The Wakefield’s have been in the industry for 20 years. John joined as a school leaver and progressed from a cadet through farm management and lower order sharemilking to 50% sharemilking. Their goals are to increase equity so they can purchase their own farm with sufficient size to employ staff to undertake the farm’s day-to-day operations.
- Blackman Spargo Legal Audit Award – Andrew & Robyn McLeod
- Honda ATV Safety Award – John and Kim Wakefield
- DairyNZ First Time Entrant Award – Jon & Steph Russell
- Ecolab Farm Dairy Hygiene Award – John & Andrea Winmill
- Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) Leadership Award – John & Andrea Winmill
- LIC Recording and Productivity Award – Jon & Steph Russell
- Meridian Energy Farm Environment Award – John & Kim Wakefield
- Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award – John & Kim Wakefield
- Westpac Business Performance Award – John & Kim Wakefield
- DairyNZ Human Resource Management Award – Phil Moeke
- RD1 Farm Management Award – Aaron Johnston
- Westpac Financial and Planning Award – Phil & Nicki Vallance
On a sadder note Rachel over at Kyfarmlife has been having a big worry over little Radish. He's a little foal born two days back, but now Radish doesn't seem to be doing too well. Rachel has had hardly any sleep taking care of this little guy. He's gorgeous. His Sire Buck is a Rocky Mountain Horse and his dam Georgia is a Tennessee Walker. Nice little colt. I really hope he makes it. Drop over and wish Rachel and Radish well I think Rachel could really do with the support on this one.
AgResearch and Lincoln University will now embark on a combined consultative process before concluding whether to recommend to Cabinet a full merger. The proposal is to create a world-class, land-based University supporting research, education and extension that is focused on New Zealand’s vital primary industries.
“This would create an internationally outstanding entity, which would rank in the world’s top five of its type,” said Tom Lambie, Chancellor of Lincoln University.
“New Zealand needs to lift its rate of productivity growth and the obvious place to start is with the land-based industries. Through the creation of a world-class, internationally ranked, 21st century land-based University, the performance of New Zealand’s land-based industries will be enhanced substantially,” said Mr Lambie.
AgResearch Chairman Sam Robinson says when AgResearch was formed it brought together animal sciences from the Ministry of Agriculture and plant sciences from the DSIR which allowed, for the first time, the development of a coherent scientific view of how a farm operates.
“This merger will go that one vital step further and translate all that knowledge and technology that our scientists produce into coherent education and training for immediate industry benefit along the entire value chain. AgResearch has more scientists than any other government-owned research organisation in New Zealand and merging with Lincoln University will provide a more stable base for New Zealand’s most important research and development, and enhance teaching activity,” said Mr Robinson.
It's taken me over a week to finally turn over all of the soil in what used to be our main vegetable garden. Back breaking work when you've left it for two years growing nothing but weeds taller than you are and the tap root systems to match. I had forgotten just how big it really was - large enough to feed myself,my girls, my Mum and always extra to pass on to friends and family. At last I've reclaimed it from the weeds. The soil has been well fertilised with blood and bone. I guess the earth worms will love it. So will the chickens. Until I put in the last few wires and connect the fence around the garden to the mains unit those chickens will be very busy getting what they can.
I'm hoping to have all the fence finished by tomorrow if the weather doesn't decide to pack up and we get more showers coming in along with the strong south westerly that's been shredding the trees for the last two days. Cold and horrible which is telling me Autumn is here. Hopefully the temperatures won't drop too much. I'm putting in peas and parsnips for starters. Then go from there.
In the other small garden.....
The weak sick looking tomato plants I had finally put in several weeks ago have benefitted a lot from a huge dose of fertiliser and some TLC. At last I actually have tomatoes on them - green but at last we're getting something! It's probably far too late in the year now to get many off these poor plants I'm hoping for a few more weeks. The Tyres keep the chickens from digging around the roots...
The Banana Pepper I put in seems to be doing okay I didn't realise it was a mildly hot one and had mistaken it for a sweet variety but I'll make use of it in a stew or a casserole. Jennifer from A Dairy Perspective posted about this great book Country Wisdom & Know-how that has all kinds of things for living off the land there's even instructions on how to make a root cellar. Check it out here. And even if you don't have a farm it's still worth checking out. Read Jennifer's post to find out more. Oh well time to make dinner and tell the Terrorist I'm not doing anymore gardening today.
