Dairy

Can we stop the lying about possums and Tb now please?

One of the reasons that we are told about why we need to carpet bomb our forests with 1080 is that we need to protect our dairy industry from Tb.

And it is a fair enough reason, if it is true. Surely we can’t risk dairy for some little Aussie imports who carry it?

And most of us would agree. But what if we are being lied to?

5862 (2015). Richard Prosser to the Minister for Primary Industries (18 May 2015): How many, if any, possums were dissected to look for Tb for each of the past ten years, and of these, how many were found to have Tb?

Hon Nathan Guy (Minister for Primary Industries ) replied: TBFree New Zealand (previously the Animal Health Board) have been carrying out necroscopy surveillance of possums and other wildlife since 2007. In the 2007/2008 year 4871 possums were surveyed with no Tb infections found, in 2008/2009 13,874 surveyed with 9 found, in 2009/2010 23,339 surveyed with 6 found, in 2010/2011 17576 surveyed with 1 found, in 2011/2012 25,103 surveyed with 9 found, in 2012/2013 18,682 surveyed with 12 found, in 2013/2014 10,930 surveyed with 17 found and in the 2014/2015 year 9,838 possums were surveyed with no infected possums found.

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#Nannystate back-pedals after threatening dairies

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What a fiasco. Auckland Regional Public Health Service’s (ARPHS) Dr Julia Peters is now back-pedaling faster than a duck on heat.

Yesterday Julia Peters was front and centre blaming dairies for the obesity problem in Auckland and said they shouldn’t be allowed to sell unhealthy foods.

What a difference 24 hours can make.

Following a backlash from near on everyone, Julia Peters had to go back on air trying to defend her calls. But did she?

No. Instead she’s now saying

She says the dairy idea was one of many in the ARHPS paper, and has been overblown.

“We’re not looking at a ban on dairies – in fact, that’s not even in the paper.

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Guest Post – Cooperatives – another form of socialist mediocrity

The big issue that dominates the discussion on our dairy industry is falling prices. Our seeming inbred predilection for negative news means we overlook important issues about the future of milk, what is happening internationally and how New Zealand should be responding.

There is sufficient pessimism in some quarters to suggest that dairying is a lost cause and that there should be a deliberate effort to scale it back and stimulate investment in different economic activity.

While diversity is usually a helpful goal in an economy it is far too early to write off dairying. Conservative predictions are for the consumption of milk and milk products to rise by 36% over the next 10 years, away ahead of even the most optimistic numbers on production growth. China is only one of many countries to have growing needs for protein.

Milk2 Read more »

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Is Dairy Rooted?

The boom in the New Zealand economy has been led by massive dairy intensification. It is also the driver behind silly socialist projects like the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme where townie councillors have bought into government and Federated Farmers spin about the future being dairy and they are promoting economic models based on boom years that are unsustainable in bust years. Even so the proposals can’t work without massive subsidies or government grants even in boom years.

Yet no one has really stopped to question what the real long-term price of milk solids is, and if it is a sustainable long-term path to prosperity for New Zealand.

After last years boom prices there was not much consideration to what was going on world-wide, especially with the Chinese Market.

In the Sydney Morning Herald, their business editor wrote a good article comparing dairy in New Zealand to iron ore in Australia. I slammed it at the time, but have had a bit more of a think about it, plus some additional research over the holiday break.

Uppity Kiwis feeling boastful about their dollar approaching parity with the mighty Aussie might do well to stick to rugby for their kicks. Their China-driven boom is coming to an end as quickly as Australia’s. And they have less to fall back on when it does.

Meanwhile, reports of Gina Rinehart going long on dairy farms could prove as reliable a warning as many another billionaire diversifying outside his or her area of expertise.

The New Zealand economy’s resurgence has owed much to China’s demand for milk products and getting in early for a comprehensive free trade agreement with the Middle Kingdom.

Trouble is, China has been busily investing and encouraging others to invest in increased and globally diversified milking. Just as iron ore miners have ramped up production both from existing provinces and new projects from Africa to Mongolia, New Zealand’s farmers are facing increased competition from South America to Russia and all points in between, including Australia.

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There will be a death for sure when the killer cows find out they have to wear nappies

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Forget Killer Cows, you are going to see Homicidal, mad as all hell psychopathic cows when they get wind of plans for them to wear nappies in Bavaria.

The other farm animals will likely die from laughter.

Bavarian farmers are angry that their famous Alpine dairy cows will apparently have to wear nappies under European Union environmental laws.

Johann Huber, whose family has farmed on the mountain slopes of Gmund am Tegernsee for over 400 years, has begun putting home made nappies on his 18 diary cows to avoid falling foul of an EU fertiliser ban.

