NCEA Level 3 Agricultural and Horticultural Science (90652) 2011 — page 1 of 3
Assessment Schedule – 2011
Subject: Explain market requirements and the production process for a nationally
significant primary product (90652)
Question Evidence Code
ONE (a) A requirement of the selected market opportunity is described and explained in A
AND general terms.
TWO (a), (b) Note: General descriptions (eg “high sugar content”, “small size”) can receive only
the grade of Achievement.
The descriptions of the market requirements must:
o identify the specific requirement
o provide some measure or data associated with the requirement.
The explanation of the stated market requirements needs to be valid and linked to
the relevant market requirement that has been clearly described.
Explain how the management practice results in the produce meeting the market
requirements of the stated market opportunity. OR
A requirement of the selected market opportunity is explained in detail (through M
qualitative and quantitative data).
Explains in detail (through qualitative and quantitative data) how a management
practice results in the produce meeting the market requirements of the stated market
ONE (b) If the candidate has not earned an A or M above, but provides additional evidence in (A OR M)
AND 1(b) or 2(c), they may be awarded the appropriate grade.
The selected manipulation must be justified in terms of the grower maximising their E
profit when supplying Market Opportunity 1 (Question One) or on the basis of the
ability to meet the quality requirements of Market Opportunity 2 (Question Two).
The comparison of the two manipulations must clearly show the relative significance
of each manipulation.
It is expected that candidates will quote relevant units and values.
Achievement Achievement with Merit Achievement with Excellence
3A 3M 1E+3M
NCEA Level 3 Agricultural and Horticultural Science (90652) 2011 — page 2 of 3
Appendix: Examples of possible answers
Note: Underlined text signifies examples of “detail” for the award of Merit.
Questions One and Two
Example answers for parts (a) and (b)
Lamb for the local NZ market: Timing requirement
New Zealand producers aim to supply lamb throughout the majority of the year, through a combination of lambing
dates and breed selection. Early-born, fast-maturing lambs such as Texels are ready to select and slaughter by
early November, getting to around 18 kg carcass weight. Hill country farmers in the central North Island tend to
lamb late and carry their lambs through the summer to higher weights, and look to supply lambs through the later
part of the season. By doing this, they are able to collectively meet the requirement for a steady supply throughout
Wool for carpet production Quality / attributes
This typically has a fibre diameter of 30–38µ. This ensures that the wool fibres have the strength and durability that
is required by carpet manufacturers, so that people can walk frequently on the woollen carpet without it quickly
becoming damaged or flattened.
Breed of sheep
Fibre diameter is largely determined by the breed of the sheep. By choosing to farm a coarse wool sheep breed
like Romney or Coopworth, farmers are able to produce wool in the 30–38µ range that is suitable for carpet
production. Finer wool sheep breeds such as Corridale would be unsuitable for this purpose.
Feijoas exported to the USA
The weight of fruit must be greater than 90 g, as the USA consumer prefers large feijoas. They are often used as
features in fruit bowls or as a fresh dessert fruit, and the larger size makes peeling them or scooping out the fruit
By choosing to grow a large-fruiting variety such as Unique, growers are able to produce a crop that has a high
proportion of fruit large enough (90 g +) to supply the USA market. This would be in contrast to a smaller-fruiting
variety like Robert, which tends not to produce larger fruit of the size required.
Feijoas for the local NZ market: Timing requirement
The local fresh market demands feijoas from early March through to early May. This allows retailers to stock the
fruit for as long a time period as possible, and allows for more effective promotion and selling than if there was only
a short, 6-week window of sales.
Different feijoa varieties ripen at different times. Selection of early maturing varieties such as Unique, along with
later maturing varieties like Apollo, within the same orchard allows growers to maximise duration of supply to the
Example answer for Question 1(c)
For carpet wool production – choice of breed: Romney
There are a number of popular sheep breeds farmed in New Zealand that produce wool suitable for carpet
production. With falling returns for wool for the past decade, growers now see the wool produced by their sheep as
a by-product, at best, of farming for the sheepmeat market. However, despite this, breeds like Romney still have an
advantage over other meat-focused breeds like Suffolk, as their wool returns a higher price ($5.50–$6.30 / kg)
compared to the $4.50 / kg that growers are likely to receive for lower-quality wool. Sheep still need shearing
despite low prices for the wool, so growers might as well maximise their income and get as much as they can for it.
Shearing frequency – once a year
Another manipulation that farmers can consider is the time between shearing. This is a key factor in determining
the length of the wool staple / fibres that are shorn off and then used in carpet production. Most carpet
manufacturers require wool to be 75–100 mm. Shorter than this, the wool receives a much lower price (eg $4–4.50
vs $6 / kg). However, some breeds like Suffolk will generally still tend not to produce wool of the required length,
even with once-a-year shearing – yet they will still need shearing.
Consequently, by choosing a multi-purpose breed like Romney, growers are able to achieve the quality the carpet
industry requires more effectively than by simply farming any breed and shearing them once a year.
NCEA Level 3 Agricultural and Horticultural Science (90652) 2011 — page 3 of 3
Example answer for Question 2(c)
Lamb meat production
As a sheep farmer looking to produce lamb and maximise their on-farm profit, they would want to produce as many
lambs as possible in the heavy (18 kg +) category and lean (“Y” and “P”) grades, and gain a high average price by
selling their stock at a time of the year when the price paid per head is at its highest.
A manipulation of a management practice affecting the lambing percentage (quantity) is the feed quality and
quantity provided to ewes for the 35 days leading into tupping.
Ewes may be grazed on normal pasture if they are heavy and are carrying good condition, but ewes that are not
carrying good condition or farms which do not have quality feed available during tupping time (April) are at risk of
lower lambing percentages, which will result in lower returns. Barley or silage can be used as a supplementary feed
for ewes, which will increase eggs ovulated by 0.15 eggs / ewe at a cost of $2.80 per ewe. By increasing the feed
quality, ewes will be able to get their required 1–1.3 kg DM / HD / day, which will result in them holding a good body
score during mating and through till lambing, when a high lambing percentage will hopefully result.
By feeding ewes and lambs high quality / energy feed after lambing, lambs will be able to reach slaughter weight
earlier than the main supply, which will result in the farmer receiving higher prices for his / her lambs, as the prices
are higher in the Nov–Dec period. This year (2011), 16.5 kg lambs were recieving $6.05 / kg at the works (total
value = $99.80 + premiums). Compare this with the average price for 2010 of $88.69.
This manipulation is more significant than the time of mating / tupping.
Even heavier sheep breeds like Texel and Suffolk require high levels of feeding if lambs are to reach weights that
will allow early season premiums to be taken advantage of. While they can reach higher carcass weights than other
breeds, this is dependent on high levels of nutrition, both during mating and post-lambing – not just lambing early in
the season (ie July).
As profitability is determined by both the number of lambs born and the price they receive, feeding of the sheep is
the most important manipulation, as it affects both factors.