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Suppliers Should Consider Local Grain

11 February 2008

Suppliers Should Consider Local Grain

Companies supplying supplementary feed to farmers struggling with drought should look to see what is available in New Zealand before sourcing product from overseas, said Federated Farmers Grain and Seed chair Andrew Gillanders.

“The grain harvest in the South Island is looking good. There will be feed grain available, but suppliers need to get in quickly to secure this. Most grass seed and barley straw has been committed but there is wheat straw still available. While wheat straw is not ideal stock food, it can be used in conjunction with other supplements, Mr Gillanders said.

“Over the past four years, the increase in imported supplementary feed has led to New Zealand arable farmers growing less grain and maize silage as it is uneconomic. This predicament has been highlighted in the maize industry where farmers have had to compete with cheap palm kernel meal imports, leading growers to abandon the industry due to low returns.

“The Federated Farmers Grain and Seed executive has been actively promoting the use of supplementary feed for animals, yet the pastoral industry will not commit to year-in and year-out contracts to maintain security of supply.”

Andrew Gillanders represents grain and seed farmers on the national board of Federated Farmers.

ENDS

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