Business Rural Spring 2021

30 | ‘Logical, workable regulations’ needed Chris Dillon, the new Federated Farmers Southland President, driving the bailer on the Balfour farm. Karen Phelps N ew Federated Farmers Southland President Chris Dillon hopes to give local farmers more representation in the plethora of legislation that is coming at them. “Everything in New Zealand is related to farming so we need to have logical workable regulations going forward,” he says. Key areas Federated Farmers need to be working on include how various policies will play out and their interaction with other related policies such as the Freshwater National Policy Statement, Three Waters Reform Programme and proposed Southland Water and Land Plan. He labels many of the policies as “appalling” and says they won’t achieve the end goals. He’d also like to see the positive action, such as planting and fencing, farmers have been taking recognised along with definite goal posts so farm- ers know what they are aiming for. He says farmers need to be able to take owner- ship rather than feeling they are getting change forced upon them. “For example deer farms are audited by an independent auditing system but have opportunity to sort out any issues that arise rather than instant prosecutions. That’s what we’d like to see for other types of farming regarding new regulations. “Farmers need to be able to get on and farm not always feel like they have to look over their shoulder. Everyone is feeling the pressure of all the stuff (regulations) coming at once. And if it’s rushed through then we won’t get the right outcomes.” Chris grew up on the family farm at Balfour. It was just over 200ha when he started working on the farm in 2000. Land acquisitions have seen the property expand to 865ha owned plus 50ha leased. Chris and wife Rochelle grow cereal crops – wheat, peas and barley – totalling 600ha of their land holding. The remaining land is used for a deer operation, which consists of 350 Red deer breeding hinds, and they finish all the progeny. Their business also in- corporates a grazing operation of 360 dairy heifers and 1000 hoggets, of which they own 250 of the hoggets. Chris says this has given diversity to their business so they spread their risk and use the land in the way it is best suited. The Dillons are always looking at ways to improve their farming system and have been experimenting with different break crops to assist long term sustainability. MEAT, WOOL ARABLE » Chris Dillon “It’s about optimising profitability, not always getting the highest yield, but looking at the most economic return taking into account inputs matched with outputs,” he says. “It also helps to spread risk and workload over the harvest period.” Getting enough qualified workers has always been a challenge, which has been heightened with Covid-19. The Dillons have worked longer hours and relied on technology to fill in the gaps. Supply chain issues have also meant increased prices, which will have a flow-on effect Chris believes this will be a permanent issue and the public will have to get used to a “price reset” when purchasing goods at the supermarket. In his role with Federated Farmers Chris hopes to create a strong farming community going forward. “Farmers are the backbone of the country and they need to be recognised for the good work they are doing. “They all want clean rivers but also want a strong economy. We believe we can have both and we believe in a lot of cases we have got both at the moment.” “Farmers need to be able to get on and farm not always feel like they have to look over their shoulder.” At McCulloch + Partners we are a local business run by local people. We pride ourselves on being friendly, accessible and experienced accounting specialists no matter the industry you’re in. p: 03 218 6179 e: w: James Harvey Partner Proud to support Chris & Rochelle Dillon Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors Contact us to take advantage of our modern approach to accounting and business expertise Fert Wholesale Direct Ltd Farmers, are you concerned about improving your fertiliser efficiency and environmental footprint? Then Fert Wholesale Direct Ltd can help, as we have helped Gladvale Farms Ltd The ONE System which through independent trials shows a doubling of response to N. And more recently, our Revolutionary Compound Urea/SOA product where every granule contains both forms of N. Contact Shane Harold on 021 0235 6491 or Chris Menzies | PARTNER 03 236 7000 | 021 880 915 | 0800 100 151 | INVERCARGILL | WINTON | GORE | TE ANAU Proudly supporting Baz Janssen Building and the Southland community. Proudly supporting Chris and Rochelle Dillon and the Southland community.