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‘Resource rentals’ will create more dairy farms

17 November 2011

‘Resource rentals’ will create more dairy farms

Policies by the Green and Labour parties for ‘resource rentals’ could not only close down arable farms, it could see most forced to convert to dairy in order to stay economical. That is the warning of Federated Farmers David Clark, who has costed the policy for his Canterbury farm.

“Ten cents per cubic metres of water may sound like a drop in the bucket but for my arable and lamb finishing farm, it wipes out any surplus I’d make from farming,” says David Clark, Federated Farmers Mid-Canterbury Grain & Seed chairperson.

“Ten cents per cubic metre adds up to $234,000 per year and that sum is frightening.

“I’m an arable farmer so the crops I grow go into the bread people eat. Those crops rely on irrigated water but in Canterbury, much of that water is drawn from ground water.

“Having costed resource rentals and the near quarter of a million it would cost my business, the only way for me to keep farming is to build a milking platform and go dairying.

“I’m not sure that’s what Labour Leader Phil Goff wants but that’s the practical outcome of his party’s policy. Dairying would be the only way for arable farmers to keep up with the astronomical cost of resource rentals. As a country, we’d also have to import more grains too.

“It’s one example of why Federated Farmers warned the Labour and Green parties about their policies towards farming. These are policies that could make the family farm a folk memory and Federated Farmers doesn’t want that.

“I do however wish to take up Phil Goff’s offer to meet with him and his spokesperson Brendon Burns at my farm.

“The more we can do improve their policies, the better the outcome will be for everyone as I don’t think they’ve thought through things enough,” Mr. Clark concluded.


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