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Daily Report 30th November

Animal welfare group SAFE and Farmwatch have exposed terrible cruelty on Waikato dairy farms.  The animal activists set up hidden cameras on 12 Waikato farms and in a slaughterhouse in August.   The footage shows the calves left in crates for up to eight hours, being thrown onto trucks, and one man kicking and bashing them before slitting their throats.    The animal welfare groups say the footage has left the dairy industry's reputation in tatters, and SAFE says consumers should think about boycotting milk products.      Federated Farmers dairy section chair Andrew Hoggard says it’s appalling behaviour from a minority of people who work in the industry.  He says it will not be tolerated and rules should be strengthened to put a stop to the maltreatment.  Andrew Hoggard says farmers have to work within strict animal welfare rules and the vast majority care  for their stock humanely.   He says most bobby calves are processed by meat works with the proper MPI inspection, so a vet will look over every single calf as it's unloaded and if there's signs of neglect or abuse that'll flow back through and the farmer will face investigation.

Dairy industry bodies say they are appalled at the bobby care practices revealed in the video footage recorded by animal rights group Farmwatch and released as part of a SAFE public campaign launched against dairy farming.     DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle says cruel and illegal practices are in no way condoned or accepted by the industry as part of dairy farming.    He says  Farmers don’t see what goes on when calves leave their farms and transport operators and processing plants need to be held to account to ensure bad practices get stamped out of the  industry.

And we’ll hear more from Andrew Hoggard shortly in our Round Up segment.


Feilding meatworkers are returning to their jobs this week on their old contracts, after they won the court battle.  The Employment Court declared AFFCO had breached the employment act by locking out Wairoa’s 170 staff who refused to sign individual agreements.  The union had meetings in Feilding and Whanganui at the weekend.  Union organiser Darien Fenton says there was unreasonable  pressure put on employees to sign individual contracts giving all the power to the company.  Feilding workers are now back on their old contracts giving them reasonable shifts with good breaks.

Bio Security is a major issue for island nations such as NZ who are dependent on agriculture. So government agencies are working out their strategies should  a breach in bio security occur.  And so those agencies are gearing up for a stink bug invasion - but it's only an exercise.   MPI  is running the Exercise  tomorrow to practice responding to an invasion of brown stink bug which is an invasive pest that has become a significant agricultural and nuisance pest in the USA.   Interceptions of the pest at New Zealand's borders have been increasing each summer and MPI has identified the charmingly named stink  bug as a high priority pest to keep out of New Zealand, because it attacks a wide range of crops and disfigures fruit, making fresh produce unmarketable in many cases.


Back to our lead story and the Video footage of calves being violently abused as seen on the Sunday programme at the weekend.    According to  Federated Farmers Dairy Spokesperson Andrew Hoggard the treatment of the animals is appalling


November has been a cold monthin the North Island, so the arrival of some warmer temperatures last week was welcome but not so welcome were the strong westerly winds that came on the tail of the warm weather. There is a definite feel that the weather pattern has turned and that summer conditions are set to kick in.   Feed levels are more than adequate in most regions, and hay and silage contractors are enjoying a busy season.    The feed levels are keeping the store cattle market active, however they are not quite enough to counteract declining schedules and building numbers in the store lamb market. With three weeks until Christmas the holiday period is a voluntary deadline for many, so there is likely to be a flurry of activity between now and then.   In the South Island  November  little has changed weatherwise for many areas. The threat of drought is still very real for much of the east coast of the South Island  with moisture levels extremely low, which hasn’t been helped by little to no rainfall, dry Norwest winds and temperatures soaring in some areas. Coastal Southland is the one area that has appreciated the increase in temperature as, with the moisture in the ground, grass is responding. Store prices are really feeling the affects of the drying conditions with very little interest shown for long term cattle and lambs. Unfortunately this is not making farmers lives any easier as those that are looking to offload are struggling to get real value for their stock.



