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In the News



MARK WYNNE.The Ballance CEO is talking up the price reduction in its fertiliser as a way of helping farmers through tough times. Falling petro-chemical prices help as well.

PROFESSOR NICOLA SHADBOLT from Massey University, a Fonterra board director is NZ’s rep on the International Farm Comparison Network, which says milk demand is rising quickly.

GEOFFREY BABIDGE. The A2 Milk CEO must be pleased with the way the company is going with a strong market share in Aust and strong growth. It is also looking for more suppliers.



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Agriculture is NZ’s most dynamic, fast-changing sector where the ability to keep up with and anticipate trends is essential to the future profitability of your business. 

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Each week The Main Report Farming Alert prepares you to take hold of new opportunities ahead with farming solutions, trends, ideas, forecasts and analysis – to improve prospects for your farming success.


Whether it is the current market trends, helpful tips on pasture or stock management, the latest developments in agriculture science or regulatory changes, you will find it all in the The Main Report Farming Alert.

Receive helpful advice and ideas on: Government thinking and legislation farm management cost controls productivity hiring and firing quality control farm equipment financial planning forecasts and trends meat export schedule livestock markets agricultural research & development diversification pasture management

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TOP 10 ISSUES FOR AGRICULTURE:

Water storage: Drought in recent years, with expectations of more to come in future has brought new focus on to the need to boost the nation’s water storage capacity. Already the Ruataniwha Dam has run into huge problems, but other schemes are going ahead. Will concerns about the environmental impact of large irrigation schemes handicap the development of future irrigation schemes?

Water quality: Fonterra has been leading the way in getting farmers to improve water quality and fence waterways to stop stock from polluting them, But nitrate leaching into water is still a huge concern. Who will win the battle between farming needs and environmental damage?

Climate Change: The likelihood of more extreme weather events such as droughts and heavy rains will be the result of long-term climate change. Farmers, especially those on dry land and hill country properties, will have to change their farming practices to better retain the rain they receive and plant more trees. How quickly will change come?

Reshaping the dairy industry: The latest plunge in dairy prices has drawn attention to the way Fonterra in particular operates. It has altered its capital structure and done much to improve the way the industry operates, but there is now a feeling it is getting too big and recent events have shown placing so much of the nation’s future in the hands of one enterprise is a risk.

Meat Industry future: Pressure remains on the meat industry as a whole to rationalise its processing capacity and better co-ordinate its marketing efforts to boost returns. The entry of Chinese money may change things. Farmers are now starting to tell the meat companies change has to occur to save the industry. So far there’s been precious little action.

Wool rollercoaster: The wool industry is facing similar challenges to the meat industry – unstable prices from year to year and fickle customers who seem to yo-yo from wanting wool to not wanting wool.Can the industry break this boom and bust cycle and what strategies will they employ?

Global market access: The Government is looking to seal as many free trade agreements as possible with a view to helping exporters especially the farming sector, but the actual benefits in terms of boosting farmer profitability are yet to be realised, as global commodity prices set the benchmarks. We have yet to see whether the much vaunted TPPA will get across the line. Will the hype be matched by reality?

Research investment: The Government is pumping more money into agriculture sector science and research in an effort to further boost productivity and returns. What will the payback be and will farmers reap most of the benefits or will the gains primarily accrue to food retailers offshore?

NAIT:The government’s controversial animal traceability scheme is now in place. Will it provide a valuable marketing tool which will pave the way for higher offshore prices for sheep meat and beef? So far there’s little evidence it has improved sector outcomes.

Regulatory reform: The Government is continuing its programme to change the Resource Management Act in part to help make life easier for farmers. It has been a long and tortuous process, and legislation still has a way to go to get to a point where it will make a difference.


The Main Report Farming Alert is written and edited by The Main Report and Trans Tasman Editors. Advertising is not accepted. Editors have no allegiance to any political party or other outside lobby. Their duty is solely to you, our client.


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IN THIS WEEK'S ISSUE

20 June 2016

  • This Week... Farmers are set to get something of a boost as Ballance drops fertiliser prices. This should help hard pressed dairy farmers looking to keep costs in check.
  • Primary sector exports continue to grow, with horticulture stepping in to plug the gap left by lower dairy production. Horticulture export revenue grew by 20% in the year to June, with primary product export revenues at $36bn for the year.
  • The A2 Milk Company is showing the way for the dairy sector with its science based niche marketing cornering a health conscious market across the globe. The company has just revised its full year outlook upward again.
  • And the wool industry is to get a $21m boost thanks to a partnership between Wool Industry Research and the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment. The money will be spread over seven years.

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