Thursday, 20 June 2024 09:55

Editorial: A week of good deals, great news

Written by  Staff Reporters
The Fieldays week certainly turned out to be a week of good deals and great news for farmers. The Fieldays week certainly turned out to be a week of good deals and great news for farmers.

OPINION: There was an extra spring in the step of farmers at the Fieldays last week.

On the eve of the four-day annual event, the rural sector got the news that the Coalition Government partners were coming good on their election promise to keep agriculture out of New Zealand’s emissions trading scheme (ETS).

The Government also announced the disbanding of He Waka Eke Noa (HWEN), an industry partnership to set pricing and reduce methane emissions on farms, an initiative that never took off among farmers.

Federated Farmers had four words on HWEN’s demise – ‘goodbye and good riddance’.

Federated Farmers, Beef + Lamb NZ and DairyNZ have all welcomed the decision, however, Labour and the Greens are among those who are critical.

Farmers want a measurement and reporting framework that is practical and useful for them. They would never accept a plan that would see 20% of sheep and beef farms, and 5% of dairy farmers, priced out of existence.

For its part the Government is committed to meeting climate change obligations without shutting down Kiwi farms.

It doesn’t make sense to send jobs and production overseas, while less carbon-efficient countries produce the food the world needs.

That’s why the Government wants to focus on finding practical tools and technology for farmers to reduce their emissions in a way that won’t reduce production or exports.

Kiwi farmers agree that they are going to need tools and technology so they can reduce emissions without reducing production or exports.

That’s why they support the Government in investing further in R&D to develop practical tools to help lower on-farm emissions while protecting production.

The Government has funding – including additional $50 million is going to the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre over the next five years on projects including the development of a methane vaccine; a project to breed lower emissions cattle; and accelerating the work on methane and nitrous oxide inhibitors.

The Fieldays week certainly turned out to be a week of good deals and great news for farmers!

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