Rural Supplies
30 November 2020

Wool report: Harvest costs impacting farmers

This week The Country's Jamie Mackay is joined by PGG Wrightson's Grant Edwards to look at the wool market this month.

Edwards talks about the downward slump the market is currently experiencing, and how a shift in our currency has influenced all exports and farmers' harvest costs.

Mackay exemplifies the situation with a Southland farmer's shearing costs coming to around $7,000 NZD and his net cost of wool product coming to around $3,500 NZD, and goes on to say that the current prices are not sustainable.

Mackay brings up the issue of the Wiltshire self-shedding sheep breed, and how it could affect the wool industry.

Edward notes that this is a possibility, but sheep are duel products as they are a source of meat as well as wool, and it would take a long time to create a sustainable process for farming.
24 November 2020

bidr® Launch of Saleyard Auction Livestreaming

bidr® continues its commitment to offering buyers and sellers of livestock a seamless online experience whether they are bidding at an on-farm or saleyard auction.

bidr® recently introduced its on-farm hybrid livestream auctions for on-farm/auctioneer sales which fully integrate on-farm sales with bidr®’s online trading platform. On-farm hybrid livestream auctions allow those who want to retain their traditional on-farm/auctioneer sale to reach buyers from across the country and enable farmers in remote locations to bid for stock alongside those physically at on-farm sales.

bidr® will now expand its livestock trading platform with the launch of livestreaming auctions at saleyards, to be offered to saleyards from March 2021.

Tania Smith, General Manager - bidr, is excited to bring livestreaming of saleyard auctions to the market. “Our livestreaming of saleyard auctions offering will build on the success of bidr®’s on-farm hybrid auctions which have been very well embraced by the livestock genetics community and increasingly being utilised for a variety of on-farm sales from commercial cattle sales to ram and stag sales. We have had some highly successful on-farm hybrid sales, with more than 40% of some catalogues attracting online bids and then selling up to 15% of those catalogues online.”

Since launch in June 2019, bidr® has grown to eight Accredited Agencies, and has hosted more than 220 online auctions, with approximately one-third in the on-farm hybrid livestream format.

Peter Newbold, PGW General Manager Livestock and Real Estate, said “The introduction of livestreaming saleyard auctions is a significant enhancement to bidr®’s offering. It increases the visibility of saleyard auctions and expands the pool of buyers as farmers can buy and sell beyond their traditional geographical localities, giving them more market access, more knowledge, and more choice. The traditional saleyard environment that will be available as a livestream auction will provide farmers new to online auctions with the comfort of a familiar environment.”

*bidr® is a wholly owned subsidiary of PGG Wrightson Limited

Learn more at bidr.co.nz
Ahuwhenua Blog post
24 November 2020

Ahuwhenua Trophy 2020 Winner Announced

The winner of the inaugural Ahuwhenua Trophy Excellence in Māori Horticulture Award 2020 is Te Kaha 15B Hineora Orchard. Hineora Orchard is a Māori freehold land block located in the Eastern Bay of Plenty township of Te Kaha, 65km east of Ōpōtiki. 

The announcement was made on Friday 20th November 2020 by Her Excellency, the Rt Hon. Dame Patsy Reddy at a special awards function in Rotorua attended by 750 people including the Minister for Māori Development and Minister of Agriculture, other politicians and dignitaries, agribusiness leaders and whānau. 

The two other finalists were Otama Marere in Paengaroa near the Bay of Plenty town of Te Puke, who grow a mixture of Green, SunGold and organic kiwifruit as well as avocados, and Ngāi Tukairangi Trust which is very large kiwifruit operation with one of its orchards based at Matapihi, just a few kilometres from the centre of Tauranga city. 

The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy presented the Ahuwhenua Trophy to Norm Carter, the Chairman of Hineroa Orchard, while Ahuwhenua Trustees the Hon Willie Jackson, Hon Damien O’Connor and Dave Samuels presented the replica trophy, as well as winners medal, historic certificate and cash prize to the Trust. 

Te Kaha 15B, Hineora Orchard comprises of 11.5 hectares, on which the Trust runs a kiwifruit joint venture operation, a commercial pack-house facility housing the local kiwifruit spray company (in which the Trust holds shares), and a four bedroom home for accommodation at the block. Prior to the Trust’s creation in 1970, the land was largely occupied by different whānau who farmed the block maintaining a subsistence living growing a range of fruit and vegetables for the local community. 

Kingi Smiler, the Chairman of the Ahuwhenua Trophy Management Committee says Te Kaha 15 B Hineora Orchard was a worthy winner of the trophy. He says the Trustees have shown great vision, persistence and resilience to establish their operation and to achieve some impressive results. He says their operation, like the other finalists, is something that must make their whānau feel proud of their efforts. 

Kingi says this is the first time in the 87 year history of the competition that the trophy has been open to Māori horticulturalists and says this is not before time. He says Māori are significant players in the horticultural sector and we must recognise their contribution to the New Zealand economy.

Kingi also praised the other finalists, Otama Marere and Ngāi Tukairangi Trust saying the standards of their operations are among the best in the New Zealand horticultural sector. 

“All three finalists have helped set a benchmark for future entrants in this competition which will be hard to eclipse. What makes it more impressive is the fact that they done this in one of the most difficult times in the history of the country when uncertainty is a way of life. I am proud, Māori should be proud and the whole country should acknowledge their efforts,” he says. 

