Friday Flash

 3 November 2017

From the board ... Guy Wigley

A week of sunshine and warm weather in Canterbury has helped arable farmers start to get on top of spring planting. The majority will have finished planting but there are a few with small areas to complete. The July Arable Industry Marketing Initiative survey results showed there was a swing back to normal barley levels, with planted crops on the whole looking good.
With spring crops planted or near planted, we are now well underway with our spray programmes. The Federation is watching developments in Europe as the European Parliament banned household use of Glyphosate, with agricultural use to end in 2022. The EPA has publically stated that Glyphosate was on its reassessment “watch list”. We know that curtailment of Glyphosate would be a huge loss for New Zealand agriculture, particularly as it is becoming increasingly difficult to register and maintain existing Glyphosate alternatives for agricultural use.
Much of my time this week has been spent talking to farmers in South Canterbury dealing with the M.bovis incursion. While there is some confidence that the disease is localised and MPI works towards a positive outcome, there are some farmers who are severely affected and discussions continue with them. I encourage all farmers to start thinking about on-farm biosecurity and any changes or improvements which could be made to protect your farm from the spread of weeds, pests and diseases.

GMO appeal withdrawn

Federated Farmers dropped its appeal to the Court of Appeal on GMOs on advice from a review team comprising a QC and a senior RMA practitioner. They said recent changes to the RMA regarding the management of GMO crops by local authorities would have been likely to have been reflected in any decision the Court made, in a way that was adverse to Federated Farmers.
But Federated Farmers is standing by its position that GMO technology should not be regulated by councils, but by government, and this position will be carried forward into the resolution of other appeals against local authorities which are attempting to regulate GMOs in their plans. We don't accept that councils should be allowed to stop farmers from doing things that have been legalised nationally, and that any council doing so would infringe the human rights of the farmers in its area.
The new government’s policy is to repeal the changes made to the RMA, and Federated Farmers is optimistic that issues regarding which level of government should regulate GMOs will be able to be resolved without the need to revive the matter in the Court of Appeal.
Here’s the statement we put out to media.

Election disruption sees confidence dip

Political uncertainty saw business confidence turn negative in October, according to ANZ’s monthly Business Outlook Survey. Overall, a net 10.1% of respondents expected business conditions to worsen over the next 12 months, down 10 points on September when opinion was evenly divided (and down 28 points on August at around the start of the election campaign). For agriculture the fall in confidence was particularly large, down 24 points to a net 23.5% expecting conditions to worsen (and down 46 points on August – ouch).
Nick Clark also covers wage movements and the Fonterra payout in his weekly economic analysis.

Fight for continued water access in Hawke’s Bay

Federated Farmers lodged evidence opposing the Water Conservation Order for the Ngaruroro River upper catchment. One of the reasons Fish & Game, Forest & Bird, Ngati Hori ki Kohupatiki Marae, Whitewater New Zealand and Jet Boating New Zealand made the application was because they claim recreation values like fishing need to be protected. But Federated Farmers says this is unjustified, because access to the river main stem over the Rimutaka and Kaweka Forest Parks is already protected under the Conservation Act 1987, nor can a WCO compel access over private land. Access to many tributaries in the upper catchment area is over private land and at the discretion and good will of the landowner, and this goodwill cannot be regulated or compelled.

Feds men join DairyNZ board

South Canterbury man Colin Glass (right), a member of the Federated Farmers Sharemilker Farm Owners executive and the chief executive of Dairy Holdings, was elected to Dairy NZ’s board at the AGM last week.
Two of the five farmer-elected director positions on the board were voted on, and levy-paying dairy farmers chose Colin and another Federated Farmers member, Jim van der Poel (Waikato) to represent them.
We congratulate them both.

Wool invests in its future

New Zealand wool is following industries like coffee, honey and wine funding research for a test that determines traceability.

A test that can confirm the authenticity and origin of wool is among $3m of research funded by the Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand (WRONZ) to protect, enhance and grow the New Zealand wool. Here’s a summary statement on the sort of research going on, and there’s a lot more detail in the WRONZ annual report.

Buy a contract and be in to win

The next person to purchase a Feds contract and let us know will win a Potton & Burton 2018 Landscapes in Contemporary New Zealand Art Calendar, a vintage Feds cap , tote bag and pen. Members can view the complete Potton & Burton range of calendars on our website and calendars also available to purchase in all good book stores. Please email your entry with your name and type of contract purchased to: to be in to win!
Meanwhile, Potton & Burton has a Special Members’ Offer (10% discount and free delivery in New Zealand) on Barry Crump Collected Stories, $49.99 retail. This new volume features five of Barry Crump’s great classic stories, including Wild Pork and Watercress, the story for the international successful movie Hunt for the Wilderpeople. To obtain the discounted price $44.99, please click Barry Crump Collected Stories and use the coupon code FEDFARM17 at the shopping cart.

