It's life Jim,  but not as we know it.




   Keith Woodford Posts   

Keith Woodford is an independent consultant, based in New Zealand, who works internationally on agri-food systems and rural development projects. He holds honorary positions as Professor of Agri-Food Systems at Lincoln University, New Zealand, and as Senior Research Fellow at the Contemporary China Research Centre at Victoria University, Wellington.


Directors Craig McMillan and Greg Terill have collectively over 40 years’ experience in the lining industry, and have been involved in installations throughout New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific region.


New Zealand Grazing is focused on reliably growing dairy heifers to the highest standard, our experience has been gained working alongside thousands of farmers around the country. We were selected by Fonterra and Silver Fern Farms to grow their young livestock.

Wool Harvesting Covid-19 Update from Jock Martin-Peter Lyon-Dion Morrell

Otago Shearing Services To Continue


As we approach autumn crutching and mid-winter shearing, we appreciate there is some uncertainty out there. So here are some facts:


Farming and shearing are both on the list of the Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI) essential industries. This means the people in these industries are classed as essential workers and those that find it practical to keep working, may do so under government guidelines. This will enable the rural sector to carry on producing the food and selling the commodities New Zealand needs to get through. 


Accordingly, our services are now all registered with MPI as essential service providers and have received the following instructions: ‘If you are an essential primary industries service or provide an essential support service, please continue to implement safe practices to protect workers and prevent the spread of COVID-19, and please keep operating.’


Shearing has been deemed a key service because it is necessary for animal welfare. As the Code of Welfare for Sheep states below.



Separate parts of the fleece may also be removed to improve animal welfare. Prevention and removal of dags by crutching and dagging around the anus help to reduce discomfort and inflammation of the underlying skin and so reduce the risk of flystrike. Wool growing around the face can be trimmed to prevent vision being obscured (snow blindness), and trimming wool from around the belly, udder and vulva facilitates lambing, suckling and mating.’


 7.6 a) states: ‘Sheep should be shorn as frequently as is necessary to mitigate animal health and welfare concerns. Usually this is at least once a year.’


7.7) states: ‘Sheep can be prone to flystrike (the feeding of blowfly maggots on the flesh) especially in warm and moist conditions and where sheep are daggy or have wounds. Flystrike can cause pain, distress and extreme suffering through inflammation, infection, reduced appetite and weight loss. Badly affected sheep may die. In some locality’s flystrike can occur at any time of year, but the period of highest risk is generally summer/early autumn.’


Chemicals are not a current alternative compared to traditional methods; chemicals create far-reaching implications due to withholding periods for handling wool and residues at a later date. Belly crutching needs to be done now to increase the sheep’s survival rate at prelamb shearing.

We will therefore be prioritising what types of essential work are to be performed. These include:

  • Full wool shearing.

  • Stock presentation for meat works including the shearing of lambs.

  • Crutching for flystrike & mating purposes.

  • Adverse weather crutching of high-country livestock (essential is eye wigging to avoiding snow blindness)

  • Second shearing in some districts to prevent facial eczema, or lice.

Please don’t take this essential service for granted, it won’t be business as usual. We are changing our work practices to maintain the 2-metre physical distance rule.


As employers we will ensure all staff can work in a safe manner that complies with the Government’s Covid-19 guidelines. This means:


  1. limiting physical interaction between staff, through physical distancing, split shifts, staggered meal breaks and flexible working arrangements

  2. limiting, or eliminating if possible, physical interaction with customers, eg. through phone orders, and physical distancing both inside and outside the premises

  3. hygiene basics of hand washing and sanitisers

  4. frequent cleaning of premises

  5. protective equipment for staff as appropriate.


We will also manage travel to farms differently to ensure physical distancing and sanitised vehicles. Farmers will complete a work request form detailing the essential work to be done and agreeing to scrub and sanitise facilities and amenities beforehand.


Covid-19 is a manageable challenge for all of us. To get through, we need to work diligently and do whatever we can as communities, employers and employees to keep our farms and woolsheds ticking over for the welfare of our sheep.  

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05 March 2020

Fonterra Chairman confirms retirement in November


Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited (FCG) Chairman John Monaghan has confirmed that he will retire as a Director of the Co-operative when his current 3-year term ends at its Annual Meeting this November.


In a note to the Co-operative’s farmer-owners and unitholders, Mr Monaghan explained that his decision was the next step in the Fonterra Board’s development and succession planning.


