Opportunities For Arable Farming In The New Environment
Neil Barton and Hugh Ritchie were re-elected as Chair and Vice Chair (respectively) of Federated Farmers Grains Council,
at the annual conference in Christchurch on Thursday. The Grains Council Conference incorporated the Annual General
Meeting's of the United Wheatgrowers, the Herbage Seed Subsection, and the Maize Growers Subsection.
The theme of the conference was "Opportunities for Arable Farming in the New Environment" and featured industry forums
including Opportunities for Cropping in the New Environment, Market Driven Grains Research and Marketing of Arable
Speakers included Warwick McClelland from the Australian Wheat Board who provided the United Wheat Growers with his
perspective of the Australian grain industry.
Presentations on internet marketing from Cambel Ferguson, Netfarmer New Zealand Ltd and John Paton, Woolnet were of
particular interest to arable farmers looking to establish a point of difference for their product.
"Although cropping farmers are not enjoying the same level of returns as their colleagues in the pastoral industry,
those who attended the conference left feeling positive about the future of their industry." said Neil Barton.
"International prices for grain are improving, and the servicing requirements of the dairy industry has added a new
element of competition into the domestic market."
"Grain and seed producers are intensely aware of the need to improve their return on investment," Mr Barton concluded.
"We must focus on adding value to our products and responding to market demands if we are to remain competitive."