Tuesday, 27 February 2024 06:55

Tough times on farm

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
Beef + Lamb NZ chair Kate Acland. Beef + Lamb NZ chair Kate Acland.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand chair Kate Acland says while farmers are quite positive about the new Government, the economic situation on farm is "pretty brutal".

Lamb prices are 20% below their five-year average and mutton prices down 15%.

"There is optimism around the Government but there's a lot of pain in the sector," she told Rural News.

"I think we will come out of this - the medium to long term view is quite positive."

Acland points out the B+LNZ's economic service analysis shows that sheep farmers are facing their lowest year of profitability in 15 years.

There are a number of factors affecting NZ lamb price. Among them is Australian output flooding overseas markets. Over the past few years, Australian farmers have been able to build up their flocks and take advantage of favourable conditions. Sheep numbers across the Tasman are at the highest they've been since 2007.

The shipping crisis in the Red Sea isn't helping either. Add to that rising inflation on farm.

Acland points out that on farm inflation was 16.3% last year and 10% the year before that.

She says there are some green shoots emerging, like rising export volumes to the lucrative UK market, but the effects are yet to flow on to farmers.

The new coalition Government has promised to dismantle legislation that impacts the agriculture sector, including legislation around the contentious emissions targets and pricing.

Acland says they have been in regular contact with the new Government.

In December, representatives from B+LNZ, DairyNZ and Federated Farmers met with Agriculture Minister Todd McClay.

Acland says the three farmer organisations are working together to present pastoral sector issues together to the Government and discuss how to solve them.

"We're stronger working together; we don't want to be fighting each other in the Environment Court.

"There always will be tension but nobody wins by fighting among ourselves."

Acland says she doesn't agree with emissions pricing but accepts that a pathway must be foun to manage emissions coming from agriculture.

"We need a pathway that balances the need for some emissions reduction, with the need for a productive and profitable agricultural sector."

More like this

Not so bad!

OPINION: Your old mate is still somewhat gobsmacked by sheer stupidity and lack of understanding by Beef+Lamb NZ’s board in asking for a pay rise at this year’s annual meeting.

BLNZ fee increase rejected

Frustrated red meat farmers soundly rejected a move by the Beef + Lamb New Zealand board to increase its director fees.


Farmers fined for cattle abuse

A Waikato cattle farming family have been fined $23,000 for failing to provide sufficient food and care for their animals, resulting in more than half a dozen animal deaths.

App trial yields promising results

An initial trial of an app, funded by Beef + Lamb New Zealand, has demonstrated significant results in reducing drench inputs during a small-scale study.


Back to the tractor!

Alliance Group chair Murray Taggart is looking forward to spending more time on farm as he steps down after a…

Machinery & Products

PM opens new Power Farming facility

Morrinsville based Power Farming Group has launched a flagship New Zealand facility in partnership with global construction manufacturer JCB Construction.

AGTEK and ARGO part ways

After 12 years of representing the Landini and McCormick brands in New Zealand, Bay of Plenty-based AGTEK and the brands’…

100 years of Farmall Tractors

Returning after an enforced break, the Wheat and Wheels Rally will take place on the Lauriston -Barhill Road, North-East of…

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound


OPINION: Your canine crusader was truly impressed by the almost unanimous support given by politicians of all stripes in Parliament…


OPINION: As this old mutt suggested in the last issue, MPI looks a very good candidate for some serious public…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter