms (8.6%) in 2004-05.

Cows from North Canterbury are the highest producers. On average each produced 4,706 litres of milk in 2014-15 with 416 kilograms of milksolids. . .

Forestry crown research institute Scion first to apply for drone beyond-line-of-sight flying – Fiona Rotherham:

(BusinessDesk) – Scion, the forestry crown research institute, will become the first organisation in New Zealand to fly drones beyond line of sight when it seeks approval under new Civil Aviation Authority rules to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for forest monitoring.

Scion has been conducting publicly and privately funded trials of UAVs for the past three months, including flying along the edge of forests to evaluate tree harvesting and using a UAV with interchangeable remote sensing technology to transmit information on tree health and pests in North and South Island forests.

A Callaghan Innovation-commissioned report last year estimated flying drones out of the operator’s line of sight could provide economic gains of up to $190 million annually to New Zealand’s farming, forestry and energy sectors. More than 440 commercial UAV users are registered on New Zealand’s Airshare website while the consumer drone market is booming.  . .

Strengthening Spring Rural Market:


Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of NZ (“REINZ”) shows there were 12 more farm sales (+3.5%) for the three months ended October 2015 than for the three months ended October 2014. Overall, there were 358 farm sales in the three months ended October 2015, compared to 337 farm sales for the three months ended September 2015 (+6.2%), and 346 farm sales for the three months ended October 2014. 1,731 farms were sold in the year to October 2015, 9.9% fewer than were sold in the year to October 2014.

The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to October 2015 was $27,579 compared to $27,547 recorded for three months ended October 2014 (+0.1%). The median price per hectare rose 6.0% compared to September. . . 

Potatoes New Zealand Inc. appoints new Chief Executive Officer:

Potatoes New Zealand has appointed Chris Claridge as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Potatoes New Zealand Inc. Chairman Stuart Wright said he was delighted to welcome Mr Claridge to the organisation, which has a target of doubling New Zealand fresh and processed potato exports by 2025.

“Chris brings a wealth of horticultural, business, leadership and marketing experience to the role,” said Mr Wright. “That will prove invaluable in building on the very good work that has already been done towards achieving our goals of boosting productivity in the sector for the benefit of growers and the New Zealand economy.” . . 

17 Responses to Rural round-up

  1. Dave Kennedy says:

    A useful contribution from the Herald regarding a different direction for agriculture:

    My own contribution published by Auckland University:

    I interested in genuine thoughts on both given their relevance to many of Ele’s Roundup items.


  2. homepaddock says:

    Encouraging an appreciation of good food by people throughout the production chain is a good idea.

    We should produce what we can sell. There are markets for quality which pay well and there are also markets for commodities.

    Judging farmers on what’s available to eat at Fieldsys is ignorant.

    Farmers I know are foodies and take pride in producing high quality produce, eating it and serving it to others.


  3. Dave Kennedy says:

    “We should produce what we can sell. There are markets for quality which pay well and there are also markets for commodities.”

    But we desperately need to produce more value added products to our exports. Mai Chen’s recent presentation at our Chamber of Commerce explained who we are not attune with cultural food differences and are missing our on heaps of potential markets. (fish heads are very popular in many cultures and we chuck most away in our processing).

    I also know lots of “foodie” farmers, we just need heaps more and more support for small to medium businesses producing high quality cheeses etc. This approach has worked well for the wine and beer industries and can be replicated elsewhere.


  4. Andrei says:

    But we desperately need to produce more value added products to our exports.

    You can’t argue with that Dave Kennedy

    But it’s all just jaw jaw – Power point presentations pithily stating the bleeding obvious are all well and good but some how you have to develop the “value added products” from the raw materials we have on hand that are desirable to overseas customers, and then produce them and deliver them to those customers at a price they will be willing to pay that leaves a profit for the producers at all steps of the chain

    That’s the hard part


  5. Dave Kennedy says:

    “But it’s all just jaw jaw – Power point presentations”

    You obviously didn’t read my paper, it is all based on existing examples. Our hops and craft beer already have international recognition, Local local cheese makers are already struggling to meet demand (Retro organics) and many potential small producers are being killed by bureaucracy. The Green business policy for supporting developing and established SMEs is much better than current policy.

    The majority of Government investment has been around farm intensification and ramping up production, not on R&D and value add. According to Mai Chen our market knowledge in different countries is abysmal.

    The Government is all “jaw jaw” regarding R&D and innovation, it is a corporate lap dog and would rather support foreign businesses than build our own. Just look at the $11 million invested in a crazy Saudi farm and dead lambs, imagine what that could have done for the craft beer industry in NZ or promoting tech industry. So much money down the drain!


