A Waikato seminar to start rebuilding confidence in cattle farming after the disease Mycoplasma bovis has been cancelled - apparently because farmers are too busy to pre-commit to seats.

The Beyond Bovis event to revitalise farming confidence was to be held in Hamilton tomorrow with speakers to include Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor, respected science and industry commentator Keith Woodford and dairy and beef industry leaders.

A spokeswoman for Showing Waikato, which organised the paying event in conjunction with the 126th Waikato A&P Show, said the plug had been pulled because there were not enough pre-registrations.

Industry representatives had been keen but the hoped-for pre-registrations from farmers hadn't materialised, she said.


Federated Farmers dairy chairman Chris Lewis, a Waikato farmer, said the seminar was an "awesome concept" but it was a very busy time for farmers overseeing mating. They'd also had a hard spring and some family time was called for.

Woodford said farmers had "just caught their breath" after calving and were now busy again.

He said Mycoplasma bovis, first diagnosed in New Zealand last year on a Canterbury farm and now the focus of a $1 billion Government-industry eradication attempt, was probably of less compelling interest to Waikato farmers than to those in Canterbury where the disease is concentrated.

Damien O'Connor's office declined to comment.