Tuesday, 19 February 2019 10:29

Farmers must comply with society’s expectations

Written by  Peter Burke
Prof Chris Anderson. Prof Chris Anderson.

Compliance means not only meeting the requirements of the regulator, but also the expectations of society.

This was a key theme of the annual Fertiliser and Lime Research Centre workshop at Massey University, Palmerston North, last week. 

About 250 attendees representing CRIs, universities, central and local government and consultants attended the 32nd, three-day workshop. Speakers came from Ireland, Denmark and Australia.

The centre’s acting director, Professor Chris Anderson, says the workshop has long looked at nutrients and their management which, with compliance, is now critical. 

He says compliance must be seen as farmers meeting the requirements of a regulator and also meeting society’s expectations.

“We are seeing more and more discussion about water quality. People want to know that their water is safe to swim in and they are concerned about food quality,” he told Rural News

“So the FLRC workshop is a platform to look at the science and the policy – track how we are going, look at the current trends and [look at] finding a pathway forward.” 

Anderson says agriculture and horticulture are crucial to NZ’s economy, but their impact on the environment is scrutinised more than ever before. Primary producers are increasingly challenged to comply with social expectations for “healthy food, healthy environment”. 

“Regional councils are working on regulations guided by science, which target the balance between production and environmental protection,” he says.

Anderson believes Massey University is making a “significant contribution” to finding quality science solutions to the problems. They are looking at making farm systems more efficient with feed and getting the most from nutrient inputs.

“Good science is what Massey is strong in.” 

Massey is making a point of engaging with farmers in some science work because farmers have the task of implementing policy.

“Farmers are doing a good job and we should celebrate this.”

They want to do a good job because they are concerned about having a clean environment. This underpins their goal of healthy food and healthy animals. 

“So farmers are listening, watching and having input and providing feedback to us to make sure we are on the right track,” he says.

» Connect with Rural News

More like this

Lights, camera, action on sheep!

Remote sensing cameras and GPS are being used by Massey University researchers to see what, if any, damage sheep cause to waterways in the hill country.

Dairy motivates top scholars

Both Massey University’s top scholars for 2019 are from dairy farming families and both are DairyNZ scholarship students.

New hort science scholarships 

A scholarship for up to five students each year, studying Massey University’s Bachelor of Horticultural Science degree has been launched by kiwifruit exporter Zezpri.

» The RNG Weather Report



A lesson in political science

The Zero Carbon Bill has just been passed into law, but not without significant misgivings from across the farming sector.

RMA not good enough

New Zealand's natural environment is now much more degraded than when the Resource Management Act was developed in 1991.

Fonterra chairman feels the heat

Frustrated Fonterra farmers called for chairman John Monaghan to take responsibility for the co-op’s financial debacle and step down.

» Connect with Rural News

» Connect with Rural News

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Job hunting?

A mate of the Hound reckons outgoing special agricultural trade envoy Mike Petersen, who is due to finish his current…

Hot air?

With the Government wanting to implement huge costs on the livestock farming sector by making New Zealand the only country…

» Connect with Rural News