Dairy

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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Crafar Farms deal settled

The Crafar Farms deal settled yesterday. Shanghai Pengxin issued the following statement:

Two years after it made a successful bid for the 16 North Island Crafar farms, Chinese company Shanghai Pengxin has withstood all legal challenges and finally been able to settle on the properties and take possession.

The properties, have been purchased in the name of a subsidiary company, Pengxin New Zealand Farm Group. They will be managed by a new joint venture company, Pengxin New Zealand Farm Management Ltd, a 50/50 joint venture with Government-owned Landcorp, which will be the managing partner, and which is increasing staff numbers to run the 16 farms.

The 13 dairy farms and three dry stock farms total almost 8,000 hectares and currently carry some 16,000 cows. The company is committed to investing $15.7 million in the next three years to upgrade the properties and increase milk production, which will initially be sold to Fonterra.

Great stuff, now we can get on with the other aspects of the deal opening up new access and markets in China.

A challenge for Fonterra

The Atlantic

An interesting challenge for Fonterra…I wonder perhaps if they acknowledge this as their latest milk solids payout announcements start scaring the banks who have been lending money on 100% face value of Fonterra shares.

In 1942, when my father was born, the average dairy cow produced less than5,000 pounds of milk in its lifetime. Now, the average cow produces over 21,000 pounds of milk. At the same time, the number of dairy cows has decreased from a high of 25 million around the end of World War II to fewer than nine million today. This is an indisputable environmental win as fewer cows create less methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and require less land.

At the same time, it turns out that cow genomes are more complex than we thought: as milk production amps up, fertility drops. There’s an art to balancing all the traits that go into optimizing a herd.

Nosh complaining about arbitrage they created

Oh this is hilarious. Nosh are complaining because smart dairy owners are buying their below cost milk and then on-selling to at a profit…kind of like Trevor Mallard did with his tickets:

But not everyone who is buying the milk is drinking it.

“It’s an unfortunate incident that happens on a regular basis as far as trade coming in and purchasing the milk to on-sell,” says Mr Cibulskis.

3 News found one such example a few hundred metres up the road from Nosh.

Owners at a small store confirmed sending their children to Nosh to buy milk on numerous occasions.

The owner of the dairy did not want to appear on camera but says she bought the milk from Nosh because it was cheap and she could make a profit.

…But Jubeda Patel who owns a superette in Auckland’s CBD says milk pricing is the cause of this war between Nosh and the dairy up the road.

And she says Nosh is being a bit precious.

“I don’t think she’s doing anything wrong. She’s running a business which is hard for everyone. She’s paying the price that Nosh is asking. And Nosh may be closing earlier hours and she may be able to offer it at a different hour to them,” says Ms Patel.

Nosh has now told the owners of the dairy not to come back.

Nosh created the arbitrage, now they are upset about it. It shows basic economic illiteracy that they should be upset at people taking advantage of it.

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Maths isn't her strong point

Sue Kedgley is a classic “other person”. She tells people to catch the bus but doesn’t catch one herself. Now it turns out she isn’t too crash hot at maths either.

Green Party MP Sue Kedgley is calling for the Commerce Commission to investigate how retail dairy prices are set in New Zealand.

Kedgley says the Ministry of Agriculture’s review of the domestic milk market, ordered by Agriculture Minister David Carter last month in response to public anger over rising milk prices,  comes close to being a “complete whitewash”.

The ministry’s report said it could not comment on whether there was sufficient competition in the domestic market because it did not have the powers to investigate.

It said current law governing the dairy industry promoted competition, but did not ensure it.

Kedgley says the report failed to address the central issue of lack of competition in the domestic market.

“It doesn’t tell us how the price of milk is set. Farmers say they receive less than 30 per cent of the price of milk, but it fails to shed any light on what makes up the other 60 per cent,” she says.

“These are all valid questions and it’s time that we had some transparency into how domestic prices are set, and some asurance that supermarkets, or Fonterra, are not putting exhorbitant mark-ups on milk.”

Not only does she fail basic arithmetic, she also demonstrates a complete lack of knowledge of the mechanics of how a raw product gets into the plastic bottle and onto the supermarket shelves.