The Weekly Dairy Report: Good December rains in the south but dairy prices still flat

Northern areas are now also drying out but are well prepared for the El Nino summer with a good growthy spring allowing pasture conservation and establishment of summer crops.

The traditional wet December has arrived in many areas of the South Island but while it has lifted spirits, will do little to alleviate the very dry soil moisture levels in the worst regions.

Latest Oceania dairy prices are stable with any lift in commodity pricing tempered by the stronger currency, and all eyes will now be on the next auction in early January for signs the upturn is starting.

In the annual livestock survey numbers of dairy cattle have dropped for the first time since the dairy boom started in 2005, and these figures show tallies are now 300,000 animals behind last year.

In the Federated Farmers banking survey, respondents have replied they are happy with the support they have been given, both from the rural finance staff and extension of debt facilities, as the sector grapples with ways to manage this downturn.

The dairy sector on the West Coast is heralding the water quality of Lake Brunner that has reached it’s environmental goals 5 years ahead of the planned target, and shows that if all parties work together what can be achieved.

Dairy aligned properties are facing a subdued market as the market adjusts downwards to the new financial norm and cautious buyers and bankers wait for prices to fall.

The Crafar dairy saga is finally over with the receivers finishing their responsibilities, and the banks losing $143 million from this very messy investment.