23 Mar 2010

Farmers told science contribution phenomenal

10:00 pm on 23 March 2010

An agricultural science strategist is challenging the view that farmers have seen little return for the funds they have poured into research over the years.

John Lancashire is concerned about comments made by Federated Farmers president Don Nicolson on AgResearch's proposal to cut more than 40 scientists' jobs, mainly in wool and meat research.

Mr Nicolson says farmers are being blamed for that because of their decision to stop paying a wool levy for research and other industry good activities.

But he says they should not be criticised for wanting a return from generations of research funding, when their meat and wool incomes are continuing to slide.

Mr Lancashire says though, science has made a phenomenal contribution to the pastoral farming sector.

He acknowledge pastoral farming is in serious trouble, but he says that requires more research, not less.