Rotational GrazingSunday, Feb 16, 2003
Your editor has spent the past year putting together a new website called Rotation.
The site I believe has some unique attributes that have had to wait until, now when the internet systems are starting to match the needs of users for faster movement of volumes of data.
Rotation is a rotational grazing simulation program that selects the best matching daily rotation plan for each mob or herd of stock from the available paddocks included in the simulation
It was a program that was originally written 20 years ago for use on our own large herd dairy farm.
The most significant difference between Rotation and other feed budgeting program's now available is that the structure of the Rotation program is built around a dynamic simulation rather than a static accounting.
For farmers who record their grass covers on a regular basis Rotation now provides an excellent tool to utilise that information in the most effective manner in the day to day management of their farms.
While there is a large amount of interesting information generated by Rotation its single most important benefit is a report which lists the paddocks in daily order which best match the feeding needs for each herd or mob to rotate through for the next 42 days.
We think you will find it an exceptionally useful site. We invite you to try it.
Fonterra Payout Devastating for Sharemilkers
Fonterra's $3.60 payout represents a 30% drop in profitability for sharemilkers at a time when many have made commitments based on misleading predictions.
Sharemilkers have already paid out the majority of their annual expenses so there is little scope for tightening their belts, says Sharemilkers Section of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) Chair Jeff Bolstad.
The Sharemilkers Section of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) meeting today in Wellington endorsed calls for Fonterra to stick to their core business of positively driving returns for suppliers.
"Sharemilkers are the grassroots of the dairy industry. Fonterra needs to deliver the benefits of restructuring or risks the future viability of one of the most progressive and dynamic parts of the dairy industry.
'The massive flow on effects of this reduction in payout will resound throughout the rural community."
FMD Report Major Wake Up Call for NZ
A wake up call for all New Zealanders is how Federated Farmers of New Zealand President Tom Lambie described the Reserve Bank's report The macroeconomic impacts of a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak.
"For too long the importance of agriculture to the New Zealand economy has been underestimated," said Mr Lambie.
"The reality of 20,000 jobs losses and a $10 billion drop in GDP reinforces the need for Government to ensure that biosecurity is resourced to the same levels as other security agencies.
"For Aucklanders sitting around the Viaduct Basin the reality is they could go to sleep as a member of the international jet set and wake as citizen of a third world country.
"It also raises the question of New Zealand's preparedness should the unthinkable occur and we are faced with an FMD outbreak.
"All New Zealanders must take responsibility for protecting our biosecurity and educating overseas visitors on its significance to our economy.
"New Zealand cannot afford to be complacent. An FMD outbreak would be catastrophic for all."
Message to Alinghi Stunning Swiss Policy Change?
In a ringing endorsement of the benefits of being open to the world, the President of the Swiss Confederation, Mr Pascal Couchepin has congratulated Team Alinghi for its victory in the Louis-Vuitton Cup saying "Alinghi is flying the flag of Switzerland - multicultural, creative and open to the world".
"This comes as a surprise to New Zealand farmers and trade negotiators, who have been trying for decades to prise open the firmly-closed doors to the Swiss food market," says Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) President Tom Lambie.
"Import barriers to Switzerland are higher even than those to the European Union. Consumers in Switzerland pay more than three times world market prices for their food, while 69% of Swiss farmers' income results from government assistance policies.
"Swiss ingenuity has been used to devise ever more inventive ways of subsidising their farmers and closing their markets to exporters in other countries.
"Does President Couchepin's lauding of being 'open to the world' foreshadow an easing of his country's highly protectionist agricultural policy?
"Such a massive policy change would be a very welcome development for farmers in New Zealand as well as Swiss consumers. It would also be dramatic and unprecedented. But, as the President says, "Alinghi's victory is that of a forward-looking nation with an ability to surprise."
USDA US Beef Market News Fri, Feb 14, 2003
(Australia and New Zealand)Compared to Wednesday, price levels on import boneless were steady to firm on very limited trading. Demand continued to be light as grinding business was very slow on all grinding sectors.
In addition, a mostly steady domestic boneless beef market also caused buyers to hold off on buying. Offerings for spot delivery were light while, out-front delivery product was moderate, especially from New Zealand.
USDA Dairy Market Report - OCEANIA
Milk production in the Oceania region continues to edge lower. In Australia,the most recent production figures indicate that the trends that have been present all season continue. Milk output is projected to be about 9.5% lower than last season to around 10.2 billion liters. Milk production in Victoria, the major milk producing state of Australia, is estimated to be down about 12% from last season. Milk producers and handlers indicate that at this point these are the production projections, but by years end, overall production could be further impacted. Moisture remains limited throughout the dairy regions of Australia.
Some measurable rainfall has occurred in Northern Queensland which has helped low moisture levels, although this region of Australia has limited dairy. Most are hopeful that April rainfall will help replenish depleted moisture conditions, but considerable rainfall will be needed to accomplish this.
In New Zealand,milk production is on the down side of the season, although recently, further declines have dissipated and a leveling or a stabilizing pattern is occurring. At this point overall milk output in New Zealand is running about 1% ahead of last year. Minimal rainfall has occurred throughout the islands, but basically only enough to maintain green conditions and not enough to dispel drought possibilities. Market conditions in the Oceania region are much the same as has been the case in recent weeks. Prices have firmed with stocks of manufactured dairy products in close balance and in instances, short of full needs. Milk volumes are being directed towards products of most need. Reports indicate that full cream milk powder is receiving the nod followed by cheese and casein production. At this point, casein production remains active, although this product is the last to come on line and the first to close down for the season.
USDA Dairy Market Report -WESTERN EUROPE - 13/02/03
Milk production across Europe is starting to show more signs of seasonal increases. Milk producers are closely monitoring their volumes as the milk quota yearend nears.
Reports indicate that milk volumes are running heavier in Germany and the Netherlands and trails last year in France. There are mixed opinions as to the volume of powd