Covid-19 Lockdown

Like just about everyone else I dismissed the outbreak of Covid-19 in January as being irrelevant to New Zealand. How wrong we've all been!

As we've come to understand the potential impact of this disease on our vulnerable population is significant, and I fully support the measures taken by the government to ensure our medical services can cope over the coming weeks.

Essential businesses will continue to be able to operate under Alert Status level 3 & 4.

Essential Businesses

Essential Businesses, and those that support them, will continue to provide the necesities of life for everyone in New Zealand.

This means food, medicine, healthcare, energy, fuel, waste removal, internet and financial support will continue to be available.

What are essential businesses?

Entities and their workers carrying out the following services are considered essential. This also includes entities in their supply chains (e.g. those providing IT and data infrastructure to an entity providing an essential service). This will evolve over time.

  • Primary industries, including food and beverage production and processing
  • Any entity involved in the packaging, production and processing of food and beverage products, whether for domestic consumption or export
  • Any entity involved in relevant support services, such as food safety and verification, inspection or associated laboratory services, food safety and biosecurity functions
  • Any entity providing veterinary services
  • Any entity whose closure would jeopardise the maintenance of animal health or welfare standards (including short term survival of a species)

This is fantastic news for you as food suppliers. I hope your businesses will suffer reletively minor disruption. Potentially there may be some positive upside - time will tell.

What does this really mean though? The following is my interpretation only!

Well my take on it is that you should be able to operate, in principal, largely no differently to normal business. However the reality will be somewhat different. In these early days of "Lock Down", a number of servicing businesses may not be fully aware of their ongoing ability to provide products and services to farmers as a support service entity. Supporting businesses for you should include:

  • Cartage and trucking (for livestock, fertiliser, and general supplies)
  • Fertilser companies (for many applying Nitrogenous based fertiliser this autumn will be essential to supporting recovery from the drought)
  • Feed suppliers
  • Veterinarian practices/clinics for animal health products (drench, vaccines, etc.)
  • Meat processing companies
  • Livestock agents
  • Seed companies (how many of you need to get crops sown?)
  • Specific contractors (for crop and new pasture establishment, sheep and cattle pregnancy scanners, shearers, etc.)
    Mercantile companies albeit possibly on a restricted basis
  • Banks
  • No doubt there are others that I can't think of at the moment

These product and service providers are in my opinion essential to the continued sustainable operation of your farm business.

It may be that initially to continue to recieve these services you will need to contact MPI either directly or advocate through Federated Farmers, B+LNZ or Dairy NZ. I'm sure there will be help lines established by these organisations over the next few days (if not already in place).

Where does this leave Sheppard Agriculture?

As I see the situation, Sheppard Agriculture is not deemed (by MPI) an essential service provider to farmers. However this does not mean Sheppard Agriculture is unable to support you and your farm business during the lock down period.

A number of you may have heard me quote the phrase, "Out of adversity arises opportunity". To this end, the enforced office time will allow me to catch up on some work and continue to develop some really cool systems to help you make more informed and better decisions on farm. Keep an eye out for these over the next few weeks.

To this end, Sheppard Agriculture Ltd will continue operating, albeit from the home office, to provide what services it can to clients. We'll be looking at new and novel ways of interacting with you and delivering consultancy support services via the internet and email. If you have any questions or just want to "chew the fat" about any aspect of your farm operation and business, please feel free to contact me - you've got a pretty good chance of catching me in the office for at least the next month!

The sorts of things we can do remotely from the office include:

  • Discuss market prices for livestock and provide you with an indication of future profit margins
  • Analyse physical performance levels and identify opportunities for improvement
  • Help with business and succession planning
  • Cash forecast budgeting
  • Feasibility investigations
  • Annual accounts analysis - ID where opportunities lie for your business
  • Monthly operational and financial reporting
  • Winter feed budgets (we just need an assessment of feed cover/reserves and stock numbers)
  • Cost benefit analysis on capital development programmes
  • Review/plan fertiliser, cropping and regrassing programmes

Of course we can't wait for travel and community gathering restrictions to be lifted so we can get back out on farm and interacting with you directly. In the mean time we can talk over the phone, Skype or Zoom and correspond via email.

I know you are facing a number of challenges at the present time and I thank you for your ongoing support.

Wishing you and your family good health.

printer friendly

Hawkes Bay RMPP

Lucerne Systems for Success

Click here for our PDF information on Lucerne systems for Success. Remember, If you always do what you have always done
You will always get what you have always got

printer friendly

Blenheim Breeding Cows

Breeding cow performance

Rebecca Hickson

Click here to open PDF

printer friendly

Profitable Farm Development in a challenging environment March 2017

Profitable Farm Development in a
challenging environment

A focus on: 

High Country Pasture Development and
Breeding Cow Performance


Click here to upload PDF

printer friendly

Westpac Bayleys Marlborough Sheep and Beef Farmer of the Year 2016

Westpac Bayleys Marlborough Sheep and Beef Farmer of the Year 2016

Public Field Day 16 February 2017

Welcome to the Public Field Day at winners
Simon, Lynda and Tom Harvey’s
Glen Orkney

Making a top profit on Marlborough Hill Country
with Sheep & Beef

Click here to upload PDF

printer friendly

Marlborough Forage Profit Partnership Annual Field Day 16th August 2016

Marlborough Forage Profit Partnership
Annual Field Day
16 August 2016

This handout was given out by Greg at the Marlborough Forage Profit Partnership Annual Field Day 16 August 2016.

A focus on: Developing forage systems to underpin
consistent livestock performance in challenging climates.

Click here to upload PDF

printer friendly

Beef + Lamb Farming For Profit Newsletter August 2016

Beef + Lamb Farming For Profit Newsletter August 2016

Marlborough August 2016

Click here to upload PDF

printer friendly

Profitable Farm Development in a challenging environment handout

Profitable Farm Development in a
challenging environment

A focus on:
Developing the farm resource in a way to
ensure a profitable return on investment is

Click here to upload PDF

printer friendly

Farming For Profit Newsletter July 2015

Beef + Lamb Farming For Profit Newsletter

Marlborough July 2015

Click here to upload PDF

printer friendly