With all the talk around freshwater policies and environmental concerns lately, some may forget that farmers are also tackling Mycoplasma bovis says Mike Cronin.

Unfortunately it is not so easy for those "still doing the hard yards" with the cattle disease Fonterra's Managing Director of Co-operative Affairs told The Country Early Edition's Rowena Duncum.

Cronin said the Government, industry and farmers were still focused on eradicating M. bovis from New Zealand.

Mid Canterbury farmers' sixteen-month battle with Mycoplasma bovis


"Ministry for Primary Industries came out last week and said there's about 190 farms that are concerned with M. bovis, and 70 of those are dairy".

Most of those dairy farms were in the process of "getting back to business" said Cronin, but 20 were still active.

Although good progress had been made it was still a "hard time for a number of our farmers" said Cronin.

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One positive was that compensation was getting those farmers affected with MPI paying out over $90m said Cronin.

"That's about 75 per cent of claims so far".

The Mycoplasma bovis response levy comes into effect this month, with the Government covering 68 per cent of the cost and industry 32 per cent said Cronin.

Read more on Mycoplasma bovis here.

"That 32 per cent is divided between dairy and beef. DairyNZ consulted our farmers last spring and there's a levy agreed at 2.9 cents a kilogram of milk solids".


Fonterra will collect the levy from its farmers through its payment systems as a "biosecurity response levy" in their September supply deduction statements.

Also in today's interview: Cronin discussed a new date for Fonterra's Annual Results, the Government's latest Situation and Outlook report and some more detail around the Essential Freshwater package.