A report on the NZ Farmer segment of Stuff caught the eye of Point of Order. It led off with a quote from respected economist Cameron Bagrie.
“Thank God for farmers….They’ve felt beaten up over the past couple of years, well, thank God agriculture is still the backbone of NZ.The story of the farming sector at the moment is looking relatively good compared to what we are seeing across a lot of the other sectors.Yes, we are seeing pressure on commodity prices, but the bottom line is the world has got to eat.“
It’s a theme which Point of Order has canvassed in several posts over the past fortnight as the coronavirus pandemic has devastated other key sectors of the economy, including tourism and hospitality.
On March 26 the contention was: . .
Is the Mycoplasma bovis eradication campaign on track? – Keith Woodford:
New Zealand’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication campaign has now been running for almost three years, with no decline in the number of farms newly detected as being infected. Can the disease be stamped out?
It is now more than five months since I last wrote about Mycoplasma bovis in late October 2019. Since then, another 44 farms have gone positive, bringing the total to 245 farms since the disease was discovered in July 2017. All of these farms have been required to slaughter their herds. There are 31 farms where that process is still ongoing.
During this latest five-month period, farms infected with Mycoplasma bovis have been identified at the average rate of two per week. This is slightly higher than the overall average rate of 1.75 farms confirmed per week since the disease was first discovered in July 2017. . .
Meat industry performing well under level 4 – Allan Barber:
Processing is under severe constraints during the lockdown, although, as an essential service, meat companies are working hard to feed New Zealanders and service key export markets. In a newsletter to staff and suppliers, AFFCO states that processing restrictions on maintaining a minimum distance between employees means sheepmeat capacity is running at 50% of normal and beef capacity is close to 65%. This of course comes at the peak of the season, exacerbated by drought in several regions, particularly the top half of the North Island.
Because meat companies aren’t entitled to government wage subsidies, they have set up schemes to look after employees whose earnings would be adversely affected, either by an inability to work for reasons of age or dependants or the reduced volume throughput. In AFFCO’s case, employees are paid their full production bonus based on numbers processed before the Level 4 lockdown, while those unable to work receive a company funded support package of $585 gross per week for an initial four week period. . .
The Covid-19 crisis has killed off a planned expansion of New Zealand agritech into Israel.
Farmer-owned co-operative, Livestock Improvement Corporation, had planned to buy a 50 percent stake in an Israeli company, Afimilk.
The deal would have cost $US70 million, and was supported by the LIC board.
But when the matter was put to LIC shareholders, 70.30 percent of shares voted against the proposal, 27.56 percent voted for the proposal and 2.14 percent abstained. . .
Trade Me has announced today that livestock sales and livestock feed sales will be permitted while New Zealand is at COVID-19 alert level 4 after concerns were raised about animal welfare during lockdown.
Head of Marketplace Lisa Stewart said Trade Me had worked with both Federated Farmers and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to understand this issue. “With typical public livestock sales closed due to the lockdown, farmers are restricted in how they sell their livestock at this busy time of year. . .
The naked farmer is ‘living the dream’ – Sally Rae:
It was a cheeky idea.
Archie Kennedy was drenching sheep on the first day of lockdown when he whipped off his clothes and suggested his wife, Lucy, take a photograph.
He posted it on Facebook and the response was so overwhelming that he decided to do a naked farmer post every day of the four-week lockdown.
Whether mustering on horseback or putting the rams out, routine rural tasks have been documented in his birthday suit. . .
Risk is constant, but agriculture is in the box seat – Daniel Pedersen:
CONTINUED positive sentiment for farmland, widespread rain and agriculture’s natural agility to supply people’s needs is spurring confidence across the state, says Rural Bank NSW regional manager for agribusiness Tony Williams.
“We’re off to a fantastic start to the season,” he said.
“Properties are still changing hands,” he said, adding that while social distancing had changed the way properties were inspected, the coronavirus outbreak certainly hadn’t stalled investment. . .