Drought, coronavirus rattle dairy – Sally Rae:
Westpac has cut its farmgate milk price forecast from $7.40 to $7.20 and ASB has trimmed its forecast by 10c to $7.40, as economists keep watch on the effects of coronavirus and drought.
At this week’s GlobalDairyTrade auction the headline index was down 2.9% and most products fell. Key export product whole milk powder fell 2.6%.
The result was unsurprising given the continuing uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus outbreak, Westpac market strategist Imre Speizer said in a note.
The steps China had taken to contain the outbreak, such as limiting the population’s movement, had kept many factories closed. . .
Dairy heavyweight Fonterra is trucking, free of charge, hundreds of thousands of litres of emergency water supplies daily to the drought-stricken Far North.
The drought relief effort will see tankers carrying 90,000 litres of water a day each to Kaikohe and Kaitaia, and new water deliveries just started to Dargaville and Rawene, a spokesperson said.
Sixty tankers a week have been delivering water to emergency holding tanks in Kaikohe and Kaitaia, while Dargaville will get 10 tankerloads or 300,000 litres every two days and Rawene one tankerful or 30,000 litres daily. . .
A drop of February rain has given water irrigators in Marlborough an extended grace period.
Several rivers in Marlborough were days away from being “shut off” from irrigators on February 6.
Marlborough District Council hydrologist Val Wadsworth said Rai Valley irrigation had been shut off for a week but the river had “quite a good lift” earlier this week, which meant it had been turned back on.
“In some places there was quite a bit of rain, in the Rai Valley there was 50mm,” Wadsworth said. . .
Balclutha hens rule the roost on Country Calendar – Melenie Parkes:
In Balclutha, there’s a family rearing some of the happiest hens you’re likely to find.
These merry cluckers are ‘pasture free range’, meaning they have the run of the land.
“There’s 1200 acres that we’re roaming around on here and there’s 6300 chooks, so there’s a lot of space,” says Michelle Pringle who, along with husband Tony, sells their eggs under the Agreeable Nature label. . .
Fresh producers must yell loudly – Richard Rennie:
Fresh fruit and produce companies around the world risk having their long-held and proven health claims stolen by the new arrivals on supermarket shelves, plant-based food products.
One of the biggest emerging trends in consumer behaviour in six regions surveyed globally is healthy living, Cathy Burns, chief executive of giant United States trade organisation Produce Marketing Association, told Zespri’s Momentum conference.
“This includes a desire to shed things from the diet that are not good for me and it has become a proxy term for intelligence and social acceptance. . .
Invercargill shearer Nathan Stratford won the Southern Shears open final in Gore at the weekend, his first in the event after 24 years of trying.
The result brought him 70 open final victories as he became the first South Island shearer to win the event since 1994 when Edsel Forde, from Winton, won the final for a fifth time . .