To harvest or not? - Farm Focus

To harvest or not?

To harvest or not?

April 2021

Our Farm Focus Roadshows continue across the country, plus I also squeezed in the recent Central Districts and Kirwee Fieldays – it was great to see a good turnout following the disappointment of the COVID related cancellation for Northland.

I know I’ve said it before, but it’s awesome to be out interacting with customers.

Common discussions as I move around are also a reminder that rural businesses are engrossed by the same things, no matter their business type, or where they are located.

The Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is one – to harvest or not? The recent auction 17 March this year released 4.75m NZ units to the market which were sold at a price of $36/unit. Many farmers will be weighing up the options of harvesting their woodlots, or of keeping the stand in place to accumulate and trade carbon credits. Choices about entering the ETS, and in what capacity will need to be considered over the next few months as the auctions continue.

Farmers are constantly considering the environmental impacts in their business decisions, and this will be no different. Planting exotic or indigenous, which areas to plant or farm, harvesting trees or trading carbon, net profit per hectare will also be a key influence on these decisions. Many of us are starting to calculate the total Green House Gas (GHG) emissions produced by our businesses, and the impact that even small, planted areas has on offsetting this.

Compliance is an important part of every business so we continue to expand our product range in a tight global marketplace dominated by competitors keen to find an edge over us.

Farm Environmental Plans (FEPs) were another topic of interest and some were mulling the benefits of enlisting the help of advisors to create their FEP, or whether to give it a crack themselves.

While it’s great to have help when needed, farmers have the information needed to complete their FEP in their head. They know their business better than anyone and that information, gathered over time, just needs to be documented.

There is also plenty of help online from organisations such as Beef+Lamb, FarmIQ, DairyNZ or ECan and, as with most things, making a start is often the trickiest bit!

Best wishes for the season ahead.

Regards, Brian