Regulating stock movements during Mycoplasma bovis outbreak

Mycoplasma bovis (M.bovis) is a bacterial disease commonly found in cows all over the world. First detected in New Zealand in July 2017, it has affected a small number of farms in the South Island and Hawke’s Bay. The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) is working hard with farmers to control the disease and, if possible, eradicate it from New Zealand.

M.bovis causes a range of diseases in cows including mastitis that doesn’t respond to treatment, arthritis, pneumonia and late-term miscarriage. Although it affects cows, it poses no risk to food safety or human health. M.bovis is mainly spread through close and prolonged contact between infected animals, through the movement of stock, contaminated equipment and feeding untreated milk to calves. It’s not windborne, it doesn’t spread through streams or rivers and, thankfully, it is a relatively slow-moving disease.

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Good Husbandry

Give it some thought when buying or selling

Agreements for the sale and purchase of rural land generally contain a ‘good husbandry’ clause. This clause is often inserted into the agreement as a ‘boiler plate’ or standard clause by real estate agents when preparing contracts. We discuss why it’s better to tailor-make this clause to suit each transaction.

The standard clause is often worded along these lines:

From the date of this Agreement until settlement, the Vendor shall continue to farm the property in a good and husband-like manner and in accordance with approved good farming practice in the district and shall neither overstock nor under-stock the property, nor do anything to impoverish the soil nor remove or damage any improvement or fixtures on the property.

However, both a seller and a buyer should give careful thought to the wording of this clause and its implications; it should be tailored to suit the particulars of any given transaction. This is particularly so for transactions where settlement is some time out from when the agreement was signed. It also needs to relate to properties where specific types of farming are being carried out.

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Sharemilking arrangements

quad.gifWith about two months remaining of the dairy farming season for 2013–2014, we suggest you review your sharemilking agreements, if you haven’t already done so. This will ensure things are on track for a smooth ending to any sharemilking arrangements and/or transition. You will need to be mindful of such things as pasture cover obligations, supplements to be left on the farm, cow conditions, accommodation and farm maintenance provisions.

Similarly, if you are entering into new sharemilking agreements for next season, we suggest you take the time to ensure contractual arrangements are correctly completed to reflect the agreements reached.

When the effluent hits the fan

by Chris Grenfell

Like any relationship, the relationship between a sharemilker and farm owner has times where disputes and problems can occur. There are a number of ways that these issues can be resolved and this article looks at the most common methods contained in modern sharemilking agreements.

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