“We consulted with our farmers earlier this year about increasing the biosecurity response levy cap to 3.9c/kg milksolids in order to pay our share of the M. bovis response,” says DairyNZ Chief Executive, Dr Tim Mackle. We listened to the feedback our farmers gave us and made sure there was a strong farmer voice around the table.
“The 2.9c/kg milksolids is obviously less that than the 3.9c/kg milksolids cap we put in place. This reflects our conversations with farmers, plus the work we’ve been doing with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to develop the terms of payback in the operational agreement we have negotiated.
We obviously want to keep the costs as low as possible for our farmers, but at the same time we have a share that needs to be repaid.”
“It took some time after the consultation for the regulatory process with MPI and we’re now in a position to collect the levy, giving farmers more than 30-days’ notice,” says Dr Mackle.
The government (68 percent) and Beef + Lamb New Zealand (2 percent) fund 70 per cent of the costs, with the dairy portion being the remaining 30 per cent. For the 2019-20 year, at 2.9c/kg milksolids, dairy farmers will pay on average $4,300 each from 1 September 2019 to 31 May 2020 (based on a 430-cow farm).
The 2020-21 M. bovis Biosecurity Response Levy, including any changes to the levy amount, will be communicated in April 2020, ready for collection on 1 June 2020.
“Our continued focus on the M. bovis response is vital, as is support for affected farmers. We’ve learnt a huge amount over the last two years about responding to this disease. The recently commissioned DairyNZ independent review has highlighted areas of continued focus, which will only strengthen how we all respond,” said Dr Mackle.
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