Good prices but cash flows are chal­leng­ing

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery - By STEW WADEY

Fe­bru­ary nearly done and dusted, no pun in­tended with the very dry con­di­tions we are pas­toral live­stock farm­ing through right now. For me, the fifth ex­tremely dry sum­mer out of the last seven years. There were very good prices on beef and sheep sched­ules over the Christ­mas pe­riod, but lower ad­vance pay­ments to dairy farmer’s cre­ates a sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenge to cash flows.

Fon­terra is due to up­date its fore­cast far­m­gate milk price, which acts as a bench­mark for the in­dus­try, on Wed­nes­day.

Global Dairy Trade auc­tions have lifted some­what re­cently, whether that trans­lates into a re­vised in­crease in the pay­out fig­ures for this cur­rent sea­son re­mains to be seen.

‘‘ New Zealand farms most danger­ous work­place’’ is the head­line that stood out last week. Forty-one farm­ers had died in the past two years, with one in five suf­fer­ing in­juries that put them off work. That was four times the num­ber of fa­tal­i­ties in ei­ther forestry or con­struc­tion.

Re­leased statis­tics show the dairy sec­tor has the high­est num­ber of all in­dus­tries, and dry­s­tock is third af­ter forestry. WorkSafe New Zealand has launched its ‘‘Safer Farms’’ ini­tia­tive. Safer Farms is a multi- year pro­gramme de­signed to help farm­ers man­age health and safety risks.

Mata­mata-Pi­ako Dis­trict Coun­cil have in­vited Fed­er­ated Farm­ers and its mem­bers to at­tend a ru­ral stake­hold­ers meet­ing with the mayor and CEO on Mon­day, April 13 for our in­put into their Long Term Plan con­sul­ta­tion process. We will cer­tainly be at­tend­ing and the op­por­tu­nity to help plan for our com­mu­nity pros­per­ity is much ap­pre­ci­ated.

Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil has in­di­cated that many farm prop­erty own­ers that may be within the cat­e­gory of the Vari­a­tion 6, Wa­ter Al­lo­ca­tion con­sent re­quire­ment, have not done so to date. I am get­ting com­ment that dairy herd scans are in­di­cat­ing a higher not in calf prog­no­sis than last sea­son. In­duc­tions from now on will be only al­lowed in very ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances. I am aware one is in that process now, due to a cir­cum­stance that war­rants con­sid­er­a­tion.

If you have a very se­ri­ous con­cern with pos­si­ble re­pro­duc­tion re­sults, start talk­ing to your ve­teri­nary pro­fes­sional now to see if you meet the cri­te­ria. If de­clined, it still gives time to plan your next spring calv­ing strat­egy.

Nice one Piarere Young Farm­ers! Your good­will to erect a seven wire post and bat­ten fence in Pe­ria Rd to sup­port a com­mem­o­ra­tive walk­way project de­serves such recog­ni­tion.

Stew Wadey

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