Record milk price is holding – Sudesh Kissun:
Last week’s rise in global dairy prices has further boosted the chance of a record-breaking $9 milk price for the season.
Whole milk powder prices – the benchmark for Fonterra’s milk price – to its farmer suppliers – broke the US$4,000/metric tonne barrier for the first time in six months.
Westpac has lifted its 2021-22 farmgate milk price by 10c to $9/kgMS, at the top of Fonterra’s updated forecast range of $8.40 to $9.00/kgMS.
Senior agri economist Nathan Penny believes the lower NZ dollar is likely to prove a windfall gain for farmers. . .
Fert prices hurt – Sudesh Kissun:
Federated Farmers vice president Chris Lewis claims farmers won’t be making much money this year, despite a record forecast milk price.
He says fertiliser prices have jumped 100%, wage bills are up 20% and hiring tradesmen has become more expensive.
Lewis says “market forces” mean farmers must pay more to retain staff in a labour-squeezed market.
While the record forecast payout must be celebrated and provides a buffer against rising costs, he doesn’t expect too many farmers to end up with a large surplus this season. . .
SNAs are great if you have the space – Lois Williams:
Telling farmers to protect what they’ve been protecting for a hundred years was never going to go down well on the West Coast.
But having a Significant Natural Area (SNA) or even several on your land need not be an outrageous imposition – if you have scale.
That’s been the experience of one of the region’s biggest landholders, Ken Ferguson, of Waipuna Station.
The Grey Valley spread he farms with his brother Mark has been in the care of Ken’s family since the 1860s and has 60 hectares set aside in significant natural areas. . .
Agritech startup Croptide, which transmits plant water health to a farmer’s phone within seconds, has raised $1 million in a pre-seed funding round led by Icehouse Ventures with support from Sir Stephen Tindall’s K1W1 and Masfen Group.
Croptide uses internet-enabled sensors to provide accurate and timely water measurement data to fruit and wine growers battling the impacts of water scarcity brought about by climate change. The sensors are clipped to the plant, sourcing accurate water and nutrient readings directly from its stem tissue, a new, more precise approach to measuring plant health.
The company aims to improve water use efficiency for fruit and wine growers by 30-50%.
Four global businesses are among the first to trial Croptide’s technology, with T&G Global, Pernod Ricard Winemakers, Cloudy Bay New Zealand, and Indevin have signed up for the summer pilots; along with large kiwifruit grower, the Ngai Tukairangi Trust. . .
A project to increase the successful adoption of a new growing system with the potential to double orchard productivity, improve environmental outcomes, and boost labour efficiency has received $1.65 million of Government funding.
Future Orchard Planting Systems (FOPS) is a scientifically proven fruit tree growing system. It has the potential to double yields and improve fruit quality by bringing orchard rows closer together and growing trees in a planar (two-dimensional) structure. This maximises the trees’ use of available light.
The Government support, which comes from the Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI) Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund (SFF Futures), sits alongside the $1.1 million committed to the project by Plant & Food Research, and industry partners New Zealand Apples and Pears, Rockit Global, and Summerfruit New Zealand.
The five-year project, led by Dr Ben van Hooijdonk and Dr Jill Stanley from Plant & Food Research, is being delivered with AgFirst Consultants NZ and industry representatives. The project aims to investigate barriers in adopting new growing systems, validate and refine FOPS performance, and support uptake of emerging technologies. . .
The NZHIA congratulate MPI on the release of their 60 page “Facilitating growth in the New Zealand Hemp Industry” report.
The report was independently prepared by Sapere and recognises the industrial hemp industry is “rapidly developing internationally, driven by recent deregulation and increasing interest in and demand for its use in a range of products”.
The report identified a number of comparative advantages for hemp production in Aotearoa New Zealand. Based on our strong track record in plant and food science and innovation, strong agronomic fundamentals, our “clean and green” image and availability of water in potential growing regions.
“These advantages can be leveraged to create a new primary food and fibre industry in regional Aotearoa New Zealand,” says Richard Barge, Chair – NZ Hemp Industries Association Inc. . .