“After 11 years as a Director, and having seen through the introduction of our new strategy, operating model, and with our debt reduction efforts well progressed, the timing is right for me and for the Co-op.


“The Board is committed to a planned Chair succession that provides Miles and his senior management team with the governance stability and confidence they need to maintain the Co-op’s momentum”, says Monaghan.


Fonterra said its Board’s current plan was to announce a Chair-elect by no later than August this year. That timeline would give its farmer-owners transparency of leadership prior to the Co-operative’s Director elections and allow for a period of handover before Mr Monaghan retires from the Board.


Under Fonterra’s constitution, its Chairman must be selected from its pool of seven elected Farmer Directors on the Board. Its Independent Directors are not eligible for consideration as Chairman.


The Co-operative also provided an update on a replacement for former Independent Director Simon Israel, who retired from its Board in November last year.


Fonterra says it is making good progress on securing a replacement for Mr Israel and will update its farmer-owners and unit holders once a suitable candidate has been confirmed.

Keith Woodford's Post Categories

24 January 2020

Media Release by the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ)

New proposal on WTO agricultural subsidies reform welcomed

A proposal by the Cairns Group of major agriculture exporting countries for further reforms to the rules around WTO agricultural subsidies is being welcomed by the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ).  The proposal, announced by the Cairns Group in Davos today, would cap and at least halve all forms of trade and production distorting agricultural subsidy entitlements by 2030.

“The need for further reform of domestic support rules has long been a key trade concern for unsubsidised dairy producers and exporters who bear a disproportionate cost associated with the distortions they cause in agricultural markets” says DCANZ Chairman Malcolm Bailey. 

Subsidies mask price signals to subsidised producers, preventing an efficient response to price signals and suppressing global market prices.  The FAO has estimated this price suppression in dairy markets to be between 10-60% depending on the product involved.

Such an initiative could also have environmental benefits.  OECD studies have also shown that trade and production distorting agricultural subsidies cause environmental harm as they encourage inefficient use of inputs or increased production in geographies with higher relative environmental footprints. 

Current WTO rules allow some types of agricultural trade and production distorting subsidy entitlements to grow as the value of production grows.  Globally these subsidy entitlements grew from USD $341 billion in 2001 to USD $772 billion in 2016, with most of the entitlements concentrated in just a handful of countries.  Without new disciplines they could reach USD $2 trillion by 2030. 

“The broad global commitment that already exists for the UN Sustainable Development Goals should form a solid foundation enabling WTO membership to accept and move forward with the Cairns Group proposal” says Bailey. 

“The Sustainable Development Goals include correcting and preventing trade restrictions and distortions in world agricultural markets as a key action to assist in ending hunger”. 

It is important that capping and halving trade and production distorting agricultural subsidies occurs both in aggregate across all agricultural production and at a product specific level.  In the absence of product-specific caps there is a risk that the current pattern of subsidy concentration for certain products, like dairy, continuing. 

“An absence of product-specific caps could mean outcomes that fall short of their intent” says Bailey.  “We encourage all WTO Members to further consider the benefits of product-specific outcomes, as an essential means of delivering increased certainty for farmers and the wider agriculture sector”.

A broad range of global dairy industry participants formally recognised the Sustainable Development Goals as ‘the overarching framework to guide actions towards sustainable development from an economic, social and environmental perspective’ in the 2016 Global Dairy Declaration of Rotterdam.  DCANZ hopes this will translate into broad global industry support for this clear and sensible proposal to achieve a key implementing action of the Sustainable Development Goal to end hunger. 


Fonterra Shareholders' Council releases report on financial performance



Please find attached a report of Fonterra’s financial performance since its inception in 2001.

This work, commissioned by Fonterra’s Shareholders’ Council, came about in response to a heightened level of commentary within the supplier base, media and the financial community in relation to the perceived performance of Fonterra since it was formed in 2001. The report has been prepared by an independent corporate advisory firm and provides a view of actual performance over the last 17 years based on sound methodology and relevant financial information.

“The Council’s goal is the creation of long term value for our Farmer Shareholders,” says Council Chairman Duncan Coull. “We believe our report on the results of the review provides an impartial and reliable overview of where we’ve come from, with a view to moving forward positively and effectively. It will be a useful input into the ongoing discussions about our Co-op’s continued evolution.”


For more information contact:

Duncan Coull


Fonterra Shareholders Council

Ph: 0274 727 110

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