Quality cattle were selling well today with a good sized yarding on offer. Older cattle were generally steady, with Ang & Ang/Hxselling up to $3.20/kg while a good number of Angus sold for $3.14 – 3.17/kg. The heaviest Charx at 564kg sold for $1740/hd or $3.06/kg. $2.73 – 2.85/kg was made on the better Ang & Ang/Hx 2yr heifers, while most of the few 2yr bulls sold for $2.88 –   2.89/kg. $1120 – 1180/hd or $3.02 – 3.05/kg was achieved by 60 Angus yearling steers 367 – 391kg. Most Ang & Ang/Hx      steers were making $1010 – 1250/hd while 41 Simx 360 – 379kg managed $1110 – 1162/hd. Beef/Frx 270 – 325kg yearling  heifers firmed to $2.70/kg average today, though Traditionals 270 – 325kg were back to $2.67/kg and in general the section eased  on large numbers. Friesian bulls over 300kg sold for $870 – 1125/hd or $2.66 – 2.81/kg to be mainly steady.    A more reasonable number of store lambs were offered thisweek, and not surprisingly prices eased further in line withfalling schedules. There was some quality lambs among the offering as well as consignments showing signs of tough timesfrom the dry Marlborough region. The better, heavier lambsremained generally steady to firm in parts; however a large  number of lambs came in at less than an est 22kg which weremet with limited interest and difficult to shift. As a result theaverage weight was down to an est 24.1kg and average per head price back to $59.56/hd. The indicator finished at$2.47/kg. Male lines est 26 – 29/kg averaged an est $2.64 –2.66/kg, while mixed sex lines est 28 – 31kg averaged an est2.63 – 2.75/kg. Ewe lambs est 24 – 25kg averaged and est $2.45/kg.

Daily Report 27th November

60 animal activists protested outside the Environment Court in Auckland over plans for one of the largest caged chicken farms in the county.    Stefan Craddock, general manager of Craddock Farms, wants to build a colony cage egg farm in Patumahoe, south of Auckland, housing more than 300,000 hens but  earlier this year Auckland Council declined Craddock's application due to possible odour issues.  The company appealed and  Stop Craddock Farms spokeswoman Deirdre Sims

was hoping  to speak to Mr Craddock and ask him how he sleeps at night knowing  310,000 hens are confined  to cruel cages.  Mr Craddock wasn’t at the hearing but said in a statement there was a big difference between colony chicken farming  and caged farming.     He says Colony farming is a highly researched method of egg production that looks after hen welfare much larger than conventional cages and the birds can move around freely.    He said colony farming produces  large volumes of high quality eggs that are affordable and priced at about $4 a dozen in the shops.


Like Fonterra,  Westland Milk Products is putting more focus on added value product.   The second biggest dairy company says its 2.5 percent drop in peak milk processing is behind the change.   Chief Executive Rod Quin confirmed that Westland hit peak production mid November processing  3,843,250 litres of milk by peak flow, compared with 3,931,022 the season prior.  The slight drop, and a new dryer coming into commercial production means Westland  can put more of milk flow into higher value products.    Rod Quin says reduced production at Westland and across the New Zealand dairy industry is expected to continue and global markets should can’t rely on New Zealand maintaining its production this season.   Westland says with  El Nino likely,  Canterbury farms will  face dryer conditions, while West Coast Farms will experience a wetter and colder season – meaning less milk from them.


A heavy rain season has likely been a main factor in a higher than usual number of farmers failing to comply to with effluent disposal conditions.    The Taranaki Regional Council  Consents and Regulatory Committee says  the rate of non-compliance among dairy effluent treatment has almost doubled since last year.   The results are still in the early stages as the Council has only tested 278 dairy effluent systems out of 1750 but have already found 33 to be non-compliant.    Director for resource management at TRC Fred McLay says  it’s concerning and probably system maintenance has slipped.    Taranaki Federated Farmers president Bronwyn Muir says it’s very hard to establish an overall trend of non-compliance when less the 5% of consents have been inspected.   She says Taranaki's rainfall could be a contributing factor with this season’s  rainfall sitting well over 100 per cent - and even with good systems on farms,  an adverse event like huge rainfall means there's not much farmers can do


In Hawkes Bay .. Napier Port says an increase in agricultural exports going through the port is helping drive its growth and development. CEO  Garth Cowie says container traffic at the port has grown by over 80 percent in the past decade and about sixteen percent in the past twelve months alone mainly on the back of containerisation of produce such as apples, meat, dairy and wool.    Garth Cowie says forestry has shown  significant growth with around 1.3 million tonnes of logs over that period. That's grown from around 300,000  ten years ago and it’s now forecast to grow in excess of 2.5 million tonnes in about six to eight years time.



Friday is a big wool day for us on the Daily Report with the weekly wool report coming up.  It’s certainly a very busy time and one man at the heart of it  is PGG Wrightson Wool’s Business Development Manager Craig Smith who’s been hob nobbing it with Royalty.


