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The Sheep Deer and Cattle Report: Farmers view MIE report positively but urgent action is what they need

The Sheep Deer and Cattle Report: Farmers view MIE report positively but urgent action is what they need


More stability at the bottom will give farmers little satisfaction from lamb schedules, as the Meat Industry Excellence groups long awaited report, reveals large gains can be achieved from plant rationalization and industry consolidation.

The MPI minister and some processors are luke warm on these ideas, with one industry leader reported to want to, “slug it out” in a last man standing mentality.

Funding of these proposals will be the issue, especially as  operators have little surplus cash, but with the status quo revealing a huge cost in retrenchment out of sheep, there is little option if farmers want to control their own destiny, and stop the processing sector falling into overseas ownership.

The processing statistics show the kill is well ahead of last year surprisingly lead by the north, and some shortages of supply comments are being heard at the saleyards.

Early rams are now out, and many managers will need to top up ewes with high energy supplements this month to stimulate the flushing effect, to maintain respectable conception rates for the main mobs.

The very dry areas of the south missed out on decent rains and time is now running out for moisture to make a significant difference to feed levels prior to winter.

Cyclone Pam has rescued many at risk northern dry areas and present warm soil temperatures should provide quality feed quickly.

The tastiest lamb in NZ was produced this year in the Manawatu, as this promotion grows and reinforces the importance of growers producing quality food, for ever discerning customers in a competitive protein market.


A resurgent currency just prior to the auction, dampened prices in the latest wool auction, although lambs and fine crossbred indicators still rose, but coarse product fell in price.

The market is well through in production terms, and demand has proven strong even in the face of an unhelpful currency, lead by unprecedented demand for lambs wools.

Some positive marketing news, as a 180 tonnes of crossbred wool was sold to insulate indoor shoes in Denmark by Merino NZ, gaining a premium for Landcorp suppliers.

The Chief Executive Ross Townshend is leaving Wools of NZ after only two years, but he reports pleasing progress attracting farmer clients, especially with their "Direct to scours" contracts.


Export and local trade beef schedules are again stirring off the bottom, as the early kill and better market news out of the US, is starting to ignite the market.

The good rains in the north and parts of the south, will revive prospects for the weaner beef calf market, as long term prospects continue to remain sound for beef.

This was well shown in Beef and Lamb NZ’s mid season update, where high beef to sheep ratios showed the best predicted profit on sheep and beef farms.


The euro currencies weakness is eating away at venison’s returns with another small schedule fall in the frozen product season.

There has been a big push to diversify product away from Europe especially into the US and UK, but while volumes have been increasing, the traditional markets are still very influential  in venison pricing.

Deer Industry NZ warns against velvet farmers expecting future lifts in product price as they received this season, as frozen velvet was left out of the FTA deal with Korea.

Some tarrif concessions were achieved with processed velvet, and  a large deal arranged between the Ginseng Corporation and Deer Industry NZ for increased use of velvet in health products is some compensation for this sector.

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