The one topic dominating proceedings at the DairyNZ Farmers' Forum this week is "capping nutrients," says one of New Zealand's leading farming academics.

Dr Jacqueline Rowarth is attending the forum in Hamilton where she spoke to The Country's Jamie Mackay.

Dr Rowarth says greenhouse gas emissions and David Parker's possible plan for capping cow numbers were troubling farmers at the forum.

"Farmers are pretty concerned about the amount of regulation that appears to be coming."


Other topics at the Farmers Forum were organics versus non-organics, Mycoplasma bovis, labour shortages in the horticulture industry and the new terms of reference for DIRA (Dairy Industry Restructuring Act).

Despite the pressure of environmental and political change, Dr Rowarth believes the rural community can cope saying, "We've got very adaptive farmers in New Zealand."

Also in today's interview: Dr Rowarth talks about a dubious "organic solution" for Mycoplasma bovis and dismisses a claim that the dairy industry could learn a lesson from sheep farmers.

Listen below: