Minister James Shaw was in the Wairarapa last week to discuss with farmers the effects of climate change in their region, and the mitigations they have under way on-farm.

The Minister visited Kaiwaiwai Dairies Ltd in Featherston, which is owned by Dairy Environment Leaders Aiden Bichan and Vern Brasell, and Ahiaruhe farm, an arable and sheep/beef farm in Carterton owned by Mick and Karen Williams.

DairyNZ's strategy and investment leader (productivity), Bruce Thorrold spoke to The Country Early Edition's Rowena Duncum about the visit, saying it was a "fantastic visit."

"We had a great discussion about climate change policy around mitigation," Thorrold says of the DairyNZ hosted visit.


The Government is very focused on climate change, with the Zero Carbon Bill and the establishment of the Independent Climate Change Commission. There will be a decision made by the Commission about whether agricultural emissions will face a price under the ETS (Emissions Trading Scheme) in the middle of next year.

Listen below:

Thorrold says Dairy Action for Climate Change is a commitment by DairyNZ to build the foundation to support dairy farmers and the wider dairy industry to address on-farm methane and nitrous emissions over the longer term. "We've got to get this right."

Find out more here -

The Forage Value Index lists have just been updated using the latest results from the National Forage Variety Trial, in time for autumn pasture renewal. After challenging recent summer conditions, farmers will be looking to select paddocks for renewal by March/April, some of which will have been particularly hard hit by the weather.

Find out more here -

Finally in today's interview Rowena and Bruce talk about Southern Field Days. DairyNZ's site at Southern Field Days will be focusing on the environment – with farmers able to test-drive the Riparian Planner and Farm Enviro Walk on tablets, and talk to experts on wintering, mycoplasma bovis and advice for current drought conditions. The stand will also have Rosie packs available for the kids.

DairyNZ is at Southern Field Days at site 189 and 190.