Newsletter 24.05.15

Finance
The drought continues to bite and although the grass looks green, in most cases there’s no growth. That has lead to capital stock being sold, at the bottom of the market, and a false sense of cash flow. Kerry Adams of DAA chartered accountantssays people’s first thought should be of tax issues next year plus the cost of replacement stock when the rains. He says there are some farmers who have literally sold off all their stock and stopped farming supporting themselves by getting employment off farm.
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Horticulture & Cropping
Barley growers are facing a 13 percent drop in prices for next season according to the first contracts to hit the industry by Malt Europe. Dennis Carter says the drop has meant farmers are saying they can’t grow the crops for that sort of return and aren’t signing. He says malting barley is no longer a commodity, but has become a niche product because of the demands made by the brewing industry.

Cropping farmers are on full alert as cereal aphid numbers soar. The aphid number are very likely to cause havoc in the spring as they carry yellow dwarf barley virus that can and will wipe out whole crops if it isn't controlled. He says growers should be spraying autumn sown crops now to avoid major problems in spring.
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Machinery
Clean out your harvesting equipment now to avoid damage over the winter. That’s the advice from James Cochrane who says straw and such left in machinery after the harvest season attracts vermin and any parts that are exposed because of a lack of paint should be oiled to avoid rust. He says the other thing to do is write down any strange noises when you are using the machinery and attend to them in the off season, if you don’t write them down you are likely to forget about them until it’s too late. 
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Animal Health & Welfare
Sheep farmers are very wise to talk to their vets about clostridial vaccines now to avoid losses during and after lambing. Nick Page from Rolleston Vet Services says there are criteria that need to be assessed now to gain the best protection for lambs before birth and at docking time. He says the risk factors are real and need to be prevented.
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Irrigation - proudly bought to you by RX Plastics
With the suggestion next summer will be as dry as the last one people should be working towards a very early start to irrigation next season. That means planning now for any extensions to present systems and looking after what is already in place. Tony Atwool of RX Plastics says the best time to put in irrigation is “20 years ago or today.” He says there’s a lot of pressure on the supply of equipment so it will pay to order systems early.
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Innovation & New Technology
You could be fined up to $3 million or spend time in jail if you don’t have the appropriate safety systems in place for your property and an accident happens. Dave Dredge from T.L.Parker says the rules are monitored by the Government Departments and they will prosecute not just the land owner, but all the people they think were responsible for the lack of safety measures. He says one of the first things they will check is communication system for the property and he is finding more and more farmers are turning back to two way radios to ensure everyone is contactable in an emergency.
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Horticulture & Cropping
Fall out from E-Can’s latest rulings about leaching and fertiliser usage continues with the majority of farmers in affected areas saying it will be impossible to continue farming once it becomes law in early 2017. Dennis Carter who farms at Lakeside in Canterbury says people in his region can’t see a way out of the restrictions and they feel totally hamstrung. 
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