This year can only be described as a roller coaster – it has had amazing highs in most sectors of the farming industry at some point but, equally as concerning, lows, all of which make up 12 months that will be talked about for years to come.
Mother Nature has been as kind as we can hope for with a mild winter and summer that provided good pasture covers though she has proved to be a little less friendly in the last few weeks drying out some of the east coast but bringing torrential rain to the west, which caused big issues along the West Coast and flooding in eastern areas of the South Island. But we all know we are at the mercy of the weather and if we didn’t accept that challenge we would not be farming.
Prices for our products have never been better – meat schedules reached all-time highs, which has rolled down to the sale yards, with records broken for cattle and sheep along the way. We thought the last couple of years have posted the best prices we would see but when yearling steers can reach $1500 and cull ewes regularly fly $300 there is no comparison. While we have started to see some tapering off in the last few weeks because of supply and weather, looking back over historical data it is hard to believe how far we have come in a relatively short time.
We should be celebrating the success of our industry and the fact our overseas customers can see the quality and value in our products. But, instead, we have faced a Government that doesn’t seem to understand how vital farming is to New Zealand and I don’t need to go into depth what shape that has taken – it is fresh in all our minds.
But pat yourselve on the back farmers and have a beer with your neighbours – you deserve it. Merry Christmas and I wish you all a safe and happy New Year.