Monday, 4 July 2011

Forget the Six Million Dollar Man, it’s the 310 dollar sheep!

# Big Farming Story of the Week: Forget the Six Million Dollar Man, it’s the 310 dollar sheep!

It wasn’t that long ago I thought Federated Farmers was dreaming with its campaign for the $150 lamb. Well that lofty aspiration was doubled when two-tooth ewes burst through the $300 barrier recently at the Stortford sale yards. While it seems an outlandish sum to pay for a sheep, once you do the maths you realize the purchaser was far from fleeced. Scanned in-lamb at 163%, the payback, in lamb income alone, is less than two years. Throw in vastly improved wool returns and a residual value of more than $100 for the mutton carcass, and $200-300 could be the new norm for good breeding ewes.

# Big Political Story of the Week: A new president for Federated Farmers.

Whoever that might be? As this magnificent publication rolled off the printer’s press, a new president was elected at the Feds’ AGM in Rotorua. With four candidates in the first contested election since the early 1990s, I expect a contest of papal proportions. The Vatican conclave expels white smoke when a new Pope is elected but in these enlightened and environmentally-aware times I’m sure the Feds won’t have risked the carbon footprint a needless fire leaves behind. God Speed successful candidate.

# Big Sporting Story of the Week: Roger Federer loses at Wimbledon.

The Swiss maestro could not get home on the green grass of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. I hope the Crusaders have fared better in Capetown and maybe earned themselves a “home” final in Wellington, providing the Blues did the business in Brisbane. Win, lose or draw in South Africa, the Crusaders have been inspirational rugby nomads in 2011.

Federer, like the Crusaders, oozes class, despite his shock loss. World sport needs more of him and Rory McIlroy and less of the likes of Le Bron James, Wayne Rooney and Tiger Woods (for his on-course antics).

# Brickbat: The dopey Dom Post and the dopey penguin.

Both could be accused of heading in the wrong direction, totally losing their way, getting in over their heads, floundering and then beaching in a desperate bid to save face. The penguin swallowed sand, the paper deserved to have sand kicked in its face!

The Dom Post story of May 18 attacking dairy farmers for not paying enough tax was an appalling piece of sensationalist journalism from a publication that should know better. A publication, no less, whose agri-business editor Jon Morgan was recently named the agricultural communicator of the year! An apology was eventually forthcoming on June 24. C’mon Dom Post, the rest of us could see your flawed financial logic after five minutes, let alone the taxing five weeks it took you!

As for Happy Feet, sure emperor penguins are cute and an absolute rarity on our shores. However, it never ceases to amaze me how much we fawn over animals when there is so much more we should doing for humans. I don’t lose sleep over an errant emperor penguin imprisoned thousands of miles from home but I do anguish over the Kahui twins’ murderer roaming free.

# Bouquet: The Wellers and the Mad Butcher.

Last weekend in Hastings, Southland farmers Grant and Bernadette Weller were crowned the inaugural winners of the Gordon Stephenson Trophy at the Ballance Farm Environment Awards. The country’s most sustainably profitable farmers epitomize team work and hard work. I’m so proud they hail from my home town of Riversdale even if my old stablemate Steve Wyn-Harris played bridesmaid again. At least he exacted some consolation in taking $60 (every single one a prisoner) from Grant on the golf course the next day!

And a bouquet to Sir Peter Leitch for being what most of us aspire to be. A good bugger who makes the world a better place!

Jamie Mackay is the host of the Ballance Agri-Nutrients Farming Show which airs on Radio Sport and Newstalk ZB. In a past life a Southland sheep farmer, these days he comments on farming, politics and sport for a living from his Radio Network studio in Dunedin.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home