In allowing spiralling costs and rampant inflation to hit New Zealand’s most productive sector, the Labour Government is biting the hand that literally feeds it, National’s Rural Communities spokesperson Nicola Grigg says.
“New Zealand’s agricultural sector is seeing a dramatic rise in input costs as farmers and growers grapple with the same cost of living crisis that is impacting us all.
“The increase in costs is being felt particularly badly by our farmers. In the last year, the cost of fuel has risen more than 44 per cent, fertiliser more than 28 per cent, stock feed and grazing more than six per cent, seeds six percent and power 21 per cent.
“If you want to go out and buy a new Toyota Hilux you’ll now be paying an extra $5175 in ‘ute tax’ when registering it – and Labour will soon be introducing legislation requiring employers pay a 1.4 per cent levy on employees’ salaries into a new ‘income insurance scheme’. . .
Meat works around the country are struggling to meet demand due to the Government’s failure to keep pace with a vital cog in the supply chain, National’s Agriculture spokesperson Barbara Kuriger says.
“Farmers are being forced to hold onto livestock longer as meat works across the country have wait times stretching up to six weeks. This adds even more pressure to our farmers, with some having to dip into their winter baleage supply early or buy in costly feed supplement alternatives.
“The Agriculture Minister and the Government made assurances that they would take steps to limit any disruption for our essential farming industry, but as predicted, they have failed to do this.
“Labour failed to deliver to bring in the necessary workers due to stringent immigration rules, and they failed to supply the meat works industry with rapid antigen test in a timely manner, causing disruptions to staff. . .
Nursery aims to make native trees more accessible – Colin Williscroft:
For Adam Thompson, establishing native flora on farmland goes beyond the obvious environmental and biodiversity benefits.
It gives farmers a sense of pride in seeing a piece of marginal, unproductive land transformed into something that complements and enhances their farming operation.
“A lot of farmers are proud of growing food. “We’re helping them do it in a more sustainable way,” Thompson said.
The 35-year-old Cambridge farmer and owner of Restore Native tree nursery wants all farmers to feel that pride by making it as easy and inexpensive as possible to plant and grow native trees on farmland not suited for livestock. . .
ANZ reports widespread autumn rain has devastated many arable and fruit crops, but has been welcomed by pastoral farmers.
Food commodities are in short supply globally. New Zealand will export less produce than normal this season as production of most export commodities is impacted for varying reasons including delays with the processing of livestock and the impacts of labour shortages.
So it was something of a surprise, but a welcome one, when Synlait Milk reported its net profit (excluding the sale of an Auckland property) had risen 128% to $14.5m in the first half.
The dairy processing company said it was also on the way to reporting previous levels of profitability in the 2023 financial year after posting a $28.5m loss in 2021. . .
A resurgence of Covid-19 within China is causing headaches for some primary sector exporters, with lockdown measures disrupting economic activity and slowing down distribution networks.
China’s ongoing “zero-Covid” strategy uses swift lockdowns and aggressive restrictions to contain any outbreak. As part of this, late last month Shanghai was placed into the biggest city-wide lockdown since the Covid outbreak began more than two years ago.
PGG Wrightson’s South Island wool manager Dave Burridge said demand for wool had dropped off because China’s manufacturing regions had been affected by the Covid-19 restrictions.
“It’s having a direct impact on bottom-line returns to woolgrowers, certainly there is quite a dramatic effect on [prices for] the types [of wool] the Chinese normally buy.” . .
Another ‘nutty’ idea could lead to a brand-new almond industry in New Zealand.
Plant & Food Research is embarking on a feasibility study to see if almonds can be grown sustainably in Hawke’s Bay. The project has backing from central and local government, alongside Picot Productions Limited – Kiwi producers of the Pic’s brand nut spreads.
“We’re already supporting peanut growing trials in Northland – now it’s almonds’ turn,” says Steve Penno, Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI) director of investment programmes.
“The first step is to see whether we can successfully produce almonds with a low carbon footprint at scale and for a competitive price in New Zealand.” . .