Farmers get a chivvy re the levy
Lambing is now under way on many sheep and beef farms in our district. Dairying certainly has a high media profile right now – one could say for not the right reasons – but sheep and beef farming is still the largest agricultural primary production industry in the Waikato provincial region of Federated Farmers.
The sheep and beef industry is working positively through the many challenges it is presented with. Number one, of course, is farmgate returns.
Many will know the dairy industry levy body DairyNZ is in place under the Commodity Levy Act, with Beef + Lamb New Zealand being the levy body for the dry stock industry.
With DairyNZ, all dairy farmers are automatically registered to have a farmeragreed levy deducted per kilogram of milk solids produced, not so with Beef + Lamb.
A levy is paid by farmers every time they present sheep or beef animals for processing, but they have to register themselves as levy payers if they wish to be part of the democratic process of their industry levy body.
There are many farmers not registered, even though they pay a compulsory levy for industry good initiatives. That also includes dairy farmers as the dairy industry puts a significant amount of red meat into the export commodity pool.
Beef + Lamb genetic gain investments ensure we meet consumer preferences and improve meat quality and yield. Such initiatives contribute directly to improved on-farm profitability.
The important question I ask of meat producing farmers in our local area, ‘have you registered with Beef + Lamb NZ?’.
I and other Federated Farmers elected leaders have for many years urged the meat industry to register suppliers automatically to Beef + Lamb.
Meat processors, however, are very reluctant to give supplier information for that to happen, citing the 1993 Privacy Act as an excuse.
Dairy Industry processors seem to have no problem registering farmer suppliers of raw milk with DairyNZ.