8 March 2013


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Commodity prices up in February -The ANZ Commodity Price Index increased 1 percent in February, the seventh consecutive monthly rise in the series. Prices have now increased 9 percent since the most recent low recorded last July, but remains 13 percent below April 2011’s all time high. The price of butter recorded the greatest individual lift across New Zealand’s commodity basket, increasing 4 percent from the previous month. The prices of milk powder and lamb both lifted 2 percent, with milk powder prices reaching a twelve month high. On the downside wool and beef prices both dropped 2 percent in February and the prices of cheese and venison were unchanged. During February, the value of the New Zealand Dollar (NZD) strengthened against all our major trading currencies, except for the euro. This offset much of the gain in world prices, with the NZD Commodity Price Index up just 0.2 percent. In NZD terms this leaves export commodity prices in NZ dollar terms 23 percent below their high in March 2011.

Hit to sheep & beef profits -Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s Economic Service Mid-Season Update estimates that farm profit before tax for the 2012-13 season will fall 54 percent on last season, to an average of $73,000 across New Zealand. This is largely due to sharply lower lamb prices and a consequent 27 percent decrease in sheep revenue. Lamb numbers themselves were up, thanks to a 123 percent lambing last spring and more hoggets producing lamb, but this was not sufficient to offset the lower lamb price and impact of drought. The forecast average lamb price of $85 per head is down 25 percent from last season’s $113.60, which was the second highest on record. This has, understandably, flowed through to farmers’ bottom lines.

Dairy prices jump -Dairy prices in Fonterra’s GlobalDairyTrade (GDT) auction leapt 10.4 percent at its latest trading event this week. Wholesale prices are up 23 percent from a year ago and 54 percent above their mid-May 2012 lows. This increase is welcome but it comes due to concern about the current drought conditions and their impact on production and the increase in prices will only go a small way to helping farmers who are facing cuts to their production.

Westpac Weekly Economic Update - What is the latest on the economy? Westpac's Chief Economist, Dominick Stephens, presents economic insights in this weekly video.

Westpac's Agribiz - In this quarter’s Agribiz, we look at why lamb prices fell hard over 2012 while beef prices remained at near record highs, and take a look at the prospects for rural land market.

Get more economic research, market strategy and forecasts direct from Westpac's specialists.

Rabobank Agribusiness Monthly  – Australasian commentary on the region's economic and agricultural conditions.

ANZ Agri FocusExamines the big themes for 2013




Manawatu – Rangitkei Farmers request drought status

Upper North Island Officially in drought

Proposed RMA reforms seem the real deal

Drought hit farmers should seek help with tax planning

Courtesy of Teara



Drought versus dollar

Drought could push farm businesses close to the wall

Courtesy of Teara


Wellbeing workshops - The ‘Wellness Recovery Action Plan’ is a system for monitoring, reducing and eliminating uncomfortable or dangerous physical symptoms and emotional feelings.  It is a planning process that begins by developing a Wellness Toolbox – a list of skills and strategies that you use to keep yourself well and to help you feel better when you do not feel well. The guide includes information on developing a support system, using peer counselling, creative activities, journaling, diet, exercise, relaxation and getting a good night’s sleep. 

To find out more or to get a copy of the booklet, contact Noeline Kuru, Team Leader Like Minds Like Mine, on 07 377 8462.

Forest Voice referendum:  Polls are now open until 29 March, a week longer than originally intended, voters need to go to the Forest Voice website or phone 0800 500 168 to check their eligibility, and to register as a voter. Votes may then be cast on the Forest Voice website or by physical ballot paper, which may be either posted or faxed. If the referendum is successful, a small levy on harvested logs will be used to fund work that benefits all forest owners.

Maintain boundary fences - Federated Farmers has been asked by the coroners’ office to remind members, with properties bordering state highways, to maintain their boundary fences. The recommendation comes after a man died when the car he was travelling in hit a cow that had escaped through a boundary fence. The Federation would like to remind its members a farmer with a roadside fence has a duty of care to keep stock secure on the farm property and away from the roadway.

Minimum wage increasing - The Government is increasing the minimum wage by 25 cents from $13.50 to $13.75. The training and new entrants' minimum wages will increase from $10.80 to $11. The new minimum wage rates will come into effect on April 1.

