Tomorrow is Gypsy Day when sharemilkers and farm owners will be moving their stock to new properties. This year the tradition will be under the shadow of Mycoplasma bovis, as stock movements carry the risk of spreading the cattle disease.

Vice President of Federated Farmers, Andrew Hoggard spoke to The Country's Jamie Mackay about what Mycoplasma bovis means for Gypsy Day and for farmers in general.

"You've got a situation where a whole lot of people have to move off a farm and a whole lot of people have to move in ... it does take a little bit of logistics."

Hoggard is unsure whether M. bovis will change the traditional method of moving cattle which is to walk them down the road to the next farm.


"I'm thinking probably a lot more people are going to be looking for trucks [for moving stock] from now on."

Read more: Damien O'Connor on eradication - 'We have to go for it now'
Read more: 'We'd be better off if we had it': Farmer on cattle disease

The Government's decision to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis rather than contain it was, "the best option out of some bad choices in front of us," says Hoggard, who believes the management option would mean no opportunity for compensation for those affected.

Mackay says that Minister for Agriculture Damien O'Connor promised earlier in the week on The Country that "no farmer would be worse off because of M. bovis."

While it is an admirable sentiment, Mackay thinks it will be hard to put into action as some farmers unaffected by M. bovis are losing business due to fear of the cattle disease being spread to other farms.

Hoggard agrees, saying, "It's not good that this sort of stuff is happening at a time where we actually need to be coming together and helping each other out."

Also in today's interview: Andrew Hoggard talks about the precautions he will be taking against M. bovis on his Manawatu farm, how Federated Farmers can help struggling farmers and his new CEO, Terry Copeland.

Listen below: