rural news 19 january 2016
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RURALNEWSMANAGEMENTRural broadband benefits on show. PAGE 22
MACHINERYHigh output, easy to operate, low maintenance. PAGE 28 NEWS
Fonterras milk collection and prices
dip, while their exports soar.PAGE 14
TO ALL FARMERS, FOR ALL FARMERS
JANUARY 19, 2016: ISSUE 599 www.ruralnews.co.nz
REAPING WHAT HE'S SOWNAs this summers harvest gets underway, Earl Worsfold, of Greendale, Canterbury, takes the wheel of his combine harvester, hoping for a good season for arable farmers. He was heading 20ha of blue peas last week near Darfield. The peas are destined for the Indian food markets.With about 75% of New Zealands pea crop grown in Canterbury and close to 70% of all crops in NZ grown across 140,000ha in the region, everyone from farmers to economists will be watching to see how much production is affected by the prolonged dry spell. More page 4
PHOTO RICHARD COSGROVE
BIG CULL IS OVER
THE MASSIVE culling of dairy cows is over, says Beef + Lamb NZs economic service director, Rob Davison.
Figures for the December quar-ter show the cull is down by at least 4% on the same period in the previ-ous year. The cull of dairy cows in the quarter to the end of Septem-ber last year was huge and greater than anyone had anticipated, he says.
The cow cull has moved through and an adjustment has occurred. Consequently we expect a more normal cow cull this year, he told Rural News.
With the cow cull worked though, established dairy farmers now have to produce as much milk as they can to earn money.
On beef, generally, Davison says supplies in the US will grow, so beef prices will ease towards 2017. But he reckons in the immediate year they look reasonably good.
On the lamb front, the lamb kill this season could be low, but with key markets in Europe not performing well this year, having fewer lambs for slaughter could be helpful.
Davison says the big unknown is still El Nino and what effect it may have on the red meat sector. Gong page 4
TPP signing in NZEXPECT PROTEST marches, outrage and nonsensical claims from self-pro-fessed academic experts to gloried All Blacks water-boys now it has been confirmed that New Zealand will host the formal signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement by trade minis-ters from 12 nations of the Pacific rim early next month.Prime Minister John Key offered to host the signing of the Trans Pacific Partner-ship (TPP) trade deal in New Zealand, says Trade Minister Todd McClay.
They are looking at possible dates with the 11 other countries involved
in the deal.Currently TPP participants are also
legally verifying the text. When that it finished it will be made publicly avail-able and will need to be signed, McClay adds.
NZ is the repository, meaning we take responsibility for holding the final text when it is signed.
Every country has a different pro-cess to go through domestically to have the ability to sign the agreement and
they need to wait until all 11 countries have finished that process before final decisions on a venue and a date can be made.
On the free trade negotiations with the European Union, McClay says he met with the EU trade commission head Cecilia Malmstrm in Nairobi in December and they agreed McClay would travel to Brussels early this year and meet with her again.
We have agreed we want to make
significant progress during this year, but it is likely to take a couple of years before we can be close to reaching agreement on an FTA with the Euro-pean Union, he told Rural News. It is a big priority for our government.
Current two way trade with the EU, even without an FTA, is worth $20 bil-lion. The TPP is worth about $28b in exports to NZ and the China FTA is worth about $20b. More page 8
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RURAL NEWS // JANUARY 19, 2016
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MARKETS ......................... 12-13
HOUND, EDNA ........................16
OPINION ............................. 16-18
MANAGEMENT .............. 20-21
ANIMAL HEALTH .......... 23-25
MACHINERY AND PRODUCTS ...................... 26-29
RURAL TRADER ............ 30-31
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Rain great, but drought biting
BUSINESS-MINDED PEOPLE are needed to run agricultural aviation as a business not a bunch of enthusiastic amateurs.
Thats the view of Agricultural Aviation Association chair Alan Beck who describes the present state of the industry as too many operators charging too little for less and less overall work.
Beck, who operates a helicopter operation in Taranaki, says the present industry is over-competitive and in an effort to stay in business operators are cutting their prices to the point where they will inevitably go broke.
They are trying to hang in until the other guy goes broke to get a bit of their work, he told Rural News.
Years ago we had the situation where one or two operators could
conveniently handle all the work and did 600-800 hours. Now there are eight operators. In Nelson there are 15 helicopters just about one on every hill and theyre all doing a bit so its a dog-eat-dog situation.
Beck says while he has a good business now, if he was coming new to the industry he wouldnt set up a business; there is no future in ag aviation under the present regime.
He says in 1989 there were 315 ag operators and today just 20 of those have survived.
He believes its too easy for people to get into the industry: even if people cant get an air certificate they can attach themselves to a fully licensed operator and work under their umbrella. Such people are supposed to work under direct supervision, but in many cases their supervisor can be hundreds of kilometres away a farce.
He says in the past people joining
the ag aviation industry went through carefully phased training and usually stayed with the company that trained them for some years. But now, once a pilot is trained he tends to leave and set up his own business.
Despite these problems, he reckons the quality of the work being done
in the ag sector is higher now than it was because of new technologies especially GPS.
Beck sees the downturn in farming affecting ag aviation. In the last quarter flyin