Navigating farming change requires wisdom and knowledge

Fert-prices-drop-again

Ballance Agri-Nutrients CEO Mark Wynne has stressed the importance of science and research to support policy decisions around farming sustainability.

June 28, 2016

Navigating farming change requires wisdom and knowledge

Ballance Agri-Nutrients CEO Mark Wynne has stressed the importance of science and research to support policy decisions around farming sustainability.

Speaking at the Ballance Farm Environment Award’s sustainability showcase, Mr Wynne said communities were demanding change faster than farming, on average, was changing as an industry.

“We can embrace it or fight it, but it is coming. Science needs to be at the heart of the discussion, and we in the agri-business sector need to make sure decisions are based around science and not just emotion. It’s in all of our best interests.”

Mr Wynne said navigating the path to a sustainable profitable future was more challenging than ever, with agri-business’ licence to operate changing in response to community pressure. He commended the entrants, finalists and national winners of the Ballance Farm Environment Awards, Auckland sheep, beef and forestry farmers Richard and Dianne Kidd, as leaders in demonstrating that sustainable farming and profitability were not mutually opposed goals.

“We need to amplify the awareness of excellence in sustainable farming and accelerate the acceptance of the best practice across all farmers. It’s not an easy task, and leading farmers in particular hate blowing their own trumpet, but the promotion of best practice is a role that we must all take very seriously.”

He highlighted that in addition to water quality, water use would be at the heart of many future issues facing farming, especially given the rise of tourism as a significant earner for New Zealand.

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