• Dairy milk prices have dropped for the fifth consecutive time in a row, which hopefully will contribute to the decision to leave interest rates where they currently are.  As farmers selling our produce, the last thing we need is high interest rates equating to a high dollar.  On the counter side of this argument, the housing demand – especially in Auckland – is still significant, as are the increasing numbers of new immigrants to New Zealand and the building boom commencing in Canterbury.
  • Stock prices appear to be holding despite the drought some of us have experienced in recent months.  Weaner prices appear to have been a mixed bag with good lines selling well at the fares, however lower to middle of the range stock was marginal.  Dairy cow prices also appear to be consistent with the previous year, despite the record Fonterra pay out.
  • Now is the time for regressing and getting ready for the winter months, and here’s hoping for another mild winter like most regions experienced last year.
  • Fodder beet could significantly boost beef returns and provide a profitable alternative to dairy grazing, according to Lincoln University’s Jim Gibbs.  Jim ran an unfunded trial with five Banks Peninsula farmers, feeding the crop to early-weaned calves as well as some Silver Fern.  According to his report, the calves developed very well, putting on around 800gm – 1 kg per day. Not only is it productive but relatively cheap as well compared to normal supplementary feeds, which makes it a viable option for land that suits it.
  • The 2014 Fieldays will be held from Wednesday 11th June through to Saturday 14th June at the Mystery Creek Events Centre, Hamilton.  For more information go to www.fieldays.co.nz.