Rural round-up

10/04/2020

Fonterra is on the front foot in the safety business, making ethanol for keeping our hands clean – Point of Order:

A   report  on  the  NZ Farmer  segment  of   Stuff  caught  the eye of  Point of  Order.  It  led  off  with a  quote   from respected  economist  Cameron  Bagrie.

“Thank God for farmers….They’ve felt beaten up over the past couple of years, well, thank God agriculture is still the backbone of NZ.The story of the farming sector at the moment is looking relatively good compared to what we are seeing across a lot of the other sectors.Yes, we are seeing pressure on commodity prices, but the bottom line is the world has got to eat.“

It’s a   theme  which  Point of  Order  has  canvassed in  several   posts  over the past  fortnight as the  coronavirus  pandemic has  devastated  other  key sectors of the economy,  including  tourism and hospitality.

On  March  26 the contention was:  . . 

Is the Mycoplasma bovis eradication campaign on track? – Keith Woodford:

New Zealand’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication campaign has now been running for almost three years, with no decline in the number of farms newly detected as being infected. Can the disease be stamped out?

It is now more than five months since I last wrote about Mycoplasma bovis in late October 2019. Since then, another 44 farms have gone positive, bringing the total to 245 farms since the disease was discovered in July 2017. All of these farms have been required to slaughter their herds. There are 31 farms where that process is still ongoing.

During this latest five-month period, farms infected with Mycoplasma bovis have been identified at the average rate of two per week. This is slightly higher than the overall average rate of 1.75 farms confirmed per week since the disease was first discovered in July 2017. . .

Meat industry performing well under level 4 – Allan Barber:

Processing is under severe constraints during the lockdown, although, as an essential service, meat companies are working hard to feed New Zealanders and service key export markets. In a newsletter to staff and suppliers, AFFCO states that processing restrictions on maintaining a minimum distance between employees means sheepmeat capacity is running at 50% of normal and beef capacity is close to 65%. This of course comes at the peak of the season, exacerbated by drought in several regions, particularly the top half of the North Island.

Because meat companies aren’t entitled to government wage subsidies, they have set up schemes to look after employees whose earnings would be adversely affected, either by an inability to work for reasons of age or dependants or the reduced volume throughput. In AFFCO’s case, employees are paid their full production bonus based on numbers processed before the Level 4 lockdown, while those unable to work receive a company funded support package of $585 gross per week for an initial four week period. . .

Pandemic kills off Israel agritech move :

The Covid-19 crisis has killed off a planned expansion of New Zealand agritech into Israel.

Farmer-owned co-operative, Livestock Improvement Corporation, had planned to buy a 50 percent stake in an Israeli company, Afimilk. 

The deal would have cost $US70 million, and was supported by the LIC board.

But when the matter was put to LIC shareholders, 70.30 percent of shares voted against the proposal, 27.56 percent voted for the proposal and 2.14 percent abstained. . . 

Livestock sales open on Trade Me:

Trade Me has announced today that livestock sales and livestock feed sales will be permitted while New Zealand is at COVID-19 alert level 4 after concerns were raised about animal welfare during lockdown.

Head of Marketplace Lisa Stewart said Trade Me had worked with both Federated Farmers and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to understand this issue. “With typical public livestock sales closed due to the lockdown, farmers are restricted in how they sell their livestock at this busy time of year. . .

The naked farmer is ‘living the dream’ – Sally Rae:

It was a cheeky idea.

Archie Kennedy was drenching sheep on the first day of lockdown when he whipped off his clothes and suggested his wife, Lucy, take a photograph.

He posted it on Facebook and the response was so overwhelming that he decided to do a naked farmer post every day of the four-week lockdown.

Whether mustering on horseback or putting the rams out, routine rural tasks have been documented in his birthday suit. . .

Risk is constant, but agriculture is in the box seat – Daniel Pedersen:

CONTINUED positive sentiment for farmland, widespread rain and agriculture’s natural agility to supply people’s needs is spurring confidence across the state, says Rural Bank NSW regional manager for agribusiness Tony Williams.

“We’re off to a fantastic start to the season,” he said.

“Properties are still changing hands,” he said, adding that while social distancing had changed the way properties were inspected, the coronavirus outbreak certainly hadn’t stalled investment. . .


Nationwide job market grows

07/07/2014

Good news for employment:

All regions across the country recorded growth in the number of jobs advertised on Trade Me Jobs according to an analysis of listings onsite in the April-June quarter.

Head of Trade Me Jobs, Peter Osborne, said the number of job listings nationwide was up 19% on the same period in 2013, continuing the healthy job market trend evident since the September quarter. “Growth in listings has been very strong, despite the potential handbrake effect of the unusual combination of Easter and Anzac Day holidays in March, and a Budget that had a cooling effect on the number of jobs advertised in May.”

