Stingy farmers named and shamed on social media [19 May/ Business Day: NZ Farmer]

Stingy farmers named and shamed on social media [19 May/ Business Day: NZ Farmer]

Waikato Federated Farmers Dairy Chairman, Craig Littin revealed that the trade unions were picking apart farm job ads placed on Fonterra’s Farm Source website, with farmers looking for staff at risk of being named and shamed if the money offered is below minimum wage. Mr Littin urged farmers to take...
Govt under fire for Saudi spending [14 May/ Radio NZ Rural]

Govt under fire for Saudi spending [14 May/ Radio NZ Rural]

The government has defended spending millions of dollars developing an agribusiness hub on a farm owned by multi-millionaire Hamood Al Khalaf. Prime Minister, John Key said the treatment of Mr Khalaf, who used to export live sheep from New Zealand to Saudi Arabia before it was banned 10 years ago,...
Scientist Mike Joy ruffles dairying feathers again [15 May/ Business Day: NZ Farmer]

Scientist Mike Joy ruffles dairying feathers again [15 May/ Business Day: NZ Farmer]

Massey University Freshwater Ecologist, Mike Joy has upset the dairy industry with a new report highlighting the costs of dairy farming to society. The report claimed it would take $15 billion to clean up the environment damaged by dairy farming, which is more than the amount dairy farming adds to...
New herd test lab a world leader [14 May/ Dairy News]

New herd test lab a world leader [14 May/ Dairy News]

Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) has opened a new $5 million herd testing facility in Hamilton. LIC Chief Executive, Wayne McNee said the facility is part of the redevelopment of LIC’s assets to enable it to deliver on its growth strategy. The new facility is expected to be operating at full...
Warning dairy sector 'risky area' [13 May/ Otago Daily Times]

Warning dairy sector ‘risky area’ [13 May/ Otago Daily Times]

The Reserve Bank has highlighted the New Zealand dairy sector as an area of risk for the financial system, following a sharp fall in incomes due to lower international prices. The Reserve Bank, in its six-monthly Financial Stability report, said 11 percent of farm debt was held by farmers with...
Latest entries

Drought losses mounting up [18 May/ NZ Farmers Weekly]

North Canterbury Federated Farmers Meat and Fibre Chairman, Dan Hodgen said the drought had caused a huge loss for the regions farmers, with many counting losses in the millions. Mr Hodgen said with lost production expected next season, due to potentially lower lambing rates and the costs of replacing capital stock when demand is likely...

Synlait Farms founders to quit the company [15 May/ Business Day: NZ Farmer]

The founders of Synlait Farms, now known as Purata Farms, have quit the company. Synlait Founders, Juliet Maclean and John Penno have exercised their right to sell their shares in the company to majority shareholder Shanghai Pengxin. Ms Maclean is understood to be unhappy with Shanghai Pengxin as it did not follow through on an...

Banks should not punish dairy farmers: Federated Farmers [14 May/ Business Day: NZ Farmer]

Federated Farmers Dairy Chairman Andrew Hoggard said banks should be thinking of the long term prospects of the dairy industry and not punish those that have been caught out by low prices. Mr Hoggard added that it may be time for some to exit the industry. The Reserve Bank announced dairy farmer debt had risen...

Canterbury drought ‘keeps going on and on’ [14 May/ Radio NZ Rural]

Rain has provided some relief for Otago, Marlborough and parts of Canterbury, however Cheviot is still in a battle with drought conditions. Farmer and Hurunui District Councillor, Vincent Daly said the Cheviot region has received no significant rain since the new year. Mr Daly added that the region has run out of grain with many...

Rural Equities accepts Webster takeover offer for stake in Tandou [13 May/ National Business Review]

Rural Equities is to sell its 6.4 percent stake in Tandou after a takeover offer from Australian agricultural and water company, Webster. The Australian company’s shares jumped 26% on the ASX this year and is rated by Reuters analysts’ as a strong buy. Webster Deputy Chairman, Rodger Finlay said Rural Equities will become a shareholder...

Court allows Landcorp to sell Whārere Farm over Ngati Whakahemo objections [13 May/ Waikato Times]

The Ngati Whakahemo iwi has lost in its battle to stop the sale of the Whārere farm near Pukehina, by Landcorp Farming to Micro Farms Limited, for $19 million following a decision by the Court of Appeal. The iwi filed papers in the High Court for an interim injunction, with the court slamming the Office...

U Turn revives hope on trade deal [18 May/ NZ Farmers Weekly]

Legislation to fast track trade agreements through the United States congress has been revived after a U-turn by the Democrats. New Zealand Agricultural Trade Envoy, Mike Petersen said the U-turn had managed to salvage the proposed Trade Promotion Authority bill and potentially the Trans Pacific Partnership. Mr Petersen said the trade deal now fights a...

Meat country of origin labels rejected by WTO [19 May/ NZ Herald]

The World Trade Organization has rejected a final appeal from the United States, deciding that the United States’ country of origin labels place a disadvantage on meat from both Canada and Mexico. Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack said congress has to fix the problem by either repealing or modifying country of origin labels. The United States...

Unilever boss urges world leaders to reduce carbon output [18 May/ BBC News: Business]

Unilever Chief Executive, Paul Polman warned that if climate change is not tackled, economic growth will not be achieved. Mr Polman said Unilever had seen the effect of climate change on growth, as the business experienced costs between EUR 300 million and EUR 400 million higher than normal due to extreme weather. Mr Polman also...

