Saturday, 28 March 2020 09:22

COVID-19: Farmer lobby’s strength on display

Written by  Staff Reporters
Katie Milne. Katie Milne.

Federated Farmers president Katie Milne says COVID-19 has highlighted the strength of the farmer lobby.

“It shows the strength of Federated Farmers that we’re being looked to as the ‘go to’ source of advice and conduit of essential information to the agriculture sector during Covid-19,” she told Feds members in an email last night.

“We’ve found answers to pretty much every question our members have fired at us over the last week or two and it’s all summarised on our website and in the regular advisories we’ve emailed.”

Milne says it isn’t too far-fetched an analogy to say the nation is at war.

“This time the enemy is microscopic but still deadly.

“And just as farming and food supply was regarded as essential services during both World Wars, the government has again given us that status under the COVID-19 lockdown.”

Milne points out that as NZ faces huge economic disruption as a country we’re holding onto a small number of economic life rafts. Farming is one of them.

“The export income we continue to earn is crucial now, and as we recover at the other end of this crisis.

“The seasons and the requirements of our animals and crops pay no heed to coronavirus. “Sheep still have to be shorn for their welfare: fertiliser still has to be spread so there is grass and crops after winter.”

However, Milne had some strong words of caution for farmers.

No farmer should abuse this privileged position we have been granted, she adds.

“If it’s not essential work, don’t do it. No gallivanting off socially; we need to observe lockdown rules after work just like the rest of New Zealanders. Keep your 2-metres from fellow workers.” 

More like this

Country’s backbone performs

New Zealand's primary sector has added steel to the country’s economy in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recently released report.

China keeps dairy prices high

Whole milk powder (WMP) prices are now sitting above pre-Covid-19 levels and New Zealand farmers can thank a resurging Chinese economy for that.

Featured

 

Limited feed puts ewes at risk

Severe feed shortages in parts of the country mean many ewes are on a nutritional knife-edge heading into lambing and could be at risk of developing metabolic disorders.

Jack’s unique solution

Jason Jack was left with severe spinal injuries after a wakeboarding accident when he was 29, but that hasn’t stopped him getting out and about in difficult environments.

National

A ticking time bomb

Our dairy industry risks being exposed to a ‘ticking time bomb’ of unethical players unlawfully passing off New Zealand-made and…

Nervous wait for winter

The unknown of what winter will bring is very much on the mind of the Hawkes Bay Rural Support Trust…

Be careful, Potatoes NZ!

Moves by the NZ potato industry to have anti-dumping tariffs imposed on European imports could play into the hands of…

China keeps dairy prices high

Whole milk powder (WMP) prices are now sitting above pre-Covid-19 levels and New Zealand farmers can thank a resurging Chinese…

Machinery & Products

Hydrogen excavator a first

While most motive industries are focused on hybrid or EV power plants, JCB has developed the construction industry’s first hydrogen-powered…

Jack’s unique solution

Jason Jack was left with severe spinal injuries after a wakeboarding accident when he was 29, but that hasn’t stopped…

HP and digital tech combo

The latest New Holland T8 GENESIS is said to capitalise on the productive combinations of Stage V horsepower and digital…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Spell check

Your old mutt was not surprised to see the NZ Dairy Industry Awards hastily remove the title of this year’s…

About time!

Your canine crusader has been a long-time critic of NZ governments – of all stripes – who, for the past…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter