Waitaki Herald : July 23rd 2014
6 WAITAKI HERALD, JULY 23, 2014 NEWS community, but there’s no need for panic just yet, according to North Otago Federated Farmers. The price of dairy products decreased 8.9 per cent at dairy giant Fonterra’s fortnightly Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction last week, which came as a surprise to North Otago Federated Farmers vice president, Lyndon Strang. ‘‘I think everyone was a bit shocked it did dip so low,’’ Strang says. ‘‘But everyone has been quite prudent with their budgets, however farmers will have to watch their cash flow over the next few years. It’s a blip on the radar, hopefully.’’ The current farm-gate milk solid price is $8.40. Economists are predicting the price for milk solids could go as low as $6 to $6.20 per kilogram in the 2014-15 season. At the last review, Fonterra reduced its farm-gate milk price to $7/kg for next season and cut this season’s forecast from $8.65 to $8.40. The price of butter also dropped, but only by 1.1 per cent. Strang says it’s likely dairy farmers in North Otago will be forced to put some planned projects on hold, at least for now. ‘‘The things it will affect most is things like upgrades to machin- Dairy farmers shocked at price fall A By DANIEL BIRCHFIELD firstname.lastname@example.org drop in dairy prices has come as a shock to the North Otago dairy farming Decline: A decrease in the price of dairy products has come as a shock to dairy farmers in North Otago. ery, that needs to happen if the price drop is affecting people that much. They will have to cut back on the must-haves and not their everyday needs.’’ With the dairy sector being a vital part of the North Otago economy, the price drop is expected to have a flow-on affect to other business as dairy farmers become less likely to reach into their pockets. Strang believes the setback doesn’t spell doom for the dairy industry and is confident prices will bounce back in the future. ‘‘If you look at the next four to five years, the global demand will far outweigh supply. We would like to think the picture is looking ok, but there is some volatility out there at the moment.’’ A DairyNZ report released last week showed the New Zealand economy earned a total of $17.6 billion from dairy exports. Dairy earnings totalled $14.32b, which is up 40 per cent on last year’s figures. The auction provides a refer- ence point for what farmers are paid at the farm gate when selling dairy commodities. Annual service satisfaction survey imminent By DANIEL BIRCHFIELD email@example.com More than 400 people from around the Waitaki district will take part in this year’s annual residents survey. The survey, conducted by Oamaru-based research company Pulse Business Solutions on behalf of the Waitaki District Council, aims to gauge the level of satisfaction with council services. People will be randomly selec- ted and asked for their views on a range of council activities that have taken place over the past 12 months. Waitaki mayor Gary Kircher is encouraging those selected to make their views known so the council has a good understanding of the issues people consider most important. ‘‘This survey is designed to help the council better understand how we can improve our services to our residents,’’ Kircher says. ‘‘This is just one of many tools the council can use to understand where our strengths lie and where there are issues, including what improvements we can make to best meet the needs of our community. The new council is very focused on ensuring we play our part in the Waitaki district, particularly from economic and social points of view.’’ People will be contacted during weekday evenings and with calls ceasing at the beginning of August. Survey results will be compiled by Pulse and published on the council’s website in September. Opinions sought: Selected people from around Waitaki will take part in the district’s annual residents survey, which gathers information on public satisfaction with council services.
July 16th 2014
July 30th 2014