The stronger New Zealand dollar produced some mixed results at yesterday’s international wool sale.

However, 97.5% of the 6,500 bales of North Island wool were cleared at the auction. Even though the weighted indicator for main trading currencies was up 1.35 percent compared to the last North Island sale a fornight ago.  New Zealand Wool Services International Limited’s CEO John Dawson said the finer end of the Fine Crossbred Fleece were up to 1.5 percent dearer with the stronger end buyer’s favour. Fine Crossbred Shears in the 3 to 5 and 3 to 4 inch ranges were firm to 2.5 percent cheaper, while shorter lengths were firm to 2 percent dearer.   Coarse Crossbred Full Fleece were 1.5 percent cheaper, and Coarse Shears firm to 2 percent dearer.  Long Oddments remained firm with shorter oddments 3 to 7 percent cheaper. Lamb Fleece prices were largely unchanged. Competition for the offering was well spread and led by bidders for China and Australasian interest, supported by buyers for Western Europe, Middle East, India and the United Kingdom.


The next wool sale is in Christchurch next Thursday with approximately 5,000 bales from the South Island only, as shearing in the North Island was interrupted by bad weather.

Another moderate sized yarding met with similar demand to last week for the better types, though off types are proving a harder sell. 2yr steer numbers were high this week with Here/Frx leading the way and prices eased just slightly on last week. 488 – 529kgs made $2.74 – 2.81/kg with lighter Ang/Frx at $2.67 – 2.72/kg. The best of the 2yr heifers were beef lines and made $2.70 – 2.79/kg.     In the 1yr pens the cattle had the weight but bull prices eased. 41 Friesian bulls 330 – 417kgs sold for $2.54 – 2.68/kg, which pushed the 350kg indicator down to $2.64/kg. The same steer indicator firmed slightly to $2.76/kg, as Ang/Frx steers 287 – 291kgs made $2.71 – 2.79/kg. Here/Frx heifers 291 – 323kgs were popular and made $2.75 – 2.80/kg.     Prices remained generally steady on last week, with a halt in further schedule falls for prime cattle this week. Most of the ox offering sold between $2.63 – 2.77/kg though one line of South Devon made $2.87/kg. $2.60 – 2.70 was the money for the heifers, with Char x making top cpk.   Prime cows sold quite well, with Beef cross lines over $2.20/kg and up to $2.58/kg for Hereford, while Friesians were $1.88 – 1.94/kg.   Hereford prime bulls sold to $2.98/kg which is similar to last week’s values. In the sheep pens, prime lamb prices came back slightly on last week, as did the store lambs with further schedule falls making an impact. Values for good and medium ewes looked to be steady on last week, though lighter types may have eased a littlemaking an impact. Values for good and medium ewes looked to be steady on last week, though lighter types may have eased a little.





Daily Report 25th November

Fonterra has promised its farmer shareholders a higher payout for its milk next year but says the up and down nature in global markets is here to stay.  About  300 shareholders were at the Waitoa Plant in the Waikato for the AGM.   Chairman John Wilson said the $18 billion company had faced unprecedented volatility, resulting in big swings in the global milk price.   He warned that the volatility may continue, though the imbalance between supply and demand is reducing.   Mr Wilson explained the nearly 800 job losses were essential as Fonterra needs  to be more agile.  While production is down 5 percent this year.   John Wilson said  the company expects to make a higher payout of $4.95 to $5 per kilo of milk solids next year.


South Canterbury's Opuha Dam is  80 percent full leading into a hot dry Summer.

Even with that positive spin with little rain expected in the coming months, farmers are being warned this summer could be harder than last when irrigation water from the dam was closed off as a result of the drought.    Opuha Water chief executive Tony McCormick says the dam's level is ahead of where it was this time last year because restrictions had been in place since September. He says without  rain and snow melt, the demand for water is picking up.   The Opuha Dam got close to 98 percent at one stage  but now irrigation demand and a very dry catchment is leading to a draw down of the lake since early October.  Despite this and the hot months ahead the company’s expecting the water supply could last until the end of March.


The stock destroying pasture pest Chilean needle grass is beginning to raise its head and farmers are being advised to keep an eye out.The grass is found in Canterbury, Marlborough and Hawkes' Bay, and is an invasive weed that in worst cases can cause blindness and even death in lambs.

