The Weekly Dairy Report: Widespread rain further boosts feed and late season milk but auction still positive on increased supply 

The left over from Cyclone Debbie soaked all of the North Island and the top of the south, and what was especially pleasing, brought good rains to the dry eastern areas of Canterbury.

The recent rains in March, and now early April, have stimulated feed covers considerably, and some are asking what should be the autumn maximum, before wasteage and slow spring growth rates occur.

This positive feed situation is an ideal opportunity to improve BCS of cows before dryoff, and make wintering less costly, by utilising the surplus pasture grown at home.

Strong milk flows are continuing, and this season’s milking looks to continue right to the end, to compensate somewhat for the slow spring.

Overnight the global milk auction returned another positive result, especially with whole milk powder lifting by 2.4% to $2924US, and closing in on the magical $3000/tonne.

Analysts suggest the market has already priced the better than expected late NZ production into it’s pricing, and suggest values could move sideways for the rest of the year.

They note the recent lower prices have brought more buyers from different countries back into the market, and this increased competition for the auctions product has reignited values.

From this it seems this years payout will stay at $6, but bank analysts predictions for next year come from the late $5’s to $6.75/kg ms.

A big lift in Oceania butter prices this week, as the market reacts to NZ producing 18% less this year, as processors juggle the product mix to maximize raw milk returns.

Yearly whole milk powder production is also down in NZ, and with stable volumes offered for this weeks auction, prices are expected to be maintained at current levels.

While cheese prices are currently steady, concerns are building about rapidly growing stocks held in the US, and at some stage this could influence prices downward.

Synlait reports a modest half year profit, as greater volumes processed into infant formula and value added products, improve the gross margin result.

Positive news from agricultural scientists as the study to reduce nitrate leaching from dairy stock produces pleasing long term results.

They revealed they have identified animal genes and plants (like plantain) that influence nitrate excretion, and are hopeful when fully developed will make a significant environmental difference.