Ballance holds pricing to help farmers through spring

Published: Tue 1 Sep 2015 01:40 PM
Ballance holds pricing to help farmers through spring
Ballance Agri-Nutrients has today announced it is holding nitrogen prices to help shelter customers from the significant drop in the dollar and support production on farm this spring.
“We know this is a crucial period for pastoral farmers, and with nitrogen a key feed source in farm budgets we are doing our best to help out where we can and support our customers to plan their feed requirements for spring,” said Ballance CEO Mark Wynne.
Ballance Science Manager Aaron Stafford advised farmers to focus on the nutrient inputs that drive production in the current season or year when planning budgets.
“With talk of an El Nino summer we support a focus on planning early by setting your farms up to grow as much feed as possible, as early as possible. Nitrogen can be used to lift pasture covers and provides the opportunity to harvest surpluses. Potassium is also a very important nutrient that supports clover health, which in turn lifts the feed quality of pastures heading into summer. Where phosphate or sulphur is limited superphosphate still remains the cheapest way to supply these nutrients.”
Farmers wanting tailored advice could get in touch with their local Ballance Field Consultant for a specific plan for their farm.
As part of the farm nutrient co-operative’s 1 September price review prices on Ballance’s SustaiN and Nrich Urea range remain unchanged. The large drop in the NZD against the USD has been the driver behind some small price increases to other nutrients.
“The NZD has dropped more than 30 percent against the USD in the past year, causing price pressures on product sourced internationally. We are conscious of tight farm budgets and we are absorbing some of the impact on our customers, however we’ve had to pass on a small portion of these costs,” said Mr Wynne.
He said that due to the significant decline in the NZD over the last 12 months, the co-operative is anticipating material price increases across all key nutrient groups in the second half of the financial year.
“We are asking our shareholders carefully consider this when finalising annual fertiliser plans.”
Ballance also signalled a move to support shareholders at the end of July when they announced that they were returning 94 percent of the co-operative’s $81 million gross trading result to shareholders to help out with restricted cashflows on farm.
The rebate and dividend averaging $60 per tonne was announced and paid in the same week with a total cash distribution of $76 million paid on 31 July.

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