Apparently it’s easier to spot in summer months.  It looks like any other grass through most of the year but from now on to Christmas it runs up into seed head and the seed head is just like an arrow with a cork screw on the end and it burrows into any stock hides and just goes straight into muscle, so if stock get it on them it sort of just destroys them.   AgResearch is investigating what grasses can withstand the spray that is used to kill Chilean needle grass.



Shares in A2 Milk surged to a new record as investors, particularly those in Australia, continue to show bullish appetite for the alternative milk firm that has been the top performer on the NZX 50 this year.

The stock, which is listed on both sides of the Tasman, traded as high as $1.27 - a 16.5 per cent gain on the opening price - before closing up 11.9 per cent at $1.22 last night.   More than $47 million worth of shares changed hands in 381 trades.  A2 shares have gained more than 60 per cent this month, and 112 per cent in the year to date.  The company has been riding a wave of Australasian investor enthusiasm for businesses in the infant formula and natural health products sectors.   That sentiment has driven other stocks including Sydney-based health supplements firm Blackmores and ASX-listed infant formula maker Bellamy's Australia to record levels.


Farmers must become foodies too.   This is one of the revelations from emerging leaders in the agri-business sector who were part of a think tank organised by KPMG.     According to them being a foodie farmer would understand what the consumers of the future will want from farm produce.     Young  horticulturalists, industry groups, government ministries, wine growers,  university students, farmers, fishing companies, banks and iwi were all involved in the think tank and o-author, Julia Jones,   joins me now on Round Up to look into foodie farmers.


The Chinese market for beef has lost its shine in recent weeks. While still solid and performing above other Asian markets, prices have eased off recent highs and are expected to continue to fall. This market appears to have followed a similar trend to others that have gone before it, in that volumes imported have got ahead of the actual demand, and product is struggling to be absorbed. The large levels of inventory on hand are also high priced and many importers are losing money.   A contributing factor to the larger volumes appears to be more product trading through the “grey channels” again and also larger volumes from South America. Given the experiences of the sheep meat sector, the risk associated with shipping beef to this market is increasing rapidly. The Chinese market has increased significantly in importance for beef exports taking 13% of total beef shipments in 2014/15.    In the lamb sector,   prices took another big hit last week with the majority of schedules coming back at least 15cents per kilo  from last week.  Prices will continue to fall until year end, and with key market demand continuing to deteriorate we expect to see some sharp falls in the next couple of weeks.   The cold and wet conditions are having an impact on lamb growth rates in the southern regions, and lambs will be a lot later hitting the market.


For the second week in a row prime and store cattle were offered at Cant Park, with prices generally steady, to easing in parts on last sale. Buyers looked to be chasing weight regardless of breed in the prime steer section, but prices eased by 3 – 5cpk, with $2.75 – 2.85/kg common which resulted in the 575kg headliner easing to $2.78/kg. $2.65 – 2.75/kg was the money for the better heifers, with high yielding exotics a little higher. There were few local trade types which were making $2.50 – 2.60/kg. Some stand out Simmental cows were offered which made $2.08/kg, though the majority were Dairy cross making $1.80 – 1.85/kg, withplainer types $1.60 – 1.80/kg. Bulls generally made $2.74 – 2.91/kg. There wasn’t a lot on offer in the store section, though therewere more genuine store buyers this week. Store steers 325 – 375kg were steady at $2.66/kg. Heifers 336 – 366kg managed $2.68– 2.83/kg. Store bulls 400kg managed $2.28 – 2.34/kg.A slightly larger yarding of store lambs were met withreasonable demand, with prices remaining generallysteady on last week. There was more interest in the

heavier Down cross lambs, though a good portion of theoffering were under 23kg which kept the indicator at$1.92/kg. The bulk of the yarding were 26 – 31kg and

made $51 – 68/hd, or $2.06 – 2.11/kg.A good number of quality prime lambs were also making

similar values to last sale. Top lambs made $117 –127/hd, while good lambs were $100 – 112/hd. Mediumswere $84 – 99/hd. Hoggets still sold to good demandwith the heaviest $117 – 127/hd also, while good hoggetswere $100 – 115/hd.Values firmed for prime ewes by $2 – 3/hd across most

classes. Top ewes sold for $100 – 118/hd while the bulkwere medium to good ewes which sold between $71 –98/hd.




