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Mainland Minerals

Smarter Fertiliser November - 28th Nov 2014

Mainland Minerals sales reps The Sales Reps at Mainland Minerals wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a BIG thank-you for all your support in 2014
Looking forward to seeing you all again in 2015

The WHO'S WHO of Farming 2014 - 4th Oct 2014

The WHO'S WHO of Farming 2014  Get your self a copy of the Who's Who of farming for 2014

And check out the Mainland Minerals opening pages.

Milk down but beef and lamb farmers happy - 3rd Oct 2014

Milk down but beef and lamb farmers happy While the dairy industry is feeling the pain in the wake of the slashed payout, sheep and beef farmers are smiling.

Good forecasts for beef and lamb prices and the kind winter and early spring have Waikato drystock farmers well placed for the season ahead.

Cattle prices would be better than sheep this year because of the lack of supply, both at Frankton and abroad, Holden said.

"There is no supply of cattle and that will push the price up. Cattle I think will be better than sheep," Dixon added.

He said a major concern was creeping on-farm costs. While fertiliser prices had fallen in recent years, it would not be long before they pushed back up again.

They were also happy with the election result and Holden said he looked forward to the Government's planned reform of the Resource Management Act.

Overall, more than a third of farmers had a negative outlook on the rural economy in the year ahead, compared with 24 per cent previously and those with a positive view were shrinking, down five percentage points to 20 per cent. But a decline in dairy farmer confidence was balanced by beef and sheep farmer sentiment remaining reasonably strong.

Those sheep and beef farmers surveyed expecting their business performance to get better declined from 57 per cent last quarter to 48 per cent, however, only an unchanged 7 per cent expected their performance to worsen.

The investment appetite of sheep and beef farmers had increased, unlike dairy farmers whose investment intentions were at a five-year low.

Where does NZ dairy industry go next? - 1st Oct 2014

Where does NZ dairy industry go next? The recent decline in Fonterra's milk price will see farmers focus on lowering costs and increasing the efficiency of their farm systems.

The 37 per cent drop from last season's record of $8.40 per kilogram of milk solids to $5.30, will have huge flow-on effects for businesses that support agriculture and the overall New Zealand economy.

Every dollar a dairy farmer spends is estimated to create around $6 by the time it goes through the economy.

Fewer dollars spent by farmers means less "cream" for the rest of us, including city dwellers who have never worked on or even visited a farm. This highlights the importance of dairying to the New Zealand economy – and the reliance of our economy on one major industry.

There have been large changes to the New Zealand dairy industry over the past few decades. Back then, farm systems were based mostly on pastures with some grazed crops, and were stocked to match pasture availability. Our good soils and relatively abundant rainfall helped make these systems low cost and highly profitable.

Nowadays, the industry has expanded into less traditional, sometimes more marginal environments.

Stocking rates have increased on the back of additional bought-in feed including maize silage and palm kernel extract. In some regions irrigation systems cover drier summers and cow housing systems are being used to manage wet conditions and effluent, and make feeding easier.

It is ironic that while large parts of North America and Europe - where housed cows and the use of supplementary feed are common - are looking towards "the New Zealand pastoral dairy system" to increase their profitability. It seems that parts of our dairy industry are headed in their direction!

Recent articles by DairyNZ strategy and investment leader Dr Bruce Thorrold and Rabobank's director of dairy research Hayley Moynihan have highlighted the similarity in the cost of production between the United States' most competitive dairies in California and the least profitable half of the New Zealand dairy industry. It is clear that our farmers can not beat those from the northern hemisphere at their own game - housed cows fed supplements - and that our competitive advantage is still a grazed pasture base.

However, a major issue facing the New Zealand dairy industry is dealing with nutrient losses, especially nitrates. Animals naturally excrete the majority of minerals they eat and a concentration of nitrogen in their urine results in nitrate being available to leach into waterways.

