Rural Round-up

EU ramps up dairy production again – Keith Woodford:

The EU has now released dairy production statistics for February 2016 and from a New Zealand perspective the news is all bad. Daily milk production has increased 6.5% from January to February. Some increase was expected – February is always higher than January on a daily basis – but the extent of the increase is a surprise.

The combined January and February production is up 7.4% from last year, and February production, once adjusted for the leap year, is up almost 10% on a daily basis from January last year.

There are some glimmers of hope in other parts of the world, and I will come to that later in this article. First, more about Europe. . . 

Silver Fern Farms’ response to requisition for shareholder meeting:

On 13 April, Silver Fern Farms received a requisition led by Mr John Shrimpton and Mr Blair Gallagher, representing a group of 80 shareholders. The requisition is for the Board of Silver Fern Farms to call a special meeting of shareholders to consider the following resolution:

“Resolution: as a Special Resolution:

That the shareholders of Silver Fern Farms Limited (the Company) hereby approve the proposed partnership of the Company with Shanghai Maling and the restructure described in the Notice of Meeting and Shareholder Information Pack dated 28 September 2015 by way of this special resolution of shareholders.” . . 

Quit humanising animal agriculture – Kellie for Ag:

There is a difference between human and humane. I think people are forgetting that very important difference.

The last few weeks I’ve been dealing with animal rights activist on my Facebook page and I was quite stunned at what they were saying to me. One of my ‘favorites’ was, “How would you like it if I raped your mother and killed your father and siblings?”.

This comment bothered me in more than just one way. First of all, don’t you dare threaten my family. Second, humans and cattle are not in the same ‘playing field’. Survival of the fittest isn’t about equal rights for everyone.

If animal rights activist had their way: . . .

Livestock broker tackles broncos – Sally Rae:

He’s a bronc riding, world-record setting “stick-throwing” stock agent.

At just 21, Madison Taylor has already represented New Zealand in two very diverse activities, pipe bands and rodeo.

Now living in the Hakataramea Valley, Mr Taylor works for South Island-based independent livestock broking firm Peter Walsh and Associates. ……….. 

Schools to help name biosecurity puppies:

The Ministry for Primary Industries has proudly welcomed six new biosecurity puppies and is giving New Zealand schools the chance to name one of them.

Working biosecurity detector dog Aria gave birth to the beagle puppies (three boys and three girls) in March. They are collectively called “G-litter”.

The floppy-eared puppies will undergo intensive training to work at New Zealand’s ports and airports where they will sniff out food, plants and other items that could pose biosecurity risk to New Zealand. . . 

Side event chance to connect:

Attend the South Island Dairy Event 2016 in Invercargill and invest in yourself and your business.

That’s the message from Side event committee chairwoman Heidi Williams, who wants dairy farmers to set aside June 20 to 22 for the dairy conference.

Organised by farmers, for farmers, the annual programme was designed to promote thinking and debate, and help like-minded farmers to network and find inspiration, she said. . . 

34 Responses to Rural Round-up

  1. Mr E says:

    link to Keith’s blog doesnt work.

    here it is for anyone wanting it.


  2. homepaddock says:

    Thanks Mr E, I’ve fixed it.


  3. Dave Kennedy says:

    As Keith accurately points out, our dairy industry is a very fragile one. The most I’ve seen from this government is to claim that our farmers are resilient and and an upturn is around the corner.

    I would love to see greater support for R&D (we still spend much less on this than most OECD countries) and a more support for organic conversions. Perhaps there could be more done with linking farming to tourism too. I walked the Banks Peninsula track with my family last week and the farming families who combined to construct this private track have done an amazing job.

    Despite the Government’s claims that the economy is still strong, it clearly isn’t helping an increasing number of families and I’m sure there are some share milkers and farm workers within these worrying statistics:


  4. Gravedodger says:

    I am wondering what the R&D statistics used by Mr K includes of the non government funded and other un-accounted for research and development that is occurring daily across our innovative and entrepreneurial productive sector.

    Just because socialists are not throwing opms at a ‘problem’that is possibly not a problem at all does not necessarily a crisis make.

    Beyond the comprehension of far too many who by applying that now scarce commodity called ‘common sense’, that should be the terms of reference for a commission of inquiry, NZ has an enviable reputation for discovering real solutions from the number eight wire philosophy long embedded in the psyche of those who spent their lives succeeding in spite of meddling and income redistribution from book taught experts with close to zero knowledge of the basic market forces in play.


  5. Will says:

    Yep, if you have an issue, you do your own research. Every farmer knows that. I struggle to think of a thing govt. scientists have done for us. Abstract stuff…possum A climbed to a height of 14ft expending enough energy to fry 0.4 eggs or somesuch.


  6. Will says:

    I admit subsidies for organic farmers, whose industry is so fragile they can’t afford to pay wages is a sterling idea. Our future will be assured.


  7. Mr E says:


    “As Keith accurately points out, our dairy industry is a very fragile one”

    Please point out where Keith suggests any NZ dairy industry the article. I didn’t see anything of the sort.

