Rural round-up

October 11, 2017

Fall in farm worker deaths ‘encouraging’ – Alexa Cook:

The number of deaths and serious injuries in the farming sector have dropped this year.

Figures from WorkSafe show that this year, up until 1 October, there have been nine deaths in agricultural workplaces, compared to an average of 15 deaths for the same period each year from 2014 to 2016.

Statistics show that the agricultural sector has had almost four times the number of workplace deaths than forestry, construction and manufacturing since 2011. . . 

Nine vying for three spots in Farmlands director elections – Sally Rae:

Voting is open in this year’s Farmlands director elections and there is a strong southern presence among the South Island candidates.

Nine candidates will contest the three director vacancies this year, with elections required in both the North and South Islands.

The South Island vacancy will be contested by former long-serving Alliance Group director Murray Donald (Winton), former Otago regional councillor Gary Kelliher (Alexandra), accountant Mel Montgomery (Southland), former Federated Farmers national board member David Rose (Southland) and current Alliance Group director Dawn Sangster (Maniototo). . . 

Alliance plans capital spending of $54:

Alliance Group is investing $54million in capital expenditure during the next year.

Outlining the investment at a series of roadshows throughout the country, chief executive David Surveyor said the success of the business strategy meant the co-operative was in a position to reinvest to continue to build the company’s operational performance.

In addition to a pool payment, the company would have a bonus share issue and reward farmer shareholders by increasing their shareholding in the co-operative.

The level would be based upon the supply of lambs, sheep, cattle, calves and deer during the 2017-18 season, Mr Surveyor said in a statement. . . 

Possum peppering – still totally implausible, seven years on – Alison Campbell:

Kerikeri award entry turns possums into burning issue“, proclaims a headline in the Northern Advocate.

The story is about an entry in the WWF-NZ’s Conservation Awards for 2017; I hope the judges have a good grasp of science and scientific method. From the article:

The entry from Kerikeri promotes a new take on an old-world biodynamic method of ridding fields of rodents and other furry pests.

It is called peppering, and involves burning the pelts and carcasses of said pests until they’re little more than ash, grinding it finely, mixing it with water and “spray painting” the substance back on the affected land.

Apparently, this version of the ‘traditional’ practice is new in the sense that so far it has not been applied because it lacked ‘scientific background’. . . 

Sheep Meat And Beef Levies to Remain Unchanged:

Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) announced today that sheep meat and beef levies will remain unchanged for the levy year commencing 1 October 2017.

B+LNZ Chairman James Parsons says the Board has reviewed budgets and activities for the financial year commencing 1 October 2017 and that the sheep meat levy on all sheep slaughtered would remain $0.60 per head and the beef levy, on all cattle slaughtered (including beef cattle and dairy cattle but excluding bobby calves), at $4.40 per head GST (exclusive). . . 

Voting for the 2017 Fonterra elections and resolutions underway:

Voting is now open for the 2017 Fonterra Board of Directors’ Elections, the Shareholders’ Councillor Elections in 10 wards, and six Annual Meeting resolutions.

This year Shareholders have the opportunity to elect three Fonterra Directors. The three candidates are Independent Nomination process candidates Brent Goldsack, Andy Macfarlane and John Monaghan. Each candidate requires Shareholder support of over 50% of votes to be elected. . . 

Farmers Fast Five: John McCaskey – Claire Inkson:

Farmers Fast Five : Where we ask a Farmer five quick questions about farming, and what agriculture means to them. Today we talk to John McCaskey : Pioneer of the Wine Industry, Farmers Advocate, Entrepreneur, and Proud Farmer.

1….How long have you been farming?

Since I was big enough to hold a bottle and feed a lamb—say 1939! My infant years were filled with helping feed pigs & chooks progressing to milking the house cow and churning butter after school! By age 10 I was going to be a farmer! I passed all agriculture subjects for School Cert 1954 . . 

New deal sees Palgrove partner with NZ super fund

Leading Queensland seedstock producers, David and Prue Bondfield, Palgrove, are the latest agribusiness to partner with a superannuation fund in order to grow their business.

The Bondfield family released a statement on Wednesday saying their business, had entered into a partnership with the New Zealand Superannuation Fund (NZSF). The terms of the transaction remain confidential.​  . . 

Select Harvest rejects Arab takeover, launches $65m local capital raising – Andrew Marshall:

Select Harvest has more than 7000 hectares of almond plantations likely to deliver about 15,800 tonnes of crop next year.

Hot on the heels of rejecting a $430 million Arab takeover offer, big almond growing and nut processing business, Select Harvest, has launched a share market capital raising bid for about $65m.

Select has already placed 10.7m new shares worth about $45m with institutional investors. . .

 

 


OK there, not ok here?

October 6, 2017

The New Zealand superannuation fund has taken a stake in an Australian cattle stud:

 The New Zealand Superannuation Fund has made its first offshore farm investment, taking a stake in Australian beef stud Palgrove for an undisclosed amount.

The deal, which has received approval from the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board, will increase the fund’s rural land portfolio to 33 farms worth approximately $340 million, it said in a press release. In its 2016 annual report, the Fund said it owned 21 farms valued at $204 million. As at Aug. 31 this year, however, it had 1 percent of its $35.7 billion fund invested in rural farmland.

Chief investment officer Matt Whineray said Palgrove is a high quality, highly successful business that complemented the Fund’s existing investment portfolio. “We are pleased to make the fund’s first offshore investment under our rural land strategy. We continue to see rural land as an attractive long-term investment and a good diversifier for our portfolio,” he said.

Palgrove is based near Stanthorpe, Queensland, but has livestock and properties now spread across Queensland and New South Wales, according to its website. The stud currently runs about 5,000 head of registered cattle.

The Super Fund was set up in 2001 to help meet the country’s future pension needs. Its acquisition of rural land is driven by a desire to diversify its investments and to benefit from increased demand for meat and proteins as Asian countries become wealthier and favour a more western diet.

The business will continue to be run by the Bondfield family who founded it.

NZ Super Fund portfolio manager Neil Woods, said it intends to invest more in Palgrove to help it expand.

“The arrangement is we will grow the business through the purchase of land and the development of new technology to increase it size and value. We could invest another $100 million in this business in the medium term.”

He said Palgrove was a first step in rural investments in Australia and the fund was on the look out for other agriculture investments.

The stud’s founder David Bondfield said the fund had the right approach to investment in the sector.

“This partnership with NZSF gives the Palgrove business the capacity to grow its cattle numbers to meet increasing demand from our clients. It also enables us to accelerate genetic development.”

I know the Bondfields and admire their business. This should be a good investment for the super fund.

It is important for it to spread its risk and to invest both in New Zealand and overseas. I am also open to foreign investment here.

However, not everyone shares my views.

Some are vehemently opposed to foreign investment.

It would be interesting to know if that applies to both inwards and outwards investment.

If it doesn’t, how do they explain that it’s okay for us to invest there but not for people form other countries to invest here?


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