Lamb prices surprise in good year for farmers – Dene Mackenzie:
The year was one of surprises, consistency, comebacks and consolidation for New Zealand’s agricultural industry, ASB senior rural economist Nathan Penny says.
Lamb prices surprised by surging over the year, while beef prices were consistently strong.
Butter made a stunning comeback during the year, helping the dairy sector consolidate its position with another positive year.
The meat sector took centre stage in 2017 and the year was one out of the box for lamb prices, he said. . .
Sale marks new era for rail trail – Pam Jones:
A business that has transported thousands of cyclists over the Otago Central Rail Trail has notched up another milestone in its own journey. Pam Jones talks to Neville and Barbara Grubb about the beginnings of Trail Journeys and where the business will travel to next.
In the early days of the Otago Central Rail Trail it was not only the businesses and operators along the trail that were working things out from scratch, one of the biggest operators on the trail says.
”Those very first cyclists, they were the real pioneers of the trail,” Trail Journeys co-founder Neville Grubb said. ”They were just great. They didn’t mind what was there and they didn’t mind where they stayed. All they wanted was somewhere to rest their head at the end of the day.” . .
MyFarm $13M Rockit apple investment offer closes oversubscribed – Tina Morrison:
(BusinessDesk) – MyFarm Investments, which pools funds for rural investment, said its $13 million offer for growing miniature Rockit snack apples closed oversubscribed.
The company said its offer, under the Rakete Orchards Limited Partnership, closed on Dec. 15 having attracted 67 investors with an average investment of $195,000. The partnership will lease and fund the planting of 55 hectares of the Rockit apple variety across four orchard blocks in the Heretaunga Plains of Hawkes Bay, the only planting of new orchards of Rockit apple trees in the country in 2018. . .
(BusinessDesk) – Sealord’s annual profit fell 19 percent largely on an impairment charge of its British-based Sealord Caistor processing business, which was sold to shareholder Nippon Suisan Kaisha.
Net profit fell to $18.5 million in the year ended Sept. 30 versus $22.9 million a year earlier, according to holding company Kura’s financial statements, lodged with the Companies Office. Discontinued operations contributed a loss of $3.2 million to the bottom line, including an impairment charge of $4.9 million. Sealord’s income tax expense was $6.4 million versus $3.7 million in the prior year. . .
Dale Farm announcement widens North-South dairy split – Richard Halleron:
Confirmation of the two new production incentives announced last week by Dale Farm is further evidence of the growing production divide that now exists between the dairy industries on the island of Ireland.
The aforementioned measures, one targeting new entrants and the other encouraging the production of milk the year-round, confirm yet again that processors north of the border are committed to securing milk 12 months of the year.
And, what’s more, they are prepared to pay for this commitment on the part of farmers.
Meanwhile, the southern co-ops and Teagasc remain totally wedded to the principle of getting as much milk as possible from grazed grass. At one level, this makes perfect sense. Irish dairy farmers should be getting as much milk from the cheapest source of feed available to them – grazed grass. . .