I think River is wondering why her gut has become the size of a small water tank and it's becoming a little harder to get up the hills. She's rising three this year hard to believe she was that small little calf I kept alive for ten days when she had a terrible case of scours then salmonella on top. The cause we weren't quite ever sure of. A lot of sleepless nights and perseverance had River recovering and she's done well ever since. I haven't had trouble with scours since I put all of my calves straight into the paddock with covers on and out of a shed environment.
The 2009 Waikato Sharemilkers of the Year Craig and Brooke Littin say their strong relationships with past and present farm owners are a key factor in their success.
- Honda ATV Safety Award – Carlos & Bernice Delos Santos
- Animal Health Centre Animal Health and Welfare Award – Scott & Alicia Paterson
- Piako Tractors Human Resource Management Award – Craig & Brooke Littin
- Allied Farmers Best Variable % Award - Scott & Alicia Paterson
- DairyNZ First Time Entrant Award – Hamish Ferguson
- Ecolab Farm Dairy Hygiene Award – Hannes & Lyzanne Du Plessis
- Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) Leadership Award – Craig & Brooke Littin
- LIC Recording and Productivity Award – Craig & Brooke Littin
- Meridian Energy Farm Environment Award – Scott & Alicia Paterson
- Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award – Adrian & Karyn Daines
- Westpac Business Performance Award – Scott & Alicia Paterson
- Effluent Irrigation Services Best Endeavour Award – Tristan & Karen Dalley
- DairyNZ Human Resource Management Award – Pieter & Beth Ackermann
- RD1 Farm Management Award – Kevin White
- Westpac Financial and Planning Award – Pieter & Beth Ackermann
The latest snapshot survey by Federated Farmers of 123 members revealed the average farm business overdraft rate had been reduced by just 54 basis points since the end of January. This survey was conducted between 17 and 25 February 2009, three weeks after 150 basis points were cut from the OCR on 29 January. The survey discovered that the average overdraft rate for farm businesses was 9.62 percent.
“Since 4 December 2009, 300 basis points have been cut from the OCR and 90 day interest rates have fallen from 5.36 percent to 3.04 percent. Yet farm businesses, on average, have seen only 156 basis points of this translated into their overdraft facilities,” says Don Nicolson, Federated Farmers President.
A number of farmers reported in the survey that they had been notified in mid-February that further cuts were on the way from 3 March. This is great news, but many were frustrated with the period of time it took for the cuts to come into effect. With further steep cuts to 90 day interest rates in recent weeks, the banks must urgently review their lending rates and quickly implement any cuts.
Farms are highly seasonal businesses and overdraft interest rates are crucial for farmers’ cash-flow. High interest rates are squeezing farm profitability and mean farmers have less to spend in their local economies.
“In the case of Fonterra, it has changed the structure of this season’s payout. Part of the value return component due in April has now been folded into one payout in October. Incremental payouts due to farmers have also been delayed until the end of the season in June,” Mr Nicolson continued.
“As for the Westland Dairy Cooperative, it is now expected that there will be no winter payout for their supplier shareholders.
“While seasonal and overdraft facilities make up a part of the $44 billion lent to the agricultural sector, stubbornly high interest rates at this point in the economic cycle only serve to frustrate farmers.
“The Reserve Bank’s February Retail Interest Rates on Lending and Deposits highlights the rapid drop in what residential mortgagees are paying, which is down by 414 basis points since August 2008. Although we are not strictly comparing like with like, farmers are concerned that residential mortgage holders are enjoying the fruits of intense competition while farm businesses are not. This is occurring as the banks face pressure from Federated Farmers and Reserve Bank Governor, Dr Alan Bollard. The aim must be to share these benefits with farmers and other small businesses,” Mr Nicolson concluded.
Federated Farmers is keen to see greater transparency and competition in the farm and small business lending markets. We are willing to discuss these prospects with the banking sector and, if needed, the regulators.
OVERDRAFT INTEREST RATES – January OCR follow up
The results of the first Federated Farmers survey showed that farmers overdraft interest rates had fallen by 0.78 percentage points in response to the 150 basis point cut in interest rates on 4 December.
Since then the Reserve Bank has again cut the OCR by 150 basis points (on 29 January) and Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard has repeated his call for banks to pass on interest rate cuts to their customers, saying …"To ensure the response we are seeking, we expect financial institutions to play their part in the economic adjustment process by passing on lower wholesale interest rates to their customers.”
