What the New Year BringsMonday, Jan 8, 2001
The news items below reinforce the indications that there are some changes coming for NZ farmers, some
short term in effect but most interesting is the five year stock projections. A rise of 2 million
dairy cows or 12 –16 million stock units but a decline of only 5 million ewe stock units
with most other stock numbers remaining at current levels.
Is this a realistic projection?
If the number of NZ dairy farmers remain around 14,000 it means the average herd size will increase
by 143 cows to around 350 cows average herd size. If dairy farmers declined, as had been predicted
to around 10,000 the average herd size increases to 530. If you are a dairy farmer how do you see
yourself taking advantage of the projection if it is realised.
The re-entry of Argentina and Uruguay into the US beef market sends confused signals to the market.
On one hand stocks of beef are said to be available which will impact market prices downward. But
on the other hand some analysts claim that both South American countries can barely produce sufficient
beef to satisfy their own local markets.
Who to believe?
What can an individual producer effectively manage for either scenario?
A 12 percent wage claim by MAF veterinarians is perhaps an early indication of unions flexing their
muscles to test employers resolve to hold the line on inflationary salary increases. Attacking a key
industry by striking a small but important group of employees to set wage increase precedent to
pull other groups up is a smart union strategy but if successful it will have devastating effect
on primary producers incomes.
Who is going to ensure the processors hold the line?
Lovely fine days should be making the grass grow where there is sufficient moisture.