Why not deliver cull cows direct to works?
Federated Farmers Waikato president
With this summer’s dry conditions continuing to place pressure on Waikato farmers of every stripe, I expect saleyards will be inundated with cull cows and excess stock in the next few weeks.
I hope farmers take time to think about what is best for these animals, which will no doubt face a second stressful journey to the meatworks after a hot day in the pens. Farmers have a duty to do the best by our animals. Surely it would be better to cut out a redundant leg of the journey for these animals, minimise their stress levels and just sell them straight to the processors.
There is a lot of talk about improving the meat industry’s processes and the potential benefit to farmers. We also need to look at how we deal with surplus stock, not just in terms of the industry but in terms of what is better for the animals. I cannot see the point of sending cull cattle which are bound for the works anyway, through the additional stress and strain of travelling to the saleyards.
It is frustrating to look at the 10-day long-range forecasts which say the right kind of clouds are on the horizon and headed our way, but which seem to evaporate before the promised rainy day.
The small doses of rain towards the end of January and in the start of February have staved off drought, but Waikato and many other parts of the North Island had record low rainfall over January. The whole of the upper North Island is starting to get a bit desperate for rain, and farmers hope the Niwa prediction of normal to slightly above average rainfall from March onwards prove accurate. In fact, normal rainfall may not be enough and we may almost be hoping for a significant weather event to get us back to where we should be.
Farmers need to use all of the resources available to them. Talk to DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand, get some good advice around planning and stick to it.
It is interesting to see farmers have voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Farmlands and CRT merger. The vote saw 82.5 per cent of Farmlands shareholders say yes and 85 per cent of CRT shareholders.
This was the first of two votes on the deal, the second of which will be finalised today. Given that the fees awarded to the consultants publicising the vote and ensuring it went off smoothly were linked to a successful vote, I would say they will be toasting a successful campaign. I do wonder though, what influence did this success fee have on the information given to the farmers? Should we expect more impartiality from the people who are distributing the vital information we need to make up our minds?
There are some roadshows planned in early March to increase the environmental awareness among farmers. Dairying is a highly complex business, which can be hard to understand from the outside, so this is a perfect opportunity for media to gain valuable insight into the industry’s challenges and how it is dealing with them.