Mr Osborne said most advertisers were upbeat. “We’re hearing plenty of optimistic reports from recruiters and employers, and the majority are planning to keep on hiring too.”

He said improved economic and employment opportunities in New Zealand also contributed to the lowest ever level of migration to Australia in May. “Kiwis are increasingly likely to stay in New Zealand which is good news for NZ Inc, and is also complemented by returning expats who have noticed things on the improve back here in New Zealand.”

The national picture
Mr Osborne said the lift in advertised roles in all regions was a “pretty unusual but very welcome” result. Auckland still shines brightly (up 21%), while Canterbury and Wellington maintained their considerable growth trajectories (up 21% and 15% respectively).

 Waikato was another standout performer with job ad growth of 24%, and Otago comfortably reached double digits with a 16% lift.

In the sectors
The demand for skilled workers is still high, with candidates in IT, engineering, construction and legal the most difficult to source. “Anyone with decent skills in these areas holds the balance of power at present, and they’re in a great position if they are hunting for new opportunities,” Mr Osborne said.

In terms of the number of jobs available, roles in trade (32%), construction (39%) and transport (29%) saw the highest jump compared to this time last year.

Mr Osborne said the average pay was flat at $60,881 nationally. “Pay levels holding firm is good news for employers, and a little unexpected given the tight labour market. If demand for workers continues to outstrip supply, wage inflation is inevitable as employers offer fatter pay packets in a bid to entice staff.”

Looking ahead
Mr Osborne said he remained upbeat about the coming months. “We’re confident the market will continue to grow despite the cool-down in May. Employer confidence remains high and there are still a number of sectors where candidates are in short supply and set to drive underlying growth.

“The Christchurch rebuild remains a major contributor and we’re seeing a shift in the type of demand from construction relate roles to professional and infrastructure roles.”

He said there was “no end in sight” for Auckland’s consistently high demand for skilled labour. “The City of Sails accounts for around 40% of all jobs advertised across the country, and will continue to be a beacon of opportunity.”

Job % change
Q2/2014 vs Q2/2013
Accounting – 1.6
Agriculture, fishing & forestry 34.7
Banking, finance & insurance – 0.3
Construction & architecture 39.1
Customer service 21.7
Education 6.7
Engineering 15.2
Government & council – 8.5
Healthcare 4.6
Hospitality & tourism 23.0
HR & recruitment 27.4
IT 7.5
Legal – 31.4
Manufacturing & operations 33.9
Marketing, media & communications 15.6
Office & administration 17.8
Property – 3.6
Retail 15.6
Sales 9.6
Science & technology 27.6
Trades & services 31.6
Transport & logistics 29.4
Overall 19.0

2. Average rates of pay by job (full-time jobs only): Q2/2014

Highest paid Pay rate ($)
1 IT architects 139,476
2 IT project managers 132,857
3 IT managers 123,164
4 IT sales & pre-sales 122,418
5 Doctors & medical specialists 120,633
Lowest paid Pay rate ($)
1 Kitchen staff 35,582
2 Health caregivers 37,252
3 Reception & front desk 37,637
4 Waiting staff 37,829
5 Retail assistants 37,982

3. Listings growth by region for Q2/2014

Region % change vs Q2/2013
Auckland 21.2
Bay Of Plenty 13.2
Canterbury 20.5
Gisborne 7.2
Hawke’s Bay 11.1
Manawatu / Wanganui 11.6
Marlborough 10.7
Nelson / Tasman 20.6
Northland 2.9
Otago 15.6
Southland 65.6
Taranaki 2.2
Waikato 23.7
Wellington 15.3
West Coast 48.7
Grand Total 19.0

4. Average rates of pay by region (full-time jobs only): Q2/2014

Highest paid Pay rate ($)
1 Auckland City 72,302
2 Wellington 70,234
3 Kawerau 66,105
4 New Plymouth 61,143
5 Buller 59,742
Lowest paid Pay rate ($)
1 Mackenzie (Canterbury) 42,333
2 Tararua 45,417
3 Horowhenua 46,036
4 Hauraki (Waikato) 47,095
5 Upper Hutt 47,863

NB: Segments with less than 50 jobs excluded.

It’s good to see a reduction in the government and council sector and an increase in export-earning industries like agriculture, fishing and forestry.


Is there a word . . .

27/12/2009

. . . to describe the act of listing unwanted gifts on Trade Me within hours of receiving them?

. . .  for what you feel when you come across a listing and realise it’s the gift you chose so carefully?

. . . and for what you’d feel if you found out that the person who gave you the gift knew you were trying to sell it?

Some of the givers and recipients of the 5000  unwanted gifts listed on Trade Me so soon after Christmas might need these words today.


Sheep free home wanted for dog

06/10/2008

A Roxburgh farmer is advertising a heading dog for sale on Trade Me because he doesn’t like sheep.

It’s a wuff life for a sheep-phobic heading dog.


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