Tuesday, 03 March 2020 12:53

MPI seeking views on ag inhibitors

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
Methane inhibitors could help reduce emissions from cows by 30% says DSM. Methane inhibitors could help reduce emissions from cows by 30% says DSM.

A global animal health company is welcoming the Government’s discussion paper on the use of agricultural inhibitors.

DSM, which is trialling the registered ruminant methane inhibitor Bovaer in Europe, says the public discussion is timely.

The company claims that Bovaer trials have shown the feed additive can reduce methane production in cows by 30%. However, the company says it had hit a regulatory roadblock in its efforts to register a methane inhibitor in New Zealand.

Last month Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) called for public feedback on options to change the way agricultural inhibitors are managed.

Inhibitors are compounds that can be applied directly or indirectly to animals or a place to inhibit the production of greenhouse gasses or reduce nutrient leaching in some way. Common types of application include as feed additives, coatings on fertilisers, or vaccines, says MPI director food, skills and science, Fiona Duncan.

“There is understandably a growing interest within industry in the use of these tools to reduce nitrate leaching and the effects of climate change.

“We think this technology has some exciting potential. However, we need to make sure that any use of inhibitors is managed well so that potential risks to food safety, plant and animal health and trade are minimised.”

DSM vice president and global program manager for Bovaer, Mark van Nieuwland says the discussion paper is “encouraging and vital”.

He says it is vital to evolve the regulatory environment to fit innovative climate change solutions and enable a net zero future of New Zealand, while doing so at speed.

“New Zealand is an innovative place and climate change is the most pressing issue, so regulations must keep pace to enable the adoption of technology,’ he told Dairy News.

“Tools are now becoming commercially available for New Zealand’s farmers to reduce emissions of their animals, but they also require the relevant review by independent bodies to allow for trust and broad adoption. Other countries have commenced the market authorization of products such as methane mitigators.

“A swift response by New Zealand, could support exports and allow New Zealand to maintain the environmental advantage of its agricultural exports.”

MPI’s consultation on agricultural inhibitors will run until March 27.

Three options

MPI is seeking the public’s views on three options for managing inhibitors used in agriculture:

Option 1: Maintain the status quo – no change in how inhibitors are regulated 

Option 2: Increase industry management of inhibitors 

Option 3: Change regulation of inhibitors to include them under the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines Act 1997.

MPI director food, skills and science, Fiona Duncan says it also wants to know if people think there are other options to consider to manage inhibitors appropriately, what the impacts of any changes might be to businesses, and how inhibitors should be defined. 

“We have a reputation for high standards of food safety and these proposals are designed to keep it that way,” Duncan says.

More like this

Methane inhibitor shows results

A feed additive that reduces methane emissions in ruminants is poised for commercial launch in Australia - making it one of the first global markets to access the product.

Overseer - ditch it or fix it

Debate on the value of Overseer, the software tool designed to measure and regulate nutrient loss from farms, continues to rage.

National

Why should we do more?

OPINION: Managing our dairy sector's impacts inevitably attracts a range of views. Should we do more, less or stay the…

Cattle sale with a difference

Innovation, loss and resilience have brought the Singh family to the point where it is poised to honour its patriarch,…

O'Connor's overseas odyssey

Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor continued his overseas odyssey in the past week with multiple meetings in the US, Europe and…

Machinery & Products

Protective tint

Now available in New Zealand, Wildcat Static Cling Tint adds a protective layer to the windows of your tractor, harvester…

New owner for stoll

German company Stoll, the well-known manufacturer of tractor front loaders and attachments that claims to be the second largest producer…

Fert spreaders get a revamp

Kuhn has updated its MDS range of fertiliser spreaders, giving farmers more options to upgrade machines as situations change, rather…

Mowers spring into action

With spring upon us, thoughts turn towards shutting up paddocks for conservation and maybe the purchase of new machinery to…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Feeling the heat

US dairy farmers have a new threat to their business - heat waves.

Class action

The news has gone from bad to worse for a2 Milk - the company Synlait had hitched its wagon to.

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter