Key challenges for dairy: Kyte

Richard Kyte
Richard Kyte
Dairy farmers need to embrace the future and the challenge of change, retiring DairyNZ regional leader Richard Kyte says.

''For many farmers the focus has been on capital and equity growth, but we are reaching the stage where we need to look beyond these things,'' he said.

''Having a clear direction can be an important help in dealing with day-to-day issues and provides momentum in the business.''

Mr Kyte, who leaves his position in May to return to the private sector, was a dairy farmer in Winton and worked as a consultant before joining DairyNZ.

''The reality is that things are always changing, but there are some specific things farmers will need to address.''

He said farm systems would need to continue to adapt to address environmental, climate change and workforce challenges.

''We need to be fully aware of the consequences and impact of our farm systems.''

Mr Kyte said overall Southland was ahead of most of other regions when it came to addressing environmental issues associated with dairying.

''You need to look no further that the development of catchment groups in the south,'' he said.

He said there was a high level of engagement from the community and Southland farmers were ahead in that space.

''However, there is always a need for more farmers to become involved and push for better outcomes for the industry and the environment.''

Mr Kyte said Southland was managing its workforce well.

''The people aspect is important and due to our labour shortages we have been very reliant on migrants to work on our farms,'' he said.

''These workers are now a key part of the success of our industry.''

''There's still a lot of opportunity in the South, and I believe we will continue to lead the world in many aspects of dairying.''

 

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