[16 February/Rural Life]

Many farmers have been asking the Alliance Group how long lamb prices could be sustained at the recent Southern Field Days, a question Chairman, Murray Taggart, has been responding to be by noting that they feel market fundamentals around the world give them some confidence. Mr Taggart said he had also received a lot of praise for his work since taking up the Chairman position, however he stressed that it was a team effort and that the Alliance team was getting stronger all the time. Silver Fern Farms Chairman, Rob Hewett, was telling farmers that the meat industry was having one of its quieter years so far while wool marketers were highlighting the number of brands looking at wool products and clothing. They noted that opportunities for fine wool at the moment were great, which has resulted in the 34 year high for merino prices.