For once Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was the apple in farmers' eyes as she rolled into the Hawke's Bay A and P Show in Hastings for a well-timed visit.

Ardern arrived just hours after the Government announced farmers are excused from the Emissions Trading Scheme until at least 2025, a decision that many farmers at the show had been lobbying for.

The new plan means farmers have five years to find an alternate pricing mechanism for agricultural emissions.

If the sector sticks to the plan, it will not have to join the Emissions Trading Scheme.

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Cabinet has also agreed that if the Interim Climate Change Commission is not happy with farmers' progress by 2022, the Government can bring farmers into the ETS at the processor level.

Bruce Miller, a beef and pig farmer in Selwyn, Canterbury, said everyone wants to do the right thing, but changes cannot be made overnight.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks during a visit to the show in Hastings on Thursday. Photo / Paul Taylor
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks during a visit to the show in Hastings on Thursday. Photo / Paul Taylor

"It gives people time to do things, that's been the concern all the way through.

"It appeared that it was going to be foisted on at such a rate or knots, and in farming you are dealing with a biological cycle, and it just doesn't react that quickly."

Semi-retired Porangahau farmer, Davis Canning, said farmers have always farmed with best practice in mind, but what best practice is has changed.

"Nature works on a 12-month cycle, we work on a make the rule today and implement tomorrow, sorry, it doesn't work on farming, it needs time."

While speaking at the show, Ardern said if New Zealand comes up with solutions to agricultural emissions, which make up almost 50 per cent of the country's emissions profile, then it can sell them to the world.

Selwyn farmer Bruce Miller. Photo / Paul Taylor
Selwyn farmer Bruce Miller. Photo / Paul Taylor

She said environmental credentials are already important when it comes to negotiating free trade agreements, and overseas retailers are already asking questions around sustainability and climate change.

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"We don't want that to impinge on our ability to sell our products.

"That means responsibility sits with us, together."

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Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor also visited and said New Zealand needed to not only be the best farmers in the world, but also the best farmers for the world.

Jacinda Ardern was gifted Hawke's Bay author Sophie Siers' children's book Dear Donald Trump as she popped in for a show visit. Photo / Paul Taylor
Jacinda Ardern was gifted Hawke's Bay author Sophie Siers' children's book Dear Donald Trump as she popped in for a show visit. Photo / Paul Taylor

Following speeches, Ardern took a walk around the show, meeting, among others, a long-term National support who said he had voted for her.

She also met another Jacinda, the Prime Minister saying she hoped she had not made things too complicated for her.

Semi-retired Porangahau farmer Davis Canning. Photo / Paul Taylor
Semi-retired Porangahau farmer Davis Canning. Photo / Paul Taylor