  6. Mr E says:

    “But we desperately need to produce more value added products to our export”

    “fish heads are very popular in many cultures and we chuck most away in our processing”

    Some questions for you Dave.

    These fish heads that are ‘chucked away’ – where do they go?

    What is “brown gold”?

    Is selling fish heads “value add”

    What percent of NZs total milk production is ‘value add’


  7. Dave Kennedy says:

    “These fish heads that are ‘chucked away’ – where do they go?”
    I don’t know, Mr, E I was just repeating what Mai Chen told us during her presentation. Many in the Asian community like fish heads and they aren’t often available. Where do they go? Is it a lost opportunity?

    “What is “brown gold”?”
    Perhaps you can tell me, it wasn’t a term I used or KPMG used. Are you referring to soil or beer?

    The fish head story wasn’t really really related adding value but understanding markets.


  8. Mr E says:

    Geez Dave,

    Commercial fish heads are made into fish meal. It is worth so much money it is called Brown Gold.

    Know your markets – indeed.


  9. Name Withheld says:

    Know your markets – indeed.
    The only market he is likely to know is his local farmers market.
    As usual he takes talking points that seem to suit his agenda and just opens his mouth and lets his tongue go round.

    “Deep-water trawling is highly mechanised. Only big companies can afford the massive capital investment required in modern factory-trawlers. These factory ships process everything caught on board – even guts and heads are processed into fishmeal, which is so valuable it is known as ‘brown gold’.
    Nothing is wasted or “thrown away”

    The fish head story wasn’t really really related adding value but understanding markets.
    Look Here. then.
    Somebody does understand markets.
    You aren’t in politics as a primary produce or fishing spokesman, are you?
    Obviously(TM) not.


  10. Dave Kennedy says:

    Good grief, the fish head distract. Have a chat to Mai Chen and tell her what you are telling me, that there is more value in turning fish heads into aquarium food than meeting strong Asian markets.

    This argument smells a little fishy 😉


  11. Dave Kennedy says:

    Oops, should read “the fish head distraction” As that is what it is. What a truly desperate argument.


  12. Mr E says:

    What to believe?
    An unqualified cited claim from a law expert?
    Or common knowledge and Wikipedia?

    Sounds like you have swallowed a good story hook line and sinker, Dave.


  13. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, I too can research and discovered that the “brown gold” you referred to is just the brand name for aquarium food made from ground fish heads. You provided no evidence that the price received for ground fish heads is greater than selling them for human consumption. If we followed that logic we would reduce the whole fish in “brown go;d” 😉

    You also totally ignored the point of the story which is nothing to do with the real value of the heads but about missed opportunities through a lack of cultural knowledge.

    You are very good at attempting to shunt an important discussion about the future of farming into a minor discussion on a side issue and making a fish meal of it 😉


  14. Mr E says:

    “the “brown gold” you referred to is just the brand name for aquarium food made from ground fish heads.”

    Oh dear Dave. What bizarre conclusions you come to. Brown gold is fish meal that is used for all sorts of things. Including a branded aquarium food product called Brown Gold.
    However fish meal is used for many many other products. Including pet food and the manufacture of fish oil.

    Nice try, but all you are showing is that you don’t know the market you are referring to. Oh the irony.


  15. Dave Kennedy says:

    You’re right Mr E, I know nothing about the fish head market at all, but that was my point and it went straight over your head 😉

    But I’m pleased that the idea of exposing my ignorance regarding brown gold kept you busy researching and gave you something to do. I did learn something too, so thanks.

    Still can’t get my head around the fact that fish meal is worth more than fish heads if it is considered a delicacy by some – that will mean the whole fish would be better turned into fish meal…you still haven’t explained that bit, have you?


  16. Paranormal says:

    DK a spot of advice. When in a hole, stop digging.


  17. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, a spot of advice, you can only recognise a hole with your eyes open 😉

    We could continue a thread talking about the value of fish heads as if it is the most important issue confronting agriculture (that you guys seem hell bent on doing)…or we could talk about the potential of different profitable food markets that remain untapped.

    Mr E rarely discusses the substantive element to any discussion, he likes to try and discredit me by trying to find some perceived but very minor element to attack. Auckland University had approached me to write something on the food theme after the person who manages the Briefing Papers had read one of my blog posts.

    Apparently my paper have been widely shared and there is a lot of support for them. They are clearly not just my ideas but thoughts and observations that I have collected over time. We obviously have a great many opportunities to diversify our food production but in recent years the main focus has been on following the ‘white gold’.

    Did you actually read the paper I linked to? Fish heads don’t get a mention at all. 😉


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