Dairy farmers are feeling more confident after the third rise in a row for milk prices at the global dairy auction and widespread rain.
DairyNZ’s regional manager for the southern North Island James Muwunganirwa said the rain has been most welcome and would start pasture growth in regions that remained dry, such as Horowhenua.
He said before the weekend rain, showers had been patchy.
Many farmers remained short of feed, and were feeding out supplementary feed, such as palm kernel or grass silage.
Muwunganirwa said pasture growth had increased, but farmers would have to continue feeding supplements until it reached full growth.
He said dairy farmers were pregnancy testing cows in the next few weeks, and while the results were not known yet there were likely to be more cull cows and fewer mouths to feed.
He said cow condition was “not flash” and cows were generally lighter than usual because of dry conditions.
Muwunganirwa said farmers would hope a rising global dairy auction would stabilise the milk payout.
“They were usually more concerned with their farms than the dairy auction.”
He said many farmers were catching up on years of deficits and bank overdrafts and would use part of this year’s payout to pay off debt.
Farmers pleased with the rain were also happy that the whole milk powder price had gone up.
“The third straight increase in the GDT is certainly welcome news and it provides a greater security of a mid-$6 milk price,” said Federated Farmers share milker chairman, Richard McIntyre
“These results will help farmers to continue justifying feed purchases in order to keep their cows in milk.”
Manawatū dairy farmer Robert Ervine said his family wanted toi build a bit of fat back into the system.
“Building some reserves, for the lean times and catching up on some deferred maintenance.”
Source: New Zealand farmer