Non-natural Rural Waste Survey - Environment Canterbury would like to let you know about a new project they are undertaking, which focuses on the way farms and rural businesses deal with their non-natural wastes. Most wastes are burnt, buried and stored in bulk on farms, which poses a significant environmental legacy issue in Canterbury and a burden for current and future land owners.

Environment Canterbury has engaged environmental consultants, GHD, to carry out an on-farm survey to find out what and how much waste is commonly produced each year, and how the agricultural sector in Canterbury manages and disposes of this waste.

Farm visits will take place during March and a full report on the research should be available by the end of June. To find out more, please contact Environment Canterbury Project Manager, Isla Hepburn at isla.hepburn@ecan.govt.nz

Entry deadline for Enterprising Rural Women Awards -Entries close on Friday 15 March for this year’s Enterprising Rural Women Award.If you know someone with a small rural business, please bring the awards to their attention. The awards offer great promotional opportunities for entrants and winners alike.

This year there are four award categories:

  • Love of the Land, sponsored by Agrisea (for animal/land based businesses)
  • Help! I need Somebody, sponsored by Telecom (for service businesses, from retailers to contractors)
  • Making it in Rural, sponsored by FlyBuys (for businesses involving manufacturing or creativity)
  • Stay, Play, Rural, sponsored by Access (for tourism/hospitality ventures)

To enter, women need to have been in business for two years or more, and if in partnership, be an active 50 percent partner in the business.

Help an author writing on farming during the Rogernomics era - Dunedin Journalist, Neal Wallace, with the assistance of AGMARDT, is writing a social history book about the rural sector’s account of farming through the Rogernomics era. Specifically, Neal is looking for farmers from throughout the country who were at the coal face of these economic and social changes and have a story to tell, whether they lost their farm or managed to hold on, by whatever means. If you can help with your story or information, or you know someone who may be able to contribute, please contact Neal on 03 455 0697, 027 953 7739 or by email on n.l.wallace@xtra.co.nz.

Lord Christopher Monckton’s ‘Climate of Freedom Tour’ -Climate Realists of New Zealand are bringing Lord Monckton to New Zealand for his ‘Climate of Freedom Tour’ running 1 to 26 April. Climate Realists of New Zealand tell us that Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the IPCC, now concedes that there has been no global warming for 17 years. He has apparently added that it is good controversial issues are thrashed out in the public arena. This tour will run through what is happening with global warming, how Agenda 21 is impacting farms and much more.  Meeting details are available online or you can phone Esther Henderson on 06 867 8845.  Please note Friday Flash carried dates for the Rod Oram led ‘Maintaining Farm Productivity and Profits in an Uncertain Climate’ tour in 2011.

Rural General Practice Conference -New Zealand Rural General Practice Network’s 2013 conference is being held from March 13-17, at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre. The conference will feature topics such as the Rural Broadband Initiative and technology in health, and will also forge links with rural health and other groups such as the New Zealand Rural Hospital Network (NZRHN) and the newly-formed Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHĀNZ). It costs $485 to attend.



Trees for Bees Conference (Gisborne-Wairoa members) - This is the first annual Eastwoodhill Conference and has a core focus on Trees for Bees research. Farm profitability is dependent on the health of our bees, both native and introduced. This conference presents an opportunity to show how all sectors of the community can improve bee health.  The conference runs from 26 - 27 April 2013 at Eastwoodhill, 2392 Wharekopae Road RD 2, Ngatapa, Gisborne.  Call 06 836 9003 or email enquires@eastwoodhill.org.nz for more information.

Canterbury Land and Water Management -Hearings on the Proposed Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan (LWRP) are about to begin. The issues addressed in this plan, which includes novel and far-reaching nutrient discharge provisions, are of vital importance to the entire primary production sector. 

To this end, members of the Group have collectively commissioned expert water quantity, water quality and economics evidence to be submitted to the hearing commissioners, to provide a consistent approach to key issues, in support of their individual submissions.



The New Zealand Primary Industry Summit –The Summit is about a $31.5 billion industry; a $60 billion opportunity. Running on 13 & 14 May 2013, at the Rydges, Wellington.

