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TAS Country : June 28th 2012
Friday, June 29, 2012 Tasmanian Country 7 News Dairy heifer prices tumble Export cattle take $200-a-head hit SIMONE SMITH A $200-A-HEAD fall in export dairy heifer prices has failed to stop farmers selling. In recent weeks, heifer sales, which have provided much-needed cashflow for the industry, have dropped an average of about $200. However, exporters have stressed there is still an international market for Australian dairy cattle but at more sustainable prices. Landmark Global Exports livestock general manager Graeme Turner said the price of ready-to-export cattle, 200kg and heavier, dropped to $1200-$1400 from a an average of $1400-$1550 a month ago. Prices for ''reserve cattle'', 120kg- plus, were down about $100, from a peak of $1300. Since the drop, Landmark had bought a lot of heifers from farmers who feared there was a chance prices would fall further, Mr Turner said. ''In the last two weeks we have probably bought 3000 head of reserve cattle -- 120-150kg heifers,'' he said. ''We were buying about 300 a week prior to the price drop, but that varies depending on when (farmers) were weaning.'' Two years ago, 120kg Holstein export heifers were making about $850. Two months ago, stock agents reported prices of $900-plus for week- old Holstein heifer calves as pro- ducers tried to cash in on the record rates. Mr Turner said Landmark had 12,000-14,000 heifers ''on hand'' at the moment. ''They are committed, but Australia is coming under more pressure with sales because of the strong dollar and Chinese (buyers) are starting to look at New Zealand cattle more favour- ably than they did, because of the price difference,'' he said. Elders meat and livestock general manager Hamish Browning has just returned from China. He said the view there was that the prices being paid for heifers from Australia were not sustainable. ''There is no doubt there is still really firm demand for Australian Holstein heifers,'' he said. Mr Browning said China had used a combination of government funds and private equity raising to overhaul its milk production to ensure a safe and secure food chain following the melamine scandal four years ago. Now, those who invested wanted a return on their money. Paying up to $1700 for Holstein heifers was no longer sustainable in the global market. Mr Browning said Elders' heifer supply was in line with supply before the price drop. However, he suspected fewer of its ''inventory cattle'' --- those it had been holding --- would be filling orders as more China-ready cattle had been available recently. Giant buys in to dairy THE giant Macquarie Group will extend its investment in Aust- ralian agriculture to dairying. It is believed Macquarie Group has registered a fund, Harris Dairies, to buy dairy farms in Australia, and appointed several key industry players as directors. Harris Dairies will likely oper- ate in much the same way as Macquarie Group's crop fund, Lawson Grains, for which indus- try sources say Macquarie Group aims to raise $700 million. How- ever, early indications are Harris Dairies won't be as large. Already, Lawson Grains has been linked to the sale of $40 million worth of farmland in New South Wales and Western Aust- ralia this year. It includes Kealandi, a 4000ha property near Moree in NSW, which sold for more than $16 mil- lion in March. Macquarie is one of Australia's largest landholders, operating more than three million hectares through its existing pastoral fund, Paraway Pastoral. This news comes as two Chinese buyers step up their investment in dairying in Western Australia. Macquarie Group declined to com- ment. Weekly Times FLEXIBLE: The New Zealand invention for all-terrain vehicles has attracted plenty of interest even before it enters the manufacturing phase. Radical roll bar set to prevent ATV deaths A RADICAL new device, designed to prevent deaths in all-terrain vehicles has gone on display in New Zealand. The flexible roll bar looks more like a hoop, but designers believe it will save lives. Ag-tech Industries owner Vernon Suckling said the flexible roll bar, which will be marketed as the ATV Lifeguard, had been in development for about 14 months and already farmers wanted to buy them. ''The bar is dramatically different from previous efforts to curb ATV deaths from rollovers as it is flexible,'' Mr Suckling said. ''The roll bar is made up of 60 individual nylon segments, which are connected to two strong cables. ''The cables are strong, but can also flex around a person. You could roll a quad and, because of this flexibility, simply wriggle out.'' The flexible roll bar won a major award at New Zealand's Mystery Creek Field Days this month. The final touches are being made to the flexible roll bar, and patents are pending in New Zealand and worldwide. But Mr Suckling said he was already fielding orders before the device was even in the manufacturing phase. He estimates it will sell for about $NZ1000 ($785). ATV safety has become a signifi- cant issue in Australia in recent years, with manufacturers refusing to support current designs. NO DRAMAS RA S O ARAN ! Plain Wire e alan c a ar Wire Pi e & e • BURNIE • KINGS MEADOWS • MOONAH Sale valid until 30th June 2012. A 13 M A AND ( 3 ) "H s le e s 3 t J e." $72 Fr "L s f st k m st e le e . D st e m ke s ffe !" $1 r ll Fr 133856 3.15mm S ft (75 m) $1 263500 2.5 mm Me m Te s le (15 m) $1 253501 2.5 mm H g Te s le (15 m) $1 263513 1.57mm H g Te s le B (5 m) $72 263514 1.8 mm H g Te s le B (5 m) $ DOWNGRAD A SSORI S H e s f t es f e ess st k m st g ! R ge f fe g t ls & ess es t se! A US OR GR A PRI S! $1 Fr MOR D A S IN S OR ! H ge ge f A st l m e e t e f fe g ge e l se s t e f m et f t gs. A OR PRI !
June 21st 2012
July 5th 2012