Print this page
Thursday, 12 February 2015 00:00

No longer the wet coast

Written by 
Rod Quin. Rod Quin.

For the second year in a row the West Coast is drying out, causing a drop in the milk flow to Westland Milk Products.

 Chief executive Rod Quin says though they got rain recently the two day average supply is 6% behind last year. On a season-to-date basis they are ahead – by 3%. Quin says he expects by season end production for 2014-15 will just be slightly ahead of the previous season. 

“Southern Westland is in much better shape than the northern part.  While it might rain along the coast a lot of our suppliers are in the Grey Valley in the foothills of the Southern Alps and they often don’t get the same rainfall as those on the coast. In fact many have installed irrigation systems to deal with dry weather.”

Also, Westland soils are free draining, not holding moisture as do soils in other regions. While it is nowhere near a drought, he expects the lower payout may see some farmers reduce stock numbers and cut the use of supplements.

The good news for West Coast farmers is the payout. Westland’s Rod Quin is forecasting $5.00-$5.50. He attributes this is partly to the recent improved GTD prices and the lower New Zealand dollar and to the way Westland has configured its business.

“We are not big whole milk powder producers. We tend to be more into skim milk powder, butter and nutritionals and proteins, which for most of the season have provided better returns than WMP. We were punished heavily last year for not being WMP producers but the tables have turned somewhat this season.”

While $5.00 will not make every farmer happy, Quin says, it is still better than from other dairy companies. Westland has installed a new drier for next season, to give the company a more flexible product mix.

More like this

Westland Milk unveils Covid-19 strategy

Westland Milk Products says Covid-19 is causing “minimal disruption” to its supply chains, with the company working to meet rising demand from China.

Farmers count flood costs

Farmers are counting the cost after a violent storm which cut transport links on both sides of the South Island and looks likely to disrupt West Coast milk collection for weeks.


Longest running ag field days all go

The South Island Agricultural Field Days, held in Kirwee on the outskirts of Christchurch, will celebrate its 70th year in March 2021 with a bigger demonstration area.


New Feds man keen to build

New Feds board member, William Beetham wants the organisation recognised for its significant contributions to NZ farming and society as a whole.


Global movers and shakers

Dairy companies around the world are facing a dilemma – whether to expand or divest assets, says Rabobank’s Mary Ledman.

Live cattle exports in limbo

The fate of 28,000 cows in quarantine in New Zealand and supposedly destined for China in the coming weeks hangs…

Machinery & Products

Mowers get a makeover

Well known throughout New Zealand over the past 18 years, Pottinger has redesigned its rear-mounted Novadisc mowers to incorporate a…

Hardy spotlight

High quality, reliable lighting is essential for anyone involved in agriculture or the great outdoors.

Simmm twin water blasters

Italian made Simmm Power Cleaner 100/11 and Power Gun 100/11 single-phase (230 volt) electric water blasters are proving popular in…

OPD argument raging on

A stoush is brewing with the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) heavily criticising Farmsafe Australia’s recent Safer Farm Report.