Thursday, 03 March 2016 11:55

Should we teach other countries how to farm?

Written by  Pam Tipa
DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle. DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle.

Sharing knowledge on New Zealand farming systems needs to be on a win-win basis, says DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle.

Mackle told farmers at the Northland Dairy Development Trust annual general meeting that New Zealand was no longer the lowest cost country in terms of production.

One member of the audience commented that with the countries now beating us on cost, because Kiwis had gone out and shown them how to farm New Zealand style. Visitors also came here and were hosted by DairyNZ and others.

"We show them how to improve their cost of production – so where are we headed with this?" she asked.

"We show people how to set up farms and how to farm better. Do we have to think about how open we are?"

Mackle said it was a difficult question with many different arguments.

"On one side, why should we make it easy? We (DairyNZ) do have visitors but they are 99% of the time collaborative partners – which we can learn from," he said.

Mackle says he is really tight on granting visits which are signed off at a very high level at DairyNZ.

"It is not so much about giving things away, it's we need our people to be working ... it's their time, it's precious, we don't have that many scientists, we don't have that many people – they've got to spend their time working on stuff for New Zealand levy payers.

"We have tightened up. At the same time, there are situations from a market perspective where you do have to show a bit of good faith and good will because we are trading as well."

Mackle said the first priority is focussing on doing as much as they can for levy payers.

"When you do buddy up and partner with others; you do know it's got to be a win-win."

» Connect with Rural News

More like this

$6b hit from water reforms

The Government’s proposed freshwater reforms could derail the dairy industry and cost New Zealand $6 billion annually from 2050.

» The RNG Weather Report


Soil moisture: no more looking over the fence

Farm manager Bryan Mitchell describes as brilliant the SCADAfarm systems that allow him to remotely monitor and manage the irrigation of his 300ha of leased grazing land near Kirwee.


Separation gives constant result

Effluent separation offers a number of unique advantages, and opportunities that other systems don’t offer, says farm equipment manufacturer Rakaia Engineering Ltd (REL) Group.

Making good use of green water

Reporoa farmer Alistair Neville is using the Tow and Fert range for more environmentally-friendly farming practices. 

Cultivating the right way

Cultivation of paddocks is common on farms at this time of year. It’s also a time when local storms may occur, adding substantial risk to an important farming practice.

» 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