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Part of the drive to house cows is in response to managing nutrients. Interestingly, previous research indicates that "closed systems", where cows are grazed mostly on pasture and then gradually dried off as the pasture supply drops, leach less nitrogen than "open systems", where supplements are brought in to both increase the stocking rate and extend the lactation length.

The Pastoral 21 program, a collaborative venture between industry and government has four sites throughout New Zealand, investigating ways to reduce nutrient losses at the farm system level. Farms managed by Massey University, Lincoln University and DairyNZ are exploring how to make dairy farm systems more efficient with a lower environmental footprint. The research involves a variety of approaches including changes to stocking rate, incorporation of cropping systems and using housing systems with the aim of protecting soils, growing more pasture and better managing nutrients in animal effluent.

Massey's Number One Dairy Farm is also starting to explore management options with the aim of remaining profitable while complying with Horizons Regional Council's OnePlan nitrogen leaching limits.

It is clear that while the issues facing the New Zealand dairy industry and its future are complex, there are encouraging results from past and recent research, both here and in similar pastoral systems overseas.

The answer for some farmers may lay in winding back intensification, as there are management options to reduce dairying's environmental footprint that don't need capital-intensive systems. For others, it will mean managing what have become more capital-intensive farms, in a way that allows them to remain profitable in the often volatile world milk supply market.

Smarter Fertiliser August - 8th Aug 2014

Smarter Fertiliser August Greg Becker of Oturehua,a Mainland Minerals client for over 10 years.  Greg says "I notice an increase in the quantity and quality of clover in my pastures, as well as much improved animal health".

Winners 2014 Environment Awards - 1st Aug 2014

L-R:Alton McDonald, Jamie Hazlitt, Aimee Cockburn, Melanie Cupit, Murray Cockburn & Laurence Redhead We are excited to announce that last night we were awarded as Winners in the Commercial Category of the 2014 Southland Environment Awards!

The judges said "Gore-based fine-particle fertiliser business Mainland Minerals Southern's dedication to reducing the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous applied to land was behind the company's winning the award in the Commercial category".

We are so proud of this award, and appreciate the recognition from Environment Southland.
If you're not already a Mainland Minerals client, give us a call now to find how our fertiliser options give farmers proven options to adopt good environmental management and improve your impact on the environment - now and in the future; whilst improving productivity and animal health.

Strategic Nitro v's Urea Trials - 25th Jul 2014

Strategic Nitro v's Urea Trials From February 2014 to April 2014 we conducted a side-by-side trial at a local Southland farm to observe the difference in dry matter production when applying Strategic Nitro, liquid fertiliser compared to Urea, granular fertiliser.

The trial was replicated three times in three separate paddocks, and was fully grazed.
Strategic Nitro was applied at 30 litres per hectare.
Urea was applied at 70kg per hectare.

Results showed Strategic Nitro consistently outperformed Urea.
Click here to see the graph of results.

The conclusion from this comparison is that using Strategic Nitro is a better option to increase you dry matter production, and at the same time reduce your Nitrogen inputs.

Contact us now for more information!

World Environment Day - 22nd May 2014

World Environment Day World Environment Day is Thursday 5 June 2014. 

This year we are celebrating World Environment Day as a company, giving a little bit back to our environment, and to the local community. The Mataura River is one of the regions biggest assets.  We have committed to a clean-up project at Monaghans Beach, on the river bank just out of Gore.

The area has been a little neglected, overgrown and littered with rubbish that people have been dumping.  We're going to close for the day, and have all staff help on the project!  The plan is to pick up rubbish, cut down overgrown and dead vegetation, fill in holes in driveway and install a bench seat.

We hope that the tidy up will encourage locals to visit the area more often, and deter people from dumping rubbish there.  It is a beautiful spot to take the kids for a walk along the river.

World Environment Day is observed in over 100 countries, as an opportunity to raise awareness and encourage action on environmental issues.

    3 Stratford Street
    New Zealand
    PO Box 81
    New Zealand
0800 433 787 or 03 208 3004

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