The new survey was in the field from 17-25 February 2009.
Federated Farmers received 123 usable responses to the survey from its focus group of farms. We consider this to be an adequate response rate.
The average overdraft interest rate faced by farmers on 29 January 2009 was 10.16%. At the time the survey was conducted (17-25 February 2009) the average rate was 9.62%.
Therefore, the average difference between the respondents’ overdraft interest rates on 29 January and when they responded to the survey was 0.54 percentage points. This means that just over one third of the 1.5% cut to the OCR on 29 January has been passed on to farmers through their overdrafts.
Broken down by farm type:
· For Meat & Fibre farmers (n=42) the average difference was 0.67 (from 10.13% to 9.46%).
· For Dairy farmers (n=41) the average difference was 0.48 (from 10.06% to 9.58%).
· For Arable farmers (n=6) the average difference was 0.22 (from 10.75% to 10.53%).
· For other/mixed farmers (n=35) the average difference was 0.50 (from 10.22% to 9.72%).
NOTE: Some respondents mentioned that their bank had announced plans to decrease their overdraft rates in the future. However, this survey only accounted for rates at the time of the response.
The survey also asked… “Does your bank charge an additional margin rate(s) above the base rate?”
· 50% of respondents said NO
· 30% respondents said YES
· 20% of respondents either did not know or did not respond
Of those who answered yes and responded with a single number, the average margin was 1.29 percentage points.
The survey also asked… “Have there been any further changes to the conditions of your loan?”
· 76% responded NO
· 6% responded YES
· 19% did not respond
Combining the results of the first and second Overdraft Interest Rate Surveys we find:
On 4 December 2008 the average overdraft interest rate for farmers was 11.18%.
On 17-25 February (at the time the second survey replies were received) the average overdraft rate for farmers was 9.62%.
Between 4 December 2008 and 25 February 2009 farmers’ overdraft interest rates have fallen by 1.56%. This is just over half of the 3% fall in the OCR during this period.
When we break this down by farm type we find:
· For Meat & Fibre farmers the average difference was 1.58 (from 11.04% to 9.46%).
· For Dairy farmers the average difference was 1.67 (from 11.25% to 9.58%).
· For Arable farmers the average difference was 1.14 (from 11.67% to 10.53%).
· For other/mixed farmers the average difference was 1.39 (from 11.11% to 9.72%).
APPENDIX – OVERDRAFT INTEREST RATE SURVEY QUESTIONS
1. What was your overdraft interest rate on 29 January 2009?
2. What is your overdraft interest rate now?
3. What is your farm type? (e.g. dairy/sheep/arable)?
4. Does your bank charge an additional margin rate(s) above the base rate? If yes, please specify:
5. Have there been any further changes to the conditions of your loan? If yes, what?
Everyone with a farm of any description likes to keep a Farm Diary. In it gets recorded the fertiliser dates, the calving, the lambing and the drenching and anything else important such as pasture growth rates, mating and machinery maintenance. I have a serious Farm Diary that does have those things recorded then there is my silly Farm Diary. The one that I love to sit down and do especially when I've had a couple of bad days. Yesterday was a complete disaster. The car decided it wasn't going to start and some family stuff got in the way. This morning has been even worse. The electric fence decided to start backfeeding on the current and a horse got out. I had turkeys trying to destroy my yet to be planted newly restored vegetable garden (parsnips are going in today) and on top of everything else my youngest has presented me with a horrendous pile of dirty washing! Growl. I've got a heap of stuff to get done today and I was hoping to get over to see Amy before the 21st century was over..(Sorry Amy) I've still got a fence to repair today and the Terrorist at least has been drenched. River my eldest cow (all of rising 3 years old) has started to spring in the udder which means her calf is due in about three to six weeks. This will be her first so I'll be having to keep a closer eye on her. So here is a page from my silly farm diary complete with the turkey with boogly eyes and a hedgehog going somewhere...Maggie had sent the turkey off packing..she stomps her feet and crows like a rooster it's hilarious! That's chickens for you. We all get bad days sometimes in threes or more. I'll put this down to one of those things that happen. Maybe I'll go and get that X-plow and use it in my youngest daughter's room?
Anyone else had bad days lately where they could just go somewhere and scream? Let me know I'd love to hear your stories of bad days and maybe good ones too.LOL! Anyway I'm sort of smiling and I guess I'll smile more once I've got a couple of more things done.