How can we transform the growth trajectory of our primary exports through innovation, new market entry and growth across all areas of the value chain? The Primary Industry Summit is a strategic overview for all CEOs, top level management and policy makers within the agricultural and horticultural sectors.

Hear from Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President, at the event. Super saver closes on 18 March 2013.

Reel Life: Film Shows in Historic Woolsheds - Agriculture, history and incredible inventions from the Hawke’s Bay, Tararua, and Wairarapa regions are being showcased by the New Zealand Film Archive and New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT) in a programme of films spanning the 20th century.

These films will be screened in five NZHPT-registered heritage woolsheds throughout Hawkes’ Bay, Tararua and Wairarapa. Entrance to all screenings, except opening night, is $5, door sales only. The programme is:

• 15 March: Maraekakaho Woolshed attic, SH 50. Pre-film drinks from 6.30pm, film screening 7.30pm, then supper, tickets $20;

• 16 March: Maraekakaho Woolshed, SH 50. Open Day 1pm - 6pm, screenings 2pm, 4pm and 7.30pm;

• 17 March: Aramoana Woolshed, 80 Shoal Beach Rd, screening 6pm;

• 19 March Elm Grove Woolshed, 48 Kempton’s Line, Greytown, screening 5.30pm and 7.30pm;

• 20 March: Elm Grove Woolshed, 48 Kempton’s Line, screening 2pm and 7.30pm;

• 23 March: Moanaroa, 3179 Coast Rd, Akitio, Open Woolshed 2pm - 6pm;

• 23 March: Akitio Station Woolshed, River Rd, screening 7pm; and

• 24 March: Annedale Station Woolshed, Annedale Rd, Tinui, rapid no.1543, screening 7.30pm.

For more information go to the Film Archive website.

FarmSafe workshops – These workshops cover the first two days of a 4-5 day training package, which can be spread over time to fit in with your work. These result in a Certificate in Agriculture – General Skills.

Chainsaws & Quad Bikes      18-19 March    Rangitikei

Chainsaws & Quad Bikes      18-19 March    Horowhenua

Tractors & Quad Bikes           20-21 March    Manawatu

Tractors & Quad Bikes           26-27 March    Wanganui

Chainsaws & Tractors             4-5 April           Manawatu

Chainsaws & Quad Bikes      9-10 April         Manawatu

Chainsaws & Quad Bikes      15-16 April       Wanganui

Chainsaws & Quad Bikes      30 April-1 May Taihape

For further enquiries please contact Heidi at AgSafe; heidi@taylored.net.nz, 0508-AGSAFE or 027 538 5044.

Succession planning seminar -Federated Farmers Auckland, in conjunction with McConnell Stafford-Bush & Associates Chartered Accountants, are running a Succession Planning seminar on Tuesday 19 March. Registration Fee: $30.00, RSVP: Alan Cole, by Thursday 14 March 2013.

In this seminar we will discuss and explore:

  • What is succession planning?
  • How can you develop a successful succession plan?
  • Why is good governance a necessary component of a succession plan?
  • Why is the process more important than the structure and outcome?
  • Why are the financial numbers and tax structure secondary in the process?
  • Aligning the needs of owner and successor
  • The most recommended structure
  • How to work through an advisory process to achieve a shared family vision
  • Why your will is not your succession plan?

Dairy Industry Awards - Make sure you book your tickets for the regional awards dinners that start from March onwards. The National Finals are being held in Wellington at the Copthorne Hotel, in Oriental Bay and tickets go on sale on 15 April 2013.The final is on Friday, 24 May 2013.

Federated Farmers National Conference - The 2013 National Conference is being held in Ashburton from Wednesday 3 July to Friday 5 July 2013. This will be our largest conference since 2008, so schedule these dates into your diary now with further information to follow.


Develop your training skills to get the best out of your staff - Dairy NZ & AgITO are providing a free fully funded ‘Farmers as Trainers Workshop’, available to everyone, no matter what farm type.

Register today for one of two workshops; Waipukurau on 16 May or Dannevirke, on April 9. Please let us know which you would like to attend ASAP. Morning Tea and Lunch Provided.