Daily Report 20th November 2015

It might take a while but it will happen… that’s the view of a global dairy expert who predicts world dairy prices will recover but not until the middle of next year.  Rabobank global dairy strategist Tim Hunt says milk production around the world needs to ease and excess stock needs to clear before demand for dairy  picks up again.    Tim Hunt is based in New York but and says low dairy prices are due to  China pulling out of the market, Russia banning imports, falls in the US dollar and the European quota being lifted.      Tim Hunt says the biggest impact has been on New Zealand farmers, who’re weathering a storm far worse  than anywhere else in the world and we need more of the pain of this downturn to spread to producers in other regions beyond just New Zealand which he predicts that will happen in the coming months as milk prices fall further in Europe, margins tighten up in the United States, and as Chinese margins tighten also.  The stockpile of product  is primarily held in milk powders, butter and cheese and NZ has sold so much product in the last 12 months with overseas countries taking  advantage of low pricing to  stock up heavily, but that excess stock will  be worked through in six months or so.



Australia's government has mirrored the NZ government and knocked back the sale of Australian farm land and amazingly Shanghai PengXin is involved.   The Aussies have stopped the sale of the country's largest private property portfolio to foreign investors.  Kidman’s had Pastoral leases for sale  in several states covering about 101,000 square kilometres - an area roughly the size of the North Island excluding Northland.   Two Chinese companies, Genius Link Group and Shanghai Pengxin engaged in a $NZ384 million bidding war over the holdings.    Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison said Selling the company would be against the national interest with part of the portfolio inside a military weapons testing range in South Australia.     Kidman's landholdings encompass 1.3 percent of the Australian continent and includes the world's largest cattle station, Anna Creek.     Prospective buyers from around the world have been forced to withdraw their bids.



Infant formula exporter Carrickmore has shut up shot.   CEO Chris Claridge says the "inordinately hard work" of operating in China is the main reason.   Instead, he has become the new boss of Potatoes New Zealand.    Mr Claridge says China's a difficult market to operate in and Carrickmore was probably one of the last remaining brands out of New Zealand.     He said there were too many barriers for a small company in exporting dairy products into China.     Several years after launching its first product in 2012, Carrickmore was exporting 800,000 cans of infant formula to China a year, in 3500 stores.    Chairman of the New Zealand Infant Formula Exporters Association and CEO of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, Michael Barnett, says small New Zealand exporters are being forced out of the Chinese market.   He says

following the 2013 Fonterra botulism scare and the 1080 blackmail threat this year, MPI has allowed the Chinese to introduce an accreditation process for exporters which has allowed a privileged group to export and as a result, the number of exporters  has fallen from about 200 to 20.


A second irrigation dam for South Canterbury could be on the cards.   Environment Canterbury  is investigating demand for another possible irrigation scheme with an ECan spokesperson confirming  that the regional authority is jointly funding a project with the Irrigation Acceleration Fund to support "an integrated water infrastructure solution".     A survey of coastal consent holders aiming at finding out how they would respond to such an idea is underway and  ECan is also undertaking a computer-modelling exercise as part of the investigation.


Grass cover is a hot topic at the moment with statements like you can hear the grass growing in some areas while the grass is definitely not greener in other parts where a medium scale drought is in action.


A slightly easier kiwi dollar, steadier demand and limited wool volumes combined to lift prices at this week’s New Zealand wool sale  in Christchurch.     Compared to last week’s sale the trade-weighted currency  weakened 0.94 percent, and 92 percent of the 5,000 bales on offer sold at the auction. Merino Fleece were generally firm to 2 percent dearer and Mid Micron Fleece were firm to 3 percent dearer than they were a fortnight ago.   Fine Crossbred Fleece were 1 to 4 percent dearer, than last week’s sale price, while longer shears were firm to 4 percent dearer with shorter types firm to 2.5 percent easier. Coarse Crossbred Full Fleece were up to 1.5 percent dearer. Long Coarse Shears and very short shears eased 1.5 percent with 3 to 4 and 2 to 4 inch shears firm to 1.5 percent firmer. Oddments were 3 to 6 percent dearer.  New Zealand Wool Sale International’s chief executive John Dawson says bidding competition was led by  buyers for China, and supported by bidders for Western Europe and Australasia. The next  sale has attracted 5,900 bales of North Island fleece.


So that’s the latest in wool with the next sale in Napier on Thursday.   Now it’s  time to check out what happened at the  Frankton  saleyards this week.




