One Plan biggest threat to farming

A report on the economic impact of Horizon Council’s One Plan says it is the biggest threat facing farming.

. . . The 44-page report, just released, is the last in a series on key economic sectors commissioned by Palmerston North City and Manawatu District councils to highlight their importance to the local region.

The report, prepared by Massey University economics student Carla Muller, highlights the importance of agriculture to the rural community and to Palmerston North. It says in 2011 agriculture directly contributed $268 million to the region and indirectly $80 million. The report estimates agriculture accounts for 25% of Manawatu district’s GDP and 1.5% of Palmerston North’s GDP. On average, every dairy herd in the region has a return (before tax) of $139,519; sheep and beef farms return, before tax, $213,841.

But the report singles out One Plan as the biggest threat to farming in the region, saying it will have a potentially large impact on “farming practices and the farming landscape”. It goes on to say that it’s hard to quantify the exact impact until the court issues are resolved.

Palmerston North mayor Jono Naylor (pictured)  told Rural News his greatest concern about One Plan is the lack of resolution of the issues involved. With agriculture such a big part of the region’s economy it’s important concerns over viability and productivity are quickly resolved, he says.

“I think agriculture is taken for granted by a lot of New Zealanders. I don’t think a lot of people realise that the lifestyle we live today in the cities is on the back of the work done on farms. It’s a huge part of our economy and the rest of us re-circulate the money [farmers] generate.”

Naylor says the multiplier effect in Manawatu region from agriculture is big. “There is the direct impact from the farmers and the money they spend, which then generates jobs in the industries servicing the agricultural sector – education in agriculture, research institutions, and a lot of our manufacturing.” . . .

The challenge to councils and farmers is to come up with a plan and farming practices which ensure water quality is at an acceptable standard without compromising the viability of businesses which make such an important economic contribution to the region, and the country.

19 Responses to One Plan biggest threat to farming

  1. robertguyton says:

    “The report, prepared by Massey University economics student Carla Muller”

    I see.

  2. TraceyS says:

    Robert, why do you have such a hard time seeing that economic effects are just as real as environmental effects? If an undergraduate can recognise them then I’d say the economic effects are fairly black-and-white.

    The problem with not recognising economic effects is this. Farmers (and others) don’t have limitless profit margins. With erosion of profits there will be reduced money available for environmental improvements. The environment will suffer.

  3. robertguyton says:

    It’s a fallacy, that environmental improvements can only happen when there is money. I make environmental improvements constantly and they rarely cost anything at all.
    Have you seen the story of the African woman who began the tree-planting project that transformed her region? School children planted trees on their way to school. Women made the extra effort to grow, plant and water trees. Farmers can make environmental improvements by not doing certain things and that costs them nothing. It’s a change of thinking that’s needed, Tracey, not wealthier farmers.

  4. robertguyton says:

    Honestly though,
    “But the report singles out One Plan as the biggest threat to farming in the region, saying it will have a potentially large impact on “farming practices and the farming landscape”. It goes on to say that it’s hard to quantify the exact impact until the court issues are resolved.
    The One Plan will have a potentially large impact on farming practices and the farming landscape.
    So what?
    Why has she assumed it will be negative?
    She even says it’s hard to quantify the exact impact.
    She’s speculating.
    is she experienced in this field?
    Doesn’t seem likely.
    I wouldn’t give much credence to this report. It seems speculative and thin.

  5. TraceyS says:

    You’re right, of course you are, that a change in thinking is required. But a change in thinking will not happen by threatening people’s livelihood. This will cause contracted thinking and defensiveness.

    A change in thinking is also required by the regulators.

  6. TraceyS says:

    Uncertainty is negative in any business operation Robert. Uncertainty increases risk. Higher risk businesses usually seek higher gains over the short term. Sound good for the environment to you? Connect the dots man.

  7. robertguyton says:

    It’s the certainty from regional councils, that farmers seem to fear the most!

  8. TraceyS says:

    With a fear-based approach to change you will probably find that those among the farming community who have the most intelligence, awareness, foresight and choices will opt out, preferring to watch from the relative safety of the sidelines. Meanwhile, those with the least promise to contribute to environmental innovation and improvement will stay in the game. Thereby the councils’ approach will justify itself, creating an ever increasing need for tighter rules and punitive measures. Self-fulfilling. Nice! Good luck with that…I hope you find the environmental benefits you are looking for.

  9. robertguyton says:

    “those among the farming community who have the most intelligence, awareness, foresight and choices will…” effect change from within their industry, for the sake of their continued success.
    Wouldn’t you?
    Dock that tail, trim those dags.
    Best thing the intelligent farmer can do is see to his ceaselessly barking dogs.

  10. TraceyS says:

    While onto animal analogies you might care to consider that the noise may not be coming from the dogs, but from the flock of sacrificial lambs.

  11. robertguyton says:

    That would be bleating then.
    If an undergraduate had written that the One Plan was the biggest fillip to “farming practices and the farming landscape”, what would your reaction have been?
    Easy acceptance of her findings?
    Be honest now!

  12. TraceyS says:

    “To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” (Elbert Hubbard)

    Whether one is perceived to have bleated, barked, or crowed matters not one little bit.

    It is what they “do” and who they “be” that are really important.

  13. robertguyton says:

    And in answer to my question, you say???

  14. TraceyS says:

    Show me such a report and I will be pleased to read it, provided that the findings are supported by solid evidence. The standard of evidence for conclusions that provide reassurance should be different from those which heed caution. Leave the link here and I promise to follow it.

    Some of the worst reassurance I ever took was in relation to a notified plan change. After questioning the impact it would have on us we were told “don’t worry, it won’t affect you”. Lesson: never, ever take reassurance from someone who doesn’t really know and understand your business even when it comes straight out of the mouth of the authority.

  15. TraceyS says:

    Cat got your tongue now Robert?

  16. robertguyton says:

    Not at all, Tracey. Your “show me the article” response misses the point and I can’t meaningfully respond to it.
    Plus, I was mesmerized by gardens are blooming’s insightful comment.

  17. TraceyS says:

    That’s cool Robert. I can’t meaningfully respond to your hypothetical “what if” question either so looks like the conversation is over. That’s a shame because it didn’t really go anywhere. Perhaps if you didn’t so readily resort to denigration?

  18. robertguyton says:

    Who(m) do you believe I denigrated (aside from gardens are blooming)?
    There’s no reason why you couldn’t respond to my ‘what if’. You might have said, “Yes, it wouldn’t fit with the belief I already hold (that the One Plan is a great threat to farming in the Manawatu), so I’d be initially sceptical and would want to challenge the report from an undergraduate who might not have a balanced view of the real situation”.
    It’s not hard to respond to ‘what ifs’.

  19. […] H/T Ele at HomePaddock: One Plan biggest threat to farming […]

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