Mr Huber said that his cow Doris had behaved well when he fitted her with a home made bovine nappy to prevent her dropping cow pats on the Alpine slopes.

“We have no standard nappies, they have not been developed commercially yet,” he said.

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Does Russel Norman stand by all his statements?

The Green party likes to ask the gotcha question of the Prime minister…Does he stand by all his statements?

Well time for the show to be on the other foot.

Does Russel Norman stand by all his statements?

Russel Norman’s talking down the economy again – lamenting the state of the dairy industry.

Falling dairy prices are highlighting the danger of National’s economic strategy that focuses on the export of a few, simple commodities, the Green Party said today.

Dairy prices are down 8.4 percent this week – a 41 percent fall from their highs in February. Whole milk prices are down 11.5 percent largely due to weaker demand from China.

“National’s economic strategy has simplified our economy and concentrated our exports on a few, low-value-added commodities,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

“We want businesses to get on with innovating and exporting high value products that command high prices and support high wages.”

“National has bet the farm on the farm and it isn’t working. A growing reliance on one or two commodity exports has made our economy more vulnerable to commodity price swings.

“Producing increasing amounts of milk powder also has huge, downstream environmental impacts. We need to build a smart green economy with much lower carbon emissions and water pollution.

“A smarter way forward is to invest in innovation and policies that support our manufacturing and ICT export sectors.

“National is not building a strong, resilient export sector.”

Perhaps someone might like to ask him:   “You are proposing a carbon tax of $25, starting at $12.50 on all dairy farmers. You said at the time “they could afford it”. Now that dairy prices have fallen 41% are you going to abandon that policy?”

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Gareth Morgan on Bludging Farmers

Gareth Morgan has taken time out of his hectic schedule of giving hand-jobs to dictators, running losing soccer teams and hating cats to write a good piece on bludging farmers in the NZ Herald.

‘Externality’ is just a flash way of Gareth saying “Bludging” and any sensible right winger expects costs to fall on those who incur them, not on the rest of us. Not paying your true costs is clearly bludging no matter what the ratbags at Federated Farmers reckon.

We have what economists call an “externality” – where the actions of a producer create costs they don’t pay for but leave others to pick up the tab. Until those costs are sheeted back fully to producers, in this case the farmers, their personal profits will be inflated at society’s cost. And of course the higher the profits, the more new dairy farms get set up, making the problem worse. A circuit-breaker is needed.

A sensible “NO BLUDGING” Policy would solve a lot of these problems.

The lack of a decent regulatory regime is the reason bludging farmers keep bludging off society, so the real ratbags are politicians who incentivise bludging.  Read more »

Nosh jacks in the cheap milk, didn’t work

Last year Nosh made a big splash by discounting milk. It couldn’t possibly work, ask any proper supermarket about loss leading.

All the tactic did is make them headlines, swamp the stores with bludgers looking for cheap milk and buying nothing else. Eventually you go broke if the only thing people buy you are making a loss on. The Herald reports:

Nosh’s new boss is brimming with ideas for driving sales at the upmarket grocery chain – but offering cut-price milk isn’t one of them.

Retail dairy prices are an emotive issue in New Zealand and Nosh gained a lot of publicity last year from offering milk for as little as $2 for 2 litres, which resulted in a small loss for the company.

Hayden Syers, who became chief executive in July, said the loss-leading strategy hadn’t been successful.  Read more »

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Taking the Cow Menace Seriously

It looks like someone is finally taking the menace of killer cows seriously.

Scientists are trying to create a ‘health and safety’ cow by genetically modifying the animals to have no horns, in order to reduce the risk of injuring farmers, walkers and other creatures.

Researchers are using gene-editing techniques to insert a DNA patch into the genome of Holsteins, Britain’s foremost dairy breed, to suppress horn growth.

The extra DNA has been taken from other breeds of cattle to create a dairy cow that is identical in every respect to existing livestock but without the horns.  Read more »

The rank hypocrisy of the Green Taliban

As news broke yesterday, fuelled by uninformed idiocy from the SST, and Lucy Craymer and Charles Anderson running a hate campaign against the New Zealand agriculture sector the Green Taliban went on attack issuing statements about ‘chemicals’.

In a 2008 interview with Gordon Campbell – check out Russel Norman’s last answer:

Campbell: So from what you’re saying, if the Greens are in government after the next election, it will be asking farmers to pay the full costs of its emissions much sooner ?

Norman: Yeah…and its actually in a good position to reduce its emissions. The technology already exists. Its just nuts. They’re half of our emissions, and we’re saying the sector doesn’t have to do anything.

Campbell:Excuse me, but the technology to reduce methane emissions doesn’t exist at the moment.

Norman: The technology to reduce nitrous oxide emissions exists at the moment, with nitrification inhibitors.

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