    You have been called out many times on this blog for misrepresentation.

    Is this an example?


  8. Dave Kennedy says:

    GD, My concerns around the cuts in funding to AgResearch is shared by by Southland farmers and useful existing research has been cut back. We are now living in an increasingly sophisticated world and need a little more than just commonsense to get more value from our industries.
    Will, you views about scientists aren’t shared by other farmers I have talked and it does seem as though there is useful research currently being done:
    Also you need to have another chat to Famerbraun whose organic farm has proved to be very resilient and the organic farmers I know are all doing very well:

    Oh dear, Mr E perhaps you interpreted the article differently but I would have thought that talking about the ramping up of milk production in Europe being bad news for New Zealand and there only being “a glimmer of hope” elsewhere pointed to a fairly fragile situation for our dairy industry.


  9. Mr E says:

    Oh Dear Dave,

    “there only being “a glimmer of hope” elsewhere pointed to a fairly fragile situation for our dairy industry.”

    Keith’s article is all about foreign production and consequential returns. The ‘glimmer of hope’ was with reference to a return of higher prices.

    Nothing in the article referred to the stability or fragility of the NZ industry.

    I’d question comprehension, but I doubt comprehension is the issue. I suspect it is just politics. Low grade politics.


  10. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, your earnest attempt to label my comments as “low grade politics” is clearly pathetic. All I am doing is reflecting independent views of the “fragile” state of our economy and the present challenges facing the dairy industry are a big part of this.

    Perhaps you can source some other articles supporting the dairy industry as being robust, future proof and in good heart. There seem to be plenty independent, non political sources expressing views similar to my own 😉


  11. Name Withheld says:

    Mr E, your earnest attempt to label my comments as “low grade politics” is clearly pathetic.

    Must have been his first option then.


  12. Mr E says:


    It seems I was wrong……


  13. Mr E says:


    “All I am doing is reflecting independent views of the “fragile” state of our economy”

    But you have provided no supporting argument from the article that Keith has suggested the NZ dairy industry is fragile. So I’d say you are not “doing” that at all. I think you are just low grade politicking. The rest of your commentary seems to be good evidence of that.


  14. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, rubbish, it clearly is in a fragile state. There is no recovery of prices around the corner (only a glimmer of hope outside Europe according to Keith). More than one word or phrase can describe the same condition if you have a wide vocabulary.

    We have drought conditions and low grass growth in many areas, farms are reducing stock numbers and many share milkers are tossing in the towel.

    I asked you to provide evidence that the industry is not fragile but in good health and what did you produce….?

    As usual you are good at throwing stones from your wee hole of anonymity, but your aim is poor and you have no distance 😉

    And for good measure here is another article to test your own understanding of what fragile means:'s-$38b-debt-problem

    Feel free to throw in your own words to describe the industry’s current state, Iwill look forward to what you produce as you clearly come from a different planet than the one I live on.


  15. Mr E says:


    I have not made any statements regarding the stability of the Dairy industry, so I am not sure what you are rubbishing.

    What I have done is repeatedly point out that Keith’s article contains no reference to Dairy industry fragility or stability for that matter.

    I suspect you know this, but simply ignore the obvious, so you can continually present off topic information.

    It is boring, and there are times like I feel as if I am stuck in an episode of Faulty Towers.


  16. Name Withheld says:

    Yes indeed, Mr E. a rather bland and innocuous, but otherwise factual observation from Mr Woodford, has triggered a paroxysm of anti-dairy frothing from Mr Kennedy.
    “Off topic information’ is a polite way of putting it.
    The trick is not to be drawn into his drivel.


  17. Dave Kennedy says:

    As I thought Mr E, no substance just personal attacks. I do wonder what you thought the main themes of Keith’s article were? He does suggest some hope for the industry, but only a “glimmer”. Industry fragility is a perfectly reasonable summation of his views i would really love to know what you thought he was saying.

    NW, I am just stating what is being reported, please quote my anti-dairy comments. I thought I was suggesting the industry needed more support. I do wonder about your comprehension skills.

    I have to chuckle when I repeat comments and concerns from media and local farmers and it is interpreted as an attack on the industry.

    You and Mr E are unbelievably callous in standing aside and watching hard working farmers struggle and crash. I believe in New Zealand is a community and we should do what we can to support each other as best as we can. i guess i have a different value set.


  18. Mr E says:


    You make some weird claims. I have made no personal attacks.

    Keiths main theme is in the title. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure it out. I would expect even a young child could figure that out.

    “He does suggest some hope for the industry”

    The hope you describe is for prices – again no rocket science there.

    “You and Mr E are unbelievably callous in standing aside and watching hard working farmers struggle and crash”

    Nope Dave, sticking to the blog topic is respectful. Off topic rambling/politicking is what I would call callous.

    “i guess i have a different value set”

    If that value set includes trolling this blog, then yes, I suppose you may.


  19. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Keith’s main theme is in the title.”
    Certainly is, Mr E and then he goes on to explain the implications for New Zealand, which weren’t good, and then offered only a “glimmer” of hope elsewhere. Goodness knows what you thought it was about.

