The deadline is looming for dairy farmers to have their say on the milksolids levy vote, which closes May 30.
The milksolids levy funds industry good work through DairyNZ, which represents and supports all dairy farmers through practical research, on-farm tools, resources, advocacy, promotion, careers info and events.
DairyNZ chair Jim van der Poel encourages farmers to vote on the milksolids levy now.
“So far, roughly 40 percent of farmers have voted, but we are keen to see an increase in the next week or so,” said Mr van der Poel.
“It is a one-in-six year vote and we have now entered the final phase of voting, so I encourage any dairy farmer who hasn’t yet cast their levy vote to take a couple of minutes today to have their say.”
All levy payers – farm owners, sharemilkers and leaseholders – can place a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote until 5pm, Saturday May 30. The current levy order expires in November and is required by Government legislation, through the Commodity Levies Act 1990.
Levy paying farmers contribute 3.6c per kilogram of milksolids (kgMS) produced.
Mr van der Poel said it’s important dairy farmers not only see value for the levy but also reach out to DairyNZ for any information, issues or advice they do need, at any time.
“During a crisis like COVID-19 and the current drought, it can be difficult to look to the future. One of DairyNZ’s jobs is to support farmers through challenging times which is partly why the research, advocacy and expertise funded by the milksolids levy has never been more vital,” said Mr van der Poel.
“It’s also about planning for the future – establishing where we focus our collective efforts, ensuring we address barriers and have a strategy that sees our dairy sector continue to be in demand and successful.”
For the past 17 years the milksolids levy has been part of New Zealand dairy farming.
Through the milksolids levy, DairyNZ invests in farm systems, research and development, environmental protection, animal care, biosecurity, building great dairy workplaces, sector sponsorships and supporting vibrant communities.
DairyNZ’s investment in TBfree’s national bovine tuberculosis (TB) control programme is the single largest investment from the milksolids levy ($14.5 million per year).
Voting packs have been sent to all eligible levy paying dairy farmers who produce milk from cows and supplied a dairy processor in the 2019/20 season (year ended 31 May 2020). This includes sharemilkers and dairy farm leaseholders.
Farmers can vote via
www.dairynz.co.nz/vote or post until 30 May 2020. With some uncertainty around mail delivery during COVID-19, farmers are encouraged to vote online.