24 May 2024

Rural News Wrap

From Country Life, 7:12 pm on 24 May 2024
Many people are choosing to barbecue their lamb, Dunedin butcher Greg Egerton said.

A stoush between the British National Farmers Union and Beef and Lamb New Zealand continues. Photo: 123RF

A wrap of the week's rural news from RNZ's rural news desk.

Fresh rain across much of the North Island this week has been welcome news for some, but caused further headaches for farmers in Te Tairāwhiti still struggling with post-cyclone repairs. Meanwhile, a Wairoa-based farmer says the losses he is carrying with his maize crop this season is far worse than anything Cyclone Gabrielle threw at him. 

A stoush between the British National Farmers Union and Beef and Lamb New Zealand continues, over opposition to large supermarket chain Morrisons trialling the sale of New Zealand lamb in its stores. Morrisons says the move is due to consumer demand for cheaper prices and that the blunt commercial reality is that New Zealand lamb is cheaper to source. Find out more here

Zespri, RubyRed, green and Sungold kiwifruit.

Kiwifruit marketer Zespri has seen its profits drop about 27%. Photo: Zespri

Over to the primary produce export sector, where kiwifruit marketer, Zespri, has reported a 27% drop in profits mainly due to mainly to reduced licence revenue - as growers were paid less to grow gold and red varieties last season. Major honey exporter Comvita has also downgraded its forecast revenue due to weak consumer demand in China, but major apple exporter , Scales Corporation, says that issue is not affecting its overall sales too much. Find out more here

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Dairy prices are on the move again, continuing to trend up. Photo: Hin255/ 123rf

Meanwhile dairy prices are rising at at their fastest level in three months. The average price at this week's global auction rose 3.3% to USD$3861 a tonne. The price of wholemilk powder, which strongly influences the payouts for local farmers, rose 2.9% to USD$3408 a tonne. Prices for all other products also rose, including butter, up more than 5%. Recent market prices support a forecast payout of $7.80 per kilo of milk solids. Find out more here

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A chicken farm in the Australian state of Victoria, has culled hundreds of thousands of chickens after detecting an outbreak of avian influenza. Photo: Pixabay

One to watch, hundreds of thousands of chickens have been euthanised at an egg farm in Australia after avian influenza was detected. The property near Meredith in Victoria is in quarantine and testing has revealed that the strain of the disease is H7N3, the most commonly occurring variant in Australia. The detection comes amid fears of a global avian flu outbreak after the widespread detection of the H5N1 strain overseas - most recently found in the US dairy cow herd. Find out more here

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