The passing of the Farm Debt Mediation and NAIT laws last night shows the Government’s commitment to work alongside and help farmers, says Ag Minister Damien O’Connor.
It announced recently that the tracker tags used mostly for surplus stock will not be on sale beyond from July 1, 2015.
The three-year transition period allowed for all beef and deer to be registered ends mid 2015. NAIT is signaling a number of changes, including the replacement of the ‘transitional’ tracker tags with birth and replacement tags.
NAIT technical advisor Dan Schofield says while tracker tags will be withdrawn from sale, farmers may continue using their remaining stocks.
He says the shift in tags shouldn’t come as a surprise; they were intended as temporary and often ‘challenged’ farmers manually registering numbers on the NAIT system. “Farmers have told us the tracker tags are cumbersome to use, the numbers are too long and they’re too hard to read. “They were only developed as a temporary measure to get cows from the farm to the works or the saleyards.”
Schofield says new birth and replacement tags will help farmers to record every animal in the NAIT tracking system. They may choose between including a yearly code or running a simple sequential numbering system, which will make things easy for herd records.
Schofield says new tags signal a shift in management with the organisation moving from an educational role into a managerial one.
The organisation will increase the number of farm visits in 2015, where Schofield says they will work with farmers to get records up to standards.