Chinese demand provides cushion

Reviving demand in China is providing primary sector exporters with some cushioning from covid-19 fallout as other countries start slipping into recession.

Having earlier this year weathered the virtual shutdown of China as it battled to contain covid-19, meat companies are seeing improved demand as life there slowly returns to normal.

Government restrictions confined people at home, preventing them working, shopping or eating at restaurants but they are slowly being lifted.

Cattle breeders focus on quality

British Hereford breeders are cautiously optimistic the hardy breed will help them through any post-Brexit regulatory uncertainty.

United Kingdom Hereford Cattle Society president Mark Roberts says with the UK in the throes of leaving the European Union future subsidies to farmers being considered by the government are likely to be linked to environmental issues and not production.

Livestock are providing answers

Livestock farmers already have answers to many of the accusations being levelled by critics, they just need to package their responses better, Michigan State University scientist Jason Rowntree says.

He and other speakers at the World Hereford Conference in Queenstown said claims a world without ruminant livestock and diets free of red meat will reverse climate change are scientifically wrong.

Everyone’s happy

Organisers of the World Hereford Conference are hailing a successful conference, saying the feedback from the more than 130 international and 200 local guests has been overwhelmingly positive.

Stud breeders catch up

It has been a long time between drinks but Australian Hereford breeder Bill Lack and United States breeder Kim Prestwood caught up in central Otago.

Don’t be dopey, avoid hemp feed

Feeding hemp stubble to livestock is strictly forbidden and could put red meat exports in jeopardy, Meat Industry Association chief executive Tim Ritchie says.

The consequence of animals eating hemp and having traces of tetrahydrocannabinol in meat makes feeding hemp stubble to livestock totally unacceptable.

Hereford breeders visit

More than 130 international Hereford breeders have this week been visiting seven North Island breeders as they start a three-week conference and tour.

Beef demand will bounce

Despite coronavirus disruption creating major dents in demand China remains in the front seat for 2020 beef imports.

A combination of higher domestic supply and weaker Chinese demand for beef as a result of coronavirus has pushed New Zealand cattle prices down since December, Rabobank sustainability analyst Blake Holgate said.

But a recovery in Chinese demand should be on the horizon once the virus disruption is resolved.  

Global study to benchmark farms

A global study of regenerative agriculture is under way to identify chances to extract more value from sheep and beef exports.

Beef + Lamb is doing the study to understand the similarities and difference of regenerative agriculture to NZ farming practices.

Net zero goal needs new tech

Agriculture and land use systems will have to be transformed to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions, Scottish academic Professor Bob Rees says.