A new report predicting the demise of animal farming due to the rise of protein technology will have gone down like a four-day old cow pat in rural New Zealand.
The last thing farmers need right now is more doom and gloom.
They are already facing increasing environmental regulation, extra compliance costs and tightening bank credit conditions. And until recently, Fonterra's declining share price and lack of dividend has played havoc on the equity and loan-to-value ratios for dairy farmers.
Just as well the farmgate milk price is holding up while sheep and beef prices remain stronger than ever.
But whatever your view on the future of food, the meat and dairy industries cannot afford to close their eyes to the disruptive forces coming their way.
In case you missed it, a recent report by London and San Francisco-based think tank RethinkX says the US cattle farming industry will be all but bankrupted within 10 years as a result of new human-made proteins.
The traditional animal-based food production will be replaced by what the authors call a "food-as-a-service" model where scientists engineer food in the lab and make it available to food designers across the globe.
Within 10 years these modern food products will be higher quality and cost less than half as much to produce as the animal-derived products they replace, the report said.
Scary stuff for those heavily invested in the "pasture-to- the-plate" model we are so good at producing.
Yes, it's a provocative report and yes we should be sceptical about the significance and affect on local industry. But this shouldn't be consigned to the scaremongering bin either.
The fact is the technology is moving so fast we don't know what will happen in 10 years' time.
By the same token, there are big opportunities both for New Zealand primary industry players and for our highly innovative science and research industry.
The Ministry of Primary Industries is right to say there will always be a market for high value, naturally produced products - even if it does become a niche market for discerning, affluent customers.
And it's also fair to say the New Zealand meat industry is in a much better position than other countries to respond to such change. That's because, for the most part, New Zealand meat is considered a "premium" product.
MPI says alternatives may become cheaper than standard meat but it will be the lowest value products that get crowded out first. And if there's one thing our farmers do well it's produce quality meat cuts.
On the other hand, there are opportunities to embrace the science. This may be a challenge for some of our bigger companies such as Fonterra, which was late to the alternative protein arena.
But our university research programmes have proven success in early-stage development of biotechnology and molecular science. We led the way in gene research, for instance.
More funding from central government should be encouraged while Crown Research Institutes like Callaghan Innovation also have an important role to play.
No doubt there will be more dire reports predicting the end of animal farming but local industry shouldn't despair. They should be seen as a wake-up call and an opportunity rather than another nail in the coffin.