Home' Central Canterbury News : May 8th 2013 Contents 15
CENTRAL SOUTH ISLAND FARMER
20 Carmen Road
Ph 03-349 8968
2013 TRX500 MANUAL
"FARM PACK DEAL"
• Handlebar Mitts
Teens targeted to take up farming
left: Ruby Bridge,
14, and Baeley
remove a lamb's
tail during docking
on the school
farm last term.
With kids coming in straight
from school, they are not work-
fit and there is a physical
adjustment that has to be made
before they get themselves up to
Federated Farmers South
president Ivon Hurst
Farm work pay and conditions better than people think
FEDERATED FARMERS hope
that more younger people are
persuaded to take up a career in
farming after data from a recent
survey showed that farm salaries
are above the national average.
The survey, undertaken in late
2012 and released by Federated
Farmers and Rabobank, showed
that farm workers earned a salary
of $46,000 -- $5500 above the
Federated Farmers South
Canterbury provincial president
Ivon Hurst hoped this data would
encourage schools to promote
agriculture as a credible career
path to year 12 and 13 students.
We can now quantify factually
the advantage of getting kids into
agriculture, he said.
Farming was always regarded
as a profession where employees
received low wages, worked very
long hours and that there were far
The survey showed the reality
was a lot different, Mr Hurst said.
It was one of the first pieces of
positive news about farm
employment he had seen in a long
time, he said.
It showed the advances
agriculture had made in the past
It also backed up recent
productivity gains made in the
Even when farmers were able to
show that their industry was able
to keep the economy going they
could not convince young people it
was a worthy industry to get into.
Entry level positions within the
dairy industry in Canterbury
were paid a mean salary of
This was good money in a
competitive market and showed
that criticism of entry-level wages
was not correct, Mr Hurst said.
But more than 54 per cent of
dairy assistants left their
employers within 12 months.
Some would leave to move to
advance their career within the
dairy industry, but others left
because they were employed just
before calving began.
The long hours and tough
physical conditions took a toll on
these workers and it was a very
With kids coming in straight
from school, they are not work-fit
and there is a physical adjustment
that has to be made before they
get themselves up to speed.
Mr Hurst also questioned if
there was a gap between
expectations and reality when
these workers entered the
A lack of human resources
training among some farmers was
also hurting the industry.
But it was hard to quantify how
concerning this high drop-out rate
was without being able to
compare that to other industries,
The results were expected to
alter, as employers and their
workers were surveyed before the
drought began biting into farming
throughout the North Island and
into the West Coast in the south.
employment spokeswoman Katie
Milne said the drought would
have a drag effect on farm wage
growth and prospects.
We need to also point out that
marked commodity price
pressures have become apparent
in 2013 in the meat and wool
sectors particularly, she said.
forestry and fisheries employs
more than 146,000 New
Employees were trying to strike
the right balance between
containing wage growth and
attracting high quality skilled
workers to enter and stay in farm
employment, Mrs Milne said.
Work to improve career
development appears to be paying
off.Statistics NZ revealed labour
productivity within agriculture
has increased 3.4 per cent each
DEMAND SLOWING?: Hay being loaded onto the Baldur ship Chatham Island
Shipping to be taken north for drought-stricken farmers. Vincent Kernohan (on top)
helps load a bale into the hold.
Farmers warned: winter
is just around the corner
THE FEDERATED Farmers Grain
& Seed-led feed operation, which will
have shipped about 220,000 small
bale equivalents from the South
Island, may soon be approaching an
With demand beginning to slow,
Federated Farmers is concerned
farmers may be over-estimating
pasture recovery following rain.
Federated Farmers Grain & Seed
can rightly be proud of the contri-
bution our members have made in
helping our North Island colleagues
out, Federated Farmers Grain &
Seed vice-chairman David Clark
With winter upon us, demand for
feed is slowing right up and we don t
understand why. Unless we get
uplift in demand, and soon, this
operation will finish within weeks.
We still have shipments to
complete, but this will be done by
mid-May and all of that straw is
already committed to farmers.
If the need is there, we can carry
on our operation for a bit longer,
however, we need to hear from
farmers within the next few days. If
there are no more requests for feed
then we will be pulling the pin on
operation. And once we do that, that
really is it until the new season.
As a farmer myself, I must
express some concern that North
Island farmers have more than their
glasses half full. Anything germinat-
ing now is for spring and there is still
winter to come.
Willy Leferink, Federated Farmers
Dairy chairman, said farmers need
to focus on winter and not the first
shoots of green appearing in pasture.
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