New Zealand Apples and Pears (NZAPI), the industry organisation representing the country’s pipfruit growers, today released a crop re-forecast that predicts a decrease of between 12% and 15% on last year’s crop total.
Extreme weather events in the major growing regions of Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne and the impacts of Omicron during the peak harvest period have combined with increased shipping costs to further squeeze profit margins and make the New Zealand 2022 apple and pear harvest one of the most challenging in the past decade.
In January this year, the 2022 apple and pear crop was predicted to reach the equivalent of 23.2 million boxes (Tray Carton Equivalents, or TCEs, as they’re known in the industry), destined for customers in more than 80 countries. That forecast has now been adjusted to be approximately 20.3 million boxes, a drop of 13%, representing an estimated reduction in export earnings of $105 million.
NZAPI CEO Terry Meikle says a perfect storm of adverse weather events in key growing regions and major labour shortages during the heart of the harvest combined to result in growers not being able maximise their crops. However, what has been harvested remains of a high quality for New Zealand’s export markets. . .
Challenges navigated in ‘tumultuous’ year – Sally Rae:
Otago Federated Farmers president Mark Patterson has described the past 12 months as “one of the most tumultuous in recent farming history”.
In his report to the province’s annual meeting in Lawrence yesterday, Mr Patterson said agriculture had not faced such a challenging set of circumstances since the Rogernomics era reforms in the 1980s.
Implementation of major Government reforms of freshwater and land management, climate change regulation, labour shortages, supply chain disruptions, pandemic management, land-use change and centralisation of local government services were some of the significant issues confronting farmers.
On top of that, Otago had been “book-ended” by back-to-back autumn droughts which had resulted in a medium-scale adverse event being declared in large swathes of the region, adding extra stress. . .
The future for sheep – Keith Woodford:
Lamb prices are high but industry remains buffeted by big crosswinds
The sheep industry in Zealand has been getting smaller ever since 1982 when sheep numbers reached 70 million. The latest numbers are 26 million in 2021, having dropped from 32.6 million in 2010. Yet sheep still earn over $4 billion of annual export income.
In recent months I have had plenty to say about both greenhouse gas policy and forestry as they are affecting and will affect all New Zealand agriculture. Here, I focus specifically on sheep farming to seek answers as to where the industry might head.
Focusing first on market returns, the last two decades have brought lots of good news. Lamb and mutton prices have risen faster than other pastoral products, including dairy, and at a considerably higher rate than general inflation. Yet somehow it has not been enough to stem the decline. . .
The Energy Minister is expected to provide an update next month on whether a $4 billion pumped hydro storage in Central Otago might be feasible.
The Lake Onslow project is designed to serve as a giant battery to help protect against hydro electricity shortages and create more stability in the market.
It would involve a man-made lake likely to the east of Roxburgh in Central Otago where water would be pumped into a reservoir when energy demand was low and released when demand was high.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment said Energy Minister Megan Woods would provide a brief project overview to her Cabinet colleagues this month. . .
Cromwell and Clyde businesses are celebrating the success of the Lake Dunstan Trail, and hope it will help sustain the area through the usually quiet winter period.
The cycle trail, which connects Clyde and Cromwell after opening in May last year, has blown away all expectations.
It was hoped it would attract 7500 users in its first year, instead it was more than 84,000.
The small Central Otago town of Clyde was home to about 1250 people and one of the Otago Central Rail Trail’s trail heads.
That trail attracted more than 10,000 users annually. . .
Farmers are being urged to do their bit to protect farms from damaging pest plants by ensuring machinery, vehicles and equipment have been cleaned ahead of Moving Day.
Planning is also necessary when it comes to preventing effluent entering waterways and keeping roads clear and safe for road users in the region, says Waikato Regional Council.
Moving Day occurs in the week leading up to and immediately following 1 June each year. It involves the mass transporting of cows and machinery around the country’s roads as farm contractors relocate themselves and their stock in time for the new season.
“Through good on farm biosecurity practices, farmers and contractors can make a massive difference to preventing the spread of pest plants and weeds,” said regional council biosecurity pest plants team leader, Darion Embling. . .