Brazil beef industry pledges cut Amazon deforestation [16 May/ The Guardian]

A Study published in the Conservation Letters journal has found that public ‘zero-deforestation’ agreements made by beef suppliers in Brazil have had a real impact on rancher and slaughterhouse behaviour, with researchers finding that the deforestation rate among ranch-owners studied has been cut by half. The agreement, signed by meatpacking companies JBS-Friboi, Minerva, Marfrig and...

‘Smart’ plate can count the calories you’re about to eat [16 May/ The Times]

American start-up company, Fitly, is developing a smart plate that proposes to count every calorie placed on it. Hidden in the sides of the plate are three cameras which photograph food placed on it and compares it to a large database to determine what is in the meal. In the bottom of the plate is...

Ooooby aiming for more backyard growth [15 May/ Business Day: NZ Farmer]

New Zealand food distributor, Ooooby, is aiming for a global food revolution after it launched an ambitious $1 million crowdfunding campaign. The company puts together boxes of locally grown, organic produce sourced from both professional and amateur growers. Ooooby has around 500 customers in New Zealand, 400 in Sydney and an expected 600 subscribers in...

US develops new government label for GMO-free products [15 May/ Business Day]

The United States Agriculture Department has developed a new government certification and label for foods that are free of genetically modified ingredients. The move comes in response to consumer groups pushing for mandatory labelling of genetically modified organisms. The certification proposed would be the first of its kind, voluntary and at the expense of companies....

AACo urges caution with Top End’s $5b [14 May/ The Australian Financial Review]

Australian Agricultural Company Managing Director, Jason Strong urged the government to ensure the AUD 5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund is spent wisely. Mr Strong said the building of infrastructure has to increase production in the northern areas. Indigenous Policy Adviser, Warren Mundine welcomed the budget measure as it will offer employment opportunities for indigenous...

Honeybee Crisis Worsens as Summer Die-Offs Mount [14 May/ The Wall Street Journal]

According to the United States Agriculture Department, American beekeepers lost 42 percent of their colonies for the year ending April 2015, an increase of 8 percent on the previous year. For the first time since the department’s bee survey began, summer loss rates exceeded winter rates, suggesting bees are becoming more vulnerable during the time...

Scientists create GM cows high in fish oil [12 May/ The Times]

Genetically modified cattle with beef rich in omega-3 fatty acids has been created by Chinese scientists. Northwest A&F University Professor of Animal Science and Technology, Linsen Zan said his team had shown for the first time that it is possible beef could be enriched with fatty acids. The experiment faced some difficulties with only 20...

Wheat speculators most bearish on record as Kansas drought eases [12 May/ China Daily]

Improved soil moisture has boosted the prospects for crops in the United States during a period where global supply of wheat is expected to reach a four year high. Speculators have increased their bets on lower grain prices for a fourth consecutive week, before surveys showed Kansas farmers are to boost output by 17 percent....

Fonterra UK partner cuts milk price, jobs [12 May/ Dairy News]

The United Kingdom’s biggest farmer-owned dairy co-operative, First Milk, has reduced its payout to suppliers by 66 cents per litre and is to lay off 70 staff. First Milk’s Chief Executive, Mike Gallacher said the decision is necessary in rebuilding a secure and stable future for the company, its members and its employees. Mr Gallacher...

Budget 2015: Farming leader wants tax help [19 May/ NZ Herald]

Federated Farmers President, William Rolleston said farmers would welcome some sort of recognition in this year’s budget following the impact of the drought. Mr Rolleston said many farmers are facing a high provisional tax bill this year due to last season’s record payout at a time when many were struggling with lower prices and the...

New meat industry pilot may work out kinks [18 May/ Business Day: NZ Farmer]

A pilot collaboration between individual meat farmers and processors, co-funded by the government’s Primary Growth Partnership scheme, could alter farming principles that curb profitability and profitability. Greenlea Premier Meats Business Development Manager, Julie McDade said the collaborations, will enable specialists to explore the ideas of farmers. Ms McDade said the attraction of the pilot was...

Large meat co-op formation ‘window of opportunity’ passing [15 May/ Otago Daily Times]

Federated Farmers Otago Meat and Fibre Chairman, Simon McAtamney said the window of opportunity for formation of a large meat co-operative is passing. Mr McAtamney believed the outcome of Silver Fern Farms capital raising efforts would dictate change in the industry. Meat Industry Excellence wants farmers to help finance and back a merger between Alliance...

Agricultural stats show changing landscape [14 May/ Radio NZ Rural]

According to Statistics New Zealand, in the year to June 2014, sheep numbers fell by 4 percent in the North Island and 2 percent in the south to a total of less than 30 million sheep, the smallest since 1943. Dairy cattle numbers were up 3 percent on 2013, to 6.7 million, while deer numbers...

Dairy prices tipped to bottom out at auction [19 May/ NZ Herald]

Dairy Analysts expect the prices in final GlobalDairyTrade auction for the season to bottom out. ANZ Bank Rural Economist, Con Williams believed prices may have bottomed out, with an increase of up to 5 per cent for whole milk powder a possibility. Mr Williams added that any bounce in prices would be positive, but a...

Better returns trump loyalty [18 May/ NZ Farmers Weekly]

TH Enterprises Founder, Trevor Hamilton said Fonterra must start to put more effort into understanding why it is losing its market share. Mr Hamilton said TH Enterprises had exposed the weakness in the Trading Among Farmers scheme by cashing in shares to buy more farms and diversifying milk supply to other processors, which enabled its...