More details about Te Kaha 15B, Hineora Orchard 

The whenua falls within the tribal rohe of Te Whānau-a-Apanui, and more specifically, is associated with Te Whānau a Te Ehutu hapū. Later a citrus orchard was established, however, given the small land area, this also failed to provide a sustainable economic return for its owners. By 1998 the Trustees recognised that they were asset rich but lacked sufficient capital to develop their land. Fortunately, at the same time, a group of Eastern Bay of Plenty orchardists were seeking opportunities for development of the (then) new Gold variety of kiwifruit and were prepared to enter into 50/50 joint ventures with Trusts, effectively providing capital investment to the value of the land contributed for development by landowners. 

The Hineora Orchard operation began in 1999 and was the last of six blocks to join the innovative joint venture development with decisions made, and profits shared, on a 50/50 basis with investors for a period of 20 years. Originally intended to end in 2021, the joint venture has managed the current orchard operation through the highs of the returns from the original Gold variety, to the lows of the PSA vine disease which devastated large parts of the kiwifruit industry. The land, and its orchard operation, is now due to be returned to 100% ownership by the trust in 2023. As a result of this 20 year journey, the Trustees, who have each served over 15 years on the Trust, now jointly manage an 8.13 hectare orchard operation of G3 SunGold kiwifruit, producing just over 133,000 trays annually. They work closely with their contracted Orchard Manager, and local cool-storage company OPAC.  

Along with the other five joint venture blocks, they have formed a subsidiary spray company, Te Kaha Gold Sprayers who employ locals to work on OPAC orchards in the area. Significant investment from the six blocks has enabled the company to extend its operations across the Te Kaha and Omaio areas, and they now employ over 20 staff, many of whom are whānau.  

The Trust was also influential in the establishment of Te Whānau-a-Apanui Fruitgrowers Incorporated – a charitable community education outreach group, responsible for upskilling 60 local workers to level 4 qualifications in Horticulture as well as supporting locals to build to Diploma level courses. Whilst the Trust does not have any historic sites on its land, it continues to have a strong commitment to sustainability and offers annual kaumatua grants to shareholders as well as tangi, health, education, sporting, culture and travel grants. Te Kaha 15B is another example of Māori having the vision, and courage, to embrace a new model of working, taking hold of their destiny and developing their land to its potential for future generations. 

Hineora Orchard Te Kaha 15B Key Contact: Norman Carter, 027 280 9452, nac13@xtra.co.nz  

A brief History of Ahuwhenua 

The Ahuwhenua Trophy is the most prestigious award for excellence in Māori farming and horticulture and was inaugurated 87 years ago by the visionary Māori leader, Sir Apirana Ngata and the Governor General at the time, Lord Bledisloe. The objective was, and still is, to encourage Māori farmers to improve their land and their overall farming position with an emphasis on sustainability. On a three year rotational basis, the Trophy is competed for by Māori in the sheep and beef, horticulture and dairy sectors. In 2021 the competition will be for dairy. 

Media can call Peter Burke 021 2242184 peterj@true-to-ireland.com.  Photographs are free for use in relation to the competition. Visit www.bit.ly/ahuwhenuatrophy or contact John Cowpland, Alphapix: 027 253 3464 / info@alphapix.co.nz.

Additional information about the competition is on the Ahuwhenua website

23 November 2020

PGG Wrightson Livestock County TV Livestock Update 20 November 2020

Tania Smith, General Managed of bidr, joins Mark Leishman on Country TV with an update on how bidr is settling in with the livestock industry.
20 November 2020

Property report: Rural investments on the rise

The Country's Jamie Mackay is joined by PGG Wrightson's General Manager for Rural Real Estate Peter Newbold to take a look at the rural property market this month.

Mackay queries the return of corporate investors back into farming. Newbold confirms that they have returned along with a variety of other buyers.

In addition to the variation of buyers, banks are currently "playing ball" in terms of rural lending up to certain thresholds.

 

Newbold elaborates that there has been some loosening by the banks as this is the best 3-4 months he has seen in the past few years.

Horticulture continues to be a stand out in terms of investment, and dairy farming seems to be making some positive movements as people move past the negatives of the industry.

Mackay talks about post-covid migration towards the rural sector as people move away from the metropolitan areas.

Newbold adds there is big demand for lifestyle blocks as people now have the ability to work from home.

Livestock Dairy News
20 November 2020

Optimism keeps spring dairy livestock market positive

Trade in dairy livestock has been positive this spring, with farmers encouraged by reasonable grass growth and favourable forecasts for this season’s dairy payout.

PGG Wrightson National Dairy Livestock Manager Jamie Cunninghame says momentum has built since the mid-October start of the dairy beef weaner sale season.

“Although demand is steady, we are seeing lower numbers of dairy beef weaners reared than in the past, which is likely to become prevalent in the next couple of months, when those available will be even more highly sought after. Dairy beef is a significant part of the livestock trade and we may transact those cattle three or four times in the course of their lives. If those numbers are down, it will have a flow on effect for beef farmers when availability becomes shorter than we might normally expect.

“Dairy beef weaner prices are back on last year, on average by around 10 per cent, though calves are also cheaper for rearers, so margins will remain about the same,” he says.

Herd listings for forward sales on 1 May and 1 June are now appearing in the market.

“Early enquiry for herds has been steady. Stock quality is encouraging. However, any farmer considering selling a herd through the course of the season should make contact earlier rather than later. It helps to plan a marketing strategy in advance. Anyone who leaves it too late will find that some buyers have already made their decisions,” says Jamie Cunninghame.

Demand for in-calf heifers may outstrip supply as the season progresses.

“With the quantity of stock that has gone to China this year, in-calf heifers may be in short supply later in the season. Ensuring quality will be a factor for buyers,” he says.

Meanwhile, after a sustained period with little activity, dairy farm sales are rising around the country on the back of low interest rates and investors recognising the good returns that land and agriculture represent relative to alternative options in the current climate. These transactions are likely to have a flow-on effect into the livestock market once properties start settling.

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