Newsletter 19.04.15

Lundy Sheep - Photo by Michael Maggs, Wikimedia Commons

Wool prices are holding despite overseas currency movements. John Dawson from NZ Wool Services says the Euro is very high and that has impacted badly on prices but overall returns are much better than expected with prices holding up due to the quality of the New Zealand clip.
Concern is mounting about the numbers of capital stock being killed due to dry conditions. John Dawson from NZ Wool Services says the numbers were badly affected with the swing into dairy farming and that dairying isn’t expected to slow down despite the lower prices they are expecting. Plus sheep farming has been pushed into the hill country meaning intensive sheep farming is harder to achieve.
The reduction in sheep numbers due to the culling of capital stock isn’t likely to create extra demand, it is more likely to drive people into other areas. New Zealand wool is added into other less desirable lines to lift the mills standards, but it is expected the mills will simply use less New Zealand wool to remain competitive with synthetics.
Click here to see the full interview.
Grass grub beetles are causing major problems in vineyards. Researches being done by Lincoln University shows the beetles are attacking huge areas of vineyards at night during the flowering period. The beetles devastate the flowers before mating and dropping to the ground to lay eggs. One possible solution is crushed muscle shells that seem to deter the beetles from laying. Click here to see the full interview with Steve Wratten.
Over flushing of rams can cause problems through pizzle rot. Nick Page from Rolleston Vet Services says it is very tempting to flush rams on high proteins such as Lucerne, but that can flow onto bacterial problems. He also warns about excessive wool on the scrotum causing overheating and rams being sterile. 
Ensure you rams are mobile. That’s the advice from vet Nick Page who says soundness in the feet and hind quarters is vital to the ram being able to service his flock. He also suggests getting a vet to check rams for such things as epididymal diseases especially Brucella ovis. Click here to see the full interview.
Some bee keepers are having to reduce their commitments to pollination of specialist crops because of a lack of returns. Niche crops are less likely to produce enough pollen to make sustainable honey production. Bee Keeper Barry Hantz says there’s many operators who have not cut even this season because of the dry conditions and they’ll be the first concentrate on production next year rather than pollination.
As you stir a spoon of sugar into you coffee, have a thought for the bee keepers who have to buy up to 70 tonnes of sugar to feed their bees through a normal winter and many are adding an extra 10 or more tonnes to this year’s budget because of the dry conditions. Click here to see the full interview.
That's all for this week. Make sure you watch On The Land on FaceTV, Sky channel 83 on Sunday nights at 8 or repeated Wednesday nights at 11pm or visit our website and join us on Facebook. Catch you again soon.
Rob Cope-Williams
Presenter/ Producer