Tuesday, 29 October 2019 12:00

Farmers ‘better board the emissions train’

Written by  Peter Burke
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle at last week’s announcement in Wellington. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle at last week’s announcement in Wellington.

The emissions train is leaving the station and farmers need to be aboard, says DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle.

He was responding to last week’s news that the farming sector and the Government have signed a plan to reduce primary sector emissions.

The plan will see the parties together developing practical, cost-effective ways to measure and price emissions at farm level by 2025. 

To advance this the Government has introduced the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading Reform) Amendment Bill due for a first reading next month and then referral to a select committee.

The aim is to reduce farm emissions by 2025, but there is a proviso in the Bill which stipulates that if the independent Climate Change Commission doesn’t think sufficient progress is being made at farm level the Government will intervene.

A five year action plan will include providing better tools for  estimating and benchmarking emissions on farms; integrated farm plans that include a climate module; investment in research, development and commercialisation; increased farm advisory capacity; and capability and incentives for early adopters. 

The plan is based on a document He Waka Eke Noa – Our Future in Our Hands developed by the primary sector and it negates a proposal on this subject in July of this year.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the agreement is a world first which moves New Zealand closer to its goal to become the world’s most sustainable food producer. 

“We need a plan that supports our environment but also one that support our primary sector. A plan that is practical, innovative and achievable.”

Ardern says it’s great to see primary sector leaders sharing the same aspirations as the Government.

Mackle says the sector is grateful that the Government has listened to the industry and devised a pragmatic solution. In this win win situation the Government wants to get moving forward at the same time as we want the right approach -- a time to work through the issues, he says.

“There are still a lot of details that we have to work through. This gives us time and I think farmers will appreciate that. It’s also certainty for farmers and it gives time to work through these things carefully. 

“We must be able to measure things at a farm level and put farm plans in place so that farmers have clarity on what they need to do to manage emissions.”

Mackle says they must continue with R&D of mitigation options. 

But he says DairyNZ is not entirely happy with the Government intervention arrangement and doesn’t think it is necessary.

More like this

Talk is cheap - Editorial

OPINION: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern delivered a ‘nice’ speech at last week’s Primary Industry Conference, organised and run by Federated Farmers.

Milking cows behind the barbed wire

A recent field day at the Waikeria Prison Farm near Te Awamutu offered farmers the chance to see what goes on “behind the wire”, alongside introducing the idea of farmers employing offenders near the end or after the term of their sentences.

Nonsense rule irks West Coasters

The government's new freshwater regulations are creating a few headaches for West Coast dairy farmers, according to DairyNZ South Island head Tony Finch.



John Deere names new Aust/NZ head

John Deere Australia/New Zealand’s new managing director Luke Chandler says he will prioritise leading the way in technology and investing in strong relationships.

Trade deal delivers new 'rulebook'

A new trade agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), has been described as a new rule book for trade in the Asian region.


Miraka picks up awards

Taupo-based Maori dairy company Miraka took the top honours at this year’s Biosecurity Awards.

Wyeth ready for new challenge

The chief executive-elect of Yili-owned Westland Milk Products Richard Wyeth says he’s looking forward to the challenge of running the…

Machinery & Products

Mixer makes feeding easy

Coolbreene Trust near Taupo is a large-scale dairy operation farming 1150ha, including run-off blocks, within a 10km radius of its…

More colour to light range

Originally available with amber lenses only, Narva’s ‘Geomax’ Heavy Duty LED Strobe Beacon light range has been upgraded with the…

State funding for recycling

Having declared in July that all farm plastics sold in New Zealand will have to be recycled or reused, the…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Avoiding listeria

OPINION: The company that makes dairy products under “The Collective” brand, and which copped a nearly $500,000 fine for failing…

Greenpeace seeing red

OPINION: Still with Greenpeace, the organisation’s push for a price on agricultural greenhouse gas emissions is gaining momentum since the…

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter