Australian exports are plunging and this could spell good news for New Zealand beef farmers, according to Rabobank analyst Blake Holgate.
While rain has brought some relief to the fire-ravaged areas of Australia; it will take many months to clean up, re-fence, re-stock, replant crops, grow forage for animals and restore a sense of normality.
Several tractor and machinery distributors have recognised the plight of their customers and are taking positive steps to help with the recovery. New Zealand-owned PFG Australia, part of the Power Farming Group based in Morrinsville, has launched its Fire Relief Programme 2020. This will see the company working with key suppliers to initiate clean up and recovery operations throughout Australia. The initiative will run for the whole year, utilising a fleet of tractors and machinery valued at around AU$2million.
Activities include baling are already underway, this will be followed by feed distribution, logistics, tillage and seeding. Deutz Fahr and Kioti tractors are being provided in Victoria, NSW, the Hunter region and Kangaroo Island, along with machinery from its McHale, Vicon, Maschio and Aitcheson ranges. The effort is being supported by the company’s national dealer network.
PFG Australia chief executive Justin Whitford told Rural News the road to recovery from these severe fires would be long and demanding.
“During a crisis of this magnitude, many people feel a natural and powerful urge to help. As a major supplier and partner to the Australian agriculture industry, we knew we had the ability to help regional communities, so we held discussions with regional disaster distribution and recovery managers,” he explained.
“We will provide crucial assistance to those affected in hard hit regions where tractor and machinery losses have been significant and do as much as we can for our customers and dealers in those areas.”
Likewise AGCO – distributors of brands such as Massey Ferguson, Fendt and Iseki – has sent tractors to the Bruthen and Buchan areas of East Gippsland Victoria. These machines, under the guidance of the local dealers, are being used to help unload the many truckloads of hay bales arriving to feed surviving livestock.
Kubota Australia has taken a different approach, by donating two of its M126 GX tractors, each worth in excess of AU$110,000, to be auctioned to raise funds for fire affected farmers. The proceeds of the auction, to be carried out by Lloyds Auctions, will be passed directly to the Country Women’s’ Association of Australia who will use the money to support those in need.