Good protest farmers – now let’s make progress – Daniel Eb:
Well done farmers. Friday’s protest was well-organised and dignified. We got the message. You are under pressure and feel side-lined. You are being told how to farm by Wellington bureaucrats trying to legislate the way to a greener future.
It’s a future you want too – clean rivers, vibrant communities, thriving biodiversity, climate mitigation and adaption. For many of you, this journey started years ago. From the 4,700 native bush blocks quietly regenerating under covenant, to catchment groups taking responsibility for their waterways and the sector emissions reduction plan He Waka Eke Noa – farmer-led progress is happening.
It is also true that farming must carry a hefty weight when it comes to our green transition. But this is a call-to-action for all of us, so when will townies feel the pinch too? . . .
Farmers across the upper South Island are on clean-up duty and counting up the costs as damaging floodwaters recede, and the agriculture minister has reminded farmers to take a thorough look at resilience in the face of climate change.
The weekend’s storm forced hundreds to evacuate, caused widespread damage to infrastructure including roads and bridges, and devastated farms in Buller, West Coast, Nelson, Tasman, and Marlborough – as well as causing more sporadic damage in surrounding regions.
The downpours brought Marlborough’s largest floods on record.
Federated Farmers Marlborough president Scott Adams said more than 300mm had fallen on his sheep farm near the Wairau River in 48 hours, and parts were devastated. . .
A Marlborough farmer who had to swim sheep to safety on Saturday says the flood waters were far worse than a record-breaking event 40 years ago.
Matt Forlong’s family vineyard is just west of Wairau Valley township and during winter they run sheep under the vines.
Simply getting to the property meant chainsawing fallen trees off the road so he arrived later than hoped, he said.
Water was already a metre deep and rising to shoulder depth so 200 sheep were stranded on quickly shrinking islands. . .
With the first phase of Fonterra’s capital structure consultation now complete, the Co-op is drawing up a revised proposal that aims to reflect farmers’ views.
A number of changes are being considered to the preferred option initially put forward in the Consultation Booklet in May – including adjusting the proposed minimum shareholding requirement for farmers and enabling sharemilkers and contract milkers to own shares.
“It’s a good time for the Board to step back and reflect on the feedback as most farmers will now be busy with calving. Once they’ve come through this particularly busy time of the season, we’ll be ready to consult on the updated proposal,” says Chairman Peter McBride.
Consultation has been extensive to date, starting with the initial communication on 6 May and the Consultation Booklet being sent to every farmer owner. Since then: . .
The big dairy co-op Fonterra has moved to make its capital restructuring proposals more palatable to its 10,000 farmer-shareholders as it seeks to slash the drastic entry cost to become a new supplier.
Faced with a future where total milk production is flattening, Fonterra needs more flexibility in its capital rules, the most burdensome of which has been the compulsory requirement to invest huge sums of capital just to supply.
The revisions now being put forward bear the stamp of chairman Peter McBride, who in an earlier role successfully carried the kiwifruit growers in Zespri through a similar capital restructure.
McBride, after taking the chair at Fonterra, soon realised the need for change in the one-size-fits-all compulsory capital structure requiring all shareholders to hold shares on a 1:1 basis. It has become a key factor in farmers deciding to leave. . .
Welsh farmers have called for more action as 10,000 cattle in the prime of their productive lives continue to be culled every year due to bovine TB.
Farmers are playing their part in combatting the disease through cattle-based measures, however wildlife reservoirs of disease are still going unaddressed, farmers say.
It comes as the BBC recently published a news article which highlighted the emotional strain that bovine TB is causing producers in the country.
In the article, Vale of Glamorgan farmer Abi Reader explained that her farm had been locked down with TB for three years. . .