Contact Vicki Martel, Customer Relationship Adviser, on 0800 691 111 

Leadership Programme - Talk with your provincial leaders about the ‘Advocacy, Influence & Outcomes leadership’ programme on 15-16 May 2013 in Wellington. The programme is targeted at Federated Farmers members who are active in their provinces or nationally in advocacy work.

If this is you, this course will benefit you, now is the time to indicate, with the support of your province that you wish to take part. Email Hannah Williamson to apply.


Looking for land to lease? -The Māori Trustee looks after 100,000 hectares in 2,000 properties nationwide and often has land coming up for lease. The land available is varied; from grazing blocks to cropping land and seaside sections. A recently established specialist property team deals with all aspects of managing the land and the lease on behalf of the owners.

You can see properties that are currently for lease on the Māori Trustee website at or you can ring 0800 943 682 during office hours to talk to the property specialist in your region.

Use you Green Card and save - Remember you have access to products and services from Vodafone for mobile, broadband and telecommunications; as well as FMG for insurance, Westpac for rural banking and financial services, ACCOR Ibis for hotels, XCM Sport and Swandri for clothing, Mobil and Allied Petroleum for fuel, Resene and Dulux for paint supplies, Avis for rental cars, OfficeMax for office, stationary and tech products, Devan for water tanks, Ravensdown and Viafos for fertilisers, Bunnings and Benchmark for hardware and building supplies, Bridgestone and Firestone for tyres and wheel alignment, ACCURO for medical insurance, LEAP for sprinkler systems, VTNZ for your vehicle WOF, Wines Online for your liquid refreshments, Acquire for computer hardware and software, PrITO for your agriculture ITO training, PitStop for vehicle parts for repair & maintenance, Orbit for your travel and holiday needs, NZ Safety for your protective gear, Solahart for alternative power options. Make sure you gain the benefit of being a member.

Check out you member side of the website for further information. Call 0800 327 646 if you have any questions and we will help.

Use your Farmlands and CRT cards to pay your membership subscription - This makes for an easier, more efficient transaction and cuts down on our administrative and postage costs. Did you know that we have more than 4,500 members who are Farmlands card holders yet only approximately 250 pay by this method? Make the right choice so that we all benefit. For any membership questions please call 0800 FARMING (0800 327 646)

Keep your details current -We value your membership and need to keep your details as accurate as possible. You help us with your input on farming issues and we wish to keep you informed on progress and successes and also seek additional advice from you. Update your contact details on-line via the website or call our Membership Services team on 0800 327 646 during business hours.

Employment Agreements - Federated Farmers offer a wide range of up to date, employment agreements for Fixed Term, Permanent and Casual employment. The benefit to you is reasonably priced, proven and tested, contracts that are regularly used by thousands of your colleagues. Federated Farmers’ members can also receive FREE ADVICE on the contracts by calling 0800 327 646. Also call this number to discuss your requirements and purchase your contracts & agreements.

Occupational Health & safety Policy and Manual - We have agriculture’s only ‘OSH Policy & Manual’ especially written for the farm environment. The content covers typical situations that are found in the farm environment. It also includes hazard and accident registers for you to keep records and help maintain a safe work place. 

As farmers we have obligations to keep the work place safe for employees and visitors. Call 0800 327 646 and the membership team will help you select the appropriate documents and despatch them to you.

OfficeMax Deals - Great deals for March on Technology, Café, Postage Paid and Stationery, check out the latest offers as well as office furniture deals  To view a summary of this month’s "special offers” go to OrderMax. This will take you to the OfficeMax main website page. You do not need to open an account with OfficeMax. You can use the Federated Farmers OfficeMax cash account that has been set up for you. Now proceed with your purchase

Use your membership and save - Join up for the Mobilcard "at pump" or the Allied Petroleum "farm delivery" fuel offers. Call 0800 FARMING and our team can connect you with the appropriate fuel business partner. You can also call them direct on 0800 Mobilcard or Allied Petroleum on 0800 383 566.


"But right now our dollar is a balloon and drought declarations ought to be the sharp pin.”

Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President, Drought vs. Dollar, Dominion Post