Recent rain continues to help grass growth locally and further afield, and in turn is putting more life in the store market. At Frankton 2yr steers   were limited in number with Here/Frx selling over a tight range at $2.77 – 2.82/kg for 454 – 524kgs. There was plenty of weight in  the 1yr steer pens with some beef and dairy beef lines at 370kg plus. While the $3/kg mark was a distant memory, the market was  solid with Angus 315 – 382kgs making $2.81 – 2.83/kg, and similar weighted Here/Frx at $2.83 – 2.90/kg. 35 Friesian steers 270 –  368kgs made $2.41 – 2.50/kg. The 1yr bull pens consisted of a mixture of small lines. Of note were 15 Angus which sold for  $2.88/kg, while 3 heavy Hereford fetched $2.79/kg. The heifer market showed good strength, especially 1yr Here/Frx 223 – 260kgs  which made $2.98 – 3.08/kg.     A further 10cpk was taken out of schedules again this week and prime cattle in particular are largely unwanted at the processors, with  many focusing on manufacturing. This saw prices drop again in the pens at Frankton with most steers making between $2.66 –   2.75/kg. Heifer prices quickly followed suit with a further 5cpk taken off last week prices. Boner cow prices on the other hand  remained solid, with Fr/Frx making $1.90 – 1.95/kg.    The sheep market showed more promise this week with prices for lamb firm while ewes were steady to firm. Prime lambs sold for  $105 – 128/hd, while stores made $55 – 82.50/hd. Ewes sold for $63 – 91.50/hd.



Daily Report 19th November

Latest figures from the Real Estate Institute show grazing properties accounted for the largest number of farm sales in the three months to October, accounting for just over 42 percent of all farm sales.   Finishing and horticulture properties accounted for nearly 20 percent of sales each while arable properties accounted for just under 10 percent.    The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to October 2015 was $27,579 -  a 6 percent rise compared with September.    Real Estate Institute rural spokesman Brian Peacocke said, overall, there were 358 farm sales in the quarter ended October compared to 346 farm sales for the same period last year.

And sales volumes for lifestyle blocks for the three month period ending October have again reached record levels with  the median price rising  by $20,000 to $525,000 compared with the same period last year.    Hawke's Bay,  Manawatu / Whanganui and Wellington regions were the popular regions.

Dairy giant Fonterra is selling its 50 per cent interest in a joint venture with Dairy Farmers of America for $196 million.      Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings says DFA will purchase Fonterra's stake in Dairi Concepts as Fonterra decided the partnership was no longer a key part of its plans, although the US remained a major part of its global 'multi-hub' strategy.    Dairi Concepts was established in 2000 when Fonterra contributed to its US dairy and cheese flavours business, and DFA contributed some cheese and cheese-powder assets.    Fonterra and DFA were both founding members of the Global Dairy Platform and have a shared interest in promoting the growth in global dairy consumption and the further development of co-operative dairy farming.

The South Island Farmer of the Year title came down to the wire with a dead heat between a high country farming couple and a Marlborough mussel growing company.  For the first time ever, the Lincoln University Foundation competition was awarded to two entries - Richard and Annabelle Subtil of Omarama Station, and Marlborough's Clearwater Mussels.   Chief Judge Nick Hyslop said the judges were unable to separate the two top performers and the title would be shared.    Clearwater Mussels is a greenshell mussel producer with 90 mussel farms and  Omarama Station a sheep and beef property with some smaller scale hydro and tourism operations.    Nick Hyslop said the joint winners exhibited above-industry standards in their fields and showed leadership in innovation, technology, human resource management, marketing and entrepreneurship and  strong relationships with their customers.


The High Court has agreed with MPI that Honey New Zealand's international's trademarks Manuka Doctor and Manuka Pharm amount to health claims and cannot be used on the company's products.   A spokesman for the company said it would appeal the decision, and that it might have implications for other companies.    Honey New Zealand said in a statement that it was surprised by the decision, which ruled the two trademarks did not comply with the labelling provisions of the Australia New Zealand Foods Standards Code.    Honey NZ said that, while being able to use the trademarks was important to the company, its customers were more likely to focus on the high-quality product in the jar.

The National Animal Identification Tag or NAIT came into being in July 2012 specifically for cattle and three years down the track Deer are about to be included.    But many farmers are saying before any other animals are included NAIT should be making sure the cattle ID system is working properly.