    As for Ele’s post, it was a rural round up with a variety of themes but included the challenges to the dairy industry. My suggestions were completely on topic and it is you who decided to attack myself rather than honestly debate the issues.

    If you don’t believe an increase in funding for R&D, then explain why, and if you don’t think that support for more sustainable farm practices has merit then defend those who moved to more intensive farming that relied on greater outside inputs. How the hell will they survive now? What support do you believe should exist for share milkers (judging from your past comments, none).

    To take on the role of policeman for Ele’s blog is presumptuous, especially when it is you who is not prepared to honestly discuss the merits of my views.

    You really don’t understand the meaning of trolling when you clearly fit the description far more than I. Please quote one comment on this thread from yourself that was a constructive one. I have exposed your trolling in the past and you should be grateful for Ele’s tolerance.

    I link to reports quoting Federated Farmers, you link to Fawlty Towers…

    You have no self-awareness.


  20. Mr E says:

    Faulty towers.


  21. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, your self-grandiosity and attempts to control the discussions here are very reminiscent of Basil Fawlty. Your failure to understand the word play in the actual name of the programme explains much about your inability to understand the wider meaning of “fragile”.

    You do dig holes for yourself and I understand why a nom de plume may be necessary… 😉


  22. Mr E says:


    This is a pointless discussion.

    You started off, off topic – now you are way way off.

    I am entertained, but that is is not enough to continue to follow your rant off topic.

    Let’s try and bring it back…

    Keith’s article describes European production still high. And therefore returns will be slow to recover. Recent data suggest NZ production will only fall slightly for the year. And I have seen evidence that Chinas demand of WMP is low.

    This morning the dairy auction 1.4% suggesting Keith is right, the world is still has an over supply.

    The question is when will it recover? That is an important one as farmers behaviour right now is based on those forecasts.


  23. Dave Kennedy says:

    I agree that this is a pointless discussion, Mr E, but then most of the discussions between the two of us are. Your agenda is clearly about trying to discredit me, not about having robust discussions.

    Keith’s article was indeed about supply and over production and he only talks about a glimmer of hope in the near future. The NZ dairy industry must have to be in a fragile state when low prices are predicted continue for some time still. With $38 billion of debt there is a limit for how long banks can carry 10-20% of farmers who are struggling and share milkers are already leaving the industry. On top of that added drought conditions are tipping over many others.

    My original comment was on topic and my concerns and suggestions were valid. It is interesting that you rarely choose to debate the substantive elements of what I say and instead attack some minor element in an attempt to score a small, but meaningless, victory.

    What we should really be discussing are all the other posts from Keith where he often describes the very things i bring up here. Investing more in research, moving our exports up the value chain and diversifying what we produce on our farms.

    “The question is when will it recover?”
    That statement reveals the difference between us. The most important question isn’t about when the markets will improve as this implies that we should just wait until they do and struggle along doing the same thing until that happens.

    Keith and all the other commentators I regard highly do not believe that wringing hands and watching farmers go under is acceptable. If we want a viable and sustainable dairy industry, then we need to do things differently and invest in reaching new markets that aren’t so volatile. If you read Keith’s other articles (as I often do) you would realise that many countries are increasing their milk production and our status as the largest exporter of milk is being challenged.

    To hope that things will eventually get better is passive, irresponsible and just plain bad business.


  24. Mr E says:

    Oh well,
    Can’t say I didn’t try.


  25. Dave Kennedy says:

    It is one thing that you can’t be accused of, Mr E, is not trying. 😉

    It’s just sad that your energies are spent so negatively and unproductively.


  26. Name Withheld says:

    I know we have covered this before, Mr E.
    Read and compare below.

    You and Mr E are unbelievably callous in standing aside and watching hard working farmers struggle and crash. i guess i have a different value set.

    Spot it?

    However we are dealing with an intellectual featherweight with limited literacy skills here. His tactic, such as it is, can be easily seen through.


  27. Dave Kennedy says:

    NW, if you disagree with that statement you are more than welcome to explain otherwise. I have read nothing of your own views other than your loyal support of Mr E and the little put downs you specialise in. I can only assume you also agree with all the statements he has made in the past that led me to stating what I did.


  28. Will says:

    Heh, well done NW. Bulls-eye.


  29. Paranormal says:

    There it is again NW.


  30. Name Withheld says:

    There it is again NW.
    Sure is Paranormal…
    But unsurprisingly he will never see it.


  31. Dave Kennedy says:

    Good grief! 😛


  32. Mr E says:


  33. Dave Kennedy says:

    Oh dear, Mr E, that is like John Key trying to brand the Greens as “The Nasty Party”. You only have to watch our MPs during Question Time in the House and listen to National Minister’s responses to appreciate which party cannot communicate without regular personal attacks. John Key especially gets told to sit down by the Speaker more than any other for not helping “the order of the House”.

    You guys must be extremely thin skinned if you think my little observations are nasty, especially when compared to the nonsense I am often responding to 😉

    Self awareness?



  34. Mr E says:


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