Tools give farmers income heads-up

On-line tools to help dairy farmers predict their future earnings have been developed by Massey University.

A Milk Production Predictor and a Farmgate Milk Price Calculator have been launched by stock exchange company NZX, which partnered with Massey to create the tools, with funding support from Callaghan Innovation.

New on-line tools will help farmers figure out how much their cows are earning.

The Milk Production Predictor will give global dairy market participants a better understanding of future levels of New Zealand milk production. The ground breaking tool uses advanced modelling to predict New Zealand milk production over the next three months. It is available from NZX this month at an introductory price of $199 per month.

The Farmgate Milk Price calculator is designed to give farmers a better understanding of the relationship between GlobalDairyTrade prices and their farm-gate milk price as per the Milk Price Manual. The free-to-access calculator means there’s no more waiting to understand how the latest auction price affects New Zealand farmers. Users can toggle between the seasonal and snapshot calculators to build a better view on what to expect.

Massey Chair in Farm Business Management Professor Nicola Shadbolt says these tools will help farmers make better decisions by giving them a closer connection to the world markets. “The global dairy market will always be volatile, but an informed market is an efficient market, and these tools will help the dairy sector operate with greater immediacy and accuracy than ever before.

“The FarmGate Milk Price calculator will provide an instant translation that wasn’t previously available, an important innovation for farmers who are absolutely hardwired to the global dairy prices and demand, with New Zealand making up about a third of the world trade in dairy.”

Massey is uniquely positioned to assist NZX, with the ability to bring together expertise from its Business School and College of Sciences, including leaders in pastoral dairy production and agribusiness. “Huge amounts of complex science and financial data has been rigorously analysed and condensed into a simple tool.”

 Massey Vice-Chancellor Massey University Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey says after more than 80 years leading the research and teaching behind New Zealand successful agricultural science, food production and agri-business models, the university is very pleased to assist with the development of new tools that aid farmers, agri-food businesses and investors in the sector.

 "We are constantly working with industry to grow the New Zealand economy, enhance our nation’s reputation for excellence in agri-food and develop smarter ways of succeeding on the world stage. This is a prime example of a partnership delivering excellent results with potential benefits for an entire industry sector."

 NZX chief executive Tim Bennett says the two tools represent a step-change in dairy forecasting. “As the operator of the Dairy Futures Market, we have built these tools to help create more transparency in the marketplace – good information is valuable for the dairy sector.”


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