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June 2018 Dairy Farming Update

Thursday, 28 June 2018 at 11:35am

June 2018 Waibury Blog


In New Zealand, June is the start of the new dairy season. This is one of the busiest times on our dairy farms as farms change hands, sharemilkers move and many staffing changes occur. June 1st is the official annual Gypsy Day when most of these changes take place, with stock trucks and equipment moving with their families onto the new farms.


This year, farmers went into winter in a much better place than last year, thanks to the impressive autumn weather. The unusually warm weather, along with the odd spell of rain, meant autumn grass growth was exceptional.  This meant herds could be well fed right up until the end of May and gain good weight in order to hit condition score targets. Looking forward to winter, most farmers will now be focused on maintaining cow condition and preparing for calving season.


In the Global Dairy Auctions this month, dairy product prices fell as whole milk powder prices slid amid higher-than-anticipated supply.  The GDT price index fell 1.3 per cent from the previous auction three weeks ago. The average price was US$3,487 a tonne. Some 21,580 tonnes of product was sold, up from 18,161 tonnes three weeks ago.  Whole milk powder retreated 1.1 per cent to US$3,205 a tonne. cheddar dropped 3.6 per cent to US$3,998 a tonne, while butter slid 3.5 per cent to US$5,581 a tonne. Anhydrous milk fat eased 1.7 per cent to US$6,222 a tonne.  Meanwhile, skim milk powder gained 0.3 per cent to US$2,051 a tonne, while rennet casein rose 2.7 per cent to US$5,015 a tonne. Lactose climbed 3.9 per cent to US$714 a tonne, while buttermilk powder jumped 17.7 per cent to US$2,314 a tonne.


Despite these falls, Rabobank's latest dairy quarterly report says falling global supply growth sets the tone for a strong 2018-19 dairy season.