Tuesday, 31 May 2022 11:55

Home advantage for NZ dairy

Written by  Peter Burke
Emma Higgins, Rabobank. Emma Higgins, Rabobank.

Emma Higgins, Rabobank, says grain, oil and livestock feed are being caught up in the Ukraine war and producers in the northern hemisphere are going to face higher cost of milk production this year and into next year.

She says producers in NZ are also being caught up in higher input costs and, while prices for dairy prices could be good, she believes that the margins for the 2022/23 season will be lower. She notes the challenges farmers have been experiencing this past season right around the country.

"Anecdotally we have heard that farmers in the Waikato for example have tried to change some of their calving patterns so they can get as much milk as possible before the Christmas cut off when things start to be become a lot more fickle and volatile," she says.

Despite this, Higgins believes that while NZ dairy farmers are being challenged by the weather gods, new regulations and geopolitical chaos inflating input costs, theoretically they should be in a better position than northern hemisphere farmers. This is because we operate an extensive pasture based system.

She says there is a whole body of regulation that farmers are working through right now, some of which requires more clarity on how it will impact on them, which may lead to some changes faming systems.

"Climate change is global challenge and it's not just us facign the uncertainty of how to deal with it. If we look offshore, it is front and mind for European producers as well. The difference in NZ is we are being led towards what that new normal looks like by regulation, whereas in places such as America it's more being led by markets. Ultimatelty we are moving towards the same direction, it's just in different ways and places," she says.

Finally Higgins says Fonterra has really stepped up their game and got good information out to farmers about the nuances of markets and need for change.

More like this

Get ready for a bumpy ride

Rabobank is warning the country's dairy farmers to prepare for a very bumpy economic ride in the coming season.

Controlling feed costs

Everywhere I go, whether it be in town or on farm, I hear a similar topic being discussed. It’s the fact prices have risen and as a result farmers and growers have become very focused on controlling on-farm costs.

Farmers brace for uncertain times

Rural Support Trust chair Neil Bateup says there is a lot of apprehension among farmers about the future as they follow and experience the disruptions caused by Covid and also by the war in Ukraine.

A defining year ahead!

The coming year is looming as a defining one for New Zealand farming, according to Rabobank agricultural analyst Genevieve Steven.


A herd to suit all systems

Maximising per-cow production has always been an interest of Manawatu dairy farmers Craig and Raewyne Passey - and Holstein Friesian…

Fonterra shares bounce around

Fonterra's share price jumped on the news that the co-op will provide financial support to improve liquidity in its share…

Machinery & Products

Effective water use

At a time when the rising cost of inputs like fuel, transport and fertiliser are putting increased pressure on profitability,…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter