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New Zealand Dairy Farming News For March 2015

Monday, 30 March 2015 at 11:58am

Waibury Investments Blog New Zealand Dairy Farming News March 2015

These are some of the highlights of Dairy Farming news for the Month of March, summarised from Interest NZ’s Dairy Farming Reports.

March saw some mixed weather across the country.  Pasture growth rates responded well in those North Island areas that received rain and the West Coast and Southern NZ are also achieving "normal' autumn growth rates.  However there are still some areas in the Waikato and in the South that are very dry despite receiving some rain over the month.

Farmers throughout New Zealand are cultivating and sowing dry soils ready for autumn rain.  Many are making early steps for drying off some of the herd, paddock round length is being extended with growing conditions, and some pastures are being re-sown to allow good establishment prior to the winter.

Fonterra maintained the $4.70 payout forecast in their March update, with lower global supply predicted to stimulate prices in 2016.  They also lifted prices offered for organic milk, and bought a share of a Chinese infant formula company.

The GDT auction initially rose in March, on the back of Fonterra announcing it is going to increase the volumes of product offered at auction.  However in that last auction in March prices declined again as global markets reviewed supply volumes and decided that there was plenty of product around the world and cheap prices could be maintained for a while yet.

Even though volumes offered were back 8% on the last  sale, index prices fell by 8.8% and more importantly whole milk powder returns fell to below $3000US , and well back on the trigger amount needed to ensure a $4.70/kg payout.

A disturbing threat to put 1080 into infant formula product surfaced in March, however it appears this was a hoax publicity stunt.  Despite it being a hoax the Dairy sector wasted no time in checking all its food safety protocols.  A testing regime, sound security systems and prompt communication with customers, all helped to handle this situation. As a result there were no reports of any product being banned or recalled.

European Union milk flows eased in spite of the imminent quota removal and it is reported herd numbers are declining although yield per head has risen to partly compensate.  A visiting Dutch dairy leader urged our farmers to consider feed barns, to increase production and lower the Dairy sectors environmental footprint.

Overall New Zealand Dairy Farmers remain optimistic about the future, and this has been reflected in dairy farm prices.