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November 2017 Dairy Farming New Zealand Update

Wednesday, 29 November 2017 at 2:29pm

November has seen very little rain in the South Island, fortunately there are plentiful feed supplies thanks to good winter growth, and the Opuha dam is near capacity which will assist with much of the current irrigation needs to produce good pasture growth rates.

The drier conditions experienced in the North Island has allowed supplementary crops to be planted and pasture renewal to occur, as managers prepare for summer.  

New Zealand’s milk production for August and September 2017 has lagged behind 2016 levels, possibly due to the wet weather.  Farmers will be thankful that the current warm conditions will assist milk production in October and November.

Regular Nitrogen applications are being continued under nutrient budget guidelines to help ryegrass tillering over the summer period.  Fodder beet and summer brassica establishment is in full swing, with specialist planters busy sowing for next year’s winter feed.

Farmers are currently focused on mating deadlines.  The identification of cycling cows and AI programmes continues, and follow up bulls are active in the first calving heifers and milking cows in the north.

A lower currency has given dairy commodities a lift, with cheese once again reaching yearly Oceania highs.  Unfortunately November dairy auctions saw the market ease back by 3.5%, led by a 5.5% fall in whole milk powder (WMP).  As a result Westpac lowered its position to $6.20 and ASB have cut .25c/kg/ms off their early estimates to sit at $6.50.

Two new directors have been selected onto the Fonterra board, Andy MacFarlane and Brent Goldsack.  

As part of its zero emissions by 2050 scheme, Fonterra have announced a planned cut back on coal use in its processing plants.