View From the Top Paddock: Nathan Guy
View From the Top Paddock
View From the Top Paddock

View From the Top Paddock: Nathan Guy

For this week’s View From the Top Paddock, REX hosts Rebecca Greaves and Hamish McKay are joined by one of the great REX contributors, Nathan Guy.

Speaking from his farm in Horowhenua, Guy said he is disappointed to see He Waka Eke Noa omitted from any legislation discussions so far, while the proposed fertiliser tax is also looking unlikely to be taken to cabinet.

"It's been mused around the traps but there is no real evidence…and I think there is a stall between Shaw and O'Connor as to what happens from here," he explained.

While he and a few others plan to meet with Prime Minister Chris Hipkins at the upcoming Fieldays event, Guy admitted there is as much chance that nothing comes out of that meeting as there is something coming from it.

"I think we all realise something needs to happen, the difficult part is how and making sure that farmers are on board and that science is used to back up the narrative."

The New Zealand election set for later this year also provides a challenge for the rural sector, Guy added, telling McKay and Greaves there is "a lot of water to go under the bridge in the next wee while."

Reports in late May suggest there may be 'wobbles' in the sheep trade to China which he believes could be a considerable worry for New Zealand farmers as a whole.

"Whether it's red meat or dairy, seafood as well."

"I think there are some wobbles in China full stop at the moment for all exporters."

The combination of a recent COVID-19 lockdown alongside being able to process some of their own milk into whole milk powder provides less opportunity for Kiwi exporters, but Guy is confident one of Aotearoa's biggest exporting markets will bounce back strongly.

"It's a market that's really important for us, half of red meat almost and a third of our dairy goes up there so we are very reliant on a strong China.

"We are waiting for them to rebound and that will come at some point. When it does come it normally comes with a big roar, so I'm still quite optimistic but we've probably still got a bit of headwind to go yet in that very important market."

With markets available in Europe, the UK and even potentially India, Guy told McKay that demand in export markets has been ebbing and flowing for a long time.

"No real difference to what exporters have been dealing with over the decades really just got to be able to move product around to the right price points."