Rural round-up

July 19, 2015

Competition big issue for evolving Fonterra – Dene Mackenzie:

Numerous challenges exist for Fonterra in evolving from a commodity mindset and strong dairy industry competition across emerging markets is a key issue, Forsyth Barr broker Andrew Rooney said yesterday.

Fonterra was competing against larger, and perhaps more capable, companies.

”We are concerned the premium New Zealand image will be devalued as the co-op increases its international milk pool and as foreign investors become more heavily involved in New Zealand.” . . .

Farmer fined for cow deaths:

A South Waikato dairy farmer was sentenced in Rotorua District Court today (17 July) for neglect and ill-treatment of cows that became malnourished or starved to death in his care.

Tony Clayton, 54, of Atiamuri, was disqualified from owning or being the “person in charge” of animals for a period of two years. He also received 240 hours of community work, nine months of supervision and has to pay reparation costs of $3,100 plus additional court costs of $150 for both charges.

Mr Clayton had earlier pleaded guilty to charges failing to ensure the physical, health and behavioural needs (neglect) of animals in his care, and reckless ill-treatment of animals resulting in death. . .

Working Together on Sheep Breeding Initiative:

On the 26th of last month, the arrival of the sheep imported from New Zealand at the Mexican port of Mazatlán was met with health checks carried out by 22 officials from the National Service for Health, Safety and Food Quality (Senasica), from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA).

The Minister of Agriculture, Enrique Martínez y Martínez and the Governor of the State of Mexico, Eruviel Avila, handed over 35 thousand sheep to local producers. . .

 

Ag grads start on lawyers’ salaries – Ashley Walmsley:

TERTIARY agriculture students are entering jobs with starting salaries equivalent to lawyers.

The statement chimed in the already pricked ears of listeners at the 2015 National Horticulture Convention on the Gold Coast yesterday.

The statement’s creator, Professor Neal Menzies says ag graduates face a smorgasbord of options after they conquer the books.

The University of Queensland dean of agriculture was one of the early speakers yesterday at the Convention which brought together vegetable, apple and pear growers for the first time.  . .

Farmer dreams of shearing competition at the Commonwealth Games – Warwick Long:

A Victorian wool grower is leading a renewed charge to have shearing recognised as a sport.

Robert Harding, from Nhill, has the support of the Victorian Farmers Federation and intends to lobby the Australian Sports Commission for formal recognition.

He said the ultimate goal would be to have shearers vying for a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. . .

Nutrition is key:

Nutrition is key heading into calving season, with farmers reminded that not all products are created equal when it comes to rearing the future of their herds.

World-leading and progressive family-owned animal nutrition company, Fiber Fresh, believes animals’ futures are based on getting it right in the calf shed from day one by including quality fibre.

Managing director Michael Bell says by getting nutrition right at the very start, calves have the ability to develop to their full potential, maximising their production and profitability potential. . .

 

 

 

 


Rural round-up

April 12, 2015

Reality: we can’t feed anything – Annette Scott:

North Canterbury farmers’ resilience is being tested to the hilt as managing the impact of summer’s big dry has reached a critical edge and autumn drought now kicks in.

With less than a millimetre of rain in March, the worry has carried through to autumn for the northern Canterbury farmers whose southern counterparts, while still in a declared drought, have been fortunate to record some reasonable autumn rain.

The situation was such the Rural Support Trust had now been asked to step up action as Canterbury’s northern parts headed for a record low rainfall season. . .

Keeping score during drought – Neal Wallace:

With rain falling in many parched areas around New Zealand the focus is now on autumn pastures and animal nutrition. Country-Wide writers investigate the options.

The loss of one condition score in ewes, equivalent to 7kg in body weight, in the lead-up to tupping will mean 10 fewer lambs born per 100 ewes.

AgResearch senior scientist David Stevens told a recent North Otago field day the golden rule in a drought was to pay for the cost of the dry weather in the year it occurred. . .

Comparison hard on big milk co-op – Neal Wallace:

Claims Fonterra’s share and investment unit price has underperformed compared to the NZX 50 Index were simplistic and a fraught comparison, according to an investment adviser.

Forsyth Barr’s Andrew Rooney said it was widely accepted that Fonterra’s stock was overpriced when it hit $8 shortly after listing so its current trading band was more appropriate.

In the first two years Fonterra paid dividends totalling 32c a share and this year has paid an interim dividend of 10c a share with talk of a further 10c to 20c. Its dividend yield had been 4%.

“It’s a bit harsh to say Fonterra hasn’t performed.” . .

