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Report card: Could do better

Fonterra’s Shareholders Council has told the co-operative’s directors and senior management the recent interim results were below the council’s expectations.

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  • NZFW Online 27.04.15

    View publication here.

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  • Feilding sales April 22, 23, 24

    Lamb numbers offered at Feilding on Friday were only half of last week’s total at just 12,603 head, although this was much more in line with market demand. There was still a discount for wethers and ewe lambs but overall demand was much more in line with supply.

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  • Matawhero sale April 24

    With 6896 sheep on offer, including 6583 store lambs, it was one of the busier days of the year at Matawhero on Friday.

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  • China’s illegal meat trade huge

    As much as 80% of China’s meat imports could be taken in through the so-called Grey Market, dwarfing the level of New Zealand shipments sent in through highly-regulated official channels.

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Nervous wait on backlogs

The United States’ emergence from its economic slumber looks certain to rev up beef prices again this year. First though, large inventories built up during last year’s ports strike will need to be worked through. 

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  • Farmer equity drops

    Falling Australian land values have hit farmers’ equity. The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) has reported most regions’ land values peaked in 2008 then declined to 2014. This was because of cautious buyers, tighter bank lending and reduced farm profitability as a result of drought and low beef cattle prices.

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  • Debt burden hard to bear

    Northern Australia’s beef industry is in an unviable position and cannot climb over a mountain of debt, a farming leader says. Australian Beef Association director and farmer Athol Economou said after 15 years of static prices, rising costs, drought and huge debt the industry is in tatters. Submissions to government last year said the Northern industry’s debt levels were unlikely to be paid off.

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  • Food safety lessons learnt

    It was only one cow among 5.5 million cattle but it took the Canadian beef industry 10 years to recover from the May 2003 discovery she was infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

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  • Looming toll from tariff cuts

    Under orders from Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to fulfil a promise he made during the most recent federal election, the country’s trade negotiators went on the charge last year completing trade deals with Japan, South Korea and China. 

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Livestock online

*Problem:* Stock agents have details of their lines of stock for sale in their notebooks and their heads – why can’t the pictures and details be instantly up on the internet for everyone to see them?

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Old dog, new tricks

Almost half of New Zealand’s top 50 bulls are linked back to Raeden Jackson’s Valden Holstein Friesian Stud, with 22 descending from either the Valden Curious Paladium or Valden-Hi Applause families. *Sheryl Brown* visited the 73-year-old dairy farmer who uses the latest technology in embryo transfers to accelerate the onfarm breeding programme.

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  • Newest co-op comes into being

    The country’ newest co-operative has been created in Taupo with 34 organic dairy farmers signing up to join the Organic Dairy Hub Co-operative of New Zealand.

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  • Tips on topping

    In the last three issues in this column I have been discussing aspects of maintaining and improving pasture quality – particularly over summer and autumn.

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  • No excuse not to be involved

    Dairying has always been a risky business. Weather, milk prices and animal health issues are all unpredictable and the effect they can have on an individual enterprise is sometimes even more so.

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