Pressure on local vege, fruit suppliers

A new report from Horticulture NZ says a perfect storm is brewing for New Zealand’s supply of healthy fresh fruit and vegetables that could see us unable to feed our growing population with domestically grown produce. Hort NZ says pressures include towns and cities expanding into valuable growing land, changings in weather patterns and “emotional battles over water”.

Dairy Awards - get in quick for travel prize

Time is running out to be in to win a travel prize when you enter the 2018 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards.

Online entries don’t close until November 30, however those who enter before midnight on November 9 will go into the Early Bird Entry Prize Draw and be in with a chance to win a share of $9,000 in travel vouchers.

Entries in the 2018 New Zealand Share Farmer of the Year, Dairy Manager of the Year and Dairy Trainee of the Year competitions are now being accepted online until November 30.One travel voucher will be given to an early entrant in each competition. There are three prize draws in total.


Meat & Fibre focus, Taranaki

Taranaki Meat & Fibre members are invited to hear about latest industry trends and policy issues at TET Stadium in Stratford, Wednesday November 22, from 6.30pm.

Guests and speakers include:
  • Digby Phillips from StockX Ltd -award winner in stock procurement and sale
  • Abigail Gough & Adric Ng from Vodafone- discussing rural connectivity and coverage in Taranaki
  • Lisa Harper (Federated Farmers Regional Policy Advisor )- water and stock exclusion – how this affects Taranaki farmers/Update on the NAIT review.
Coffee & nibbles provided.

RSVP to: Taranaki office for catering purposes, P: 06  757 3423, E:

Risk mitigation field day in Hastings

Farmlands and FMG are hosting a field day at Kereru Station in Hastings (off SH50) to provide pointers on protecting your business and yourself.

Speakers include:
  • Dr Derrick Moot, Professor in Plant Science at Lincoln University
  • Doug Avery, creator and author of Resilient Farmer
  • Tom Skerman, Economic Development Manager for Hawke’s Bay Regional Council
Wednesday 15 November, 9.30am-1pm.
Morning tea and BBQ lunch provided.

RSVP by 10 November by emailing

Rural Games business networker

The Manawatu Chamber of Commerce and Copthorne Hotel Palmerston North are hosting a Hilux New Zealand Rural Games Business After 5 session. Great for networking and to look ahead to the next games in March.

Monday, November 6 from 5pm in the House at the Copthorne. Bring your business cards for the draw – there are some great prizes.

Nelson Member “Get Together”

An informal “get together” for the Federated Farmers Nelson Executive and other Federation members in the St Arnaud area happens on Tuesday 7 November, from 7.30pm at the St Arnaud Fire Station Meeting Room.

A chance to socialise with colleagues, and talk directly with those representing your interests, provincially and nationally.

More information
Martin O’Connor

Immediate Past Provincial President
P: 021 522 485    E:

Tararua’s chance to catch up with President Katie

Tararua members are invited to join fellow farmers for a meal, drinks and a catch-up with locals and the new National President, Katie Milne.

When:  Thursday, 9 November- 5.30pm doors open - 6.30pm meal
Where: Tui HQ, State Highway 2, Mangatainoka
Cost:     $20pp - includes meal and one complimentary drink

Tickets from Farmlands in Pahiatua or Dannevirke, or online via Sally Dryland:, Provincial Meat & Fibre Chair, 06 376 2740 or 027 423 8997

Federated Farmers Bay of Plenty Regional Executive meeting


When:   10.30am Thursday, 9 November
Where:  Fonterra Café Room, Edgecumbe

Guest speakers are Federated Farmers of NZ President Katie Milne and Chief Executive Graham Smith.

Lunch & Refreshments at 1pm.

Enquiries to Kim at the Tauranga office P: 07 578 5039 or E: 


Beef + Lamb recruiting for senior roles

Beef + Lamb NZ is recruiting for seven new senior roles in the areas of Environment Policy & Capability Building, Extension Design, Science Strategy & Research Management and Operations Management to help deliver its new strategy and vision. If you want to be part of an industry-good organisation that is committed to creating successful and profitable farms and communities, then click to find out more.

Roles closing 8-17 November.

Herbage Seedgrowers Subsection of Federated Farmers Elections

Nominations are called to fill vacancies in the South Canterbury and North Canterbury wards of the Herbage Seedgrowers Subsection of Federated Farmers, resulting from the rotational retirement of sitting members on Tuesday 7 November.
For nomination forms, email Forms must be in the hands of the Herbage Seedgrowers Subsection by 4 pm Monday 6 November 2017, by email ( or post: Herbage Seedgrowers Subsection, PO Box 20448, Bishopdale, Christchurch 8543. 


A journey to the top

A great article on NZ Farmer’s e-reader site (see pg 23) on former Feds national dairy executive member and 2017 Dairy Woman of the Year Jessie Chan-Dorman talking about her “journey of learning”.

Tenants in our own land?

Both former Prime Minister Bill English and Feds President Katie Milne had a say on proposed restrictions on sale of “sensitive farm assets” to foreigners on Jamie MacKay’s The Country show last Thursday. And Katie’s dog George, already a media hit and now a bit of a conservation star after killing a stoat, got a mention too.