Competitive ploughing spirit the lure – Rebecca Ryan:

A ploughing match challenge against the Macrae’s Young Farmers Club in 1965 sparked a life-long interest in the sport for East Otago farmer Noel Sheat. Rebecca Ryan and Bill Campbell talked to the former New Zealand champion ahead of the 60th New Zealand Ploughing Championships.

When the Palmerston Young Farmers Club was challenged to a ploughing match in 1965, Noel Sheat had never ploughed before.

But he proved a quick learner and helped his team beat Macrae’s Young Farmers Club.

That match marked the start of a competitive ploughing career that has taken the Palmerston farmer around the world.

”It just became an interest; it was something that I found out that I was reasonably good at,” he said.

His early success was ”a bit of a fluke” as he taught himself the art of ploughing on a 1965 David Brown tractor with an old family plough. . .

Dairy Farm’s boss has eye for talent – Sue O’Dowd:

The 2015 Taranaki Farm Manager of the Year is on track for his second record production season on a Central Taranaki dairy farm.

Lance Chadwick is in his second season as manager of a 115ha (effective) Toko property owned by farm consultant Brendan Attrill and wife Susan Mundt.

Chadwick’s win is also the second successive Taranaki Dairy Awards title with which Attrill has a connection.

The 2014 Taranaki and New Zealand Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year winners, Jody and Charlie McCaig, were variable order sharemilkers on the Taranaki Community Rugby Trust Farm supervised by Attrill when they won both titles last year. . .

Horse haven at Scone – Nick Heydon:

AFTER moving to the Hunter Valley from Queensland a decade ago, Ross Dillon and his wife Pav intended to transition to retirement on “Goanna Downs”, their new Scone property of just under 40 hectares (98 acres).

“We had originally planned to retire here, but after 18 months we decided that was too boring, so we set up a small broodmare farm on the property,” Mr Dillon said.

“Goanna Downs” has benefited well from this decision. . .


Economic sabotage

April 24, 2013

Ever since National came to power it has concentrated on making the economy stronger.

It is succeeding but more than a year away from the next election the spectre of a LabourGreen government is providing a hurricane force headwind.

The government has put a lot of effort into policies which encourage savings, investment and export-led growth and LabourGreen are sabotaging that.

The façade behind the Labour-Greens power plan is crumbling as it becomes clear their electricity nationalisation ‘plan’ is nothing more than deliberate economic sabotage for attempted political gain, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says.

“Comments made in recent days by Grant Robertson, David Parker, and Russel Norman show they don’t care about the damage to KiwiSaver accounts, mum and dad investors and the wider New Zealand economy,” Mr Joyce says.

“Financial analysts including JB Were, Woodward Partners, Milford Asset Management, First NZ Capital, Devon Funds Management and Forsyth Barr are unanimous in their condemnation. One has labelled it a ‘hand grenade’ to the New Zealand economy, while others have said it will cut the value of every New Zealanders’ KiwiSaver account and lead to rolling blackouts.

“Investment in new power generation would suffer as would wider investment in the New Zealand economy. The National-led Government is focused on attracting investment in new business and jobs for New Zealanders. Labour and the Greens would do the exact opposite.

“Kiwis are deeply suspicious about the Labour-Greens announcement and its timing. It’s simply economic sabotage.

“The great irony is that it’s clear the policy is not worth it for anybody. The last time that we had central planning of the power industry, prices went up faster. Labour’s own Cabinet paper in 2006 said it would push costs up.

“New Zealanders will see it for what it is: a cynical and selfish attempt by left-wing parties to play politics with the value of New Zealand’s economic assets.”

The market isn’t perfect but I’d rather put my faith in it than an army of expensive bureaucrats.

And I’d feel much happier investing in companies that weren’t going to be at risk from government interference.


PGW shares downgraded

September 23, 2008

Forsyth Barr has downgraded PGG Wrigthson shares from hold to reduce because they are not convinced about the returns from its $220 million investment in Silver Fern farms..

Forsyth Barr researchers were sceptical meat company Silver Fern Farms (SFF) would be able to capture all the synergies from the partnership without industry consolidation and were also concerned at the extra debt PGG Wrightson (PGG-W) was incurring to fund the investment.

Without additional industry consolidation, the PGG-W partnership with SFF was viewed as simply recapitalising SFF’s balance sheet.

There are 9 million fewer sheep and lambs to be killed this year and global demand for protein is growing. That means it’s a sellers market.

Farmers are expecting at least $80 a head for lambs in the coming season and if they can’t get that from one company they’ll be confident of getting it from another. This competition which will help farmers’ balance sheets will also make it much tougher for meat companies so Forsyth Barr is right to be concerned about PGW’s share price.


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