fbpx
Print this page
Thursday, 09 April 2020 09:38

Feds call for pause on regulations

Written by  David Anderson
Katie Milne. Katie Milne.

The Government has been warned that it needs to back off some of its signalled regulations if it wants farming to help the NZ economy recover from the COVID-19 hit.

Federated Farmers national president Katie Milne told Parliament’s Epidemic Response Committee that: "winter is coming" for the sector – and not just the freezing weather. 

She told MPs the double whammy of the drought and reduced capacity at meat processing works meant many farmers were carrying into the colder months more stock than they would wish, and feed was very tight. 

Milne said winter, in another sense, was the dampener on primary produce prices that would likely stem from world economies crashed by the virus crisis. 

"Meat that was getting $5-something a kilo is now bringing in $3, if we can get it off the farm. The milk returns (per kg of milk solids) had $7 in front of it this year, but there are predictions next year it will be $5." 

While the sector was working as hard as it could to keep things going, "farming will not come out of this unscathed," she told the committee.

Milne added that Feds also had particular concerns about the lockdown impacts on businesses downstream of producers and growers, which help keep farming running every day –  "the suppliers to the guy who fixes the hydraulic pump, the guy who imports the tractor tyres". 

She also sounded a warning about the potential for signalled government regulation in the environmental space to reduce agriculture’s earnings at a time when farmers - and the nation - can’t afford it. 

Milne pointed out that research done by agriculture sector agencies and Local Government NZ suggested the impact of the Essential Freshwater package, if not modified, could cut agricultural earnings by 10-30% in some regions. 

If pause was pressed on those regulations "that wouldn’t kick the can down the road" on progress because farmers were already underway with a host of environmental initiatives and work streams, she said. 

More like this

Significant flood damage on farms

Farms along the northern edge of the South Island have suffered significant flood damage, says Federated Farmers Nelson president Stephen Todd.

Computer says no!

Dairy farmers around the country are in breach of a new law around reporting synthetic nitrogen because the Government has failed to deliver an online measuring tool on time.

Editorial: Slow down!

OPINION: The latest Federated Farmers survey of farmer confidence paints a worrying picture.

National

Wool in schools popular

A project that aims to educate Kiwi schoolchildren about wool will see the 25,000th student pass through its wool sheds…

Machinery & Products

Tech support plays vital role

With low unemployment rates, businesses are reporting ongoing issues with filling vacancies and recruiting new talent.

Massey Ferguson launches 7S Series

Recently launched into the Australian and New Zealand markets, the new Massey Ferguson 7S Series tractors comprises six models offering…

New disc cultivator launched

Väderstad has introduced a new disc cultivator – the Carrier XT 425-625 – featuring rotating disc axles, that optimizes results…