The Weekly Dairy Report: Wet conditions keep soil temperatures cold in the south and slow feed surpluses being made into silage in the north

After a drier week and good growth the heavy rain returned, and managers of heavy soils will be wary of damage to pastures under soft conditions.

Calving in southern herds is now about 75% through, and milkers are nearing the end grazing winter saved pasture, while in the north if it dries up the supplement harvest will soon start.

Southern soil temperatures are still low, and late calving cows are being used to tidy up behind the mob, to ensure quality continues into second rotation paddocks.

In the Waikato farmers are still waiting to see a true spring surplus with wet conditions delaying the ability to shut up paddocks for supplement production.

Advisers are encouraging weekly pasture assessments during this critical time, as grass quality and milk production can drop dramatically if the "eye is taken off the ball".

Grazing to a 3.5-4cm residual is encouraged, and a clean up mob and topping can be interim management measures before true surpluses are turned into silage.

Pre mating checks in first mated heifers and newly calved cows are being used for early identification of any issues affecting fertility, prior to AI and the bulls going out.

LIC has announced they are testing bulls for mycoplasma bovis, to eliminate even the slightest chance this disease could be transmitted by semen.

Fonterra lifts volumes offered at this week’s auction, as they look to maximise sales in the present strong dairy pricing market.

And overnight at the auction the steady price trend that is dominated by demand for fats has continued, with a 0.9% lift in the index of commodities sold.

Skim milk powders are still in the doldrums( at $US1920) on the back of huge stocks in Europe but whole milk powder lifted slightly (to $US3122) along with the fat products sold.

Most of that rise has been negated by a stronger currency, but at these price levels analysts see little change when Fonterra reviews its $6.75/kg ms forecast next Monday.

Oceania dairy prices set record levels for butter and cheese last week, and whole milk powder still sits comfortably over the US$3000/tonne mark.

Synlait reported its best profit yet at $38 million, slashed its debt  and its shares leapt to record levels, on the back of further developing a fully integrated business

Westland shareholders are going to be asked for an AGM vote on a goverance review that reduces the number of directors, and improves the system to ensure the board has quality leadership, and the company avoids any repeat of last year’s poor financial performance.

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"DairyNZ, the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) have today endorsed the Dairy Declaration of Rotterdam, marking New Zealand’s commitment towards global sustainable dairy development."
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1709/S00600/dcanz-dairynz-and-mpi-endor...