Lamb prices in the North have taken a big hit last week with the large majority trading around the $6.00/kg level and it’s expected this week to bring another sharp drop.  There are plenty of lambs being killed, with the majority now new season lambs. Good quality feed in most areas has lambs finishing well. Farmers no longer have their hands forced by the lack of feed to kill at lighter weights. With the chilled christmas trade and a lower NZ Dollar supporting prices, current average export values are close to being on par with those last year but the lack of demand from key markets such as UK and China is having a serious adverse impact on returns.    Supply from both NZ and Australia is expected to be tight for this season, however the dry conditions hitting the east coast of the country is likely to keep slaughter rates high through early 2016.  In the South the supply of slaughter lambs is expected to be steady through to Christmas with hogget slaughter winding up over the next couple of weeks with new season lambs are currently filling the gaps, however unlike the North Island it’s mainly due to farmers having to offload at lighter weights due to dry conditions.   Lamb growth has been comprised by dry conditions in parts of Marlborough and Canterbury and cold, wet conditions further south. S ome reports suggest there will not be sufficient numbers reaching killable weights before Christmas to keep plants full. The main supply of lambs is expected through February.




Taupo cattle made up the majority of a small yarding at Stortford, with a consignment of Here/Frx featuring.  Regular rainfall in Hawkes Bay has prompted good grass growth and everything sold to strong demand, including small lines and dairy cross. Demand was strong from a local buying bench for 1yr Here/Frx heifers, with 274 – 338kgs lines mainly making $2.88 – 2.97/kg, with a line of 18 314kgs making $3.30/kg, though these were bought for a special breeding program.  Straight beef lines flew $3/kg, with 312kgs Angus cross making $3.09/kg.  Along with these Here/Frx heifers were a consignment of autumn born weaners, which also met solid demand from locals.  Angus x steers weighing 251kgs sold for $780/head, while their sisters made $650 – 715/hd.  1yr Angus steers at 205kgs sold to $3.33/kg, while 21 Friesians made $670 – 735/hd at $2.42 – 2.45/kg.     In the sheep pens Mixed sex lines of lambs were in the minority as a big consignment of drafted lambs came down from Wairoa.  Buyers appreciated the time spent drafting and there was a notable increase in interest in the single sex lines over the mixed sex.  The first ewe lamb lines for the season sold well to a local buying bench with grass, with 24 – 29kgs making $2.80 – 2.83/kg.   However longer term lambs weighing 22 – 23kgs averaged just $2.49/kg.    Male lambs were the biggest mover with prices lifting on last week.  28 – 31kgs males averaged $2.92 – 3.00/kg, while 24 – 27kgs made $2.84 – 2.89/kg.   A small yarding of store hogget's had travelled from the Chatham’s and sold for $78 – 99/hd, while a specially advertised line of 4-5yr Romdale ewes sold for $91.50/hd.







Daily Report 17th November

Fonterra is moving larger volumes of milk into more lucrative finished products such as cheese to take advantage of improved prices relative to whole milk powder, it says.     The strategy is part of the co-operative's plan to improve its business performance in the face of falling dairy prices globally.

Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings says, with less milk produced this season, the cooperative has optimised its product mix, while investing in new plants to improve its manufacturing options.

Mr Speirings says the  consumer foodservice business around emerging markets in Asia, greater China and Latin America, has grown due to a change to higher stream returns and, over the last eight or nine months and driven by cheese.


Europe is the only market showing love for our lamb.    AgriHQ says international lamb markets remain under pressure, which is causing some concern among New Zealand exporters.      Analyst Nick Handley says in continental Europe  there appears to be decent demand for most cuts of lamb, and there is some optimism that this demand will hold over the next few months, but with neither China nor the Middle East showing any interest in forequarters, exporters are diversifying into other markets where possible.

Demand for lower value cuts in China has been steady, and is expected to hold until the end of shipments for the Chinese New Year period and negotiations for chilled lamb sales during the Easter holiday period are in the early stages.


A sign of summer to come is the Marlborough Cherry season getting off to a start this week with orchardists saying  the first pickings are due to start this week after a good winter.

Orchard owner Terry Sowman says the trees are shedding or dropping cherries at the moment which is how  the trees decide how much fruit they want to hold…natures way of controlling the crop.  The weather is the biggest worry  with heavy rain causing the cherries to split and frost burn damaging fruit.

