RSE MIQ & WTF – Eric Crampton:
Late last month, the government announced it would allow 2000 seasonal workers into New Zealand’s Managed Isolation and Quarantine system on Recognised Seasonal Employment (RSE) scheme, with workers to arrive from January to March 2021.
There’s just so much that’s backward in all of this.
The RSE scheme is open to workers from the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
The most recent World Health Organization COVID-19 situation report for the Western Pacific notes that the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu have not reported a case to date – as of 25 November. Since then, Samoa has had two positive cases caught at their border. . .
Before Federated Farmers farewells 2020, it wants to salute and thank some generally unsung heroes.
“We all got used to talking about clusters of infection with Covid-19, but in another sense that word cluster is somewhat apt for the entire year,” Feds President Andrew Hoggard says.
“It could have been a lot worse for our export-earning primary industries were it not for the dedication and doggedness of a large number of people in supporting services.”
First up, Federated Farmers thanks the truckies, milk tanker drivers and others in the freight industry for working through the roller-coaster of alert levels to keep supplies coming to farms, and produce getting on the road to markets. . .
Otago leads trend to larger lamb crop – Sally Rae:
Otago has been the major driver of a lift in lambs born in the South Island this year, with the region recording a 3.9% increase in total lamb crop.
Beef+Lamb New Zealand has released its annual lamb crop outlook report which measured lambing performance and forecasts lamb and sheep exports for 2021.
Nationally, sheep farmers achieved a near-record 130.3% lambing percentage, despite Covid-19 related processing restrictions and widespread drought in the first half of 2020. That was only slightly lower than spring 2019 where 131% was achieved, the report said.
Lamb and sheep export volumes were expected to be more significantly impacted by the follow-on impacts of the drought, due to lower animal weights and the retention of sheep for breeding to rebuild stock numbers. . .
Fewer farmers are feeling undue pressure from their bank but satisfaction rates continue to slide, according to the Federated Farmers November Banking Survey.
Of the 1,341 farmers who responded to the survey independently run by ResearchFirst, 65.4% said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their bank relationship. That’s down from 68.5% from the Feds’ survey in May.
“Satisfaction has steadily slipped over the past three years – in our November 2017 survey it was 80.8%,” Federated Farmers President and commerce spokesperson Andrew Hoggard said.
“That’s probably no great surprise. Banks have been trying to reduce their exposure to agricultural lending as it is considered ‘risky’, including by the Reserve Bank. Banks put the pressure on farmers to reduce their debt when commodity prices are good to put them into a better position to weather the next downturn, and there is also a trend by banks to diversify agricultural lending from dairy to other sectors, especially horticulture. . .
The Commerce Commission today published its final report on its annual review of Fonterra’s Farmgate Milk Price Manual for the 2020/21 dairy season (Manual), which contains Fonterra’s methodology for calculating its base milk price.
This year’s review focused on the changes Fonterra has made to the Manual since last year. These include moving the responsibility to independently review certain aspects of the milk price calculation to the Milk Price Group, and the introduction of the ability to apply the outcome of a ‘Within-Period Review’ to the year in which the review is undertaken.
The findings of the final report are unchanged from the draft released in October. . .
Lamb losses, carcase downgrades costing farmers millions of dollars – Andrew Miller:
Cat-dependent diseases could be costing sheep producers in Tasmania up to $2 million a year, with the state being one of two significant hotspots for the pathogens in Australia.
Scientists from the Threatened Species Recovery Hub found the effects of four pathogens, including Toxoplasma gondii and Sarcocystis gigantea, caused a range of animal health impacts, including spontaneous abortions, still births, neonatal deaths and visible cysts, in meat.
They found SA, particularly Kangaroo Island, and Tasmania, were the two Australian hotspots for the pathogens. . .