29 May 2010

Warning more arable farmers will leave industry

4:25 pm on 29 May 2010

A North Otago farmer is warning there will be a new wave of farmers leaving the struggling arable industry if prices don't improve.

Chris Dennison from Oamaru is one of a number of cropping farmers considering his future in the industry.

He says prices currently being offered to farmers for their grain and crops are not meeting production costs.

Mr Dennison says he is having to use his dairying operation to prop up his cropping business.

If more cropping farmers leave the industry, he says, it opens up the country to more grain imports and New Zealand risks losing its arable knowledge base.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Commission is still considering a complaint into what Federated Farmers' Grains Council calls unfair trading and pricing in the grain industry.