Cherries  develop a tolerance for frost as they mature.  At peak harvest there will be 30 pickers on an orchard with a  good cherry picker picking 400 kgs per day while an average picker will average 100kg.  As to quality, it is too early to say but the crop this year is off medium size


Fonterra's Te Awamutu site has become the first in the world to be awarded a new internationally recognised food safety accreditation.    Previously food safety and food quality have been audited and assessed separately, but accreditation to Food Safety System Certification 22000 - Quality gives companies the option of combining both safety and quality  into one certification providing customers with international best-practice assurances.     Fonterra director New Zealand manufacturing Mark Leslie says the certification was in keeping with the importance it placed on each of these critical aspects of the business.   Food safety assurance company AsureQuality is also the first in the world to be an accredited provider of the Food Safety Certification System.


Few issues are of greater importance to society than antibiotic resistance and the threat it poses to modern medicine, both veterinary and human, according to NZ Vet Assn President Dr Jenny Weston. It’s World Antibiotic Awareness Week and vets are urging farmers to work closely with them to address antibiotic resistance so they remain effective.    Jenny Weston says  many  bacteria and diseases are shared between humans and animals so the use of antibiotics in animals can affect how medicines work in humans and vice versa.    She says that in administering antibiotics it’s important that it’s done correctly, including completing the course of antibiotics and storing them correctly.   Dr Weston says New Zealand is one of the world’s lowest users of antibiotics in animals and with our livestock have a high health status due to our pastoral based farming systems and strict biosecurity measures at the border.


How will farming look in 2035.   Well a new KPMG report is pointing to radical changes in New Zealand's primary sector in years to come.   The business advisory firm has released its annual Agribusiness Agenda looking at what agriculture will look like in 2035, through the eyes of more than 50 emerging leaders in the primary industries.    KPMG farm enterprise specialist Julia Jones is co-author of the Agenda’s report and joins me now on Round Up


The US market is struggling to absorb the large quantities of bull
meat being offered from NZ with end-users continuing to remain out of the market and processors 
struggling to find bids.   NZ’s best chance of seeing improved demand
rests on a decline in Australian supply. Recent rain has slowed
slaughter significantly to the extent that some Australian processors are closing plants at the end of November for an extended summer- season shutdown. This has to create opportunities for NZ and with a decline in US domestic supply from around now on  and increased retail demand post Thanksgiving should provide the market with the opportunity to work through stocks and hopefully see end-users re-enter the market.     Export statistics for October illustrate the extent processors have had to diversify into alternative markets in order to manage US quota limits.    With cattle slaughter tracking above last year for several months, monthly export totals have been well above this time last year. October 2015 beef exports tracked 34% higher than last year, and without the US market to rely on to offload the additional product, processors would have had their work cut out for them. In October 2014 the US took 42% of our beef shipments, this dropped to 21% in October 2015.    Canada absorb the volumes of manufacturing cow being processed and beef shipments to China were also substantial through October with market share lifting from 14% in the previous month to 26%. Exports to Korea and Indonesia also increased through October.


A smaller yarding of cattle offered some glimpses of strength, but the general trend is falling schedules. A surprisingly decent number of steers were offered at Temuka though many would have been finished had the weather conditions allowed. Hereford cross and Murray Grey, 480 – 599kgs made $2.71 – 2.87/kg, while 11 similar weighted Angus were a feature, selling for $2.88 – 2.94/kg. The 500kg indicator price trended down this week to finish below 2014 levels at  $2.72/kg.   Heifers were sold in mainly small lines, with prices steady as killable types realized $2.75 – 2.85/kg.    Dairy cow prices were mixed with the prime types selling on a steady to firm market.  Weights of 525kgs and over averaged $1.69 – 1.73/kg.   Beef cows mainly sold for $1.80 – 1.88/kg. (pause) Buyers continued to take a cautious approach to buying lambs, as Sth Island paddocks continue to dry out and the falling schedule prices offer no reward. The first of the new season lambs are usually greeted with some enthusiasm, but this year is proving to buck the trend, with bidding very conservative.  Mixed sex weighing 25kgs and under were averaging $2.12 – 2.14/kg, while heavier types did sell at higher rates at $2.44/kg.  Big lines of store hogget's with lambs teeth were offered with these mainly making $2.03 – 2.08/kg for 27 – 31kgs.

The prime lamb market was best described as lukewarm as well with most making $80 – 120/head and hogget's $85 – 118/hd.    With some processors now killing ewes,  moderate numbers  sold at similar levels to last week, with medium to heavy trading at $70 – 109/hd






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