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Daily Digest: July 13, 2020

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Kiwi farmers have often felt got at and isolated when confronted by issues beyond their control and a feeling the pressures on them come from unrealistic expectations generated by urban people influencing politicians.
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Well, they’re not alone. They’re all in it together and a webinar run by NZX shows farmers round the world are in it together. As Farmers Weekly often shows in its world pages the issues faced here are similar in other places. Some are exactly the same such as labour shortages and environmental rules. The three dairy farmers from New Zealand, Ireland and the United States found much common ground and found they share the same concerns about exports and trade.

But they are also all aware that meeting consumer expectations is the key to prosperity and even their continued existence. That shows it doesn’t matter what good intentions and pure hearts have if they can’t convince consumers they are doing it right. The world has changed and farmers must not only change with it but show they have changed and are doing the things the customers in the supermarkets believe are the right things to do. And the farmers agreed they are not good at telling their stories and getting their message through. It’s a wake-up call for our farmers and exporters. They must work hard at convincing the world to buy our products because others will be doing the same for their goods.

We know how good Kiwi farmers are. The problem is many people around the world don’t. Let’s start bragging a bit and blowing our own trumpet in our marketing as we embark on the future with Te Taiao.

Stephen Bell

Dairy challenges the world over

Labour shortages and tougher environmental requirements are the concerns of dairy farmers worldwide, an NZX Derivatives webinar has highlighted.

Reading the digital tea leaves

Psa, Mycoplasma bovis, covid-19 and the global financial crisis are all tumultuous events that threw industries and countries into chaos. But two AgResearch scientists are working on an artificial intelligence system that might be the fortune teller helping protect New Zealand from such disruptive events in future. 

Nuffield Scholarships invite applicants

Application for the 2021 Nuffield Scholarships are open. Rural Leaders is offering up to five $40,000 farming scholarships for New Zealand farmers, growers and agri professionals engaged, motivated and committed to improve and innovate while solving old and emerging problems in the agri sector.

Tonight on Sarah’s Country

7.10pm – Extending migrant workers’ visas, a reduction of the stand-down period for low-skilled workers, $1.6 billion in free-apprenticeships and a roadmap with 10,000 jobs in the sector in a decade. We find out if Matt Jones’ agricultural staffing business is feeling more positive about the skill shortage.

7.20pm – OPINION – How do we be both consumer-led and science-based embracing the demand for regenerative agriculture with what we are already doing that is streets ahead of other countries? Silver Fern Farms co-chairman Rob Hewett joins Sarah in the studio for his opinion on the movement and how we could licence farms under the Te Taiao vision.

7.40pm – Increased competition from synthetic fibres has reduced demand for strong wool and led to a long-term contraction of the wool sector. We unpack the vision and action plan from the Wool Working Group with New Zealand Merino chief executive John Brackenridge.

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