Boom times at Napier Port with an increased pipfruit harvest,  coupled with growth in the  forestry and viticulture sectors, seeing some of the highest export volumes in the past 10 years.     The story began in March where monthly volumes were the second highest on record, and  April stepped up even further with  28,513 twenty-foot equivalent  containers passing over the port’s wharves.    Napier Port CEO Garth Cowie said a huge apple crop also played its part with  8,860 containers  of apples exported,  a record for this point in the season.    Garth Cowie says that during the season he expects the port will process somewhere between 21,000 and 22,000 containers  up around 4 to 6 per cent onlast year’s crop.     As of late last year overall revenue at Napier Port had risen 7.6 per cent to $72.1million for the year ended September 2015 and  the number of vessels calling went from 636 to 653.

A group of Upper Hutt farmers have gone bush to find a herd of 19 bulls missing overnight.   A stock truck tipped on the winding road out of Whitemans Valley with its trailer left hanging over the edge of Blue Mountains Road  and the cattle took off into the bush but were eventually penned by temporary electric fencing.    A crane was brought into remove the trailer unit and the farmers are going to try and herd the bulls out the bottom of the valley.   A local resident found one of the bulls with a doleful expression near her front door.

Fish and Game rangers seized eight shotguns from non-compliant hunters in the Whanganui region last weekend.    Taranaki regional manager Glenn Maclean said a number of rangers were out patrolling at the weekend  and shotguns were seized from people at smaller ponds who either didn’t have a hunting licence or were using lead shot.    All shot must now be made of steel.    Mr McLean says they were pleased with hunter behaviour, and apart from the few lawbreakers it was a reasonable opening weekend, though conditions weren’t conducive to duck hunting.     The clear and calm weather, allows the ducks to fly out and land on the sea, thus escaping the guns.

The 11 finalists in the 2016 Dairy Trainee of the Year competition are now in the middle of a three-day study tour, visiting award-winning farmers, Fonterra Innovation and Massey University’s No 4 dairy farm.   The trainees will visit a robotic farm, a goat farm, a raw milk farm and hear from a range of speakers on the state of the dairy industry and also on setting and achieving goals.     The tour will finish in Wellington where the group will join finalists in the New Zealand Share Farmer of the Year and New Zealand Dairy Manager of the Year competitions.     The final aspect of their judging, an interview, will take place on Friday before the winners of the three competitions are announced at the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards on Saturday night. The winners will share about $170,000 in cash and prizes.

It’s time for Round Up and introducing a new member of the Federated Farmers team.   Dr Paul Le Miere is originally from Jersey in the Channel Islands been with Federated Farmers for the last  8 years.  Currently he’s  the Acting General Manager of Policy and Advocacy working on the RMA , Water and Local government.     So let’s start with the proposed RMA reform bill which being consulted on presently.   Paul, welcome to Country TV and what are the main areas you’re concerned about.

The US imported beef market had been ticking along nicely for the last several weeks, with prices increasing slowly each week. While imported 90 CL prices recorded some lift early in the week, there are signs the market has now stalled. There has been very little interest out of the US, and there is resistance for any increase in asking prices from NZ exporters. There are a couple of contributing factors behind this.   Imported meat is directly competing with domestic,    limiting demand for imported.    As supply of domestic increases, end-users are choosing to put domestic cuts through the grinder as an alternative to imported meat. With prices for 50CL sharply lower in recent weeks, the use of domestic product is keeping the formulation for patties much cheaper than using imported product.    The other factor behind the change in interest from the market is an increase in the volume of meat offered from NZ. While the volumes are not large, it has been enough to increase wariness, confirming just how risk adverse this market currently is.

A large yarding of prime and store stock was offered at Cant Park today. The dry conditions brought out more cattle and quality has started to suffer. This was particularly evident in the store section as farmers off-loaded. Prime Angus steers were largely $2.75- $2.80/kg with not many offered, while the bulk of the offering were Hereford and Here/Frx with $2.65-$2.75/kg common. A lot of the heifers were local trade weight and sold for $2.40-$2.50/kg, with those over 480kg, $2.55-$2.65/kg. Bulls 500-700kg made  $2.50-$2.65/kg. A few heavy Hereford cows sold for $1.90-$2.05/kg, while medium good cows earned $1.70-$1.80/kg. The store yarding was mixed and met limited demand, but quality Angus and Ang/Hx store steers 420-430kg made reasonable money at $2.90-$2.96/kg. Here/Frx steers 350-420kg made $2.60-$2.75/kg while heifers of the same weight managed $2.40-$2.55/kg.   Store lamb numbers were up again to around 3000. It was a quality offering with prices steady to firm on last week. Very good lambs made $80-$82 with several lines fetching $70-$80. Medium lambs made $65-$70 and light lambs $55-62. Male and mixed sex lambs 32-34kg were steady to average $2.31- $2.32/kg while mixed sex 28-31kg averaged $2.39- $2.43/kg. Ewe lambs 28-29kg averaged $2.56/kg. Prime lambs sold to good demand and prices lifted $2-$3 per head across all weight ranges. Heavy lambs made $110-$124, good lambs $100-$110, mediums $85-$100 and light $75-$85. A light yarding of prime ewes met with strong demand and the heavy ewes lifted by $5 per head. Heavy ewes earned $90-$100, medium to good ewes $70-$86, mediums $60-$70 and light $40-$50.