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The Weekly Dairy Report: More good rains in the north matched by bouyant auction prices

Rural News
The Weekly Dairy Report: More good rains in the north matched by bouyant auction prices


Even with good rains over the last week most north island areas are facing falling pasture growth forecasts as summer arrives and temperatures climb.

In southern areas recent rains have boosted feed growth rates and enhanced feed covers although the realities of reduced irrigation are coming home to roost for those with still damaged irrigation infrastructure.

Advisers are still urging planning for the summer with longer rotations and culling of inefficent cows based on early pregnancy tests.

ANZ economists are predicting record milk production that could increase last year’s flow by 7% and inject an extra $4.5 billion into the NZ economy.

At Fonterra’s AGM, CEO Theo Spierings urged all in the company to lift their game especially in food safety, quality and sustainability where he stated NZ was 10 years behind European farmers.

More dairy growth signs, with Westland announcing plans to invest $100 million on an infant formulae dryer in Hokitika, Shanghai Pengxin reaching the compulsory acquisition threshold in the takeover bid for Synlait, and Fonterra lifting its stake to 9% in Bega Cheese.

Not such positive news is Fonterra’s progress in reaching a settlement with Danone in compensation talks over the botulism scare which looks like heading to court, and reports that the Crafar farms have lost over a $1million dollars for the new Chinese owners after a drought affected last year.

Dairy auction prices rose by 3.9% in the latest global platform results as the demand for product seems unsatisfied, with whole milk powder, the dominant milk commodity, back over the US$5,000 barrier again.

With later contracts now out until June every positive auction locks in the strong predicted payout price and reinforces a standout year for all dairy farmers.

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Norgate offering Ozz carbon copy of Fonterra. Ask me how he says.

from the where are they now file.......


In putting together its case, Murray Goulburn has commissioned independent expert reports from former Fonterra chief executive Craig Norgate and dairy industry expert Christopher Phillips.

When Mr Norgate was Fonterra's inaugural CEO in 2001-03, Fonterra had revenues of $13.9 billion and was responsible for processing and marketing more than 95 per cent of New Zealand's entire milk pool.

Fonterra was created by the merger of three of New Zealand's largest companies and required an act of Parliament.

Mr Norgate says in his report that many of the competition issues he faced are similar to those presented by the proposed Murray Goulburn and WCB merger.

''Within two years of formation, Fonterra had delivered the cost savings and revenue benefits promised and had become a true 'national champion' for the New Zealand economy,'' Mr Norgate said.

He said many of the benefits achieved by Fonterra would flow to Australia in the event of a Murray Goulburn tie up with WCB. At stake is WCB's 900 million litre annual milk pool, which would push the combined group into the top 20 global producers and WCB's state of the art processing facility at Allansford.

Read more:   Playing away? We are happier with the Andrew Mehrtens deal...

Earlier reports suggesting Gregan and Mehrtens were in the building at the time of the fire and had to flee the property have been dismissed.

Mehrtens, who recently relocated to Sydney with his wife and two children after finishing his playing career in France, was grateful to accept the offer - and was also relieved his children and a babysitter escaped unharmed.

One of his children alerted the babysitter when discovering a bedroom was full of smoke and the occupants quickly evacuated the two-level home about 7.20pm.

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